50 Random Facts List #162

1T.H. Huxley

The term “Agnostic” was coined in 1869 by English biologist T.H. Huxley, not as a description, but as a creed: “to follow reason as far as it can take you, but then, when you have established as much as you can, frankly and honestly to recognize the limits of your knowledge.”


2. If a beta male mandrill wins a fight, it physically morphs into an alpha male over time, gaining facial coloration, bigger testicles, and the ability to breed.


3. André the Giant grew so fast that his own parents didn't recognize him. He left home at the age of 14 and returned at 19, having already become a professional wrestler. As he explained his career choice, they realized they had seen him wrestle on TV under his alias, without knowing it was their son.


4. In 2011, it was discovered that a 25-year-old German woman named Empress Victoria Adelaide who works for an online furniture company is a direct descendant of Queen Victoria and could have been Queen of England if it wasn't for a technicality that has now been fixed.


5. Penguin poop will change Antarctica's ecosystem. For the last 5,000 years, penguins have delivered roughly 16 million pounds of nutrient rich poop on the rocks of Antarctica. This poop can one day support plants and animals which currently can't survive in Antarctica.


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6Stan Lee

Stan Lee proposed to his wife (Joan Boocock Lee) of 69 years after two weeks of dating. She was already married and filed for a quick divorce in Nevada an hour before being married to Stan Lee. The judge who granted the divorce was the same one who performed the marriage ceremony. 


7. The first woman to run for President of the United States was Victoria Woodhull in 1872, 50 years before women could vote. She had Frederick Douglass as her running mate, and spent election day in jail due to being arrested for obscenity.


8. A researcher named Don McPherson was trying to develop eye-protection goggles for doctors doing laser eye surgery. He let his friend (Michael Angell) borrow them while playing frisbee, and his friend informed him that they cured his colorblindness.


9. In the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Emerald City is not green but is just a regular city, and everyone who enters it is forced to wear green-tinted glasses.


10. Mythbusters has saved a life. A woman named Theresa Booth trapped in her car as it filled with water recalled the episode with the Underwater Car Myth and waited until the pressure equalized to open the door.


11Millionaires

Most Americans don't consider millionaires ($1 million) wealthy anymore. The average American sees wealthy people as having at least $2.4 million.


12. Dogs actually like when their owners use silly high-pitched voices to talk to them.


13. The 2004 film “50 First Dates” was supposed to be set in Seattle, but Adam Sandler himself switched the story to Hawaii. According to him, “You don't see many movies [set] there....And it is such a spectacularly beautiful place for a romantic comedy.”


14. In 2014, original "Top Model" winner Adrianne Curry fended off an attacker with a bullwhip while dressed as Catwoman at San Diego Comic-Con.


15. Blimps use the same amount of fuel in 2 weeks that a 747 uses to taxi to the runway.


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16Black Friday

A Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death by Black Friday shoppers in 2008. While other employees attempted to help him, the shoppers were unconcerned with the victim's fate and refused to halt their stampede, complaining that they were not willing to wait in the cold any longer.


17. In 1935, the Nazis held a competition in which baby pictures were sent in and the "most beautiful Aryan baby" was chosen by Joseph Goebbels. The baby they picked and used in propaganda for years was actually Jewish; the photo had been sent in to make the Nazi party look ridiculous.


18. The famous car chase scene in "The French Connection" was shot illegally. The legendary stunt driver Bill Hickman drove for 22 blocks at 95 mph through Queens with no permits, coordination or planning.


19. Streets are almost always wet in movies. The wet pavement looks better on camera and the water diffuses reflections and helps eliminate shadows caused by filming equipment and multiple light sources.


20. Telling the truth when tempted to lie can significantly improve a person’s mental and physical health. Researchers found that participants could purposefully and dramatically reduce their everyday lies and that in turn was associated with significantly improved health.


21Trevor Noah

When South African comedian Trevor Noah was growing up in Apartheid, his parents had to always walk on separate sides of the street, and whenever either parent was confronted about him, they had to deny that he was their child.


22. While Stan Lee was in the army, he never missed a deadline for Timely Comics (Marvel in the 40s). When he discovered that mail was being withheld from him, he broke into the mailroom, unhinged the mailbox with the screwdriver, and submitted the assignment, which he was nearly jailed for.


23. In 1962, a Cuban boxer named Benny Paret made fun of his opponent named Emile Griffith, for being homosexual. Paret died 10 days after the fight from a 29-punch combo by Griffith.


24. Bridges and tunnels for animals reduced wildlife-related car crashes by 90% in Colorado.


25. Utsuro-Bune was a Japanese legend about an unknown object washing ashore in Hitachi in1803. Inside there was a young woman who spoke an unknown language and who was carrying a small box which she didn't let anyone touch.

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