10 of the Most Weirdly Entertaining Historical Facts

by Mrinal sarma3 years ago

6 English pirate Benjamin Hornigold once raided a merchant ship to steal the hats of the crew members. Horningold explained that he had to do this because his crew members got drunk the night before and threw their hats overboard. 
Pirate Benjamin Hornigold
Image is used for representational purposes only. Image credit: Shutterstock

During the initial days of his career, Hornigold was a low-level looter who engaged in small raids off the coast of New Providence, a famous island in the Bahamas.

He and his army used small ships and sailing canoes to attack merchant vessels. Hornigold quickly gained ground and became the leader of “Ranger,” the most heavily armed 30-gun sailing ship in the Bahamas. He also had a gang of 350 tough men. 

In 1717, Hornigold and his crew members attacked a merchant ship off the coast of Honduras to steal their hats. The terrified merchants begged for their lives, but Hornigold explained this plunder by saying that he and his crew were so drunk last night that they threw their hats overboard.

Once they got the hats, Hornigold allowed the merchants to continue with their journey. However, some historians say that it was nothing but Hornigold’s way of displaying his power. (Source)


7 The Lobster War is an event when Brazil and France got into an argument over fishing rights for lobsters. The Brazilian government argued that the lobsters crawl along the continental shelf, whereas French fishermen said lobsters swim and can be caught from any fishing vessel from any country.

Lobster War
Brazilian Boeing B-17 flies over the French destroyer Tartu (D636) during the 1963 Lobster War. Image credit: Marine brésilienne/defesabor via Wikimedia

In 1961, a group of fishermen from France enjoyed their successful fishing session off the Moroccan coast and decided to sail towards the west to capture lobsters. They found a point off the coast of Pernambuco, in Brazil, where spiny lobsters were found at depths of 250-650 feet.

The Brazilian rules allowed foreign ships to stay at a distance of 12 miles off the coast. However, the French fishermen came close to the coast, where locals noticed them and reported immediately to higher authorities.   

On January 2, 1962, the Brazilian Navy caught the French vessel Cassiopée off the coast. No shots were fired, but the argument got heated when Brazilians denied access within 100 miles to French fishermen.

Their main argument was that Brazilians believed that lobsters crawl along the continental shelf and therefore belonged to Brazil. Whereas, the French believed that lobsters swim and they can be caught by any country. 

The War officially ended on 10 December 1964, after both the countries signed an agreement. The argument was resolved when Brazil expanded its territorial waters to a 200-mile zone.

(1, 2, 3)


8 In 1845, the pet parrot “Poll” of President Andrew Jackson was taken to the president’s funeral. However, he disturbed the people by swearing and yelling, which he learned from Jackson. It, therefore, was removed from the funeral service. 

Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson U.S. President (Image to the left), Image is used for representational purposes only. Image credits: Shutterstock

The seventh U.S. President, Andrew Jackson, had a habit of swearing and yelling, which his pet parrot “Poll” learned. Poll was an African grey parrot that Jackson bought as a gift for his wife. However, Jackson became the caretaker of Poll after the death of his wife. 

In 1845, when Jackson died, Poll was brought to the funeral since it was quite close to its owner. Unfortunately, people had to remove the bird from the funeral services because it started swearing and yelling, which it learned from Jackson. (1, 2, 3)

9 Infamous Roman Emperor Caligula was so attached to his horse Incitatus that he decided to make him a senator. He also gave his horse special treatment – a marble stable, a purple blanket, an ivory manger, and a collar of precious stones.

Emperor Caligula
Image credits: Shutterstock

Caligula was a Roman emperor who loved his horse as much as he hated people. Incitatus was Caligula’s favorite prize racehorse. Caligula decided to make his horse a consul, and he would invite dignitaries to dine with him and his horse in a house having servants to entertain these events.

The horse also had a marble stable, an ivory manger to sleep in, purple blankets, and a collar of special stones. The horse was fed oats combined with gold flakes. It was also known that Caligula made his horse a priest. 

Moreover, if you lived near the stable, you have to stay quiet the entire day before a race so Incitatus could concentrate. However, before Caligula could make his horse a consul in the Roman Senate, he was stabbed to death along with his wife and daughter. (1, 2)


10 Charlie Chaplin once participated in a Charlie Chaplin Lookalike contest and came 20th. This happened because he didn’t have his famous mustache and boots on when performing his trademark walk. 

Charlie Chaplin
Image credit: Roy Export SAS via YouTube

In 1915, Charlie Chaplin was a big and well-known star. He acted in 37 short films and would appear in 14 more releases including The Tramp. The Tramp became a popular national box office phenomenon.

His character was so beloved that different cartoons and comic characters copied the style of Charlie Chaplin. Companies started manufacturing toys, dolls, songs, and books that honored the actor. Everyone in the country knew him. 

This popularity led to many public events and Charlie Chaplin Lookalike contests. People loved to dress up like The Tramp and competing to see who copied the look and walk perfectly.

Charlie Chaplin himself participated in one such contest but failed badly, coming in 20th place. Although he walked just like The Tramp, he didn’t put on his famous mustache and boots, which caused him to fail. (1, 2, 3, 4)

Also Read:
10 of the Lesser-known Devastating Events in History

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