People visiting the morgue in Paris to view the cadavers

The Paris Morgue Provided Ghoulish Entertainment

With its huge windows framing the corpses on display, the morgue bore an uncomfortable resemblance to a department store.
The Book of Miracles, c. 1550

The Long History of Comet Phobia

Even the invention of the telescope couldn't convince all people to put aside superstitions about comets.
A 19th century advertisement for fish glue

Isinglass; or, The Many Miracles of Fish Glue

Isinglass comes from the swim bladders of certain kinds of fish and can be found in everything from beer recipes to illuminated manuscripts. Ew? No way.
Tremolite asbestos from the Aure Valley, French Pyrenees

When Asbestos Was a Gift Fit for a King

File under: “don’t try this at home.”
An Ancient Roman latrine

This Is How They Wiped Themselves in Ancient Rome

A very gross but extremely informative look at the archaeology of toilet hygiene.
A hand holding a trading card featuring Ruby Dee

How Trading Card Collectors Have Fought Stereotypes

By making what may have been unseen visible, trading cards have often provided an opening into larger conversations on race, gender, and representation.
The Loch Ness Wellington

Bomber Plane or the Loch Ness Monster?

A Vickers Wellington plane was submerged for decades in the Loch Ness, till a group of Nessie hunters stumbled across mysterious sonar readings.

Martin Luther’s Monsters

Prodigies, or monsters, were opaque and flexible symbols that signaled that God was sending some message.
Girls' Beating the Bounds' at a fence near St Albans in Hertfordshire, 1913

“Beating the Bounds”

How did people find out where their local boundaries were before there were reliable maps?
William Cheselden giving an anatomical demonstration to six spectators in the anatomy-theatre of the Barber-Surgeons' Company, London, c. 1730

The Study of Human Anatomy and the Corpses of Vienna

For cultural and geographical reasons, the city was a great place to find bodies to dissect. But there was also the matter of one well-connected doctor.