10 Weird Wikipedia Articles That Will Leave You Scratching Your Chin

With more than 5 million articles in its database, Wikipedia is the world’s largest online encyclopedia. But among the entries that are filled with facts and figures, some pages defy explanation. From the stories of legendary creatures to tales of strange coincidences, Wikipedia articles contain some of the most bizarre and unexpected information.

1. The Battle of Legnica

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In 1241, the Battle of Legnica took place between the Mongols and the Poles. It was one of the largest battles in European history, with over 100,000 soldiers fighting. The battle resulted in a Mongol victory, and the Polish king was killed.

2. List of Premature Obituaries

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One of the strangest Wikipedia articles is the “List of premature obituaries.” This is a list of people believed to be dead by mainstream sources but later found to be alive.
The list includes people like Adolf Hitler, who was prematurely announced dead by the BBC in 1945; Richard Nixon, who was incorrectly reported as dead by The Washington Post in 1972; and Elvis Presley, who was the subject of numerous false reports of his death in the 1970s. While some of the premature obituaries on this list are funny, others are more tragic. For example, the entry for Michael Jackson includes a link to an article about his death hoax in 2009. This hoax caused a lot of distress for Jackson’s fans, highlighting how careful we need to be when reporting on celebrity deaths.

3. Robert Wadlow

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Robert Wadlow was born in Alton, Illinois, on February 22, 1918, and died on July 15, 1940. He was the tallest person in history, measuring 8 ft 11.1 in (2.72 m) in height.
Wadlow’s growth resulted from hyperpituitarism, specifically gigantism resulting from excess growth hormone; an overly active pituitary gland caused his condition. At age five, he was already taller than his father, and by age eight, he was 6 ft 2 in (188 cm) tall. He continued to grow throughout his teens and twenties, reaching his full height of 8 ft 11.1 in (2.72 m) by age 22.

4. Q84

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There are many strange articles on Wikipedia, but the Q84 article may be one of the strongest. This article is about a Russian television show produced in the late 1990s. The show was about a group of people sent to a remote island where they had to live for two years. The show was plagued by controversy and was eventually canceled. However, it has since gained a cult following online.

5. The Great Stink

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In 1858, London was hit by a heatwave. The temperatures were so high that the Thames River began to stink. The stench was so bad that it could be smelled from miles away. Parliament was forced to adjourn because the smell was so strong.
The cause of the stench was sewage. London’s sewers were not designed to handle the amount of waste produced by the city’s growing population. The heatwave caused the sewage to decompose, releasing a foul-smelling gas into the air. Londoners were desperate to find a way to get rid of the stench. They tried everything from burning straw in the streets to dumping lime into the river. Nothing worked. Finally, a plan was devised to build new sewers to carry the waste out of London and into the countryside. The project took years to complete, but it finally rid London of the Great Stink.

6. Toilet Paper Orientation

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There is a surprisingly heated debate over the correct way to orient your toilet paper when installing it on your roll holder. The ‘over’ camp argues that the paper should hang over the top of the roll so that you can easily tear it off from the top. The ‘under’ camp believes that the paper should be installed under the roll so that you can tear it off from the bottom. Both sides have valid arguments, but it comes down to personal preference.

7. Spite House

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Spite houses are designed and built for the sole purpose of annoying or causing inconvenience to someone else. The most famous spite house is the skinny house in Boston, which was built in 1874 to spite the owner of the adjacent property, who refused to sell his land to the developer. Other notable spite houses include the Hollywood Spite House and the Snake House.

8. Stubbs

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Stubbs the Zombie, formerly known as “Stubble Trouble,” is a video game character who first appeared as the protagonist of the 2005 video game. He is a zombie that Dr. Edgar Swallow created in 1933.
As a result of his creation, Stubbs has several abilities that other zombies do not have. For example, he can jump higher than most zombies, climb walls, and use weapons. He can also talk, although his speech is sometimes difficult to understand due to his decaying vocal cords. Despite his intelligence and abilities, Stubbs is still technically a zombie and must eat brains to survive. In the game, Stubbs often comments on how he misses the taste of human brains (although he seems to enjoy eating animal brains just as much). While Stubbs is mostly motivated by hunger, he does have some sense of morality. For example, he will only eat the brains of people who deserve it (such as murderers or rapists). He also seems to have some loyalty to his friends and allies, such as when he helps them escape from prison or rescues them from captivity.

9. The Origin of Rubber Ducks

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The origin of the rubber duck is unknown, but it is thought to have originated in the United States in the early 1900s. The first rubber ducks were made of vulcanized rubber, a type of rubber treated with heat or chemicals to make it harder and more durable. This made them ideal for bath toys because they could withstand being dropped or squashed.
The first recorded use of the term “rubber duck” was in 1916, when it was used in an advertisement for a rubber bathing cap. It is not clear how the term came to be associated with the toy, but it may be because the two items are often used together (i.e., people use rubber ducks in their baths).
The popularity of rubber ducks skyrocketed in 1970 when Ernie, a character on the children’s television show Sesame Street, sang a song about them called “Rubber Duckie.” The song helped make rubber ducks one of the world’s most popular toys and has remained popular ever since.

10. Tarrare

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Photo Credit: Public Domain

This weird page is dedicated to a Frenchman named Tarrare, whose appetite was notoriously insatiable. The weird part, is that his appetite was not limited to “normal” foods. He allegedly ate anything from snakes, to eels, to live cats, and even corpses.