The 'Mona Lisa' painting was created and 'tweaked' over a period of 16 years (1503 - 1519). Da Vinci never relinquished ownership until his death and instead carried it on the backs of mules as he traveled from Florence to Milan to Rome and finally France.
2. Roald Dahl hated the 1971 movie adaptation of “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” so much that he wrote a novel for adults where to ensure that he had the last laugh he defined a ‘snozzberry’ as a penis.
3. George Washington never wore a wig. He was a natural redhead and powdered it white to look more fashionable.
4. Albert Einstein's support for the pacifist, civil rights, and left-wing causes in Europe had drawn suspicion from J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, and after his arrival to America, the Bureau launched what would eventually become a 22-year surveillance campaign since the FBI believed Einstein was a Soviet spy.
5. Silver miners in the 1800s would discard their old work jeans in the mines. These jeans now can be sold for prices over $30,000, with Levi’s going for the most. Many people have started hobbies going into old abandoned silver mines in hopes of finding them.
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The Amazon River was named after the conquistador Francisco de Orellana was defeated by a few tribes of women, thus naming it after the warrior women of Greek legend.
7. During renovation works to the Statue of Liberty before the centennial celebrations in 1986, engineers found numerous defects when it was originally designed and constructed. These included the head being 2 meters off center, and the right arm not being properly attached.
8. The eye sockets of the Moai statues in Easter Island used to have eyes made of coral.
9. The first vending machine to sell live crabs debuted in 2010 in a train station in Nanjing. The machine sells about 200 live crabs a day, with prices from $2 to $7. A sign next to the machine states each crab will come out alive, offering refund of three live crabs for every dead one to pop out.
10. Since the early 1990s, 10% of all electricity consumed in the United States has come from decommissioned Soviet nuclear warheads.
Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura devoted his life to revitalizing deserts in Afghanistan, making forests and wheat farmland, and contributing to peace. Nakamura was decorated with the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun and the Afghan National Medal.
12. Brazil forbids anyone to visit the island "Ilha da Queimada Grande" without a special permit. It is crawling with the endangered Golden Lancehead Vipers and its venom is so strong it can melt human flesh. Poachers visit the island because specimens can fetch $10,000-$30,000 on the black market.
13. A Colombian woman named Marina Chapman was raised by Capuchin monkeys for 5 years after being abandoned in the jungle. She learned to scale trees, catch birds and rabbits with her bare hands, and lived as one of them until she was discovered by hunters.
14. Christopher Lee was engaged to Henriette von Rosen. Her father was very demanding, delaying the wedding by a year, asked his friends to interview Lee, hired private detectives to investigate him, and asked Lee to provide references. Lee then had to get the permission of the King of Sweden to marry her.
15. The lowest-paid job in the United Kingdom is pursuivant to the King of Arms. The wage is £13.95 per year. The position hasn't seen a wage rise since the 1500s. Their job is to advise the monarchy on matters of ceremony.
Jürgen Hinzpeter was the only journalist to film massacres during the government suppression of the democratic uprising in the South Korean city of Gwangju in 1980. His footage was delivered to Germany and broadcast worldwide. In the 2000s, he was honored by South Korea for his efforts.
17. J.P. Morgan was so good at taking over troubled businesses, organizing their structure and management to start making stable profits that the term “Morganization” was coined by the banking and finance industry. This reputation made him the most successful banker and financier in America’s history.
18. In 1443, King Sejong single-handedly created Hangul, the Korean alphabet, in response to the immense difficulty that common people faced in learning Chinese characters. The publication date of the document revealed in 1446 detailing the new alphabet is now a national holiday in both Koreas.
19. During the Korean War, American and Greek soldiers at Outpost Harry defended against multiple Chinese assaults of far greater numbers. At times being outnumbered 30:1, massive artillery bombardments and intense hand-to-hand fighting were daily occurrences. The Chinese failed to take the outpost.
20. For the movie Star Wars, the sound designer for the Stormtrooper's blasters came up with the sound of the blaster during a family backpacking trip. He hit the guy-wire of an AM radio transmitter tower with a hammer and recorded the sound with a microphone close to the impact.
21Fred the Baker
Former Dunkin' Donuts spokesman Fred the Baker (played by actor Michael Vale) was so beloved by the public that he was given an official retirement including a parade in Boston and free donuts for 6 million people.
22. “The Doll Test” found that given a choice between Black dolls and white dolls, most Black children preferred to play with white dolls. This study was later cited as a factor in the Brown v. Board of Education decision.
23. Time Team was the biggest funder of archaeological digs in the United Kingdom. The TV show also produced more research papers than any other archaeology group or university in the country. The show is credited for increasing the number of people interested in archaeology.
24. Alexander Yuvchenko was a survivor of the Chernobyl disaster. Most will recognize him as the man who holds the reactor door open in Episode 1 of the HBO show. Many assumed he had died, but he in fact survived his exposure to the radiation, living for another 22 years after the accident.
25. Sun Li Jen, a commander of the Republic of China during World War 2 was known as “Rommel of the East” due to his military achievements in various campaigns. He is considered the most capable Chinese field commander during World War 2. He spent the last 30 years of his life under house arrest in Taiwan due to suspicions of collaborating with the CIA.