In 1981, a 27-year-old James Cameron was working as a director on Pirhana II, when he was fired for failing to get a close-up of the lead actress. He then got food poisoning and during his illness had a nightmare about a robot sent from the future to kill him - the idea for The Terminator.
2. The German word for "turkey" literally translates to "threatening chicken." Porcupines are "spike pigs," raccoons are "wash bears," and platypuses are "beak animals."
3. 0.7 % of the world’s population is estimated to be drunk at any given time (roughly 52 million people).
4. The Aztecs followed Spaniards around with incense burners when they came to the Americas. The Spaniards believed this to be a divine honor, however, it was actually a necessity due to the wide gap in hygiene between the two peoples. The Aztec found their stench unbearable.
5. Troy Leon Gregg, a death row inmate in Georgia, escaped the night before his execution only to be killed in a bar fight that very same night.
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Trevor Richards, a 16-year-old South African immigrant, got suspended from his Omaha, Nebraska school when he nominated himself for a "Distinguished African-American Student of the Year" prize. He was the only pupil in this school to have ever lived in Africa.
7. In 1945, Hitler created the Nero Decree (destruction of German infrastructure), and ordered German General Dietrich von Choltitz to destroy Parisian landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower. He didn't.
8. There are enough diamonds in existence to give everyone on the planet a cupful.
9. The original Obi-Wan Kenobi cloak, worn by Alec Guinness in ‘Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope', was misplaced after filming and discovered 30 years later in at a costume shop in London having been rented out for fancy dress parties.
10. Breast milk saved 16 people lost at sea. 2 days after their food ran out a woman told her sister to try her milk. She felt better and offered it to everyone else. The 8 men and 7 women took turns sucking her breasts and were able to survive for 7 more days until currents pushed the boat to shore.
Humans and mushrooms share a common ancestor from 1150 million years ago, and we are closer to them than to bananas - which we share a common ancestor with from 1624 million years ago.
12. The morning after Muhammad Ali lost in a fight against Larry Holmes, a 14-year-old Mike Tyson promised him that when he "got big" he would take down Larry Holmes for him. 6 years later, Tyson fought against Larry Holmes and won.
13. The city of London is still paying rent of a sharp axe, a billhook, 6 horseshoes, and 61 nails to the Queen on a property leased in 1211.
14. Portobello, cremini and button mushrooms are all the same type of mushroom, but at different stages of maturity.
15. After a ticker-tape parade to celebrate his Olympic medals, Jesse Owens was not permitted to enter through the main doors of the Waldorf Astoria and instead forced to travel up to the event in a freight elevator to reach the reception honoring him.
First Lady Betty Ford was a supporter of the equal rights amendment (ERA), publicly pro-choice, and a breast cancer survivor who raised awareness about breast cancer as well as alcohol addiction as a result of her own struggle with both conditions.
17. Bird's nest custody is a specific form of joint custody in which, rather than having the children go from one parent's house to the other parent's house, the parents move in and out of the house that the children constantly reside in.
18. There is a severe shortage of 'spitter apples' which are preferred for making ciders because during prohibition the FBI went around chopping down huge swaths of orchards, effectively erasing much of the nation's stock of spitter apple trees that initially take 20-30 years to grow.
19. The phajaan process used to train elephants for tourism. They're routinely beaten with whips, sticks, and hooks, kept in cramped cages with feet tied together and pierced with a long bullhook to remove any sense of wild in them.
20. Studio directors knew to film John Wayne's scenes before noon because by the afternoon he was a 'real mean drunk'.
NASA accidentally recorded over the original moon landing tapes and lost a critical piece of human history forever.
22. When Hall of Fame NFL Running back, Curtis Martin, was 15 years old, he was held up with a loaded gun to his head. The criminal pulled the trigger seven times, but no bullet came out. On the eighth trigger pull, the gun discharged while aimed elsewhere.
23. In Greek mythology, Chaos was the origin of everything.
24. Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night was a 1945 plan developed by Shirō Ishii to wage biological warfare upon civilian population centers in Southern California in the United States during the final months of World War II, using plague fleas from unit 731.
25. A Japanese criminal mastermind dubbed "The Monster with 21 Faces". He was responsible for extorting and poisoning products at confectionery companies across Tokyo. His activity ceased after the ritual suicide of a police chief, who failed to stop him. He has never been caught.