Wikipedia’s unusual articles

Wikipedia has a page called Unusual articles where Wikipedians list articles that you wouldn’t expect to find in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. I can spend hours here for that perfect piece of trivia. Here is my selection:

Argleton A town in Lancashire, England, that only exists on Google Maps.

Baarle-Nassau A municipality of the Netherlands, containing small exclaves of Belgium, which in turn contain even smaller exclaves of the Netherlands. (The borders mean that there are houses and companies which are in both Belgium and the Netherlands.)

Battle of Tanga World War I battle where 8,000 British troops were defeated by a German-led force of 1,100 Askaris – aided by swarms of angry bees.

Boston Molasses Disaster Twenty-one people die in 1919 when a huge tank at a confectionery factory bursts, sending a wave of molasses down the streets of Boston.

Brainfuck An esoteric programming language noted for its extreme minimalism. It is a Turing tarpit, designed to challenge and amuse programmers, and is not suitable for practical use.

Carpatho-Ukraine Possibly the shortest-lived state in history, it was independent for only 24 hours.

Casu marzu Italian maggot cheese. Cheese designed to be eaten while it is infested with cheese fly larvae.

Dord A nonexistent English word, supposedly meaning “density”, which was listed in the second edition of Webster’s New International Dictionary from 1935 to 1939.

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia (literally, “fear of the number six hundred sixty-six”) is the fear that originated from the Biblical verse Revelation 13:18 which indicates that the number 666 is the Number of the Beast, linked to Satan or the Anti-Christ.

Islamic toilet etiquette The large number of rules to be followed by Muslims when relieving themselves.

Japanese toilet The most advanced toilets in the world with computers, nozzles and flashing lights.

Jimmy Carter rabbit incident Former President Jimmy Carter’s scrape with a killer rabbit.

John C. Turmel The world’s least-successful would-be politician, with a record of zero wins and 70 losses in campaigns since 1979.

Jumping the shark Metaphor for the point at which one can speak of a TV show as having had its best days behind it.

Le Train de Nulle Part A French novel, 233 pages long, written without verbs.

Let’s trim our hair in accordance with the socialist lifestyle A television show produced by the communist government of North Korea intended to educate the public on good and bad hairstyles.

List of chemical compounds with unusual names Some a consequence of their constituents or origins, others simply the work of whimsical chemists.

List of unusual units of measurement Fortnights and nibbles, super feet and Sagans.

Masturbate-a-thon A charity fundraiser that involves self-pleasure.

Ota Benga The tragic story of a Pygmy man from the Belgian Congo who was briefly exhibited in the Bronx Zoo.

Stanislav Petrov Potentially averted a nuclear war.

Whizzinator A fake penis used to beat drug tests (complete with dried urine, heater, syringe). Comes in white, tan, latino, brown, and black.

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