50 Random Facts List #34

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26Night Witches

A group of women navigated canvas and plywood planes at night to drop 23,000 tons of bombs over invading German armies in World War 2. Their stealthy swooshing sounds led them to be known as the Night Witches.


27. Tanya Savicheva was a young girl trapped in the Seige of Leningrad. She kept a diary of the names of each family member that died, ending with a final entry for herself: "The Savichevas are dead Everyone is dead Only Tanya is left"


28. Starboard means "steer" board, which is the side of the steering oar on the right side since most people are right-handed. Naturally, in that case, the left-side will be where you dock with the "Port".


29. England used to have a "Window tax". People refused to disclose how much money they made, considering it an invasion of privacy - so you would be charged based on how many windows your house had. In retaliation, people bricked up their windows, which you can still see today.


30. When Robert Knievel was in jail, his cellmate's name was William "Awful" Knofel. When the jailer went to check on them he stated: "Well look who we have here, Awful Knofel and Evil Knievel." Thus the legend of Evel Knievel was born.


31Onfime

The only reason we know about Onfime, a boy from the 13th century is because his handwriting lessons were found on pieces of birch.


32. In the U.S. 42.6 million adults age 45 and older are chronically lonely.


33. Sportscaster Bob Costas jokingly promised Kirby Puckett he would name his first child Kirby if Puckett was batting over .350 when the child was born. Kirby hit over .350 but the child had already been named. He reminded Costas and the birth certificate was changed to "Keith Michael Kirby Costas"


34. An expedition to the Titanic accidentally recovered "a wedding band and part of a human finger", confirming that human remains still exist on the wreck.


35. Tara Strong, the voice actress on Powerpuff Girls, Rugrats, Teen Titans, Hello Kitty, Ultimate Spider Man, Princess Mononoke, and much more, was given a visa into the US as an "Alien of Extraordinary Ability."


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36Old shipwrecks

There's a huge illegal industry that salvages old shipwrecks that predate nuclear testing to get steel untainted by atmospheric radiation.


37. Panspermia is a hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by meteoroids, asteroids, spacecraft etc. in form of extremophile types of bacteria. If met with ideal conditions on a new planet's surfaces, the organisms become active and the process of evolution begins.


38. The spikes at the end of Stegosaurus's tail are called "thagomizers" because of a far side comic, published in 1982, that featured a cave man pointing to a diagram of a Stegosaurus tail with the caption "Now this end is called the Thagomizer--after the late Thag Simmons."


39. Two Australians named Morgan Ruig and Evan Shay fooled officials into letting them play in an international golf tournament at North Korea's only golf course. For five days they were treated as honored guests and taken on official visits around Pyongyang before being exposed as frauds due to their poor golfing skills.


40. Yew trees can live for more than 1000 years, are often found in graveyards, and have a long association with death; they're deadly poisonous to humans, with no known antidote. However, the tree is used to make taxanes, which are used to fight cancer.


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41Broken Windows Theory

The "Broken Windows Theory" states that maintaining and monitoring urban areas to prevent small crimes, such as vandalism, helps to create an atmosphere of order and lawfulness - thereby preventing more serious crimes from happening.


42. NASA does not have an official protocol for what to do with an astronaut's body if one were to die in space.


43. The 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place at Lusail, Qatar, a city which does not exist yet.


44. From 1860-1916, the British army required every soldier to have a mustache.


45. When smoking was allowed on aircraft, engineers used nicotine stains on the outside of planes to detect microscopic cracks in the fuselage. Now that smoking is banned, these cracks have become much more difficult to detect.


46Iceberg Mansions

Billionaires in London are building "Iceberg Mansions" where most of the home is below ground.


47. The North American tribe of Chippewa believed a weasel could kill the dreaded Wendigo (Algonquian folklore) by rushing up its anus.


48. Chris Pratt lived in a Scooby-Doo van in Maui where he drank, smoked weed, and worked just enough to cover expenses.


49. People sneeze differently around the world. In English, we say "Achoo!", Russians say "Apchkhi!", the Polish say "A-Psik!", and the Japanese say "Hakushon!".


50. The term "Boycott" comes from Captain Charles Boycott, an Irish land agent who evicted farmers from their land during poor harvests. His entire town shunned him. He was forced to leave the country later that year.

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