Random #317 – 50 Unbelievable Random Facts

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26Kangaroo Myth

Kangaroos don’t actually lure predators into the water to drown them. Like many herbivores, when threatened they flee into the water in the hope of not being followed. It’s just that if they're followed, “they’ve got strong arms and big claws and they can drown” a dog-sized pursuer.


27. The Concorde airplane flew so fast that if you left London (or Paris) in the evening flying west towards New York, to the passengers in the plane, the sun would actually appear to begin rising again shortly after reaching cruising speed. The plane flew faster than the Earth’s rotation.


28. Tigers are nearly invisible to their prey, who see orange as green. Tigers are orange because mammals can’t produce green fur, and orange was the next best thing.


29. After learning that one of his students had lost both parents to cancer in rapid succession, the dean of Haverford College offered that student a full scholarship. The student was Howard Lutnick, who would go on to make a fortune on Wall Street and donate $65 million to Haverford.


30. There is an FAA regulation called the ‘Sterile Cockpit Rule’, requiring flight crews to abstain from discussing anything other than topics pertinent to the aircraft and the flight below 10,000 feet.


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31Joe Hunt

In his final tennis match, Joe Hunt won the 1943 US Open. He was unable to obtain leave from the Navy in 1944 in order to defend his title and was killed in February 1945, in an airplane crash.


32. The SS established a special Nazi Aryan breeding program in Norway called Lebensborn. Thousands of children born out of the program are still alive today, and one of the most famous of them is ABBA’s Anni-Frid Lyngstad.


33. Vanessa O'Brien, born in 1964, is the first woman to reach Earth’s highest and lowest points, Mt. Everest and the Marianas Trench. She received a Guinness World Record for her accomplishments.


34. The popular pop song 'Barbie Girl' was written after a member of the band Aqua saw an exhibit on kitsch culture in Denmark that featured Barbie dolls. The band said the song was a “social comment” and critic Larry Flick said it “effectively rants about the inherent misogyny of Barbie with a subversive hand.”


35. Humans are the only animals that can blush and perhaps the only animal that can feel embarrassment. Blushing appears to be a unique human expression, ‘the most peculiar and most human of all expressions,’ which happens when blood vessels in the face dilate when embarrassed.


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36Seattle Serial Killers

Over 20% of all documented serial killers in the world have come from a 200-mile radius around Seattle, Washington. There have been a total of 277 serial killers in Washington State with an average number of serial killings of 7.44 per 1 million people.


37. Juana Maria was a native Californian woman whose tribe was massacred by fur hunters. The survivors, minus Maria, were taken off the island by missionaries. She remained there alone for 20 years before being taken to the mainland, where she died within 7 weeks from dysentery.


38. Not only are unripe (green) bananas edible, eating them before they’re ripe comes with surprising benefits for your blood sugar and gut health. Green bananas can help keep our blood sugar in check, maintain gut health, and curb excessive eating.


39. A canceled Waffle House contract resulted in the creation of Chik-Fil-A.


40. Italian carmaker Lancia holds the record for having the most Manufacturers' Championships in the World Rally Championship with 10 wins, despite having stopped competing since the end of the 1993 season. The Lancia Delta is the most successful individual model designation ever to compete in rallying.


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41Chia Seeds

Chia seeds can absorb up to 27 times their weight in water. This interesting property has hospitalized at least one person. Chia seeds have been used for food, medicine, and paint since Aztec civilization.


42. In 2017, a Chicago man filled out a change of address form to change the address of UPS corporate headquarters to that of his apartment, causing the postal service to forward thousands of letters and checks to him.


43. Many 9/11 survivors delayed their evacuation of the World Trade Center to shut down computers, change shoes, and use the bathroom.


44. Earth’s atmosphere becomes so thin at about 160 km above sea level that sound waves can no longer be transmitted. It is therefore silent at altitudes higher than this region, which is why it is called the “anacoustic zone.”


45. In 2018, Bob Costas was removed from his spot on the Super Bowl and fired from NBC for submitting a monologue that discussed the dangers of concussions during the Super Bowl.


46The Tragedy of Macbeth

Roman Polanski wanted to film a violent and nihilistic version of Macbeth in response to his wife and unborn child’s murder. No studio would finance it given the parallels with his own life, but Hugh Hefner financed the movie. He had been partying with a Playboy Executive on the night of the murders.


47. A conman named Anthony Gignac posed as a Saudi prince for decades and conned $8 million from investors. He was exposed when potential investors saw him eat pork.


48. After the filming of “2001 A Space Odyssey”, director Stanley Kubrick destroyed nearly all of the film’s props so that they wouldn’t be used for “lesser” science-fiction films in the future.


49. The Beatles used to have jerk-off sessions together.


50. The 80s kids show, “Kids Incorporated” is still the longest-running show in the history of the Disney Channel at 9 seasons despite having slipped into obscurity. It has not been released on home media, streamed, or seen on TV since 1996.

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