Month in Review: October's Most Popular Stories


Another month is in the books. In case you missed a day or two here or there, these are the top 12 stories originally posted in October:

1. The Origins of All 30 NBA Team Names
by Scott Allen

Why is a team in Los Angeles named the Lakers, and what's a team called the Jazz doing in Utah? As another NBA season tips off, here are the stories behind the nicknames of all 30 teams.

2. 10 Awesome Homemade Halloween Costumes
by Miss Cellania

If you have the time and tools to make your own Halloween costume, all you need is a little inspiration to make it awesome, like these ten.

3. Scientific Reasons to Believe in Vampires, Werewolves & Zombies
by Matt Soniak

Let's take a look at some of the real-world events and phenomena that may have inspired the creation of vampires, werewolves and zombies.

4. 8 Things Disney Parks Have Banned
by Alvin Ward

Disneyland may be the Happiest Place on Earth, but don't think that means you can just waltz in and do whatever you want. Here are just a few of the things on which Mickey Mouse has dropped his hammer over the years.

5. Cast Away: 5 Amazing Stories of Messages in Bottles
by Rob Lammle

Whenever a message in a bottle is discovered floating in the ocean, it feels like something out of a fairy tale. Here are five stories of the almost unbelievable connections these messages have brought about.

6. Stormtroopers on Their Day Off
by David K. Israel

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Here are a few highlights from a great photo gallery on

7. Creepy Halloween Party Food
by Miss Cellania

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When you plan your Halloween party, the food must be front and center. Try serving these, and your guests will be talking about your party for years. Warning: some images may be disturbing.

8. 9 Insane Torture Techniques
by David K. Israel

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These torture techniques have been used in different parts of the world to kill, dismember, or otherwise cause inordinate amounts of pain. We promise: you'll never use the word torturous the same way again.

9. Ultra Slo-Mo Video of Bullet Impacts
by Chris Higgins

This is weird and mesmerizing: ultra slow-motion video of bullets impacting various materials (glass, wood, metal, hollow-points on ballistics gel, and so on).

10. The Quick 10: 10 Smurfy Smurfs Facts
by Stacy Conradt

It was 51 years ago that The Smurfs were first introduced to our pop culture vernacular. To celebrate this mini-milestone, here's a list of things you might not know about our little blue friends.

11. 11 Offbeat College Essay Topics
by Katie Naymon

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As high school seniors across the country are hard at work on their college applications, let's take a look at some of the stranger questions those wacky admissions officers have asked.

12. The Origins of All 30 NHL Team Names
by Scott Allen

Ever wonder what a Canuck is? How about a Blue Jacket? With a new NHL season underway, here's a breakdown of how the league's 30 teams got their names.

If you're new to mental_floss, here's what you missed in September and in August.

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