Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

History vs. Myth

You don’t need fiction when history provides you with tales as crazy as the ones we’ve collected for you. Read up while your jaw drops.

Who was the real Count Dracula?

Bram Stoker's Count Dracula was inspired by a 15th-century Romanian prince. If you thought Dracula was scary, you may not want to read any further.

Does the Parthenon really follow the golden ratio?

The Parthenon was thought to have been built following a mathematical concept called the golden ratio. Is this true? Find out at HowStuffWorks. See more »

Why has Jimmy Hoffa’s body never been found?

Jimmy Hoffa's body has been a mystery for nearly 40 years, with numerous theories as to what happened to it. Explore the mystery of Jimmy Hoffa's body. See more »

Was Isaac Newton really hit in the head with an apple?

The story of Newton discovering gravity by getting hit in the head with an apple is a classic. Is there any truth to it? Find out at HowStuffWorks. See more »

Was Napoleon really short?

Was Napoleon really so short that it made him a bully? Learn about Napoleon's height and if he had a Napoleon complex. See more »

Were there binoculars aboard the Titanic?

Were binoculars on the Titanic? If so, why weren't they used to avoid the iceberg? Find out at HowStuffWorks. See more »

Were witches really burned at the stake in Salem?

Did the Salem witches really get burned at the stake? Explore the history and myths behind the Salem witch trials. See more »

Did the Druids really build Stonehenge?

Stonehenge was a major project, which probably involved many groups including the Druids. Learn more about Stonehenge at HowStuffWorks. See more »

Did the Spanish Flu pandemic really start in Spain?

More people died during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic than during World War I. Learn if Spain was to blame for the Spanish Flu at HowStuffWorks. See more »

Did Mussolini really keep the trains running on time?

Mussolini's dictatorship was brutal, but supposedly efficient. Did he care about train times? Learn more about Mussolini's trains at HowStuffWorks. See more »

Did Romans really purge their bellies in vomitoria?

The ancient Romans were so decadent that it's said they'd vomit mid-feast just to eat more. Learn more about vomitoria at HowwStuffWorks. See more »