1. First and foremost, Queen Elizabeth I was a self-obsessed beauty queen. After recovering from smallpox, she wore white, lead-based foundation and red lipstick containing mercury for years to hide her scars. A few years of her life were shaved off because of her makeup habits.

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth. Image credit: Shutterstock

Cosmetics are always bad for your skin, but Queen Elizabeth I’s makeup from the 16th century was particularly harmful. When it came to makeup, she had a very toxic relationship. Smallpox ravaged Elizabeth in 1562, resulting in a high fever. Although she survived smallpox, the disease left her with permanent scars on her face.

This resulted in a change in her physical appearance, making her more open to criticism. She began using Venetian ceruse, a white lead and vinegar-based cosmetic compound, to hide her imperfections. Lead is a toxic substance that has been linked to a wide range of health issues.

Elizabeth washed her face with a mixture of eggshells, alum, and mercury to remove her make-up. Her final years were marked by memory loss, irritability, and depression due to mercury poisoning. Cinnabar and mercury were used to create her signature red lipstick.

Her dangerous make-up routine caused her a lot of harm. Until the end of her days, Queen Elizabeth wore layers and layers of her lethal makeup. She died on March 24, 1603, and it’s possible that her habitual use of make-up contributed to her death. (Source)


2. Many monarchs were known to be cannibals, including several of the British monarchs. They used human body parts as medicine and ate human organs. The town’s executioners sold human body parts to local doctors. A natural life force was believed to be ingested by the person who consumed it after death.

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Image is used for representational purposes only. Image credit: Shutterstock

Unlike the majority of the population, some monarchs did not view corpses with the same level of disgust and revulsion that we do. There were those who believed that eating these corpses would bring healing to the eater. King Charles II and William II of England were cannibals as well as Danish king Christian IV and French monarch François I.

“Mumia,” or human body parts, were a staple of their diet. Executioners traded these body parts to apothecaries and physicians. The doctors reasoned that a person’s body parts would be more potent if they had been ripped apart in a violent death.

A person’s soul is thought to be trapped in his or her body for a period of time after death, so that the body parts of a living person can be consumed for their benefit. It was thought that the person consuming the deceased’s body parts would consume the rest of the deceased’s natural lifespan.

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Friedrich Wilhelm I. Image credits: cracked.comnpg.org.uk

This is not how the Prussian Military in the 1700s decided who could join. Instead, they looked at their skills. From 1713 to 1740, when Friedrich Wilhelm I was the ruler of Prussia, tall people were more likely to be chosen for the army than short people.

They had to be at least 6 feet tall in order to join the Prussian Army. Because heights aren’t that important. The reason Friedrich made a whole army of giants was because he had a strange love for tall men. This love turned into an obsession when he made a whole army of them.

To make his army bigger after becoming the new King, he increased the size of it from 38,000 soldiers to 83,000. As per the rules, some giants joined the army on their own, but others were either given or kidnapped. People called this army of giants the “Potsdam Giants,” or they called them the “Lange Kerle.” This army was called “The Grand Grenadiers” (The Long Guys). People who were tall were paid based on their height and treated very well when they joined the army.

4. Ivan IV, the first czar of Russia, had a terrible obsession with cutting people up and killing them. From the time he was a child, he liked torturing small animals. As he got older, his fun turned into a full-time job. He killed people by boiling them, tearing them apart with horses, or roasting them over a fire, to name a few ways.

The monument of Ivan IV. Image credit: Shutterstock

First, Ivan IV, was crowned in 1547. When he was in charge, he was paranoid, bloodthirsty, and a little crazy. He was called “Ivan the Terrible.” He had a strong desire to kill and maim people. At first, Ivan spent his free time torturing and killing small animals. He used to stab birds’ eyes and cut their bodies up, and he would throw cats and dogs to their deaths from high places.

His favorite thing to do was to hurt animals when he was younger, but his love of torturing turned into an obsession as he grew up. When he got older, it wasn’t animals but real people that he cared about more than ever. Ivan used to kill anyone he thought was disloyal, but now he doesn’t do that. Impaling, boiling alive, roasting over an open fire, and being torn apart by horses were some of his favorite ways to kill people.

5. The first emperor of China, Qin Shihuang, was very concerned about his own life and didn’t care about the people around him. He wanted to live for ever. There were many things that he spent a lot of money, time, and effort on in order to find the key to eternal life. The emperor would drink a lot of elixirs and potions to make him live longer. It’s very likely that the potions he drank with mercury and jade were the reason for how he died.

Elixir bottle potion (Image to the left), Terracotta Army museum. Beige stone statue of Emperor Qin Shi Huang towers over roofs of buildings. Image credit: Shutterstock

As many people as we know want to live for ever. The Emperor of China was so obsessed with immortality that his desire for it became his main goal. Qin Shihuang, who was the first emperor of China, survived many assassination attempts and always feared that there were plans to get rid of him.

As time went on, he was afraid that the spirit of the person he killed might come back to haunt him after he died. There were many things that he did and money that he spent looking for the key to eternal life.

Qin Shihuang thought he could rule for ever, so he started taking potions and elixirs made by alchemists. That there were three spirit mountains in the Bohai Sea where fairies with the elixir of life were said to live. He thought that was true.

However, he couldn’t go to these mountains, so he made an elixir of his own to help him. Early alchemists thought that mercury was a “immortal elixir,” so these potions are made with mercury and jade.

Qin Shihuang’s long search for immortality came to an end on September 10, 210 BCE, when he died because of the elixir and potions he took to make him live longer.


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