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While nothing compares to the pressures of having a real job, life at college is extremely stressful. So it should be no surprise that our parents and grandparents spent much of their university lives blowing off steam and hiding from work.

The need for a pressure valve and the fact that students have far too much free time has meant that British and US universities have evolved numerous customs and rituals over the centuries to help their members remain sane and encourage bonding with their classmates.

10 Hacks And Rats

The brainy and technically gifted students of MIT are notorious for carrying out elaborate practical jokes on campus known as “hacks.” Notable hacks included replacing the MIT home page with a message stating that the university had been purchased by The Walt Disney Company in 1998, charging long-distance phone calls to a local radar installation in the 1960s, and causing a large black weather balloon to appear during the middle of a Harvard-Yale football game in 1982.

In particular, students seem to relish the challenge of moving bizarre objects on top of the university’s Great Dome. Notable installations have included a replica of the Wright brothers’ plane, a life-size fiberglass cow, and the Triforce symbol from The Legend of Zelda series.[1]

Another tradition at MIT is the unusual name given to the college’s “Standard Technology Ring.” In 1929, a student committee of sophomores met to agree to the design of their class ring. They decided that it should be engraved with a depiction of the North American beaver to reflect the industrious and practical nature of MIT graduates.

Supposedly, the artistic efforts of the design team looked more like another kind of rodent, hence the name given by generations of alumni to their precious rings—the Brass Rat.

9 Penny Throwing
Lincoln College, Oxford

To celebrate Ascension Day, the date on which Christians believe that Jesus ascended to Heaven, the students of Lincoln gather at the top of their college’s tower to throw pennies at a group of children waiting below in one of the university’s squares, known as “quads.”

This ancient form of charity is said to date back to the 15th century and used to be a much nastier event. Apparently, it was customary for students to warm the pennies before throwing them, and it was thought that any badly burned children would be taught a valuable lesson about the sin of greed.

During the same ceremony, Lincoln students will also be seen “beating the bounds” by marching through the center of Oxford while hitting boundary markers with 2-meter-long (6 ft) wooden sticks to mark out the traditional parish boundaries between St. Mary the Virgin University Church and St. Michael at the North Gate.[2]

It is also traditional that members of Brasenose College are allowed to enter Lincoln College and drink a small glass of ale at lunch on Ascension Day. This specially brewed beer is flavored with bitter-tasting ground ivy to prevent the students of Brasenose College from taking advantage of Lincoln’s hospitality.

8 Pipe Smoking And Handsome Dan

At graduation ceremonies at Yale, students are given a clay pipe and a small bag of tobacco. After a brief smoke, students are expected to smash the pipes, an act which symbolizes the end of their carefree college lives. Another tradition that dates back to 1851 sees students burying a sprig of ivy on the campus, a metaphor for the individual’s enduring connection to Yale.

Away from graduation ceremonies, the morale of Yale’s football team is traditionally boosted by a bulldog mascot. Yale’s first permanent bulldog mascot, Handsome Dan, was named by the university in 1889. The custom carries on to this day, and Yale appointed their most recent mascot, Handsome Dan XVIII, in 2016.

Other famous mascots include MIT’s Tim the Beaver, the Princeton Tiger, and the Stanford Tree.[3] (Technically, the Stanford Tree is the mascot of the Stanford Band. However, as the university doesn’t have an official mascot, the Tree is also considered the unofficial mascot of the university.)

7 The Time Ceremony
Merton College, Oxford

This modern tradition was established in 1971 by undergraduates who wanted to celebrate the end of a three-year experimental period in which the UK had remained on British Summer Time, one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), all year round. The ceremony sees students put on their sub-fusc (academic dress), grab a glass of port, and parade counterclockwise around the Fellows’ Quad at 2:00 AM.[4]

While the ceremony might appear to be completely pointless, its inventor points out that ever since the ritual has been performed, Britain’s clocks have never failed to make the transition to GMT after summer ends.

6 Underground Exploration

Stanford students have been exploring their college’s impressive collection of subterranean tunnels and pipes since their installation in 1881. Generations of students at “the Farm” have risked the perils of insects, rats, and trespassing laws to drink, play capture the flag, or attempt to find the legendary secret entrance to the Hoover Library.

As many of the tunnels are smeared with dirt, extremely claustrophobic, and covered with red-hot pipes, underground exploration is profoundly discouraged by university staff.[5]

5 Toast Throw
University Of Pennsylvania

At every home college football game in the US, students can be heard chanting and singing their school songs. At the University of Pennsylvania, the school song, “Drink a Highball,” includes the line, “Here’s a toast to dear old Penn.” At this point, instead of raising a glass, Penn students throw actual slices of toast onto the football field.[6]

Some say that this was inspired by the toast throwing that occurs at some live screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Others claim that it originated during Prohibition when spectators could no longer take actual liquor into the stadium.

4 Dooley
Emory University

Dooley is a biology lab skeleton and the unofficial mascot of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The persona developed when people began writing letters to the university paper under Dooley’s name in 1899.

Dooley is represented on campus by a student who dresses as the skeleton and wears a black cape, black top hat, and white gloves. Every spring, Emory students celebrate their mascot with a week of practical jokes and pranks. The skeleton makes surprise appearances at campus events throughout the year.[7]

3 Hunting The Mallard
All Souls College, Oxford

All Souls is Oxford’s most elite college. It is closed to undergraduates, and its fellows are admitted only after a famously rigorous application process. This does not stop its members from engaging in one of the strangest university traditions of all.

Once every 100 years, members of the college, equipped with flaming torches, form a procession led by a person holding a staff with a wooden duck tied to it. This strange event is said to commemorate an incident in 1437 when a giant duck supposedly flew out of the college’s foundations. The next ceremony is due to take place in 2101.[8]

2 The Primal Scream

The “Primal Scream” is a phenomenon that occurs at Harvard. At the conclusion of the exam period, students congregate at the north end of the Old Yard to scream just before midnight. This unofficial ceremony has been followed by outbreaks of streaking. However, this aspect of the ritual appears to date from the 1990s as opposed to the early 1700s as is sometimes claimed.[9]

Streaking is a time-honored tradition at a number of US universities. In 1804, George William Crump became the first American college student to be arrested for streaking at what is now Washington and Lee University. This youthful indiscretion did not prevent Crump from serving as a US Congressman or becoming the US ambassador to Chile.

1 Night Climbing
Oxford And Cambridge Universities

Night climbing is the sport of secretly scaling the college and public buildings in Cambridge. It began in the late 1800s and was immortalized in Noel Howard Symington’s The Night Climbers of Cambridge, which was published in 1937 under the pseudonym “Whipplesnaith.”

Though some evidence exists of the sport being practiced at Oxford in the 1920s, Cambridge students take pride in the fact that their peculiar form of urban mountaineering has never been common in “the other place.” After a period in which the tradition seemed to be waning, the 1960s and 1970s saw a revival and a number of books published that informed climbers of the ways of completing more modern routes.[10]

The chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, has been a particular target for climbers even though it is 29 meters (94 ft) high. In recent years, traffic cones, toilet seats, and Santa hats have been removed from the building at great expense to the college.

