Cover image of Ridiculous History
(2333)
Society & Culture
History

Ridiculous History

Updated 9 days ago

Society & Culture
History
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History is beautiful, brutal and, often, ridiculous. Join Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown as they dive into some of the weirdest stories from across the span of human civilization in Ridiculous History, a podcast by iHeartRadio.

Read more

History is beautiful, brutal and, often, ridiculous. Join Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown as they dive into some of the weirdest stories from across the span of human civilization in Ridiculous History, a podcast by iHeartRadio.

iTunes Ratings

2333 Ratings
Average Ratings
1651
311
146
95
130

Hilarious Podcast

By Juneinflames - Dec 31 2019
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I always learn something interesting and the hosts tell stories in a really funny way

Thoroughly enjoyable

By Listener #1285 - Dec 28 2019
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Have to be the nicest guys in podcasting, approaching “Henry Winkler” nice...no kidding

iTunes Ratings

2333 Ratings
Average Ratings
1651
311
146
95
130

Hilarious Podcast

By Juneinflames - Dec 31 2019
Read more
I always learn something interesting and the hosts tell stories in a really funny way

Thoroughly enjoyable

By Listener #1285 - Dec 28 2019
Read more
Have to be the nicest guys in podcasting, approaching “Henry Winkler” nice...no kidding
Cover image of Ridiculous History

Ridiculous History

Latest release on Jan 16, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 9 days ago

Rank #1: (Some of) History's Dumbest Military Prototypes

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It's true that the world's militaries often pioneer technological innovation -- but don't let all those great successes fool you! The world's militaries have at least as many failures as they do breakthroughs. Join Ben, Noel and special guest Christopher Hassiotis as they explore some of humanity's most hilarious military missteps, from round ships to rocket bullets and ball tanks.

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Dec 11 2018

56mins

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Rank #2: Why do British lawyers wear wigs?

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For centuries some lawyers and judges in the U.K. have worn distinctive wigs during court proceedings. But why? Join Ben and Noel as they explore the strange history of the peruke.

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Oct 24 2017

32mins

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Rank #3: The Weird Life of George Washington, Part 1

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Returning special guest Christopher Hassiotis joins the guys today for a round-robin discussion of the very weird life of George Washington, first President of the United States. (As you may have guessed from the title, there's more weirdness than we could fit in a single episode.)

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Feb 05 2019

45mins

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Rank #4: The Wild Hippos of Pablo Escobar

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When notorious drug kingpin Pable Escobar died, he left behind a legacy of brutal crime, opulent living and, oddly enough, four hippos. Fast forward to the modern day, and experts estimate as many as 50 hippopotamuses may roam free in the lands around Escobar's old estate. So what happens when these 4.5 ton animals decide to make themselves at home in Colombia?

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Oct 24 2017

32mins

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Rank #5: The Man Who Assassinated Abe Lincoln's Assassin

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On April 14th, 1865, John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in Ford's theatre, escaping shortly thereafter and going on the run. The Federal troops in pursuit of the assassin had orders to bring Booth and any of his conspirators back alive. For most of the soldiers, this wasn't a problem. However, Boston Corbett felt he answered to a higher power -- and this higher power told him that Booth deserved to die. Tune in as we explore the (bizarre) life and times of Boston Corbett.

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Sep 06 2018

36mins

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Rank #6: What's the deal with two-dollar bills?

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Despite being pretty rare in comparison to other denominations, the U.S. two-dollar bill is one of the most storied notes in American folklore. So why do some people think it's lucky? Why do others think it's bad luck? Join Ben and Noel as they explore the bizarre evolution of the two-dollar bill. 

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May 01 2018

59mins

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Rank #7: The Wild West Was Actually Pretty Chill

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If you're like most people, the phrase ''Wild West'' conjures images of brutal gunfights in dusty, tumbleweed-ridden streets, visions of criminals slinking into the shadows of dimly-lit saloons and the vast stretch of lawless, unforgiving frontier. But how much of that image is actually true? Join Ben and Noel as they delve into the myth of the American frontier to discover how wild -- or mild -- it actually was.

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Feb 08 2018

34mins

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Rank #8: The Time Salvador Dali Partnered with Walt Disney - Part 1

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Salvador Dali and Walt Disney weren't just two of the greatest artistic innovators of their time — they were also close friends with a bromance for the ages. Learn more about Dali and Disney's friendship (and how they almost made one of the weirdest cartoons of all time) in part 1 of this 2-part episode.

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Dec 24 2019

33mins

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Rank #9: The Starving Time: When Jamestown Colonists Turned Cannibal, Part I

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While children are often taught a sanitized version of early American history, the reality of life in a European colony was brutal -- and, at times, fatal. During the winter of 1609 to 1610, the colonists of Jamestown struggled to survive siege, starvation and fractured leadership. As their stores of food ran low, the increasingly desperate colonists began to eat horses, pets, vermin, shoe leather and, eventually, one another. At least, that's the rumor. Join the guys as they separate the fact from fiction in the first part of this two-part episode.

