Random #305 – 50 Incredible Random Facts You Didn’t Know

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1Texas School Blast

Texas didn’t have safety regulations on natural gas until after a school blew up and killed hundreds of children in 1937. Nobody was held accountable, but they passed strict regulations afterward. It was so bad that even Hitler sent a letter of condolence.


2. At the age of 17, Steven Spielberg directed a sci-fi film called "Firelight". The budget was $500, and it was shown at a local cinema, with 500 people coming, and tickets costing a dollar each. However, one person paid $2, so the movie made $1, making it Spielberg's first commercial success.


3. Author H.P. Lovecraft was never able to support himself from his earnings as an author. His book "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", written one year before his death, sold a meagre 200 copies. He died in poverty at the age of 46.


4. To film the scenes of the audience watching the "Ass Movie" in Idiocracy (2006), a theater was rented and extras were paid to watch buttocks on the screen, which garnered genuine laughter, making Mike Judge consider his own film a waste of time.


5. In 1977, Ben Cohen was a struggling potter and Jerry Greenfield was getting rejected by medical schools. The pair decided to open a bagel shop, but the cost of bagel machines was too high. As a result, they enrolled in a $5 ice cream making course instead. A year later, they created Ben & Jerry's.


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6Water

Water is not colorless. The pure water has a slight blue color that becomes a deeper green as the thickness of the observed sample increases. The blue hue of the water is an intrinsic property and is caused by selective absorption and scattering of white light.


7. Katya the Bear was a brown bear native to Kazakhstan who was imprisoned in 2004 after being found guilty of mauling two people. Katya was held in an adult prison. The bear was released from imprisonment and allowed to congregate with other bears after serving a 15-year sentence.


8. Glassblowers in Alexandria, Egypt were the first to produce clear glass around 100 A.D. through the introduction of manganese dioxide into the glass making process. Thereafter, the Romans began to use clear glass for architectural purposes.


9. The Grand Hotel in Scarborough, England has 4 towers to represent four seasons, 365 rooms for each day of the year, 52 chimneys for number of weeks in a year, 12 floors for months in a year, and the hotel itself is in the shape of a V in honor of Queen Victoria.


10. The Siege of Leningrad during World War 2, killed more civilians than the bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki combined. The Soviet casualties during the siege were bigger than combined American and British casualties during the entire war.


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11Alice Cooper

After the band Alice Cooper bombed a show in the first ten minutes, a manager approached them and arranged an audition with Frank Zappa at his house at 7 o'clock. They misinterpreted this as 7 in the morning and woke him up, who was impressed nevertheless and signed them for a three-album deal.


12. The 'Mona Lisa' painting was created and 'tweaked' over a period of 16 years (1503 - 1519). Da Vinci never relinquished ownership until his death and instead carried it on the backs of mules as he traveled from Florence to Milan to Rome and finally France.


13. Roald Dahl hated the 1971 movie adaptation of “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” so much that he wrote a novel for adults where to ensure that he had the last laugh he defined a ‘snozzberry’ as a penis.


14. George Washington never wore a wig. He was a natural redhead and powdered it white to look more fashionable.


15. Albert Einstein's support for the pacifist, civil rights, and left-wing causes in Europe had drawn suspicion from J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, and after his arrival to America, the Bureau launched what would eventually become a 22-year surveillance campaign since the FBI believed Einstein was a Soviet spy.


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16Old Jeans

Silver miners in the 1800s would discard their old work jeans in the mines. These jeans now can be sold for prices over $30,000, with Levi’s going for the most. Many people have started hobbies going into old abandoned silver mines in hopes of finding them.


17. The Amazon River was named after the conquistador Francisco de Orellana was defeated by a few tribes of women, thus naming it after the warrior women of Greek legend.


18. During renovation works to the Statue of Liberty before the centennial celebrations in 1986, engineers found numerous defects when it was originally designed and constructed. These included the head being 2 meters off center, and the right arm not being properly attached.


19. The eye sockets of the Moai statues in Easter Island used to have eyes made of coral.


20. The first vending machine to sell live crabs debuted in 2010 in a train station in Nanjing. The machine sells about 200 live crabs a day, with prices from $2 to $7. A sign next to the machine states each crab will come out alive, offering refund of three live crabs for every dead one to pop out.


21Soviet Nuclear Warheads

Since the early 1990s, 10% of all electricity consumed in the United States has come from decommissioned Soviet nuclear warheads.


22. Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura devoted his life to revitalizing deserts in Afghanistan, making forests and wheat farmland, and contributing to peace. Nakamura was decorated with the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun and the Afghan National Medal.


23. Brazil forbids anyone to visit the island "Ilha da Queimada Grande" without a special permit. It is crawling with the endangered Golden Lancehead Vipers and its venom is so strong it can melt human flesh. Poachers visit the island because specimens can fetch $10,000-$30,000 on the black market.


24. A Colombian woman named Marina Chapman was raised by Capuchin monkeys for 5 years after being abandoned in the jungle. She learned to scale trees, catch birds and rabbits with her bare hands, and lived as one of them until she was discovered by hunters.


25. Christopher Lee was engaged to Henriette von Rosen. Her father was very demanding, delaying the wedding by a year, asked his friends to interview Lee, hired private detectives to investigate him, and asked Lee to provide references. Lee then had to get the permission of the King of Sweden to marry her.

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