CLOSE
Original image
ThinkStock

Knockoff Superheroes

Original image
ThinkStock

Manufacturing superhero toys can be a lucrative business venture, but marketing unconvincing bootleg action figures of “Specialman” and “Spiderbat” to save on licensing fees might not be so profitable after all. To their credit, the creators of the “Sense of Right Alliance” were pretty inventive in reimagining a superhero lineup that includes Shrek, King Kong, and the Blue Power Ranger.

*

“Vintage” fashion and filters make it hard to tell whether these photos are from Woodstock (1969) or Bonnaroo (2000s).

*

Supercells are the most rare and potentially the most severe type of thunderstorm, as well as the subject of this gorgeous thousand-frame time-lapse video of a Texas storm.

*

America’s 50 Worst Charities are ones to avoid when donating to causes, no matter how appealing their pitches.

*

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan dropped an unsubtle ‘80s power-pop reference in a recent court decision. No statistics yet exist to measure how many people in the room were distracted by the song playing in their heads.

*

The audio team in charge of developing Facebook’s “sound profile”—that is, the distinctive tones of notification noises—deliberated for a while before settling on a chord that spells out F-A-C-E. Get it?

*

The recent news about the NSA’s unsavory surveillance has caused sales of George Orwell’s 1984 to jump by about 10,000 percent (yep, that’s the right number of zeroes), but this isn’t the first time the publishing business has gotten a boost from current events.

*

Before the Internet, there was the Mundaneum: a searchable index of the world’s books and periodicals comprised of 12 million 3”x5” index cards.

Original image
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Mutiny on the Prisoner Ship
Original image
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In the 18th century, Britain shipped around 50,000 prison inmates to the American colonies to do hard labor. James Dalton was sent multiple times for theft, and once succeeded in leading a mutiny aboard the prison ship.

*

10 Surprising Ways to Lose Your Mind. Mental disorders can be triggered by a wide variety of conditions.

*

How a Group of ’70s Radicals Tried (and Failed) to Invade Disneyland. Four hundred police were waiting for the paltry few hundred Yippies that showed up.

*

Rocket Launches Look Even Cooler From Space. A satellite recorded images of a Soyuz launch on July 14.

*

How Synthetic Fabrics Inspired a Cultural Revolution. Few people remember how much time laundry and ironing used to take.

*

Can you solve the counterfeit coin riddle? You probably could if you had plenty of time.

*

Ancient ruins keep being 'discovered.' Were they ever lost?

*

A Tree That Flowers With 40 Different Fruits. It's not legendary, but a triumph of science and patience.

Original image
iStock
Manta Rays, the Ocean’s Peaceful Giants
Original image
iStock

Swim With Manta Rays, the Ocean’s Peaceful Giants. They can grow to 25 feet wide and resemble underwater flying saucers.

*

Why ordering from the kids menu is harmful to children. They've changed from smaller portions of adult entrees to bland but safe options for picky eaters.

*

22 Facts About Ernest Hemingway. He led an extraordinary, although too short, life.

*

A Newly Discovered Diary Tells the Harrowing Story of the Deadly Halifax Explosion. It's believed to be the only same-day account from an eyewitness to the disaster that left 2000 people dead.

*

Drug Expiration Dates May Be More Myth Than Fact. A stash of medicines was found to be effectively potent decades after they were made.

*

Downtown Atlanta’s Lost Psychedelic Theme Park. The World of Sid and Marty Krofft was as weird as their TV shows.

*

Malloy the Invincible. In 1932, a gang of killers bought insurance on a homeless drunk, but then found out he was harder to kill than Rasputin.

*

Why Are Baseball Games Nine Innings Long? Believe it or not, that number actually shortened the game.

SECTIONS

More from mental floss studios