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10 Things You Didn’t Want to Know

by Estelle
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

Ever scroll around on the Internet only to come across a fact or story that you know will stay in your head for many days to come? For instance, did you know that the average person walks past at least 36 murderers in their lifetime?

Read on for some more things you never wanted to know…

Related: 10 Fascinating Things You Might Not Know About Psychopaths

10/span> “I’ll keep you safe in my people zoo.”

Technology is the future, they say. It has been predicted that 5G will save lives as well as economies around the world and that improved diagnostics technology in healthcare will see the risk of cancer-related deaths decrease dramatically. And then, of course, there are robots. Some are very basic-looking, while others look so human you have to look closely to notice the blank expression in their lifeless eyes.

In 2011, a PBS journalist “interviewed” a bearded, human-like robot that was modeled after Philip K Dick. The journalist asked the robot the one question everyone seemingly fears the answer to: “Will robots take over the world?”

The answer the robot gave him is something that probably haunts the journalist to this day. In its monotone “voice,” it said, “Don’t worry, even if I evolve into Terminator, I’ll keep you warm and safe in my people zoo, where I can watch you for ol’ time’s sake.”

If it helps, the robot uses Philip K Dick’s novels as a source for its answers, but it didn’t really help the journalist at that moment, who was clearly taken aback at the creepy answer.[1]

9 Sense of Impending Doom

How Anxiety Creates Feelings of Impending Doom

Experiencing the overwhelming feeling that something terrible is about to happen is commonly referred to as having a sense of impending doom. Doctors take this experience seriously because it can indicate mental health problems, including bipolar disorder, a heart attack, an aneurysm, or a seizure.

And also, terrifyingly, a sense of impending doom can suddenly overtake you during a blood transfusion which would mean you’re most likely receiving the wrong type of blood. And this on n its own can cause a host of problems.

For some people, the “impending doom” goes beyond just a creepy feeling. Many experience the feeling of being watched or see unexplained figures in their peripheral vision. And sometimes, these “symptoms” have another explanation. For example, in 2005, a woman was found hyperventilating and delirious after seeing a ghost in the bathroom while showering. Soon after, paramedics discovered that a faulty gas water heater had been flooding her house with carbon monoxide.[2]

8 Horrifying History

A Brief History Of Human Sacrifice: The Aztecs

Aztec history is fascinating… and horrifying. Aztec priests would ritually slice open the chests of victims and offer their still-beating hearts to the gods. Having no further use for the corpses, they would toss them down the steps of the Templo Mayor. It is believed that the Aztecs also practiced ritual cannibalism. It is said that they sacrificed up to 20,000 people every year to keep the gods from ending the world.

Even worse, while the Aztecs usually sacrificed prisoners, they also sacrificed their own children. Believing that the gods needed the tears of children to produce rain, they would torture their own children and others before killing them to ensure that they could collect as many tears as possible.[3]

7 Terrifying Warfare

Shiro Ishii: The Mad Scientist Who Created Plague Bombs in WWII

The war years of the early 20th century were bleak, terrifying, and dark. And some of the countries involved tried their best to make things even worse. In 2001, a Tokyo court heard a case that the Japanese army had dumped fleas infected with bubonic plague on a Chinese city in 1940.

A bacteriologist testifying in the case said that it had been established that at least 109 people died after an outbreak of the plague in Ningbo in November and December 1940. The deaths came after Japanese planes dropped fleas and grains over the city.

And somehow, that’s not even the worst of it. Some of the people infected with the bubonic plague reported hearing strange gurgling noises coming from inside their gangrenous buboes.[4]

6 The Judas Cradle

The Judas Chair (Worst Punishment in the History of Mankind)

Torture devices were popular in history and used for different purposes. Torturers were especially fond of a device called the Judas Cradle, which began to be operated during the 16th century. The device was shaped into a wooden pyramid, and the victim would be placed on top of this pyramid. Their hands and feet would be tied, with the feet tied together to increase pain whenever the victim tried to shift their weight.

