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Futility Closet

By Greg and Sharon Ross

Forgotten stories from the pages of history. Join us for surprising and curious tales from the past and challenge yourself with our lateral thinking puzzles.

  1. 1.
    253-The Dame of Sark06/17/2019
    31:53
  2. 2.
    252-The Wild Boy of Aveyron06/10/2019
    33:39
  3. 3.
    251-Joseph Palmer's Beard06/03/2019
    31:15
  4. 4.
    250-The General Slocum05/27/2019
    33:54
  5. 5.
    249-The Robbers Cave Experiment05/20/2019
    31:12
  6. 6.
    248-Smoky the War Dog05/13/2019
    33:45
  7. 7.
    247-Lateral Thinking Puzzles05/06/2019
    32:24
  8. 8.
    246-Gene Tierney's Secret Heartbreak04/29/2019
    33:08
  1. 9.
    245-Jeanne Baret04/22/2019
    32:04
  2. 10.
    244-The Women's Protest04/15/2019
    34:45
  3. 11.
    243-The Peshtigo Fire04/08/2019
    31:51
  4. 12.
    242-The Cardiff Giant03/25/2019
    34:54
  5. 13.
    241-A Case of Scientific Self-Deception03/18/2019
    32:44
  6. 14.
    240-The Shark Papers03/11/2019
    34:29
  7. 15.
    239-The Man-Eaters of Tsavo03/04/2019
    34:13
  8. 16.
    238-The Plight of Mary Ellen Wilson02/25/2019
    33:44
  9. 17.
    237-The Baseball Spy02/18/2019
    32:59
  10. 18.
    236-The Last Lap02/11/2019
    33:54
  11. 19.
    235-Leon Festinger and the Alien Apocalypse02/04/2019
    32:17
  12. 20.
    234-The Dig Tree01/28/2019
    33:51
  13. 21.
    233-Flight to Freedom01/21/2019
    34:37
  14. 22.
    232-The Indomitable Spirit of Douglas Bader01/14/2019
    31:25
  15. 23.
    231-The Halifax Explosion01/07/2019
    32:18
  16. 24.
    230-Lateral Thinking Puzzles12/24/2018
    29:53
  17. 25.
    229-The Stone of Destiny12/17/2018
    30:45
  18. 26.
    228-The Children's Champion12/10/2018
    33:28
  19. 27.
    227-The Christmas Tree Ship12/03/2018
    32:26
  20. 28.
    226-The Great Match Race11/26/2018
    35:55
  21. 29.
    225-The Great Stork Derby11/19/2018
    31:54
  22. 30.
    224-Lady Death11/12/2018
    34:08
  23. 31.
    223-The Prince of Forgers11/05/2018
    33:19
  24. 32.
    222-The Year Without a Summer10/29/2018
    31:42
  25. 33.
    221-The Mystery Man of Essex County10/22/2018
    33:08
  26. 34.
    220-The Old Hero of Gettysburg10/08/2018
    31:44
  27. 35.
    219-The Greenbrier Ghost10/01/2018
    35:03
  28. 36.
    218-Lost in the Amazon09/24/2018
    32:58
  29. 37.
    217-The Bone Wars09/17/2018
    34:29
  30. 38.
    216-The Tromelin Island Castaways09/10/2018
    32:49
  31. 39.
    215-The Lieutenant Nun09/03/2018
    31:57
  32. 40.
    214-The Poison Squad08/27/2018
    32:32
  33. 41.
    213-Grover Cleveland's Secret Surgery08/20/2018
    31:59
  34. 42.
    212-The Lost Treasure of Cocos Island08/13/2018
    32:10
  35. 43.
    211-Cast Away on an Ice Floe08/06/2018
    33:15
  36. 44.
    210-Lateral Thinking Puzzles07/23/2018
    34:28
  37. 45.
    209-Lost Off Newfoundland07/16/2018
    33:55
  38. 46.
    208-Giving Birth to Rabbits07/09/2018
    32:13
  39. 47.
    207-The Bluebelle's Last Voyage07/02/2018
    34:02
  40. 48.
    206-The Sky and the Sea06/25/2018
    30:18
  41. 49.
    205-The White Mouse06/18/2018
    33:22
  42. 50.
