Some moments from history are almost too funny to be true. People shared their favorites.

These events would break the internet if they happened now.

funny history

History was written by the victors…and comedians, apparently.

Everyone reacts to tragic news differently. It all depends on a number of factors: Who is involved, how did it happen, how close are we to those who suffered and how did we learn about the news in the first place?

In some tragic situations, people have found that responding with humor, even very dark humor, is the best way to process tough information. Moments that might seem insensitive might in fact just be a perfectly natural part of the grieving process. And as time passes, it often gets easier to make light of some of the darkest of times.

History is no exception.

Think of jokes about the Lincoln assassination. In fact, you've probably heard a million COVID jokes already and maybe even some at your own expense.

And really, no matter the stomach you have for tragic humor, it’s undeniable the internet has completely changed the way we react to historical events. Everyone is allowed a take—what’s tragic to one is comedy to another. We can’t even agree on what facts are anymore, let alone what might be funny.

However, there are certain obscure moments of the past that can elicit a universal chuckle from anyone. Had these instances happened today, they surely would have broken the internet. But as it stands, they remain untouched.

We have Reddit user u/crooked_yellow to thank for this history lesson since they asked: “Which event from history will always be funny?

Take a scroll through some of the answers below:

King Taejong, whose claim to fame is literally trying to cover up falling off a horse


"Ancient Korea had special recording officials, whose job was to record everything. They were considered separate from the government, so the emperor of the time wasn’t allowed to give them orders or tell them not to record something.

Of course, some emperors would try anyway.

On one occasion, an emperor fell off his horse while hunting. The recorder nearby wrote it down. The emperor insisted that it be removed from the record, and even tried to have the report destroyed.

This lead to some nonsense as the emperor kept destroying their work, but the recorders kept copying it and hiding it in increasingly obscure places. And of course, recorded the whole thing as it happened.

A few hundred years later, and the only thing that emperor is famous for is trying to hide the fact he fell off his horse." —@lankymjc

Victor Lustig, the con man who sold the Eiffel Tower…twice


Okay, one might find it distasteful to marvel at a guy cheating people out of money, but the man was passionate about his hobby. He even made a list of 10 Commandments for would-be swindlers. So, you know, giving back to the community…right? And he was good at his job. Perhaps even more noteworthy than making a pretty penny off a tourist attraction is Lustig's famed Romanian Box the printed fake currency and conning Al Capone himself out of $5000.

As @bard-security astutely put it, "Victor Lustig is a freaking legend."

The French Monkey who refused to be hanged


"During the Napoleonic wars a French ship sank off the coast of Hartlepool England. The only survivor was the captain’s pet monkey, which he always dressed in a French military uniform. The locals freaked out because the law was that any French military found on British soil must be executed as a spy. So they ordered the standard punishment spies. Death by hanging.

Except instead of dying, the monkey just kept climbing up the rope. Because it was a monkey.

Hartlepool has since embraced their failure at executing a tiny primate for military espionage. Their local football team is nicknamed 'The Monkey Hangers.'" -@korar67

Xerxes, the Persian king who punished the sea for ruining his bridge


As the story goes, Xerxes tried to build a bridge across the Dardanelles to get to Greece faster. Alas, a storm destroyed the bridge. '"Infuriated with the sea," Xerxes ordered his soldiers to punish it by whipping it with chains 300 times and poking it with red-hot irons. Handcuffs were also tossed into the water to symbolize the sea’s submission to his authority.

"Literal embodiment of old man yells at clouds' energy," quipped @Excellent_Routine589·

Behold…a thaogmizer


"In 1982 cartoonist Gary Larson drew a cartoon of a caveman giving a classroom lecture, pointing to the spikes of a stegasaurus dinosaur tail and calling that the thagomizer 'after the late Thag Simmons.'

That particular arrangement of tail spikes had no name at the time, so scientists who were fans of Larson unofficially named it the thagomizer." -@doublestitch

A most successful military campaign

"In 1866 when going to war, Liechtenstein's army of 80 men came back with 81 men after making a friend from the enemies side." —@DavosLostFingers

And last but not least:

President Jimmy Carter getting attacked by a rabbit while paddling around in a rowboat.

"The president was minding his own business rowing around a small pond and fishing when a rabbit left the shore and swam deliberately towards the boat, apparently crazed. Carter splashed the rabbit with water, driving it away from the boat. According to Press Secretary Jody Powell:

'Upon closer inspection, the animal turned out to be a rabbit. Not one of your cutesy, Easter Bunny-type rabbits, but one of those big splay-footed things that we called swamp rabbits when I was growing up.

