In a bizarre twist of events, a dog jumping from the balcony of a 13th floor apartment resulted in a chain-reaction that killed the dog and three other people.
J. Marion Sims’ experiments—1800’s
Vesicovaginal fistula was a catastrophic complication of childbirth among 19th century American women. The first consistently successful operation for this condition was developed by Dr J Marion Sims, an Alabama surgeon who carried out a series of experimental operations on black slave women between 1845 and 1849. Numerous modern authors have attacked Sims’s medical ethics, arguing that he manipulated the institution of slavery to perform ethically unacceptable human experiments on powerless, unconsenting women. This article reviews these allegations using primary historical source material and concludes that the charges that have been made against Sims are largely without merit. Sims’s modern critics have discounted the enormous suffering experienced by fistula victims, have ignored the controversies that surrounded the introduction of anaesthesia into surgical practice in the middle of the 19th century, and have consistently misrepresented the historical record in their attacks on Sims. Although enslaved African American women certainly represented a “vulnerable population” in the 19th century American South, the evidence suggests that Sims’s original patients were willing participants in his surgical attempts to cure their affliction—a condition for which no other viable therapy existed at that time.
Operation Wandering Soul was a propaganda campaign exercised by U.S. Forces during the Vietnam War.
The operation played off the belief of many Vietnamese in the “wandering soul”:
"It is the Vietnamese belief that the dead must be buried in their homeland, or their soul will wander aimlessly in pain and suffering. Vietnamese feel that if a person is improperly buried, then their soul wanders constantly. They can sometimes be contacted on the anniversary of their death and near where they died. Vietnamese honor these dead souls on a holiday when they return to the site where they died."
U.S. engineers spent weeks recording eerie sounds and altered voices - which pretended to be killed Vietcong - for use in the operation, with the intended purpose of instilling a sense of turmoil within the enemy. The desired result being for the soldier to flee his position. Helicopters were sometimes employed to broadcast recordings, the voices in which called on their “descendants” in the Vietcong to defect and cease fighting.
Also, an audio recording of the operation here.
The Champawat Tiger was a female Bengal tiger responsible for an estimated 430 deaths in Nepal and the Kumaon area of India, mostly during the 19th century. Her attacks have been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest number of fatalities from a tiger. She was shot in 1907 by Jim Corbett.
The tiger began her attacks in a region of Nepal close to the Himalayas during the late 19th century, with people being ambushed by the dozen as they walked through the jungle. Hunters were sent in to kill the tiger, but she managed to evade them. Eventually, the Nepalese Army was called in. Despite failing to capture or kill the tiger, soldiers managed to force the tiger to abandon her territory and drive her across the border (River Sarda) into India, where she continued her killing activities in the Kumaon District. She eventually grew bolder, and began killing people in broad daylight and prowling around villages. Life across the region grew paralyzed, with men often refusing to leave their huts for work after hearing the tiger’s roars from the forest.
In 1907, the tiger was killed by British hunter Jim Corbett. The tiger had killed a 16-year-old woman in the town of Champawat, and left a trail of blood and limbs, which Corbett followed. Corbett found the tiger and shot her dead the next day, a dramatic feat confirmed by about 300 villagers.
Video footage taken by a female passenger on a subway in Guangzhou, China features a 67-year-old retired teacher attacking and attempting to eat a 28-year-old man after he shoved the older man in a rush to get a seat.
did those fucking people just stood there and watched?!
Mummies in Germany
More than 1000 mummies are currently stored in German churches - and many of these bodies are surrounded by their very own mysteries. According to one legend, Caroline Louise von Schönberg (see uppermost picture) had to be tied to her coffin because was still alive during her own burial and began knocking onto the lid. In order to avoid further “disturbances”, Caroline’s children, who had already divided up the inheritance, tied her up and had her buried alive.
Bizarre ‘zombie pigeons’ plague Moscow, raising concerns about infectious disease
This sounds like one of those ‘this is how it all started’ movements from a horror movie, but the situation is all too real, and residents of Moscow are concerned about what’s behind a recent plague of what are being called ‘zombie pigeons’ in their city.
Starting last week, dead and dying pigeons have been found littering the streets of Moscow. Reports of the behaviour of those walking around has been very strange, as well, with the birds: “twisting their necks, walking backward in circles or standing completely still with their heads on the ground,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
A FOUR-METRE-LONG fish of an unidentified breed has been found on the shores of the Almanzora caves near the Luis Siret beach in Villaricos (Almería).
Bathers in the area took photographs of the remains of the sea-creature and contacted the Civil Protection squad, who in turn notified the marine fauna protection society, PROMAR, in nearby Pulpí.
Experts at the centre say they have never come across any species like it and are attempting to find out from its remains what it could be.
The woman who found it firstly discovered the head, and then the body farther down the beach, which is said to be over four metres in length.
Various laboratories belonging to PROMAR and similar centres have taken parts of the remains and photographs to analyse, but the ‘perishable’ parts of the fish have been buried ‘for hygiene reasons’.
The Paris Morgue was built in 1864 on the Île de la Cité, one of the two islands in the Seine, [and was] where the bodies of unidentified dead – most of them suicide cases – were displayed on marble slabs for friends or family to identify. This edifice soon became a fixture in the Parisian social round, with tens or hundreds of people shuffling into the morgue to gawk at the dead and gossip over their possible origins and reasons for death.
Each day, from early morning to the evening hour of six, the curious of this earth [were] seen going into and coming away from the ugly pile. Persons out of work are impelled by curiosity to go and see the “macchabées,” as the exposed corpses are termed in local slang; but others go to seek on the cold, bare slabs for the body of some dear one who departed this life by suicide or was the victim of an atrocious crime. [Source]
According to Vanessa R. Schwartz’s book, Spectacular Realities: Early Mass Culture in Fin-de-Siècle Paris:
…the morgue transformed the banality everyday life by spectacularizing it. To us, looking at dead bodies seems at best an exercise in morbid curiosity. And some of the late nineteenth-century Parisian press did consider the attraction rather morbid. Yet, as cultural critic Jay Ruby argued, assuming morbidity as the impulse to represent death merely reflects “our culturally encouraged need to deny death.” In fact, although the morgue clearly displayed dead bodies, the discussion of the popularity of public visits to the Paris Morgue generally placed it outside the death-related and morbid topics of its day: cemeteries, slaughterhouses and executions. Instead, the morgue was characterized as “part of the cataloged curiosities of things to see, under the same heading as the Eiffel Tower, Yvete Guilbert, and the Catacombs. [Source]
[With eternal thanks to freckledspace for bringing this particular oddment to my attention]
On January 1st 2005, some Odessa teens decided to spend New Years night partying in the catacombs. However, in the drunken revelry a member of the group, a girl named Masha, became separated and lost in the catacombs. She spent three days wandering in the freezing cold and pitch black before she died of dehydration. It took two years before the police were able to locate her body and retrieve it from the catacombs.
The Odessa Catacombs are a network of estimated 4000 kilometres-long tunnels stretching out under the city and surrounding region of Odessa, Ukraine. The majority of the catacombs are the result of stone mining. Most of the city’s 19th century houses were built of limestone mined nearby. Abandoned mines were later used and widened by local smugglers. This created a gigantic labyrinth of underground tunnels beneath Odessa, known as the “catacombs”. Today, they are a great attraction for extreme tourists, who explore the tunnels despite the dangers involved. Such tours are not officially sanctioned because the catacombs have not been fully mapped and the tunnels themselves are unsafe. There have been incidents of people becoming lost in the tunnel network, and dying of dehydration or rockfalls.