These days, high heels are the realm of fashionistas and people who prefer to walk fashionably than comfortably. Admittedly, high heels serve less of a practical purpose today than they did years ago. But if these fashionable footwear weren’t used for looking good, what were they used for?
1. Ancient Egyptian butchers wore high heels to keep their feet free from blood.
Egyptian murals from 3500 BC showed the lower classes walking around barefooted while those in higher classes wore early versions of high heels. Theirs were made of leather pieces held together with lacing in the shape of an “Ankh” or the Egyptian hieroglyph for life. However, butchers were also allowed to wear these shoes so they can walk above the blood of the dead animals they slaughtered.
2. Middle Eastern horse riders wore high heels to keep their feet in stirrups.
Imagine keeping your feet in stirrups as you stand up to shoot arrows at enemies. Impossible? According to a 9th century bowl from Persia, high heels were extremely helpful to horse riders, as the heel helped keep their feet in place as they ride.
3. Ancient Romans and Greeks used high heels in the theater and for prostitution.
The high heels they wore were more like platform shoes made with cork soles. Actors would wear high heels to depict the importance of their character. On the other hand, high heels were also used to identify prostitutes back in the days.
4. High heels were an added shoe accessory in the Middle Ages.
“Pattens” were wooden soles attached to shoes to keep them clear of mud and debris from the streets. This was usually worn by people of the higher classes, since their shoes were made from expensive and fragile material.
5. The first high heels worn for fashion were made because of a petite queen.
Catherine de Medici was said to be rather short, and he fiance, the Duke of Orleans (later the King of France), was rather tall. The duke was also known to have a beautiful mistress. In order to compete with the King’s elegant French mistress, Catherine had two-inch heels made to give her a more captivating physique. These heels later became a fashion staple associated with wealth and privilege.
How The Great Auks Went Extinct After Villagers Mistaken it For A Witch
This story reminds us that ignorance is truly dangerous.
No story about extinction is good and this one is not an exception. Meet the great auk - a bird that has been extinct since the mid-1800s.
Also called garefowl, the flightless seabird was part of the family Alcidae in the order Charadriiformes. Its body measures approximately 30 inches (75 cm) in length with short wings that span less than 15 cm. It has a black head and back, white chest, and a characteristic white spot between the bill and eyes; its black bill has about eight transverse grooves. Although it is by no means related to penguins, great auks were called "penguins" back then.
Great Auk specimen in Glasgow.
The 1962 Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic Closed Down Schools and Paralyzed Communities
Laughter isn’t always the best medicine.
It is said that laughter is the best medicine. Who could argue with that? But when laughter becomes hysterical and uncontrollable, it develops into a problem so colossal that it can paralyze an entire community, much like what happened in the laughter epidemic in Tanganyika in 1962. Tanganyika is now part of modern-day Tanzania.
The mystifying laughter epidemic began with a giggle between two school girls in the village of Kashasha. This seemingly innocent laugh quickly spread throughout the school and affected 95 out the 159 students. The contagious and odd phenomenon then spread to 14 more schools, affecting approximately 1,000 pupils in total. The teachers were not affected, though. But because the laughter made teaching impossible, schools were forced to close down.
The laughter epidemic spread like wildfire.
Mysterious Sayhuite Stone Depicts More than 200 Ancient Geometric and Zoomorphic Figures
This huge rock contains answers about the daily lives of the Inca people.
47 kilometers east of Abancay and 3 hours from the city of Cusco lies the mysterious Sayhuite Stone that contains over 200 geometric and zoomorphic figures like reptiles, frogs, and even cats!
An artist's rendering of the figures found in the Sayhuite Stone.
Found at the top of Concacha hill, the giant two-by-four meter rock contains tiny terraces, pond, rivers, tunnels, and irrigation channels. The monolit is also surrounded by large rocks the size of cars that have been shaped as well. While there have been some speculations on the purpose of the Sayhuite Stone, these surrounding rocks still remain a mystery.
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