Photos that Prove How Silly Humans Are

Jun 07, 2021Kara

The sun was out, and the warm beach looked so inviting ... that was until the perfect day turned into a great upset. Innocent women wanted to bask in the sun and cool off by the shoreline—unfortunately for them, the 1920s was a different time. So before they could step onto the beach, they were inspected. The question at hand? The length of their swimsuits! These and other bizarre photos will have future generations questioning everything that happened in human history ... 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Bettmann

The Caltech Sign

Yes, this is the famous sign which typically says "Hollywood." But in 1987, a group of students from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) thought it needed a revamp. The fact that it was Hollywood's centennial year seems to have encouraged them. So they changed it to "CALTECH" with only a few hundred dollars worth of black and white plastic sheeting. Yikes! However, you wouldn't guess what's happening in the next photo!

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Image Credits: Twitter/Caltech

Michelin Men

One of the most well-known brand emblems of all time is the Michelin Man. These 10 dressed gentlemen are members of a genuine orchestra, and they're doing some promotional work. Surprisingly, they were promoting the Michelin Hour, a new radio program that debuted in 1924. As a result, their viewers would have missed out on seeing those exquisite clothes. Yes, we know you’re also confused by why they dressed up for a radio audience ... 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Bettmann

Iron Horse

This man is riding a tricycle that is supposedly dubbed a New Iron Horse in the year 1882. Charles W. Oldrieve, the inventor, is a man whose background is unknown. It's unclear whether he was ever able to sell any of these bizarre gadgets. How about you, would you have decided to buy one at that time? Or would you rather drive on the road in the next photo?

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Charles W. Oldreive - Library of Congress/Public Domain

Auto Thriller Highway

This is an Auto Thriller Highway, one of the most unusual inventions in the world of automobiles. This vehicle roller coaster was designed by Harry Rocks and was placed in Los Angeles, of all places. Adrenaline enthusiasts in the 1920s could have some fun! They would ride the highway's 10-foot humps at speeds of up to 40mph over the whole 800-yard length. It must have been exciting at the time.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Bettmann

Aussie in London

Normally you would have to travel to the Regent's Park Zoo to see a kangaroo. However, on this day in 1931, all you had to do was go to the city's hub, Trafalgar Square. Fred Morley is the photographer who is either attempting to get a close-up shot or trying to fight this boxing kangaroo for a few rounds.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Hulton Archive/Fox Photos

Skreenette Bathing Tent

After a chilly sea dip, changing into warm, dry garments at the beach whilst maintaining your modesty is a constant dilemma. However, there is a brilliant solution. The bathing tent of the Skreenette. As these ladies showed in 1929, you may undress in public without fear of inquisitive eyes, seeing what you don't want them to see. Is this genius, or what? 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Davis

Strict Beach Police

Speaking of bathing tents,  did you know that in the 1920s, someone was assigned to measure the length of every woman's bathing suit on the beach? They had to make sure it wasn't inappropriate! Those who wear concise clothing would face a hefty fine.

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons/National Photo Company Collection - Library of Congress/Public Domain

Sun-tan Vending Machine

Speaking of being at the beach, what activities do you normally think about when you hit the sand? Is it a game of beach volleyball, or throwing around a frisbee or a pigskin? How about walking on stilts? These ladies probably needed to give themselves a little distance from the beach police. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Underwood Archives

Pound Shedder

We still have weird weight-loss equipment now, but this one is from the early twentieth century. Raquel Torres, a movie actress who doesn't appear to need to lose any weight, is engulfed in the device's embrace. We wonder if our grandmothers also had the chance to use this thing back then. But, of course, that's if they ever wanted to. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Imagno

Kangru-Spring-Shus

You would have directly noticed something in this photo aside from modest-looking women are their footwear. To be specific, Kangru-Spring-Shus. It was a trend on those days, but they appear to be a formula for broken ankles. But what do we actually know? After all, we've never worn spring shoes before, have you? 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Fox Photos

Hippopower!

You've probably heard of horsepower, but have you ever heard of hippopower? Well, In 1923, an anonymous gentleman hooked his vehicle to a baby hippo for unexplained reasons. It's possible that his steed was unwell. Or maybe he just had a thing for the hippo, the noble creature. Or, he may have other reasons that any normal person can't think about. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Gircke/ullstein bild

Unstoppable Big Day

Even though their home had been attacked recently, this London woman still chose to attend her wedding on November 4, 1940. She went about her day unaffected by the blast. Look at her bridesmaid, who is expressing her happiness through the window. No matter what happens, love is unstoppable. This may be odd to other people, though. Speaking of unstoppable love, here’s another couple in love.

