Now that we have Google, we have access to pretty much all the information we could ever need. Even better, Google isn’t a person, so you can ask it ANY question no matter how embarrassing. (For example, where can I find reasonably priced Smurf erotica?)

Before there was Google, people used their local public library. And not just because libraries are full of books. Librarians are specially trained to help people find information, or to simply answer a question themselves. Just like Google.

But unlike Google, a librarian is a living, breathing human. You’d think this would have deterred people from asking librarians the strangest questions on their minds…and you would be wrong.

Over the years, the librarians at the New York Public Library began writing down questions from the public that were either too difficult or too odd to answer. Recently, the library rediscovered a box of these questions from the middle of the 20th century, and posted the choicest ones on Instagram.

Check them out below, and you’ll be convinced that no matter the time or place, people have always been total weirdos.

1. The biology lesson

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Or are all women secretly robots?!

2. Architecture Today

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I’m pretty sure “Room 313” is really the coat closet.

3. The Legend of City Bull

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Much more famous than his brother, Country Bull.

4. How the cheese is made.

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Roquefort might not have any worms, but someone’s brain is full of them.

5. The camel question

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If you think parallel parking is hard, try parallel parking a camel.

6. He’s the biggest star of The Old Testament.

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Answer: when he went on The Ed Sullivan Show and parted the water in a kiddie pool.

7. Lightning round!

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I really hope this call came from someone who was in the middle of competing on a game show.

8. Is plagiarism a sin?

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Answer: yes it has a copyright, but it you change “Jesus” to “Jeff,” you should be fine.

9. Is that who I think it is?!

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“Sorry, my name is is Madolf Bitler.”

10. From the “Questions with Obvious Answers” department.

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Follow up question: do you have any books made with paper?

11. For some reason, the Bible left this detail out.

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Red Delicious, obviously.

12. Why hasn’t art history addressed this?!

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If you were a painter in the 1700s, watch out for rabies.

13. Uhh…

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I always though of Belgium as a fuchsia kind of country.

14. Any question is a good question for a librarian!

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Need someone to help you move? Call up and ask! Couldn’t hurt.

15. Changing careers isn’t easy. 

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I hope everything worked out for that person.


h/t: Mental Floss