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12 Truly Weird Historical Events That Actually Happened

Pepsi, the soda company, once had the 6th largest military in the world.

1. After sacking the city of Antioch in 540 CE, Sasanian Emperor Khosrow I built a new city that looked almost exactly the same and called it "Weh Antiok Khusrau," which translates roughly to "Khosrow Made This City Better Than Antioch."

2. At the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, the marathon was a total mess: The first place finisher did most of the race in a car, the guy in second almost died from eating rat poison, and the fourth place finisher raced in dress pants and shoes, and took a nap by the side of the road for part of the race.

3. There was a cat who started in the Nazi navy in WWII, then became a ship's cat in the British Royal Navy, and survived three sinking ships during his naval service.

4. Khutulun, a descendant of Genghis Khan, refused to marry unless her suitor could beat her in a wrestling match. Nobody ever defeated her.

5. The Polish army enlisted a bear as a soldier during WWII.

6. A woman named Violet Jessop survived not only the sinking of the Titanic, but also the destruction of BOTH of the Titanic's sister ships.

7. Robert Liston, a surgeon in the 1800s, performed an operation with a 300% mortality rate: Instead of saving the patient, he killed three people.

8. Twice, the US and the USSR were likely saved from all-out nuclear war by just one person.

9. An entire town in Nevada basically invented the concept of the "Wild West" by staging gunfights, bank robberies, and other Western cliches from 1800s dime novels.

10. Ernest Hemingway's younger brother started his own country on a raft in international waters near Jamaica and named it New Atlantis.

11. "Mad Jack" Churchill, a British Army officer during WWII, was famous for going into battle with a longbow, a broadsword, and his bagpipes.

12. At one point, the makers of Pepsi had the 6th largest military in the world.