50 Random Facts List #235

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26Rhazes

When the medieval scholar Rhazes was tasked with choosing the location of a new hospital in Baghdad, he hung meat at points around the city, and chose the location where it rotted the slowest.


27. Alan Turing once bought 150 pounds of silver but didn’t trust banks so he buried it in the woods instead. After the price of silver had almost doubled, he went to dig it up, but could no longer find it.


28. King Charlemagne kept his daughters at home with him and refused to allow them to get sacramentally married. However, he accepted their extramarital relationships. He rewarded their common-law husbands and treasured his illegitimate grandchildren.


29. Mark Twain once wrote an essay entitled ‘Concerning the Jews.’ He claimed Jews didn’t do their part of fighting in America’s military. In response, the War Department revealed that Jewish Americans were represented in the military in a larger percentage than their share of the population.


30. Two men led a team of 80 people to collect over 1.2 million golden orb spiders, milk them for their silk, and create the rarest textile on earth: a golden silk cape.


31Tour de France

One of the 'unwritten rules' of the Tour de France: if the Tour is passing through where one of the riders grew up, everyone will slow down to let that rider lead the whole Tour through his hometown. Also, if the race leader needs to stop to take a pee break, everyone else slows down/stops too.


32. Adam Walker was protected from a great white shark by a pod of dolphins while swimming to raise money for dolphin conservation. About 10 dolphins surrounded him for about 1 hour in Cook Strait, 6th leg of the Oceans Seven: a marathon of 7 long-distance open water channel swims around the world.


33. An Irish Titanic passenger named Jeremiah Burke sent a goodbye message in a bottle during the sinking. It subsequently washed up near his home, where his handwriting was recognized by his mother.


34. In 1775, a Massachusetts farmer named Samuel Whittemore who was 78 and alone, fired upon British soldiers killing 3. Now out of ammo, he drew his sword to continue the fight. He was shot in the face, bayoneted multiple times, and left for dead. When found, he was trying to reload his musket. He died 18 years later.


35. In 1978, an inspection of USS Stein, a damaged U.S. Navy ship revealed the remnants of claws from the tentacles of a giant squid. The claws were much larger than any that had been seen by scientists, indicating that the squid was of a size substantially greater than any that had been documented.


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36Great American Horse Race

The 3,500 mile Great American Horse Race of 1976 contained over a hundred experienced riders and the winner ended up being a man riding a mule named Lord Fauntleroy. He beat the next closest finisher, a thoroughbred Arabian, by 10 hours and the pair ended up winning $25,000.


37. Shoveling snow is a known trigger for heart attacks. Some hospitals even prepare for more cardiac-related visits after a large snowfall.


38. When Weird Al Yankovic created the music video for “Smells Like Nirvana”, he used many of the same props and actors from Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video. It was also shot in the same location. He was helped by the producers of the original Nirvana video.


39. In 2019, Hatty, a Labrador retriever was sworn in as an Illinois County as a “Comfort Dog.” Her paw was on a law book as an oath was read. Hatty’s job is to comfort sexual trauma victims during testimony and interviews. The dog works 9-5 on up to 200 cases per year. She was trained by prison inmates.


40. 30 Billion honey bees from around the US are shipped to California once a year to pollinate almond trees. They are then shipped to other parts of the country through the year for the same purpose.


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41Jean Seberg

Because she supported the Civil Rights movement, the FBI created a fake story that actress Jean Seberg had cheated on her husband with a black man. The stress of this fake story caused her to go into labor prematurely and resulted in the death of her baby.


42. During a prisoner revolt at Auschwitz in 1944, an SS guard was burned alive by prisoners in a crematorium oven.


43. Dairy Queen doesn't serve ice cream. To be categorized as ice cream, the minimum butterfat content must be 10% and their product only has only 5 percent butterfat. Therefore, it is called “soft-serve.”


44. When a 36-year-old Indian man named Sanju Bhagat who had been teased his entire life for looking pregnant got the condition checked out, the doctors ended up pulling out hair, hands, bones, and limbs of the man’s twin brother, who had been trapped in his twin as a fetus and continued to grow post-birth, from his stomach.


45. A duck is called a duck because it ducks its head under the water to feed. The animal was named after the verb and not the other way around.


46Eric Erickson

Eric Erickson was a Swedish businessman who pretended to be devoted to the Nazis but was really a spy for the American military. He made more than 30 trips to Germany between 1939 and 1945. He mapped out oil refineries that were later bombed. His family had disowned him for “supporting” Hitler.


47. Dogs can “laugh” when they’re playful. Researchers played recordings of dogs laughing to stressed shelter dogs, resulting in the dogs showing significantly fewer signs of stress. Many of the dogs and puppies began to bounce around and responded with laughs of their own.


48. Emperor Nero gave musical performances in which citizens were so forbidden to leave that pregnant women would give birth during them. Despite this, the historian Suetonius records, some people were so desperate to leave that they would fake their own deaths in order to get dragged out.


49. Heather Donahue, the lead in The Blair Witch Project, brought a large knife with her to the set on the first day of filming because she was concerned it was a snuff film, and her friends and family didn’t want her to do the movie.


50. The name “spandex” is an anagram of the word “expands.”

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