96 episodes

The Unusual History of Every Thing is a podcast for lovers of the weird history of common things in our world. Join cultural object preservationists Melanie Dellas and Karen Lacy as they uncover the unusual histories of every thing around us. New episodes every Tuesday!

The Unusual History of Every Thing Melanie Dellas and Karen Lacy

    • History
    • 4.9 • 26 Ratings

The Unusual History of Every Thing is a podcast for lovers of the weird history of common things in our world. Join cultural object preservationists Melanie Dellas and Karen Lacy as they uncover the unusual histories of every thing around us. New episodes every Tuesday!

    Giving the Evils: The Meaning & Origins of Evil Eye Superstitions

    Giving the Evils: The Meaning & Origins of Evil Eye Superstitions

    Most people believe in some sort of superstition, whether it’s throwing salt over your shoulder to keep the devil away, or preventing bad luck by not walking under a ladder or breaking a mirror. It may seem silly, but these superstitions have been around for thousands of years and are passed down from generation to generation like grandma’s keepsakes. Some believe superstitions are super silly, but there are logical origins behind each one. On this episode, we look at the origins of some evil eye superstitions and just how afraid we still are of bad luck and evil spirits. 

    • 19 min
    From Snail Water to Sheep Lungs: History’s Strange Way of Staying Healthy

    From Snail Water to Sheep Lungs: History’s Strange Way of Staying Healthy

    We all try to stay healthy and exercise, but the holidays tend to add a few extra pounds to our waistline. Throw in a pandemic or two and staying healthy is tops in our minds. Well, we’re here to help. You see, throughout history, various cultures have had the same problems and came up with some unusual food combinations to become healthier. From drinking snail water to roasting sheep lungs and eating a dead body part or two, it's clear to us where modern bizarre health food kicks and medicines come from. On this episode, we help you with your New Year’s resolution of staying healthy and avoiding COVID by offering up some tasty treats from history’s strangest food remedies. 

    • 16 min
    The Un-Yule-sual History of the Christmas Yule Log

    The Un-Yule-sual History of the Christmas Yule Log

    The yule log, which wasn’t a log at all, but instead an entire tree, is originally a Nordic tradition dating back to medieval times. The burning of the Yule log is one of the oldest pagan rituals, which was lit to entice the sun to return as part of the Yule festival in Scandinavia. On this episode, we explore the history of the yule log and why people refused to cut the tree into pieces before they burned it.

    • 9 min
    Knecht Ruprecht: Santa’s Sinister Sidekick

    Knecht Ruprecht: Santa’s Sinister Sidekick

    Santa Claus's gift bringing at Christmas time really began in northern and central Europe before spreading to other parts of the world. And some of the things that spread with him were his little helpers. We're not talking about the elves, although they did come along for the ride, no, we're talking about his darker little friends, the ones who handed out punishments. On this episode, we’re hanging out in Germany with St. Nick’s scary friend who smacks kids with his dirty bag of ashes if they’re on the naughty list.

    • 13 min
    The Unusual KISS-tory of Mistletoe

    The Unusual KISS-tory of Mistletoe

    Mistletoe has long been a romantic, fun Christmas tradition, but it didn’t start out that way. In fact, the plant is sort of gross when you think about it. On this episode, we look at how a plant that sucks nutrients from its host tree became the symbol for sucking face at Christmas. 

    • 10 min
    The Domovoy: "He of the House"

    The Domovoy: "He of the House"

    Every house has its quirks, its moans and groans, its creaks and cracks. Most people attribute these sounds to the house settling or the wind blowing against the windows and walls. However many people believe there’s something just a tad more supernatural to blame it on. Some blame it on brownies, some point the finger at elves, but in Russia and the Ukraine, the Domovoy is the culprit. On this episode, we investigate one potential reason why so many houses creak, and what could be responsible for that missing left sock. 

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

heskidx. eeg ,

AMAZING

I was curious to listen to these podcasts so I clicked on one and I couldn’t stop listening to them. I heard some really interesting facts and I can’t wait to hear more!!

Simon Kaia ,

Great hosts

Love the hosts and stories they share!

ctde1952 ,

Best podcast!

Love the entertaining banter of the hosts, and the unusual history stories that keep me thinking long after I’ve heard it.

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