Random #299 – 50 Fascinating Random Facts Everyone Should Know

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26Witch camps

There are “witch camps” in Ghana where women accused of witchcraft can flee for their lives. They live in squalid conditions for the rest of their lives unless a priest determines their innocence by killing a chicken and watching how it dies.


27. Oldest known boat was found in the Netherlands. It was constructed during the early Mesolithic period between 8040 B.C.E. and 7510 B.C.E.


28. In the aptly named “Operation Torpedo” FBI compromised 3 dark web pages by exploiting a flaw in the Tor browser and caught 19 owners of child pornography.


29. Clan McDuck, of 'DuckTales' and the old Carl Barks Disney comics, has a tartan registered with the official Scottish Register of Tartans. It was created in 1942 and used to sell war bonds.


30. Notorious gangster Al Capone had the mental age of a 12 year old at the time of his death despite being 48 years old. This was caused by mental illness due to untreated neurosyphilis.


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31Hitchhikers

In Cuba, picking up hitchhikers is mandatory for government vehicles, if passenger space is available.


32. During the Great Depression, Clifton’s Cafeteria eateries boasted the slogan “Dine free unless delighted.” In the original restaurant’s first three months of business, ten thousand customers took him up on the offer. Enough customers paid their bills to make them a success.


33. The Creation Evidence Museum is a museum in Texas that’s dedicated to the display of evidence related to creationism. One of their main exhibits is found on the second floor balcony of the museum and features prominently a 12 feet high statue of Dallas Cowboys football coach Tom Landry.


34. France had a referendum on the direct election of the President in 1962. It was approved by 62.3% of voters and abolished the electoral college in favor of direct suffrage. As a result, Charles de Gaulle remains the only French president elected by an electoral college.


35. There was a mega-tsunami in Alaska in 2015. It was triggered by a landslide and the resulting wave was almost 200 meters tall at its highest. It struck an uninhabited area with no people present and went unnoticed for several hours until scientists in New York noticed it on seismograph readings.


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36Amondawa language

The Amondawa language has no word for "time", or time periods such as "month" or "year". The people do not refer to their ages, but rather assume different names in different stages of their lives or as they achieve different statuses within the community.


37. Telling other people about your goals can impede you accomplishing them, because it makes you feel like you are already closer to your goal.


38. In a promotional Volkswagon experiment, one randomized group of subway commuters was given the choice of regular stairs and the escalator while a second group could choose between musical "piano stairs" and an escalator. The piano stairs convinced 66% more people than normal to choose stairs.


39. In 1967 when war broke out between Egypt and Israel, 14 cargo ships got stranded in the Suez Canal and remained stranded there for 8 years. With nowhere to go, the crews eventually moored together, and formed an unofficial micronation of sorts, calling themselves the “Yellow Fleet.”


40. Though it has “Australian” in the name, and they commonly go by “Aussies” for short, the dog breed Australian Shepards are completely American.


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41Hector Boiardi

Hector Boiardi was an accomplished Italian chef and at the age of just 17, he was put in charge of catering President Woodrow Wilson’s wedding. He later went on to found the “Chef Boyardee” brand.


42. A Vickers Heavy Machine Gun could fire 5 million rounds near continuously and remain within specification.


43. Over 90% of the planet's coal is from the 'carboniferous' era. It was an era that had evolved trees, but not anything to break them down. Trees died, fell down, and piled on top of each other eventually compressing all the trapped carbon into coal.


44. The name of the famous punk club “CBGB” stands for “Country, Bluegrass, and Blues.” Its founder originally wanted only these genres to be played at the venue.


45. Frankie Lymon, who wrote and sang "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" at the age of 13, died at the age of 25. He was married three times, became addicted to heroin, got straight, then on the eve of recording what would be his comeback record, died of a heroin overdose.


46Godzilla or King Kong

Creatures the size of Godzilla or King Kong cannot exist in real life. If you were to scale up an animal by 10 times in each dimension, it would have 100 times the muscle power, but 1000 times the mass, likely crushing this creature to death. An animal this big would look very different.


47. Mark Ruffalo won his role in Shutter Island by sending a fan letter to Martin Scorsese in which he told him how much he’d love to work with him. Ruffalo's future co-stars Robert Downey Jr and Josh Brolin were being considered for the role.


48. Abraham Lincoln gave great prominence to hats as they would protect him from bad weather, help store important documents, and made his height advantage more prominent.


49. Pigs will eat every part of the human body (including bones) and, if left alone with it for long enough, will fully consume the body.


50. An epidemic in 1872 affecting horses was a key moment in the animal rights movement as the founder of the ASPCA would stand in the street to block horse-drawn trolleys to insist that sick horses be returned to the stables instead of being worked to death.

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