The jolly good life of a pirate was not a jolly healthy one, what with the syphilis and scurvy and ship-raiding. Archeologists excavating Blackbeard's flagship off the coast of North Carolina have unveiled their latest findings: a cache of medical instruments that include this rather horrifying urethral syringe.
In the past, medicine was not so much a science as a cross between amateur alchemy and compensated sadism. And the worst quackery wasn't just inflicted on the poor and obscure. There's a long list of famous people who were most likely killed by bad medicine. Here are ten you may not know.
Rabies spread by bites of infected dogs has been deeply feared since antiquity. But the virus also gave some people a rather nasty idea: Why not use it as a weapon?
The Garamantian civilization of ancient North Africa survived and thrived in the Sahara Desert from 1,100 BCE to 600 CE. Three newly discovered skull reveal that the Garamantians practiced medicine. Unfortunately, it involved making tiny holes in people's skulls.