38 Extraordinary Random Facts Few People Know | Random List #283

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1Rick Moranis

Rick Moranis improvised his entire Louis Tully speech in Ghostbusters at his apartment party. None of that was scripted. He decided he'd be a tax accountant and riffed all that gold. “I'm giving this whole thing as a promotional expense, that’s why I invited clients instead of friends.”


2. When Germany invaded Belgium in World War 1, King Albert I took personal command of the Belgian Army. He led his army for 4 years, fighting alongside his troops, while his wife, Queen Elisabeth, worked as a nurse at the front. His 12-year-old son, the Crown Prince, also fought in the ranks.


3. The U.S. Navy employed a dolphin, Tuffy, to regularly deliver tools and mail to scientists living in an experimental underwater laboratory.


4. The music genre “shoegaze” got its name from British critics mocking the musicians always looking down at their shoes while playing instead of the audience. In reality, the musicians had to focus on the numerous music effect pedals in their playlist.


5. American singer Merle Haggard was a 20-year-old prisoner at San Quentin when he saw Johnny Cash play his first concert for inmates in 1958. Haggard said it helped turn his life around and inspired him to be a country artist. Cash always told Haggard, “You’re everything that people think I am.”


6Unobtainium

Unobtainium, a metal featured in films like "Avatar" and "The Core", was an engineering term coined in the '50s to describe any highly desirable material that is hypothetical, scientifically impossible, extremely rare, costly, or fictional.


7. People who drive the Oscar Mayer Wienermobiles are called Hotdoggers and only college seniors who are about to graduate are eligible to be Hotdoggers.


8. As a child, Jane Goodall's father gave her a stuffed chimpanzee named Jubilee as an alternative to a teddy bear. Goodall has said her fondness for this figure started her early love of animals. Today, Jubilee still sits on Goodall's dresser in London.


9. Joaquin Phoenix grew up in a cult involved with pedophilia and his parents traveled to Venezuela to recruit followers (not knowing about the pedophilia). The cult was called ‘The Children of God.’


10. There is a cemetery in the Netherlands that consists of tombs of the 8,300 US veterans who died there in World War 2. For the past 70 years, Dutch families have come to the cemetery every Sunday to care for a grave they adopted. Hundreds of people are currently on a waiting list to become caretakers.


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11Honeybees

Honeybees can recognize human faces. Before it was thought that only large-brained mammals could distinguish faces, but honeybees can do this as well. They see faces in a compilation of 5,000 individual images, kind of like pixels.


12. The voice of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, Paul Winchell was one of the original inventors of an artificial heart, an automobile that runs on battery power, a method for breeding tilapia, and many other inventions that are still around today.


13. The National Park Service has officially advised against sacrificing slower friends in a bear attack, ‘even if the friendship has run its course.’


14. John Morrissey went from being a famous gambler during the Gold Rush to a heavyweight boxing champ to the boss of the Irish mob to a New York senator to Grand Sachem of Tammany Hall, which basically controlled New York politics for the Gilded Age, all before dying at the age of 47.


15. In 1981, a group of scientists met to discuss ways of making future humans aware of nuclear waste disposal sites. One idea was genetically engineering cats to change color in the presence of radiation and introducing a cultural idea to run away when you see a cat change color.


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16Henry Rathbone

Henry Rathbone, the other man in the balcony with Lincoln the night he was assassinated was so consumed with guilt over not having prevented it that he slowly went mad and eventually stabbed his wife to death and tried to kill his children before he was committed to a mental asylum for the rest of his life.


17. The U.S. Air Force had a doomsday weapon named SLAM. It was a rocket that was designed to fly fast and low over the Soviet Union, dropping hydrogen bombs over predetermined targets while its unshielded nuclear reactor contaminated everything in its path.


18. Despite censoring "dirty" language in songs, Kidz Bop has been criticized due to changing only individual lyrics and not the overall meaning and themes of songs. A University of Colorado professor called Kidz Bop "an abomination" due to it only censoring lyrics and not the overall content.


19. Iceland has the highest number of authors per head, and one in ten Icelandic people will publish a book in their lifetime.


20. A McDonald's burger doesn't rot, not because there are any mysterious chemicals in it, but because low moisture and dehydration basically turns it into a jerky.


21Pink manta ray

In February 2020, a photographer snapped a rare photo of the only known pink manta ray near Australia. It likely has a genetic mutation causing the unusual coloration.


22. In 2013, Detroit was so broke that they were unable to print out death certificates because they had not been able to pay the company that provided the special embossed paper on which they were printed, and subsequently ran out.


23. Studies by the IIHS and Federal Highway Administration have shown that roundabouts typically achieve a 37% reduction in overall collisions, a 75% reduction in injury collisions and a 90 percent reduction in fatality collisions.


24. In 2007, six US cruise missiles with the nuclear warheads were mistakenly loaded onto a bomber, not reported missing, and remained mounted for 36 hours with no security precautions for nuclear weapons implemented.


25. Before asbestos was seen as hazardous, a Han dynasty general had a jacket made from it. He would pretend to spill wine on it at dinners. Then he'd throw it into a fire and pull it out to show it was still intact to impress his guests.

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