James McCall is a London-based gentleman and scholar.


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General Knowledge


Bread, berets, breakfast foods—many things come to mind when someone mentions France. But as it turns out, most of the things that you think are French weren’t invented in France.

In fact, most “French” things aren’t even close to being French originally. So take off that beret, put down the French toast, and prepare to be shocked by all the French things that aren’t.

10 French Kissing

It’s accepted as fact that French kissing is French. After all, it’s right there in the name. But experts agree that kissing with tongue isn’t at all a French tradition. The kiss is first mentioned in literature in the Kama Sutra, a famous book that was written before France existed as a nation. The kiss itself dates to at least the fifth century BC.

Some credit Alexander the Great with spreading awareness of the “French” kiss as he conquered India and added it to his enormous empire. What’s now known as France was part of the Roman Empire when the kiss came to the region. The Romans in particular enjoyed the kiss, and they gave it to the French.

The French got credit for inventing the tongue kiss by Americans who visited the country in the 18th and 19th centuries. Here, women were more affectionate than in America, which was largely founded by religious folk who thought of kissing as bedroom-only behavior.

Soon, American male travelers spread the word about getting a “French kiss” from women while visiting the country. The name caught on, and now the kiss is linked to France despite its truly ancient origins.[1]

9 French Toast

All those Sunday breakfasts were a lie. The delicious, syrup-draped bread dish you know as French toast isn’t French at all. In fact, the recipe is so old that it’s been eaten since before France existed.

Ancient Romans living in the early fifth century ate what we call French toast regularly. Their recipe required soaking bread in milk and then frying it in butter or oil, pretty much the same way it’s still cooked today.

According to legend, the modern twist to the recipe was added by an innkeeper in Albany, New York, named Joseph French. He began making French toast in 1724 for customers, and the dish quickly caught on. The version of French toast eaten today isn’t named for the country but for Joseph French—though, admittedly, the name is pretty confusing.[2]

8 The French Manicure

Fancy manicures have been around almost as long as fashion itself. Wealthier people have been manicuring their nails for 5,000 years, making the French manicure a relatively new nail trend. And when the look was invented in 1927, it was first worn an ocean away from France.

The “French” manicure was created by famous Hollywood cosmetician Max Factor when he invented two new nail colors. One was a creamy, pinkish shade that matched the natural color of unpainted nails. The second was a pure white that contrasted perfectly with the other polish when painted just on the tips of the nails.

The white-tip, rosy-nail manicure was popular for years before it was classified as French in the 1970s when Jeff Pink used a style similar to Max Factor’s to create a natural nail look. He was asked to repeat the process on the Paris fashion runways, and the trend quickly caught on as the “French” manicure. The look has been linked to French fashion ever since, though it was originally invented miles away in California.[3]

7 The French Horn

Two men who certainly were not French are mainly credited with the invention of the French horn. The instrument was not invented or even modified in France, but its complicated design led to the English calling it a “French” horn. The name stuck.

Horns were invented mainly for hunting and weren’t used in musical compositions until the 1500s. When the traditional horns were modified with large, flared ends, the nickname “French” horn was applied in the 1600s.

But it was Heinrich Stoelzel and Friedrich Bluhmel who get most of the credit for the design used today. They invented the valves that give the French horn its distinctive sound. The double French horn, the design associated with more modern French horns, was created by Edmund Gumpert and Fritz Kruspe. Neither man was French. More than any other nation, Germany is responsible for the “French” horn used today.[4]

6 The French Braid

The history of French braids goes back way before France existed . . . before nations really existed, actually. French braids are as old as the ancient Greek culture (where women wearing braid styles were depicted in art) or even ancient Africa (where rock art shows French braid-like styles that are 6,000 years old).

Braids were worn by Celtic warriors when Europe was still carved up into tribes, and women of the Sung dynasty wore them as a popular style of the day in ancient China.

French braids are one of the oldest and most widespread hairstyles, so why have they been known as French for so long? It all happened back in the United States in 1871 with a short story published in Arthur’s Home Magazine. In the story, a husband tells his wife to wear her hair in “that new French braid.” The French braid design has been associated with France ever since.[5]

5 The Beret

The beret is such an iconic French symbol that you can hardly separate the hat from the nation. Here’s the rub: The beret wasn’t invented in France. Biblical legend holds that the beret was invented by none other than Noah himself, of flood fame, after he discovered some trampled wool near his sheep pens.

The wool became felt, which Noah cut into a circular shape and wore on his head. The beret was worn at least as early as ancient Greece (around 1500 BC) and became the most popular hat for men in the Middle Ages.

The origins of the hat may be murky, but there is no question that French shepherds popularized the look. Shepherds working in the fields around the French Pyrenees wore wool hats to stay warm during cold nights in the 1600s and into the 1700s.

French artists living in the Left Bank region of Paris made the look popular again in the 1800s and 1900s as they were the hipsters of their day. This is when the beret became the iconic symbol of French artists and, by extension, French people everywhere.[6]

The French were the first to use berets in the military, which may be why the style is linked to the nation. French soldiers began wearing berets as early as the 19th century. Today, berets are worn by US soldiers and military personnel around the world to signify certain ranks and regiments.

4 French Fries

No, French fries aren’t French, either. They were actually invented in Belgium, but “Belgian fries” doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily. Belgian lore says that people were frying potatoes there in the 1600s, giving rise to the popular treat. Villagers started slicing and frying potatoes the way they sliced and fried their fish.

Although French fries are a staple today, most Americans didn’t really find out about them until World War I. US Soldiers stationed in Belgium sampled the fries and created the nickname “French” fries because Belgium’s official language was French.[7]

However, some Americans did become acquainted with the French fry long before World War I. Thomas Jefferson served as the American Minister to France in the 1700s and took a particular liking to French food. He sampled French fries while in France and took the recipe back home with him. The fried potatoes were even mentioned in an early 1820s American cookbook but didn’t really catch on with US eaters until World War I.

3 French Dressing

French dressing, as it’s known in America, is nothing like the salad dressing you’ll get in France. Oil and vinegar (vinaigrette) is used to dress salads in France. The tomato-based concoction known as “French dressing” is most likely an American invention, and its origins are shrouded in mystery.

Salad dressings became popular in America in the 1800s, and many early entrepreneurs began packaging and selling their own dressing recipes. Campbell Soup Company was one of the businesses that got into the salad dressing game early. They were publishing recipes for salad dressing—using Campbell’s soup as a primary ingredient, of course—even before World War II. Perhaps it was they who first added the tomato to French dressing, which made it completely American from then on.[8]

Either way, one of their early recipes calls for Campbell’s tomato soup, a flavor that has become a standard of what Americans call French dressing. Tomato-based salad dressings are not traditional French cuisine in any way.

