17 Truly Odd Historical Facts That I Had A Hard Time Believing Were Real

    Romans brushing their teeth with pee is a fact I didn't need to know.

    1. In the thirteenth century, Pope Gregory IX basically declared war on the cats of the world.

    2. In 1820 an entire town held a trial against tomatoes.

    3. And while we're on the subject of tomatoes, ketchup was once actually sold as medicine.

    4. Roman emperor Caligula planned to make his favourite horse a senator.

    5. In Victorian England, people used to take pictures of their dead relatives in lifelike positions to keep as mementos.

    6. Speaking of Victorian England – an unexpected fashion trend of the straight-laced era? Nipple piercings.

    7. Before alarm clocks became the norm, there were people called knocker-uppers who would literally knock on people’s window to wake them up in time for work.

    8. Lord Byron kept a pet bear in his dormitory while studying at Cambridge.

    9. In 1923, a jockey died in the middle of a race – but still won!

    10. The ancient Romans often used stale urine as mouthwash.

    11. And the wonders of stale urine never seem to cease, since it was later used to make coloured dyes brighter and more effective!

    12. Roman gladiators often became celebrities and even endorsed products – a lot like athletes do today!

    13. And their sweat was considered an aphrodisiac!

    14. Stalin would literally have his photos retouched to remove people that he didn’t like.

    15. Between the 11th and 19th century, a number of Buddhist monks successfully mummified themselves.

    16. A novel about a seemingly ‘unsinkable’ ship that was hit by an iceberg was published in 1898 – 14 years before the Titanic sunk.

    17. And finally, perhaps the wildest of all, Charlie Chaplin once entered a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest – and came in 20th place.