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10 Historical Events that Sound too Strange to Be True

strange historical events

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when we say “historical events?” Wars and more wars, right?. However, there is more to it. Trust us, when we say, there are some bizarre historical facts. There are many strange historical events that you probably haven’t heard of. Here we’re presenting you ten strange and unbelievable historical events of all time, that are almost too strange to be true.

1. A Norweigian captain asks for ammo from his opponent, an English captain, after a 14-hour-long fight.

Peter Jansen Wessel
Portrait of Peter Jansen Wessel. Image credits: The Museum of National History/Wikimedia

Peter Jansen Wessel was born in a Norwegian family in 1690. This courageous man was ennobled as Peter Tordenskiold by King Fredrick IV. Peter is also remembered in history as the destroyer of Charles XII’s supply fleet. This happened in the Battle of Dynekilen.

In July of 1714, Peter’s ship, the Lovendals Gallej, got involved in a fight with a British captain named Bactmann. This fight continued for 14 hours, and both the ships of Wessel and Bactmann were severely damaged. What’s strange is that after fighting for so long, when Peter had no more ammo left, he asked Bactmann for more ammo so that the fight could continue. Isn’t it thoroughly weird?

When Bactmann refused to provide ammunition to Wessel, the fight came to an end. All the crew members of both ships had a nice drink together, and they sailed away in opposite directions. However, this incident did not go well with King Fredrick IV. He accused Peter of revealing vital information to the opponent regarding Norway’s lack of ammo. Peter successfully defended himself and argued logically in his favor referring to sections of the Danish Naval code. Frederick IV was impressed with him and later promoted him to the designation of the captain. (1, 2)

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2. Robert Gibbon Johnson, a colonel of Salem, New Jersey, proved that tomatoes were not poisonous in a trial held against tomatoes.

Robert Gibbon Johnson
Robert Gibbon Johnson. Image credits: Robert Gibbon Johnson/Wikipedia

In 1820, tomatoes were actually on trial at the Salem Courthouse. The people of Salem were confident that tomatoes were extremely toxic. However, a colonel named Robert Gibbon Johnson opposed this. Johnson was a horticulture enthusiast, and he had imported tomato plants in 1808 to introduce the people of Salem to this fruit. However, the citizens of Salem were not ready to accept tomatoes and believed they were not edible.

Johnson even arranged competitions and offered rewards to those growing the biggest tomatoes in Salem. Colonel Johnson never stopped eating tomatoes, either. For this, the people of Salem would call him insane. Their beliefs regarding the fatal traits of tomatoes were firmly implanted.

During the trial, Colonel Johnson did something strange. He walked straight to the courthouse with a basket full of tomatoes. When he got the attention of the crowd, he started eating the tomatoes, one after another.

The audiences were terrified as they witnessed Colonel Johnson, finishing an entire basket of tomatoes. Much to the surprise of the crowd, Johnson was fine. Afterward, the people of Salem were convinced that tomatoes were not toxic. In fact, nearly all gardens grow tomato since then. (1, 2)

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3. Roman Emperor Valentinian I died while yelling at a group of Quadi envoys.

Valentinian I
Valentinian I. Image credits: Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Valentinian had dominated Western Rome from 364 to 375 CE. Rome was going through a catastrophic phase at that time, and Valentinian certainly was not a wise emperor. He was a brave soldier but had a hot temperament. During his monarchy, a hooligan tribe called “Quadi” was residing in the northern Danube region. Valentinian was in constant conflict with this tribe.

In  November of 375 CE, Valentinian had shifted to Brigetio. Upon his arrival, the Roman Emperor received a delegation. The Quadi, who sent the delegation, demanded to be left in peace as they supplied new troops to the army of Rome.

However, this was not it. Before leaving, the group of Quadi agents also claimed that the source of the conflicts between Valentinian and Quadi was the Roman forts that were built in their lands. They even stated that the Quadi were not obliged to follow the terms of the Roman Treaty, and they could attack any time they wanted.

These claims of the Quadi agents infuriated the Roman Emperor. He started yelling at the agents, and due to so much provocation, a blood vessel in his brain ruptured. Valentinian died after that.(1, 2)

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