We remember many things that are actually either narrowly adjacent to the fact or blatantly inaccurate. The Mandela Effect is the term used to describe this–where people as a collective have false memories of a particular event. On the one hand, we probably just did not pay attention to the online class that much or did not dig deeper into the history. Nonetheless, read on to find a treasure trove of information about history.

“Let them eat cake”

Marie-Antoinette is heavily criticized for allegedly telling starving peasant subjects to eat cake if there is no more bread. This pointed to her supposed detachment from reality, but she did not really say these infamous words. The quote first came from an autobiography written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau about a princess who mentioned the phrase. As Marie-Antoinette would only be 14 that time and in Austria, not France, it was unlikely she was behind those insensitive words.

Lack of Sleep Caused the Biggest Disasters

There are many accidents in history that are caused by the lack of sleep of the men and women responsible. Some of them are the Challenger explosion, the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. On a more relatable level, inadvertently pressing the gas pedal instead of the break can also be a quick way to get into a hospital’s trauma center. Let us not be part of the problem, get some sleep.

Abe Lincoln, the Wrestler

The 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, before reaching the top office in the land, was also a champion wrestler. He took part in about 300 wrestling matches and earned a reputation as a tough one to beat. His was 6 feet, and four inches, which certainly helped in his fights. New Salem, Illinois, is definitely proud of their son. Local lore also says that he used his skills to stop a bully in Illinois.

War on Cats

Pope Gregory IV once declared war on black cats, claiming they were instruments of the devil. He ordered the extermination of all black felines in Europe, which to a degree contributed to the increase in the plague-carrying rats. This paved the way for the Black Plague, decimating most of the world’s population at that time.

Women Were Asked to Wear Muzzles

Before women’s rights were a thing, women in the UK who were viewed to have spoken out of turn or spoken inappropriately were penalized by having them wear a metal muzzle around their heads. Nowadays, lawyers would be petitioning the Supreme Court if even a semblance of this were to happen.

The Iron Maiden

This torture chamber was never really a thing back in the Middle Ages and was a mere invention of writers in the late 1700s. Nonetheless, iron maidens started popping up in museums, and these were heavily guarded by protection similar to home security systems. The most famous Iron Maiden was the one in Nuremberg, which was made in the 1800s and destroyed by Allied bombing in 1944.

Space Travel in the 1600s

Did you know that space travel was conceived and proposed as early as the 1600s? Sure, the technology did not exist yet, but that did not stop English theologian John Wilkins from kicking the idea around. He was given credit for suggesting that flying chariots be used to take men to the moon. It was a crazy idea, but a few hundred years later it became a reality.


The famous queen who captured the hearts of three men, including Mark Anthony, was not an Egyptian, although she was the country’s last active ruler. Scholars say she is of Green descent, from the Ptolemaic line.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

You read that right. There was an actual little girl named Mary who had a little lamb. She was from Boston, and when she was 11 years old. Her pet lamb followed her to school in 1817. In the late 1860s, she was able to display good money management skills when she sold pieces of wool from the lamb. She donated the proceeds to an old church.

The Titanic was never claimed “unsinkable”

It was not true that the owners of the Titanic claimed it was unsinkable. The White Star Line, which owned the ship, never said that particular phrase, and no one during the period would have thought of it being unsinkable.