1Seattle windshield pitting epidemic
In 1954, there was a windshield pitting epidemic in Seattle, when nearly 3000 residents reported unexplained damage to their windshields, blaming everything from vandals to cosmic rays to sand fleas. However, it was actually just people noticing normal damage that had always been there, causing mass delusion.
2. Ivy League schools all had ties to the Opium trade in the late 19th century with major benefactors using their drug money to fund libraries, societies, and even Princeton itself. Undergraduates even began running opium dens from Boston to New York until a Harvard student overdosed in 1889.
3. The US Department of Defense withdrew its financial and logistical support for the TV series “The Lieutenant” (1963–1964) after its creator Gene Roddenberry pressed ahead with a pilot titled "To Set It Right" in which a white and a black man find a common cause in their roles as Marines.
4. Despite being one of the leading artists of the High Renaissance, only fifteen of Leonardo da Vinci's paintings have survived. The small number of surviving paintings is due in part to Leonardo's frequently disastrous experimentation with new techniques and his chronic procrastination.
5. Venice does not have a complete modern sewage system, meaning its canals are also its sewer system.
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An Indonesian man who claimed to be the world’s oldest person died at the age of 146 in 2017. According to his identity card, Sodimejo was born on December 31, 1870, but Indonesia only started recording births in 1900.
7. The reason one cannot drive straight from North America down to South America is an 100 km stretch of extremely difficult, dangerous, and environmentally sensitive terrain called the Darien Gap in Central America.
8. Mercury is thought to be the almost-exposed core of a planet that was 4.5 times bigger before a collision with another proto-planet that blew away most of its crust and mantle.
9. A man named Marcos Rodriguez Pantoja grew up in the wild amongst wolves from an early age until 19 years old. In 2018, he expressed he was disappointed with humanity and wished to return to the wild.
10. The feeling you get when a storm is coming is really the barometric pressure dropping around you.
The band Heart played in Canada instead of the US for the first part of their career. They couldn't play in the US because their manager was hiding from the Vietnam draft in Canada.
12. In the 1990s, Russian mafia and Italian mafia organizations participated in a literal money-laundering scheme, washing and bleaching the ink out of US$1 bills and reprinting them as $100s, for use in the post-Soviet bloc countries, where the bills might avoid detection as counterfeits.
13. In Norway, when a book is published, Arts Council Norway purchases 1,000 copies for distribution to libraries and they purchase 1,500 copies if it’s a children’s book.
14. The 1968 rock song In A Gadda Da Vida was intended to be "In The Garden of Eden". Frontman Doug Ingle, who came up with the song, was hammered on red wine and his bandmates couldn't understand him.
15. In 1971, as part of an experiment to study the causes and effects of landslides, Japanese scientists watered down a hill using fire hoses to simulate the effect of a torrential rainstorm. The soil on the hill gave way and the resulting landslide killed 4 scientists and 11 observers.
16Salonga National Park
Congo's Salonga National Park is the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest national park and the largest in Africa. It is considered to be practically virgin, unaffected by human activities, and largely unexplored.
17. French writer Voltaire teamed up with a mathematician to exploit a loophole in the French lottery that set him up financially for life.
18. Guinness World Records accepts payments (ranging from $12,000 to $500,000) from individuals, organizations, and governments to either find a record that they could break or to create an entirely new record category.
19. When a gypsy boxing champion named Johann Trollmann was put in a labor camp in Nazi Germany, he was forced to fight against a feared ex-criminal and prison guard and won despite being malnourished and exhausted. The still bitter prison guard sought revenge by murdering Johann with a shovel later.
20. Gremlins were invented by the RAF as mythical creatures who break airplanes, as a way to explain random mechanical failures in reports. An “investigation” was even conducted to make sure Gremlins didn't have Nazi sympathies.
The tradition of spraying champagne after winning a championship was started by Dan Gurney (Team Ford) after the 1967 Le Mans 24-hour race. A huge underdog, Gurney thought the "hard-fought victory needed something special" and spontaneously hosed down all gathered, including and the eldest grandson of Henry Ford, Henry Ford II.
22. Poison Ivy doesn't actually spread when scratched and is not contagious. The reason it creates the illusion of doing so is that different parts of the body absorb the oil at different speeds.
23. The red-crested tree rat, thought to have gone extinct 119 years ago, showed up out of the blue at a hotel in Colombia where two conservationists were staying and let them photograph him for a few hours before disappearing again.
24. Rio residents rely on an app called "Fogo cruzado" to keep track of all gun battles happening in the city any given day in order to avoid them.
25. The roof of some Tesla models appears orange and red when wet due to a protective UV/infrared layer in the glass to reduce heat. Water droplets cause light to bounce around and reflect some of the infrared light (normally not visible to us) in a form that is visible to our eyes