If we told you an American chemist created a line of military-grade stink bombs scented like vomit, rancid butter, foot odor, and urine, you might think we somehow mistook a goofy kids’ book for a historical source. But it’s true: Ernest Crocker’s stink bombs weren’t actually meant to harm World War II soldiers, but to embarrass them enough that they’d underperform on the battlefield. Innovative though the idea was, the war ended before any stink bombs were deployed.
On this episode of The List Show, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy is covering some of the most bizarre weapons and gadgets from military history, from the aforementioned stink bombs to the unforgettable “dog doo transmitter” of the 1970s. Don’t worry—they’re not all quite so disgusting. There are also giant claws, pistols that look like lipstick, snake-filled pots, and more.
Find out how those technologies came to be (and how effective they were) in the video below.
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