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Newly Discovered Photo of Billy the Kid Could Fetch $5 Million

A few years ago, while scouring a Fresno, Calif., antiques shop, Randy Guijarro coughed up $2 for three old photographs. Now, one of those images—said to be the second verified picture ever found of outlaw Billy the Kid—is worth an estimated $5 million.

In the shot, the Wild West gunslinger is holding a weapon of a different variety: a croquet mallet. Henry McCarty (a.k.a. William Bonney, a.k.a. Billy the Kid) plays the unexpectedly dignified sport alongside members of his gang The Regulators in the summer of 1878 in New Mexico. The 4-inch-by-5-inch tintype was authenticated by a firm called Kagin’s Inc.

Guijarro had no idea he’d procured a valuable piece of American history until after he brought it home and realized that one of the men looked like Billy the Kid. It took more than a year to authenticate the image.

Guijarro told National Geographic:

“... It’s almost a Twilight Zone photograph. That’s why it’s caught so much attention, skepticism, and pushback. You have the most famous and iconic American around the world, posing on a croquet stick with the Regulators, along with his girlfriend. This is a story. It’s not just a portrait of him. This tells a day in the life.”

It’s a remarkable find, considering there’s only one other known photo of the thief and gunfighter in existence.

If you’re itching for more on the Wild West legend and the recently recovered photo, you're in luck. On Sunday, October 18, the National Geographic Channel will air a documentary about Guijarro’s efforts to authenticate the image.

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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