Every now and then, people created unconventional weapons as attempts to reinforce their military strength. Innovation has always walked side by side with warfare. Which are the strangest weapons ever found?
Despite the apparent worldwide pandemic, we can generally agree that we live in the most peaceful age in human history. It is a fact that up until the last half a century or so, life was accompanied by endless wars for territory and economical power.
Since the war has always been a major part of life, especially in ancient and medieval times, there have been countless attempts for the creation of extraordinary weapons. Military innovation has always had a great impact on warfare but has also given us a plethora of unconventional weapons worthy of horror or fantasy movies.
Here are 8 of the strangest weapons ever found.
1. Man Catcher
We start our list with something that can be considered fairly modern – the Man Catcher. Not so many of these have been found but the one in the picture above is part of the inventory of a rich 19th-century collector.
The main purpose of the man catcher was to catch and bring down soldiers on horses. It was used up until the end of the 18th century and although it seems like it could deal a lot of damage with its spikes, it was usually not nearly deadly.
2. Harmonica Gun
Unless you consider gunshots to be music, the harmonica gun does not have anything to do with harmonious sounds and music. But, for obvious reasons, it got its name due to mag’s resemblance to a harmonica.
As you can probably guess, this never became widespread but it was used for more than a century between the 17th and 18th centuries. Nowadays, it is a subject of interest for collectors and museums but no similar modern guns have been created.
3. Chinese Hook Sword
The Chinese have always been impressive inventors, no matter which category of inventions you refer to, and they certainly created some of the strangest weapons in history. The Chinese hook sword was one of the main weapons of the Shaolin monks during the reign Qing Dynasty and a truly effective one, to be honest.
The picture above presents one such sword that dates more than 500 years ago. It was found alone although, in most cases, each monk had two hook swords. The idea behind them was that they could connect the two swords and use them for long-range combat.
While it does resemble a beautiful frisby, the Indian Chakram was a truly lethal weapon. In most cases, it was thrown vertically and the warriors that used it could easily cut hands or legs with a single throw.
Most throwing weapons of this kind had a diameter of 15+ centimeters, some reaching over 30. Of course, there were countless versions of this weapon, and each region or tribe had its own design. In the end, all examples were truly dangerous and the warriors that wielded them definitely knew how to kill with one throw.
5. Italian Boarding Sword
The Italian boarding sword is a clear example of the strangest weapons created with a specific purpose. This sword was rarely used in battle as it had the sole purpose to cut enemy ropes during naval battles. Of course, you can easily kill a person if you swing with it but its role was predominantly for cutting ropes. The reinforced tip was used to stab boarding warriors.
One thing is for certain – this is one of the strangest weapons of the Colonial era but a truly important one in those times of naval warfare.
There were many variations to the Indian Katar knife. Looking at it as it is in the picture, it appears to be a single-bladed dagger. However, most katars had a small trigger on the handle which separated it into three smaller blades – something like a real-life Wolverine but without the additional boost in strength.
In other words, not only is it one of the strangest weapons on our list but it is also one of the most innovative.
7. African Kpinga
The Kpinga, also known as Mambele was a pre-colonial African throwing weapon. As you can guess, there were countless variations of this strange weapon but the general purpose was to be thrown at enemies and potentially kill.
In other cases, it was used in shield wall collisions as a multi-edged weapon to attack enemies from above and behind.
8. Maori Patu
Most Maori weapons bear similar features and purposes but the Patu was a prestigious weapon. While it generally does not appear as too dangerous or deadly, skilled warriors could easily land a killing blow with this jade weapon. Generally, it is not as unconventional as the strangest weapons we discussed above.
When not in use, Maori warriors carried it on their belt as a sign of power and prestige, and the weapon was often inherited by the next generation in the family.