Weird History
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Incredibly Weird Weapons From History That Would Still Kill You Dead

Updated August 4, 2020 12.1k votes 2.1k voters 101.6k views11 items

List RulesVote up the weapons you'd hate to face.

Humans are predictably violent, and certain weird weapons from history prove how creative and dangerous they can be. Medieval weapons were exceptionally deadly, but so were the intense historic tools used by indigenous New Zealanders who date back as far as 1200 CE. You might recognize some of these weapons from films or TV (in some cases, however, Hollywood might exaggerated a little when researchers look at the facts about ancient weapons.)

These strange weapons had varying degrees of efficacy, but certain people led the arms race. Ancient Chinese weapon makers, for example, had a type of ancient rocket technology. They were obviously formidable enemies. They hardly had a monopoly on destruction, though. Some of the most surprising historical weapons could still prove fatal in the 21st century.

  • 1

    Aztec Macuahuitl

    The Aztec macuahuitl looked like a large paddle. However, the edges of the long wooden weapon were outfitted with pieces of sharpened obsidian. The metal was typically strong enough to decapitate a horse. Allegedly, Aztec soldiers used the macuahuitl to tear into enemies' throats between the 13th and 16th centuries. Those afflicted bled profusely.

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  • 2

    Indian Katar

    Photo: Metropolitan Museum of Art / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Traditional katars sometimes had H-shaped handle and trigger mechanisms. During battle, the single blade could spring open into three separate points, making the armament like a claw. This Indian weapon, which dates from before the 19th century, was often used in hand-to-hand combat.

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  • 3

    Nest Of Bees Arrows

    Used by 14th-century Ming warriors, these arrows were a lot like primitive rocket launchers; no bees were actually used. A hexagonal tube typically held 32 individual rocket-propelled arrows, which could all be launched simultaneously at high speeds.

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  • 4

    Chinese Hook Sword

    Photo: Chris / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Traditional hook swords were typically used by northern Chinese martial artists. Many people believe the blades date back to the Qing era (about 1644-1912) or later. Sometimes referred to as tiger hook blades, these thin weapons were allegedly created for civilian use.

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