    204-Mary Anning's Fossils06/11/2018
    30:15
  43. 51.
    203-Notes and Queries06/04/2018
    30:19
  44. 52.
    202-The Rosenhan Experiment05/28/2018
    31:49
  45. 53.
    201-The Gardner Heist05/21/2018
    32:21
  46. 54.
    200-Lateral Thinking Puzzles05/14/2018
    31:07
  47. 55.
    199-The Mystery of the Carroll A. Deering05/07/2018
    33:41
  48. 56.
    198-The Man Who Wouldn't Die04/30/2018
    33:02
  49. 57.
    197-Alone Across the Outback04/23/2018
    32:32
  50. 58.
    196-The Long Way Home04/16/2018
    30:04
  51. 59.
    195-A Case of Musical Plagiarism04/09/2018
    32:40
  52. 60.
    194-The Double Life of Clarence King03/26/2018
    32:50
  53. 61.
    193-The Collyer Brothers03/19/2018
    31:34
  54. 62.
    192-The Winchester Diver03/12/2018
    31:55
  55. 63.
    191-The Longest Flight03/05/2018
    31:57
  56. 64.
    190-Mary Patten and the Neptune's Car02/26/2018
    31:33
  57. 65.
    189-The "Wild White Man"02/19/2018
    31:59
  58. 66.
    188-The Bat Bomb02/12/2018
    33:24
  59. 67.
    187-A Human Being in the Bronx Zoo01/29/2018
    33:55
  60. 68.
    186-The Children's Blizzard01/22/2018
    32:23
  61. 69.
    185-The Man From Formosa01/15/2018
    32:19
  62. 70.
    184-Lateral Thinking Puzzles01/01/2018
    29:37
  63. 71.
    183-An Everest Mystery12/25/2017
    32:20
  64. 72.
    182-The Compulsive Wanderer12/18/2017
    32:30
  65. 73.
    181-Operation Gunnerside12/11/2017
    33:06
  66. 74.
    180-An Academic Impostor12/04/2017
    33:18
  67. 75.
    179-Two Vanished Young Writers11/27/2017
    31:30
  68. 76.
    178-Lateral Thinking Puzzles11/20/2017
    33:50
  69. 77.
    177-Averting a Catastrophe in Manhattan11/13/2017
    31:21
  70. 78.
    176-The Bear That Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh11/06/2017
    32:43
  71. 79.
    175-The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island10/30/2017
    30:35
  72. 80.
    174-Cracking the Nazi Code10/23/2017
    33:46
  73. 81.
    173-The Worst Journey in the World10/16/2017
    30:18
  74. 82.
    172-An American in Feudal Japan10/02/2017
    33:34
  75. 83.
    171-The Emperor of the United States09/25/2017
    32:54
  76. 84.
    170-The Mechanical Turk09/18/2017
    32:20
  77. 85.
    169-John Harrison and the Problem of Longitude09/11/2017
    33:01
  78. 86.
    168-The Destruction of the Doves Type09/04/2017
    33:30
  79. 87.
    167-A Manhattan Murder Mystery08/28/2017
    32:09
  80. 88.
    166-A Dangerous Voyage08/21/2017
    33:19
  81. 89.
    165-A Case of Mistaken Identity08/14/2017
    31:16
  82. 90.
    164-Vigil on the Ice08/07/2017
    33:00
  83. 91.
    163-Enslaved in the Sahara07/31/2017
    31:55
  84. 92.
    162-John Muir and Stickeen07/17/2017
    32:29
  85. 93.
    161-The Girl Who Fell From the Sky07/10/2017
    30:26
  86. 94.
    160-The Birmingham Sewer Lion07/03/2017
    32:55
  87. 95.
    159-The Mozart of Mathematics06/26/2017
    32:28
  88. 96.
    158-The Mistress of Murder Farm06/19/2017
    33:37
  89. 97.
    157-The Brutal History of Batavia's Graveyard06/12/2017
    33:14
  90. 98.
    156-The Most Dedicated Soldier06/05/2017
    34:27
  91. 99.
    155-The Giraffe Who Walked to Paris05/29/2017
    33:13
  92. 100.
