How Did Parents Flaunt Their Kids Before Facebook? Baby Shows.

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How Did Parents Flaunt Their Kids Before Facebook? Baby Shows.

Regardless of how you feel about the Facebook friends who fill your newsfeed with photos of their babies, one thing is for certain: parents always want to show off their offspring. Always have, always will. No, really: before the advent of social media, parents took part in baby shows. The first baby show occurred at an Ohio county fair in 1854 with 127 infants competing for prizes—way before "Toddlers and Tiaras."According to a 2008 paper by Northwestern University professor Susan Pearson, these shows became commonplace in the 18th century at "agricultural and mechanics' fairs, urban theaters, exhibition halls, and fundraising events." Atlantic City hosted an annual baby show on its boardwalk, and the trend eventually made its way overseas to a few European cities. However, most of the world considered these shows as "a distinctly American, if slightly vulgar, novelty."

The Haenyo Are South Korean Mermaids

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The Haenyo Are South Korean Mermaids

Remember when you watched The Little Mermaid, then told your entire class that you wanted to be a mermaid when you grew up? No, just us? We digress. A group of elderly South Korean women are considered real-life mermaids, diving depths of up to 65 feet (20 meters) without any oxygen tanks. Beat that, Ariel.

Jára Da Cimrman Is The Imaginary Underdog Hero For The Czech People

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Jára Da Cimrman Is The Imaginary Underdog Hero For The Czech People

Jára da Cimrman is a Czech man of universal genius; an under-appreciated underdog of the 19th century that doesn't get the credit he deserves. Cimrman was nearly the first person to reach the North Pole, but missed it by about seven yards due to an altercation with hostile natives. He invented the lightbulb, but Thomas Edison beat him to the patent office. He also invented the telephone and dynamite, but others took credit. The only way Cimrman could be more amazing is if he weren't fictional.

The Rarest Pasta In The World Is The 300-Year-Old Su Filindeu

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The Rarest Pasta In The World Is The 300-Year-Old Su Filindeu

When you make a spaghetti dinner at home, it's simple: grab a box of noodles and a jar of sauce and you're basically good to go. Making the pasta from scratch would increase the difficulty considerably. But that would still be a walk in the park compared to making su filindeu, the rarest pasta in the world. The technique for making it has been around for more than 300 years, and only three women alive today have mastered it. Even celebrity chef Jamie Oliver threw in the towel later failing to do it right on his show, Jamie's Super Food: "I've been making pasta for 20 years and I've never seen anything like this."

Sesame Street's The Count Loves To Count Because Of This Real-Life Vampire Legend

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Sesame Street's The Count Loves To Count Because Of This Real-Life Vampire Legend

The adorable Sesame Street vampire and apparent nobleman Count Von Count, largely known as simply The Count, is beloved for his quirky obsession with counting. Although this tendency, also known as arithmomania, is great for teaching children about numbers, that's not the only reason he does it. His passion for counting also aligns with a real-life vampire legend: vampires can't resist counting everything they see. Those who believed the legend used it to their advantage by sprinkling graves and graveyards with seeds, grains, or anything else that was difficult to count. Because of their multitudinous knots, fishing nets were also a popular choice, and would often be buried with corpses or cast over doors. Both methods were especially effective because of how slowly vampires were believed to count. In Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality, Paul Barber writes, "Usually what is at issue is a harnessing of the revenant's [vampire's] compulsions: he must collect the grains one at a time, and often just one grain per year. This so engages his attention that he is obliged to drop all other pursuits." Learn more about vampire legends in the videos below.

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Key Facts to Know

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    In the 1980s, some historians claimed that the vampire myth began with a medical condition called porphyria. 0:00

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    A treatment for porphyria in the Middle Ages was the drinking of blood. 0:29

  • 3

    Sufferers of porphyria may break out in sores when exposed to sunlight. 1:36