Image Credits: Getty Images/ © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS

Anything to Sell a Seat

The 1960s saw the rise of commercial airplanes. More and more people were getting comfortable with the idea of flying across great distances. That meant the competition was tough. Every airline wanted your bum on their seat! Southwest Airlines of Texas only hired women who were comfortable wearing hot pants and kinky leather boots. We wonder why? 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Keystone/Alan Band

Mickey Mouse Club

Everything about this Mickey Mouse fan gathering feels more like a cult rather than a club. The wave of Mickey Mouse-masked kids is eerily unsettling, if not outright frightening. However, this get-together in honor of Walt Disney's most famous invention was most likely very naïve back in the 1930s. We can only hope that it's not any ritual for the mouse.

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Macfadden Publications - TV Radio Mirror/Public Domain

Tea with the Lion

You might know the gentleman in this photograph. Alfred Hitchcock, of course, is a renowned British film director. The lion is most likely Leo, who has been the mascot of Hollywood's Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer since 1957. Despite the popularity of these two, however, only one question remains: Why is Hitchcock having tea with Leo the Lion if he's any normal human?

Image Credits: Getty Images/Bettmann

Chaos in Swedish Streets

Sweden is typically regarded as a calm and well-organized country. But then, their usual calm was disturbed on an ill-fated day in 1967, which they called Högertrafikomläggningen. That loosely translates as "right-hand traffic diversion." Having traditionally driven on the left side of the road, the Swedes were unilaterally shifted to driving on the right side of the road to resemble their European neighbors. Of course, chaos ruled!

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Jan Collsiöö - Så var det/Public Domain

Painted Stockings

Strange events were taking place in Croydon, a London neighborhood. Well, if you can't comprehend what's happening in this photo, these are customers' legs painted to look like they're wearing stockings by the women with the brushes. It may sound crazy, but it was all due to wartime shortages. It is 1941, and the United Kingdom has been at war for two years. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS

Cow Shoes

State Prohibition enforcement head A. L. Allen stated the aim of these strange shoes in an interview with The Evening Independent newspaper in 1922. First, booze traffickers would put them on to deceive any authorities following them. Then, when law enforcement investigators spotted livestock instead of human prints, the argument went, they'd be put off.

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons/National Photo Company Collection - Library of Congress/Public Library

Towing the Titanic

Of course, this isn't the real Titanic, which had fallen beneath the waters about 70 years before a photographer acquired this image. It is, in reality, a photograph from the set of the 1980 film Raise the Titanic. Courtney Brown, a professional diver, is shown here towing a 55-foot replica of the ill-fated liner across the sea.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Bettmann

Tennis in the Air

“Would anyone like to play tennis?” Wait, before you answer, let's tell you first that it will be played up in the sky! Gladys Roy and Ivan Unger are the daring players in this photo. Roy was a well-known and courageous stuntwoman who, when she wasn't playing tennis on the top wing, was dancing the Charleston or crossing it blindfolded.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Apic

Birdman

Leo Valentin, a former paratrooper from France, gained the moniker "Birdman" after attempting to fly with just a primitive set of wings connected to his back. Unfortunately, his ill-conceived enterprise, as well as his life, came to an end in 1956. A 100,000-strong crowd watched in terror as he plunged from a jet and fell to the earth during an airshow in Liverpool, England.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Carl Sutton

Queen of the Vineyards

Wilma Smith was photographed in 1930 in the McClure Vineyards near Burbank, California. The annual grape festival, which included the coronation of the Queen of the Vineyards, was the setting. It appears to have been a bumper crop that year, with the yield valued at $50 million. But, well, too much grape is still a good thing.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Bettmann

Tesla’s Indoor Lightning

The man in this 1899 photograph is Nikola Tesla, the great Serbian-American inventor. He's at his Colorado Springs lab, and the magnifying transmitter is the gadget that's creating the stunning sheets of electricity. Tesla is most largely credited to energy transmission and harnessing.

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Nicolas Tesla - The Century Magazine/Public Domain

Bloodcurdling Stint

Alvin "Shipwreck" Kelly shows his scorn for Friday 13th superstition in this clip. He pulled this bloodcurdling act 54 stories above the streets of Manhattan on that date in October 1939. He's carrying a cup of coffee and, of course, some doughnuts. Kelly was known for his daredevil behavior, which included sitting on flagpoles for days or even weeks at a time. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/NY Daily News Archive/Charles Hoff

Finding the Prettiest Ankle

Start by looking at all those ankles – and don't underestimate the excitement they would have given in the early twentieth century. This unusual photograph, taken in July 1930 in Hounslow, an otherwise ordinary district of London, England, depicts a pretty ankle contest. But, unfortunately, there’s also one that only looks at the eyes.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Fox Photos

The Great Blondin

The Great Blondin, whose real name was Jean François Gravelet, was one of the most well-known thrill-seekers of his day. Perhaps his most famous act was a 1,300-foot tightrope walk across Niagara Falls. In 1859, 25,000 people observed this incredible performance with their breath held in their throats. While wearing spangled pink tights and holding a 50-pound balance stick, he completed the crossing in 23 minutes.

