10 Most Unusual Things you Didn’t Know About History
Do you think history is boring? For those of you who aren’t very passionate about the life of our ancestors we have prepared a list of the 10 most unusual things that people used to do in the past. Learn more about how the saying „Saved by the bell” and „It’s raining cats and dogs” were born. Without further ado, here is our top 10 most unusual things people did in the past.
„It’s raining cats and dogs”
In the past, houses were covered with bundles of straw and stalks, and they had no wooden frame underneath. The roof of the house was the only place were cats, dogs and other small animals could find shelter. However, when it rained, the roofs became slippery and the animals would fall from them, on humans. This is when the saying „it’s raining cats and dogs” was born.
The canopy bed appeared in the same time with the straw roofs. A „smart” man thought a lot about the problem of cats and dogs randomly falling down on people. And it wasn’t only animals, but also dirt, feces and insects. As a result he decided to put a sheet above the bed.
A lot of rich people used stone slabs for their floors. The only problem was that they would also become very slippery when wet. In order to increase the grip when walking on it, they would sprinkle house chaff. By sprinkling many layers on top of each other one would obtain a considerably thick layer that could flow out of the house when the door was opened. They solved the problem by adding the threshold.
Plates of crusted bread
Life was very difficult for poor people, who would eat their food in pieces of carved wood or very old bread which had the core removed. The problem was that neither of the two would be washed after use, which means that most containers had worms. Obviously, within the families there was a hierarchy. The workers would eat from the inferior part, which had more nutrients, and guests would receive the superior part.
Saved by the bell
At the beginning of the XVIth century began the crisis of funeral places. The only solution was to remove older corpses and depositing them in another place, and reusing the space for a „fresh” corpse. By opening the old coffins the authorities realized that some of them had scratch marks on the interior. This means that some people were buried alive. Those who were accidentally buried alive, finally had the chance to be rescued. From the „hand” of the dead man was linked a string, which continued through a hole in the coffin and was connected to a bell situated near the tomb. In other words, cemetery patrols could hear if someone was still alive under the surface of the ground.
Egyptians had unusual conceptions about almost everything. Besides their belief that servants and family members should be buried with the pharaoh in order to accompany him to the other world, they also thought that the heart was the seat of intelligence, not the brain. In their belief, the purpose of the brain was to stuff the head.
Spartan boys would start military school at the age of seven. Their first task was to weave a mat of coarse river reeds. Moreover they were forced to run for miles and miles, while being flogged by other boys. Some of them died of exhaustion. Only the select few who made it to 20 years became soldiers, and would serve the army until they were 60.
Tomatoes are poisonous
In Ancient times, food would be cooked in a metal cauldron. Because meat was scarce, they would usually cook vegetables over and over again in the same juice. Most food would become weeks old. Moreover, rich people would eat from bowls made of lead because it was easier to model. Vegetables with high acidity dissolve the lead, and people would ingest it and become sick or die. This is why tomatoes were considered poisonous for approximately 350 years.
It is no surprise that people in the past drank a lot of whiskey and brandy. The alcohol would be poured in lead cups, and the combination between lead and whiskey is so toxic that many would become unconscious for days. The „party people” found lying on the roadside were considered dead, and the families would prepare them for burial. Nevertheless they were given another chance. The families would put them on the kitchen table for days in a row, hoping that they would recuperate – which often happened. In the meanwhile friends and family would feast and drink. This is how the tradition of a wake arose.
This is probably the weirdest thing about history. We advise you to be thankful that you can wash yourself whenever you want, even if the water isn’t hot enough, because our ancestors would only wash once or twice a year. Weddings, for example, usually happened in June, because the only bath of the year would be taken in may, which means that the husbands had an acceptable smell. Because of the smell of perspiration, women would usually carry a bouquet of flowers.
The „bath” was actually a huge barrel filled with warm water, in which every member of the family would bathe. The head of the house had the privilege of bathing first, in clean water. The next in line were sons, men, women and children. In the end, the water was so dirty that you could lose a baby in it. This is how the saying „Do not throw the baby with the water in which you wash”.