Manna From Heaven (Angelic Food)

Arkane Curiosities

Manna was a supernatural food given to the Israelites during their 40-year trek through the desert. It brings up images of divine bread and even Jesus’ miracle with the loaves and fishes. In the Bible it’s called the “Bread of Heaven,” “Angel’s Food,” and “Spiritual Meat.”

The World’s First Instant Meals

When the Jews set out from Egypt, they very quickly ran out of food. God sent a magical dew to the desert floor and when it evaporated, it left a flaky substance on the ground (resembling frost). 

The raw manna tasted like water made with honey. The Israelites ground these flakes with hand mills. They boiled the manna in pots to create flat cakes, which tasted like pasties baked with olive oil. 

The manna continued to appear on the ground each morning (except Sabbath, where they collected a double portion the day before). The Jews consumed this angelic food for 40 years until they crossed the border of Canaan. Once returned to the promised land, the divine foodstuffs vanished forever. 

Constant Whining for Better Food

Eating the same thing day after day can get monotonous. Soon, people pined for the tastes and textures of food back in Egypt — yearning for cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. They also wanted to nosh on some fresh meat. 

God compiled and sent an enormous flock of quail along with the manna. The people greedily collected days worth of quail. This so angered God, that he struck the Israelites with a plague. 

The First Superfood

As a divine food, manna was made up of only nutritious matter. The body absorbed every morsel and the Israelites expelled no waste. Additionally, manna had a fragrant smell that women would use as a perfume. 

Manna Rivers

The Jewish people had only four hours to collect the manna before it melted under the scorching desert sun. The melted manna created streams, giving sustenance to deer and other wildlife. Should a foreigner eat an animal who drank of these streams, they would taste the divine food. Otherwise, tradition states, that manna tasted bitter to gentiles. 

Tim Kane

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3 Weird Ways to Confuse a Vampire

Arkane Curiosities

If a vampire has you on their menu, you can reach for a stake or garlic. But another solution is to simply confuse the vampire. Through the years, people have surmised various weaknesses of these nocturnal bloodsuckers and come up with different ways to perplex them. A confused vampire is one that won’t be feasting on you.

Force the Vampire to Do Some Math

Many cultures contend that vampires are obsessive to the point of compulsion. They will count various objects, no matter how many, until the job is done. We can use this to our advantage.

Germans would scatter seeds (poppy, mustard, oat or carrot) around the grave of a suspected vampire. The undead was compelled to count all the seeds before leaving the grave to seek blood. Although this seems like a simple task, often the vampire found themselves delayed till daylight. The Kashubs of Poland believed a vampire could only count a single seed a year, thus keeping it busy for centuries. 

Knots could also delay a vampire. Nets were often buried with the deceased forcing the undead to untie all the knots.

A more macabre practice was to leave a dead cat or dog on your doorstep. In this case, the vampire must count all the hairs on the animal. Personally, I would opt for the seeds. 

Trick the Vampire with Poop

Never has the poop emoji been so powerful. No garlic or crucifix at hand? Just shove a bowl of excrement in the vampire’s face.

In Europe, vampires were thought to exit the grave through small holes (the size a serpent might make). In Bulgaria, they placed bowls of feces (or poison) right outside these holes. The vampire, it seems, is so famished that it will consume the first thing it comes across, devouring the bowl of excrement. 

Get the Vampire Drunk

A happy vampire is one that won’t invade your home. Sometimes a bottle of whiskey was left in the grave with the corpse. If the vampire became too drunk, it might not be able to find the home of its relatives, preventing it from feeding on you. 

In Romania, people would bury a bottle of wine with the corpse. After six weeks, they dug up the bottle and drank it, offering a form of protection from the strigoi (a Romanian vampire).

Tim Kane

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