Skip to main content

History's Mysteries-Things You Never Learned In Class Part 1

History lover and writer. Energy and tarot card reader. I love to travel.

historys-mysteries-things-you-never-learned-in-class-part-1
Caesar Captured By Pirates in 75BC

Caesar Captured By Pirates in 75BC

List One

1. Napoleon was attacked by bunnies. The French ruler had a run-in with thousands of rabbits in 1807. (Link 1) In preparation for the arrival of his guests, he had his servants and workers collect thousands of rabbits to release for a grand hunt. The bunnies were all caged, and were set to be released for the hunting party.

When the time came to open the cages, the first one (followed by the others) became startled and erratically exited. All of the other rabbits followed suit, and charged Napoleon as he sat on his horse. It gets even stranger, as reports say the rabbits continued to charge, until they were literally climbing up the Emperor's legs. Onlookers tried to beat them off, even tried to shoot them, and they could not stop the horde. Napoleon and the others had to retreat in order to escape from the feisty bunnies.


2. Julius Caesar was captured by pirates in 75BC. He was sailing on the Aegean Sea, and he was only 25 years old when this took place. Caesar was making his way to Rhodes, when he was detained by a group of Cicilian pirates while he was en route. He was very demanding, even stating that he would be Emperor, and they should ask for double the ransom. Caesar went on to make threats, saying that he would crucify every one of them once he was released. After the ransom was paid and the pirates let him go, he kept his word. He had every one of them hunted down and crucified. (Link 2)


3. In 1778, America set out to invade Great Britain, with only one ship. Yes, it sounds preposterous, but it happened. The charge was led by a man named John Paul Jones, and he successfully set fire to one of the ships that was docked in the harbor. It was an eye-opening experience for England, they were not as untouchable as they believed. This was one of those events that led the way for another American victory, and dealt an embarrassing blow to the British at a time when they needed their morale.


4. Paul Revere never shouted "The British Are Coming". We all learned this well established "fact" in school, as we learned about the American Revolution. The thing is, it wouldn't have made sense for him to shout such a thing. At the time, everybody would have been British, and screaming that would not have made sense to the people hearing him. To top it off, he was actually on a "secret" mission involving the relaying of messages. He would have been extremely quiet, not wanting to bring attention to himself, or the fact that he was acting as a carrier.


5. Christopher Columbus introduced pigs to the New World, and explorer Hernando De Soto is credited as the first to bring them into North America. Columbus landed in Cuba with 8 pigs, and these pigs were sent as a direct order from Queen Isabella of Spain. These animals were to serve as the emergency food source for Columbus and his men, should the need arise.

They were chosen due to the fact they would eat just about anything, even scraps or waste. This was important because the pigs could survive the journey across the ocean, needing very little specialized care. However, Hernando de Soto is credited with bringing them into North America, (probably much for the same reasons), in 1539. The first city they visited once they arrived? Tampa Bay. Interesting. (Link 5)


6. Does anybody know what happened to Cleopatra's body? Was she even buried? We all know the story of how she and Marc Antony died, yet, we do not know for sure where she is buried. Historians and archaeologists once believed their tomb was located in Alexandria, around the site where her palace once stood. This entire area of the city was destroyed by a tsunami in 365 AD, lending credence to the idea that they were resting peacefully underwater. However, recent finds in an area 30 km away from Alexandria, a place called Taposiris Magna, seems to indicate they are buried within its halls.

This is also the same temple built by her forefathers, the Ptolemaic dynasty of pharaohs, and she was the very last pharaoh to exist. Ever. She died as a prisoner of Rome, and she wanted her resting place with Antony secure from the Romans, and the graverobbers. Rome had a bad habit of "erasing" one's existence from the record books, essentially eliminating you from any glory for your life's work, even after death. The ultimate blow for a goddess and pharoah like Cleopatra, who initially wanted so much for Egypt. To have those deeds eradicated, is to essentially destroy her very memory.

There's been a recent discovery that may reveal the location of their tomb. Kathleen Martinez, an archaeologist from South America, firmly believes their tomb is in the Taposiris Magna. She has dedicated the past 15 years to finding it, and she has made some progress towards her goal. She recently found coins with the couple's faces stamped on them, as well as luxury items belonging to the nobility. Two mummies, a man and a woman of high stature, were buried here. Studies show that they lived during the years of Cleopatra's reign, and they likely knew the queen personally. The mummies, along with the countless artifacts that were found, are shedding light onto this ancient mystery.

