Humor is subjective, and what one person finds funny, another might not. However, there have been several events throughout history that are often considered amusing or bizarre. Keep in mind that these events might not have been funny at the time they occurred, but looking back, they have become the stuff of laughter and amusement.

Here are 25 Funniest Events in History

1. After WWI, the Australian military started “The Great Emu War” where they tried to cull emus with machine guns. Six days after the first engagement, 2,500 rounds of ammunition had been fired and no emu was killed. It was declared an emu victory in the end. – Source

2. In the entire state of Ohio in 1895, there were only two cars on the road, and the drivers of these two cars crashed into each other. – Source

3. In the late 1700’s, a letter appeared in the major London newspaper complaining that England was being forced to take deported French prisoners. The British were furious and wanted it stopped. The French became upset because the uproar implied that England was too good for French prisoners. Both governments became involved, and they were on the brink of war before it all unraveled as a hoax. The original letter, it was learned years later, had been written by Benjamin Franklin, who was spending six months in England as an ambassador and was simply bored, just stirring up trouble and sitting back and watching.

4. The first “Mooning” in recorded history was 66 AD, where a Roman solider mooned Jewish pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. This caused a riot, an over-response by the Roman military, and the death of thousands. – Source

5. In 1821, Greece was under the control by the Turks. In Greece’s fight for independence, a Turkish garrison was besieged by Greek fighters on the Acropolis. When the Turks were running short on bullets, they began to dismantle the marble columns to use the lead within as bullets. The Greeks sent them ammunition with the message: “Here are bullets, don’t touch the columns.” – Source

Spanish Civil War Turkey Drops

6. Early in the Spanish Civil War, there was a Nationalist garrison under siege. Having local air superiority, Nationalists decided to airdrop supplies. The humor comes from their chosen method of making sure the packages got to the ground without being damaged. They didn’t use a parachute, but instead they strapped a turkey to each package. It couldn’t carry the load, but it could slow it a bit on the way down and unlike a parachute, you can eat a turkey. – Source

7. During Liechtenstein’s last military engagement in 1886, none of the 80 soldiers sent were injured, and 81 returned, including a new Italian ‘friend’. – Source

8. During the French Revolution when members of the Third Estate stormed the Bastille, they freed a grand total of 7 prisoners (they were the only ones in there at the time) and one of them was a drunk, lunatic Irish guy named Whyte de Malleville who had no idea what was going on.

9. During the opium war, the Chinese set monkeys on fire and launched them at British ships in an attempt to cause chaos. – Source

10. Between the announcement of Germany’s surrender during WW2 on radio to Joseph Stalin addressing of the nation 22 hours later, Russia literally ran out of vodka. – Source

Archduke Ferdinand of Austria

11. The direct cause of World War 1 was Archduke Ferdinand of Austria’s assassination. What many people don’t know is that the initial assassination attempt failed when the bomb blew up the car behind Ferdinand’s. The only reason he was assassinated is because one of the terrorists (a Serbian organization called the Black Hand) stopped to buy a sandwich and saw Ferdinand in the store. – Source

12. Also, the man who threw the grenade that blew up the car behind Franz Ferdinand did not know the grenade had a 10 second timer. It gets better. He took the cyanide supplied by the Black Hand to kill himself after the attempt, and it was expired, so he just ended up throwing up a bunch. To “seal the deal” of death, he jumped into a near-by canal that was only two inches deep. It didn’t turn out so great for him.

13. In WWII, two bombing squadrons were sent by American to the same location to bomb it, except one of them accidentally showed up thousands of feet lower down than the other one. Neither of them saw each other until they had already started bombing. Miraculously, none of the lower planes were hit by the higher planes, and the Germans all thought they had come up with an ingenious bombing strategy to bomb an area twice as much. It scared the Germans that the Allies had this level of skill.

