44 Unfamiliar Random Facts You Have Never Heard Before | Random List #263

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1Solenne San Jose

In 2002, a woman named Solenne San Jose in France received a telephone bill of nearly 12 quadrillion euros. The phone company initially told her there was nothing they could do to amend the statement and offered to set up installments to pay off the bill. Eventually, they admitted their mistake and waived it all together.


2. If wasps decide they don't like you they drop pheromones on you so that other wasps don't like you either.


3. When Upton Sinclair published his landmark 1906 work "The Jungle” about the lives of meatpacking factory workers, he hoped it would lead to worker protection reforms. Instead, it leads to sanitation reforms, as middle-class readers were horrified their meat came from somewhere so unsanitary.


4. The UK sits under 5 different air masses, creating unpredictable weather patterns and mimicking both tropical and polar climates. Although on the same latitude as Canada the UK often gets rain instead of snow throughout the year and humidity compared to that of rainforest in summer.


5. In 2007, American Astronaut Steven Swanson brought DVD copies of the show Firefly and its movie sequel Serenity to the ISS, where they remain permanently for the crew's entertainment.


6New York Post

American newspaper "the New York Post" was originally founded by Alexander Hamilton and was a respected publication. It wasn't until the 1970s when it became a tabloid.


7. A 26-year-old man named Jairo Mora Sandoval dedicated his life to protecting leatherback sea turtle nests from poachers on the Moin beach in Costa Rica. He and his volunteers collected eggs and guarded them in a hatchery. On May 30, 2013, he was kidnapped and murdered.


8. The actual Yakuza of Japan played Yakuza 3 and praised it for its realism, only hating the frequency of the fighting.


9. An Italian atheist group wanted to advertise on buses "The bad news is that God does not exist. The good news is you don't need it". When they were refused, they changed it to "The good news is there are millions of atheists in Italy. The excellent news is they believe in freedom of speech."


10. Saudi Arabia owns 15000 acres in California with water rights to the Colorado River so they can cheaply grow alfalfa to feed their cows.


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11Icelandic names

When naming a newborn in Iceland, names not previously used aren't permitted via Icelandic rule. A new name would have to be pre-approved by the Icelandic Naming Committee. Also, they are not permitted to give a child a name that would embarrass them.


12. We have effectively cured an extremely common form of cancer: chronic myelogenous leukemia.


13. Stevie Nicks is the only woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. Once for Fleetwood Mac and a second time for her solo career.


14. When Julie Andrews received her damehood in 2000, Queen Elizabeth said to her that she’d ‘been waiting for this for a very long time.’ One of Julie Andrews’ earliest performances was at the age of 13, singing “God Save the King” before a then Princess Elizabeth.


15. When American businessman William Vanderbilt died in 1885 his fortune was worth over $300 billion in today’s dollars (which was more than the U.S. Treasury held at the time). In 1973, his heirs held a family reunion at Vanderbilt University, attended by 120 family members, and not one of them was even a millionaire.


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16Colossus of Rhodes

The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the wonders of the ancient world, only stood for 54 years. It then fell over onto the land after an earthquake, where it was visited by tourists for over 800 years. 


17. Cats cannot taste sweet things because of a genetic deficiency. After analyzing two genes responsible for sweetness detection, scientists found that one was missing in cats, meaning they lack the ability to produce a protein for tasting sweetness.


18. Although red, yellow, and green LED lights have been widely available since the 1960s, blue and white LEDs did not exist until the 1990s. The people who invented the blue LED won the Nobel prize for it in 2014, as it finally allowed for them to display the full-color spectrum with LEDs.


19. Cahokia was the largest pre-Columbia city in what is now the United States. Its pyramids and earthen mounds stood near present-day East St. Louis, Illinois. Around the year 1050, it had 30,000 people, making it larger than London or Paris at the time. It was abandoned by 1400.


20. Joseph and Jacob Loose, two brothers came up with competing cookies that were essentially the same - Hydrox and the Oreo. For years the Hydrox dominated, until the 1950s when Oreo increased the price and licensed it for use in other products, like Cookies & Cream ice cream.


21Marion Stokes

A Philadelphia archivist and activist named Marion Stokes continuously recorded major US channels from 1977 to her death in 2012, eventually filling 9 apartments with 71,716 tapes. The collection is now being digitized by The Internet Archive. Most footage she recorded isn’t available anywhere else in the world and would have been lost forever if it wasn’t for her.


22. In the late 1800s, a woman named Madame Popova operated a murder-for-hire service in Russia that specialized in liberating married women from their cruel husbands for a fee. She murdered over 300 victims, by using poison, her own hands, a weapon, or hiring another assassin.


23. Due to Galileo's training in Renaissance art and an understanding of chiaroscuro (a technique for shading light and dark), he quickly understood that the moon shadows he was seeing were actually mountains and craters. From his sketches, he made estimates of their heights and depths.


24. A large study found "How's my driving" stickers reduced crashes by 22%. 80% of all the drivers never received a complaint. 10% of the total got only one call ever.


25. Canadian Parliament once discussed how the country would deal with a zombie apocalypse. Then Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird declared that “Canada will never become a safe haven for zombies, ever.”

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