Laughter Across the Globe: The Funniest Events in World History
Since laughter is a universal language, people from all walks of life have found themselves in stitches at times of pure humor throughout history. There have been many funny things that have happened in the world, ranging from strange jokes to hilarious accidents. In order to add a little humor and knowledge to our reading, we will examine some of the most humorous historical occurrences in this piece. We will also include some humorous history trivia questions.
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The Great Emu War (Australia, 1932)
Western Australia was confronted with an uncommon issue in the early 1930s: an enormous emu population that was decimating crops. The reaction of the government? Make emus the enemy. The “soldiers” were tasked with eliminating the birds without wings by arming themselves with machine guns. The emus proved to be swift and elusive, and the soldiers eventually conceded defeat. The outcome was hilariously disastrous.
Odd History Trivia Question: During the Great Emu War, which animal was the Australian government at war with?
The Dancing Plague of 1518 (Strasbourg, France)
A woman in Strasbourg by the name of Frau Troffea started dancing wildly in the streets in 1518. What began as a lone act quickly became an epidemic as more and more people joined in, dancing nonstop day and night. For weeks, participants in this strange dancing fever suffered from exhaustion and in some cases, even passed away. The cause is still a historical mystery today.
Funny History Trivia: In 1518, what bizarre event took place in Strasbourg that resulted in people dancing wildly?
The Great Stork Derby (Toronto, Canada, 1926-1936)
In his will, Canadian lawyer Charles Vance Millar (who had an odd sense of humor) stipulated that the Toronto woman who could have the most children in the ten years after his death would inherit the fortune. This led to a “baby race,” with eligible women vying for the title of “Great Stork Derby.” Despite being unusual, the event caused a spike in births and received a lot of media attention.
Funny History Trivia Question: What is the name of the Canadian occasion where a man bequeathed his fortune to women by encouraging them to have more children?
The “Toilet Paper Panic” (Taiwan, 2020)
The COVID-19 pandemic that began in early 2020 caused a toilet paper frenzy across the globe, which people made fun of and called the “Toilet Paper Panic.” During a legislative session in Taiwan, two politicians went above and beyond by getting into a theatrical altercation over a single roll of toilet paper. The incident’s video quickly gained popularity, offering a humorous moment during a trying time.
Funny History Trivia: What item was the focus of a comical altercation between Taiwanese politicians in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic?
The War of the Stray Dog (Slovakia, 1939)
A stray dog crossed the border between Slovakia and Hungary in 1939. A skirmish broke out when Hungarian guards intervened to stop Slovak soldiers from reclaiming the dog. Even though this incident resulted in actual military tensions, the story is given a humorous spin by the fact that the conflict began with a lost dog.
Odd History Trivia Question: What was the original reason behind the 1939 conflict that resulted in Slovakia and Hungary calling it the “War of the Stray Dog”?
The Great Cheese Roll (Gloucestershire, UK)
An enormous wheel of cheese is chased down a steep hill as part of the Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, an annual event in Gloucestershire, England. Competitors risk injury in the hilarious tumbles, falls, and tussles that frequently occur during the pursuit of a rolling wheel of cheese.
Funny History Trivia Question: What peculiar race, in which competitors chase a rolling wheel of cheese down a hill every year, is held in Gloucestershire, England?
We have laughed and marveled at many things throughout history, from ridiculous animal battles to strange public occurrences. Not only have these humorous incidents made us laugh, but they have also illuminated some of the more peculiar facets of human nature and our capacity for humor even in the most unlikely of settings. These anecdotes, which include the “Great Emu War” and the “Dancing Plague,” serve as a reminder that sometimes the most hilarious historical events are the ones that leave us rolling our eyes and laughing till we cry.