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Three Strange Fads

September 21, 2016

Fads come and go. But it is hard to believe that these strange fads ever existed! First published in Strange History.
Strange Fads: Swallowing Gold Fish

Goldfish Swallowing

On March 3, 1939, Harvard University student Lothrop Withington Jr. swallowed a live goldfish to win a $10 bet. Days later, not to be outdone, a college student in Pennsylvania downed three goldfish seasoned with salt and pepper. When a fellow classmate upped the ante to six goldfish, the gauntlet had been thrown down, and the goldfish swallowing craze spread like wildfire on campuses across the United States. By the time the fad faded a few months later, thousands of goldfish had met gruesome ends.


In 16th-century Europe, tooth dyeing was popular among upper-class women. In Italy, red and green were the most popular colors, while Russian women favored black.

Crotchless Tunics

In medieval England, wealthy gentlemen often wore clothing that left their “assets” exposed—by way of short-fitting tunics with no pants. (If the genitals didn’t hang low enough, padded, flesh-coated prosthetics called briquettes would be used.)
Strange History

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