2 French Twist

There’s nothing French about the French twist, except for the name. This twisted hairstyle actually dates to ancient Greek fashion. Women in ancient Greece wore their hair in twists and braids in many elaborate hairstyles. In France, the French twist was known as chignon du cou. It’s much easier to say “French twist,” so that’s how the hairstyle came to be known.[9]

The French twist was especially popular during the late Victorian period in the 1890s. The fancy look may have contributed to its name. In both Britain and America at the time, many things were attributed to France that actually were not French inventions.

1 The Croissant

The croissant. It’s one of the first things people think of when they think of France. It’s so quintessentially French that the croissant is practically used as a symbol of the country. But this rich, flaky, crescent-shaped pastry isn’t French. Not at all.

It wasn’t so long ago that croissants were hard to find in France, though that’s pretty hard to believe today. In the 1800s, they could only be purchased at specialized Viennese bakeries, which were only found in the more expensive neighborhoods of Paris. In the 1800s, it was well-known even among the French that these buttery pastries were a foreign delicacy that was difficult to find.

The croissant originates in Austria, where it’s known as a kipfel. This is a crescent-shaped bakery item made with lots of butter or lard, sometimes sprinkled with sugar and almonds, and clearly the forebear of the modern-day croissant.[10]

Austrian legend says the treat was invented around 1683 in Vienna, first baked to celebrate a victory over the Ottomans. However, that isn’t true. The kipfel, the grandfather of the modern-day croissant, existed as far back as 1227. It was presented to Duke Leopold, along with other Christmas treats, by Viennese bakers. Crescent-shaped baked goods were around even before this.

KC Morgan is a professional freelance writer. She has written thousands of articles on every topic from history to food hacks. Whether KC is explaining how to complete a DIY project or exploring the world’s mysteries, she’s writing about something every single day.


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Prescription drugs have had detrimental impacts on countless men, women, and children suffering from illness. Those who fall victim to the side effects of life-threatening medications may become zombielike and are even prone to drug abuse, addiction, and deadly overdoses.

Some patients have gone beyond pharmaceuticals and have tried cannabis (aka marijuana), which has not been recognized by the FDA as medicine. Two main cannabinoids are present in the cannabis plant and have received serious attention in recent years.

Cannabidiol (CBD) contains active ingredients from the plant but without the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid that causes people to feel “high.” The compounds in CBD may dramatically reduce inflammation and pain in patients without the psychoactive effects produced by THC.

CBD may also be used to treat a variety of chronic conditions and may come in the form of edibles (brownies, cookies, candies), oils, extracts, and more.

What is genuinely extraordinary is that there is an endocannabinoid system, a collection of endogenous cannabinoid receptors, that lies in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. CBD can also increase the amounts of endocannabinoids in your system. Research is continuing into this system and the effects of medical cannabis.

Disclaimer: The author is not a doctor, and the publisher is not a medical organization. This information is for entertainment and educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for or a replacement of medical advice or any treatment that may have been prescribed by your physician. Claims made in this list have not been evaluated by the FDA.

10 Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a degenerative disorder that causes serious destruction to the nervous system. Its victims suffer from slowed cognition as well as stiffness, which can lead to worse symptoms such as challenges with moving, speech impairments, and even tremors.

Although the results aren’t conclusive, cannabis has been shown to be highly effective in overall symptom management due to its analgesic effects and ability to relax muscles. Pain relief is undoubtedly a crucial benefit. However, reduced tremors, improved sleep quality, better overall mood, increased ease of movement, and stimulated appetite are also advantages to cannabis treatment.

A study published in 2014 found that 22 participants with PD noticed improvement in tremors, sleep, and pain relief within 30 minutes of smoking cannabis.[1]

On the other hand, some side effects from medications prescribed for PD include ankle swelling, involuntary movements, liver damage, and insomnia. These side effects may be avoided when treating symptoms with CBD.

9 Epilepsy

Characterized by recurring seizures that vary in intensity, epilepsy is usually the result of disturbances in specific regions of the brain’s circuitry that create blizzards of excess electrical activity. Loss of consciousness and convulsions can cause seizures to be an enormous disruption in a person’s life, along with having to decide which treatment to undergo.

Before the medical use of cannabis had become forbidden in the 20th century, seizure disorders were often treated with the plant due to its astounding effects. In recent years, regulations have shown more leniency toward the use of medical marijuana. This has prompted more studies to uncover the potential of cannabinoids in effectively treating epilepsy.[2]

Research has shown that cannabinoids affect cells in the body called cannabinoid receptors. CBD is one of those substances that may affect the body in a way that helps to reduce seizures. Patients of all ages have found outstanding relief from CBD, especially epileptics who were previously unable to even tolerate typical anti-seizure medications.

8 Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurodegenerative disease that attacks the central nervous system, can cause patients to feel excruciating pain as they slowly lose their ability to move muscles and limbs. The immune system of an MS patient perceives neurons as threatening and invasive, resulting in the body’s own immune cells attacking the neurons.

This is followed by a buildup of scar tissue that ultimately prevents neurons from sending basic signals to the rest of the body. Sadly, there is no cure for this condition yet. To make matters worse, treatment for MS usually includes medications with damaging effects.

Cannabis has been said to be beneficial for MS patients by improving brain function and dramatically easing symptoms. Its groundbreaking success has caused it to gain validity around the world, leading to MS becoming a qualifying condition for cannabis treatment.

This is because cannabinoids are powerful anti-inflammatories. THC and CBD are compounds that deactivate the immune system, ceasing turbulent attacks on the central nervous system. Calming the immune system with cannabis suppresses those attacks on the central nervous system.[3]

Cannabinoids also encourage a process called neurogenesis, which creates new brain cells in adults and protects the brain overall. However, cannabinoids don’t stop there. They also relax muscles, protect eyes, quell nausea and vomiting, relieve diarrhea, and reduce inflammation. They can even help with stress-related depression.

7 Eating Disorders

Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are serious medical illnesses that are not fully understood. However, they are believed to be biologically influenced mental disorders.

Patients suffering from anorexia or bulimia have an aversion to food, poor body image, low self-esteem, a fear of gaining weight, and drastic weight loss. The psychological effects may take years to overcome, and victims must often learn how to eat all over again.

Cannabis is known for giving users “the munchies” because it enhances hunger. But it also has other psychological benefits that reduce overthinking and obsessive behavioral patterns.

The results of a 2011 Belgian study suggest a link between eating disorders and the function of the endocannabinoid system in the human body.[4] Cannabis has been highly effective in treating patients who are coping with trauma or anxiety. It can even act as a mood booster. For patients who are emotionally scarred by past experiences and develop eating orders as a result, medical marijuana may help them put their minds at ease.

6 Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that causes people to lose touch with reality. Their illness prevents them from functioning normally and distinguishing between what is imaginary and what is real.

