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Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.


I can't lie here - most of the time, I watch the figure skating to see the spectacular tumbles and live the awkwardness of defeat. It's the best schadenfreude. But this year, I am all about Mirai Nagasu, just the third woman to land a triple axel in Olympic competition.

Check out this amazing feat of human strength, athleticism and skill.


The Olympics are internationally-renowned for the stories of triumph, overcoming the odds and incredible athletic feats. The story of Eric the Eel is definitely a story of triumph and overcoming the odds - though incredible athletic feat? That's questionable.

Yet, his win at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 remains one of the greatest Olympic stories of all time.


The 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, was the first to feature snowboarding as an Olympic sport, hoping to make the Winter Games a little more a palatable for a younger generation. The first ever snowboarding Gold was awarded to Ross Rebagliati, a Canadian who took out top place in the Giant Slalom. Three days later, a blood test suggested that Rebagliati had marijuana in his system - and he was forced to hand back his gold.


The Japanese flag is an immediately recognizable emblem of the island nation, a brilliant red circle stamped on a pure white background. It's simplicity belies it's cultural importance to the Japanese and although you may think of the flag as a mainstay of Japan dating back at least 100 years, until 1999, the flag - known as the Nisshōki or Hi no maru - was designed completely differently.

Okay, maybe not completely differently.


Some of the largest animation houses in the US have a troubled history of cartoons that heavily feature racist stereotypes. Both Walt Disney and Warner Bros have seen accusations of discrimination leveled against them in the past - and fairly so.

In particular, a group of 11 Warner Bros cartoons have become infamous in animation history for their depictions of African Americans and the use of black stereotypes. These cartoons are known as the "Censored Eleven" and they were banned from syndication in 1968.


Today, Superbowl LII captivates a global audience with all the pomp and excess that America is renowned for. 92 men don body armour and helmets, clashing and tackling their opponents for hours in pursuit of glory. But it isn't the players on the opposite end of the field that are the most dangerous though. There's a more insidious threat that hangs over the entire day: Concussions and the long-term effects on player's brains.


Each time an epidemic of bubonic plague hit London between the 14th and 17th centuries, about 20% of the capital's population was wiped out. This led to graveyards and cemeteries becoming overcrowded and the need to bury victims of the plague in mass graves. The London Underground has often been cited as being built over or through these plague pits, but the story of these mass graves is far more interesting than that.


The advent of the atomic bomb dramatically changed the course of history and, even today, looms as a threat for global catastrophe. From 1956 to 1963, Britain tested nuclear weapons at Maralinga, in South Australia, running hundreds of different experiments. The tests resulted in sickness and death for the local Indigenous populations, yet for many years, the fact these tests took place at all were kept secret from the Australian public.


At the turn of the twentieth century, there was one gang that ruled the streets of Birmingham - mugging, assaulting and robbing whoever they saw fit. They were known as the 'Peaky Blinders' and were renowned for their great dress sense and, well, the muggings, really. Most interestingly, they were rumoured to use an unconventional weapon - flat caps with razor blades sewn into their peaks.


This is something a little out of the ordinary. On the weekend, I was heading out with a group of friends when one of them grabbed a tub of flour and went into the bathroom. She opened it up, sprinkled it on the shower floor and rubbed it all over her feet, before putting her high heels on. I was confused.


If you've been following along with our daily Today I Discovered posts, you would know that I am a sucker for disappearances and weird mysteries. The Lost Colony of Roanoke is certainly one of those weird mysteries. In 1587, John White left the North American Roanoke colony for England. When he returned, three years later - the 115 colonists he left behind had vanished.

We still don't know exactly what happened to them.


Valentina Tereshkova worked at a textile mill as a teenager and began learning to parachute in her early 20s. As the space race between the US and the Soviets hastened, she applied to be an astronaut. On June 16, 1963, she climbed into a tiny capsule that would make her the first woman to ever be launched into space. Then she proclaimed: “Hey sky, take off your hat. I’m on my way!”

What a badass.


In the 16th Century, over the course of five years, almost 80% of the Aztec population were wiped out due to an unknown disease that burnt through their villages, causing high fevers, bleeding from the mouth, nose and eyes and eventually lead to death. Without understanding the epidemic, the Aztecs named the phenomenon 'cocoliztli', their native word for 'pestilence'.

Scientists have pondered the potential cause of the cocoliztli epidemic for years, but only recently has new research uncovered what may have caused it.


On December 5, 1872, the American merchant ship, Mary Celeste was found adrift in the Atlantic Ocean. Floating serenely on the water, the vessel was completely abandoned - the sails were partly set and some were missing altogether, the hull was waterlogged but not excessively so and a lifeboat was missing. The last entry in the Captain's Log was ten days old.

What happened to the crew of the Mary Celeste?