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FASCINATING FACTS: 50 RANDOM FACTS TO KEEP YOUR DAY RANDOM

1.  Science exam


The final science exam for 8th-grade students in Ketchikan, Alaska is a 2-night survival trip on an uninhabited island.


2. Over 100 marijuana plants sprouted on the Anaheim Stadium playing field in 1976 after ‘The Who’ played a concert there.


3. Deland McCullough, a former NFL player, and current RB coach for the Chiefs was given up for adoption at birth in 1973. He found his birth mother in 2017. She told him the name of his father, who turned out to be his college coach and mentor throughout his adult life.


4. Even though a Rubik’s Cube has 43 quintillion configurations, more than there are grains of sand on all of Earth’s beaches, no configuration is more than 20 moves away from being solved, and 99.99999% of all configurations can be solved in less than 20 moves.


5. Drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth tastes bad because of a foaming ingredient in toothpaste which blocks your ability to taste sweetness, and you are left with the pure acidity and bitterness of the fruit.


6.  Jules Verne


Jules Verne wrote a novel named ‘Paris in the Twentieth Century’ in 1863 which predicted gas-powered cars, fax machines, wind power, missiles, electric street lighting, maglev trains, the record industry, the internet, and feminism. It was lost for over 100 years after his publisher deemed it too unbelievable to publish.


7. For years Chrysler advertised their luxury cars as containing ‘Corinthian leather’ with Ricardo Montalbán as the spokesman. On Late Night with David Letterman, Montalbán playfully admitted that the term meant nothing. The leather was actually sourced from New Jersey.


8. A Soviet teenager named Zinaida Portnova killed over 100 Nazis by poisoning them. She is said to have shot the Nazi investigator who captured her.


9. Hummingbirds are only found in the Americas (and not in the rest of the world), but the oldest known hummingbird was actually a fossil collected in Germany.


10. Bill Gates predicts that the growth of instructional software will replace textbooks. However, in a 2018 survey of college students, the trade publication Library Journal found that 75% say that reading print books is easier than e-books.


11.  John Anthony Walker


A US Navy officer named John Anthony Walker reported secrets to the Soviet Union for 18 years. He got his son involved, and even tried to involve his daughter. He was finally exposed when his ex-wife reported him. When asked about his spying, he said: “KMart has better security than the Navy.”


12. When South Australia voted to give women the vote, the bill was amended by the opposition to also give women the right to run for parliament. They thought this was too preposterous to pass, but it did and it was the first place in the world to do so.


13. Tabasco Sauce is fermented for three years in used Jack Daniel’s Whiskey barrels before bottling.


14. Jason Statham almost drowned during the filming of The Expendables 3 when a truck’s brakes failed and it plunged into the Black Sea but survived thanks to being an Olympic-class diver.


15. A woman named Lucy Ann Johnson disappeared in September 1961. Her husband reported her missing in 1965, and he was suspected of her murder. In 2013, Johnson was found alive. She said that she had left because her husband had been abusive.


16.  Bats


Bats are one of just a few species, besides humans, that communicates directly to individual bats, instead of just making broad communication sounds.


17. A delivery truck driver named Steve Flaig was adopted as a child. At the age of 18, he decided to look for his birth mother. Four years later he succeeded and discovered that they were colleagues working in the same store.


18. A British Royal Marine named Matthew Croucher threw himself onto a grenade to save the lives of his comrades. His body armor and backpack shielded him from the blast. He was left with just a nosebleed and a headache.


19. Jimmy Carter became cancer-free after months of treatment for deadly cancer that spread to his brain. His doctor said, “He’s a physically and mentally active individual who’s in the best health possible for someone in his age group…”


20. Jack Trice was the first African-American athlete for Iowa State College and second black college football player. Before his first game, he wrote about how proud he was to have the opportunity. He was intentionally targeted throughout the game, breaking his collarbone and causing internal bleeding, which in turn caused his death.


21.  Winston County


During the American Civil War, Winston County, Alabama attempted to cede from the Confederacy and become a free republic as the lack of any plantations and resulting rarity of slaveholders in the region gave the locals little reason to sympathize with the rebel cause.


22. On Fleetwood Mac’s 1971 tour, Jeremy Spencer, one of their guitarists left to “get a magazine” and never came back. When he was found a few days later, he had joined a cult and quit the band.


23. Ivan the Terrible of Russia, the Grand Prince of Moscow had a bodyguard corps (Oprichnik) that wore black clothing and rode black horses. They also had a severed dog’s head attached to their saddles, using them to “sniff out” treason. Due to the lack of taxidermy, a constant supply of fresh heads was needed.


24. In the cartoon series The Jetsons, George Jetson’s work week consists of an hour a day, two days a week.


25. Nicholas Cage has a goth son named Weston Cage who sang in a Black Metal band and invented a genre called “Ghost Metal” in which he incorporates ancient instruments, like the Bouzouki, to invoke a “ghostly feeling.”


