50 Random Facts List #106

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26Mexican jumping beans

Mexican jumping beans are seed pods that have been inhabited by the larva of a small moth. The beans “jump” when heated because of the larva spasms in an attempt to roll the seed to a cooler environment to avoid dehydration and consequent death.


27. There was a hotel named Historic Anderson House Hotel in Wabasha, Minnesota. It was famous for the cats which hotel guests could stay with for overnight companionship.


28. DMX, Jay-Z, and Busta Rhymes attended the same junior high school (George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School) with Biggie Smalls, at the same time.


29. A handful of paper scraps recovered from the 300-year-old wreck of Blackbeard’s ship Queen Anne's Revenge have been identified as fragments of the 1712 book A Voyage to the South Sea, and Round the World.


30. Loveseats were not invented so that two lovers could sit together. Originally, they were just oversized chairs designed to allow more space for excessively wide women's dresses up until the 18th century.


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31Grapefruit

Grapefruit has a number of adverse drug interactions, and when eaten with certain drugs, can lead to accidental overdoses.


32. The British invented the "toast sandwich" which is literally a sandwich with buttered toast as the filling. An 1861 recipe suggests adding salt and pepper to taste and that it "will be found very tempting to the appetite of an invalid."


33. In Brazil, the term “Goal for Germany” (gol da alemanha) is now used if something terrible is happening to you.


34. The Vandals was a large East Germanic tribe originating from Poland and who, fleeing from the Huns, gradually migrated to Roman territories during the 5th century. They conquered Spain and most of Northern Africa and eventually sacked and looted Rome. The word "vandalism" is named after them.


35. There is a group of towns who call themselves 'the League of Extraordinary Communities', composed of Bland, Dull, and Boring.


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36David Letterman

David Letterman was blackmailed for $2 million when he had sexual relationship with female staff members of his TV show. He worked with authorities to catch the perpetrator.


37. The Vatican has noted that gluten-free wafers cannot be used in holy communion.


38. Friedrich Kellner was a civil servant in Nazi Germany who wrote a diary showing how nazism slowly crept into Germany's everyday life. He later said: "My eyewitness account would record the barbarous acts, and also show the way to stop them." It was published in English in 2018.


39. For almost 20 years an organization called the Blind Babies Foundation has supported a Beeper Egg Hunt for Blind Children to participate.


40. In Norway’s maximum-security Halden Prison, prisoners are paid 53 kroner ($9) per day to leave their cells, which are equipped with a video game console, mini-fridge, and a window with no bars. Guard stations are tiny and cramped to encourage them to interact with the prisoners.


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41Mississippi River

The Mississippi River has been forced through New Orleans artificially by a series of floodgates. If they fail it will shift course 85 miles west and make America's largest port effectively useless overnight.


42. The Alpine Spaniel, a now extinct dog was bred by Augustinian Monks for rescuing travelers stuck in the snow of the Great St. Bernard pass. Dogs were sent in pairs so one could alert the monks when they found someone. They are said to be ancestors of modern-day St. Bernards.


43. Hungry men tend to be more attracted to women with higher body weight than men who have eaten the food.


44. The town of Nördlingen in Germany is embedded with millions of microscopic diamonds due to an asteroid which struck the area some 15 million years ago.


45. The Leatherman was a vagabond (a wanderer having no settled home) who walked an annual 365-mile circuit between Connecticut and New York for over 30 years. He wore handmade leather clothes, slept in caves, and communicated with gestures in broken English, though he was fluent in French. His background, name, and origin are all unknown.


46Frog Boys

The ‘Frog Boys’ was a nickname given to a group of South Korean children who went missing while frog hunting. Their bodies were discovered 11 years later, with the police concluding that they probably died from hypothermia. A later autopsy however revealed them to have been murdered, one with a shotgun blast to the head.


47. A South African plant named Ceratocaryum argenteum produces seeds that look and smell like animal dung, tricking dung beetles into burying them, which helps the seeds germinate.


48. Morphine's name is derivative of Morpheus, a Greek god of sleep and dreams.


49. The Octobass is an orchestral instrument with a low C that is infrasonic, i.e. below the range of human hearing.


50. John F. Kennedy was the first and only Catholic President of the United States. Almost all of the other presidents were either Protestant, Nontrinitarian, or Unspecified.

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