400 episodes

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.

Ridiculous History iHeartRadio

    • History

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.

    The Carrington Event, Part II: Attack of the Sun!

    The Carrington Event, Part II: Attack of the Sun!

    Less than 18 hours after Richard Carrington noticed something screwy on the sun’s surface, chaos erupted. Telegraph operators found their machines literally aflame. The Northern Lights were visible from Cuba. People and plants across the globe became convinced it was daytime. Centuries later, Ben and Noel explore the consequences of the Carrington event and — perhaps most importantly — what this may mean for the future.
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    • 28 min
    The Carrington Event, Part I: The Sun is Acting Strange

    The Carrington Event, Part I: The Sun is Acting Strange

    When amateur astronomer Richard Carrington gazed through his telescope on the morning of September 1st, 1859, he noticed something weird about the surface of the sun -- it seemed to have clusters of dark spots. Later historians would recognize this as the earliest observation of a solar flare -- and a little less than 18 hours later, the associated coronal mass ejection would wreak havoc on Earth, setting telegraphs aflame, lighting up the night sky and causing many to wonder whether it was the end of the world.
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    • 31 min
    Loveday: Henry VI's Well-intentioned, Terrible Attempt at Making Peace

    Loveday: Henry VI's Well-intentioned, Terrible Attempt at Making Peace

    In an effort to prevent further conflicts in what would become known as the Wars of the Roses, King Henry VI called the warring parties to London, with a weird pitch -- they would resolve their disputes through diplomacy, culminating in a parade where these sworn enemies would have to literally walk around town holding hands. Tune in to see how it all played out.
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    • 56 min
    Classic: Why do British lawyers wear wigs?

    Classic: Why do British lawyers wear wigs?

    In today’s Classic episode, the guys travel back to their early days.

    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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    • 38 min
    That Time Al Capone Ran A Soup Kitchen

    That Time Al Capone Ran A Soup Kitchen

    Al Capone is rightly remembered as of the most notorious gangsters in US history -- but for a time residents of Chicago also thought of him as a benefactor. As people struggled to survive the Great Depression, Capone, in an apparent act of benevolence, founded a free, no-questions-asked soup kitchen to feed the hungry. In today's episode, Ben and Noel explore how the kitchen came to be, how it functioned -- and what Capone's true motivations might have been.
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    • 39 min
    The Phantom Barber of Pascagoula

    The Phantom Barber of Pascagoula

    For a brief period in 1942, the town of Pascagoula, Mississippi was terrorized by a strange criminal -- he would sneak into people's houses as they slept and cut off locks of their hair. In today's episode, Ben and Noel explore this bizarre series of events (which may remain unsolved in the modern day).
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    • 45 min

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