Photos That Captured the Most Chilling Moments in History

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The best way for history to live on is through photographs—even the most unsettling moments. The images featured here paint a picture of the world that was at times shocking and disturbing...

Chernobyl, 1986

This is the first and only existing photo of Chernobyl on the morning of the nuclear accident. The heavy grain is due to the huge amount of radiation in the air that began to destroy the camera film the moment that it was exposed for this photograph.

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Radium Girls, 1922

Employees of the U.S. Radium Corp., also known as the Radium Girls, paint numbers on the faces of wristwatches using dangerous radioactive paint. The Radium Girls were told that the paint was harmless, but the women in each factory ingested lethal amounts of radium after being told to "point" the brushes on their lips in order to give them a fine tip.

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The More You Know

  • Civil War General Joseph Hooker brought prostitutes along to keep his soldiers satisfied. His name is now synonymous with the profession.
  • Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs used their workers as fly catchers by covering them with honey so the flies got attached to them.
  • Joseph Stalin used to have people removed from photos after they died or were removed from office.
  • Pope Gregory IV once declared war on cats because he believed Satan used black cats. His declaration lead to the mass extermination of cats.
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