My Little, Naive, Innocent Brain Is On Fire After Learning About These Horrifying, Shocking, And Upsetting Things

Note: some graphic stories ahead including one about murder.

1.The story of Mary Toft, a woman in 18th-century England who scammed doctors and the public into believing that she had given birth to rabbits. She would accomplish this by literally putting small rabbits and/or their body parts up inside her vagina in secret and then "birth" them later.

old drawing of people standing around a bed as a women gives birth to rabbits

As Atlas Obscura explained, "Though the rabbit births weren’t real, the pain was. According to Toft’s confessions, the ruse relied on an accomplice placing parts of dead animals into Toft’s vagina—painful, difficult, and dangerous. Per St. André’s (a surgeon-anatomist tasked with investigating Toft's case) early reports, Toft’s rabbits were often delivered with their sharp nails intact. Because these animal remains were likely hidden in Toft’s body for several weeks, historian Karen Harvey says, 'It’s astonishing she didn’t die of a bacterial infection.'"

It's unclear what Toft's motivation was for doing this, but Harvey continued to say that she didn't think Toft was "primarily responsible," and that she was "the lead role in a performance orchestrated by other people."

Heritage Images / Heritage Art/Heritage Images via Getty Images

2.The fact that oubliettes used to exist. An oubliette (from the French "oublier" meaning "to forget") was a type of medieval dungeon that had a trap door at the top, just out of reach of the prisoner. The worst part was that the dungeon would be shaped like a really narrow passage so that the prisoner wouldn't be able to sit or even get on their knees. So, yeah, they were basically forced to stand and starve to death.

dungeon gate

According to Owlcation, "Oubliettes were sometimes built within the walls of the upper floors of a castle rather than in the dungeon so that victims could hear and smell the life of the castle as they slowly died of deprivation in unspeakable conditions. Corpses were left to be consumed by vermin, and many oubliettes were discovered centuries later to be strewn with human bones."

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3.In August 2022, Celebrity Cruises stored a dead man's body in the ship's drinks cooler where it was apparently "left to rot for six days." When the body was found, it was reportedly in "advanced stages of decomposition."

large ships out in the water

According to CNN, "Robert L. Jones, died due to a cardiac event while on the Celebrity Equinox cruise ship in August 2022, traveling from Fort Lauderdale to ports in the Eastern Caribbean."

Jones' wife filed a lawsuit in April 2023 stating, “When the funeral services employee in Ft. Lauderdale was brought onto the ship to retrieve Mr. Jones’ body, his body was not located in the ship’s morgue. Instead, Mr. Jones’ body had, at some time not yet known, been moved from the ship’s morgue to a cooler on a different floor than the ship’s morgue. The cooler in which Mr. Jones’ body was found by the funeral employee had drinks placed outside of the cooler, and was not at a temperature which was sufficient nor proper for storing a dead body to prevent decomposition."

Sopa Images / SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

4.Heather Mack, a convicted murderer from Chicago who, along with her boyfriend, brutally killed her mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, in Bali, Indonesia in August 2014. The crime drew a lot of public attention due to the fact that Mack and her boyfriend stuffed her mother's body in a suitcase.

woman in handcuffs being escorted  from a courtroom

According to NBC News, "According to the indictment, the two killed Von Weise-Mack, then stuffed the body into a suitcase and loaded it into the trunk of a taxi cab. [They] tried to cover up what they had done by 'removing items of clothing worn during the killing. Von Weise-Mack's badly beaten body was later discovered in the taxi parked at the upscale St. Regis Bali Resort."

In April 2023, documents filed in Chicago court offered "evidence that Mack conspired with her boyfriend at the time, Tommy Schaefer, to kill Von Wiese for her $1.5 million estate." According to Fox 32, on the day Mack and her mother traveled to Indonesia, she exchanged texts with Schaefer. Schaefer texted Mack, "I can’t wait to be rich…I seriously can’t wait I'm so geeked. I’m like thinking of lavish lifestyles…" to which Mack responded, "lmao…Eee Im in the [airport] lounge now…I love you…I’m about to board."

Mack, who was released from prison in Indonesia in 2021, is set to face trial on federal charges in the US on July 31, 2023.

Agung Parameswara / Getty Images

5.The existence of Cymothoa exigua, aka the "tongue-eating louse," a parasitic isopod that severs the blood vessels in a fish's tongue, causing the tongue to fall off. After detaching the tongue, the parasite then attaches itself to the remaining stub, basically serving as the fish's new "tongue."

According to NPR, 

According to NPR, "The parasite then feeds on the fish's mucus. It also happens to be the only known case where a parasite functionally replaces a host's organ."

NOVA / PBS / Via

6.Images from the aftermath of the Apollo 1 tragedy that killed astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee. On Jan. 27, 1967, during a launch rehearsal test, a fire swept through the Apollo 1 command module, burning all three men alive.

the burned inside

According to NBC News, some of the last words spoken from the crew were:


One word from Ed White.

Then, the unmistakable deep voice of Gus Grissom.

"I've got a fire in the cockpit!"

Instantly afterward, Roger Chaffee's voice.


Then a garbled transmission, and then the final plea:

"Get us out!"

Then words known only to God, followed by a scream...

Corbis / Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

7.The Mummies of Venzone, a collection of dozens of naturally mummified bodies — who became that way thanks to mold — that were found in Venzone, Italy in the 1600s and date back to as early as the 1300s.

