Rats in Court

It was common practice in Europe from around the 14th to the 18th century to accuse, try, and execute animals for breaking the rules of human society. Animals accused were even provided defense lawyers to defend their actions.

The Alchemy of Urine

Hennig Brand (circa 1630-1692) is often considered to be the first person to discover an element. Brand discovered phosphorus in Germany in 1669 as he searched for the Philosopher’s Stone, the mythological, alchemical substance said to be able to turn any metal into gold. He made his discovery by distilling urine, which produced the glowing substance that he named phosphorus. …

Caligula and his soldiers fight the water

Roman Emperor Caligula is famous in history for being downright crazy. One of his lesser known feats was that he once marched his army to the beach and declared war on Neptune, the Roman god of the sea. After fighting the water for some time, Caligula claimed victory and told his men to collect seashells as spoils of war. A …

Pilfering Poetry from his Dead Wife’s Grave

Dante Gabriel Rossetti was an English poet, painter and artist born in 1828. Grief stricken upon the death of his wife and model, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Eleanor Siddal, he surreptitiously buried the only copy of his most recent manuscript-in-progress with her.