26.  Malcolm X


American minister Malcolm X said that white people could not join his black nationalist Organization of Afro-American Unity, but “if John Brown were still alive, we might accept him.” Brown was a famous abolitionist convicted and hanged for treason after attempting to lead a slave rebellion in 1859.


27. The Vatican has a single pharmacy. The Vatican claims it is the busiest pharmacy in the world with 2,000 daily visitors. Due to complicated Italian laws, the pharmacy has medicines available years before Italian pharmacies. People often visit this pharmacy to buy them.


28. After submitting six names in order to get a post office and having all six rejected, citizens responded by stating, “Let the post office be nameless and be damned!” The government accepted this suggestion and the town of Nameless, Texas was born.


29. The Jacuzzi was invented by Candido Jacuzzi to provide pain relief for his 15-month-old son named Kenny Jacuzzi, who was born with rheumatoid arthritis.


30. If an Interstate is an odd number, it runs North and South and even-numbered Interstates run East and West.


31.  Dragonfly


Dragonfly wings kill bacteria on contact by ripping apart their cell membranes with sharp nanopillars as they move across the surface of the wing.


32. In Tina Fey’s childhood, her parents allowed her to watch Young Frankenstein, SNL, Monty Python, Marx Brothers, and The Honeymooners, but she was not allowed to watch The Flintstones.


33. Until the late 15th century the word ‘girl’ simply means a child of either sex. Male babies were called ‘knave girls’ and female babies were referred to as ‘gay girls.’


34. Charlie Chaplin was the subject of an FBI investigation due to alleged communist sympathies during the height of McCarthyism. He later said “As for politics, I am an anarchist. I hate government and rules – and fetters … People must be free.”


35. It was first assumed that the sharks in the freshwater Lake Nicaragua were an endemic species, but it was later observed that the sharks were able to jump up and down the rapids of the freshwater San Juan River (which connects Lake Nicaragua and the Caribbean Sea) like salmon.


36.  Parsley Massacre


During the Parsley Massacre, Dominican soldiers identified and killed thousands of Haitian migrants based on their pronunciation of the Spanish word for ‘parsley.’


37. An American psychiatrist named Herbert Kleber pushed for evidence-based addiction treatment, not punishment and moralisms. This approach treated addiction as a medical condition instead of a failure of moral character and helped prevent relapses, saving countless lives and transforming substance abuse treatment.


38. Some trucks in North Korea are powered by burning charcoal because the price of oil is too high for most citizens.


39. When The Beatles were performing ‘Twist and Shout’ live, John Lennon would change the lyrics to ‘I’m pissed with gout’, and due to the screaming crowds, no one ever noticed.


40. The production of Apocalypse Now had actual dead bodies on set, from someone who supplied bodies to medical schools for autopsies. It turned out he was a grave robber.


41.  Mother’s Ruin


In 1723, the death rate in London outstripped the birth rate and it remained higher for the next decade. Gin was to blame. Women addicted to gin neglected their infants or quietened them with Gin. The term “Mother’s Ruin” survives to this day.


42. In 1054, Chinese astronomers noted a bright “guest star” in Taurus that was visible in the daytime for 3 weeks and didn’t completely fade out for almost two years. The “guest star” was actually the supernova explosion that created the Crab Nebula, which is located some 6,500 light-years away.


43. The earth’s center is 2.5 years younger than the outside as a result of gravitational time dilation.


44. The most celebrated “toilet attendant” was Victoria Hughes who for three decades served in a female public toilet in Bristol. Unexpected national fame came her way at the age of 80 in 1977, when she published her memoirs, called Ladies Mile. She revealed being a confidante of prostitutes.


45. Ice is a mineral just as much as Quartz is. Ice is a naturally occurring compound with a defined chemical formula and crystal structure, thus making it a legitimate mineral. Its only limitation, in comparison to all other minerals, is that it is not stable at room temperature.


46.  Testimony of Truth


The Testimony of Truth is a 4th-century Gnostic manuscript that tells the story of The Garden of Eden from the point of view the serpent, a gnostic symbol for divine wisdom and knowledge, in which it depicts God as jealous and the villain in the story.


47. Brushing your teeth can significantly reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.


48. During the Battle of Lexington in the American Revolution there was a tense 10-minute standoff between the British and the Americans. A local mentally ill man took this time to wander between both sides trying to sell hard cider.


49. Hy-Brasil is a phantom island said to lie in the Atlantic Ocean west of Ireland. Irish myths described it as cloaked in mist except for one day every seven years when it becomes visible. It is listed on several early maps, but still cannot be reached.


50. In 2001, a South African company named Naspers decided to purchase a 46.5% stake into an up-and-coming Chinese tech company. This initial investment of $32 million into what would become Tencent has now ballooned to over $175 billion, making it one of the most successful investments in history.

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