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Ripley’s Rarities

This Space Survival Kit Has Everything A Stranded Cosmonaut Needs

While it took the engineering expertise of hundreds of engineers, scientists, and pilots to ensure that Russian cosmonauts could survive space itself, landing back on Earth didn’t always mean they were out of danger. Unlike their Apollo mission counterparts, who touched down in the ocean and were picked up via …

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An Ocularist’s Glass Eyeball Collection

The first prosthetic eye is estimated to have been produced in the 29th-century B.C. The eye belonged to a woman in what is now Iran. Historians believe it was made using a waterproof paste, then covered in gold and engraved with a sunlike iris. Golden thread held the crude eye …

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The Katar: India’s Punch Dagger

Hailing from the Indian sub-continent, the katar is a push dagger renowned for quick and devastating attacks. With an iron handguard, the blade of the weapon wasn’t attached to a tubular hilt like most swords of the world, but instead sat atop the wielder’s knuckles, allowing for maximum thrust. Wider …

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Locket Containing George And Martha Washington’s Intertwined Hair

Though it may be considered macabre by modern standards, taking the hair of the dead as a memento mori was common throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. Sealed between two pieces of glass, the locket here contains the intertwined hair of America’s first constitutional president, George Washington, and his wife, …

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126-Million-Year-Old Fossilized Dinosaur Dung

For 126 million years, a very specific record of dinosaur behavior has weathered the eons. Coprolite is the fossilized feces left behind by dinosaurs. Though coprolite gets its name from the Greek kopros, meaning dung and lithos, meaning rock; there is an urban legend in the paleontologist community regarding the …

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