Author Archives: Gilles Messier

The Top Secret Navy Mission that Accidentally Rediscovered the Titanic

More than a century after it struck an iceberg and sank beneath the waves, the Royal Mail Ship Titanic continues to capture the popular imagination. It is a classic fable of ambition, hubris, and the tragic social divisions of the Gilded Age, and has inspired countless books, documentaries, TV programs, and one of the highest-grossing feature films of all time. […]

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The Mad Aussie Who Stung Himself and His 9 Year Old Son With a Deadly Creature FOR SCIENCE!!!

Australia is infamous for its abundance of absurdly dangerous wildlife. From highly-venomous brown snakes and funnelweb spiders to giant saltwater crocodiles and great white sharks, nearly everything that slithers, crawls, or swims in the Land Down Under seems perfectly designed to inflict the most horrible death possible. But one Aussie creature stands above the rest, its sting so painful its […]

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The Immortal Woman Whose Death Changed the World

Over the past 70 years one woman has contributed to countless major medical and biological breakthroughs, advancing our understanding of cancer, haemophilia, and Parkinson’s disease; unlocking the secrets of human ageing; and helping to develop vaccines for polio, measles, mumps, and HPV. She has travelled the globe, rocketed into space, and stood in the path of nuclear bombs – and […]

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The Curious Case of the Extreme Sport Mensur

The modern sport of classical fencing has come a long way from its origins in the 15th-Century practice of duelling. Over the past 600 years swords became blunted, protective equipment increased, and rules steadily codified to produce a safe, formalized Olympic sport in which serious injuries are rare. But at the same time, another, more brutal form of fencing also […]

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The Forgotten 9 Month Battle by Firefighters Around the Globe to Save the World

On August 2, 1990, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein launched an invasion of his southern neighbour Kuwait.100,000 troops surged across the border, quickly overwhelming the tiny Kuwaiti army of only 16,000 men. After a mere two days’ fighting, Saddam announced that Kuwait had ‘ceased to exist.’ Iraq claimed the attack was motivated by Kuwait’s economically aggressive behaviour, such as slant-drilling across […]

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The Baby With the Baboon Heart

On 3 December 1967, South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard made medical history by performing the first successful human heart transplant, transferring the heart of accident victim Denise Darvall into 65-year-old Louis Washkansky. While Washkansky died 18 days later of pneumonia, the pioneering surgery heralded a new era of medicine, giving thousands of people a new chance at life. Today over […]

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The Badass Sergeant Who was His Own One Man Army

In 1814, some 20,000 troops of the British East India Company launched an assault on the Kingdom of Ghorka in what is today Nepal, seeking to expand their influence into the Indian subcontinent’s mountainous northern territories. To their surprise, the British encountered unexpectedly fierce resistance from local mountain warriors known as Ghorkalis, and the conflict quickly degenerated into a bloody […]

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That Time Over 1000 People Were Crammed Onto One Plane in a Desperate Rescue Attempt

The Boeing 747 is among the most iconic and celebrated aircraft in history. Since first taking to the skies in 1969, the world’s first “Jumbo Jet” has become synonymous with luxury and reliability in air travel, the more than 1,500 aircraft produced having carried over 4 billion passengers over the last 50 years. But sadly the reign of the venerable […]

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