Oddorama

January 8, 2008

5 Truly Bizarre (and Discredited) Historical Theories

From subterranean Martians to female hysteria, people have been known to believe some pretty bizarre things. What does it take to make a believable scientific hypothesis out of a strange idea like Hollow Earth theory, what suspension of believe is needed to agree with the Intelligent Design nutjobs? Apparently, not much. Here are five of the strangest examples and who knows what people will find hilariously untrue from our era in 50 years? Everyone will no doubt have other ideas for what the world’s weirdest theories are so give it a shot in the comments below!

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1. Trepanation

Ouch. In one of the oldest known medical interventions, a hole is drilled in the skull of a patient who is suffering from defects such as seizures or migraine headaches. The idea was to relieve pressure in the head which was believed to be causing the ailment. Today, trepanation is used on a very limited basis as a mechanism to access the brain for necessary surgery. Some people practice recreational or spiritual trepanation, presumably because they need modern medicine like they need a hole in the head.

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2. Female hysteria

Women in the Victorian age were said to be suffering from female hysteria when they were moody or a little more “difficult” than usual. Fortunately for them, the treatment was something called pelvic massage. We can’t laugh too hard at this one, though. Many years later, it directly caused vibrating devices to be widely available for, um, home treatment.

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3. Expanding Earth

As bizarre theories go, this one doesn’t sound that far-fetched. Expanding Earth is the idea that the planet was once a lot smaller and completely covered in one continent. If you mentally shrink the globe and try to fit the continents together like a puzzle, you could almost start to believe this theory

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