In the middle ages, some kings had clothes made from "Salamander fur" which were completely fire-proof and bright white. The name likely comes from the common belief that Salamanders were "born from fire". The clothes were actually made out of asbestos.
2. The ancient Greeks used to choose their politicians via a method called "sortition", much like how potential jurors are selected today. And, like jury duty, it was seen as an inconvenience to those selected.
3. A clock is being built inside a mountain in Texas that will keep time for 10,000 years with minimal to no human interaction. One of the reasons for building the clock is to get people to think long term.
4. After George Patton liberated Ohrdruf Concentration Camp, he brought the mayor and the mayor’s wife to see the camp. After they left, they hanged themselves.
5. In 2009, Libyan leader Gaddafi called for Switzerland to be dissolved and divided up between neighboring countries after Swiss police arrested his son for beating up hotel staff. In 2010, he declared jihad on the country.
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The low pressure and humidity on an airplane dampens your sense of taste and smell by up to 30%, contributing to the poor reputation of airline food.
7. Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” Lady was fired after she appeared in a Prego Pasta Sauce ad saying, “I found it!”
8. Older adults have a disproportionately good memory of events which occurred when they were 16 to 25 years of age, a phenomenon known as the reminiscence bump.
9. If we could power a smartphone with gasoline, one drop of it has enough energy to run the phone for an entire day. A gallon of gasoline would last for 20 years.
10. There is a road named Passage du gois in France that can only be used twice a day, for a few hours. Then it disappears under 13 feet of water.
11Voluntary Human Extinction Movement
VHEMT (Voluntary Human Extinction Movement) is an environmental movement that calls for all people to not reproduce. They support human extinction primarily to prevent environmental degradation.
12. “I Want to Break Free” wasn’t popular in the United States, despite the song being a chart-topper worldwide. The reason the song wasn’t popular in America was that MTV wouldn't air the music video due to the members of Queen cross-dressing as female characters from a British soap opera.
13. Native Americans started the practice of reloading bullet cartridges during the Indian Wars. US military authorities found out and ordered all US soldiers to stomp on their fires cartridges after being fired. Frontiersmen took advantage of this and sold overpriced shells to the natives.
14. Jogging becomes running at 6mph.
15. The neighbor’s name in the show Doug on Nickelodeon, Mr. Dink, actually stood for the acronym Double Income No Kids.
Mel Brooks was a mine clearer in World War 2. He once said, “I was a combat engineer. Isn’t that ridiculous? The two things I hate most in this world are combat and engineering.”
17. Ancient Germanic armies would fight with their women wailing loudly from behind their formations, to constantly remind them that they must be victorious or their entire families would be annihilated.
18. Before virtual game achievements, Activision used to send physical iron on patches to players who mailed in photographs of their high scores.
19. If you stretched the DNA in one cell all the way out, it would be about 2m long and all the DNA in all your cells put together would be about twice the diameter of the Solar System.
20. Almost all the spiders you see in your home during the winter were actually born in your home.
Joe Dimaggio won 9 World Series rings despite taking 3 years off in his prime due to World War 2.
22. The Finnish island of Aaland threatened to leave the EU if they were not permitted to continue to use and sell a tobacco product called ‘Snus.’ Snus is considered a major source of income for the island and part of their national heritage.
23. Tyrian purple used to be worth its weight in gold, and it took 250,000 snails to make one ounce of dye.
24. In 2005, a barber sold Neil Armstrong's hair for $3000, which he got after giving him a haircut. Neil Armstrong threatened legal action. Currently, his hair is being sold at £399 for each half inch strand.
25. London has a real-life vigilante called "The Shadow."