The use of cannabis for this condition may seem controversial if one does not understand the difference between THC and CBD. THC, the main ingredient found in marijuana, may cause psychotic reactions and worsen schizophrenia, while CBD has been found to produce antipsychotic effects and work wonders for struggling patients.[5]

CBD has been found to be just as effective as antipsychotic drugs minus the devastating side effects such as weight gain, increased risk of diabetes, and permanent movement disorders. Prescription drugs can even take a toll on the motivation and pleasure of patients, which may not occur with CBD use.

Schizophrenia has also been known to have certain negative symptoms (such as social withdrawal and lack of motivation) that are notoriously challenging to treat. CBD’s stress-reducing and antipsychotic effects on the brain may work efficiently on those symptoms as well.


After enduring a highly traumatic experience such as military combat, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) should not go untreated. Correlations between this severe anxiety condition and the effects of cannabis have gained tremendous attention in recent years, which has led to PTSD becoming a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.[6]

Fear learning is an undeniable contributor to anxiety pathologies, PTSD being one of them. The adrenaline and stress levels of countless veterans are out of balance and easily triggered by events that can bring back painful memories and flashbacks.

PTSD sufferers have been found to have an endocannabinoid deficiency. For PTSD patients in particular, CBD has been known to reduce fear expression and disrupt memory consolidation, which is what supports long-term memories.

4 Arthritis

Arthritis, a disease associated with persistent joint inflammation, causes chronic pain and stiffness in its victims’ bodies. They are plagued by injuries that do not heal properly, stiffness in the morning, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other severe symptoms. Their nerves are responsible for arthritis sufferers feeling intense amounts of pain, making it extremely difficult to function normally.

After experiencing dangerous reactions from recommended medications such as painkillers, some arthritis patients have turned to cannabis treatment. The disease has become highly qualified for medical marijuana treatment as the plant promotes immense pain relief in joints.

Studies are being conducted to uncover whether cannabis not only reduces pain in the brain but also combats inflammation and repairs the joints themselves. So far, there is little data on cannabis as a treatment for arthritis.

In one anecdotal case, Katie Marsh of Madawaska, Maine, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, endured severe side effects from medications prescribed by her doctors. After consulting another doctor who specializes in dietary cannabis, Katie tried juicing raw cannabis. Within days, she no longer needed to take painkillers. After 11 months of continuing her juicing regimen, her rheumatoid arthritis was in remission.[7]

3 Insomnia

We all have those nights where we toss and turn—perhaps even count a few sheep. But what step would we take if it happened every night and became a continuous setback?

Chronic insomnia has been shown to affect people from all backgrounds, making it a widespread problem in society. More importantly, there is a connection between lack of sleep and severe health problems. Like many prescription drugs, sleeping pills carry a reputation of causing prolonged, disorienting side effects after waking.

It is no secret that cannabis has a reputation for its sedating effects. As far back as the 1970s, studies show that cannabinoids are powerful sleep aids. Who would not want to have an easier time falling asleep, experience longer and more restful sleep, and breathe better while sleeping?[8]

Medical marijuana naturally provides a profound release from stress and anxiety. This can potentially cause dramatic improvements in sleep quality and strengthen the overall health of insomniacs.

2 Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS)

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is caused by the destruction of motor neurons, which are responsible for transmitting signals to muscles. Common symptoms of this deadly disease include weakness, slurred speech, dysfunction, difficulty walking, and paralysis.

There is no cure, and many patients die within a few years of diagnosis. The worst part: Although victims lose the ability to control their muscles, they still maintain cognitive function and are often very aware of their surroundings.

ALS patients may benefit from cannabis because its compounds may stimulate appetite and even prevent cellular damage. The analgesic effects and anti-inflammatory properties provided by medical marijuana may decrease the persistent pain from which ALS patients suffer.[9]

1 Fibromyalgia

This devastating disorder has not always been thoroughly understood by most. It is characterized by deep tissue pain, headaches, fatigue, lack of sleep, and depression. Fibromyalgia is believed to intensify painful sensations by affecting the ways in which pain signals are processed by the brain.

But what about treating the disorder with medical cannabis? Numerous patients have reported that the plant reduces their pain and improves their quality of sleep. In one study, 28 fibromyalgia patients reported a significant reduction in stiffness and pain two hours after using medical marijuana.[10]

Hello there, Listverse! I am a college student from Long Island, New York, currently studying plant science and sustainable farming. Medicinal uses of plants and healthy living fascinate me. As an aspiring grower, I hope to teach others how to be more environmentally conscious.


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Nature is vast, and as with anything as great as nature, there will be some mind-boggling quirks. Scientists work to understand these things with the resources they have, and even though they have made fantastic progress over the course of human history, there still is a lot left unknown. Even some of the things scientists have figured out or documented are still hard to grasp and seem outlandish.

When you think of nature, maybe you envision peaceful woods, a desert sunset, or the African Serengeti. You probably aren’t thinking of immortal animals, the mystery of the Cambrian explosion, or light pillars appearing in nature. Read on to find out about those and more.

10 Basking Sharks

These plankton-eating sharks are the second-largest living fish and typically grow to be 6 to 8 meters (20–26 feet for you Americans) in length. The longest basking shark ever found was 12 meters (40 ft) long, the heaviest shark was found to be 21 tons, and the deepest these sharks have ever been observed was 1,981 meters (6,500 ft) down.

Basking sharks have also been called bone sharks, elephant sharks, and (my favorite) big mouth sharks. They’re usually found traveling in groups, but some do travel alone. What’s scary is that these groups that they travel in can contain as many as 100 basking sharks. These sharks are actually gentle giants and aren’t dangerous to anything except for the plankton they eat to survive. Basking sharks have been a target for hunters due to their large livers. These livers are used for a wide variety of purposes, from being used in lamps to the manufacture of cosmetics.

What’s so mysterious about these sharks? Well, in every female basking shark, only the right ovary works.[1] Even today, biologists don’t know why only one ovary is working.

9 Rotifers

Rotifers, more commonly known as wheel animals, are microscopic animals that are commonly found in freshwater environments. While some rotifers are independent, others live in colonies. Rotifers were first observed when early microscopes came into use, and since then, 2,200 species of rotifers have been described. Though these animals are small, they can filter 100,000 times their volume in water per hour and are often used in fish tanks to help clean the water in order to prevent contaminated matter from building up inside the tank.

The mystery in this little guy comes from a little organ called the retrocerebral organ, which lies near the brain. The retrocerebral organ consists of a pair of glands on either side of a sac that drains into a duct. This duct divides into two before opening through pores on the uppermost part of the head. Confusing, isn’t it? Well, don’t worry if you don’t understand what’s going on; biologists are also baffled by the function of the retrocerebral organ and the process it triggers.[2]

8 Loricifera

Loricifera is a phylum of marine animals that was documented at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea more than 3,000 meters (10,000 ft) deep. Members of this phylum are very small or even microscopic animals that live in sediment. The animals are usually found in the spaces between marine gravel or firmly attached to gravel at the floor of oceans and seas. They’re usually built with a outer case that protects their digestive system, head, and mouth. There are two sexes in adult Loricifera, and these tiny animals can reproduce through parthenogenesis. In other words, they can reproduce through virgin births. There are currently over 100 species of this phylum, whose size range from 100 micrometers to 1 millimeter.

