During World War 1, the MI5 used Girl Guides to deliver secret messages. They used Girl Guides instead of Boy Scouts because they found out that Boy Scouts weren't efficient enough, boisterous and talkative.
2. Jack Foley was so successful in the art of creating sounds for movies that his name was given to a whole new profession: a Foley artist. They specialize in creating sounds that are hard to record during filming.
3. The first documented gold found in the United States was discovered by 12-year-old John Reed, who pulled a 17-pound gold nugget from a North Carolina creek. Unsure of the substance, Reed's family used the nugget as a doorstop for several years before selling it to a jeweler for $3.50.
4. A company called Tweeter had its most active stock trading day in its history five years after it went out of business, after traders mistook their stock for that of Twitter, causing the price of the defunct company's shares to rise 1,000%.
5. In 2019, Pope Francis received a bottle of Oban malt whiskey while visiting Scottish priests, and declared it to be 'the real holy water'. The BBC captured the footage for a documentary, which was censored by the Vatican.
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Sharks smell in "stereo," that is, they can detect the tiny delays in the time it takes for a scent to reach one nostril compared to the other and use it to determine the direction from where the scent is coming. This helps them in tracking their prey.
7. In 1939, a woman tried to assassinate the 11-year-old Shirley Temple while she was singing “Silent Night” on a live radio show, under the logic that the star had swiped her daughter's soul and shooting her would unleash it.
8. Large sections of Montana and Washington used to be covered by a massive lake held back by ice. When the ice broke it released 4,500 megatons of force, 90 times more powerful than the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated, moving 50 cubic miles of land.
9. During the Golden Age of Piracy, women sometimes became pirates by disguising themselves as men in an effort to take advantage of freedom and rights that only men could enjoy. Anne and Mary were two famous female pirates of that time who fell in love with each other’s disguised manly appearance.
10. In 2017, the British Nutrition Foundation ran a survey that found that 18% of 5 to 7-year-olds thought fish fingers are made from chicken, and 29% thought cheese came from a plant.
In 1911, the Rigby family included their cat Tom in their census form. 'Tom Cat' was listed as being an 8-year old, married Mouse-Catcher, Soloist and Thief with 16 children. His birthplace was listed as Cheshire and he was described as being 'speechless' in the infirmity section of the form.
12. “Three-quarter siblings” are siblings who are genetically halfway between full siblings and half-siblings. This happens if they share the same father, but different mothers who are sisters or the same mother but different fathers who are brothers.
13. Galba, the sixth Roman emperor, was so unpopular that after he was murdered by his successor Otho, around 120 people claimed credit for killing him, hoping that Otho would reward them. However, Otho was then deposed by Vitellius, who ordered them all executed.
14. An oil exploration company dug up seamonkey cysts in the 1990's while drilling near the Great Salt Lake that were radiocarbon dated to be 10,000 years old, and when the cysts were placed in water, some of them hatched.
15. In 1821, during the Greek War of Independence, 120 Greek men held out against 8,000 Ottoman soldiers, causing 900 casualties against 6 of their own deaths. This bought time for the Greek army to regroup.
16Lease Human Bodies
It’s legal in the US for companies to sell or lease human bodies that have been “donated to science.” Many donated bodies have to be paid for by researchers, and funeral homes earn a kickback for every “donation.”
17. When Apple ads claimed the iPhone X took “studio quality photos” there were complaints to the UK’s advertising standards about misleading statements. These were rejected because there isn’t a technical definition of what “studio quality photos” is: it’s completely subjective.
18. The Hammer Museum in Haines, Alaska is the first museum in the world dedicated to hammers, and it boasts 1400 hammers and related tools ranging from ancient times to the industrial era. Its mission is to educate the general public about the history and use of hammers.
19. "Nitrate free" labeled cured meats often use celery juice, which is naturally high in nitrates.
20. Bessie Coleman was the first African-American and Native American female pilot. She would only perform if the crowds were desegregated and entered through the same gates.
A 1000-year-old bronze buckle from East Asia has been discovered in Alaska. This proves that indigenous people in North America might have been interacting with the Old World earlier than previously thought.
22. Indonesia is the world’s largest island nation. It contains thousands and thousands of islands. Indonesia has so many islands it has never been able to fully count or name them. Indonesia is embarking on an ambitious island census to count the islands and registering their names.
23. The Habsburgs were a dynasty that at one point controlled much of Europe. Many members of this family inherited a distinctive protruding jaw. Charles II (“the bewitched") was the last Spanish Habsburg. He suffered from multiple health issues and infertility and died without heirs in 1700.
24. Before making a speech in 1912, Teddy Roosevelt was shot in the chest from 5 feet away. Instead of going to the hospital, he proceeded to make a 90-minute speech with the bullet still in him. His steel eyeglass case and folded-up 50-page speech stopped the bullet from hitting any vital organs.
25. During the Salem witch trials, the accused witches weren’t actually burned at the stake. The majority were jailed, and some were hanged. But none of the 2,000 people accused ever got burned alive.