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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Could treasure hunters have discovered "Nazi Gold"?

During World War II, Nazis plundered gold from occupied countries, hiding it in caves and mines. Will modern treasure hunters finally locate the legendary Reichsbank treasure?

What Was America's First Terrorist Threat?

For centuries, terrorists plundered European and U.S. ships in the Mediterranean. Who were the perpetrators, and how did America put an end to their kidnapping, enslavement and extortion?

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.

Why do we remember the Alamo?

The expression "remember the Alamo" is probably something you heard in school. But do you really know what this rallying war cry means?

Was a Hungarian countess the world's most prolific serial killer?

Elizabeth Bathory was never convicted of her crimes, but testimonies say she killed and tortured 650 people. Did she really bathe in her victims' blood?

Did the Great Chicago Fire really start with Mrs. O'Leary's cow?

Legend has it that Mrs. O'Leary's cow started the Great Chicago Fire. But is a farm animal really to blame? Find out who else lurks around this crime scene.

What happened to the two other men on Paul Revere's ride?

Did you know that two other men accompanied Paul Revere on his famous midnight ride? Find out who these men were and which one actually made it to Concord.

Was there really a curse on King Tutankhamen's tomb?

Did King Tut put a hex on a group of archaeologists and dignitaries? Or is a mosquito to blame for their mysterious deaths?

How did 168 conquistadors take down the Incan empire?

In less than 200 years, the Inca built an empire stretching 2,500 miles. But a Spanish conquistador and 167 other men brought them down. How did they do it?

Why is Mesopotamia called the cradle of civilization?

The Mesopotamians are said to have given the world irrigation, writing, organized religion, laws and the concept of time. Why were they so advanced? What makes Mesopotamia the cradle of civilization?

Did Nero really play the fiddle while Rome burned?

The Roman emperor Nero is said to have played his fiddle while the city burned and his people suffered. Could he really be that cruel, or is it all just a story?

Were the American colonists drugged during the Salem witchcraft trial?

The Puritans who conducted the witchcraft trials in Salem, Mass., suspected the devil was at work in their society. But could the madness have been caused by drugs?

Did the ancient Greeks get their ideas from the Africans?

Though the ancient Greeks get a lot of credit for building the foundation of today's civilization, many of their ideas came from the Kemites. Who were they, and what did they teach the Greeks?

Are there Nazi war criminals still at large?

A few Nazi leaders escaped justice after World War II. Who are they, and how are people trying to bring them to justice more than 50 years later?

Did Genghis Khan really kill 1,748,000 people in one hour?

Genghis Khan is said to have killed 1,748,000 people in one hour. Did he really do it? And if not, what really happened?

Who Was America's First Murderer?

The first recorded murder in America was committed by someone who came over on the Mayflower. Who was it, and why did he do it?

Was an Irish monk the first European to reach America?

An Irish monk named St. Brendan may have been the first European to visit the Americas. Although there is no hard evidence to back the claim, written accounts of his voyages, petroglyphs and Viking history suggest St. Brendan may have beaten Columbus

Did the Chinese beat Columbus to America?

Did the Chinese discover America years before Christopher Columbus? Learn about the evidence that supports the claim that Asian seafarers touched down in the Americas before the famous European explorer.

10 Historical Misconceptions

Some untrue historical events have been passed down for so many years that they have become truths. See our list of 10 historical misconceptions, including Sir Walter Raleigh's Cloak and Lady Godiva's Naked Ride.

How did forensics experts create a modern profile of Jack the Ripper?

In November 2006, a new documentary took a look at infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper using modern profiling techniques.