50 Random Facts List #125

1Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps considered suicide after the 2012 Summer Olympics. He started the Michael Phelps Foundation to help other people with mental illness.


2. Nikola Tesla predicted the modern cell phone in 1926: “We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this but...we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face... a man will be able to carry one in his pocket.”


3. Windshields have an SPF of 50, better than most sunscreens.


4. Red spider lilies are poisonous and were planted near burial sites in Japan to prevent animals from digging up corpses. As a result, the flowers are now associated with death, funerals, and the afterlife.


5. The Chocolate Chip Cookie didn’t exist prior to 1938, when it was invented by the owner of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts.


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6Heart

Your heart rate slows when your face touches water. This is called the mammalian diving reflex.


7. Chicken sold in supermarkets are "plumped" with water or brine before being sold, some breasts can be up to 40% water after plumping.


8. Only female Anglerfish have lures and actively look for food. The males are tiny and pale and spend their entire life finding and fusing to female Anglers, where they begin to degenerate until they are little more than a pair of gonads providing sperm to the female on her command.


9. Matches weren't invented until 1826. As John Walker stirred a pot of chemicals, a lump formed on the end of the mixing stick. He tried scraping the dried chemicals off, igniting the stick and accidentally inventing matches.


10. Belgian actor Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the 'Predator', but was fired for several reasons, including that he really wanted the Predator to kickbox.


11Grandma Gatewood

Emma Gatewood, better known as Grandma Gatewood hiked the 2,200-mile Appalachian trail at the age of 55 bringing only Converse shoes, an army blanket, and a plastic shower curtain after reading about it in a magazine and telling her children she was going for a walk. She hiked it again at the age of 72 and 75.


12. Two orphan South Korean Sisters named Meagan Hughes and Holly Hoyle O’Brien were separated for 40 years and were reunited while working on the same floor of the same shift in Florida Hospital.


13. There are two types of lightning strikes - positive and negative. Negative accounts for 95% of lightning strikes, while positive accounts for 5%, and is much more powerful and dangerous, and is more likely to cause forest fires.


14. American president Grover Cleveland developed mouth cancer during his second term. Fearing news of this might cause financial panic, he underwent secret surgery on his friend’s yacht off the coast of Long Island, under the cover story of being on a 4-day fishing trip.


15. Joseph Bramah stared a lock company that was famed for their resistance to lock picking. The company had a “Challenge Lock” where they would pay whoever could pick the lock shall receive 200 guineas. The challenge stood for 67 years until American locksmith Alfred Hobbs finally picked it in 51 hours, spread over 16 days.


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16Jack in the Box

The CIA used to have a device called Jack in the Box, made from sex dolls cut from the shoulder down. If an agent was being tailed by the KGB, his driver would turn sharply, giving him time to hop out of the car. The driver would then deploy the device, so it would look like the agent was still in the car.


17. Lava is between 100,000 to 1,100,000 times as viscous as water. Falling into it would be like hitting something solid, rather than a liquid.


18. An activist named Bruno Manser went into the jungles of Borneo in the 1980s and became a respected elder in the Penan tribe, then left the tribe and did hunger strikes outside many multinational corporations responsible for stealing their land.


19. After surviving a car accident and receiving a settlement, Paul Dennis Reid used the money to get a plastic surgery, and then pursued a career as a country singer, under the stage name Justin Parks. When that failed, he became a serial killer.


20. Pants and trousers are called pairs because they used to be separate. As early as the 16th Century, you'd feed one leg in, tie the top around your waist and do the same with the other leg. The name stayed even when they started being made as a single item.


21Forgotten Baby Syndrome

Forgotten Baby Syndrome, the tragic phenomenon behind infant hot car deaths, is caused by a change in routine and can happen to anyone.


22. Horses at shows usually have a colored ribbon attached to their tails. They each represent different things: a red ribbon means the horse is a kicker, green means the horse is inexperienced and likely to misbehave, blue means the horse is a stallion, and white means the horse is for sale.


23. An American woman named Ariana Austin became an African princess in October 2017. She married Joel Makonnen, grandson of the last Emperor of Ethiopia and direct descendant of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Prince Joel, who met Ariana at a club in Washington D.C., initially kept his royal status a secret.


24. In Japan, you can hire actors to pose as short/longterm spouses, children, friends, etc. A man named Ishii Yuichi was hired to pose as a girl's missing father by her mother for over 8 years without his "daughter" knowing.


25. Ruby chocolate is the fourth chocolate type and the first new chocolate type in 80 years. It is pink due to the color of the cocoa beans used to make it. It was unveiled by Swiss-Belgian cocoa company Barry-Callebaut in September 2017 and had been in development since 2004.

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