    154-Spared by a Volcano05/22/2017
    29:37
  93. 101.
    153-A Victorian Stalker05/15/2017
    32:20
  94. 102.
    152-Lateral Thinking Puzzles05/01/2017
    30:09
  95. 103.
    151-Double-Crossing the Nazis04/24/2017
    31:12
  96. 104.
    150-The Prince of Nowhere04/17/2017
    30:20
  97. 105.
    149-The North Pond Hermit04/10/2017
    29:29
  98. 106.
    148-The Perfect Murder04/03/2017
    30:02
  99. 107.
    147-The Call of Mount Kenya03/27/2017
    30:00
  100. 108.
    146-Alone in the Wilderness03/20/2017
    30:05
  101. 109.
    145-The Pied Piper of Saipan03/13/2017
    31:31
  102. 110.
    144-The Murder Castle03/06/2017
    32:07
  103. 111.
    143-The Conscience Fund02/27/2017
    32:25
  104. 112.
    142-Fingerprints and Polygraphs02/20/2017
    30:31
  105. 113.
    141-Abducted by Indians, a Captive of Whites02/13/2017
    32:47
  106. 114.
    140-Ramanujan02/06/2017
    30:26
  107. 115.
    139-The Painter's Revenge01/30/2017
    31:15
  108. 116.
    138-Life in a Cupboard01/23/2017
    33:52
  109. 117.
    137-The Mystery of Fiona Macleod01/16/2017
    33:45
  110. 118.
    136-The Boston Molasses Disaster01/09/2017
    31:33
  111. 119.
    135-Lateral Thinking Puzzles12/26/2016
    35:05
  112. 120.
    134-The Christmas Truce12/19/2016
    30:41
  113. 121.
    133-Notes and Queries12/12/2016
    33:00
  114. 122.
    132-The Mad Gasser of Mattoon12/05/2016
    31:43
  115. 123.
    131-Escape From Libby Prison11/28/2016
    30:26
  116. 124.
    130-The Unlikely Ultramarathoner11/21/2016
    34:24
  117. 125.
    129-The Voynich Manuscript11/14/2016
    32:51
  118. 126.
    128-The Battle for Castle Itter11/07/2016
    30:28
  119. 127.
    127-Rowing Across the Atlantic10/24/2016
    35:28
  120. 128.
    126-The Great Australian Poetry Hoax10/17/2016
    31:44
  121. 129.
    125-The Campden Wonder10/10/2016
    34:00
  122. 130.
    124-D.B. Cooper10/03/2016
    33:19
  123. 131.
    123-Washington D.C.'s Hidden Tunnels09/26/2016
    31:56
  124. 132.
    122-The Bear Who Went to War09/19/2016
    30:39
  125. 133.
    121-Starving for Science09/12/2016
    31:12
  126. 134.
    120-The Barnes Mystery09/05/2016
    30:18
  127. 135.
    119-Lost in the Taiga08/29/2016
    33:48
  128. 136.
    118-The Restless Corpse of Elmer McCurdy08/22/2016
    30:11
  129. 137.
    117-The Road to En-dor08/15/2016
    33:03
  130. 138.
    116-Notes and Queries08/08/2016
    31:09
  131. 139.
    115-Gettysburg's Unknown Soldier07/25/2016
    30:57
  132. 140.
    114-The Desperation of Donald Crowhurst07/18/2016
    36:31
  133. 141.
    113-The Battle Over Mother's Day07/11/2016
    31:07
  134. 142.
    112-The Disappearance of Michael Rockefeller07/04/2016
    34:21
  135. 143.
    111-Japanese Fire Balloons06/27/2016
    32:21
  136. 144.
    110-The Brooklyn Chameleon06/20/2016
    31:50
  137. 145.
    109-Trapped in a Cave06/12/2016
    31:12
  138. 146.
    108-The Greenwich Time Lady06/06/2016
    33:43
  139. 147.
    107-Arthur Nash and the Golden Rule05/29/2016
    29:37
  140. 148.
    106-The Popgun War05/23/2016
    31:48
  141. 149.
    105-Surviving on Seawater05/08/2016
    34:04
  142. 150.
    104-The Harvey's Casino Bombing05/02/2016
    32:33
  143. 151.
