Author: Ed Hatchet

Ed travels the world (wide web, mostly) to write lists for you to read over breakfast. For more of his stuff, click here.

Artists nowadays like to shock. But that’s not especially new. While it’s easy to imagine older art was constrained by the (presumed) delicate sensibilities and puritan morals of the time, many classical works put horror films to shame. Here are ten of the most disturbing. 10. The Garden of Earthly Delights – Hieronymus Bosch, ca.…

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Whether it’s done for the press or for personal growth, performance art can get out of hand. From graphic sexual acts to life-threatening violence, the most extreme examples tend to escape the art world and horrify the public at large. Here are 10 of the most notorious. 10. ‘100. Aktion’ by Hermann Kitsch (1998) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sxv7z0ququM…

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Now that the US government has acknowledged UFOs exist, modern skeptics and others with a faith in mediocrity may want to reexamine ‘ancient aliens’ evidence. The following 10 classical close encounters range from lights in the sky to craft on the ground and even sightings of the pilots. And most of them were identified by…

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You may have noticed this list makes no sense: color isn’t color til you see it. But let’s not get into all that. By ‘color’ we mean not only wavelengths but pigments and figments as well. When it comes to sight, though, we’ll be really, really pedantic! A lot of these you’ll think you know.…

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Derived from Greek, utopia means “no place,” as in a place that couldn’t exist. But so desperate have humans been throughout history that even impossible dreams are believed. Hence most of the following mad visions were thought to be real in their day—or at least within our reach. 10. The Peach Blossom Spring At least…

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First off, the vast majority of crop circles are definitely manmade. Many are commissioned for advertising and the artists are proud of their work. Yet crop circle enthusiasts and pilgrims, known as “croppies”, still flock to southern England each summer. For them, the truth—or some it anyway—is still very much out there. Here’s why. 10.…

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Obviously security is the point of all prisons, but some are just over the top. With emerging technology now geared for control, they’re only becoming more extreme. Here’s a rundown of the 10 worst offenders, as well as some ways to get out… 10. Mumbai Central Prison (aka Arthur Road Jail) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsUfHf0WxfM Built by the…

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Nowadays we take colors for granted, but historically they’ve been hard to come by. Pigment-makers have long gone to great lengths to find new hues, and many paints have pretty weird origins. Even today we’re looking to broaden our palette. Meanwhile, we’re exploring entirely new approaches to paint-making that don’t involve pigment at all. From…

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On the whole, humans like to eat animals that have suffered—be it “humanely,” in state-of-the-art slaughterhouses, or more “traditionally” in sadistic culinary rites. Examples of the latter abound on every continent, but perhaps none more so than Asia—especially in the vicinity of China. Here are 10 of the worst. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZduc6gQE-s This is an encore of…

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Nowadays we take colors for granted, but historically they’ve been hard to come by. Pigment-makers have long gone to great lengths to find new hues, and many paints have pretty weird origins. Even today we’re looking to broaden our palette. Meanwhile, we’re exploring entirely new approaches to paint-making that don’t involve pigment at all. From…

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Speculation as to what the government might be hiding from us is an easy way to bring a conversation to an end. But very often the truth is stranger than fiction. Here are ten declassified secrets—things our governments actually did then went out of their way to cover up–that make many conspiracy theories look tame.…

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You’re no doubt used to sensationalist headlines, especially when it comes to bad science. But you might want to take a deep breath. Because… 10. There’s a “zombie apocalypse” waiting to happen In 1986, British beef was found to be infected with BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) after cattle were fed cows and powdered sheep. Against…

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It’s easy, even comforting, to think of history’s tyrants as one-dimensional bad guys. That they may have had emotions and frailties as complex as our own threatens to muddy the narrative. But humanizing the inhuman can really drive home the terrifying reality of their despotic regimes, not to mention their sociopathic capacity for compartmentalization. To…

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The English language is replete with curious ancient phrases, many of which have bizarrely unexpected derivations. Others retain their literal meaning while their origins have been obscured, often by erroneous (but entertaining) folk etymologies. The following 10 words and phrases have nothing much in common–except that each falls into one of those categories. 10. Dead…

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For many of us Mars represents hope. From scientific discoveries (e.g. living organisms against all the odds) to the promise of colonization, the Red Planet may be key to our survival. Certainly as life on Earth grows steadily more precarious, our second closest neighbor seems to present a viable alternative—even if some think that’s crazy.…

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Speculation as to what the government might be hiding from us is an easy way to bring a conversation to an end. But very often the truth is stranger than fiction. Here are ten declassified secrets—things our governments actually did then went out of their way to cover up–that make many conspiracy theories look tame.…

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Contrary to popular (and typically arrogant) belief, many animals see the world at least as well as–and very often better than–us humans. Of course, “reality” is always subjective; but as far as sensory input goes, our image of the world is actually far “less complete” than many animals we see as subordinate. Below are 10…

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Dolphins may be thought of as “a kind of alien intelligence sharing our planet” and “the closest we’ll come to encountering ET.” Although all species on Earth descend from a common ancestor, humans and dolphins have been on different evolutionary paths for aeons, resulting in the massive differences we see today. As with any animal,…

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There are several types of godawful dinner party host–the drunk and domineering, the flustered and fastidious, and of course the plain old terrible cooks, to name just a few. But most guests don’t fear for their lives. History, on the other hand, is replete with examples of a more deliberately sadistic kind–powerful rulers or groups…

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Paranoia is more or less mainstream these days, and not without justification. Thankfully, though, a great many fears remain baseless. Paranoid delusions like “someone has stolen my face,” or “everyone knows what I’m doing” are for the most part demonstrably false. They exist at the margins of clinical psychology, affecting only a small handful of…

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