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Dec 12 2019

29mins

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Rank #10: The Ridiculous Story of the World’s First (Documented) Serial Killer

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Locusta of Gaul, also known as Lucusta The Poisoner, was one of the most infamous criminals of ancient times. Alternately sponsored and betrayed by the noble class, she committed crimes with impunity for years — even, at one point, opening an academy to teach her poisoning skills to others. Tune in to learn more about the rise and fall of what may well be the world’s first documented serial killer.

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Oct 18 2018

37mins

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Rank #11: How the Black Death Came To Norway On A Ghost Ship

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In the 1300s, the Black Death sprang up in central Asia and swept across continents, killing millions. Quarantines became common as various nations sought safety in isolation, and some met with more success than others. Norway may have staved off the plague for years, were it not for a mysterious ghost ship -- listen in to learn more.

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May 02 2019

36mins

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Rank #12: Christopher Columbus Was Such A Jerk That Even Spain Turned Against Him

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For decades in the West, Christopher Columbus was often inaccurately portrayed as a pioneering explorer, his life, times and crimes sanitized in the public record. Schoolchildren learned rhymes about this individual, and in the US he was given an official holiday. However, the activities of the real Christopher Columbus fall far short of the image children were taught growing up. In fact, Columbus was such a dirtbag that, eventually, even the Spanish Crown turned against him.

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Oct 08 2019

41mins

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Rank #13: The United States That Never Were

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Nowadays the number of U.S. states seems set in stone -- since 1959 the country has been comprised of fifty states, with one star for each on the flag. Yet in the not-so-distant past the concept of statehood was both contentious and fluid, with multiple groups vying for recognition of their own territorial claims. Tune in to hear the strange stories of would-be states across the continent, as the guys trace each state's rise and fall, along with their influence on the modern day. 

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Jul 12 2018

46mins

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Rank #14: Colonel Blood and the Theft of the Crown Jewels

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The grifter, adventurer, thief and (probable) spy known as Thomas Blood spent much of his life as a widely-known rogue and all-around scoundrel -- but when and he his followers attempted to steal the Crown Jewels of England from the Tower of London in 1671, he became a legend. Join the guys as they explore the strange story of this historical heist.

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Dec 19 2019

50mins

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Rank #15: History's Weirdest Flexes, Part I

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Do you know anyone who decided to show off in a weird way? While the phrase 'weird flex' may be relatively recent, it turns out that this phenomenon itself is as old as human civilization. Join the guys with special guests Miles and Jack from The Daily Zeitgeist as they explore some of the strangest (and most petty) flexes in human history.

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Apr 23 2019

33mins

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Rank #16: Oregon Was a White Supremacist Paradise

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Today Portland, Oregon is often portrayed as a left-leaning haven for hipsters across the country, but the original Oregon was a vastly different place. Listen in to learn more about the ridiculous aims of the white supremacists who sought to found Oregon as a whites-only state. Spoiler alert -- there's a fantastic extra segment at the end of today's episode, wherein the guys join special guest Robert Evans, the creator of the new HowStuffWorks podcast Behind The Bastards.

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Jul 31 2018

44mins

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Rank #17: Otto Rahn, The Nazi Occultist Who Hated Nazis and Inspired Indiana Jones

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Otto Rahn was a German writer obsessed with finding the Holy Grail -- and, despite being opposed to the Nazi party, as well as openly gay, Otto was financed by one of his biggest fans: Henrich Himmler, the infamous head of the SS. Himmler was convinced Rahn was on to something, pouring money into Rahn's expeditions to find the Grail. So what happened next?

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Sep 17 2019

30mins

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Rank #18: The Death of Luxury Air Travel

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Flying in an airplane is an enormous privilege, but nowadays it's often seen as an inconvenience more than anything else -- the crowding, the lines, the security check and so on can certainly take the magic out of a journey. Yet this wasn't always the case -- in decades past, air travel was the last word in mobile luxury. So what changed? Tune in to learn more.

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Oct 22 2019

44mins

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Rank #19: Weird People Who Built Weird Things

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Simeon Ellerton spent years building a house out of stones he found and carried home, one by one. Rejected by his one true love, Edward Leeskalnin spent decades erecting a bizarre monument for her, built of giant coral stones in Florida. But what exactly motivated these guys? How did they stick with their strange obsessions, and what mysteries surround them in the modern day? Tune in to learn more.

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Mar 29 2018

37mins

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Rank #20: Did the US Mafia actually start in New Orleans?

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When we think of the mob today, most Americans think of New York City -- and why not? After all, films, books and TV shows often depict New York as the heart of mob country. Yet, as the guys discover in today's episode, the story of the Italian-American mafia has a surprisingly different (and often forgotten) origin point.

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Jul 16 2019

30mins

Play