44 Unknown Random Facts You Had No Idea About | Random List #185

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1John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth timed the deadly shot he fired at Abraham Lincoln with the funniest line from “My American Cousin,” knowing the laughter would drown out the gunshot. That line was “You sockdologizing old man-trap.”


2. Sir Isaac Newton's dog set his laboratory on fire, ruining his 20 years of research. When he saw what the dog had done, Newton is said to have exclaimed, "O Diamond, Diamond, thou little knowest the mischief thou hast done."


3. Kirsty MacColl, a vocalist and female singer in "Fairytale of New York", died saving her son from an oncoming powerboat owned by a multimillionaire while vacationing in Cozumel, Mexico. The boat's driver escaped jail time by paying a fine of $90.


4. The Black Kite 'Firehawks' deliberately spread fires in Australia by carrying burning twigs in their beaks and talons and dropping them in other areas in order to start new fires and drive out insects and small animals so that they can feed on them.


5. Rather than inciting people to anger or violence, research has found that loud and chaotic music such as metal and punk is ‘a healthy way of processing anger.’


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6Hemigrapsus estellinensis

In 1962, a strange spring was found in northern Texas. Despite being 500 miles from any coast, it was home to marine species such as crabs, barnacles, and seaweed, all isolated thousands of years prior when the sea levels rose and fell. Sadly, all this was wiped out after a dike was built.


7. One controversial scene in Hitchcock's Psycho was when Marion flushed the money down the toilet because "no flushing toilet had appeared in mainstream film and television in the United States at that time."


8. William Shatner directed 'Star Trek V: The Final Frontier' because of a clause in his contract dating back to the original series ensuring that whatever Leonard Nimoy got—he did too. So after Nimoy directed 'Star Trek IV', Shatner insisted that he get a turn at directing a movie.


9. John Krasinski saved a woman from drowning when he was 17 years old.


10. Koalas have fingerprints so similar to humans that if unknowingly checked by a forensic scientist they wouldn't even know that they weren't human prints.


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11Jim Rice

In 1982, Jim Rice saved a 4-year-old boy's life. The boy was hit in the face by a foul ball and Rice knew it would take several minutes for the ballparks EMS to get to the boy. He immediately sprinted into the stands, picked up the boy, and ran him into the dugout to the team doctor.


12. A diabetic woman named Eva Saxl synthesized her own insulin in a basement during World War 2, saving not only her own life but the lives of over 200 people in the Shanghai Ghetto who would have died when legal insulin became unavailable.


13. Actor Humphrey Bogart was an avid chess player, often playing on set between takes. During World War 2, he played correspondence chess with members of the military posted overseas or in hospitals. The FBI intercepted this mail and thought he was sending secret codes to Europe.


14. Italian scientist Francesco Redi in 1668 proved that maggots come from the eggs of flies. At that time, the prevailing wisdom was that maggots arose spontaneously from rotting meat.


15. John Stevens Henslow, a British priest, botanist and geologist, in 1831, was offered a place aboard a voyage to survey South America. After his wife dissuaded him from accepting, Henslow wrote to the captain, telling him to offer his place on the HMS Beagle to his protégé, Charles Darwin.


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16Charles Vance Millar

A Toronto lawyer named Charles Vance Millar died in 1926 with no relatives. In his will, he left all his remaining assets (equivalent to $9 million CAD) to the woman who had the most babies within 10 years of his death, creating a "baby race" where woman competed to have the most babies. The race ended in a tie between 4 mothers who each received $100,000 for their nine children.


17. According to NASA researchers, an optimal nap will last between 20-30 minutes and a perfect nap will last exactly 26 minutes.


18. Cats put their butts in your face because they are allowing you to “get to know” them.


19. The East German Stasi used psych warfare called Zersetzung against dissidents. Tactics involved breaking into homes and subtly manipulating the contents; moving furniture, altering alarms, removing pictures from walls. Many thought they were losing their minds and had mental breakdowns.


20. A medical student named John Jones was trapped in the Nutty Putty cave while spelunking in 2009. Rescue attempts were unsuccessful and the cave entrance was eventually sealed with concrete. John's body is still there today.


21The Innocence Project

A network of men and women working in the legal system have created something called "The Innocence Project" which to date has exonerated 364 innocent people serving sentences for violent crimes with punishments ranging from death to life without parole.


22. Peru built a hospital ship in 1862 which is still in service and it still runs on its original steam engine which is fueled by dried llama dung.


23. The day World War 2 started in 1939, BBC ceased all television broadcasts. They later resumed them in 1945, restarting at the same spot when it had been cut off during a Mickey Mouse cartoon.


24. In 2012, Facebook ran psychological experiments on users to study “emotional contagion” without the consent of users or pre-approval from ethics boards. Facebook was able to prove that it could alter the moods of users by changing algorithms of users’ news feeds.


25. The name Kevin in Germany has a particularly bad reputation (related to lower socioeconomic status), so much so that the word 'Alpha-Kevin' has been coined, representative of a particularly unintelligent young person. 'Kevinism' has even been described as an 'avoidable childhood illness.'

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