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Ridiculous History

Author: iHeartRadio

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History is beautiful, brutal and, often, ridiculous. Join Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown as they dive into some of the weirdest stories from across the span of human civilization in Ridiculous History, a podcast by iHeartRadio.

237 Episodes
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Most people have heard of Ernest Hemingway, but what about his younger brother, Leicester? 16 years Ernest's junior, Leicester seemed set to live in his older brother's shadow -- until, that is, he came up with a plan to get in the headlines all on his own. Writing novels was all well and good, thought Leicester, but why don't I start my own country? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
During the glory days of the railroad era, the public was gripped by mythic, larger-than-life tales of the Wild West -- people reveled in visions of train robberies, shootouts and attacks by vicious ne'er-do-wells. When one train conductor told a resident of Palisade, Nevada that his passengers were bummed to learn the real west wasn't all that wild, the members of the small town joined forces and began staging their own, entirely fake, train robberies and bandit attacks. What started as a prank became an institution, and over the next few years Palisade would become home to hundreds of theatrical train robberies. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
It's no secret that kids do all sorts of dumb things -- but have you ever swallowed a live goldfish? If so, you're not alone. In fact, it wasn't so long ago that hundreds of college students across the United States began gulping live goldfish by the dozens. Tune in to learn why. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Did you ever use on of those neat little pneumatic tubes at the drive-through of your local bank? If so, you may be surprised to learn just how far the roots of this technology date back. Join the guys as they explore the bizarre evolution of pneumatic tubes, from transporting parcels to packages, cats and even, once upon a time, people. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Have you ever been on a cruise ship? Have your ship ever sank? This happened not once, not twice, but three times to cabin attendant Violet Jessop. Tune in to learn more about how the resourceful (and lucky) Ms. Jessop lived through three shipwrecks — including the sinking of the Titanic. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Once upon a time the Mary Celeste was just a ship like any other, ferrying goods to and fro across the oceans -- at least, that is, until December 1872, when the Canadian brigantine Dei Gratia found the Mary Celeste adrift and abandoned. The ship showed no signs of a struggle. The cargo was intact. The lifeboat was missing, but the occupants of the Mary Celeste were never seen again. Learn how this story became one of the most enduring (and misunderstood) mysteries in maritime history. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
While people often call baseball the "national pastime" of the United States, there was once another contender for this crown -- the sport known as pedestrianism, or competitive walking. It was exactly what it sounds like -- groups of people walking, often in a circle, while spectators gambled on the results. And, for a time, this sport captured the entire nation's attention. Join the guys as they take a stroll (get it?) down the historic lane of one of the country's strangest sports.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Christmas carols have a storied, strange history. Join the guys on the last day of 2019 as they crack open the eggnog and dive into the ridiculous histories of some of the season's most popular Christmas songs, from the story of 'Hopalong boots' to the weird tradition of wassailing. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Salvador Dali and Walt Disney weren't just two of the greatest artistic innovators of their time — they were also close friends with a bromance for the ages. Learn more about Dali and Disney's friendship (and how they almost made one of the weirdest cartoons of all time) in part 2 of this 2-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Salvador Dali and Walt Disney weren't just two of the greatest artistic innovators of their time — they were also close friends with a bromance for the ages. Learn more about Dali and Disney's friendship (and how they almost made one of the weirdest cartoons of all time) in part 1 of this 2-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
The grifter, adventurer, thief and (probable) spy known as Thomas Blood spent much of his life as a widely-known rogue and all-around scoundrel -- but when and he his followers attempted to steal the Crown Jewels of England from the Tower of London in 1671, he became a legend. Join the guys as they explore the strange story of this historical heist. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
While children are often taught a sanitized version of early American history, the reality of life in a European colony was brutal -- and, at times, fatal. During the winter of 1609 to 1610, the colonists of Jamestown struggled to survive siege, starvation and fractured leadership. As their stores of food ran low, the increasingly desperate colonists began to eat horses, pets, vermin, shoe leather and, eventually, one another. At least, that's the rumor. Join the guys as they separate the fact from fiction in the second part of this two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
While children are often taught a sanitized version of early American history, the reality of life in a European colony was brutal -- and, at times, fatal. During the winter of 1609 to 1610, the colonists of Jamestown struggled to survive siege, starvation and fractured leadership. As their stores of food ran low, the increasingly desperate colonists began to eat horses, pets, vermin, shoe leather and, eventually, one another. At least, that's the rumor. Join the guys as they separate the fact from fiction in the first part of this two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
It's no secret that moving can be a hassle -- the packing, preparation, time and money spent relocating from one home to another can be a huge pain. Now imagine if everyone in your town had to move on the same day. For decades this was the case in New York City, where all residents (for some reason) had to move on May 1st. Join the guys as they delve into the strange tradition that forced every resident of New York City to move on the same chaotic day. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
If you're going for controversial facial hair, there's not much that can top the hirsute hot take known as the mustache. While most people can generally do whatever they want with their facial today, this wasn't always the case. In fact, at the dawn of the 20th century, restaurant staff in France actually went on strike for their right to, among other things, rock a mustache. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Sure, love at first sight may be a real thing -- but, occasionally, there's an ulterior motive involved. Join the guys as they explore the bizarre practice known as the Honey Trap, and why spies throughout history have used this technique to extract secrets, kidnap and even assassinate targets. Note: This episode contains mature content, and may not be suitable for all ages. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
How far did the components of your phone travel to land in the palm of your hand? Nowadays, even the most mundane items can come from half a world away. This wasn't always the case -- join the guys as they explore the weird, weird world of shipping in this special two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
How far did the components of your phone travel to land in the palm of your hand? Nowadays, even the most mundane items can come from half a world away. This wasn't always the case -- join the guys as they explore the weird, weird world of shipping in this special two-part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
As Benjamin Lay continued his one-man protest against the hypocrisy of slavery in the Quaker community, he inspired some folks and frustrated others (primarily the elders of his community) with his increasingly over-the-top tactics. After being kicked out of one community after another, he eventually became a hermit of sorts -- though, even then, his story wasn't done. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Nowadays, people often look back on U.S. Quakers as staunch abolitionists, but this wasn't always the case. In fact, when the Quakers first arrived on the continent they, like many other colonists, owned slaves. It was up to Benjamin Lay to bravely call out their hypocrisy, pointing to the discrepancy between their religious views and their earthly practices. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
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Comments (179)

