When you’re bored of scrolling through Instagram or Twitter, what do you do? You spend sixteen straight hours reading increasingly obscure pages on Wikipedia, duh. Friend of lazy students and procrastinators everywhere, Wiki has a pretty much endless supply of weird, gruesome and sometimes just really interesting facts.
Here are some of the best, as selected by Reddit users.
The gruesome and creepy
Many of the best Wiki pages are actually kind of disgusting. Death, torture or nose picking: take your pick.
Prepare to waste many, many hours on the page for ‘unusual deaths’. Some highlights:
- The man who died when a large round bale of hay rolled down a hill and collided with the van he was driving
- A fisherman who died after one of the live fish that he had caught flip-flopped and jumped into his mouth, squeezing itself down his throat, into his chest and killing him
- The man who died after he fell on ice and drowned in his cat’s water bowl
There are more and they are all horrible.
Loads of really creepy stories in this one.
Extremely, extremely morbid.
Did we need a Wikipedia page for nose picking? No. Do we have one? Yes. Of course we do.
To be fair? It is really good:
The Wikipedia page for ‘Human’ contains gems such as “they are characterised by erect posture and bipedal locomotion; high manual dexterity and heavy tool use compared to other animals; and a general trend toward larger, more complex brains and societies” which, yep, definitely sounds like it was written by an alien.
“There’s no reason for his picture to be of him pointing with both hands at a computer monitor, looking like a computer-befuddled godfather, either. Not only is it utterly harmless to have his picture be of him sitting, but the sitting picture is finely posed as an introductory photo of him - actually choosing a poorer-posed photo just to avoid the joke actually draws attention to it.”
“In November 2014, Mattel received criticism over the book I Can Be a Computer Engineer, which depicted Barbie as being inept at computers and requiring that her two male friends complete all of the necessary tasks to restore two laptops after she downloads a virus onto both of them.”
“Mattel sued artist Tom Forsythe over a series of photographs called Food Chain Barbie in which Barbie winds up in a blender.”
“In December 2005, Dr. Agnes Nairn at the University of Bath in England published research suggesting that girls often go through a stage where they hate their Barbie dolls and subject them to a range of punishments, including decapitation and placing the doll in a microwave oven. Dr. Nairn said: “It’s as though disavowing Barbie is a rite of passage and a rejection of their past.”
The just plain interesting
Loads of logical fallacies here, mate. BLOODY LOADS.
“Memetics - an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer based on the concept that units of information, or “memes”, have an independent existence, are self-replicating, and are subject to selective evolution through environmental forces. Starting from a proposition put forward in the writings of Richard Dawkins, it has since turned into a new area of study, one that looks at the self-replicating units of culture. It has been proposed that just as memes are analogous to genes, memetics is analogous to genetics.”
Incredibly important stuff here.
Extremely easy to see why a lot of these were deleted, tbh.
Basically a long article about what might happen in the future. Warning: may cause deep existential dread.
Relatedly: a list of stories set in a future now past. Spoiler alert: will also cause existential dread.
Just a list of loads of lists.
Loads of really good (and sometimes surprising) info on what different hand gestures
THE VERY WORST OF ALL TIME SINKS: a (probably not even comprehensive) list of all the unusual articles on Wikipedia. Great if you write pub quizzes and/or are a fan of boring/wowing your friends with weird facts.