It’s easy when browsing Wikipedia to fall into a wikihole. You went looking to see which actor played that guy in the film you’re watching, and then you went on to their wife’s page before finding out that they went to that high school where that mass shooting took place and before you know it you’ve read the entire history of guns in America.
Wikipedia is celebrating its 15th anniversary – it was this day in 2001 that the website began providing information for kids doing homework and grown-ups alike.
With a trough of information at our finger tips, what are some of the creepiest and weirdest entries available on the site? We’ve rounded them up.
Demikhov was a scientist who pioneered the concept of organ transplant. In the 1930s and 1950s he experimented by transplanting a heart into a monkey and transplanting the heads of dogs. During the 1950s, he transplanted a dog head on to another, creating a two-headed dog.
It is thought that Dr Robert White, a neuroscientist who developed head transplants on living monkeys, was inspired by Deminkhov.
Joyce Carol Vincent was found dead in her London flat – which wouldn’t be entirely unusual, except she’d been dead for three years. Due to bills being automatically paid, her TV and heating were still running, and a portion of her rent was still being paid, so she was still believed to be alive.
Soon before her death, Vincent had cut off contact with her close friends and relatives.
These twins were described as “inseparable”, mirroring each other’s movements and even speaking to only each other – in a way that couldn’t be understood by many others.
Despite attempts to separate the pair by sending them to separate boarding schools, the pair simply became catatonic, isolating themselves until they were eventually reunited.
The pair turned to crime, and were soon sent to the Broadmoor hospital, where they remained for 14 years. It’s said that the two had a pact that if one of them were to die, the other would live a normal life and begin communicating with others normally. This thought soon developed into the idea that one of them would have to die. Soon after this, Jennifer died of inflammation of the heart and June began to live a regular life, out of the care of psychiatric services.
4. Armin Meiwes
A German man, Meiwes gained notoriety for killing and eating someone who voluntarily gave themselves over to him on the internet.
He posted an advert on the website The Cannibal Café, stating that he was looking for someone to be killed and then “consumed”. Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes from Berlin responded to the ad, volunteering himself.
Miewes eventually amputated Brandes’ penis, attempting to cook and eat it, but burning it in the process. Brandes’ was then killed and hung on a meat hook in a slaughter room Meiwes had built in his home.
Meiwes was eventually arrested, tried and sentenced to life imprisonment.
5. Coffin birth
This phenomenon is more scientifically known as post-mortem fetal extrusion, and is the expulsion of a foetus from a dead pregnant woman, as a result of the build-up of intra-abdominal gases.
Due to modern medicine and modern chemical preservation of bodies, this rarely happens nowadays. However, in the 16th century there were cases recorded by medical authorities.
This set-up, in North Carolina in the US, was an area of land that Queen Elizabeth I tried to establish as an English settlement in the 16th century.
Sir Walter Raleigh sent 115 colonists to establish a colony at Chesapeake Bay. This colony was led by John White. When White was ordered to go to Roanoke to check on the settlers all they found was a single skeleton. There was no-one else to be found and it was soon known as the “Lost Colony”.
If you have a long afternoon to kill, why not procrastinate by going through this comprehensive list of people who have disappeared in mysterious circumstances?
Going back to before the 1800s, this list contains a large amount of prominent cases of people who have gone missing under mysterious circumstances – perfect for procrastination.