Martinez is confident she is on the right track, and she is even more confident that she will find it in her lifetime. She is possibly on to something here, as she is discovering artifacts in locations that were allegedly searched. She has yet to excavate the entire mausoleum, so who knows what will show up!?


Scroll to Continue

7. In ancient Greece, it was widely believed that people with red hair would turn into vampires after they passed away. This one is very interesting, and is silly yet, does seem to make sense (if you lived in a time where you had no knowledge of genetics or the like). There are two main reasons for the rumor, one being the appearance of red-haired people in general. They usually had pale, almost translucent skin and fairer features.

Due to the sensitive nature of their skin, any prolonged sun exposure could give them painful sunburns. Because of this, most would stay inside, or go out after the sun began to set. Of course this behavior seemed odd to the Greeks, as they're genetically blessed with olive skin, and the ability to withstand the sunlight without burning (to a certain agree)

The second reason, and the most probable, is the idea that the red-haired people were actually Thracians. Thracians lived among the native population, and were considered to be barbaric. In order to drive them away, and to belittle the ethnic group as a whole, legends started to surface. One said their odd hair color and barbaric nature was a direct representation of evil, and they'd become blood-thirsty vampires after they died.

This was not helpful, as it made things much more difficult for the Thracians to function in society and survive in Greece. Most people wanted them to leave, and this was just one route taken to achieve this. The history of the Greeks in relation to the Thracians isn't great, in fact, it's filled with animosity. Thrace was located in modern-day Bulgaria, and was an ally of Troy (which can be found in modern-day Turkey). (Thracians). We have all heard the tale of the "Trojan Horse', and how Paris stole Helen from her husband, so that he could be with her.

I am sure the Trojan War was a major factor in contributing to the tension felt by these two groups, and I am positive the Greeks would have wanted all supporters of Troy removed from their cities.


8. Abraham Lincoln can be found in the hall of fame...of wrestling! While in his youth, "Honest Abe" competed in a significant number of wrestling matches, and he won the majority of them. That is impressive considering he did this for well over a decade! In 1992, Lincoln was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame as the "Outstanding American". According to the tribute from the Hall of Fame, " [Lincoln], was widely known for his wrestling skills and had only one recorded defeat in a dozen years,”. (Link 8) Who would have thought?



9. It is said Alexander the Great, who died in 323 BC, was buried alive by his men, accidentally. Ummm...how in the world could that even happen? More than a few scientists, doctors, and historians agree with this shocking insight regarding the death of Alexander the Great. After studying the evidence and sources, it's said Alexander probably suffered from a condition known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome. (Link 9). GBS is a neurological disease that causes paralysis, and it may also be responsible for Alexander's death.

According to historical records at the time, his body did not decompose for almost a week after he "died". This would indicate that he wasn't dead, only paralyzed, or that he didn't die on the date attributed to his death. He was buried at least a week out from his death date, and without decomposition taking place for 6 or more days, it's highly likely that he was buried alive. Alexander would have been well aware of what was going on around him, however, he wouldn't have been able to move or talk. Without proper knowledge of medical diseases and disorders, his men would have thought Alexander's decomposition rate to be normal for a god.

If anything, the slow decomposition rate acted as proof regarding the rumours surrounding Alexander's lineage. Many believed he was the son of Zeus, not Philip II, and they attributed this mishap to the fact that his body would take longer to die a mortal death, because he was no mere mortal. Poor Alexander. He had a zeal for life, and if that is combined with all the accomplishments he had under his belt, it is easy to see how he would have envisioned his death and burial. He would have preferred to "go out" not knowing about it.

I can only imagine how terrifying it must have been for him, consciously aware of death creeping in, but unable to save himself. He saved a lot of people, and offered a new way of life to thousands more with the merging of Greek and Middle Eastern cultures. This merge is referred to as Hellenism. Yet, he died alone, sadly. Alexander the Great literally moved from the top of the world, to being placed in it.



10. Meriwether Lewis may have been murdered, so why was his death determined to be a suicide? Lewis explored the Pacific Northwest and the Great Plains with William Clark from 1804 to 1806. He was the governor of Louisiana from 1808- 1809, and he ran into some trouble along the way.

Due to his damaged reputation, and his eagerness to defend it, Lewis decided to visit Washington D.C. in October of 1809. He left Memphis and got as far as Grinder's Stand, where he decided to lodge overnight.

This is where things go haywire. There are two ways to see this (if not more). The actual circumstances surrounding his death are not known, but he was found on October 11 with two gunshot wounds. Lewis had been shot once in the head, and another time in his chest. During the time this took place, those close to him accepted it to be a suicide.

