How A Mathematician Made 160 Million Women Disappear

In 1863, German chemist Julius Wilbrand was trying to make yellow dye and what he came up with was trinitrotoluene, also known as TNT. Twenty years went by until his creation was actually discovered to be explosive and another twenty went by until the first armies started using TNT to blow stuff up. So what was originally just a yellow dye for some lederhosen in the 19th century eventually became one of the most widely used and deadly explosives of the 20th.

On this week's podcast, Jack O'Brien is joined by Cracked editors Soren Bowie and Kristi Harrison to share some of the various inventions and ideas throughout history that started off innocent, yet grew into something horrific. They talk about how a single letter in a medical journal started the heroin epidemic, how Hitler used America to model his empire, and how a conversation over a beer led to 160 million women disappearing from history.

Throw on your headphones and click play above, go here to subscribe on iTunes, or download it here.

Also make sure to get tickets to the next LIVE Cracked Podcast, this Wednesday, December 9th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles. Jack O'Brien, Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim are joined by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (I Am Legend, A Beautiful Mind) and a bunch of scientists to talk about the apocalypse! Tickets are $5 and on sale here.

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