Perhaps, it is difficult to find a gentleman to do than to bet. No wonder the British are the main amateurs and virtuosos of the case. However, funny, resourceful and impressive Bet since ancient times throughout the world, what do you have the opportunity to see.
1 Pearl cocktail
One of the most ancient in the history of mankind bet was concluded between Cleopatra and her Roman lover Mark Antony. Queen argued that one can drink a wine dinner on 10 million sesterces. Prospects for a very interesting, and Mark gladly accepted the bet. However, the cunning 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 dropped into the glass. Calcium carbonate is reacted with acetic acid, weakened 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 recognized her victory.
By the way, scientists have recently proven the realism of this chemical experience. A certain Professor Prudence Jones of the University of 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, firmly against the wall right shoulder and right foot. Even for a moment - it's hard!
2 Suggest scored 100 points in bowling, playing blindfolded. Do not get: people instantly lose orientation in space.
3 Tell me what your opponent will not be able to fold a sheet of paper of any size greater than 9 times, provided that each time a sheet folded in half.
Who, apart from the incumbent, can open the door foot in the White House? This issue has recently taken aback by the famous American basketball player Shaquille O'Neal and argued with one of his trainers, he could go without an appointment, "a visit" to Obama, just stop the car at the gate and pushing back the guard. Under the terms of the bet, basketball should not have anyone to call (he himself admitted that he has friends in the protection of the White House), call themselves, as well as the use of force. They 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, - he told reporters later. - Said, "Hey, Shaq! We are glad to see you, but we can not start up. " I told them: "OK, I understand».
NBA star insisted that he really did not hurt. However, that day in his "Twitter" message appears: "Just do not let the White House. Pochemuuuuuu? "However, perhaps the emotions belong to thousands of push-ups, the coach who kindly allowed to break approaches to thirty times.
3 Balzac women
This story exists 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 a connoisseur of women and often entertained friends writing a detailed biography of any encountered in the street interesting stranger.
So, once Balzac and a friend were walking through the park. Ahead were 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 declared friend that is willing to bet on anything: blond - radical Parisienne "with true Parisian walk"; most likely, it more rich lovers, childless, and she is a beautiful life. But the brunette - an Englishwoman; probably the housekeeper; she has 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. We decided to argue for dinner in a good restaurant. If Balzac is right - pay pal, if wrong - on the contrary. Friends wager. Writer unabashedly went to the ladies, and met with them. But the more they respond to his questions, the darker became "an expert on women's souls." It turned out that blonde - German, respectable mother of two, wife of a diplomat. But the 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: with a dinner in his day, and so absolutely not lucky.
4 Moon bet
At the moment when Neil Armstrong made his giant leap 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. For 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 the list of most liked his trip to the moon in the next 10 years. Bids accepted 1 to 1000. Ten pounds were not such a small sum for the time: a monthly salary of workers was equal to 30-40 pounds. Nevertheless, David took a chance and, as we know, 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 death broke 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" as a beautiful foreigner actually turns out to Monsieur. Some of them are widely known, but none have been the subject of as many bets as the history of Chevalier d'Eon de Beaumont. This man spent most of his life as a man, a part - as 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 an 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 put at stake for the sake of establishing a floor de Beaumont, has reached 120 thousand pounds. However, no one dared to ask the question on the merits: a few curious Chevalier already packed duels. It was not known and no master, who could boast of tolerance of the mysterious lady's boudoir.
The issue was resolved only in 1810 when d'Eon died. The findings of his death have been waiting with great impatience than the reported results of race. And so it appeared in the newspapers! The doctors agreed that "in spite of the unusual roundness of the arms and legs, as well as swelling of the breasts, Mr Beaumont has a well-formed male sexual organs, and therefore recognized as a man." Tens of thousands of pounds changed owners at this news! Subsequently, it was confirmed that Beaumont passed information to the French king Louis XV.
6 Around the World in ...
The most renowned 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 offered to his editor at News of the World (by the way, it was very Pulitzer) to send her on a business trip from Jules Verne character with a small suitcase and 200 pounds in his pocket.
While Nelly was preparing to travel, Cosmopolitan magazine and became interested in the matter and put his correspondent for she was going to go around the globe, moving in the opposite direction. As a result, it had to bet which of the girls will return to the first point of departure.
November 14, 1889 Nelly boarded the transatlantic liner Augusta Victoria and hit the road. Of course, in real life it was waiting much less adventurous than in the book, but there were also missed the train and visit the colony of lepers in China, and purchase handmade monkey in Singapore, and even meeting with himself, Jules Verne. All this Nelly wrote a telegram to his magazine. Pulitzer has opened betting for readers to take bets on when Nellie get to the next destination. January 21, late for two days due to storms in the Pacific Ocean, Nelly came back to the US. But she still had to get to the other shore. If the journalist was traveling on an ordinary railway, it can not be kept within 80 days, but the Pulitzer sent her a personal train, so Nellie arrived at the point of departure for eight days ahead of schedule! Her opponent of the Cosmopolitan of this moment still plowed the Atlantic, hopelessly losing bet.
7 Race with the butcher
The following story took place in England in the eighteenth century, and rightly be considered one of the most ingenious bet. 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, a brilliant young nobleman, enthusiastic athletics. Count rightly considered himself one of the best sportsmen of the country. History is silent whether Barrymore customer Bullock, but it is known that the butcher once offered to Count unusual bet. The fat man announced that he undertakes to overtake the young athlete at one hundred meters, but on two conditions: he reserves the right to choose the place and requests a head start in the 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. Said Earl pleaded loser and honestly Bullock paid everything he owed.
8 Movie 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." They say one of the 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. There is a countdown: 10 ... 9 ... 8 ... 7 ... 6 ... 5 ... 4 ... We see her face, which is reflected in the experiences of the storm. At the last moment she picks up the phone, dials a number and with the start of the rocket says into the phone: "He's gone."
9 Fashionable bet
British aristocrat Lord Spencer at the beginning of the XIX century was the undisputed trendsetter in London salons. He was so sure of himself that one day even made a bet absurd. Lord offered to do with his tailcoat something wild - for example, cut the tails. Then 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. Jackets rightly became known (and still so called) 'Spencers'. They put as an alternative to a tuxedo.
10 People and hole
The famous physicist Stephen Hawking (incidentally, also British) also did not escape the national passion. Throughout his life, he made a bet for a few, 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. The bet has been an annual subscription to Penthouse (for Hawking opponent) against the four-year subscription to the satirical magazine Private Eye. Alas, Stephen was not destined to enjoy the satire: a hole to be in place. The next time Professor Hawking argued that hole completely absorbs information. And wrong again! This time, the professor made modest: as a bet has been offered only a baseball encyclopedia. The thing is, of course, is much less useful than a satirical magazine.
Text: Katja Chekushina
Illustrations: Vlad Foresters