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.

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During World War II, 1,000 Japanese soldiers retreated from fighting with the British into the mangroves of Ramree Island, Burma, where most were eaten by crocodiles. Or so the story goes. But what really happened?

By Dave Roos

When the "killing stone," or "Sesshō seki," split March 5, 2022, on the plains of Mount Nasu in Japan, was the devious spirit Tamamo-no-Mae released into the world to wreak havoc?

By Tara Yarlagadda

Scientists once thought it was a land bridge between Asia and Africa. Occultists saw it as a place where gigantic humans lived who were once hermaphroditic and laid eggs. Yep, it's got a colorful story.

By Dave Roos

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Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Other times, it's just fiction. How much do you know about these horrible hoaxes?

By Alia Hoyt

Theseus was the mythical founder-hero of Athens and the slayer of the Poseidon-cursed man-bull known as the Minotaur. "Olympians" author George O'Connor reflects on Theseus, a difficult mythological hero to love.

By Robert Lamb

Brought to life on the screen by Alexander Skarsgård, the story of Amleth the Viking was the inspiration for Shakespeare's "Hamlet." But who was Prince Amleth and did he actually exist?

By Mark Mancini

She's been described as a chariot-riding queen of night and the mother of death, deceit and dreams. Who was this mist-shrouded figure that even the gods feared?

By Dave Roos

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You think you'd never fall for a conman's (or conwoman's) shtick. But so did many of the victims of these five con artists. What scams did they manage to pull off?

By Dave Roos

Ken Webster moved into an 18th-century cottage in the tiny town of Dodleston, England and soon found himself cyber-communicating with someone from the year 1546.

By Allison Troutner

The most famous story about her says she was so hideous that people who gazed at her would turn to stone. But Medusa was a victim of the Greek gods as well as a victimizer.

By Dave Roos

Tormented by an evil face at the back of his head, he took his own life at 23. It's a sad tale that has captivated people for generations, except it isn't true. What was the source of this hoax? And can the condition really exist?

By Dave Roos

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Michael Rockefeller, the 23-year-old son of prominent political figure Nelson Rockefeller, went into the jungle of Netherlands New Guinea in 1961 and never returned. Here's the story.

By Allison Troutner

One of the few female figures in Christianity, Judaism and Islam, the Queen of Sheba is also the mother of the Ethiopian nation. While some experts question whether she ever existed, others think she might have been Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt.

By Dave Roos

A strange radio message sent a search party to find an eerily silent ship manned by a deceased crew, their faces contorted in fear. What happened aboard the Ourang Medan has been a mystery ever since and some folks wonder whether the ship ever existed at all.

By Allison Troutner

Odysseus is the hero of the epic Greek poem "The Odyssey." But by today's standards, he might not be considered a hero at all.

By John Donovan

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How did the Greek goddess Lamia, once said to be a queen of Libya, become a child-murdering monster feared for her malevolent nature?

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

This was no mere execution. In addition to being hanged until "almost" dead, body parts were taken out and burned before the head was cut off. And we haven't got to the quartering yet.

By Dave Roos

Chastity belts were supposedly worn by women in the Middle Ages to keep them from having sex. A literal lock for a woman's nether regions. But how much truth is there to this torture device?

By Joanna Thompson

She was said to be the most beautiful woman in Greece and the bearer of the "face that launched a thousand ships." But who was Helen of Troy, really?

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

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Season 2 of the mega-hit Netflix show 'Bridgerton' dropped on March 25. Viewers seemed to love the costumes, the sexy storylines, and the diverse casting choices for dukes and duchesses. But is the series just fantasy?

By Alia Hoyt

It may seem that the ouroboros came into existence with the flowering of tattoo culture, but in truth, this symbol is centuries-old and has a fascinating history.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

For almost two centuries, Andrew Jackson's inauguration blowout has been cited as the wildest party ever thrown at the White House. But should we take that depiction with a grain of salt?

By Dave Roos

You might say there are two Montezumas: the real one who lived and the one who was invented after his death by conquistador Hernán Cortés.

By Dave Roos

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The Philistines often show up in the Bible as a ferocious tribe waging war on the Israelites. But what do we know of them from archaeology?

By Dave Roos

She was also the goddess of marriage, women, the sky and the stars of heaven.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky