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20 ‘DID YOU KNOW’ FACTS THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

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The Tree of Ténéré was once used as a landmark by travelers in the Sahara Desert because it was the only tree around for 250 miles. Despite being the most isolated tree in the world for over 300 years, a drunk driver managed to run it over with his truck in 1973. Source Source 2

Michigan’s Village Elementary gets visited by the same duck every year. For 13 years in a row, ‘Vanessa’ has returned to the school’s courtyard and nested under the same shrub. Once her babies are hatched, teachers clear a path through the halls so she can lead them straight to a nearby pond outside. Source

You can Rick Roll someone the old fashioned way. RickRollByMail will anonymously mail a box that plays ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ upon opening, along with a note that lets the recipient know they’ve been Rick Rolled. SourceI found a $5 off promo code for them, too!

Towns in Germany have installed traffic lights on the ground to make sure that people who are staring at their phones don’t walk into oncoming traffic. Source

Due to the extensive discoveries made by the Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers now believe there may be at least one planet orbiting every star in the sky.Speaking of… NASA is holding a teleconference today at 1pm EDT to announce recent discoveries made using the Kepler telescope.  Questions can be submitted on Twitter during the teleconference using the hashtag #askNASA. So excited.

Giant lily pads on the Amazon river have leaves that can grow to 6 feet in diameter and support up to 100 pounds without breaking. Source

Crows love to pull tails. It’s a strategy they use to distract an animal from eating so they can steal its food, but they’ve also been known to do it just for fun. SourcePhoto: Isobel Wayrick Photo: spriteburn

The pallbearers for Billy Mays’ funeral wore blue shirts and khakis to honor his memory. Source

You can get tiny vases for keeping flowers on your bicycle. Source

A 2012 excavation in Turkey revealed a 2,000-year-old mosaic that features a super-chill skeleton reclining next to some wine, bread, and the inscription ‘Be cheerful, live your life.’ Source Source 2

Artist Kyle Lambert creates hyperrealistic portraits with just his finger and an iPad. Source Source 2

 Stephen King sells the rights to some of his short stories for $1 so that film students can use them to make movies. He calls them his ‘Dollar Babies.’   Source

India suffers the highest number of road-related deaths in the world, so they’re using optical illusions to slow traffic. The 3D paintings are a safer alternative to installing actual speed breaks because fast drivers will naturally slow down while their eyes adjust to the images. Source Source 2 Source 3

Aerial photographer Robert B. Haas encountered a magical moment in  Yucatan, Mexico when he looked down from his plane and realized that a bunch of flamingos were hanging out in the shape of a giant flamingo. SourceBobby Haas PhotographyRobert B. Haas bio from Nat Geo

Medical error is the 3rd biggest killer in the US. It’s estimated that over a quarter of a million people died in 2013 due to mistakes made by health care professionals, which was more than double the number of suicides, firearm deaths, and motor vehicle fatalities combined. That number is based only on the people who died in hospitals. It doesn’t account for those who died after they were mistakenly sent home.Medical error is not included in cause of death rankings or on death certificates, and these fatal mistakes often go unreported. Surely there are doctors that don’t want to publicly admit to that big of a error, but this ultimately causes other medical professionals to encounter the same life-threatening mistakes because they’ve no examples to reference as a warning.Source

The US government has an official publication titled ‘Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic.' Happy Free Comic Book Day! In honor of this joyous occasion, I’m giving you a free one you probably haven’t seen:  You can read the whole thing here.Now go to the comic book store and get a good one before the zombies come.

Justo Gallego Martínez is using found materials to build a cathedral in Spain all by himself. He’s been working on the project ever since being kicked out of a monastery 50 years ago, which inspired him to begin construction on a church of his own. Source Source 2Photos:  Susana Girón,  JMPerez “I do it for faith. That’s clear, no?” Photos: Eoghan Macguire ,  Jose Javier Martin Espartosa  “My mother was very pious. She taught me my faith and I love the Church. So I put everything into this.” Photos:  archdaily.mx,  Jose Javier Martin Espartosa “Realising my ideal spurs me on. People today are very passive, they don’t value anything. They’re slaves to worldly things.” Photo: Susana Girón “People have called me crazy and insulted me. But they’re ignorant.”Photo:  Jose Javier Martin Espartosa “When I look at what I’ve created, it overwhelms me and I give thanks to the Lord.”Photo:  Eoghan Macguire "If I lived my life again, I’d build this church again, only bigger. Twice the size…” Photo: sarahglez.wordpress.com “… Because for me, this is an act of faith.”

The ‘Museum of Failed Products’ in Ann Arbor, MI, contains thousands of old products that tanked within months of their release. The shelves are basically a graveyard for bad products, like Clairol’s A Touch of Yogurt shampoo, Gillette’s For Oily Hair Only, and caffeinated beer. Source Source 2Photos: CBS News

There are an unusual amount of knitting supply stores in Alaska. Source

Wrong Hands cartoonist John Atkinson has a series of short novel descriptions called Abridged Classics illustrations. If you haven’t read the book, you get the gist. If you have, there’s a chance you’ll find them amusing. Source

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