Random #304 – 50 Fantastic Random Facts You Didn’t Hear About

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26 Three-Quarter Siblings

Three-Quarter Siblings

“Three-quarter siblings” are siblings who are genetically halfway between full siblings and half-siblings. This happens if they share the same father, but different mothers who are sisters or the same mother but different fathers who are brothers.


27. Galba, the sixth Roman emperor, was so unpopular that after he was murdered by his successor Otho, around 120 people claimed credit for killing him, hoping that Otho would reward them. However, Otho was then deposed by Vitellius, who ordered them all executed.


28. An oil exploration company dug up seamonkey cysts in the 1990’s while drilling near the Great Salt Lake that were radiocarbon dated to be 10,000 years old, and when the cysts were placed in water, some of them hatched.


29. In 1821, during the Greek War of Independence, 120 Greek men held out against 8,000 Ottoman soldiers, causing 900 casualties against 6 of their own deaths. This bought time for the Greek army to regroup.


30. It’s legal in the US for companies to sell or lease human bodies that have been “donated to science.” Many donated bodies have to be paid for by researchers, and funeral homes earn a kickback for every “donation.”


31 iPhone X

iPhone X

When Apple ads claimed the iPhone X took “studio quality photos” there were complaints to the UK’s advertising standards about misleading statements. These were rejected because there isn’t a technical definition of what “studio quality photos” is: it’s completely subjective.


32. The Hammer Museum in Haines, Alaska is the first museum in the world dedicated to hammers, and it boasts 1400 hammers and related tools ranging from ancient times to the industrial era. Its mission is to educate the general public about the history and use of hammers.


33. “Nitrate free” labeled cured meats often use celery juice, which is naturally high in nitrates.


34. Bessie Coleman was the first African-American and Native American female pilot. She would only perform if the crowds were desegregated and entered through the same gates.


35. A 1000-year-old bronze buckle from East Asia has been discovered in Alaska. This proves that indigenous people in North America might have been interacting with the Old World earlier than previously thought.


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36 Indonesia

Indonesia

Indonesia is the world’s largest island nation. It contains thousands and thousands of islands. Indonesia has so many islands it has never been able to fully count or name them. Indonesia is embarking on an ambitious island census to count the islands and registering their names.


37. The Habsburgs were a dynasty that at one point controlled much of Europe. Many members of this family inherited a distinctive protruding jaw. Charles II (“the bewitched”) was the last Spanish Habsburg. He suffered from multiple health issues and infertility and died without heirs in 1700.


38. Before making a speech in 1912, Teddy Roosevelt was shot in the chest from 5 feet away. Instead of going to the hospital, he proceeded to make a 90-minute speech with the bullet still in him. His steel eyeglass case and folded-up 50-page speech stopped the bullet from hitting any vital organs.


39. During the Salem witch trials, the accused witches weren’t actually burned at the stake. The majority were jailed, and some were hanged. But none of the 2,000 people accused ever got burned alive.


40. When people in the UK talk about eating “baked beans on toast”, they are not referring to the US-style baked beans that consist of a brown sugar base. They have a completely different style of baked beans with a tomato base.


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41 Mars

Mars

The length of a day on Mars has been known (within 3 minutes accuracy) since 1666 but the length of a day on Saturn was a mystery until 2019.


42. There is a material called FOGBANK that’s used by the US Department of Energy that’s so top secret and compartmentalized, that the government once actually “forgot” how to make it due to a lack of actual records and dwindling institutional knowledge. Its composition and its use in the weapon is also classified.


43. The “London Necropolis Railway” was a railway line which opened in 1854 just to carry corpses (and mourners) to a cemetery (at the time the largest in the world) 37km away from the city. There were even two stations in the cemetery, one for the Anglicans and one for non-Anglicans.


44. Tatsuo Horiuchi is a Japanese retiree who uses Microsoft Excel as a painting platform because he didn’t want to spend money on paints.


45. The USSR killed more than 180,000 whales between the 1950s and 1991 despite bans and fading commercial demand. The reason was that the quota for whales were never updated to match the need for them.


15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History


46 Coffee

Coffee

Coffee doesn’t actually dehydrate you. A 2003 study found that the diuretic effect of caffeine is negligible in people who regularly consume caffeinated drinks.


47. In the Middle Ages, there was a belief animals understood the concept of morality and possessed rationality. They were summoned to court, put on trial for a variety of offenses, and given the same punishments as humans. Lawyers defended pigs, rats, and sheep. Even flies and slugs faced judgment.


48. Sea snakes can die of thirst and rely on rainwater that sometimes pool on the ocean surface in order to survive.


49. The Jose Marti Park in Tampa is owned by Cuba and for 60 years it was the only piece of Cuban-owned land in the United States.


50. The Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter right now is carrying three LEGO minifigures made out of aluminum. The first is Galileo Galilea, who first studied Jupiter. The Second is the Roman god Jupiter. The third is the Roman Goddess Juno.


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