Six Strange Phenomena That Were Common in the Past22 Nov, 2017 4375
In the present era, we are leading a tech-friendly and sophisticated life. Technological advancements and our better understanding of human body and nature have made our life easier. But when we look at the past, our ancestors were leading a miserable life with a little knowledge about their body, and no scientific appliances to accomplish their tasks. Let us explore a few of the things that used to be common in the past but we could not imagine doing today:
1) Legal drug use
We all are aware of the side-effects of drug overdose and addiction. But until the mid 19th-century harmful drugs such as Opium, Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Peyote, Cocaine, LSD, and GHB were commonly used for the treatments of ailments such as cough and cold, digestive problems, headache, tooth pain, etc. Also, it was believed that injecting the drugs directly into the vein prevented addictions as it doesn’t reach the stomach.
2) Surgical operations by barber
In the seventeenth and eighteenth century, it was a common practice to visit a barber for treatment of dental problems, abscesses, dementia, mental illnesses, and wounds. The barber used to do the surgical operations under which the most common practice was to cut a vein of the affected area to let the blood flow. Many times leeches were also employed to suck the blood. Unfortunately, the “barbers” didn’t always know when to stop the blood and the patient sometimes would lost way too much blood in this process.
3) Capital punishment as entertainment
During the medieval times, capital punishment was carried out in front of large crowd of spectators to demonstrate that crime is intolerable. Hanging was one of the most common methods of execution, and it was mostly conducted on a public holiday so that everyone could attend it. A special ground in the middle of the city with proper seating arrangement was allotted for this task. Once the hanging was executed, the body was usually left there so that carnivorous birds like eagle could eat it. Decapitation was another popular form of capital punishment which was given to the criminals who belonged to the noble class.
4) Bizarre practices in the name of beauty
In the mid 15th century, high, dome-like foreheads and milky white skin were considered as the traits of beauty. In order to accomplish this look, women used to pluck out the hair at the hairline to make their foreheads looked bigger. If plucking didn’t bring the desired results, they would rub the area with a rough stone or burn the hair off with a chemical. Also, they used to apply cosmetics made of mercury, silver, pearl, and gold powder on the face to enhance their complexion. One weird phenomenon was that women of the royal class with a dull complexion were thought to be ill-fated.
5) It was common to not bathe for weeks
During the Renaissance times, physicians started to believe that bathing makes people more susceptible to catching diseases. Some doctors also propagated the thought that opening up the pores during bathing would allow a person’s “vital forces” to escape the body. So, it was common for people to not bath for weeks or months.
6) Extremely slow travel
While traveling has become quite easy these days, it was not the same in the past. Until the early 19th century when the car and the electric engine was not invented, people used to travel on their foot, or horse. The other mode of transportation was boat. But, at that time, motors were not used in it and men had to sail it themselves.
These were some common things that were practiced during the past, but not today. Thanks to the advancements in the technology that we are leading a much better life.
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