10 Insane Rulers You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

If you think about holding a position of power, being insane is almost a job requirement. Few of us would thrive under such circumstances, and most would be incompetent at best. But as history tells us, incompetence is not actually the worst character trait one can have.

Elagabalus

Insane Rulers Elagabalus

Source: History

Guys like Nero and Caligula usually are the first to come to mind when we think about despotic, decadent and downright crazy Roman emperors. But Elagabalus might have them beat. He took to the throne as a sexually-confused 14-year old and quickly realized that this allowed him to engage in all the perversities he could think of. He regularly enjoyed having sex with countless strangers, both men and women, which he usually did by disguising himself as a whore and going to brothels.

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Get Ready For Spring With This Stunning “Flowers” Time Lapse

Spring is nigh, and life is on the cusp of being beautiful (again). In the meantime, get excited with Thomas Blanchard’s lovely ode to flowers and a life in bloom.

Godawful Foods From Around The World

American cuisine is famously unhealthy, and the people who eat it are among the fattest humans in history. It turns out that high-fat, high-cholesterol, heavily processed food byproducts slathered in salt and oil isn’t good for you. This is even more true when the food is washed down with half a gallon of high-fructose corn syrup and combined with less exercise than some coma patients get. But you know what’s cool about America, world? We don’t eat bugs!

The same can’t be said for everybody. Here’s a look at some of the grossest foods foreigners make you eat when you visit.

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Gross Foods Thai Market

We were a little harsh in the introduction. On reflection, eating bugs makes a lot of sense. Most invertebrates aren't poisonous, after all, and they have a knack for processing the huge piles of waste we create into edible flesh. God knows there's no shortage of them, and—unlike pigs and cows—arthropods are so distantly related to humans that it's highly unlikely we'll ever get the flu from handling them. Still—gross. Double-gross, in fact: that front bin is filled with crickets and scorpions. We have no idea how you're supposed to eat scorpions, so we'll go with "don't." Source: Wikimedia

Gross Foods Chinese Kebab

Mmmm . . . chrysalis. Source: Horizons

Gross Foods Locust Plate

"Oh, no! A plague of locusts has descended and eaten all our crops! Whatever shall we eat now?" Source: Pattaya Newbie

Gross Foods Tarantula Platter

The obligatory platter of tarantulas. Get a 19-year-old waitress in hot pants to serve this up during the Super Bowl . . . yeah, we can see this taking off here.

Gross Foods Bamboo Worms

Thai food is partly inspired by Ferengi cuisine. Source: Blogspot

Gross Foods Palau Soup

Now this is more like it. That's clearly a type of soup, and it has all kinds of fresh vegetables in it. What do you suppose that dark mass in the bottom is? Probably some kind of seafood, right? Maybe a species of mussel unique to Palau or something . . . Source: Nasha Planeta

Gross Foods Palau Bat

Oh. It's, um . . . that looks like a bat. A whole bat. Fangs and claws and everything. Full disclosure: this article is sponsored by every tourist bureau in the world that's competing with Palau. Enjoy your vacation to literally anywhere else! Source: DEZ Info

Gross Foods Vietnam Balut

Balut is one of the more popular dishes in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. It's that rare food that crosses national and ethnic boundaries and can be enjoyed by people from dozens of cultures across a wide area of the Earth. It's also a goddamned duck embryo. The trick is to let the fetus develop to the point of hatching, then boil or fry it up and eat the whole thing including the beak, feathers, and bones. This artfully presented horror is from Vietnam, where the egg matures for up to 21 days. Source: Blogspot

Gross Foods Philippines Balut

In the Philippines, balut is only aged for about two weeks. You wouldn't think people from such a Catholic country would be in the habit of eating abortions, but maybe the shorter term of gestation has something to do with it. Source: Food n Culture

Gross Foods Marzu

All of the things we've gone over so far have been gross or odd from a Westerner's perspective, but that really just comes down to cultural bias. Sure the balut is gross, but people raised on it don't think so, and it's probably better for you than the BBQ wings you get at the strip club. In fact, a strong case can be made for eating crickets and grasshoppers, however foreign it seems. None of that stuff is acutely dangerous, after all. But this is casu marzu. Its name is (allegedly) derived from "cacio marcio," which is Italian for "rotten cheese." When Italians say a cheese is rotten, believe them. Source: Caustic Soda Podcast

