Random #299 – 50 Fascinating Random Facts Everyone Should Know

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Fish eggs can survive and hatch after passing through a duck, providing one explanation of how seemingly pristine, isolated bodies of water can become stocked with fish.

2. Wayne Gretzky is the only Hockey player to have scored over 200 points in a season and did so a total of 4 times. His stunning success as a Hockey player was immortalized in the fact that not only did is own team retire 99, Gretzky's Jersey number, but the league as a whole did as well.

3. While making Moana, Disney producers visited the South Pacific and assembled an "Oceanic Story Trust" comprised of local cultural experts to advise on the accuracy of details. Maui was originally bald but he was redrawn with a full head of hair as hair symbolized mana (power) in Polynesian culture.

4. Harriet Tubman suffered a violent head injury as a child causing her to frequently slip into sleep-like states. These would produce vivid dreamlike hallucinations that Tubman interpreted as messages from God and she therefore devoted her life to freeing southern slaves through the Underground Railroad.

5. In the original stories, Sherlock Holmes was addicted to cocaine. When author, Conan Doyle, learned more about the dangers of cocaine, he wrote that Sherlock Holmes had quit cocaine by being gradually weaned off of it by Watson.

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6Michael Moschen

Michael Moschen

The juggling done by David Bowie’s character in Labyrinth was actually performed by juggler Michael Moschen, who had to do all the tricks blind while standing behind Bowie. He won a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant” for his techniques a few years later in 1990.

7. There is a 43,000-square-foot basement underneath the Lincoln Memorial that was forgotten about until 1974. It has its own plant life and ecosystem and graffiti from the original workers.

8. There was a Cola named Jolt Cola, which was launched in the 1980s as a stimulant for students and young professionals with the slogan “All the sugar, twice the caffeine.”

9. In Friday the 13th movie (1980), an actual snake was killed in the scene where one is found in one of the camper's cabins. The snake's handler, who was unaware of the snake's fate, was incredibly upset and had to be held back by crew members after it happened.

10. Evidence suggests that sloths grow algae in their fur and then eat it. This algae-farming is thought to be aided by moths that live in the fur, and whose growth the sloth actively promotes.

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11Atomic Lake

Atomic Lake

In 1965, Soviet Union detonated a nuclear device near the Chagan River to create an artificial lake with a volume of about 10 million cubic meters under its Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy program. To date, the lake is slightly radioactive and is nicknamed “the atomic lake.”

12. Tolkien popularised "dwarves" as the plural of "dwarf" to differentiate his fantasy dwarves from humans with dwarfism, for whom the correct plural was "dwarfs". The dwarf trope became so entrenched that "dwarves" is now widely recognized as the standard plural of "dwarf" even for humans.

13. Saturn devouring his son and the 13 other Black Paintings were never meant for public display. In 1819, Francisco Goya went into near isolation and painted the works directly onto the walls of his house. The haunting pictures reflect Goya's internal demons and civil strife occurring in Spain.

14. Faced with a severe pilot shortage during World War 2, the USA started a program called WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) to train women to be pilots. 1100 women volunteered to fly military aircraft. They were finally granted military status in the 1970s and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.

15. Ireland has the oldest average age at first marriage of any country. The average Irish citizen gets married for the first time at the age of 35.

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16Stan Mikita

Stan Mikita

Hockey player Stan Mikita went from being one of the most penalized players to winning the Lady Byng Trophy twice for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with excellence all because his daughter asked, "Mommy, why does Daddy spend so much time sitting down [in the penalty box]?"

17. A 2004 Study found that pregnant women who ate lots of chocolate had reduced prenatal stress, and their babies at 6 months old had a more agreeable temperament than pregnant women who ate no chocolate.

18. The 'leaf sheep,' a sea slug native to Japan, is an animal that can photosynthesize. It eats algae and retains the chloroplasts that plants use for photosynthesis and can live for months on photosynthesis alone.

19. Carmel, a city in Indiana, has the highest number of traffic roundabouts in the US. Since the late 1990s, the city has built 125 roundabouts.

20. Prior to establishing an acting career, Harrison Ford worked as a roadie for The Doors. He stated that after the job was done he “was one step away from joining a Jesuit monastery” and that he “couldn't keep up with those guys. It was too much.”

21Hamburger meat

Hamburger meat

The beef scraps that become hamburger meat are mixed communally during processing, and according to a study done in 1998, the average fast-food burger contains meat from 55 different cows.

22. Planet Earth was not always the Blue Planet we know today. It used to be purple once. 250 million years ago, the oceans lost all their oxygen and one of the only things to survive was a purple algae/bacteria which would have given the seas an iridescent violet hue. Geologists have found remnants of this purple bacteria embedded in ancient rock.

23. The University of Southern California's Spirit of Troy is the only collegiate band to have two platinum records. They have performed at the Oscars, the Grammys, on Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk", for five U.S. Presidents, and at the fall of the Berlin Wall.

24. The song '(She's a) Brick House' was written after the band (The Commodores) couldn't come up with lyrics to the funky riff. The wife of the record's producer wrote the lyrics one night and the band loved it. She never got official credit but the band has publicly acknowledged her as the writer.

25. In the USA, 30% to 40% of the entire food supply is thrown away, which was worth $161 billion (or 133 billion pounds of food) in 2010. Wasted food is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills.

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