Trillions of oysters once surrounded New York City, filtering bacteria and acting as a natural buffer against storm surges. But pollution and other environmental changes killed off that helpful oyster population. Now, forward-looking landscape architects are bringing them back.
2. In the 1950s, a Soviet geneticist began an experiment of fox domestication. He selectively bred foxes for 'friendliness'. After a few generations, the foxes had other surprising traits like better social skills, larger litter sizes, curlier tails, droopier ears and showed skeletal changes (making them look 'cuter', like dogs).
3. Swedes can find out each other's salaries with just one phone call to Swedish equivalent of the IRS. The person whose information is accessed is also informed who accessed it.
4. The flag of Papua New Guinea was designed by a 15-year-old school girl named Susan Karike who won a nationwide competition to design the national flag.
5. The character of Austin Powers was created by Mike Myers as a persona for his faux 60s rock band Ming Tea. His then-wife loved the persona so much that she encouraged him to write a film about the character.
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52 Hertz is the loneliest whale on our planet. It roams the world's deepest oceans looking for a mate but it's unable to find one because no other whale is capable of understanding it's 52 Hertz call.
7. In 2002, Snoop Dogg officially announced that he was done with marijuana, however, by 2013 he admitted to smoking around 80 blunts every day.
8. Cellophane, the clear plastic used to wrap food, is biodegradable and produced from wood pulp.
9. The location of the Teletubbies set was so secret that visitors had to be blindfolded.
10. A woman named Taylor Muhl has Chimerism, a condition in which she's a fraternal twin who fused together with her sibling in the womb. Now she has 2 different immune systems and 2 different bloodstreams. Her immune system is constantly fighting off her twin sister’s cells, as it recognizes them as foreign, causing autoimmune issues.
A marathon runner named Rosie Ruiz was the first woman to finish the 1980 Boston marathon. After winning, reporters noticed she wasn't that sweaty and didn't seem that tired at all. It turned out she took the subway the majority of the route and simply snuck back into the race to win.
12. Jennifer Lawrence dropped out of middle school and holds neither a high school diploma nor a GED.
13. Marrie Currie's notebook is so radioactive that it has to be stored in a lead box and visitors have to sign a waiver before they can see it.
14. The unit of measurement, "smoot", is named after an MIT prank on Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity pledge, Oliver Smoot, whose body was used to measure the Harvard Bridge in 1958. One smoot is 5 foot 7 inches and length of the Harvard Bridge is 364.4 smoots.
15. The largest wine cellar in the world is Moldova's Mileștii Mici. It has streets that carry the names of grape. Visitors drive cars or bikes in it, and traffic rules apply. The second largest wine cellar in the world is also in Moldova.
When Viggo Mortensen filmed his last scene in Lord Of The Rings, the stunt crew all gathered together to perform a Haka (Traditional war cry) as a farewell and sign of respect.
17. Denatured alcohol (sold in hardware stores) isn't chemically different from drinking alcohol. The only difference is it's purposely laced with poison and nausea-inducing additives so you can't drink it. These compromises allows it to be sold without alcohol tax and ensures people don't drink it.
18. Radio GTMO, the Armed Forces radio station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has a vinyl collection of over 20,000 records, including some albums that exist nowhere else.
19. Actor Hugh Keays Byrne who played Immortan Joe, the main antagonist in Mad Max: Fury Road also played Toecutter, the main antagonist in the original Mad Max movie.
20. The Mountain Jews were known to be accomplished warriors and horseback riders. They typically were heavily armed and slept without removing their weapons.
Weird Al donated all the profits for "Achy Breaky Song" to charity because he felt the song was "mean-spirited" since all it did was sh*t on Billy Ray Cyrus.
22. Bluesman R. L. Burnside killed a man and said: "I didn't mean to kill nobody, I just meant to shoot the sonofabit*h in the head. Him dying was between him and the Lord."
23. The first director of CIA, Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, stated in a letter to Congress that "high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense."
24. In Cambodia, cooking with a "lucky iron fish" (a small iron cooking tool that infuses meals with iron) has helped villagers prevent anemia.
25. In 2011, a 17-year-old boy jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge as a dare and survived with only "bruising and tenderness".