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  • Friday Thread- Historical facts that are hard to fathom now
  • nickc
    Full Member

    So, loads of you on here are history nuts (in the nicest way) and I just know that’s there’s treasure trove of just weird and wonderful and useless info out there. So let’s have the most bizarre stuff that although you know is indisputably true, it takes your modern brain a second to go “What the f…”

    I’ll start with;

    Medieval Europe had no potatoes. It’s such a staple of just about every menu in every country from Finland to Spain that you have to take a minute to just think about how that works.

    Privacy, the medieval concept of doing everything, all the time in the presence of other humans, from shitting to getting jiggy, and in fact the idea that you’d want to be alone was looked on as a bit weird.

    yetidave
    Free Member

    When dinosaurs roamed this forum, there was no grass, only ferns and trees.

    nickc
    Full Member

    Another; at some point in the early 18thC nearly everybody in the UK went from living “Down there, past the tree, next to the beehive and if you go past the bridge you’ve gone too far”, to 11B Walpole Avenue, and almost no-one commentated on it at all.

    grahamt1980
    Full Member

    Life expectancy in England between the 1500’s and 1700’s was between 30-40. So basically i would likely be dead now

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    *Bookmarks thread for when the last 6/7 years becomes ‘history’.

    5lab
    Full Member

    Life expectancy in England between the 1500’s and 1700’s was between 30-40. So basically i would likely be dead now

    this is one of those places where averages are rubbish. If you make it to 5, life expectancy back then was into the 60s iirc – its just that a whole load of babies and toddlers die of causes that are now solved, bringing the average age right down

    roverpig
    Full Member

    Life expectancy in England between the 1500’s and 1700’s was between 30-40. So basically i would likely be dead now

    Isn’t that just an average and affected by the very high risk of infant mortality? I’m no expert but I thought that if you survived childhood in those days you’d probably live to what we’d still consider a decent age.

    Edit: what @5lab said 🙂

    Whilst we rightly applaud the Suffragettes for their battle, the greatest majority of men in the trenches still didn’t have a right to a voice in who their political masters were along with many others.

    thestabiliser
    Free Member

    Int aforementioned medieval times they had LOADS of holidays. Usually saints days and that.

    timba
    Free Member

    Wars of the Roses between the houses of York and Lancaster, 105000 dead.
    After Henry VII (Lancaster) triumphed at Bosworth, he married Elizabeth of York and united the two houses. Did nobody think of doing this earlier?

    IHN
    Full Member

    The T-Rex was closer in history to the iPod than it was to the Triceratops.

    Olly
    Free Member

    Abraham Lincoln could have sent a Fax to a Samurai. (hypothetically)

    The gap between the Wright brothers first flight, and man walking on the moon was 66 years!

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    When dinosaurs roamed this forum, there was no grass, only ferns and trees.

    Dinosaurs were around for so long that dinosaur fossils existed at the same time as actual living dinosaurs.

    nickc
    Full Member

    Isn’t that just an average

    It’s sort of true and at the same time, entirely untrue. Infant death was high, but then life especially in early medieval Europe was indisputably brutal. Nearly everyone was pretty much on the edge of starvation nearly all the time. 90% of folks lived off the land and there’s no real method of storing or transporting food to other parts of the county let alone to other parts of the country, especially in the winter months, so if you didn’t have enough… People managed to make it to their 60’s but it was still pretty rare. If starvation or disease didn’t get you, war probably would

    nickc
    Full Member

    The T-Rex was closer in history to the iPod than it was to the Triceratops.

    These ones just blow my mind, Cleopatra was closer to us than she was to the Sphinx.

    IHN
    Full Member

    Despite their numerous, enormous, stone structures, the Inca had no metal cutting tools, and no mortar.

    ads678
    Full Member

    These ones just blow my mind, Cleopatra was closer to us than she was to the Sphinx.

    We’ve come a long way in a few years haven’t we!

    timba
    Free Member

    Leics County Council built the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre a mile away from the battlefield. Dig the foundations, no cannon balls, helmets, arrow heads, etc to be found…local man says it’s in the fields on the other side of the road to where you’re digging
    Dig trenches for services, utilities, etc still no cannon balls, helmets, arrow heads, etc to be found…local man says it’s in the fields on the other side of the road to where you’re digging
    No trace of the marsh that Shakespeare refers to (you don’t get many on top of a hill in Leics)…local man says it’s in the fields on the other side of the road to where you’re digging. The road called the Fen Lane
    We now have a “gateway” to the battlefield 🤣🤣

    It is worth a visit though

    PJM1974
    Free Member

    The average age of the combat soldier in WW2 was twenty-six, in Vietnam he was nineteen…

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    Well cleopatra is coming at ya! Innit.

