Random #257 – 50 Fascinating Random Facts

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1Dolphins

A pod of dolphins saved a group of swimmers from a great white shark by herding the swimmers together and doing tight circles around them to create a barrier. The dolphins kept this up for 40 minutes until sharks lost interest and it was safe for the swimmers to swim to shore.


2. United Kingdom has “Right To Roam” law, which gives the general public right to access most mountains, moors, heaths, and downs that are privately owned, for hiking and leisure.


3. Tiger Woods almost ran out of golf balls during the 2nd round of the 2000 US Open because his caddy forgot to pack the balls Tiger was putting within his hotel room the night before. He finished the round with one ball and went on to win the tournament by a record-setting 15 strokes.


4. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was so impressed by First Lady Jackie Kennedy after meeting her that he later sent her a puppy. The animal was significant for being the offspring of Strelka, the dog that had gone to space during a Soviet space mission.


5. Women in ancient Rome didn’t have unique first names but instead were just named after their family name. (For example, all women from Gaius Julius Caesar’s family were named Julia. Sisters were told apart by using nicknames, such as ‘Julia the Younger’, ‘Julia the Elder’, etc.) 


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6Null

A Virginian couple with last name "Null" is often unable to fill out online forms because their last name is rejected for being "null."


7. In March 1846, a "dead" Egyptian snail was put on display in a British museum. Four years later, the "dead" snail awoke.


8. Italy once had to build an entire courthouse to prosecute the Mafia. They charged 475 members in a trial that lasted from 1986-1992. To date, it is one of the biggest trials in history.


9. In 2019, an expedition that descended to the Mariana Trench, the deepest area in the world's oceans, found a plastic bag and sweet wrappers at the bottom of the Trench.


10. In a 2008 survey, 58% of British teenagers thought Sherlock Holmes was a real guy, while 23% thought Winston Churchill was not.


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11Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman

Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman were in the same acting class and were voted by classmates as “The Least Likely to Succeed.”


12. “Unschooling” is a new form of homeschooling where the child has no curriculum or schedule. Instead, they learn by living their life while following their passions. Proponents say it increases the child’s general well-being and improved attitude towards learning.


13. Octopuses are anti-social towards other octopuses by nature, but when given MDMA or ecstasy they are much more friendly and try to “hug” each other.


14. Civil rights legend John Lewis once attended Comic-Con dressed as himself during the March on Selma. He led the children in a march around the convention center wearing the same kind of coat and backpack as he did at Selma.


15. The 'Rabbit' temple in Taiwan is the world’s only shrine for homosexuals. It dedicated to a deity who has watched over homosexuals for four centuries. It attracts nearly 9,000 people each year.


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16Matt Groening

Simpsons creator Matt Groening said he was the fan of Beavis and Butthead because the show largely took "the heat off Bart Simpson being responsible for the downfall of western civilization."


17. During the Great Depression, members of the Civilian Conservation Corps planted over 3 billion trees in the US in under 10 years.


18. Pirate 'Black Bart' believed Irish people to be some of the worst people to have on your crew due to them being highly mutinous. As a result, many people who Bart tried to force into piracy would often fake an Irish accent so they could get out of it.


19. Father Byles was a priest aboard the Titanic who refused to board a lifeboat twice. Instead, he stayed behind to hear confessions and give absolution to the people left on the ship.


20. A French surgeon named René Leriche first started wearing blue scrubs during surgery in 1914 because he discovered it reduced eye strain for doctors working endless hours during World War 1. "Ciel Blue" became standard once the surgery was videotaped in the 1970s and white scrubs conflicted with the white lights.


21Chicken of the Woods

There is a mushroom called “Chicken of the Woods.” It tastes like chicken to some but to others, it tastes like crab or lobster.


22. Ole Rømer was a Danish astronomer who demonstrated that light has a speed, invented a precursor to the Fahrenheit scale, and invented the mercury thermometer. He also ran the police force in Copenhagen and once fired all the officers because morale was low.


23. Rosetta Stone was discovered during the Egyptian campaign by Napoleon Bonaparte's French forces in 1799. It became an essential key to the modern understanding of ancient Egyptian literature and civilization.


24. Archaeologists have found traces of burnt cannabis in the altar of an ancient Jewish shrine, first time it’s been identified in the Ancient Near East. Scientists believe there was sufficient THC to create a mind-altered state in those breathing the fumes.


25. Ancient Sumerian doctors had advanced surgical practices that involved washing their hands and the wounds with antiseptic mixes of honey, alcohol, and myrrh.

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