Perhaps, it is easy to find a gentleman to do than to bet. No wonder the British considered the main amateurs and virtuosos of the case. However, funny, resourceful and impressive Bet from ancient times all over the world, what you have the opportunity to see.
1. Pearl cocktail
One of the oldest betting in the history of mankind has been concluded between Cleopatra and her Roman lover Mark Antony. Queen argued that one can drink wine dinner on 10 million sesterces. Prospects provides a very interesting, and Mark gladly accepted the bet. However, treacherous woman, of course, cheated. At the beginning of dinner before it put a glass of wine vinegar, Cleopatra took in his ear a huge black pearl, which was known for its fabulous value, and threw them into the glass. Calcium carbonate is reacted with acetic acid, to weaken it, and at the end of dinner, the resulting cocktail was quite possible to enjoy a spectacular one gulp, and that the queen has done. Marc Anthony found her victory.
By the way, scientists have recently proven experience the realism of this chemical. A professor at the University of Prudence Jones New Jersey armed with vinegar and pearls and found that it takes about 24 hours to dissolve in acid medium pearl. He admits that the Egyptian queen in advance soaked his earring in vinegar and pulled her out of the ear in a softened form. Or dinner, as it often was at the time, especially in a society Cleopatra, smoothly flowing into the breakfast.
2. Go to the White House
Bets that can not win:
1. bet with a friend that he can not lift his left leg for three seconds, tightly against the wall right shoulder and right foot. Even for a moment - it's hard!
2. Suggest scored 100 points in bowling, playing blindfolded. Not work: people instantly lose orientation in space.
3. Tell me what your opponent will not be able to fold a piece of paper of any size greater than 9 times, provided that each time a sheet folded in half.
Who, besides the incumbent, may open the door a foot to the White House? This question has recently taken aback famous American basketball player Shaquille O'Neal and argued with one of his coaches, he could go without an appointment "a visit" to Obama, just stop the car at the gate and pushing security. Under the terms of the bet, basketball should not have to call anyone (he himself admitted that he has friends in the protection of the White House), call themselves, as well as the use of force. Argued for a thousand push-ups.
During the short trip to Washington coach gave Shaquille phone, caught a taxi and went to storm the residence of Obama. "They know me, - said he later told reporters. - Said, "Hey, Shaq! Glad to see you, but we can not let. " I told them: "OK, I understand».
NBA star insisted that he really did not hurt. However, on that day in his "Twitter" message appears: "Just do not let the White House. Pochemuuu? "However, perhaps these emotions belong to thousands of push-ups, who kindly allowed the coach divided into approaches to thirty times.
3. Balzac women
This story is there more as a literary bike (none of the official biography of Honore de Balzac does not confirm it), but all the prerequisites for something like that really were. It is known that Balzac considered himself an expert on women and often entertained friends writing a detailed biography of any encountered on the street an interesting stranger.
So, once Balzac with a friend were walking through the park. First came two ladies, presents an amazing contrast. One - a blonde beauty with a remarkable figure and sharpened movements, the other - a flat, awkward brunette with incredible hat on his head. Balzac announced friend that is willing to bet on anything: blonde - radical Parisienne "with a true Parisian gait"; most likely, it a few wealthy lovers, childless and she is a beautiful life. Well brunette - an Englishwoman; probably the housekeeper; she had one child, the fruit of an error of youth, who lives with his grandmother; She could barely make ends meet. Buddy opened his mouth in surprise and took the bet. Decided to argue for dinner at a nice restaurant. If Balzac is right - pay pal, if wrong - on the contrary. Friends wager. Writer unabashedly went to the ladies and got to know them. But the more they answered his questions, the darker became a "connoisseur of women's souls." It turned out that blonde - German, respectable mother of two, wife of a diplomat. Well brunette - radical French; Moreover, the actress is very frivolous character, which is not averse to "dine with the Lord." Balzac barely managed to get rid of it: dinner with him that day, and so totally out of luck.
4. Lunar bet
At the moment when Neil Armstrong made his giant step in the history of mankind, sincerely rejoiced not only all of America, but it is modest and one Briton. His name was David Trelfol and his amazing luck. In the nine years prior to this event, in 1960, he came to the bookmaker with 10 pounds in his pocket and the idea to put on something crazy. From a list of most of all he enjoyed the trip to the moon in the next 10 years. Bids were taken 1 to 1000. Ten pounds were not such a small sum in those days: a monthly salary equal to the working 30-40 pounds. Nevertheless David took the risk and, as we know, has won! In 1969, less than a year before the expiration of the bet, the Americans made the same lunar landing. A Trelfol then bought a luxury sports car. However, the smile of fortune turned sarcastic grin: in the first year, David crashed to death on his car.
5. He or she?
Probably in the diplomatic practice of past centuries there were many cases in the style of "Madame Butterfly", when a beautiful foreigner actually turns monsieur. Some of them are widely known, but none have been the subject of so many bets as the history of Chevalier d'Eon de Beaumont. This gentleman spent most of his life as a man, and some - like a woman.
