50 Random Facts List #74

26The Elephant Man

The Elephant Man (Joseph Merrick) had to sleep sitting up. One night he tried to sleep lying down, to be 'like other people', and he died from a dislocated neck.

27. Humans are the only mammals with a very distinct and visible iris and pupil in contrast with the rest of the eye (sclera) which is white, probably because we evolved as more cooperative animals so following another person's gaze became important in communications.

28. Veteran suicide rates are 22% higher than civilians.

29. England can force homeowners to rent or lease a home if it has been unoccupied for at least 6 months.

30. In Victorian times, ice cream was sold in small quantities called a 'penny lick' wherein a small amount of ice cream was placed onto a licking glass, which the customer would lick clean and return. It was banned due to concerns about spreading Tuberculosis, as the glass was not washed between customers.

31Australian sleepy lizards

Australian sleepy lizards are monogamous for life and grieve if they lose their partner.

32. In the 18th and 19th ceentury the job of ‘Sin-Eaters' was to “eat” the sins of a deceased person. The position only paid a couple dollars per sin eating and it usually called for the individual to eat a piece of bread that had been sitting on the dead person’s chest or lips.

33. Hippos don't swim. They charge through the water, always maintaining some contact with the riverbed or lakebed, using their feet to bounce off the bottom to propel themselves forward.

34. The odds that we’re the only advanced species in the galaxy are one in 60 billion.

35. In 2014, Youtube star Grumpy Cat earned more money than Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

36Rodeo

The Texas state prison rodeo was the only integrated sporting event in the South in the 1930s, and all state prisoners were bussed in to attend.

37. The skunk's primary natural predator is the great horned owl since owls have little to no sense of smell.

38. In Ancient Egypt, onions were worshipped as they were considered a symbol of eternity. Many Pharaohs were actually buried with onions. Paintings of onions have also been found on the inner walls of pyramids and tombs.

39. The name "jaguar" comes from a Native American word meaning "he who kills with one leap."

40. Terry Crews went broke after football and then worked as a security guard right outside Ice Cube's Trailer on the set of Next Friday, guarding his car and stuff.

41Saint Hubert's key

In the middle ages, priests treated rabies by sticking red-hot religious ornaments (Saint Hubert's key) onto bite wounds. This actually worked because they were unknowingly cauterizing and sterilizing the wound.

42. The 1939 Michelin Guide to France was reprinted in 1944 for Allied military use, as its maps of the country were regarded as the best and most up-to-date of all available.

43. Mississippi set a speed limit of 80 miles per hour on toll roads. There are no toll roads in Mississippi.

44. Daniel David Palmer, the father of chiropractic treatment, maintained the notion that basic principles of chiropractic treatment were passed along to him during a seance by a long-dead doctor. Before learning of spinal adjustment from a supernatural entity, he was also a magnetic healer.

45. Convicted of a felony in 1934, the Governor of North Dakota (William Langer) barricaded himself in the Governor's Mansion, declared Martial Law, and declared North Dakota an Independent State.

46Cork

Cork is made from the bark of Quercus suber or the cork oak. These trees have thick, rugged bark from which cork is made. In cork cultivation you don’t have to chop down a tree to make corks, you can harvest the bark without harming the tree, and repeat it again in another 7-10 years.

47. Upon learning of Bill Paxton’s death, storm chasers across Oklahoma and Kansas arranged a massive virtual tribute in homage to his character in Twister.

48. The record for the fastest voyage from Hong Kong to New York by sailing ship (Sea Witch) was set at 74 days in 1849 and remained unbroken for 154 years. The record was beaten in 2003 by 2 days.

49. Socrates condemned the use of the written word because he thought it would cause people to be forgetful.

50. Pistachio shells take several years to decompose.

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