Viverra bengalensis

The Strange Case of Daniel Defoe’s Civet Scheme

In the 17th century, these animals were prized for their musk. So when the not-yet-famous writer Daniel Defoe needed quick cash, he turned to civets.
A red popsicle beginning to melt

The Buggy Truth about Natural Red Dye

The slightly disgusting secret ingredient that has historically made food dye, lipstick, and even the cloaks of Roman Catholic cardinals so vibrant.
Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia by Michiel Jansz. van Miereveldt

The Afterlife of Royal Hair

Whether worn as a lovelock or set in elaborate jewelry, the clipped-off hair of Kings and Queens outlived the monarchs themselves.
A coffinette for the viscera of Tutankhamun

Was It Really a Mummy’s Curse?

A slew of mysterious deaths following the opening of King Tut's tomb prompted one epidemiologist to investigate.
Crop circle in Switzerland

Pssst, Crop Circles Were a Hoax

In the late 1970s, mysterious circular patterns started showing up in farm fields.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_F._Francis_(attrib)_-_Still_Life_of_Strawberries_and_Cream.jpg

The Invention of Dessert

The English word “dessert” emerged in the seventeenth century, derived from the French verb “desservir.” But the concept has changed a lot since then.
British Ladies Football Club 1895

The Origins of Women’s Soccer

The British Ladies Football Club held their first match at Alexandra Park in Crouch End, London in 1895.
A Navy Marine Mammal Program (NMMP) California sea lion waits for his handler to give the command to search the pier for potential threats during International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX in Manama, Bahrain

Navy Seals: Why the Military Uses Marine Mammals

A beluga whale was suspected to be a spy. It's not as outlandish as it may seem.
Scottish quack doctor James Graham

The Prince of Quacks (and How He Captivated London)

James Graham, founder of the Temple of Health, benefitted from his undeniable flair for showmanship and his talent for leaping on trends.
Sir Charles Knowles, an officer of the Royal Navy

Colonialism Created Navy Blue

The indigo dye that created the Royal Navy's signature uniform color was only possible because of imperialism and slavery.