Now what’s strange about these guys? Well, this phylum contains the first known animal to exist in an environment without oxygen.[3] That’s right, the area where some Loricifera were found had such a high concentration of salt that there was no oxygen. These environments are known as anoxic. Currently, there are three known species of Loricifera that are found in this kind of environment.

7 Homing

Homing is the ability of animals to find their way back to a location. This location ranges from an area for breeding to an animal’s home territory. There are several kinds of homing.

Magnetic orientation is when an animal uses the Earth’s magnetic field to find its way home. This is useful if you can’t see the Sun, like mole rats that return home through underground burrows. Another kind of homing is celestial orientation, which is used by marbled newts, which can only find their way home if the stars are visible. It has also been theorized that homing pigeons use low-frequency sound waves to create a map of their surroundings, allowing them to find their way home even when they’re miles away.[4]

Some animals use something that is known as true navigation. This kind of navigation utilizes landmarks like mountains, rivers, and the like to navigate through familiar territory. However, this means that true navigation does not work through unfamiliar territory. Sea turtles are known to use this kind of homing.

6 Immortal Species

Biologically immortal species are defined as species whose mortality rate does not rise after maturity. One genus of immortal animals is Hydra, which were first observed to not show any signs of aging in 1998 by a team of scientists.[5]Hydra are tiny freshwater organisms that grow up to 10 millimeters in length and eat tiny aquatic animals. These tiny organisms look like a small tube with tentacles reaching out from one end. They appear to live forever and do not age.

However, in the wild, Hydra should still be worried about diseases, predators, and contaminated water. All of these things could kill the biologically immortal Hydra, which can still succumb to other causes of death, even though it cannot succumb to age. Hydra are notorious for being comprised of mostly stem cells, cells that can continuously divide and differentiate into any possibly cell type, which gives them impressive regenerative abilities. These kinds of cells are only found in humans for the first few days after our conception and disappear after that.

5 Cambrian Explosion

The Cambrian explosion, also known as the Cambrian radiation, occurred almost 541 million years ago, during a time known as the Cambrian period. Over the course of a few million years, an extremely short time from an evolutionary perspective, almost all major animal phyla came to appear in the fossil records, completely changing the biosphere forever. Before this explosion, the Earth almost exclusively consisted of plankton, bacteria, and algae. After the explosion, the emergence of more complex and a larger variety of animals led the ecosystem to become more nuanced. For example, predation came into the ecosystem due to the Cambrian explosion.

However, we don’t know for sure why this explosion happened. Some scientists believe that a slight increase in oxygen was the tipping point that led to the surge of species.[6] Oxygen is required for processes like metabolizing food, and oxygen releases more energy than the anaerobic ways most species had been living during that time. Thus, if there was a sudden increase in oxygen levels, the development of more complex and energy-intensive organisms would have been facilitated.

4 Sleep

Everyone knows what sleep is, right? The naturally recurring state that typically leads to altered consciousness, lack of muscle movement, and almost no sensory activity is one that humans usually spend one third of their entire life in. But this must seem strange, right? In the wild, being completely vulnerable to attack for large chunks of time seems as glaring a weakness as the thermal exhaust port in the Death Star.

In humans, adequate sleep has been linked to improved memory, longer life, less inflammation linked with heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and strokes, increased creativity, better grades, improved attention, less stress, and lower rates of depression. There are so many benefits of sleep that it deserves its own top-ten list. However, it is still unclear why we evolved to sleep in the first place.[7] Theories include forging new neural connections to filtering out old, unused, and unimportant ones. All of these theories, though compelling, are not always completely supported by empirical evidence.

3 Light Pillars

Light pillars are an extremely elegant phenomenon where vertical bands of light appear from a light source. This effect is caused by the interaction of light with ice crystals that are in the atmosphere or are suspended in the clouds.[8] The prominence of the light pillars has a direct relationship with how large the crystals in the atmosphere are. In other words, the larger the crystal, the more pronounced the light beams become. Common sources of light are the Sun, the Moon, and streetlights. These dazzling spectacles have been known to appear during sunrises, sunsets, and at night in places like Northern Ontario, Alaska, and even Arizona.

Pillars caused by artificial sources like street lights are often taller than light pillars caused by natural sources like the Sun, which creates a phenomenon known as sun pillars or solar pillars, and the Moon. The pillars you see aren’t actually over the lights as they appear to be but are optical illusions like halos.

2 Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity is defined by neuroscientists as the brain’s ability to change. This attribute of the brain is fundamental to its development as well as its decline.

How does the brain change, exactly? Well, gray matter either thickens or shrinks, allowing for neural connections to be forged, refined, weakened, or severed. These changes that take place in our brain alter the way we think and even our abilities. This process occurs in things like learning a new dance step or learning the route to work. It is also seen in other, sadder things like forgetting someone’s name or your mom’s number. Neuroplasticity is present at every age.

One amazing example of neuroplasticity is in London cab drivers. It has been reported that learning all the streets of London and constantly navigating them has changed the structure of the cabbies’ brains. A novice cab driver’s brain is radically different from an experienced cab driver’s.[9]

1 The Origin Of Life

Hefty topic, isn’t it? Abiogenesis, also known as the origin of life, is the process where life arises from nonliving matter like the organic compounds found on Earth. The transition from nonliving to living isn’t a single event but took place over billions of years, and we’re still trying to figure out how it happened.

There are many theories as to how this occurred. One is that when the Earth was covered in ice, the ice protected the compounds from the Sun, allowing for complex interactions between said compounds, leading to life. Lightning is another theory. Electricity produces sugars and amino acids from elements in the atmosphere, and a lightning strike on a rich volcanic cloud could have lead to life. Clay is another popular theory. Clay could have been an area of concentrated chemical activity allowing for the rise of life as we know it today.

A new theory by physicists is that life was inevitable because a system, when surrounded by energy, would evolve to be efficient in dissipating energy, and atoms will organize to serve this purpose. This reorganization and increased energy dissipation would eventually lead to life.[10]

Kevin is currently studying Computer Science and Mathematics with a minor in Science Writing. He is an avid programmer, tinkerer, and technology enthusiast. In his free time, he likes listening to podcasts, playing the piano, and painting.


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No matter what anyone tells you, everyone farts. In fact, if the average person farts 14 times a day, there are 365 days in a year, and the average lifespan is approximately 80 years, then you will fart over 400,000 times in your life. Not only human beings fart, though. All kinds of animals, including cats and dogs, do, too. This is because any animal with the right diet as well as a certain type of gut bacteria is able to generate gas in its digestive system.[1]

In nature, some animals use their farts for strategic advantages. On the other hand, as is the case in this article, some farts result in situations that leave a person facing the strong arm of the law. This list will review ten times that intervention by law enforcement was ultimately required just because someone broke wind.

