32 Most Interesting Random Facts You’ll Ever Hear | Random List #231

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1Greenland

One reason why Greenland is considered the largest island and Australia is a continent, not an island (even though it fits the definition of an island) is because Greenland is a part of the North American plate and Australia has its own separate tectonic plate.


2. George Miller, a Medical Doctor at the time, was inspired to make Mad Max (1979) when he witnessed fights break out during a gas shortage in Australia. He assumed that in the future nations would not implement the infrastructure for renewable energy until it was too late and this could lead to a dystopia.


3. Monty Python sued ABC over their censorship of season 4 of their show. ABC had cut punch lines and entire characters. The judge and jury watched two versions of a season 4 episode; a BBC one they laughed at, and an edited ABC one which no one laughed at. The judge ruled in ABC’s favor.


4. Alkaline hydrolysis a.k.a. water cremation is the process of heating a body in a mix of water and potassium hydroxide down to its chemical components, which are then disposed of through the sewer, or as a fertilizer. This method takes 1/4 of the energy of heat cremation with less resulting pollutants.


5. In 1979, the Black-footed ferret was declared extinct. In 1981 the species was rediscovered when a dog in Meeteetse, Wyoming brought a dead ferret home. A small population was found and today the Black-footed ferret is making a comeback.


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6Dallas Area Rapid Transit

In 1983, the citizens of 15 areas in and around Dallas voted to impose a 1% sales tax on themselves in order to fund the creation of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit. It is now the longest light rail network in the USA.


7. Mozart did not attend his father’s funeral, but a week later threw a lavish ceremony for his deceased pet starling complete with a procession, hymns, and a personal poem.


8. Author Tom Clancy died in 2013 but his name is still used on new novels written by ghostwriters.


9. Pope Clement VII personally approved Nicolaus Copernicus’s theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun in 1533, 99 years before Galileo Galilei’s heresy trial for similar ideas.


10. Elvis Presley wanted to record “I Will Always Love You.” Dolly Parton was interested until Presley's manager told her that she needed to sign over half of the publishing rights to the song. She refused. This decision helped her make millions of dollars in royalties from the song.


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11Stretcher Fences

Throughout South London, there are large sections of fence made out of WWII stretchers. These stretchers were used by civil authorities to transport the injured during the Blitz. They are what remains of the 600,000 built for the city during the war.


12. On June 11, 2019, a 16-year-old girl named Riley Horner was hit in the head while crowd surfing at a dance. As a result of her concussion, her memory resets every two hours, meaning she wakes up every day thinking it is still June 11.


13. A suspected rhino poacher who illegally entered a national park in South Africa was trampled to death by an elephant then eaten by a pride of lions. His accomplices told the man’s family they moved his body to a road and left the park. Park rangers said lions left only the man’s skull & trousers.


14. For a cloth bag to actually be sustainable and better for the environment, it has to be reused 131 times to break even with the plastic bags in terms of impact on the environment in the process of making, while plastic bags can also be reused but people just don’t.


15. Abram Petrovich Gannibal was an African child who was kidnapped to Russia to be gifted to Peter the Great. The tsar freed him and raised him as his godson. Gannibal became a Major-General and the Governor of Reval. He is the great-grandfather of Alexander Pushkin, considered the greatest Russian poet.


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16Dorobo Tribe

The Dorobo tribe of Kenya steals fresh meat from the mouths of lions. The method they use is thousands of years old. They find a pride of lion that has had a fresh kill during the daytime, then walk up to them while they’re feeding and cut off some meat. The lions are too startled to react and usually run away.


17. In 2018, a man plotted to plant small bombs in Target stores disguised in food packages. His goal was to create bad publicity for Target, which would lower stock prices and allow him to buy cheap shares before they rebounded. He was caught after paying someone else to plant the bombs.


18. Sunflowers are used to assist in clean up after a nuclear disaster. They are known as hyperaccumulators because they are capable of absorbing toxic heavy metals from the ground and have been planted at both Chernobyl and Fukushima to aid in soil restoration.


19. Female Atlantic right whales lower their voices to a whisper when communicating with their young to prevent “eavesdropping” by predators.


20. Bald Eagles have been feeding in a suburban Seattle landfill and dropping their trash leftovers in nearby residents’ yards. The official “bird management plan” sent drones to chase away birds but they were ripped up in the sky by eagles. “Scarecrow” mannequins with safety vests and hard hats have also failed.


21Uniform Monday Holiday Act

In the late 1960s, U.S. Congress proposed a measure known as the Uniform Monday Holiday Act where all federal holidays fell on a Monday, as a way of creating more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers, thus reducing employee absenteeism.


22. Actor Martin Sheen has been arrested more than any other person in Hollywood, a total of 66 times for civil disobedience.


23. The Notre-Dame cathedral features a carving of a knight fleeing from a rabbit, symbolizing cowardice. This carving inspired the Rabbit of Caerbannog scene in Month Python and the Holy Grail.


24. Richard the Lionheart knighted his cook after one particularly memorable feast. Richard made him ‘lord of the fief of the kitchen of the counts of Poitou’. In those days of little hygiene, the cook was an important member of a noble household because his mistakes could kill his employer.


25. Pirates were considered “Hostis humani generis” (the enemy of all mankind) and it was the universal right and duty of all nations to capture any pirates they encountered and execute them if found guilty. Even in modern days, piracy is considered a special crime of universal jurisdiction.

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