Whether history was your favorite class in school or the one period during which you got suddenly very sick and dipped, history has a permanent stereotype of being really boring. But the truth is that real life is often far stranger than fiction. History, in fact, is brimming with bizarre scenarios that for some reason are missing from history books. From kids swimming on dry land to bunnies gone bad, here are some incomprehensible pictures from the past that are definitely going to have you rethink history.

Clowning Around

What in the world of circuses is going on here? Someone call the ring master because these clowns are out of control! Did the clown on the receiving end mess up an act? Or is this part of the act? Either way, this picture is automatically classic.

Smile and Wave

Ah, another strange and creepy beauty pageant from back in the day. Beauty contests used to be weird, to say the least. For example, there were contests called “Miss Lovely Eyes” that were pretty popular in 1930s America. During this contest, participants’ physical features were hidden except for the eyes so as not to distract the judges.

House Wife and Her House Pet

Apparently, people are bored with dogs and cats. Why not a more exotic animal to share your home with? Well, that’s exactly what some people have done! Just an example, Salvador Dali loved anteaters. Seems like he isn’t the only one.

The Original King Kong

In 1927, an adaption of the play The Gorilla was made. It is one of those films lost to time. Basically, it centers on a gorilla running amok and killing people. It was remade in 1930. So this photo comes from there.

Cat Lady

Kate Feering Strong received an invitation to Mrs. Alva Vanderbilt’s “fancy dress” ball for March 26, 1883. Wanting to be original (and eccentric), Miss Strong went as a cat. The New York Times commented, “The overskirt was made entirely of white cats’ tails sewed on a dark background. The bodice is formed of rows of white cats’ heads and the head-dress was a stiffened white cat’s skin, the head over the forehead of the wearer and the tail pendant behind. A blue-ribbon with ‘Puss’ inscribed up on it, which hung a bell, worn around the neck completed the dress.”

Single and Ready To Mingle

Ahh, the 1800s- or, as we like to call it, the time before Tinder and Bumble. Believe it or not, singles did not have the luxury of swiping through potential matches and instead had to do it the old fashion way.

Miss Humpty Dumpty

Everyone knows that childhood rhyme ‘Humpty Dumpty’. But nobody really knows who or what Humpty Dumpty actually was. The rhyme was first printed in 1810 and became famous through Lewis Caroll’s book Alice Through the Looking Glass. Caroll depicts Humpty Dumpty as a round egg. But the old rhyme goes way back than that. Humpty Dumpty was a common nickname used in 15th century England to describe large people.

Nothing To See Here

And our parents gave us a hard time when we asked for a dog! For centuries, humans have owned pets. Historically, owning an exotic animal as a pet was not so hard. Wild animals were captured, sometimes by killing the adult in the pack to take the offspring. Today not much has changed as the demand for owning unusual and exotic pets is still prevalent. The only thing that has changed? These animals are big business- in fact, a multibillion-dollar global industry.

Yee-Haw

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This picture is just horrifying to see. It must be stated that alligators cannot be domesticated and so to put a child on top of one is just asking for trouble. People’s obsession with exotic animals started in 4000 BC. Records show that people in Egypt kept birds for more than just food. People in China, from 960 to 1279, were the first to selectively breed fish for decoration.

Dropping The Next Hot Mixtape

Totally weird pictures are perfect examples of how context can be critical in understanding exactly what in the world is going on. Why is a skeleton holding a French horn while a woman has conch shells in her ears? Seriously, we have just tons and tons of questions.

Tastes Like Chicken

This looks like an ad for KFC chicken. Kentucky Fried Chicken started back in 1952 so it could very well be an actual vintage advertisement. Regardless, this photo is so hilarious we have not stopped laughing for the past five minutes. Her face says it all.

It’s A Love Story

The art of ventriloquism is a craft and a difficult one at that. Ventriloquism is difficult! It is when a person changes his or her voice so that it seems as though that voice is coming from a dummy. And for some reason, it is always (and we mean creepy).

Mischievous Maidens

Well if this doesn’t keep you up at night! As much as historians try, it’s impossible to know every single little thing that happened in the past. Very much like this photo. It is quite difficult to tell what is going on here. Is it a crime scene? Is it just grape juice? We have questions! And we may never get an answer.

Dangerous Dining

George “Tornado” Smith was a stunt motorcycle rider who rode on a vertical wall as part of a sideshow act. The act was called the “Wall of Death” because he did the dangerous stunt alongside a lion. This photograph was taken on July 17, 1936, taken of “Tornado” Smith, the Wall of Death rider, and his wife having tea with their pet lion and lamb.

Say Cheese

What an incredibly bizarre artifact dug up from the archives of history. This photograph is just one of those that make no sense to the viewer. Too bad there is no background information attached to this picture.

What A Talent

Wow, this is quite a sight to behold! We are all about body-positivity here and so we truly stan a queen like her. Girl, we’re jealous, to be honest. We want to have a handy place to put our coffee.

Naughty or Nice

We are happy to announce that we have the backstory to this picture! Just like everyone else, celebrities have taken their photo with Santa Clause. Looks to us that the Warner Brothers star, Ida Lupino, put Santa on the naughty list.

Painful Pin-Ups

If you are anything like us, you are wondering how in the world this woman got into this pickle in the first place? In what appears to be a bear trap, this young woman seems relatively calm. But maybe it’s all just a setup? After all, her shoe is off. Who knows?

Howdy Partner

Yup, there’s nothing to see here. Just a man and his skeleton friend riding bicycles side by side enjoying the afternoon. And, just to put it out there (because we’re all thinking it), the man on the bench with his arms crossed? Yeah, his face says it all.

Freaky Faces

If we’re honest with ourselves, many of us think that beauty pageants are ridiculous. There is something off-putting about standing half-naked on a stage being judged solely on your physical appearance. But beauty pageants have been around for centuries, and it’s interesting to look back to the more bizarre ones such as this.

Tea Time

A young Ann Lockley holds a tea party with a lobster and hawk on the island of Skokholm in 1938. Ronald Lockley and his wife Doris Shellard moved to Skokholm with their daughter. Photographs such as this provide a stunning testimonial to Ann’s childhood years, while her father studied wildlife on the island.

Mother Dearest

They say nothing is like a mothers love. While that might be all very good and true…this photo makes all mothers everywhere think “but not this child!” It’s unclear what actually is going on here and we don’t have much context to explain. It’s going to remain a mystery it seems.

Spooky Sailor

Ahoy there, matey? This photograph shows a sailor brushing a trophy fox head (already a horrible thing to see) and a cute kitten watching. This bearded man is smiling so creepily at the mounted fox that we just got the chills.

Listen Carefully

At first glance, you might think that this photograph was taken of some poor souls who were forced into a psychedelic scientific experiment. But nope, that isn’t even close! This photograph was taken in the Soviet Union, 1925. It shows a family listening to an evening broadcast. Wild, huh?

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