10 The Fart Joke That Landed A Man In Prison

Farts can empty rooms. So can bomb threats. In 2012, Harold Wayne Hadley was studying at the Jones County Junior College’s Terrell Tisdale Library in Mississippi when he went to the bathroom.

While there, Hadley decided to write a fart joke on a piece of toilet paper. Because Hadley was born in a rural area, he decided to refer to his fart as a “bomb,” which resulted in him facing quite an amount of trouble when someone else found the slip of paper.

A nearby teacher was able to distinguish that the writing was Hadley’s. A total of 11 emergency response agencies arrived at the school to find out that there was not actually a bomb. As a result, Hadley was arrested and held on a $20,000 bond.[2] At time the accident occurred, Hadley was a straight-A student and was scheduled to graduate in a few months.

9 Farts That Led To Brawls

Most people don’t enjoy it when someone passes gas around them. In 2016, Deborah Ann Burns of Immokalee, Florida, became angry when her boyfriend, Willie Butler, “farted in her face” while the two were watching TV. When the woman confronted her boyfriend about his flatulence, he told her to shut up. At this point, the two began arguing. At some point, Burns threw a kitchen knife at Butler’s stomach. She also picked up a stick and hit Butler’s harm. The fight ended when Burns ran away from her farting boyfriend. Police later arrived and arrested her on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Bail was set at $50,000.

This isn’t the only fight that occurred in 2016 over farting in Florida. At the Sloppy Joe’s bar in Key West, an argument arose one night between two couples when someone farted at the bar.[3] Unable to let the rule “whoever smelt it, dealt it” decide matters, one of the patrons ended up trading words with another customer, which led to a fistfight and a dislocated shoulder. While law enforcement was called to the scene, the injured patron declined to press charges.

8 The Creation Of Cow Fart Laws

California’s Governor Jerry Brown has been a staunch advocate for laws that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which includes regulating activity at dairy farms and landfills.

In 2016, Brown even approved Senate Bill 1383, which addresses black carbon, methane, and other gases that harm the environment. In addition, these gases also can make people sick.

One of the primary products at dairy farms that emits these gases is manure, or cow poop. Gases are also emitted by cows that belch and fart. In accordance with 1383, dairy farmers are required to cut methane emissions to 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030.[4]

To help farmers follow these regulations, the state of California even established a fund to help dairy farmers purchase digesters, which are large machines that turn the methane gas from cow farts and manure into electricity. California, however, lacked the funds to provide a digester for every farm in the state. As a result, more cows than California would like are still farting.

7 Berlin Upholds The Right To Fart

One of the largest crime scandals that shook Berlin didn’t involve violence at all. Instead, the subject was farts. In February 2016, police officers asked a man who had been partying for ID. The man farted. Twice.

The officers accused the man of having aimed his flatulence at one of them, and he was eventually fined €900. The man refused to pay and was ultimately forced to go to court over the matter in September 2017. The case was dismissed in less than ten minutes.

The whole smelly affair, or rather the taxpayer money spent on trying to prosecute this apparently criminal farter, ignited a scandal in the city. The press referred to the debacle as the Irrer-Pups Prozess (the “Crazy Toot Trial”).[5]

6 Farts That Grounded Planes

Farts can do all sorts of things, like clearing a room. In the case of the following story, one forced a plane to land. In 2018, an elderly man’s flatulence on a flight from Dubai to Amsterdam caused the airplane to make an emergency stop.[6]

Passengers on the plane were unhappy with the man’s gassiness and asked him to stop, but he refused to do so. The pilot of the plane even directly ordered the man to stop farting, but this request didn’t work, either. As a result, two passengers who were sitting next to the elderly man started a fight, which got so out of hand that the pilot was required to make an unscheduled stop.

After the plane landed, police boarded the aircraft and removed the men who caused the fight as well as two women who were seated nearby. No arrests were made in the end.

Farts have disrupted other flights as well. In 2017, an American Airlines flight was evacuated because it smelled like someone made a very foul fart. The smell, however, was determined to be a mechanical failure.

In 2006, law enforcement was required to bring bomb-sniffing dogs onto a plane due to the smell of burning matches, which were determined to be from a woman who was trying to hide the smell of her farts by lighting a match.

5 The Fart Exorcist Lawsuit

There is no shortage of strange lawsuits, with one of the most infamous being the McDonald’s coffee that was too hot. In what was likely the first lawsuit of its kind, however, a case arose in Romania concerning farts.

In 2013, a lawyer in Pitesti, Romania, sued an Orthodox bishop and four priests because these religious leaders failed to exorcise the “flatulent demons” from the man’s home.[7]

The case arose when the lawyer’s home began to stink badly, which the lawyer attributed to very gassy demons. In an effort to remove the smells from his home, the man contacted religious authorities. While the four priests attempted to drive the farting demons from the lawyer’s home, their efforts were unsuccessful.

Accusing the priests of fraud, the lawyer told the court that after these efforts, he continued to see the demons in the form of animals, including crows. The demons, the lawyer claimed, also turned his TV on and off and continued to make foul smells that gave him headaches.

Both a lower Romanian court and the Romanian high court rejected the allegations. As a result, the lawyer took his case to the European Court of Human Rights, which hears cases involving potential violations of various human rights provisions.

4 Fired For Farting On The Job

Farting too much can annoy people around you. Sometimes, it can even cost you a job. In 2014, Richard Clem was fired from his comptroller position at the Case Pork Roll Company in New Jersey due to flatulence.

Clem alleged that his extreme gas (as well as uncontrollable diarrhea) resulted from a gastric bypass surgery he had in 2010. Later, in 2013, Clem’s symptoms grew worse and created a significant disruption for other workers at the Case Pork Roll Company.

According to Clem’s wife, the company’s president made Clem work at home and said things like, “We cannot run an office and have visitors with the odor in office,” and, “Tell Richard we are having complaints from people who have problems with the odors.”

In response, Clem’s wife filed a lawsuit against his employer, claiming that the termination was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Clem also took legal action through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Clem’s attorney insisted that farting was “the sexy part of the story,” but that Clem suffers from obesity, which is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Unfortunately, the lawsuit was dismissed.[8]

3 Farts That Led To Fires

People don’t often forget pranks, particularly those involving farts. In 2018 in Yakima, Washington, Joel Cruz got mad when he started thinking about his brother farting in his face a decade earlier. So, Cruz put a pot of vegetable oil on the stove, turned up the heat, and left the house. The fire that arose burned down his parents’ home. Police arrived and arrested Cruz on charges of arson. After claiming that he heard voices in his head, law enforcement gave Cruz a mental evaluation. They tried to place him in a state hospital but could not because he was determined to be a danger to himself and others.

