Unusual Research Topics

Question: what's the strangest item you've ever researched?

Kristen recently posted a sample of the topics she’s researching for her latest work in progress, noting that someone who didn’t know she was a writer, or wasn’t aware of the story elements, might start wondering about the strangeness of her Google search history.
Mine might look a little something like this:

Caves in the Mediterranean region
Cistercians vs Benedictines
How to defeat or outrun Saracen pirates
What fruits grow in which seasons?
Medieval and Renaissance meteorites and volcanoes
Was chivalry dying out by the end of the 15th Century?
Monetary systems and “passports” in the Renaissance
Sailing without a map or compass
How to dress as and pretend you’re a nun
Leather shoes and how long they might last

One area of research that overlaps my wip and Kristen’s: names of saints. Who’d have thought?

Probably the strangest item I’ve ever researched (whether through Google or at the library) is the best way to set fire to a manor house and, for The Face of A Lion, sacrificial rituals at the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.

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