    IHN
    Full Member

    I think you mean n-n-n-n-n-nineteen

    BillMC
    Full Member

    The story about the vicar, Eyam and the plague was not, in fact, a fact.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    You used to be able to smoke everywhere. It was perfectly normal for someone to light up in a restaurant where people were eating; in the cinema; on the Tube(!); top deck of a double-decker bus… all in my lifetime (perhaps aside from the Tube, I don’t know), I remember routinely getting home after a night out with my clothes reeking of other people’s smoke. It seems absolutely unfathomable now.

    The gap between the Wright brothers first flight, and man walking on the moon was 66 years!

    It’s quite a long way, too. You could line up all the other solar system planets between us and the moon.

    fasthaggis
    Full Member

    The American Bison killings.
    From 60 million to 300

    sargey
    Full Member

    The earth was flat in medieval times,that’s why there was no potatoes because they all rolled off the edge.

    nickc
    Full Member

    When cars came along, one of the ways that they were promoted  and caught on was the idea that cities wouldn’t just smell of horse-shit all the time. Plus there wouldn’t need to be dairy herds in the centre of town, and that you’d not have to continually walk around the corpses of dead animals in the gutter.

    That went well, obviously

    Nick
    Full Member

    My grandfather was ten by the time Chief Sitting Bull died (1890)

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    The shit they used to do to people as torture/punishment/entertainment – like the Judas Cradle, the Pear Of Anguish and worse. Insane

    nickc
    Full Member

    Forks were banned in England for a bit, as the church thought they were blasphemous. You’ve already got eating utensils, your hands, anything else is just pomposity and vanity, and against God’s will. (obviously)

    Inset your own Whiteadder joke here…

    IHN
    Full Member

    The American Bison killings.

    From 60 million to 300

    I see your Bison, and raise you the Passenger Pigeon

    3 billion to nowt

    yetidave
    Free Member

    These ones just blow my mind, Cleopatra was closer to us than she was to the Sphinx.

    and she wasn’t Egyptian, she was Greek.

    PhilO
    Free Member

    Int aforementioned medieval times they had LOADS of holidays. Usually saints days and that.

    Hence the name: Holy Day. 🙂

    nickc
    Full Member

    My grandfather was ten by the time Chief Sitting Bull died (1890)

    I recently watched a YouTube of a restored 1929! film interviewing two Civil War veterans on a July 4th celebration day. they were in their 90’s by then but otherwise seemed as sharp as tacks

    History is often closer than we think

    johndoh
    Free Member

    You used to be able to smoke everywhere. It was perfectly normal for someone to light up in a restaurant where people were eating; in the cinema; on the Tube(!); top deck of a double-decker bus… all in my lifetime (perhaps aside from the Tube, I don’t know), I remember routinely getting home after a night out with my clothes reeking of other people’s smoke. It seems absolutely unfathomable now.

    So much this. And aeroplanes too – Rows 1-25 would be ‘No Smoking’ but the people in Row 26 could quite happily puff away all over the poor sods in the rows in front.

    Klunk
    Free Member

    Rome went from a population of over 2 million to 25,000 ish in not much more than a hundred years.

    nickc
    Full Member

    Oh yeah, just how few people there were. London in the 14thC had about 80,000 people in it – about the population of Bedford., and about 4 million in the entire country. The place was empty.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    So much this. And aeroplanes too – Rows 1-25 would be ‘No Smoking’ but the people in Row 26 could quite happily puff away all over the poor sods in the rows in front.

    When I was at university (late 90’s), they used to hold film nights in the Student Union and one of the marketing tactics they used was that you could smoke in there! Imagine that as a positive marketing point now!
    (most cinemas were smoke-free by then even though the smoking ban didn’t come in fully until 2007).

    tiim
    Full Member

    Sharks are older than trees

    FB-ATB
    Full Member

    Cleopatra was closer to us than she was to the Sphinx

    Chronologically or geographically.

    I see your Bison, and raise you the Passenger Pigeon

    3 billion to nowt

    I blame Dick Dastardly

    mrmonkfinger
    Free Member

    The Siberian Traps were formed by volcanic action that lasted for 2 million years and resulted in lakes of lava that formed an area of 7 million square kilometers.

    Worldwide temperatures rose. The seas were filled with carbon dioxide which removed oxygen and made them acidic. Most biological life did not cope or adapt. 70% of land species disappeared, 81% of marine species died out. This was the Permian-Triassic extinction.

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