Humanity's greatest weapon against malaria came from an unlikely source: a secret military program, where a woman worked in obscurity for decades.
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The only female emperor of China in history, her ruthless rise to power makes Game of Thrones look like a day at the beach.
When her father decided to marry her, this leather-clad princess embarked on one of the most bonkers Cinderella tales ever told.
When the Portuguese took the throne from her, this Angolan queen made a new one: out of her own servant. She then fled to the jungle, conquered a tribe of cannibals, and waged war on the Portuguese for so long that they gave up and left.
This Indonesian queen ruled wisely and justly in life, and was deified as the embodiment of all evil after her death. The story of why gets a bit complicated.
Muslim sultan who took the throne, defeated Louis IX in battle, ransomed him back to France for 30% of their GDP --- and did it all in secret.
Headed a squadron of 80,000 pirates, ruled the Chinese seas for two decades, and actually retired happily - but not before extorting a nice pension from the Chinese government.
Bisexual cross-dressing spy princess of the Qing dynasty - a hero to some and unspeakable villain to others.
Viking princess who decided she'd rather be a pirate than get married.
Recruited widows, orphans, and prostitutes into an all-woman ninja spy group, the largest in Asia at the time.
One half of the odd couple of Crimean nursing - the by-the-book Victorian rebel who revolutionized the field of medicine who stood in stark to Mary Seacole's jolly reliance on folk remedies and home comforts.