Dead former wife returns to haunt 18th century family portrait

Dead former wife returns to haunt 18th century family portrait

After Scottish tobacco lord John Glassford’s wife died in 1766, he had her image painted over with that of his new wife when he remarried in 1768. Today, she unexpectedly reappeared.Continue Reading

13 unlucky heirs who didn’t make it to the throne of England

13 unlucky heirs who didn’t make it to the throne of England

Most heirs to the throne navigated the dangers of infant mortality, rampant disease and bloody battlefields to take their anointed place in history. A few unfortunate ones didn’t make it.Continue Reading

How 10 of history’s most famous figures almost died before their time

How 10 of history’s most famous figures almost died before their time

A source of inspiration for alternate historians is making early brushes with death (e.g. when a young Julius Caesar was kidnapped by pirates) go wrong. Here are 10 famous lives that turned on a dime.Continue Reading

Timeline of images of Earth before 1969

Timeline of images of Earth before 1969

In 1632 the great Galileo Galilei wrote: “If you could see the Earth illuminated when you were in a place as dark as night, it would look to you more splendid than the Moon.”Continue Reading

Real fame is having your own eponymous adjective.  What’s yours?

Real fame is having your own eponymous adjective. What’s yours?

Normally tagged with magnificent concepts like ‘era’ or ‘thinking’, the award of an eponymous adjective – derived from a person’s name – can either be the ultimate accolade or ultimate condemnation. Continue Reading

Could you afford to live abroad? – Cost comparison of life’s essentials in 100 countries

Could you afford to live abroad? – Cost comparison of life’s essentials in 100 countries

Forget bread, rice and potatoes – we look at the cost around the world of life’s REAL essentials: internet and cell phone connection, gasoline, cigarettes and the rent on a city centre apartment. Continue Reading

Presidents, Monarchs and the shrinking Atlantic – timeline of transatlantic communication

Presidents, Monarchs and the shrinking Atlantic – timeline of transatlantic communication

How ‘getting the message across’ the ocean went from weeks to milliseconds for the Kings and Queens of England and the Presidents of the USA.Continue Reading

A new way to classify life on Earth

A new way to classify life on Earth

Our species first tagged itself Homo sapiens (wise man) in 1758, but Homo nominans (naming man) may have been more apt given our attempts to label the plants and animals with which we share the planet.Continue Reading

Rare surnames reveal how success is inherited over centuries

Rare surnames reveal how success is inherited over centuries

Your success in life may be pre-determined, not by the wealth, education, and profession of your parents, but by the fortunes of your ancestors centuries ago.Continue Reading

Famous faces linked by Y-DNA haplogroups

Famous faces linked by Y-DNA haplogroups

Y-DNA haplogroups, which link son-to-father back to common male-line ancestors, have been determined for many notable figures – showing some fascinating and unexpected linkages.Continue Reading

Native Americans travelled far and wide to settle in America’s first city

Native Americans travelled far and wide to settle in America’s first city

The ancient American city of Cahokia, which by 1100 AD was bigger than medieval London, was home to around 20,000 people – many of whom travelled hundreds of miles to live there.Continue Reading

Rated – the sense of humour of 10 historical figures

Rated – the sense of humour of 10 historical figures

Testing the funny bones of Isaac Newton, Oliver Cromwell, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill.Continue Reading

Paleo-Americans spent 10,000 years in Beringia’s Ice Age haven

Paleo-Americans spent 10,000 years in Beringia’s Ice Age haven

DNA evidence plus sediment cores from Alaska and the Bering Sea suggest that humans inhabited the Beringian land bridge for up to 10,000 years before heading into the New World, according to a new study.Continue Reading

Beautiful time-lapse video shows how snowflakes form in mid-air

Beautiful time-lapse video shows how snowflakes form in mid-air

Time-lapse video of ice crystals forming on the surface of water shows how snowflakes form in mid-air. Enjoy this 2 minute clip of one of nature’s most fragile, but near perfect formations.Continue Reading

Up for auction – one thousand curiosities ‘that touched history’

Up for auction – one thousand curiosities ‘that touched history’

Stanley Seeger didn’t keep his vast collection of artefacts locked away – he loved using them. His visitors could enjoy tea from Admiral Nelson’s teapot, while sitting in Winston Churchill’s armchair.Continue Reading

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