Welcome to The Unusual History of Every Thing, Season 7!
If you love weird history mixed with archaeological findings and some entertaining stories, then Melanie & Karen have a podcast for you!
New episodes air every Tuesday on all podcast outlets, with occasional hilarious accompanying video blogs on our YouTube channel! Check them out and don't forget to subscribe and leave a review!
The Unusual History of Every Thing is co-hosted, written and produced by Melanie Dellas and Karen Lacy.
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Season 7, Episode 13
The Eggnog Riot of 1876
Every country has a traditional holiday drink served to friends and family at gatherings and celebrations. Puerto Ricans drink coquito, a coconutty cold drink served with a cinnamon stick; Eastern Europeans drink kompot, which is almost like a drinkable jam; Jamaicans drink a hibiscus punch called sorrel; and Americans and Canadians love their eggnog. Eggnog is traditionally made with eggs, heavy cream, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and rum. It’s an acquired taste, and not one that you would think would cause riots. But in 1876, that’s exactly what it did.
Season 7, Episode 12
How Pumpkin Pie and ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’ Became Part of Thanksgiving History
On this episode, in honor of Thanksgiving, we thought we’d tell you how pumpkin pie became a Thanksgiving staple, and how "Mary Had A Little Lamb" was connected to it.
Season 7, Episode 11
The Unusual History of Nursery Rhymes & Lullabies: Rock-A-Bye Baby
For many parents in the western world, saying nursery rhymes and singing lullabies to their children are normal. But do people ever really stop and think about the words they’re saying to their innocent babies? Probably not, and that’s why we’re here: To show you the dark history of normal, everyday things people rarely pay attention to. On this episode, we uncover the darker side of lullabies and begin to question some people’s parenting skills.
Season 7, Episode 10
The Unusual History of Trees and the Oldest Family Tree Ever Found
Being interested in where your ancestors come from is not a new thing. People all over the world have a long and varied history of trying to find their roots to understand who they are. On this episode, we dig up the roots of the oldest family tree discovered so far, get a glimpse into the family structure of neolithic people, and understand why we use the symbol of a tree.
Season 7, Episode 9
Radiocarbon Dating Our History: How & Why Things Need to Change
On this episode, we look at the history of and the science behind radiocarbon dating artifacts, and what changes will be necessary in the future.
Season 7, Episode 8
Ghosts: A Judgy Journey to Get to the Afterlife
Every culture around the world believes in some sort of ghost, spirit or soul that leaves the body at death to go to some sort of afterlife. On this episode, we get into the Halloween spirit by looking at the ghosts of various cultures, examine how we’re still judged even in the afterlife, and the important role dogs play even in death.
Season 7, Episode 7
The Malleus Maleficarum and the History of Witches
From the 9th century to the 13th century, witchcraft was looked down upon by the Christian churches as pagan superstition. But in the late 1400s, the heresy of witchcraft as a superstition turned into the heresy of consorting with the Devil. On this episode, to add to the Halloween spirit, we thought we’d try to understand how one book could be responsible for centuries of witch hunts.
Season 7, Episode 6
Grave Robbing & Corpse Medicine: You'll Need A "Stiff Drink" After This One
Grave robbing may seem like something people did long ago, but it actually still occurs unfortunately. For example, in Egypt, archaeologists often have to have security round the clock to prevent people from stealing from the tombs. Most of that is for the gold and expensive tomb-related items, however sometimes the black market calls for more obscure things like mummy dust. But in the beginning, grave robbing had more to do with stealing the corpses themselves than it did what was buried with them. On this episode, we dig into the whys, what-fors and oh-nos of grave robbing and what people did with various body parts.
Season 7, Episode 5
Mesoamerica’s Batman, Echolocation & Bat Folklore
Bats are one of the coolest animals we have. Melanie thinks they’re cute and cuddly, and they’re the only animal that doesn’t walk on four legs and instead, flies. Despite their small size, they’ve also been depicted in folklore as one of the scariest animals we have. On this episode, we swoop in to tell you all about the history of bat folklore and who the first Batman really was.
Season 7, Episode 4
Wishes, Healing Waters, and Tossing Coins Into Them
Tossing a coin into a fountain or well and making a wish has been a tradition since ancient times. People long ago gave the coin as a gift or tribute to a god, usually to keep them happy, make them happy or as a form of payment for whatever it was they were asking for. On this episode, we dive into the history of making wishes and why we like to toss coins into water.
Season 7, Episode 3
Fairy Dust, Butterfly Wings and Biodegradable Materials
In creature mythology, pixies, fairies and sprites are sometimes used interchangeably, and although there are some similarities, there are also many differences. On this episode, we take a look at what these magical creatures, butterfly wings and biodegradable materials all have in common.
Season 7, Episode 2
Magnets and the Monte Alto
Magnets are cool, and everyone has at least one. They hang our pictures on refrigerators, they hold things together, they’re used in various machinery, even the center of Earth has a type of one. Put simply, a magnet is a rock or piece of metal, called ferromagnetic metals, that have the ability to pull metals to – or repel metals away – from itself with a force called magnetism. On this episode, we examine the attraction between magnets and why certain parts of the body have more pull.
Season 7, Episode 1
Nikola Tesla, Shark Intestines & Wastewater Filtration Systems
We're back! Welcome to our new season! On this episode, we take a look at the unusual link between Nikola Tesla and shark intestines and how that link became the inspiration for filtering water today.