When archaeologists found a 3,000-year-old clay pot containing a "glassy, foamy substance" in the Danish wetlands, they were more excited than you might expect. Such objects are usually found destroyed, you see, with any organic matter contained therein long since washed away. What was the blackened residue? The product of a Norse blood ritual? A Bronze Age speedball, which is apparently a possibility? Nope -- it was cheese. And not even good cheese.
Some poor Norse ghost is still waiting for the extra cheese pizza he ordered.
Specifically, it was some weird-ass cheese made with the fat from inside a cow's stomach (try not to think too hard about the process that involved). The cheese was promptly scalded and then shamefully buried in a clay pit, which is what kept it so well-preserved. One archaeologist theorized that it was so hastily ditched because it stunk so bad, proving that people have been embarking on ill-advised cooking experiments with exotic foodstuffs for at least a few millennia.
The next time your roommate yells at you for drunkenly leaving leftover Kraft dinner on the stove and throwing away their ruined pot, just tell them it's a tradition that's very important to your people. This will require you to be Danish, so be sure to make up a relative named Hans first.
Cats Have Always Been Jerks
Emir O. Filipovic/University of Sarajevo
It's a pain in the ass when you're trying to write the next great American novel and your cat decides your laptop is its own personal runway, but it could be a lot worse. Unless you cheaped out on the kibble that day and the cat intentionally hit a very bad key, this can usually be fixed with a few backspaces. Not so for the writer of a medieval Croatian manuscript discovered by a student in the Dubrovnik State Archive, which was covered in cat paw prints.
Emir O. Filipovic/University of Sarajevo
These particular markings translate to "because fuck you, that's why" in feline-ese.
At some point, the little shit apparently knocked over the ink and splashed around it for a while. It then leaped square on top of the very important work its owner was doing, and said owner didn't know why they started lecturing an animal that can't understand them; it's just a thing cat owners have always done. Sure, they could have started over with a fresh sheet of paper, but accepting chaos is also a key part of cat ownership.
But the tradition of cats ruining things goes back even further and gets way sneakier. So sneaky that it wasn't noticed for 2,000 years, in fact, when a Roman roof tile was discovered to contain imprints from a cat's paw.
Gloucester City Museum
Holy shit, how old was this cat?!
Apparently, Roman animals and people alike had little regard for the craft of carpentry, as "dog paw prints, people's boot prints, and even a piglet's trotter print have all been found on" such tiles, according to a local city councilperson. What they don't tell us is how a piglet got on top of a wet Roman rooftop, and we'll pay exactly the price of a movie ticket to the person who can explain it. (Hint, hint, George Miller.)
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You know all those facts you've learned about psychology from movies and that one guy at the party who says, "Actually ..." a lot? Please forget them. Chances are none of them are true. Take the Stanford Prison Experiment, the one famous psychology study people can name. It was complete bullshit. Funny story actually, it turns out that when you post flyers that say, "Hey, do you wanna be a prison guard for the weekend? Free food and nightsticks," you might not get the most stable group of young men. So join Jack O'Brien, Cracked staff members Dan O'Brien and Michael Swaim, and Psychology Professor Martie G. Haselton of UCLA as they debunk Rorschach tests, the Mozart effec,t and middle child syndrome, so soon you can be that person at the party who says, "Actually ..." Get your tickets here!
For more ways life has always been this way, check out 7 Memes That Went Viral Before The Internet Existed and 6 Modern-Day Tech Advances (That Your Grandparents Had).
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