5 Worst Ever Gifts In All Of Human History
Updated: Jan 1
What’s the worst present you’ve ever received? Perhaps a particularly lurid and vomit-inducing Christmas jumper? Maybe it was one too many identical pairs of socks that finally pushed you over the edge? Or could it have been that home-made woolly hat which was so big it covered your entire body?
Well, no matter the crime against present-giving you received, we bet it’s not nearly as bad as the following presents. What follows are five of the worst presents that anyone has ever been given in the totality of human history!
23 Stab Wounds
On the 15th of March, 44 BC, Julius Caesar, a titan of the Roman Empire, received a terrible present from the Roman Senate. It was on this fateful day that the Senators decided that Caesar was getting a bit too big for his sandals. Worse, he was acting like he wanted to be the King of Rome. And if there’s one thing the Romans hate, other than Barbarians, then it's kings. On that fateful day in the Senate, when the Ides of March came to pass, Caesar was surprised by a fellow called Lucius Tillius Cimber, who grabbed him by the toga (sounds painful). When Caesar was distracted, the other Senators who were in on the conspiracy fell upon him with their knives, stabbing repeatedly until he fell beneath the weight of their strikes. In total, Caesar was stabbed a, very nasty sounding, 23 times. What a terrible present.
That's Just Mean
Napoleon was a big deal. He was the Emperor of France, he conquered swathes of Europe, and he travelled to Egypt… heck, he even had a film released about his life in 2023 – over 200 years after his death! So he couldn’t have been happy to have received an illustration from British cartoonist James Gillray as a would-be present. This cartoon pictured the all-powerful French Emperor as being a teeny-tiny little fellow. Worse for Napoleon, this portrayal of him stuck. These days, most of us think of Napoleon as being a small man, despite him actually being of average size!
Laurel Wreath of Death
Way back in the Ancient Olympics, an athlete called Arrhichion of Phigalia won the Pankration event and was gifted a Laurel Wreath. Pankration was like the mixed martial arts of the Ancient world. Though it was much nastier than anything seen in the Ultimate Fighting Championship today, as Pankration had only two rules; no biting and no poking out anyone’s eye. Anything else went!
So, why wasn’t Arrhichion happy to receive the gift of a Laurel Wreath? After all, the wreath is like a Gold Medal in the Modern Olympics, it means you are the best of the best. Well, that would have something to do with the fact that Arrhichion was dead when he had the wreath placed upon his head.
How did this go down? In his final fight, Arrhichion was trapped in the vice-like grip of his formidable opponent. Arms like steely, vein-covered, greasy, oil-coated pythons were wrapped around his neck, and try as he might, Arrhichion could not free himself. As his vision began to fade, Arrhichion stamped as hard as he could on his opponent’s foot. The pain was so intense that this unknown fighter released Arrhichion and submitted. The crowd went wild, Arrhichion had overcome the odds and won. But while the crowd went bananas Arrhichion remained unmoving on the sand and dirt. He was dead. That didn’t stop the Ancient Greeks declaring him the winner though!
All of the Underpants
What is it with aged gummy-smiled relatives giving their grandchildren underpants for Christmas presents? It’s weird, right? Almost as weird as people giving Lynx Deodorant gift sets to their nearest and dearest. I mean, what’s that saying to them other than the fact that their armpits absolutely stink? Still, if you are fed up of receiving pants for presents, then spare a thought for poor Pharaoh Tutankhamun, the boy-king of Ancient Egypt. In Tutankhamun’s tomb, hidden amongst the thrones, chariots, and jewellery, were one hundred and forty-five pairs of linen underpants. Why did Tut have so many under-crackers? Probably due to some clueless Uncle who couldn’t think of anything else to get him for a present! When in doubt, buy’em pants.
Deadly Baby Presents
One of the bonuses of having a baby – other than the joy of knowing you have brought new life into the world I guess – is that the baby, and so you, get lots of presents from family and friends. Though when it came to the Ancient Greek hero Heracles, I reckon his parents wished that his great Auntie Hera hadn’t bothered.
Heracles was the son of the god Zeus and the mortal Alcmene, making him a demi-god. This, in and of itself, shouldn’t have been a problem. The problem came about because Hera, Zeus’s wife, was not impressed that her husband had just had a kid with someone else. This meant that young baby Heracles had, through no fault of his own, made himself a deadly and very powerful enemy in the form of Hera.
So what did Hera do? She sent two deadly snakes to kill baby Heracles in his cot. I mean, what a terrible present. We’re not talking stuffed toys here either, we are talking genuine poisonous snakes. Luckily for the baby demi-god, his super-human strength enabled him to swiftly kill the snakes and then play with their remains like a child plays with their toys. Maybe the present from Hera wasn’t so bad then? At least baby Heracles had some dead snakes to play with. Still, if I receive a couple of dead snakes in my stocking this year then some serious questions will be asked.
So, there are our 5 Worst Ever Presents in all of Human History. What’s the worst presents you’ve ever been given and can they compete with the above terribleness? Do let us know!