Humans love to assert their social status through the use of recognizable, lusted-after symbols even when, objectively speaking, the symbols themselves seem to make little sense. Status symbols from history prove that this is no contemporary phenomenon. For example, did you know that the Rolls Royce of ancient Iraqi culture was fancy board games? Or that to really stand out in 18th-century France you needed a pineapple? How about unwrapping a real-life mummy in 19th-century England to gain some prestige?
Like the strange beauty rituals people are willing to submit themselves to, the weirdest status symbols from history range from the bizarre to the downright macabre. Take a (very expensive) trip down memory lane remembering the strangest, most outlandish status symbols from history.
British Nobles Built Elaborate Fake Castle Ruins Complete With Fake Hermits
Wealthy Victorians Would Buy Mummies To Unwrap At Dinner PartiesPhoto: Tomas Castelazo / via Wikimedia Commons
Chinese Women Had Their Feet Crippled As A Status SymbolPhoto: Library of Congress, Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection / via Wikimedia Commons
Frivolous X-Rays Were A Rich Man's Hobby At The Turn Of The Century
Tulips Were Big Business - Until A Flower Market Crash Tanked The Economy
Being Overweight Meant You Could Afford Rich Food And A Life of LeisurePhoto: Hans Holbein the Younger / via Wikimedia Commons