There are many other cases of farts leading to fires. In 2016, a woman was undergoing surgery at the Tokyo Medical University Hospital when she farted and ignited a laser that was being used in the operating room.[9] The resulting fire burned most of the woman’s body, waist, and legs, necessitating another surgery. Medical professionals reported that there were not any other potentially flammable materials in the room at the time that could have caused the fire.

2 Revenge Farts

It’s never a wise idea to use a fart for revenge purposes. In 2016, a man in Sweden was reported to law enforcement for executing a revenge fart because a woman did not want to have sex with him.

This event occurred after a man and woman in Laholm, located in Southwest Sweden, agreed to have sex and went to the woman’s home. Once they were there, she changed her mind. After she denied the man’s advances, the disgruntled suitor farted and left. The woman proceeded to inform law enforcement about the gas and claimed that the event disrupted her peace of mind. While Swedish law enforcement is obligated to investigate any reports of crime, they declined to pursue the matter in a court of law, as it could not be proven that the man broke wind on purpose.

Farts might just be an effective measure to stop the authorities. In 2017, police in Kansas City, Missouri, took Sean Sykes Jr. in for questioning over drug and gun charges.[10] During the interview, Sykes leaned to one side of his chair and let loose a loud fart. Afterward, he continued to be particularly flatulent. The detective questioning him decided to end the interview early due to Sykes’s flatulence. He still ended up facing the aforementioned drug and firearm charges, though.

1 Farts That Led To Death

Farts can have some particularly grisly ends. In 2012 in Ohio, 16-year-old Shaakira Dorsey got into a fight over farting. Dorsey had teased another girl after she passed gas, resulting in a fistfight that led to Dorsey’s death. As a result, the accused farter was charged with one count of murder.

Among the many other farts that have resulted in the deaths of people, the incident that probably claimed the most lives occurred in Jerusalem during the first century AD. The historian Josephus reported that during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a Roman soldier dropped his pants, bent over, and farted.[11] This fart enraged the surrounding crowd, resulting in a riot that claimed the lives of 10,000 people.


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Hollywood loves a sequel. When a movie is a hit, it’s almost a sure thing that there will be a part two. Sometimes, sequels are even planned early based on the assumption that the first film will succeed.

Sequels are moneymaking machines that cash in on name recognition garnered by the original films. Nevertheless, despite all the planning, some movie continuations never see the light of day.

But remember, in a generation inundated with remakes and reboots, one should never say never. Even so, here are 10 films that were rumored to have sequels but never got them.

Featured image credit: Wikia

10 Who Framed Roger Rabbit

When Who Framed Roger Rabbit hit theaters in 1988, this marvel of a film combined live action and animated characters in a way that had never been done before. The movie was a huge success, and the studios decided to strike while the iron was hot. Screenwriter Nat Mauldin was brought in, and a sequel, or rather a prequel, was put on paper.

It was entitled Roger Rabbit: The Toon Platoon. The story dealt with a younger Roger in search of his parents. He joined the army and took on the Nazis with the help of familiar characters and toon-inspired weapons. By all accounts, the script was quite good. So why did we never see Roger Rabbit: Part 2?

Who Framed Roger Rabbit was a film that crossed studios and characters, integrating Amblin, Disney, and Warner Brothers into one universe where Toonkind played nice with one another. But in the real world, playing nice wasn’t as easy. There were numerous licensing issues and permissions that had to be obtained.

It had been difficult enough to get the studios on board and in agreement for the first film. So, a second time would have been an even bigger task as each organization likely wanted a bigger piece of the pie. After that, the script began to run through changes and eventually shifted to the story of Roger’s rise to fame. It was given the new title, Who Discovered Roger Rabbit?

More changes were made, and new people were brought on to the project. With the rise in CGI popularity, the decision was made to change Roger to an all-CG character. The budget began to grow as more ideas were tossed about. But eventually, the idea of a sequel fell off the map.

Then, in 2016, Robert Zemeckis, the original director of the film, stated that he was still interested in directing another film and that there was a new script that placed Roger and wife, Jessica, in the 1950s.[1] However, Zemeckis wasn’t optimistic about the chances for production of the new film at that time.

It is unknown if another Roger Rabbit movie will ever hit the big screen. But for us fans, it is good to know that there is still hope!

9 Mac And Me

In 1988, a movie was released about an alien, who was separated from his family and stranded on Earth, befriending a young boy. Sound familiar? Well, it should because the film came hot on the heels of the very successful E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

The newer film was called Mac and Me. Producers were certain that it would be a hit. In fact, part two was not only planned, but they also went as far as putting a freeze-frame at the end of the film saying, “We’ll be back!”

However, the movie was a box office flop. It garnered negative reviews across the board and earned just over $6 million domestically, which was not good because it cost over $13 million to make. The film also had a profit-sharing agreement with the Ronald McDonald House Charities, further complicating the whole endeavor.[2]

The idea of Mac and Me 2 went over a cliff faster than Eric’s wheelchair in the film. Although the original has been voted one of the worst movies of all time, it has achieved a sort of cult status, managing to find a new life in recent years after becoming a running gag on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

8 E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

To understand the origins of this twisted sequel idea, you first need to know how the original movie found its roots. Universal Studios was pushing Steven Spielberg to follow up on both Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Jaws, but Spielberg informed them that he wasn’t interested. Still, Universal wasn’t giving up.

In an attempt to appease, Spielberg agreed to write a loose follow-up to Close Encounters. The script was titled Night Skies, and it was a macabre film that dealt with aliens terrorizing a family. For one reason or another, the movie never came to fruition. But certain aspects of it managed to find their way into the script for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

E.T. was a smash hit. Universal began to beg for another one, so Spielberg agreed. Taking more elements from the Night Skies script, the treatment for E.T. II: Nocturnal Fears was quickly written and the project was off and running.

So, what happened?

Well, E.T. II was a darker take on the original, complete with carnivorous aliens, family abductions, and the torture of Elliott.[3] Yes, we said torture. The treatment would have made a great horror film, but it hardly captured the feel-good family sensibility of its predecessor. Eventually, the potential sequel was deemed too dark and Spielberg moved forward with other projects.

7 Masters Of The Universe

If you were a kid in the early 1980s, then you knew what He-Man and The Masters of the Universe was and were beyond excited when the movie of the same name was released in 1987.

Banking on the overwhelming success of the cartoon series and the line of action figures from Mattel, executives at Cannon Films believed they had a surefire hit. In fact, a follow-up script had already been written.

At the end of the first film, we discover that the villainous Skeletor is still alive. According to some reports, the sequel would have been called Masters of the Universe 2: Cyborg and would have once again taken place on Earth. Only this time, it would have occurred years in the future after Skeletor had laid waste to the land.

The second movie had been conceived with a much smaller budget of $4.5 million (as compared to the original’s $22 million). It also would have replaced leading man Dolph Lundgren with professional surfer Laird Hamilton. With costumes and sets left over and a script in hand, why not make another, right? Well, producers didn’t see it that way.

