There are two places you'll never expect to find stories of cuteness: the toilet and battlefronts. And while we have yet to hear anything adorable coming from the former, we do know a few heartwarming stories that happened at the scene of some of history's most brutal struggles.
5The Okunoshima Chemical Weapons Bunny Rabbit Factory
From Gettysburg to Verdun, areas involved in wartime atrocities carry their scars decades after the actual fighting has stopped. But sometimes, just sometimes, nature takes a look at that shit and decides to reclaim what was once ruined by humans -- Disney-style.
For example, Okunoshima is a tiny island just off mainland Japan that was the hub of Japan's chemical warfare program during World War II, housing facilities that produced atrocious amounts of deadly mustard gas. If you go there today, you will find hundreds and hundreds of adorable bunny rabbits:
And thousands of gallons of buried nerve gas. But hey, bunnies!
Being a secret military facility (and probably also because "Top Secret Skin-Eating-Gas Cannery" is hard to fit onto a tiny dot on a map), Okunoshima was erased from official maps when the factories were cranking out poison during the war. Even after the facilities were shut down and abandoned, Japan decided to leave it out of the maps due to their shameful past. Can you blame them? Over the decades, however, people started visiting the island again, because the thrill of creepy abandoned places always overrules survival instinct sooner or later. What these visitors found was scores of cute, fluffy bunnies, skippity-hopping all over the island.
And, just like that, the most brutal war in human history was totally worth it.
Hundreds upon hundreds of bunnies. Just bouncing around the abandoned facilities, cavorting amongst themselves without a worry in the world. They aren't the usual shy variety, either -- the instant people set foot on the island, bunnies gather at their feet and start begging for treats.
But how does an island best known for its role in wartime atrocities evolve into a haven for free-range bunnies? The most logical explanation would be that the rabbits are descendants of test animals that were released when the facilities were shut down. The truth, however, just adds to the fairy tale vibe of the island: In 1971, a nearby elementary school was having difficulty caring for their class pets. They had to get rid of their eight rabbits. Somehow, they ended up choosing the creepy abandoned chemical weapons island as the perfect place to dump said rabbits, because apparently the whole "teaching students responsibility" thing wasn't really in vogue back then.
Sadly, this woman lasted another seven seconds before the horde consumed her.
But the eight domesticated bunnies, cast into the wild with only each other to rely on, survived. And bunnies being bunnies, there were soon a lot more than eight. Because it's difficult to remain an ominous site when your every square foot features a contestant for the most adorable creature in the world, Okunoshima cast away its war-mongering past literally overnight. Today, the island is popularly known as Usagi Shima (Rabbit Island), and the dark clouds of its past have dissipated to make way for a future full of peace, sunshine ... and bunnies. Lots and lots of little furry bunnies.
Adorably inbred little furry bunnies.
4The Civil War Toy Boat Messengers
During the second half of 1862, soldiers in the Civil War were getting bored. Camped on opposite sides of the Rappahannock River in Virginia, they were locked in a waiting game -- the Northern army was waiting for a bunch of pontoon boats to be fastened together as bridges, and the Southerners were waiting for the Northerners to just try and cross. But this ended up taking weeks, and so the two armies, both made up of Americans, wound up having a lot of time to sit and stare at each other. What's more, the area where they had set up camp had precisely jack shit to do. Eventually, they started to get goofy.
"It took hours to carve all those dicks on the cannonballs, but it'll be worth it once the fighting starts."
They were all stuck somewhere they didn't want to be, waiting to do unpleasant things they didn't want to be doing to a bunch of other guys they didn't even know. In a nutshell, it resembled a particularly crappy summer camp, and many of the soldiers were pretty young. So they started behaving accordingly: They built little toy boats and sent them across the river to the enemy soldiers.
The boats carried soldier variations of those little notes kids send to each other in the classroom. Instead of a scrap of paper with a "Do you like us?" scribble, the Southerners would fill a boat with tobacco, then float it over. Northern soldiers would send the boat back, stacked with coffee.
These were valuable gestures of friendship during a time when such luxury supplies were nearly nonexistent, and they didn't go unnoticed on either side. Like little boys on opposite sides of a river, the soldiers began making new friends. Waves and informal friendly gestures were exchanged across the water. When the Confederates held sports contests, Union troops were eager spectators from their waterside seats.
They were hoping for a long injury time.
Eventually, men would even start crossing the river to meet with their friends on the other side, engaging in conversation, exchanging newspapers and generally acting like actual human beings toward the very men they were supposed to attack.
This would go on for weeks before the Battle of Fredericksburg would snap everyone back to reality.
"Unfiltered? You cheap shits."