James Cook Was Mistaken For A Sex God
British navigator James Cook became famous for his voyages where he explored regions barely known to Europeans, such as Australia and New Zealand. During his third voyage between 1776 and 1779, Cook explored the islands in the Pacific. It was here that Cook met his demise at the hands of Hawaiian natives, and it might have had something to do with him being mistaken for Lono, god of fertility.
Cook’s first contact with the natives in 1778 was friendly. They traded with each other and exchanged gifts. After establishing a successful relationship, Cook continued exploring the archipelago. He returned to Hawaii in 1779 to winter in Kealakekua Bay. However, he happened to arrive during Makahiki, a festival in honor of Lono, and many Hawaiian priests took it as a sign that Cook was actually the god returned from his travels.
At first, this was a stroke of fortune. Cook was paraded from village to village where he was met with gifts, supplies, and sacrifices. However, the Hawaiians soon became concerned with the Europeans’ disregard for their culture. The relationship worsened when Cook and his men began using wooden idols of Lono as firewood.
Due to a cultural misunderstanding, natives tried to take goods from the Europeans on several occasions. Eventually, Cook’s men began retaliating with gunfire, which led to several extended conflicts. As a final gamble to end hostilities, Cook kidnapped the king of the island, King Kalani’opu’u, but was beaten to death on his way back to the ship (shown in the painting above).
The October Revolution Led To A Massive Drinking Binge
The October Revolution of 1917 officially ended the Tsarist regime and shifted power to the Bolsheviks. The defining moment of this insurrection was the assault on the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, the official residence of the monarch. It was almost a bloodless affair. The palace was mostly guarded by cadets and female soldiers who surrendered to a superior force with superior firepower. A few years later, Lenin staged “The Storming of the Winter Palace,” a reenactment witnessed by 100,000 people which portrayed the Bolsheviks in a much more heroic light and became the official story. It also omitted the fact that after seizing the palace, the Bolsheviks got completely stinking drunk.
While exploring the palace, the revolutionaries stumbled upon the Tsar’s secret stash—the largest wine cellar in the world. This discovery sunk most of the city into a drunken stupor for days on end.
Any efforts from the few sober Bolsheviks to try and contain the situation were completely in vain. They barricaded the cellar, but the thirsty mob knocked down the wall. They poured the wine down the drain, but crowds of people simply gathered at the other end, drinking straight out of the drainpipes. People even died in the freezing waters of the Neva trying to recover crates that were thrown into the river. It wasn’t until the new year that the city finally restored some semblance of order.