iHeartRadio presents “Ridiculous History,” a podcast highlighting the truly absurd, sometimes painful, often glorious tales from the past. Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown host to delve into an extraordinary story each episode. Recent episodes discuss snails: how a French occultist once thought telepathic snails could create a global communication network. This person performed experiments in the 1850s based on his consensus that if snails were physically connected at any point, they’d be telepathically connected for life.
In another recent episode, we learn about the economics of a particularly electric barter system that went beyond trading wood and peppercorns. In Medieval times, eels were a form of currency in England. We learn, among other factors, that there was a coin shortage. The research presented in this episode is from the findings of Dr. John Wyatt Greenlee.
What’s the history of lemonade stands? One episode is dedicated to explaining how the drink became popular and how the tradition of selling it has become a way for kids to have their first entrepreneurial experience.
Is attending a dental circus like pulling teeth? For Painless Parker, it literally was. Edgar “Painless” Parker thought a live, dental extravaganza would jibe as a profitable entertainment venture, like a circus. In 1892, Painless Parker would perform dentistry for an audience.
Listeners learn fascinating tidbits like how pieing became a classic slapstick comedy tool and that pineapples once retailed up to $8,000 a piece in Europe.
Other storylines explain the history of undergarments, pregnancy cravings, and how Napoleon’s brother Joseph hunted cryptids.
Interested in learning bizarre history? New episodes are released bi-weekly.