14. During the WW2, in the Battle of Crete where the New Zealand Maori battalion were holed up facing a German unit in an orchard. The Germans thought they would try and spook the enemy by having their commanders yell out the order to ‘fix bayonets’ in preparation of a bayonet charge. When the Maori heard this they started cheering (personal close combat was held in great prestige). The Germans decided not to charge and quietly retreated. The name Māori was almost a byword with the British Soldiers. Their continual bayonet charges and the havoc they caused among the Germans with cold steel earned them the name of the ‘Knife Men.’

15. Caligula (Roman Emperor) once held a large meeting solely for the purpose to tell the attendants, that if he wanted he can have them all killed. Then dismissed the meeting. He also waged war against Poseidon. He led 10,000 soldiers to the sea and ordered them to stab it with spears. He once marched his entire army towards the English Channel in an effort to invade Britain. Upon arrival to the channel, he decided that he no longer wished to invade Britain so he ordered his men to collect sea shells before heading home. – Source

Jimmy Carter Giant Rabbit

16. U.S. President Jimmy Carter was attacked by a giant swimming rabbit in 1979. – Source

17. At Andrew Jackson’s funeral in 1845, his pet parrot had to be removed because it was swearing. – Source

18. During World War 2, Russia used dogs that were strapped with bombs to destroy enemy tanks. Since the Russians used their own tanks to train the dogs, they would often run under Russian tanks and blow them up.

19. King Pyrrhus of Epirus was killed in 272 BC during a battle in a city when an old woman threw a tile at him, which knocked him out and allowed an enemy soldier to finish him. – Source

20. It is debated that the origin of the English national anthem God Save the Queen is not English. According to Musician Percy Scholes’ analysis of a doubtful claim, it was composed by the French Duchess of Brinon (Grand Dieu sauve le Roi) to celebrate France’s King Louis XIV’s healing from an*l fistula. At that time the operation was very risky, the operation consisted of opening the infected area (his royal ass) and giving it a good cleaning. All this with no anesthesia. George Frideric Handel, a British composer plagiarized the song’s tune having heard it in France with no idea as to why it was written in the first place. – Source

Operation Paul Bunyan

21. In 1976, USA launched Operation Paul Bunyan to cut down a tree located in the Korean Demilitarized Zone because it was blocking the view of an area. They sent in tanks, Special Forces, various other vehicles, Tae Kwon Do experts, soldiers with M-16s, grenade launchers, mines, helicopters, artillery, etc., all to cut down a tree. – Source

22. General J. Sedgwick’s last words during the American Civil War were “they couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance,” before being shot under the left eye that killed him. – Source

23. One of the funniest incidents to happen during the 14th century was the great schism of the Catholic Church. A bunch of cardinals walked into Rome to elect a new pope, and an angry mob declared it will kill all of them if they didn’t elect an Italian pope instead of a French one. They elected an Italian pope, returned back to France, and elected a French pope to be the new pope. Now there were two popes at the same time, each saying the other one was a phony, splitting up Europe into two religious groups, each ready to use religion as their excuse to annihilate the other. The Catholic Church’s solution was to elect another pope, only for absolutely no one to stand behind him. So now there were three popes, all of them saying the other was illegitimate and all of their followers were going to hell. Finally, the Catholic Church got rid of all the popes, and elected a new one, and this time they made sure no angry mobs were there. – Source

24. In 1618, some Catholics and Protestants were settled religious disputes in Prague, when a Protestant threw a Catholic out of a third story window. The Catholic claimed that “The Hand of God” saved him, while the protestants claimed that God mocked them cause they survived by letting them fall into a carriage of horse crap. It started a large war/conflict. – Source

25. In the 1300s, some fellows from Modena stole a bucket from Bologna (both in Italy), resulting in a great deal of humiliation for the Bolognese. They declared war, had a battle with around 2,000 casualties (split between both sides), and failed to reclaim the bucket – Source

Last Update: July 20, 2023

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