Category: I Did Not Know That

Why Did the Wright Brothers Go all the Way to Kitty Hawk for their Flights?

Why did the Wright Brothers go all the way to Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for their flights? Why not work at home? They heard it had the right land and wind conditions. The actual distances of their flights aren’t that impressive empirically, but to consider the reality of flight takes […]

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This Here’s Pirate Country

At one time there were 2,000 boats lurking in the shallow waters. The ports of North Carolina were business hubs, and the Outer Banks created excellent hiding places with tides that allowed for trickery like toppling a ship. Blackbeard the pirate was infamous here, and feared because he wove fuses into his beard and hat. […]

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Why Fences are Built on Sand Dunes

While in the Outer Banks of North Carolina I learned the answer to something that had always piqued my curiosity. Why are there fences on sand dunes? Clearly not for marking territory…we’ll leave to the dogs (did I take it too far?). Turns out fences build up the dune. They create alleys for the wind […]

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Why So Many Sailors had Tattoos of Naked Ladies

Tattoos were a sailor’s talisman, rabbit’s foot, and security blanket all rolled into one permanent lucky charm. They tattooed what they hoped for – both the positive and the absence of negative. Tattoo Symbolism A pig and/or rooster meant that you wouldn’t drown. Since neither animal can swim, their presence in tattoo form would float […]

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Why Ships had Figureheads

First, you may be asking, what is a figurehead? It’s the ornately carved wooden statue mounted to the end of a ship from days gone by. If you want to be specific, the end of the ship is called the prow. If you want to be really specific, “days gone by” can be chronicled as […]

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