Random #307 – 50 Fascinating Random Facts

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26Niger River Expedition

An expedition to find the Niger River accidentally chose the Niger River as a starting point.


27. The boxer who beat Roy Jones Jr. at the 1988 Olympics in a controversial split decision wishes he had lost. Park Si-Hun was so traumatized by his contentious victory that he retired from boxing after the end of the games.


28. Beer bottles are brown as it blocks out the sun's rays and helps preserve the taste. A shortage of brown glass after the Second World War meant higher quality beer makers chose green to distinguish themselves from the companies using clear glass.


29. In 2005, JetBlue Flight 292 leaving from Los Angeles had to make an emergency landing due faulty landing gear. Before landing, they had to fly for a couple of hours to burn off its fuel in case of a fire when landing. This was broadcasted live on TV and the passengers onboard were able to watch it.


30. “Dog days of summer” refers to when the sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the brightest star visible from any part of Earth and part of the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog.


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31The Cage

To prevent civil wars, the Ottomans had all heirs to the throne imprisoned in a palace called “the cage.” Due to their isolation, most heirs were unprepared for life and had mental illnesses. Mehmet VI (the last sultan) spent the first 56 years of his life in isolation.


32. Smokers are at a high risk of having sagging skin after weight loss. The reason being, smoking causes reduced collagen synthesis and damages existing collagen.


33. A dog named Owney was adopted as the first unofficial postal mascot by the Albany, New York, post office in 1888 as postal railway clerks considered he brought good luck because no train he rode on was ever involved in a wreck.


34. The first known flexible hose was made of an ox’s intestines. It was used by the Greeks to fight fires. They used the ox’s stomach as a pump to force the water through.


35. Elle Woods commits a huge ethical violation in the movie “Legally Blonde” and in real life she would've been barred from practicing law. She may also have been subject to fines or prison time because she posed as a lawyer in attempts to get Paulette Bonafonté custody over her dog despite only being a first-year law student.


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366 Feet Under

It is a common misconception that graves must be dug to a depth of six feet. Often, graves are just 30-36 inches deep. The six-foot rule was implemented in 1665 during the Great Plague of London when city officials apparently believed this would inhibit the spread of disease.


37. The State of Michigan's anthem, "My Michigan" cannot be played without paying royalties until 2032, because the state government never purchased the rights to the song, and the song is still copyright protected.


38. Hockey player Kris Draper was traded for $1 to the Detroit Red Wings. He would go on to assist the team in winning 4 Stanley Cups and be one of their most reliable players for 17 seasons.


39. There are 23 year-round floating-boat schools in Bangladesh due to constant flooding the country faces. Started back in 2002, these schools ensure year-round education in a country where heavy monsoon rains can submerge 70% of the landmass underwater.


40. The US is a rice-producing country and is one of the top rice exporters in the world.


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41Publicity Campaign

The famous photo of Nikola Tesla calmly reading a book while his massive Tesla coil sends huge electric arcs across the room was actually a double exposure photograph taken for a publicity campaign.


42. Japanese Beer maker Asahi makes elderly friendly beer cans that are smaller, with braille, a larger fingerhole, and a pressurized can to have the tab elevated from the top. They are also left at shrines to friends and family that have passed.


43. The average human gut naturally produces 3 grams of alcohol a day through fermentation. Over the course of a year, this is the equivalent alcohol of about 2 full bottles of whiskey.


44. The pizza saver is a little plastic tripod that stops pizza toppings from sticking to the box. It was patented in 1974. When its patent wasn’t renewed, it was reinvented in 1985 by Carmela Vitale.


45. In Buddhist fables, Kṣitigarbha is a monk who vowed to refuse paradise until he had helped every single living being achieve enlightenment, even if the task lasted unto eternity.


46Canadian Rangers

The Canadian Rangers are a 5,000 strong wing of the Canadian military reserves made up mostly of First Nation personnel. They provide a military presence in the most remote Canadian regions, act as guides and scouts for the Army, and until 2018 were still issued World War 2 vintage rifles.


47. The McRib is made using a process invented by the US Army to create low-cost meat for soldiers.


48. Former professional gridiron players Joe Theismann and Alex Smith both suffered gruesome injuries to their right leg. The injuries occurred on the same date 33 years apart, on the same team, in the same city and on nearly identical parts of the field. The final score of both games was 23-21.


49. Ernie Shore took over in the first inning of a game Babe Ruth started. Ruth walked a batter, argued with the umpire, got ejected, and then punched the umpire. Shore picked off the runner, then retired the remaining 26 batters he faced in a row.


50. Over $200 million in gold and silver bullion was recovered from underneath WTC-4 following the September 11th attacks.

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