Random #294 – 50 Incredible Random Facts Very Few People Know

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1 Jeopardy contestants

Jeopardy contestants

Jeopardy contestants stand on adjustable platforms so that they all appear to be the same height on camera.

2. While filming a 170-foot waterfall in the movie Apocalypto, a cow was trying to cross upstream and went over the falls. It emerged at the bottom, banging against the rocks, but after a local man swam in to calm the cow it then climbed up the bank and began eating grass as if nothing had happened.

3. Aboriginal Australians often traveled to Indonesia for trade, and when British explorers first visited inland Australia they met an Aboriginal man who had already learned English from his visit to Singapore.

4. Texas has its own separate electrical grid from the rest of the US. This was done for political purposes so that they didn’t have to deal with Federal regulations.

5. In 1975, David Bowie and Dennis Hopper broke into a psychiatric ward wearing spacesuits to deliver cocaine to Iggy Pop.

6 Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens broke three world records and tied a fourth, all in less than an hour at the 1935 Big Ten track meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a feat never equaled since, and called “the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport”. Owens went on to win four golds at Berlin the following year.

7. Lighthouses had different techniques for rotating the light, most being too slow, making the light less visible. Augustin Fresnel proposed a mercury flotation system in 1825. Despite some lenses weighing over 6,000 lbs. the design reduced friction, increased rotation, and ultimately saved lives.

8. In one single year, Albert Einstein published 3 papers that changed modern physics. That year is known as Albert Einstein’s “Year of Miracles.” The first was about the particle theory of light (won him his Nobel Prize), the second led to people accepting the existence of atoms, and the third introduced special relativity (E=mc^2). He was just 26-year-old.

9. Penguins can drink salt water because of glands near their eyes that remove salt from their bloodstream and then they can sneeze out the extra salt.

10. The movie Independence Day still holds the record for most miniature models to appear in one film. Approximately 95% of the movie’s special effects were shot using miniatures and due to the advances in digital technology this record may stand forever.

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11 Marie Tussaud

Marie Tussaud

The famous Madame Tussaud started out in Paris during the French Revolution. Marie Tussaud used to make ‘death masks’ of famous people whose heads had been chopped by the Guillotine. She went on tour to Britain for 30 years with her collection before setting up her waxworks in London.

12. In 408 B.C., a poet named Sannyrion playing a role mispronounced a word. Instead of saying “after the storm, I see again a calm sea,” he accidentally said, “after the storm, I see again a weasel.” This mistake was so mocked by other Ancient Greeks that over two millennia later we still know his name.

13. The only clear footage of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center on 9/11 was filmed by french filmmakers (Jules and Gedeon Naudet) who were making a documentary on a Manhattan firehouse.

14. A spy-themed restaurant called the SafeHouse, which was founded in 1966 has a hidden location with a secret entrance. A password is needed to enter and if it’s not given, patrons will have to do silly tasks that are broadcasted to people inside the restaurant in order to enter.

15. Neil Armstrong’s heart rate spiked to more than 150 when NASA turned the control over to him for the moon landing.

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16 Saved from the Titanic

Saved from the Titanic

Just 29 days after the Titanic sank, a silent film (Saved from the Titanic) was released chronicling the event. It starred Dorothy Gibson, an actress who had survived the sinking. To add to the film’s authenticity, she wore the same clothes that she had worn on the night of the disaster.

17. In Japanese tradition, rabbits live on the Moon where they make mochi, the popular snack of mashed sticky rice. This comes from interpreting the pattern of dark patches on the moon as a rabbit standing on tiptoes on the left pounding on a usu, a Japanese mortar.

18. Prince’s death helped save 2 lives. Grammy-winning singer Chaka Khan and her sister were both addicted to fentanyl. Khan told the Associated Press they entered an intensive rehab program because “the tragic death of Prince” made them realize it was “time to take action to save our lives.”

19. The common practice of adding “All rights reserved” to copyright notices came from a treaty in 1910, but as of 2000 it has become obsolete and is no longer needed.

20. George Michael wrote his hit single “Careless Whisper” at 17 years old out of sheer boredom while riding the bus to work. Despite its success, he was not happy with the song and in a 2009 interview with the Big Issue, he said he was “a bit puzzled why it made such an impression on people.”

15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

21 Wendell Fertig

Wendell Fertig

Wendell Fertig was a US serviceman who rather than surrender with the bulk of US forces during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, “self-promoted” himself to Brigadier General and organized pockets of Filipino fighters and other US serviceman into a highly effective Guerilla force.

22. Giovanni Cassini measured the size of France accurately for the first time during the reign of King Louis XIV. The true size turned out to be much smaller than Louis had expected, and Louis quipped that Cassini had taken more of his kingdom from him than he had won in all his wars.

23. Poncke Princen was a Dutch anti-Nazi fighter who after World War 2 was sent to Indonesia to suppress an anti-colonial rebellion. After witnessing the Dutch war crimes, Princen defected to fight with the guerrillas in 1948. He later helped expose the anti-communist massacres of Indonesian dictator Suharto.

24. J.R.R. Tolkien considered a sequel to The Lord Of The Rings trilogy called The New Shadow. Set 100 years later during the Age of Man, he quickly abandoned the idea because “it proved both sinister and depressing.”

25. A Frenchman known as Richebourg, who measured just 58 cm (1 foot 11 inches) as an adult, was employed by the aristocracy to act as a secret agent during the French Revolution, dispatching messages into and out of Paris, whilst disguised as an infant and carried by his “nurse.”

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