Gross Foods Cheese Closeup

How rotten is it? Take a close look. Each of the lumps in this closeup is a writhing maggot. Here's how you make a traditional casu marzu: get a goat kid at the suckling stage. If the kid eats a single mouthful of grass, the recipe is ruined. Its stomach needs to be full of its mother's milk. Butcher the kid, seal its stomach—acid and all—and hang the thing near a window. Let it sit for a few weeks while the flies get at it and lay their eggs inside. Just as the smell has gotten so bad that the neighbors are calling the cops to report a suspected murder, cut it down, break it open, and enjoy it—maggots and all—with flatbread. Source: Img Kid

Gross Foods Casu Marzu

A few words of caution; first, those maggots jump, so wear a bib. Second, a properly aged casu marzu has rotted so hard that the fumes literally make the eyes water and burn the mucous membranes. The Italian government was actually moved to ban the cheese for several years, which worked as well as banning alcohol or marijuana generally does, but the European Union has recently declared the cheese "traditional" and lifted the ban. Source: YouTube

Gross Foods Sheep Head

Smalahove is the kind of thing that happens to you when you visit Norway. Despite appearances, it isn't a threat. It's actually one of those dishes that's currently making the transition from a degraded peasant meal to a national delicacy that's served with expensive wine. Source: Porjati

Gross Foods Hagymas

What do you suppose this is? There's a purple onion over there, so it probably isn't a dessert. Is it fried oysters and flour? Diced potatoes and lard? Pigeon brains, thickening agent, and cheese? Nope, it's hagymás sült vér, it's Hungarian, and it's fried pig's blood that's served for breakfast. This is also probably one of those "traditional" things that whole families crossed the Atlantic to escape during the 19th and 20th centuries. Source: Nasha Planeta

Gross Foods Kiviak Opening

Speaking of crossing the Atlantic, here's kiviak, which is hugely popular in Greenland. Well, it's as popular as anything can be in a land with fewer inhabitants than Kokomo, Indiana. Source: Funik

Gross Foods Kiviak Auk

In case you're thinking of throwing a traditional (there's that word again) Greenlandic wedding, kiviak takes some prep time. First, you have to catch hundreds of auks and stuff them inside a sealskin bodybag. Then press out the air, stitch it closed, and seal the thing with grease. All you have to do now is bury the thing under a bunch of rocks and let the delicious anaerobic bacteria go to work. The auks rot for between 3 and 18 months, at which time the whole package is ready to split open and eat. Source: Food and Wine

Gross Foods Two Auks

When preparing your kiviak, be sure to use only genuine auks—the more adorable the better—and accept no substitutes. In 2013, several people were taken ill after eating a kiviak that had been stuffed with eiders, which apparently don't rot as well as auks do. Live and learn. Source: Wikipedia

Gross Foods Pink Slime

Just in case you were concerned about the possibly ethnocentric slant of this article, here's some pink slime for you. Soylent Pink, as it's sometimes called, is made by scraping the lowest-quality beef trimmings from the inside of the cow's hide, and other locations, grinding it up, and putting it into a centrifuge. This squeezes out the fat, and the remaining product is pushed through tubes for a dose of ammonia gas or citric acid, which kills off the salmonella. The slime that comes out the other end may then be used as a bulk filler in beef—up to 15 percent by weight—and sold without any additional labeling in the United States. Pink slime is illegal in Europe, though we like to imagine a thriving underground smuggling operation. Source: YouTube

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Alaska Warmed Over: Race Dogs Move North In Search Of Snow

iditarod race eye color dog

Mushers and a team of 16 dogs compete, of which at least 6 must be on the towline at the finish. Source: telegraph Picture: REUTERS/Mark Meyer

Alaska’s unseasonably warm weather this year has caused the state’s most famous race to change its starting location. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which usually departs from Anchorage, Alaska moved its start this year 225 miles north to Fairbanks in search of snow.

Though both the starting location and the trail route have been adjusted due to exposed grass (and gravel over sections of the historical route) the opening ceremonies still took place in Anchorage, Alaska’s most populous city.

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