At the end of the XVIII century he lived in London in the form of the famous French aristocrat, emancipated fencers, rider and visitors of all secular salons. But, in spite of women's clothing, lack of facial hair and incredibly thin arms, the whole of London is still assailed by doubts. What do the British in this case? Naturally, bettors! It is known that in 1774 the total amount that the British have staked in order to establish gender de Beaumont, has reached 120 thousand pounds. However, no one dared to ask a question to the point: a few curious Chevalier already packed duels. It was not known and no one gentleman who could boast of tolerance in the mysterious lady's boudoir.
The question was resolved only in 1810, when d'Eon died. Conclusions about his death were waiting eagerly than to the results of races. And so it appeared in the newspapers! Doctors agreed that "in spite of the unusual roundness of the feet and hands, as well as swelling of the breast, Mr. Beaumont has a well-formed men's bodies, and therefore recognized a man." Tens of thousands of pounds changed owners at this news! Subsequently confirmed that Beaumont passed information to the French king Louis XV.
6. Around the World in ...
The most celebrated in the world literature bet Phileas Fogg ("Around the World in 80 Days") has generated a lot of imitators. First, who managed to beat the record Fogg in real life, was an American journalist Nellie Bly. In 1888 she was invited to his editor at News of the World (by the way, it was a Pulitzer himself) to send her on a business trip from Jules Verne character with a small suitcase and 200 pounds in his pocket.
While Nelly ready to travel, Cosmopolitan magazine also interested in the question and put his correspondent for: she was going to go around the globe, moving in the opposite direction. As a result, had to bet, the first of the girls who will return to the starting point.
November 14, 1889 Nelly boarded the transatlantic liner Augusta Victoria and hit the road. Of course, in real life it was waiting for much less adventurous than in the book, but there were also missed the train, and a visit to the leper colony in China, and purchase handmade monkey in Singapore, and even meeting with himself, Jules Verne. All this Nelly wrote telegrams in his journal. Pulitzer has opened tote for readers to take bets on when Nelly gets to the next destination. January 21, late for two days due to storms in the Pacific Ocean, Nelly came back to the US. However, she still had to get to the other coast. If the journalist went on conventional rail, it can not be kept within 80 days, but the Pulitzer sent her personal train, so Nellie arrived at the point of departure for eight days ahead of schedule! Her opponent from Cosmopolitan at this moment still furrow the Atlantic, hopelessly lost a bet.
7. Heat the butcher
Next story takes place in England in the eighteenth century, and rightly be considered one of the most ingenious bet. In the city of Brighton lived a butcher by the name of Bullock, he was known throughout the city and its thickness ingenuity: this gentleman never got his words. In the same area was the Earl Barrymore, brilliant young nobleman, enthusiastic athletics. Count rightly regarded himself as one of the best sportsmen of the country. History is silent whether Barrymore client Bullock, but it is known that the butcher once suggested Count unusual wager. The fat man announced that he is taken to overtake the young athlete at one hundred meters, but on two conditions: he reserves the right to choose the place and asks handicap of 35 meters. The winner gets the loser of a considerable sum, which is comparable to the cost of the business Mr. Bullock. Count amused by this bold proposal, and he agreed. Runners began to prepare for the match.
Only a few hours before the race butcher his cards he picked out the Black Lion Lane - one of the narrowest in the UK. Immediately after the start Barrymore caught up with his opponent, but ... was not able to push past him to reach the finish line first. Say, Earl gave up his match and honestly paid Bullock everything he owed.
8. Cinema 10 seconds
The famous Italian writer Tonino Guerra (writer for Tarkovsky, Antonioni, Fellini) wrote the story on the controversy "of the short film in the history of cinema." Say, someone from friends made with Guerra bet that he did not come up with a full length film just 10 seconds. The next day brought a sketch writer: "A woman watching television. On the screen - Broadcast rocket launch. The countdown: 10 ... 9 ... 8 ... 7 ... 6 ... 5 ... 4 ... We see her face, which reflected the storm experiences. At the last second, she picks up the phone, dials, and with the launch of a rocket says into the phone: "He left».
9. Fashionable bet
British aristocrat Lord Spencer at the beginning of the XIX century was the undisputed trendsetter in London salons. He was so confident that one day even made the absurd bet. Lord offered to do with his tailcoat something wild - for example, to cut off the tails. After which he promised to appear at the ball in a way assuring that all consider it absolutely decent outfit.
I must say, Spencer not only won the bet - he introduced the fashion of cropped jackets in the waist, which has become not only men but also women. Blazers rightly became known as (and still so called) "Spencers". They are put as an alternative to a tuxedo.
10. People and holes
The famous physicist Stephen Hawking (incidentally, also British) also did not escape the national passion. Throughout his life, he concluded several wagers, mostly about black holes. It is known that black holes are very concerned about the great scientist. For the first time Stephen was arguing with his colleague that Cygnus X-1 does not contain a black hole. Rate was the annual subscription Pen * house (for the opponent Hawking) against a four-year subscription to the satirical magazine Private Eye. Alas, Stephen was not destined to enjoy the satire: the hole was in place and won the bet amateur erg tics. The next time Professor Hawking argued that hole completely absorbs information. And wrong again! This time the professor made more modest rate as was suggested just a baseball encyclopedia. The thing is, of course, is much less useful than a satirical or erg matic magazine.