50 Random Facts List #196

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1Blue whale

The blue whale is not only the largest animal currently on the planet but the largest animal to have ever existed.


2. A devout Mormon set out in 1955 on an archaeological expedition to prove the Book of Mormon's claims. Instead after 15 years, he found that nearly every claim in the Book of Mormon was wrong and the papyrus J. Smith claimed written by Abraham was actually just a page ripped out of the Egyptian Book of the Dead.


3. Researchers historically have avoided using female animals in medical studies specifically so that they don't have to account for influences from hormonal cycles. This may explain why women often don't respond to available medications or treatments in the same way as men do.


4. There is a city in Washington named 'George'. Every year, George, Washington celebrates the 4th of July by baking the world's largest cherry pie.


5. Before the discovery of electricity, theatre spotlights produced light by directing a flame at calcium oxide (quicklime). These kinds of lights were called limelights and this is the origin of the phrase “in the limelight” to mean “at the center of attention.”


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6Guns N' Roses

The "Where do we go now?" ending to Guns N' Roses 'Sweet Child O' Mine' was born from the band not knowing how to finish that part of the song.


7. Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe from the sitcom 'Friends') published an academic paper in neurology the same year that F.R.I.E.N.D.S debuted on TV.


8. Honey bees make decisions collectively and democratically. Every year, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a process that literally includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus building.


9. The highest-grossing single-unit independent pizzeria in USA is “Moose's Tooth Pub & Pizzeria”, which is in Anchorage, Alaska. It cashes in annual sales of over $6 million.


10. Pilots departing from California's John Wayne Airport are required by law to cut their engines and pitch nose down shortly after takeoff for about 6 miles in order to reduce noise in the residential area below.


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11Alfred Hitchcock

When Alfred Hitchcock got the rights to the novel that originated 'Psycho', he bought all copies to keep the plot twists under wraps.


12. Disney is an anglicized version of the French name “D’Isigny”, meaning “From Isigny”. Descendants from the same ancestors as Walt formed a cheese company in France. They sometimes collaborate and make Mickey-themed cheese packages.


13. An unnamed Viking warrior was tasked with guarding a narrow (4 people wide) bridge against the Saxons in 1066. He survived constant attack for 1 hour until a clever Saxon floated down the river in a barrel and piked him in the groin from under the bridge.


14. Blue eyes don’t have blue pigment and are instead blue for the same reason that water and the sky are blue: they scatter light so that only blue light reflects out.


15. The first game of chess against a computer was played in 1952 by Alan Turing. Because there were no computers powerful enough to actually run the program, Alan Turing simply “ran” the program on a piece of paper manually.


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16Samoyeds

Because of their naturally friendly dispositions Samoyeds usually make for terrible guard dogs. They don't attack threats; just kind of smile and bark at them.


17. Footwear retail company “Payless” set up a fake luxury store called “Palessi” to prank social media influencers. They pranked VIP shoppers into paying markups of up to 1,800 percent for the bargain retailer's shoes as part of a viral advertising campaign designed to shift consumers' perceptions of the brand.


18. Medieval dentists knew how to fill cavities, treat facial fractures, could spot oral cancer, and even knew the basics of whitening teeth. Evidence also suggests they knew how to create dentures out of cow bone and human teeth.


19. Only 12 people have walked on the moon and all within a 3-year span. No one has been to the moon since 1972, which was over 40 years ago.


20. A man named Narayan Khandekar protects the world's rarest colors at the Harvard Art Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Some of these color are poisonous, and some are very beautiful. One of the colors is a yellow pigment originating from dried cow urine where they were only fed mango leaves.


21Hummus

Lebanon made a massive bowl of hummus to get into the Guinness Book of World Records just so people around the world can recognize that hummus is from Lebanon.


22. Archaeologists routinely find edible honey in ancient Egyptian tombs. Honey never spoils, due to extremely low water-content, very low pH, and hydrogen peroxide (made by an enzyme in the bees’ stomachs).


23. David Reale, the actor who played Glen Coco in Mean Girls wasn't even supposed to be there and never got paid - he snuck onto the set for free food.


24. The small hopping insect Issus coleoptratus uses toothed gears on its joints to precisely synchronize the kicks of its hind legs as it jumps forward. This insect has the only mechanical gears ever found in nature


25. The Hadza people are an indigenous ethnic group living in north-central Tanzania. Their ancestors have occupied the area surrounding the “Cradle of Mankind” for tens of thousands of years. Their oral histories are so ancient that it is possible they reference living alongside earlier extinct hominids such as Homo erectus.

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