4 Times Iceland Made Major Decisions Based On Elves

Iceland is a country dotted with Viking relics, breathtaking volcanic landscapes and picture-perfect scenery. And, if you believe one subset of the population, elves.

Elf Worship

The place of elves in Icelandic culture is much disputed. The effect of elves on the government, however, is obvious. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Countries and cultures around the globe have their fair share of odd rituals and belief systems, and it seems that the media has really taken to Iceland’s apparent belief in elves. And not for nothing: A 2007 study by the University of Iceland found that while only eight percent of Icelandic people believe that elves definitely exist, an additional 54 percent of those polled wouldn’t deny that elves exist.

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The Gruesome Crimes Of The Only Catholic Priest Ever Executed In US History

Hans Schmidt illegally married, impregnated, and then brutally murdered and dismembered his mistress. For that crime, he was eventually executed via electrocution, and to this day is the only Catholic priest ever executed in the United States. Turns out, the murder he was caught for was only the tip of the iceberg.

Hans Schmidt Beard

Portrait of Hans Schmidt, the only Catholic priest to ever be executed in the United States, circa 1910. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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In Spain, A Criminal Ring Of Nuns And Doctors Stole Hundreds Of Thousands Of Babies

Throughout much of 20th century Spain, a criminal network of doctors and nuns stole anywhere from 40,000 to 300,000 babies from their mothers at birth, constituting one of the most horrific yet least known events of the Franco dictatorship.


Picture taken during the Spanish Civil War in the late ’30s of General Franco (C) with Chief of Staff Barroso (L) and Commander Carmenlo Medrano looking at a map. Image Source: STF/AFP/Getty Images

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Photo Of The Day: Fidel Castro Plays Ping Pong While Shirtless

Fidel Castro Playing Ping Pong

In 1963, Fidel Castro plays a game of ping pong with one of the American students who traveled to Cuba without the permission of the State Department. This photo was taken by one of the Americans, John Salter of Greensboro, North Carolina, a former University of North Carolina student. Image Source: John Salter/Getty

Before Fidel Castro abandoned party leadership — five years ago today — the Cuban communist leader was known for, among other less innocuous things, playing a mean game of ping pong and in general being a stellar athlete.

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