How did the Japanese high command react to all this? They reminded their soldiers that it was a crime punishable by death to consume human flesh ... that didn't belong to your enemies. So throwing a Papuan laborer on the campfire was a big no-no, but the brass considered chowing down on enemy combatants a mere "lack of thoroughness in moral training" -- less of a war crime and more of a dinner etiquette faux pas.
And their superior's permission wasn't just implied, either. On many of these picnics, the soldiers weren't even starving. Instead, cannibalism was practiced under the supervision of the commanding officer as a team-building exercise, meant to strengthen the warrior spirit and consolidate interpersonal bonds. And you thought your work retreats sucked.
Firefighters Accidentally Destroyed San Francisco While Battling The Great Quake Fires
The 1906 earthquake in San Francisco was one of the worst disasters in U.S. history. Around 3,000 people were killed ... some of them by emergency services. Using dynamite to save burning buildings isn't as crazy as it first seems -- which is good, because it seems unspeakably crazy. Blow up buildings strategically, and you create a firebreak, which can stop a blaze from spreading. And when fires erupted all across San Francisco after the quake, fire chief and explosives expert Danny Sullivan's dynamite plan was, well dynamite.
There was only one problem: Sullivan was unconscious, having been knocked out while rescuing his wife during the earthquake. So the city turned to the only other dynamite expert in the city: John Bermingham, an executive at an explosives manufacturer. And while Bermingham was definitely conscious, he was also drunk as hell. Predictably, he botched the plan, creating zero firebreaks but about 60 new and out-of-control fires in Chinatown and North Beach.