They stated he had been depressed and upset over his past troubles; and that Lewis was anxious about the future, he worried so much that he started carrying opium with him to use on a regular basis. They assumed he wanted to be alone, and that he never intended to go to Washington in the first place. According to their theory, he simply made it up so they wouldn't ask questions, enabling him to take his own life without raising any red flags.

The other theory points to murder, indicating Lewis was doing exactly as he said. He looked forward to his arrival in D.C., knowing it was time to tell his side of the story. He would be able to clear his name and reputation, and he could then go on to fulfill his career aspirations. He would have had no intention of ending his life, only faith that it would get better. The opium was a temporary way to escape, it numbed the pain of failure.

He used it to alleviate the symptoms, it was not the cure. If this theory is true, that indicates Lewis was the victim of a homicide. There are many possible reasons why Lewis was targeted, ranging from the political to the personal. It may have been that he was set up from the beginning, as his knowledge and experience with the Native Americans made him a threat to the US. He also knew the lay of the land, the plants that would kill you, and which animals you could not eat; he had information about their uses medicinally, etc. He sat on a goldmine of information begging to be capitalized upon.

When tarnishing his reputation didn't work, the powers that be set out to eliminate him. He was a major threat to the American government, and they had to get him out of the way. They knew once they decided to relocate and remove the Native Americans further West, that Lewis would be a problem. HIs closeness to the Natives, and the fact he served as an Indian Agent for a major portion of the US, means he would be able to aid in banding the tribes together to overthrow the corrupt government. They were scared of him.

He held more power than any of them ever could. He could muster an army if he wanted to oppose the US government, or he could simply walk by your dinner plate and drop a poisonous mushroom on top of your food. He had the journal from the expedition, and he set out to learn as much as he could about all of the strange plants and animals he found.

He did it for the right reasons, and our government possibly used him to profit. They picked a man with past mental health issues, then they sent him on a very particular mission because the Natives liked him. He actually stood a chance of obtaining that goldmine of knowledge held by the Native Americans, and returning alive. He was a good agent to the tribes he served, and many Natives helped him identify and document the things he put in his travel journal.

I do feel he was specifically chosen because his mental health issues would be a great scapegoat. Uncle Sam would come calling for that notebook, and once they did, they could simply kill him then say he was mentally ill, and he was depressed. They could say it was suicide and move on. Now they have the handbook to surviving in the New World, now they knew what the Natives knew.

There wasn't another way to get this information, the Natives refused to help the white men that were stealing their land. I can assure you the Natives weren't in a hurry to help, or to give up the secrets of the New World.



Link 1: “Napoleon Was Attacked by Rabbits, and Lost - Unreal Facts for Amazing Facts.” Unreal Facts for Amazing Facts, unrealfacts.com, 17 July 2021, https://unrealfacts.com/napoleon-attackedrabbits-lost/.

Link 2: “Top 10 Audacious Acts of Piracy - TIME.” TIME.Com, content.time.com, http://content.time.com/time/specials/package s/article/0,28804,1860715_1860714,00.html. Accessed 21 Aug. 2022.

Link 3: Zellers-Frederick, Andrew A. “A Chink in Britain’s Armor: John Paul Jones’s 1778 Raid on Whitehaven - Journal of the American Revolution.” Journal of the American Revolution, allthingsliberty.com, 25 June 2019, https://allthingsliberty.com/2019/06/a- chink-in-britains-armor-john-paul-joness-1778- raid-on-whitehaven/.

Link 4: https://www.history.com/news/11- things-you-may-not-know-about-paulrevere#:~:text=His%20most%20famous%20q uote%20was,out%20in%20the%20Massachu setts%20countryside.

Link 5: https://www.austinchronicle.com/food/2009- 04-10/764573/

Link 6: https://etherealsecrets.tuzlanskarepublika.net/2022/07/07/eg yptologists-have-announced-the-discovery-ofcleopatras-lost-ancient-tomb/

Link 7: Thracians. Thracians. Myths and Folklore Wiki. (n.d.). Retrieved September 7, 2022, from https://mythus.fandom.com/wiki/Thracians. Accessed 7 Sept. 2022.

Link 8: https://www.history.com/news/abrahamlincoln-wrestlingsports#:~:text=Abraham%20Lincoln%3A%20A %20Wrestler%20As%20Young%20Man&text= He%20competed%20in%20wrestling%20matc hes,in%20the%20sport%20in%201992.

Link 9: https://www.history.com/news/alexander-thegreat-death-cause-discovery

Link 10: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Meriwet her-Lewis

historys-mysteries-things-you-never-learned-in-class-part-1

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Bri Smith

Related Articles