The astronomer Tycho Brahe had a nose made of gold and a pet moose

Tycho Brahe, who lived from 1546-1601, is one of the most famous early astronomers — his scientific accomplishments include the discovery of the supernova in 1572, and a series of essays on the movement of comets (he also carried on a notoriously heated feud with Galileo). But he was also famously eccentric:

A fabulously wealthy man of noble birth, Brahe once owned roughly one percent of all the money in Denmark, and often elected to use his personal treasury to fund some rather unusual projects. For instance, after losing his nose in a duel while intoxicated in 1566, Brahe purchased a replacement made of a gold-silver alloy rather than more conventional wax (he always made sure to carry a small vial of paste around with him to reattach the orifice should it pop off). He also hired a dwarf named Jepp, whom he believed to be clairvoyant, as his court jester … and asked him to eat under the table during each meal).

At one point, Brahe also owned a pet moose, which was hardly a normal thing in 6th-century Europe.

The hoofed critter would trot alongside Brahe’s carriage like a loyal dog and lived inside his castle. But, unfortunately, it also appears to have developed a regrettable taste for Danish beer. Naturally, Brahe couldn’t resist showing off such a bizarre young animal to his various associates and, soon enough, a nearby nobleman had asked him to send the moose to his castle to entertain the guests at a party. As the dinner wore on, the creature grew increasingly tipsy until it eventually wound up roaring drunk. According to Brahe’s biographer Pierre Gassendi, β€œthe moose had ascended the castle stairs and drunk of the beer in such amounts that it had fallen down [them]” to its eventual demise.

via Mental Floss

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