Stories of the Bizarre
Every now and then, an event will occur that brings an influx of traffic to a seemingly random article. In 2019 these were the bizarre events that sparked the most curiosity in our readers—the unexpected that left us all scratching our heads!
A Connection Between the Goddess Ishtar and Easter?
During Easter of this year, many denizens of social media circulated theories that the etymology of the name of the Christian holiday Easter is derived from the name of Ishtar, the Mesopotamian religion’s goddess of war and sexual love. Learn more about Ishtar here.
Elon Musk Muses About Flags that Look Alike
On September 8 Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, tweeted the question “Why aren’t more people talking about this!?” along with images of the nearly identical flags of Romania and Chad. Well, Britannica has talked about it in our post “Flags that Look Alike.”
The Storming of Area 51
In one of the weirder stories of the year, a Facebook event encouraging people to storm Area 51 racked up more than two million RSVPs. Area 51 is a secretive U.S. military base located in Nevada that is often associated with extraterrestrials and UFOs. Although in the end the event drew only a small crowd of about 100 people, there was no shortage of visits to Britannica’s Area 51 entry.
Tardigrades Crashed onto the Moon
When it left Earth on its way to the Moon, the Israeli spacecraft Beresheet carried with it thousands of tardigrades, microscopic creatures that have been known to survive the most extreme conditions on Earth. When the Beresheet spacecraft crashed onto the Moon, the possibility that these creatures, also known as water bears, survived the impact intact captured the imagination of the scientific community and the general public.
- Twa: Doublearc
- Benito Mussolini: H. Roger-Viollet
- Flags: Encyclopedia Britannica
- Area 51: Underwood Archives/Shutterstock.com
- Tardigrade: ? Science Faction Images—SuperStock/age fotostock