50 Random Facts List #88

26Lemons

Lemons, limes and most of the other citrus fruits we eat do not occur naturally in the wild. They are the result of generations of interbreeding between various combinations of the four "original" citrus fruits.


27. Transformers: The Last Knight has aspect ratio changes throughout the film, often randomly, mid-scene and between shots. The film's trailer itself includes shots of 8 different ratios.


28. Emily Rosa became the youngest person to publish in a medical journal (at 11 years old) when her school science project was published. It demonstrated that Reiki (a type of alternative medicine) practitioners could not detect the alleged "life force" under experimental conditions.


29. World War 2 Black Sheep Squadron member Bill Case cheated death by randomly lowering the seat in his cockpit. In battle, a bullet from a Japanese Zero hit his cockpit and bloodied his scalp. If he had been sitting an inch higher, he would be dead. He went on to live another 52 years.


30. Scientist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach who created one of the earliest racial classification systems believed that none of the races were inherently inferior to the others, nor that colored peoples were uncivilized. His classification system became very influential but his opposition to racism was mostly ignored.


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31Peter Roget

Born in 1779 into a family plagued by severe mental illness, Peter Roget's (British physician) childhood was dominated by the depression and misery of those around him. In an effort to cope, he developed a compulsion for making lists. His lifelong passion culminated in the publication of Roget's Thesaurus in 1852.


32. In 1979, the governments of the USA, France, Canada and the USSR signed a treaty to create a worldwide network of search-and-rescue satellites and ground stations. To date, this system has saved at least 42,000 lives and works everywhere on Earth. A beacon costs $200 and has a 5-year battery!


33. Pine trees scatter their needles across the forest floor to make it easier for fires to burn all of the other trees. Pine is fire resistant so it survives.


34. Queen Isabella of France was so frustrated, humiliated and tired of her husband that she fled England, tricked him to send their son, invaded England with her lover (enemy and fugitive of her husband) and defeated him.


35. Two-thirds of the way between your 31st and 32nd birthdays, you will turn one billion seconds old.


36Humboldt penguin

A Humboldt penguin escaped from Tokyo Sea Life Park and thrived in Tokyo Bay for 82 days after scaling the 13-foot high wall and managing to get through a barbed-wire fence into the bay. The penguin, known only by its number (337) was later recaptured by the zookeepers.


37. The owners of the Titanic demanded huge sums of money at the time to return the bodies of ship's crew to their grieving families.


38. A pianist named Reginald Dwight was touring with a band called Simon Dupree and the Big Sound. They laughed at him when he told them he was adopting the stage name of Elton John.


39. The term "okay" is derived from "OK" and not the other way around.


40. Despite being filled with flammable hydrogen, the Hindenburg airship had a smoking lounge on board.


41Joan Kenley

The voice of phone numbers, voicemail, etc. is not a computer-generated voice but the recorded voice of an actual lady named Joan Kenley.


42. Lego bricks from 1958 still interlock with those made in the current time. According to their company policy, each Lego piece must be manufactured to an exacting degree of precision and when two pieces are engaged they must fit firmly, yet be easily disassembled.


43. The tiny European country of San Marino conferred citizenship on Abraham Lincoln, who responded by thanking them and praising their system of government.


44. 11% of billionaires tracked by Forbes did not graduate from college, but 45% went to an elite university.


45. The “seeds" you see on the outside of a strawberry are actually the plant's ovaries and are called "achenes." Each “seed" is technically a separate fruit that has a seed inside of it.


46Kakapo

The world’s largest parrot, the Kakapo, is the world's only flightless parrot. It is nocturnal, herbivorous, and is one of the world's longest-living birds with an average lifespan of 95 years. It is critically endangered. As of 2012, there were only 126 living individuals known.


47. Playing the didgeridoo has been clinically proven to help treat sleep apnea.


48. Singer Rod Stewart has eight children from five different women, and there is a 49-year age gap between his youngest and oldest child (ages 6 to 55).


49. To combat the spread of smallpox during the Civil War, soldiers would find someone with cowpox, cut open their pustules, and infect themselves with it. The less harmful cowpox made them immune to smallpox, but they sometimes confused cowpox with syphilis and gave themselves an STD instead.


50. Butter sticks that are sold in the United States come in two distinct shapes (although containing the same amount of butter) depending to a large extent on whether it is being sold East or West of the Rocky Mountains.

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