According to the town's tourism site,

According to the town's tourism site, "The natural mummification of the 'Mummies of Venzone' is due to particular environmental conditions that occurred in some tombs of the Cathedral in which the Hypha bombicina Pers developed, a mold with the property of dehydrating tissues inhibiting decomposition."

Dea / De Agostini via Getty Images

8.The story of David Charles Hahn, aka the "Radioactive Boy Scout," who built a homemade radioactive neutron source in his Michigan home's backyard when he was just a teenager.

bodies wearing rubber boots and suits

According to MSN, "Hahn was able to develop a network of professional colleagues and professors that unwittingly guided him in the building of his breeder reactor. It was through this network that he learned how to extract radioactive elements from common household things, like radium from clocks and thorium from camping lanterns."

Hahn was caught when people reported to authorities that they thought they'd seen someone in the area stealing tires. Police eventually arrived at Hahn's house, questioned him, and found what they thought were bombs. Although there weren't any bombs, they did find "enough radioactive material to institute the Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan." Eventually, the feds took over and cleaned up the radioactive material. It is believed 40,000 residents may have been potentially exposed to Hahn's experiments.

Mikkelwilliam / Getty Images

9.The death of Paulette Gebara Farah, a four-year-old girl in Mexico who disappeared, but was later found dead under suspicious circumstances. Her body was discovered seemingly hidden in her own bed.

banner for the missing child

According to CBS News, national television and radio stations across Mexico had Paulette's parents on their shows, and many people came together in the search for Paulette. However, "Much of that compassion turned to rage and disbelief when investigators searching Paulette's apartment for signs that clothes or suitcases had been removed stumbled on her tiny body, wrapped in sheets and wedged between the mattress and the frame of her very own bed. The coroner said she died by suffocation."

Ronaldo Schemidt / AFP via Getty Images

10.The existence of this fascinating (but horrifying-looking) creature called a Cosmoderus Femoralis, aka an armored fighter cricket, which is apparently quite rare.

crickets with thorns on each leg
Monsur_Ausuhnom / Via

11.This 1950s news clipping from the New York Daily Mirror that asked, "If a Woman Needs It, Should She Be Spanked?" And then had responses by three men ranging from, "Why not?," to "Yes when they deserve it," and "You bet. It teaches them who's boss."

the answers from the three men with their photos printed

The responses read:

Miguel Matos, Brooklyn, counterman: "Why not? If they don't know how to behave by the time they're adults, they should be treated like children and spanked. That ought to make them grow up in a hurry. If it doesn't at first, they'll soon get the idea."

Frank Desiderio, Brooklyn, barber: "Yes, when they deserve it. As a barber, I've got a lot of faith in the hairbrush. I think there are certain cases when it is advisable. When it is, there's no reason why you shouldn't go right ahead and do it. I can't knock the idea. In my business, a man sets a lot of store by the results he can get with a hairbrush properly applied."

Teddy Gallei, Brooklyn, parking lot attendant: "You bet. It teaches them who's boss. A lot of women tend to forget this is a man's world and a lot of men who stepped down as boss of a family wish they hadn't. Spanking might help get back some of the respect they lost."

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12.Joe Mellen, a "psychedelic adventurer" from the UK who drilled a hole in his own skull in order to "stay high" in 1970.

illustration of a head with a machine attached drilling into it

According to the Times of India, "He devised a plan to ensure he could be indefinitely tripping through an archaic process known as trepanation. Apparently, he learned about an ancient process from Bart Huges, a Dutch academic in the 1960s. Mellen tried the procedure and wrote about the same in his memoir Bore Hole."

Mellen explained to Vice in 2016, "At that time, I was broke, and I certainly couldn't afford an electric drill, so I bought a hand trepan from a surgical instrument shop. It's a bit like a corkscrew, really, but with a ring of teeth at the bottom. It has a point in the middle, which makes an impression on the skull, and then you turn it until the teeth are cut into the skull."

It wasn't until Mellen's third attempt, in 1970, while using an electric drill that he felt he was "successful."

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

13.This terrible story of a leaping sturgeon that jumped out of the water, hit, then killed a five-year-old girl in Florida who had been out boating with her family.

fish jumping out the water

According to the Florida Times-Union, "The fish are famous for leaping more than seven feet above the water, and many people boating on the north Florida river have been injured by the large, airborne sturgeon over the years. The large, prehistoric-looking sturgeon have hard plates along their backs. They can grow up to 8 feet long and up to 200 pounds and cause serious injuries."

Chase D'animulls / Getty Images/iStockphoto

14.The fact that a medicine called "One Night Cough Syrup" was made in the 1800s and it contained wild ingredients like alcohol, cannabis, chloroform, and morphia, sulph (an old name for morphine).

old cough syrup label

According to Snopes, "One Night Cough Syrup, manufactured by Kohler Manufacturing Co., was indeed a real product. [...] Entirely unregulated, such drugs' effects, if any, could often be attributed to what would now be considered hardcore narcotics, recreational drugs, or some combination of the two. A series of exposes in the early 1900s and the passage of new laws led to increased scrutiny of the patent medicine market."

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15.Finally, this shocking/wtfffffff video of what it looks like when an "angry" camel inflates its dulla — an organ in male camels' throats that is "believed to be associated with the display of dominance among males and for attracting females."

looks like a large swollen tongue
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The whole video for the full effect:

EmptySpaceForAHeart / Via