The pointed edge of the pyramid was shoved slowly into either the vagina or anus of the victim, and they would be left like that for hours or even days. Sometimes, the torturers added weight to the victim’s legs which resulted in excruciating pain but also a quick death.

Oh, and did I mention they never washed the device between uses?[5]

5 Poor Baby

From the Minds of Babes: New frontiers in paediatric pain

Babies didn’t have the best time of it in history either. Up until the 1980s, it was believed by physicians that newborns couldn’t feel pain, which meant that babies weren’t given any anesthesia or painkillers during invasive procedures. Instead, they were given muscle relaxants to stop them from moving around during these procedures.

This belief was attributed to doctors failing to understand the differences in pain responses between fetuses and adults and studies that seemingly, but incorrectly, showed that babies were unresponsive to pinpricks.

It was only in 1987 that things began to change after mothers began insisting that their babies could feel pain and that they should be given anesthesia and other pain relief measures when undergoing operations.[6]

4 Say What?

Chainsaws and Childbirth

Speaking of babies, during the late 18th century, childbirth was still a very dangerous experience and could quickly turn deadly when complications arose. Two Scottish doctors took it upon themselves to try and make the situation safer for mothers and newborns alike and created a tool for that very purpose.

Enter the chainsaw. Yep, the doctors saw that trying to “make room” for a breach or big baby with a small saw and knife took too long and was much too painful for the mother. So they designed a medical chainsaw to speed up the process.

Fortunately (?), it was a knife-sized chain saw with tiny teeth and not the horror movie chainsaw we’re used to seeing.[7]

3 Yes, It Can Happen

Man watches wife die in China escalator accident

If you’ve seen Final Destination, then you probably rolled your eyes along with the rest of the moviegoers in the cinema when the gruesome escalator scene played out. But even though a lot of people think it cannot happen, there have been many instances where unfortunate victims have been sucked in and crushed by an escalator.

In 2018, a video of a man getting sucked into an escalator in Turkey went viral. He escaped with only minor injuries after being stuck underneath the steps for an hour.

In 2019, a five-year-old girl had her arm sucked into an escalator after she forgot to let go of the handrail when she got to the top. She was rescued within 10 minutes and suffered only bruising and swelling.

In 2015, however, a woman and her son were riding an escalator in the AZG Mall in Jingzhou when a metal panel on the edge of the escalator collapsed. Her three-year-old son nearly disappeared in the gap that had opened up, but the woman, Xiang, managed to push him toward two mall employees waiting at the top of the elevator before disappearing into the gap. It took four hours to free Xiang, but she died before rescuers could get her out.[8]

2 Different Kind of Appetite

Russian Arctic town struggles with polar bear ‘occupation’

In 2015, funeralgoers in Siberia had to obtain the services of armed guards to ensure their safety and the safety of the deceased person they were burying during the funeral. This came after a sleuth of hungry bears started desecrating the local cemetery in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in search of food but found corpses instead.

The bears broke into several graves and consumed some of the human remains inside. It is believed that the bears were in short supply of their standard diet of mushrooms and berries and started eating human remains because they were starving.

However, not everyone was convinced that this was the case. Some believed that the Russian tradition of leaving food at gravesites is what attracted the bears in the first place. It was even suggested that one bear had learned how to open a coffin and taught the skill to other bears in another incident of corpse-eating a few years earlier.[9]

1 A Dull Shine


The French guillotine was a swift dispatcher of the death penalty and followed the Halifax Gibbet, which was a complicated decapitation device due to its rounded blade.

After the first public execution via guillotine, people actually booed because they were hoping for a few hours of “entertainment,” but instead, it was all over within a few seconds. The Nazis were also big fans of the guillotine and murdered more than 16,000 people by beheading them. They would also send invoices to the families of those they executed.

It is said that when the head of a victim fell into the basket below, the eyes and lips would move for a few seconds before becoming still. That is because it takes around seven seconds before the brain stops functioning after a person is beheaded.

The most horrifying thing, however, is when the blade would become dull and blunt or if the executioner were inexperienced. In that instance, the blade came down several times, causing the victim intense agony before eventually dying.[10]

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

Estelle is a regular writer for Listverse.