Hidden Gems in World History: Fascinating Events You Didn’t Learn in School

Jan 26, 2024

History is like a huge puzzle made up of many different stories, cultures, and people. Textbooks usually talk about big events and famous people, but some really interesting hidden stories often get overlooked. In this article, we’re going on an adventure to find and share these lesser-known, but still fascinating, events that can teach us more about our shared human history.


The Great Emu War (Australia, 1932)



When we hear about wars, we usually think of battles and plans, right? But have you ever heard of a war against emus? In 1932, something strange happened in Australia – it’s called the Great Emu War. The government sent soldiers with machine guns to stop too many emus from causing trouble on farms. But guess what? The emus were tricky, and the war ended in a kind of funny way, with the humans not winning.

The Dancing Plague of 1518 (Strasbourg, Holy Roman Empire)

Imagine a scenario where people uncontrollably dance in the streets for days, weeks, or even months. The Dancing Plague of 1518 is one such bizarre event in Strasbourg.A  woman named Frau Troffea started dancing in the streets and, within a month, hundreds joined her. Theories range from mass hysteria to poisoning, but the true cause remains a historical enigma.


The Tunguska Event (Siberia, 1908)

In the remote Siberian wilderness, an explosion occurred in 1908 that flattened an estimated 80 million trees over an area of 2,150 square kilometres. The Tunguska Event, as it came to be known, is believed to have been caused by the airburst of a meteoroid or comet. Despite its magnitude, this event is often overlooked in discussions about celestial impacts on Earth.


The Cod Wars (Iceland, 1958-1976)

Contrary to what the name might suggest, the Cold Wars were not fought with traditional weapons but with fishing vessels. Iceland and the United Kingdom clashed overfishing rights in the North Atlantic, with Iceland seeking to protect its fishing industry. Tensions escalated, and the conflict involved the cutting of fishing nets and even collisions between ships.


The Battle of Schrute Farms (Pennsylvania, 1863)

While the American Civil War raged on, an unusual skirmish took place on the grounds of what would later become Schrute Farms, a fictional bed and breakfast in the television series “The Office.” In reality, the Battle of Gettysburg occurred nearby, but the humorous portrayal of a battle on the beet farm adds a touch of levity to the historical narrative.


Exploring lesser-known stories from world history reveals surprising and unusual events, reminding us of the extraordinary and sometimes strange occurrences shaping our past. The Great Emu War in Australia exemplifies how even serious historical moments can contain a touch of the absurd. The Dancing Plague of 1518 prompts contemplation of the mysteries of human behavior and the inexplicable. The Tunguska Event in Siberia serves as a reminder of Earth’s vulnerability to space-related incidents. The Cod Wars in Iceland demonstrate that conflicts can arise in unexpected places, such as fishing areas. Lastly, the fictional Battle of Schrute Farms injects humor into the seriousness of historical events. These hidden stories, often overshadowed by more well-known ones, contribute to the diverse history of humanity, urging exploration of the less famous aspects of our past that shape our understanding of the world.

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