    103-Legislating Pi04/24/2016
    33:30
  144. 152.
    102-The Bunion Derby04/18/2016
    34:11
  145. 153.
    101-Jerome04/11/2016
    30:34
  146. 154.
    100-Lateral Thinking Puzzles04/04/2016
    36:46
  147. 155.
    099-Notes and Queries03/28/2016
    33:50
  148. 156.
    098-The St. Albans Raid03/21/2016
    32:17
  149. 157.
    097-The Villisca Ax Murders03/14/2016
    31:06
  150. 158.
    096-The Abduction of Edgardo Mortara03/07/2016
    32:10
  151. 159.
    095-A New Day at Charleston02/29/2016
    30:19
  152. 160.
    094-The Living Unknown Soldier02/22/2016
    33:33
  153. 161.
    093-The Old Flying Days02/08/2016
    33:01
  154. 162.
    092-The Forgotten Amendment02/01/2016
    29:41
  155. 163.
    091-The Voyage of the Damned01/25/2016
    34:51
  156. 164.
    090-The Candy Bar War01/18/2016
    31:29
  157. 165.
    089-An African From Baltimore01/11/2016
    31:31
  158. 166.
    088-Mrs. Wilkinson and the Lyrebird01/04/2016
    32:25
  159. 167.
    087-A Sleuthing Cabbie, Edward VI's Homework, and a Self-Aware Crow12/28/2015
    31:58
  160. 168.
    086-Lateral Thinking Puzzles12/21/2015
    29:59
  161. 169.
    085-Raising Chicago12/14/2015
    34:17
  162. 170.
    084-The Man Who Never Was12/07/2015
    34:07
  163. 171.
    083-Nuclear Close Calls11/30/2015
    36:38
  164. 172.
    082-Stealing Abe Lincoln11/23/2015
    33:59
  165. 173.
    081-The Typhus Hoax11/15/2015
    32:32
  166. 174.
    080-'Black Like Me': Race Realities Under Jim Crow11/02/2015
    34:25
  167. 175.
    079-One Square Inch of the Yukon10/25/2015
    34:48
  168. 176.
    078-Snowshoe Thompson10/19/2015
    37:56
  169. 177.
    077-The Sourdough Expedition10/12/2015
    33:23
  170. 178.
    076-Get Out of Jail Free10/05/2015
    30:43
  171. 179.
    075-The Sea Devil09/28/2015
    35:51
  172. 180.
    074-Charley Parkhurst's Secret09/21/2015
    34:00
  173. 181.
    073-The Tichborne Claimant09/14/2015
    34:51
  174. 182.
    072-The Strange Misadventures of Famous Corpses09/07/2015
    35:11
  175. 183.
    071-Godless in Missouri08/31/2015
    33:35
  176. 184.
    070-Sunk by a Whale08/24/2015
    33:55
  177. 185.
    069-Lateral Thinking Puzzles08/10/2015
    32:51
  178. 186.
    068-The Niihau Incident08/02/2015
    38:48
  179. 187.
    067-Composing Beyond the Grave07/27/2015
    30:56
  180. 188.
    066-Eighteen Holes in Vietnam07/20/2015
    31:57
  181. 189.
    065-The Merchant Prince of Cornville07/13/2015
    33:18
  182. 190.
    064-Murder at the Priory07/06/2015
    32:35
  183. 191.
    063-The Rainmaker06/28/2015
    32:56
  184. 192.
    062-Marconi Catches a Murderer06/21/2015
    29:47
  185. 193.
    061-The Strange Custom of Garden Hermits06/14/2015
    34:12
  186. 194.
    060-The Day They Hanged an Elephant06/01/2015
    33:30
  187. 195.
    059-The Wizard of Mauritius05/24/2015
    33:50
  188. 196.
    058-English as She Is Spoke05/18/2015
    30:51
  189. 197.
    057-Jules Verne's Lost Novel05/11/2015
    35:35
  190. 198.
    056-Lateral Thinking Puzzles05/04/2015
    38:15
  191. 199.
    055-The Dyatlov Pass Incident04/26/2015
    31:45
  192. 200.
    054-Escape From Stalag Luft III04/20/2015
    36:03

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