Natural History Magazine's Picks From the Past

Dylan Thuras is a guest blogger on Boing Boing. Dylan is a travel blogger and the co-founder of the Atlas Obscura: A Compendium of the World's Wonders, Curiosities, and Esoterica, with Joshua Foer.

If you're looking for a good way to lose a day, I simply don't know any better resource than Natural History magazine's "Picks from the Past" page. The editors have assembled an inspiring selection of articles dating back to the magazine's early days at the turn of the last century. Here are a few of my picks from the picks:

Insects as Food: How they have augmented the food supply of mankind in early and recent times. By John S. Patton (1921)

Rains of Fishes: Do fishes fall in rain from the sky? By E. W. Gudger (1921)

Monkeys Trained as Harvesters: Instances of a Practice Extending from Remote Times to the Present. By E. W. Gudger (1923)

Floating Gold: The Romance of Ambergris By Robert Cushman Murphy (1933)

The Pearl of Allah: The giant clam yielded its treasure only after slaying a native diver trapped when its great jaws snapped shut. Worshipped as the gift of Allah, the 14-pound pearl was finally presented to the author by a Mohammedan chief whose son he saved from death. By Wilburn Dowell Cobb (1939)

Man and His Baggage: All along the rough road from savagery to civilization, man has found it an increasingly complex problem to carry the things needed for life. By Clark Wissler (1946)

The Crowninshield Elephant: The surprising story of Old Bet, the first elephant ever to be brought to America. By George G. Goodwin (1951)

One Man's Meat Is Another's Person: Humans may taste good, but most societies are a long way from cannibalism. By Raymond Sokolov (1974)