Believe It Or Not: These Bizarre Historical Hobbies Were Actually Real

Believe It Or Not: These Bizarre Historical Hobbies Were Actually Real

If you think that dancing in front of a screen is an unusual hobby now, then you are in for a rough ride. When scrolling through Twitter (or X) and binge-watching sitcoms was not an option for humans, the incredibly intelligent beings came up with other clever ideas to fill their endless days of summer.  Though some hobbies easily exceeded the scope of sanity and slipped into bizarre territory, even for GenZers today.

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Here Are Hobbies From History That Sound Made-Up But Were Actually Real:

Picnic By The Battlefield

The Battle of Bull Run marked the inaugural land battle of the US Civil War, and it attracted numerous onlookers who set up picnics on the outskirts of the conflict. Yes, people (likely unhinged) gathered around to watch the war!

Battle of Bull Run PicnicWikimedia Commons

The gruesome and bloody events that unfolded that day were profoundly shocking to the spectators. Many Americans had initially believed that the battle would conclude swiftly with minimal bloodshed.

This partly explains why so many people chose to picnic during the ongoing fighting—they genuinely thought the Union would emerge victorious. The reasons behind their attendance on that fateful Sunday remain a subject of speculation.

However, the events of the day soon made it clear that fate was about to take a different course, and there were no picnics after the initial day’s horror.

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Mummy’s Unwrap Party

Victorian Mummy Unwrap PartyNational Geographic

When you think of mummies, your mind might naturally drift to ancient Egypt. What may not immediately come to mind are the Victorians and their social gatherings. In the 19th century, within Victorian England, the upper classes of society would host events known as “mummy unwrapping parties.”

During this era, England held a strong fascination with Ancient Egypt. The wealthy and influential would acquire mummies, often having them unearthed and delivered to their homes.

Mob Football

Mob FootballWikimedia Commons

Modern football has its roots in the Middle Ages, emerging from the extreme sport of “mob football” around the 12th century. Teams from opposing towns battled over a pigskin ball, scoring by touching it to the goal area three times. The game had minimal rules except for a ban on murder, leading to injuries but enduring popularity.

Killing Collections

Staffordshire factory Ceramic CollectionsWikimedia Commons

In 19th-century England, the Staffordshire factory produced highly sought-after, colourful collectible figurines featuring a range of subjects, from mermaids to pirates and disabled individuals. By the late 1800s, they began crafting figurines depicting murderers. The rise of the middle class during the Industrial Revolution provided disposable income, making these ceramic collectibles a popular choice.  

Headless Photos

Victorian Headless PhotosWikimedia Commons

In the 19th century, the Victorians developed a fascination with death and the eerie. They embraced novel photography techniques to create “headless” portraits of themselves and their loved ones. This death-inspired art form is credited to Oscar Gustave Rejlander in 1856, involving photomontage and combination printing methods.

Tell us what you think about these bizarre hobbies from the past in the comments below.

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