FASCINATING FACTS: 10 Cool Random Facts We Learned In September

At Chaostrophic, we travel to some weird parts of the internet for work, occasionally picking up fascinating tidbits as we go. Here are some cool things we learned in September that we can’t stop talking about.

Adult Swim

1. Genoa Airport in Italy has an exception to the three ounces of liquid rule for pesto, which goes through a special pesto scanner.



“So this is by FAR the most charming thing I learned this month. Apparently, Cristoforo Colombo Airport had it up to here with people’s fine jars of local pesto getting confiscated, so on June 1, 2017, it introduced the ‘Il pesto è buono’ (Pesto is good) initiative, which allows passengers carrying ~17 oz jars of Genoa-made pesto on board, in exchange for a charitable donation. Sounds molto bene to me, no?”

Terri Pous

2. No one was burned at the stake during the Salem witch trials.



“Every year around Halloween, I watch Hocus Pocus (at least 10 times), and every year, one little detail always bothers me. In the beginning of movie, the Sanderson sisters are sentenced to death by hanging, but I always thought accused witches were burned at the stake. It’s what you hear all the time, right?!

Turns out, my favorite Halloween movie is actually historically accurate. During the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, 19 people accused of witchcraft were executed, but none of them were really burned at the stake. Instead, following English law, all 19 were sent to Gallows Hill to be hanged. The myth that witches in Salem were burned at the stake probably comes from European witch trial practices. From the 15th to the 18th century, it was common in Europe for the bodies of condemned witches to be burned after being hanged to stop those ~evil spirits~ even after death. However, a few unlucky souls were actually alive when they were set on fire. Way harsh, Europe!”

Ciera Velarde

3. Baby corn is just regular corn that gets harvested super early.

Peerayot / Getty Images


“Have you ever just found a baby corn in your food, and thought to yourself, ‘Where does baby corn come from?’ Same. I imagined it growing in a tiny corn field, on a teeny tiny corn stalk. It’s so cute thinking about what an infant baby corn looks like! Well, I was wrong. It turns out that baby corn is literally regular ol’ corn picked before it fully grows. Sorry if I ruined the baby corn magic.”

Kayla Suazo

4. Parrots live in the wild in parts of New York City.



“I recently moved to Astoria, a neighborhood right outside of Manhattan, with my dog named Fig. Every morning, I wake up early to walk him and hear unusual bird noises that sound straight out of a jungle movie. One day, I looked up and noticed neon green birds sitting on electric wires. Turns out, parrots actually live (and thrive) in Queens, Brooklyn, and beyond.

Imported parrots (the kind sold as pets) used to get shipped to NYC airports, and would sometimes escape upon delivery. Over the years, the parrots settled into the neighborhood. They built nests and eventually grew into a small, but thriving, population. Seeing a wild parrot in the middle of the concrete jungle is truly bizarre, and it just goes to show you how magical of a place NYC really is.”

Jesse Szewczyk

5. Mike Rowe, the rough and gruff host of Dirty Jobs, used to be an opera singer.

Discovery Channel


“On the show, he’s just a Ron Swanson-esque, beer-toting ~everyman~ and does these super hands-on, blue collar “dirty jobs,” like being a zoo cleaner, etc. Opera is pretty much as far as you can get from that persona, so I was truly shocked when I found this out!”

Melissa Harrison

6. Capers are actually pickled flower buds.

Goodween123 / Getty Images


“Capers are pickled flower buds from a plant called the caper bush, which makes sense, I guess. I KNOW. I’ve eaten those tasty little green things in countless pasta dishes, but never actually thought about what they are. It’s kind of cute, actually. More edible flower buds, please!”

Jessica Misener

7. Paper cuts hurt so much because they don’t usually bleed much, leaving pain receptors open to the air.


“Why is it that a minor injury like getting a paper cut leaves me howling in pain, while other things feel like NBD? Well, I recently found out that it’s because a paper cut creates a perfect storm of pain. For starters, fingers, the usual point of paper cut injury, have way more pain receptors than most other parts of the body. Paper is also way more saw-like than people think, meaning when it cuts your skin, it does a lot more than just neatly slash a little bit of it, making it a more complex wound than it appears. But also, the shallow cuts rarely bleed, which means the now-exposed pain receptors have no cushion against the injury, causing your brain to send signals to your body that something is very wrong. Put all of that together, and a teeny-tiny, little paper cut feels like a big freakin’ deal.”

Terri Pous

8. There used to be turbo trains that ran on jet engines, like an airplane.

timehack / Reddit / Via reddit.co 

“I recently found out that experimental trains were built in the ’60s with TURBOJET ENGINES. As in, trains that use JET ENGINES as propellant, which is just bonkers. Apparently they were tested out in the ’60s and ’70s, but they never really ~ took off ~ because the aircraft industry, which manufactured the engines, wanted to get out of the train business.”

Cates Holderness

9. In prehistoric times, there were giant sloths that stood at least 10 feet tall.


“I recently visited the San Diego Zoo and learned a lot of things, but my favorite was that an animal called a giant ground sloth once existed IRL! As you’d assume, these animals looked similar to regular sloths but stood almost 10 feet tall and could weight up to 2,400 pounds. They lived all across the US but became extinct between 11,000 and 12,000 years ago.”

Gyan Yankovic

10. The legendary Lea Salonga did the singing voice for not one, but two Disney princesses.

Disney / Via youtube.com


“I recently fell into a YouTube spiral of watching Disney-related videos and was watching a live performance of top songs. And it blew my mind that one woman, Lea Salonga, was the singing voice for not one, but TWO Disney princesses: Mulan and Jasmine. *patiently waits for a Jasmine/Mulan mashup*”

Sarah Aspler


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