The film only made $17 million at the box office, and both critics and fans were displeased with the adaptation. Toy production all but ceased, and the idea for another film was scrapped. Or was it?

Cannon had intended to use the profits from Masters of the Universe to film not only a second part but also a Spider-Man movie. In their haste, money had already been spent on costumes and sets. Plus they already had the script for Masters of the Universe 2: Cyborg.

By tweaking the script and using the existing sets and outfits, the film was changed into the Jean-Claude Van Damme film Cyborg, which was released in 1989.[4] Created on a budget of $500,000, Cyborg managed to rake in around $10 million at the box office. This recouped some of the money lost and gave us a twisted second part to Masters of the Universe, although it was unknown at the time.

6 Forrest Gump

In 1994, the novel Forrest Gump was adapted into a film starring Tom Hanks. The film grossed just under $700 million at the box office and won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and more. With a hit that big, a follow-up was almost a guarantee, especially since there was already a second novel, Gump and Co.

The novel’s sequel continues to follow the life of Forrest Gump, incorporating into the plot that a film (starring Tom Hanks) had been made about Forrest’s life. In the book, Gump finds himself broke after losing the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. This propels him into a string of odd jobs and circumstances like playing professional football and developing New Coke. It also introduces the ghost of Jenny, who appears to Forrest throughout the novel.

Some have blamed the strange story line as the reason why the sequel film was never made. But the biggest obstacle came from lead actor Tom Hanks. He has been very vocal over the years about his unwillingness to return to the role. According to Hanks, making a sequel would ruin what they had accomplished with the first film.[5]

Weird plot aside, it would be almost impossible to place anyone else in the lead role—as the studio executives seemed to agree. With that, Gump and Co. has been fated to spend the remainder of its life as a novel and likely nothing more.

5 The Breakfast Club

In 1985, John Hughes gave us an iconic film that would forever bridge the gap between the generations and show us that the struggles of youth cross the span of time. The Breakfast Club threw a group of mismatched teens together and forced them to deal with growing up as they sacrificed their Saturday afternoon in detention.

We didn’t want to just forget about our beloved characters, and people didn’t. Over the years, sequel rumors sprang up, suggesting everything from another detention to a different group of kids to a scenario where the clubbers were now in college. (Is there detention in college?) But aside from a few comments by actor Emilio Estevez in 2005, nothing was ever verified.

John Hughes never wanted a sequel. He believed that there was no valid reason that the motley group would end up together again. He also felt that a second edition would take away from the magic left by the ambiguous climax of the original. This was some personal animosity between Hughes and costar Judd Nelson as well.[6]

Hughes died in 2009, and he took with him any real possibility of a Breakfast Club sequel.

4 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

The Breakfast Club wasn’t the only movie written and directed by John Hughes that had a proposed sequel. In 1986, the world was introduced to the ultimate slacker popular kid in a film called Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Rumors of a second film popped up for years—even fueled by certain cast members—and the ideas included various plot devices such as Ferris on a trip to Hawaii, Ferris in college, and as the years moved on, Ferris taking a day off work. More whispers had it that a screenplay was in the works but not necessarily a script penned by Hughes.[7]

In the end, the film never came together, likely due to the lack of a good story and disinterest from the film’s star, Matthew Broderick. However, in 2012, 26 years after playing the iconic character on the big screen, Broderick reprised his Ferris role for Honda in an ad airing during the Super Bowl. It wasn’t the film that fans had hoped for, but the ad was still a welcomed nod to the character many had grown to love over the years.

3 The Nightmare Before Christmas

In 1993, Disney and Tim Burton gave us what was sure to become an instant cult classic in the stop-motion animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas. Over the years, the movie’s characters have grown in popularity and merchandise sales have shown no signs of slowing down. So, of course, the next logical step would be a sequel.

Disney was all for the further adventures of Jack Skellington, but it seems that Burton was not. Even so, the idea of a second film took off when Burton favorite Paul Reubens, better known to most as Pee-wee Herman, let it slip that the famous director was extremely busy and might be working on another Nightmare script.

When asked if there was any truth to the rumors, Burton said no. That seemed to be the end of the story . . . until recently. In late 2017, it was announced that manga comic producer Tokyopop would be releasing a 20-issue comic book sequel series entitled The Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero’s Journey in 2018 to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the movie.[8] This gave Nightmare fans a reason to celebrate once again.

2 Mrs. Doubtfire

In 1993, actor-comedian Robin Williams delivered an amazing performance as he took on the role of a father who, desperate to spend more time with his children after a divorce, puts on a costume and disguises himself as the tough but lovable housekeeper Mrs. Doubtfire.

The movie resonated with critics and audiences alike, and it wasn’t long before a second film was discussed. The problem of how to use the same actors and premise and yet still keep the story fresh popped up early on, but script ideas were not the only issues.

Neither Robin Williams nor director Chris Columbus was happy with the direction that the story was taking. Both expressed their disinterest in returning to the Doubtfire universe.

Still, Hollywood can be persistent. Finally, it was announced that a script had been written that seemed like a good fit. It was then reported that Williams had signed on to the project and everything seemed like a go.

However, in 2014, Robin Williams tragically took his own life. He had been suffering from depression and a variety of ailments and was distraught over the cancellation of his latest television series, The Crazy Ones.

Realizing that only Williams could deliver the performance needed to bring the Mrs. Doubtfire character back to life on the big screen, the sequel was scrapped, leaving us all to pine over a film that we will never have a chance to see.[9]

1 Star Wars

We know what you’re thinking. Star Wars has had numerous sequels. And you’re right. But there was a Star Wars movie that was, in fact, never seen. It was titled Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, and it was the film that George Lucas had planned as a backup to The Empire Strikes Back if Star Wars failed to perform well at the box office.

In the 1970s, film companies didn’t preplan sequels like they do today. But Lucas had it in his head that there would be another Star Wars movie while the first was still in production. He was so certain that he hired acclaimed science fiction author Alan Dean Foster to pen the novelization of his Star Wars script and a follow-up that could easily be turned into a low-budget film adaptation.

In Foster’s novel, Luke and Leia crash-land on a swamp planet where the Empire is mining for the Kaiburr crystal. The characters are kept to a minimum, and a lot of what we now take as Star Wars canon was either left out or, well, was different. For example, there was a romantic interest between Luke and Leia because they weren’t yet established as siblings. Vader also had his arm cut off just before being tossed into a bottomless pit.

As we know, Star Wars was a juggernaut at the box office, changing the face of movies forever and allowing Lucas the budget to film the much loftier The Empire Strikes Back. Foster’s novel was eventually published, although the story has been stripped from the actual Star Wars universe and is instead considered some sort of strange alternate dimension tale of what might have happened.[10]

Jason has been writing since age 10 when he penned his first short story. He is also an avid podcaster, writing for and hosting the Real Strange Podcast.


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