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.


What does 'Massachusetts' mean? Why are there two Dakotas when one would have been plenty? Find out what you really know about the names of America's states and where they originated with our quiz.

Not all conspiracies are bogus. Some have managed to be real, and the work of the government.

After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the FBI left no stone unturned during its investigation. At one point, the investigation led to a most unlikely place.

Surely you know Benjamin Franklin was a Founding Father of the United States. But could he also have been a grave robber, or even serial killer?

A popular meme says that the U.S. Constitution notion of democracy really came from the Iroquois Great Law of Peace, except that the Native Americans' version was more inclusive. How true is this?

U.S. pilots at the time called them foo fighters, but were these UFOs weapons of war being developed by the Nazis? Many still say yes.

Conspiracy theorists claim the Smithsonian Institution holds the truth behind the ancient people that once thrived in the Grand Canyon — and they weren't Native Americans.

The ancient Greeks have been warning us about the rise and fall of technology as far back as Talos, everyone's favorite mythological man of bronze.

Thousands of pages related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are now public information. Will they finally dispel years of conspiracies?

Did British Navy diver Lionel Crabb conspire with the Soviets or did they kill him for spying?

The Bermuda Triangle's Eastern counterpoint — the Dragon's Triangle — is located in the Philippine Sea and has supposedly been swallowing up ships for centuries.

There's no question the Titanic sank, but could it have been intentional?

Scientists and treasure hunters have searched for the fabled Nazi Gold Train for decades, but efforts have stepped up recently, thanks to new technology. A new group of searchers think they have a unique angle.

A small area of West Yellowstone National Park has no residents, which opens it up to a strange loophole: lawlessness.

End-of-days predictions have come and gone for, well, centuries. So, will the Sept. 23, 2017 prophecy be the first to come true?

Were Japanese fishermen visited by a beautiful Russian spy in 1803 — or was it an alien?

Why do we call it a grandfather clock — instead of maybe grandmother clock?

His mysterious vanishing sparked tons of speculation and one of the biggest missing person cases in U.S. history.

The biblical flood myth has captivated millions, some so much that they go out looking to prove it actually happened, or build their own replica arks.

What's the relationship between Guinness beer and the Guinness Book of World Records? How did it start?

A crumbling brick fortress in New York state proves that it's not so easy to keep up with the Joneses after all.

Bathrooms have been a social battleground in the U.S., from the civil rights' movement of the 1960s to the contemporary struggles for equality. What's the big deal?

Some stories are easy to spot as fakes: "Lindsay Lohan Gives Birth to Two-headed Monster!" Others are harder: "The President Suffered a Heart Attack!" So how can you tell the fake news from the real?

The ballad and folktale of John Henry, the tireless railroad worker, is the stuff of American legend. An amazing story of the human spirit and work ethic, yes, but was John Henry a real person?

The story of Paul Bunyan, the giant lumberjack, is one of the most enduring tall tales in North America. Most of us probably assume that the character is an entirely fictional creation, but was he actually based on a real person?