Here's the thing with the Mongols. See this stadium? That's 100,000 people there.
Now imagine 400 of those stadiums, each full of people. Now imagine every single one of those people with grotesque stab wounds.
That's right; it is estimated that the Mongols--under Genghis Khan and others-- killed 40 million people.
The Mongols ripped through the world like a lawnmower. They were like an army of Batman villains. Only Asian, and on horseback.
Even the horses look pissed.
When the Mongols got in a conquesty mood, if your town happened to be in the way, you were, as they say, "shit out of luck." The Mongols would give you two choices, both of which thoroughly sucked. The first, and most practical, was to surrender and let them take whatever they wanted (which was pretty much everything, likely including your livelihood and all the women-folk). The second choice was to not surrender, and thus promptly watch your town burn to the ground. And your fields salted. Then, just to add another scoop of crap to an already crappy day, you'd be brutally murdered.
So, Were They Really So Bad?
During an invasion of India, a Mongolian general built a pyramid in front of the walls of Delhi out of human heads. Are you picturing it? If so, are you picturing like two dozen heads there? Because this guy used 90,000 of them.
They, like the Celts, had a thing for severed heads. They liked to gather them up and catapult them inside the enemy's compound. They would also fling corpses infected with black death.
"You know, most invading hordes just use arrows."
When they ran across pregnant women, they did... things. Things we won't discuss here.
When you saw them coming, hey, you could shoot at them with your arrows and spears all you wanted. All you'd be doing is slaughtering the huge crowd of refugees the Mongols forced to march ahead of them as human shields.
So, yeah. You want to know why the Spartans have to settle for number two, that's fucking why.
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