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons/William England - Scan from Ian Jeffrey/Public Domain

The Purves Dynasphere

It's unbelievable that the Purves Dynasphere, seen here in 1932, was never adopted as a mode of mass transportation. Dr. John Purves, one of a long series of British innovators, though not the most successful, was responsible for its creation. Purves' vehicle, which has a top speed of 30 mph, is inspired by a Leonardo da Vinci picture.

Image Credits: Getty Images/National Motor Museum/Heritage Images

Portable Television

These days, the tablet or smartphone doubles as a portable television. In 1967, however, such devices were the stuff of science fiction. As a result, the scientists had to devise a new solution for consumers who wished to watch their favorite shows while on the go. And this is what they came up with. Would you have put that in your head while walking on the street?

Image Credits: Getty Images/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Harold Clements

Barrel of Niagara

Annie Edson Taylor's finest achievement was becoming the first courageous heroine to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and live to tell the tale in 1901. Ms. Taylor poses proudly with the barrel in question, which was originally full of pickles. It may seem like an impossible task for a 63-year-old schoolteacher, but this is a lesson never to underestimate educators in their 60s!

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Francis J. Petrie Photograph Collection/Public Domain

The Motorwheel

Although it's dubbed a Motorwheel, his unique contraption may almost be classified as a motorbike. It's certainly a motorcycle unlike any we've seen before since it runs on a metal rail put within a tire. Monsieur Gerdes, a Swiss engineer, is at the wheel. It's the year 1931, and he's in the French city of Arles, on his way to Spain. It’s not yet confirmed if he did make it.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Fox Photos

What’s with the Eye?

You'd have such difficulty figuring out which president's eye is on Mount Rushmore's face, blown up to gigantic proportions. Fortunately, the original caption from 1954 provides a hint. Thomas Jefferson is who you're looking at. Unfortunately, the caption doesn't say why this guy is "holding on for dear life." If you wish to fill that gap in the historical record, you'll have to rely on your own creative mind.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Popperfoto via Getty Images

Caber Toss

Tossing the caber is a uniquely Scottish sport that entails pitching a tree trunk as far as possible with nothing but raw power. It's a competitive fixture of Highland Games events worldwide where Scots have lived, which is pretty much everywhere. If this isn't the most Scottish thing there is, then we don't know what is!

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Cory hughes - Self-photographed/Public Domain

Sea Shoes

Although they're dubbed sea-shoes, creator M. W. Hulton was really demonstrating his creation on the Grand Union Canal in England in 1962. It stretches across 137 miles from London to Birmingham in the Midlands. We doubt he could have sailed the full length in his sea-shoes, even with the assistance of the "duck foot propellers" that pushed them forward.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Fox Photos

A Peculiar Tricycle

This photograph of a unique bicycle dates from the 1890s. We should definitely name it a tricycle because it has three wheels. What concerns us is how the concerned parents would notice if their toddler had fallen out of its carriage. They might go on for kilometers before anyone notices. Last but not least, how did they get on and off?

Image Credits: Getty Images/Camerique/ClassicStock

The Churchill Egg

This strange contraption, which looks like a medieval torture cell, was reportedly designed with Sir Winston Churchill in mind. The plan was for him to get inside it while flying around the world in an unpressurized plane. Known as the Churchill Egg, there is no proof that the great man ever sat on it.

Image Credits: Getty Images/CORBIS/© Hulton-Deutsch Collection

Smallest Shop

This photograph was shot in the year 1900, and though many booths and stores were already thriving at the time, this one is particularly intriguing since it is the tiniest. This shoe salesman's store is barely 1.2 square meters. How could he have moved in there?

Image Credits: Getty Images/CORBIS/© Hulton-Deutsch Collection

Authorities at the Beach

This incredible photograph of American soldiers paying respect to the millions of horses, mules, and donkeys slain in WW1. It was captured in 1918, and they fashioned a horse's head to honor their dead animals who helped them win the war. This may be an odd thing to do, but it surely touches the heart.

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Library of Congress/Public Domain

Causing A Scene

There's no denying that society as a whole was so much more conservative back then. They measured women's bathing suits, for crying out loud. Well, imagine the ruckus that women made when they were first allowed to walk around the streets of Toronto in shorts! This was in 1937. It caused quite a scene, and probably a couple of accidents too! 

Image Credits: Getty Images/ClassicStock/H. Armstrong Roberts

Humans surely have the knack for creating and inventing amazing stuff, but sometimes it all goes over the top. So, which among all of these do you find as the oddest thing? Would you have changed that invention or moment if you could? Let us know your answer in the comments. 

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