The animal was clearly in distress, or perhaps berserk. The President confessed to having had limited experience with enraged rabbits. He was unable to reach a definite conclusion about its state of mind. What was obvious, however, was that this large, wet animal, making strange hissing noises and gnashing its teeth, was intent upon climbing into the Presidential boat.'

Staff back on shore initially didn’t believe the president’s account, but a photographer managed to capture the moment:

jimmy carter

The rabbit was waiting for the right time to strike


…Carter’s political enemies used the incident as fodder to show that he was weak and claimed that his response to the rabbit attack incited the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan that same year." —@bookem_danno

Jonesing for more? You can find the full hilarious thread here.


How to end hunger, according to the people who face it daily

Here’s what people facing food insecurity want you to know about solving the hunger problem in America


Even though America is the world’s wealthiest nation, about 1 in 6 of our neighbors turned to food banks and community programs in order to feed themselves and their families last year. Think about it: More than 9 million children faced hunger in 2021 (1 in 8 children).

In order to solve a problem, we must first understand it. Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, released its second annual Elevating Voices: Insights Report and turned to the experts—people experiencing hunger—to find out how this issue can be solved once and for all.

Here are the four most important things people facing hunger want you to know.

Keep ReadingShow less

Family brings home the wrong dog from daycare until their cats saved the day

A quick trip to the vet confirmed the cats' and family's suspicions.

Family accidentally brings wrong dog home but their cats knew

It's not a secret that nearly all golden retrievers are identical. Honestly, magic has to be involved for owners to know which one belongs to them when more than one golden retriever is around. Seriously, how do they all seem have the same face? It's like someone fell asleep on the copy machine when they were being created.

Outside of collars, harnesses and bandanas, immediately identifying the dog that belongs to you has to be a secret skill because at first glance, their personalities are also super similar. That's why it's not surprising when one family dropped off their sweet golden pooch at daycare and to be groomed, they didn't notice the daycare sent out the wrong dog.

See, not even their human parents can tell them apart because when the swapped dog got home, nothing seemed odd to the owners at first. She was freshly groomed so any small differences were quickly brushed off. But this accidental doppelgänger wasn't fooling her feline siblings.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo: courtesy BioCarbon Engineering/WikiCommons

Technology is the single greatest contributor to climate change but it may also soon be used to offset the damage we've done to our planet since the Industrial Age began.

In September 2018, a project in Myanmar used drones to fire "seed missiles" into remote areas of the country where trees were not growing. Less than a year later, thousands of those seed missiles have sprouted into 20-inch mangrove saplings that could literally be a case study in how technology can be used to innovate our way out of the climate change crisis.

Keep ReadingShow less

A boy doing the dishes.

A 41-year-old mom with 3 boys, 12-year-old twins, and a 10-year-old, pays them $10 daily to do their chores. However, their pay is deducted $10 if they miss a day. The boys have to do their tasks 5 days a week, although it doesn’t matter which days they choose to work.

“This system has worked swimmingly for us since it started, the boys have always complied with completing their chores,” the mom wrote on Reddit.

Her 12-year-old son was getting ready to play Fortnite with a friend and told him he’d be ready in 15 minutes once he finished his chores. When the boys started playing the game, he told the friend he was in charge of dusting and sweeping the stairs, to which the friend responded, “It’s a good thing my parents don’t make me do girl chores.”

After learning what the friend said, the mom told her son that chores are genderless.

Keep ReadingShow less

Artists got fed up with these 'anti-homeless spikes.' So they made them a bit more ... comfy.

"Our moral compass is skewed if we think things like this are acceptable."

Photo courtesy of CC BY-ND, Immo Klink and Marco Godoy

Spikes line the concrete to prevent sleeping.

These are called "anti-homeless spikes." They're about as friendly as they sound.

As you may have guessed, they're intended to deter people who are homeless from sitting or sleeping on that concrete step. And yeah, they're pretty awful.

The spikes are a prime example of how cities design spaces to keep homeless people away.

Keep ReadingShow less

I first saw a psychiatrist for my anxiety and depression as a junior in high school.

During her evaluation, she asked about my coursework. I told her that I had a 4.0 GPA and had filled my schedule with pre-AP and AP classes. A puzzled look crossed her face. She asked about my involvement in extracurricular activities. As I rattled off the long list of groups and organizations I was a part of, her frown creased further.

Keep ReadingShow less
Image via Amanda Ripley/PopTech.

Map demonstrating scores of the Program for International Student Assessment for each state compared to a country that has similar scores.

This is not news: America does pretty badly when it goes up against other countries academically.

This is true even if we take it one state at a time—no single state, no matter how wealthy or small, matches the top scoring countries. And yet, the U.S. spends more per student than many other countries in the world.

Keep ReadingShow less