Random #317 – 50 Unbelievable Random Facts

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1Dublin Boys in NYC

In 1985, two Irish boys Keith Byrne (10) and Noel Murray (13) ended up in New York after sneaking onto a train and a ferry in Dublin, a train to Heathrow, and a flight to JFK, all without being caught.


2. Harrison Ford was frozen in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ because, unlike Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, Ford had only signed on for two films. After the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lucas didn't think Ford would return for the 3rd Star Wars film, so he left him frozen just in case.


3. The Ovitz family was not only the largest family of dwarfs ever recorded, but also the largest family (12 people ranging from a 15-month-old baby to a 58-year-old woman) to enter Auschwitz and survive.


4. Two high school students from New Zealand found that despite advertising claims that “the blackcurrants in Ribena have four times the vitamin C of oranges,” the drink contained almost no trace of vitamin C and one orange juice brand had over three times more. The company was taken to court and fined NZ$217,500.


5. Krabby Patty is a veggie burger. Spongebob creator, Stephen Hillenburg, has expressly stated that the patties do not contain any meat.


6Cyprus Particle Accelerator

Cyprus was going to host the first particle accelerator in the Middle East, but ministers chose to spend the money on hosting the Miss Universe pageant instead.


7. In 2013, the Zimbabwean Government admitted that their public account held a grand total of just $217.


8. Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. He was frustrated with the fact that he had to go and ask his coworkers what data was on their computer so he can add it to his computer which led to him creating an application that became the World Wide Web.


9. Despite not existing for the past 30 years, the Soviet Union still holds the most Olympic gold medals for wrestling.


10. The arcade shooter game 'Area 51' saved Atari from the brink of bankruptcy and went on to become one of the most successful arcade games of all time.


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11B-52’s Cart Start

Explosive cartridges can be inserted into a B-52 bomber’s engines to get them up and running more quickly if needed. The “cart start” reduces takeoff time from about an hour down to ten minutes.


12. The planes that struck the World Trade Center Twin Towers weighed 100% more, carried 100% more fuel, and flew 100% faster than the plane whose impact the buildings were designed to withstand, a Boeing 707 airliner flying at landing approach speeds.


13. Sitting Bull’s warriors lost faith in his bravery. During the battle with the US Army, he calmly took his pipe and smoked it while bullets were flying over his head. After a few minutes, he calmly packed up his pipe and walked home. His men’s faith was restored.


14. Sperm whales click loud enough to hear each other from thousands of miles away. Some researchers believe this is how they can communicate with each other from opposite sides of the planet. If you’re close enough, the vibrations can paralyze or even vibrate you to death.


15. Karen Wetterhahn was a scientist who spilled two small drops of Organic Mercury on her gloved hand. She died a slow death over the course of 5 months of Mercury poisoning. Her speech slurred, she had trouble seeing and hearing, and experienced other terrifying symptoms.


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16Burro Schmidt Tunnel

A miner named William H. Schmidt spent 40 years in the California desert digging a half-mile tunnel alone, by hand. Twenty years into the project, the state completed a road that eliminated the need for the tunnel, but the miner spent another two decades finishing it.


17. The longest surgery ever recorded was performed in 2001 by a team of 20 doctors. It took 103 hours (more than four days) to complete. The procedure involved the separation of 11-month-old twins conjoined at the heads. The girls’ brains were not merely connected, they were wrapped around each other like a helix, adding to the complexity.


18. Around 6 million Polish citizens (nearly 21.4% of Poland’s population at the time), died between 1939 and 1945 as a result of the German occupation of the country. It is estimated 90% of those deaths were non-military losses, i.e. murder.


19. Toyota only made 2 convertible 2000GTs. They were specially made for use in a James Bond movie because Sean Connery was too tall to fit in the standard model.


20. Of the four recorded deaths by killer whales, three of them were by the same killer whale named Tilikum.


21Naram-Sin

For centuries, Kurdish villagers knew an ancient rock relief simply as “Naram-Sin”, but didn’t know who or what it represented. Later, archaeologists discovered it to be a depiction of Naram-Sin of Akkad, King of the Akkadian Empire (the world’s first empire) who ruled over 4200 years ago.


22. The 2015 Germanwings Flight 9525 crash was caused by the co-pilot deliberately crashing the plane into a mountainside after locking the captain out of the cockpit. The co-pilot had hidden the fact that his doctor had been treating him for suicidal tendencies and declared him “unfit to work”. 150 people died.


23. Vermont ambulances stock maple syrup for ‘oral glucose’ administration.


24. Before the advent of refrigerators, Russians would put frogs in milk to keep it from going bad.


25. The natural birth rate of boys to girls is 105 to 100, but it evens out by reproductive age because more boys die in childhood.

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