Rory Moore

rhe hospital I work at still uses a tube system. They just had it updated to be more efficient and reliable

Jan 26th
Reply

Jerry Stauffer

in all fairness, in 1934 it wasn't obvious what the Nazis would become

Jan 23rd
Reply

Cole Menassa-Rafla

So...this downloaded an episode from a different show entirely.

Jan 23rd
Reply

lurpyyy

Am i the only one that clapped?

Jan 4th
Reply

Emily Wiemann

check your information...Mr. Roger's was not in the service. It's in the documentary mentioned.

Dec 31st
Reply

Kevin Farrell

I think you guys wish you were SYSK, and the level / balance of your casts are disruptive. Maybe speak steadily into the mic and don't all of a sudden bolt out your speech. You aren't Dan Carville and you tend to introduce your left leaning viewpoints far too often for my liking, for one. I'll pass on this series. I'm glad that you two are learning your history at a later stage in life, but please don't inflict your harmful liberal views in your casts.

Dec 28th
Reply

Jenna

This was cut off mid podcast near the end.

Dec 24th
Reply (1)

Jan l

I went to school with Craig Lonetree. he was in my graduating class. it was really sad. he was such a nice guy. quiet. respectful.

Dec 4th
Reply (1)

Mason Browning

The company was called SIGMA

Nov 29th
Reply (1)

Masha

wow!

Nov 22nd
Reply

Mark Watters

Hey cool can we be babay

Nov 22nd
Reply

Me

Nice story spoiled by the hosts juvenile commentary. Made it 12 minutes.

Nov 22nd
Reply

Masha

Maybe I missed it, or the researchers for this podcast did but this family is a victim of years of very expensive governmental land grabs. If you want to keep your land, you have no chance in hell if the government wants it.

Nov 21st
Reply

Jim Thornburg

"Gaslighting" comes from the movie "Gaslight". I thought everybody knew that.

Nov 8th
Reply

Calvin Anthony Prepetit

I wonder if submarining the squirrels meant the kids would put them in some kind of enclosed capsule or box along with a wrought. And then throw them into an ocean, pool. or lake.

Nov 8th
Reply

Dave Dixon

If I had a way of rating this show it would only get 1 star. The stories are great, BUT the hosts are idiots. They do zero research on their topics or subjects, only to get bogged down in stupid tangents to insure they try to properly define some little aspect of the story. They take much to far-left political stance for my liking. Instead of taking a neutral stance and letting the listener make their own conclusions. I have listened to a lot of these because I like the stories, but the hosts seem to drift farther and farther left politically and the show progresses. Very sad to say goodbye.

Nov 8th
Reply

Kelsey H.

it's funny that people think there's a war on Christmas oh, because the x actually refers to Chi (or X), the first letter in the Greek word for Christ. no erasure here, just ignorance.

Nov 2nd
Reply

Joonathan-Anty Adamoniene

Hi guys. Your pronounciation of Pskov was spot on, or Pihkva (which is the Estonian version of Pskov)

Oct 30th
Reply (1)

Michael Jiggens

F%ck the planet, f%ck the climate, f%ck the future generations, we want to fly! Really? I thought you were better than that.

Oct 23rd
Reply (1)

Kayl matthew

hope they mention how john wilkes booth's brother is also an acter and is the spitting image of Robert De Niro. look at his picture

Oct 16th
Reply (1)
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