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#WTFact: Drinking and Drugs



Transcript

WTFact: Drinking and Drugs

Learning more is worth a shot.

In 17th-century England, alcohol’s strength was proved with gunpowder.

Liquor was mixed with gunpowder to see if it could be lit on fire. If it caught fire, it could be taxed higher.

The oracle at Delphi was probably just high.

A 2001 study showed that the oracle’s temple was built atop a geologically active site where ethylene gas—known to cause euphoria and hallucinations—was emitted.

That could explain the oracle’s portentous visions.

Declaration of Independence signer John Hancock was a smuggler, illegally bringing untaxed wine and other cargo from Britain to America.

He was brought to trial—his attorney was future U.S. president John Adams—and the charges against him were dropped.

Many foods often contain alcohol, like soy sauce, mustard, vanilla extract, and even some berries.

In the early 1600s, farmers in the Virginia, Massachusetts, and Connecticut colonies were required to grow hemp.

Hemp contains a low level of THC, the main mind-altering ingredient in marijuana.

Burned cannabis seeds, which also contain THC, were found in graves of Chinese and Siberian shamans that date back to 500 BCE.

Have any quirky questions? Go to beyond.britannica.com
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