50 Random Facts List #140

26Geosmin

The smell of the air after a storm is caused by Geosmin, a chemical that is released by dead soil bacteria. Humans are hypersensitive to it and are capable of detecting it at a concentration of 5 parts per trillion. It is theorized in our evolutionary past this helped us seek out water.


27. In 2011, an Australian beer company gave people the option to pay whatever they wanted for a glass of beer from a certain keg. The kegs were called ‘The Karma Keg’ and they ended up making at least 35% more than what an average keg would make.


28. The first recorded child abuse case in the United States was of Mary Ellen Wilson. Her foster parents were prosecuted in 1874 under animal cruelty laws since there were no laws against child abuse at that time.


29. Mushrooms are more closely related to humans than they are to vegetables.


30. In 1982 Byron Preiss released the book “The Secret: A Treasure Hunt” that associates 12 riddles and 12 pictures to 12 real locations in the USA, where a ceramic bin buried in the ground houses an $1000 gem. As of 2018 only 2 have been solved.


31Walter Summerford

A man named Walter Summerford was struck by lightning 3 times in his life. After his death, his gravestone was also struck.


32. Robert Wright and Kenneth Moore were two combat medics who parachuted behind enemy lines on D-Day without weapons. For 3 days without sleep, they treated wounded soldiers from both sides and civilians.


33. Steve Carell had only seen about half of the original pilot episode of the British series before he auditioned for The Office. He did not continue watching for fear that he would start copying Gervais' characterizations.


34. When testing underwater acoustics during the cold war in 1960, scientists detonated a series of 300lb bombs off of Perth, Australia. This was heard three and a half hours later 10,000 miles away in Bermuda.


35. In France, they have short story vending machines in public locations. You can select 1, 3, or 5 minutes, and the machine prints a story on a strip of paper for free.


361923 Great Japan Earthquake

In the aftermath of the Great Japan Earthquake of 1923, when the fire broke out around the city of Tokyo, 44,000 people went to the river to escape the flames, only to be closed in by the flames on all sides. Almost all were then, in a single moment, incinerated by a 300 feet tall fire tornado.


37. Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula has no rivers, lakes, or streams. The Maya relied on the flooded mouths of underwater caves, called cenotes, for all of their fresh water.


38. In addition to the Percent sign (%) for 1/100, there is also a Per-mille symbol (‰) for 1/1,000 and a per-the-thousand symbol called a Bias Point (‱) for 1/10,000.


39. The rust removal aerosol spray WD-40 formula is not patented. If it were, the makers would have to disclose its ingredients, making it easier to copy.


40. Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was the first person to reach both poles and was also the first person to reach each pole. He was the first to reach the South Pole first in 1910, and also the first to reach (verified and credibly) the North Pole in 1926.


41Lightning

Lightning plays an important part in the Earth's nitrogen cycle by breaking down nitrogen molecules in the air, so they can be dissolved by rain, and then carried down to the Earth. Nitrogen is a very important element and needed for the production, growth, and decomposition of every living thing.


42. One of the largest earthquakes in North American history occurred on January 26, 1700. It was only documented by oral history in the First Nations populations and collaborated by a Japanese record of a tsunami around the same time.


43. In the original novels, James Bond was found to consume, on average, 92 units of alcohol a week. His preference for martinis “shaken, not stirred” may have stemmed from an inability to stir his drinks due to persistent shaking from alcohol-induced tremors.


44. Dennis Quaid’s face appeared on warning labels of vials of blood thinner Heparin to remind nurses not to accidentally inject patients with high concentration doses after Quaid’s newborn twins almost died of an accidental overdose.


45. The Dog's Bollocks is a defunct punctuation mark which appears in the Declaration of Independence and symbolizes a pause but fell to the wayside because of its phallic resemblance.


46Paul Lieberstein

Paul Lieberstein, the actor of The Office’s Toby Flenderson, pitched an idea of an Office Spin-off titled “The Farm” that would star Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute in his own show about his life and beet farm.


47. The word "essential" in "essential oil" doesn't mean "important," but rather "the essence of". So oil of clove smells like clove, capturing the "essence" of the plant, and therefore can be called an essential oil.


48. Ryan Gosling turned down a spot in The Backstreet Boys because he thought they were a rip off of the boy band New Kids On The Block.


49. Professional golfer Sam Snead once intentionally lost a televised match because he realized that he had accidentally broken a rule and thought that pointing this out and being disqualified would spoil the show.


50. Marilyn Monroe viewed Abraham Lincoln as a father figure and once said “Most people can admire their fathers, but I never had one. I need someone to admire. My father is Abraham Lincoln…I mean I think of Lincoln as my father. He was wise and kind and good. He is my ideal, Lincoln. I love him.”

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