From Wikipedia: The Natural History (Latin: Naturalis Historia) is a book about the whole of the natural world in Latin by Pliny the Elder, a Roman author and naval commander who died in 79 AD. It is one of the largest single works to have survived from the Roman Empire to the modern day and purports to cover all ancient knowledge. The work's subject area is thus not limited to what is today understood by natural history; Pliny himself defines his scope as "the natural world, or life". It is encyclopedic in scope, but its structure is not like that of a modern encyclopedia.
Not many people have time to read a whole encyclopedia, so I took screenshots of the most interesting parts, so you don't have to!
Tartary is mentioned in the footnotes.
Hyperboreans one two
Interesting account of the Chinese. one two
Freaky half-human creatures.
More strange creatures.
Rain of Milk, Blood, Flesh, Iron, Wool, Tiles, and Bricks
Wonders of the Earth
Wonders of Waters, Fountains, and Rivers one two three four
Wonders of Fire and Water Jointly Together
Pliny on the pyramids - one two three
Pygmies one two (bonus: Amazons)
India - the religious kill themselves in fire, over 10,000 war elephants one two
Giants with red hair and blue eyes
Men who hate gold, and bury it
The Island dogs will not enter
Eratosthenes deduces the measure of the Earth one two
Ethiopia - men and beasts of monstrous shapes, giants 12 ft tall (8 cubits). The king who is a dog. The king who's a cyclops. Men with the head of a dog.
You should probably read the first few chapters of Book 7 for yourself. It's crazy. Table of contents
Sergius: super soldier, Man of Valor
The whole section about elephants is awesome.
Elephants vs dragons one two three
The Romans slay a 120-foot snake with their Engines of War
Sphinx. The winged unicorn (pegasus).
Furious unicorns (monoceros).
The basilisk one two three
Medicines learned of by observing animals one two three
Dogs. If you sit, a furious dog won't attack. Amazing tales of horses.
Tartars prefer ass. (See footnote.)
Sea monsters, nereids, mermen. Sea-elephants. one two
Dolphins like to be called Simo.
1000-pound fish requiring yokes of oxen to pull out of the river, sea-serpents that drag elephants underwater
Oysters which, if you reach inside to steal their pearls, will cut off your hand. Their Chiefs. Cleopatra dissolves and drinks a $60 million (1860s dollars) pearl to win a bet. Aesop's son and friends drinking expensive pearls for enjoyment.
Corinthiacum (Corinthian metal). Plato said this lost alloy was used on the walls of Atlantis. Pliny gives an idea of how it's made.
The long lives of fish, including a pike that lived 267 years. (See footnote.)
Giant snails, so big their shells could hold almost four gallons. one two
The Phoenix one two three
Eagles with teeth. How eagles kill deer. Eagles vs dragons.
The Goat-sucker bird. (Its description in the footnote is eerily reminiscent of Filipino wak-wak.) Birds that can speak (including ravens). one two three four five
Animals that can't learn anything.
Now you know more about the ancient world than 99.9% of so-called scholars. Thanks for reading!