Random #321 – 50 Lesser Known Random Facts

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1Big Foot Submarines

Drug smugglers build submarines deep in the Colombian jungle, capable of transporting $400+ million worth of drugs and they are nearly impossible to detect. Prior to 2006, the coastguard called these “Bigfoot” thinking their existence was only a rumor.


2. Stephen Hawking found his undergraduate work ‘ridiculously easy' to the point where he was able to solve problems without looking at how others did it. Even his examiners realized that “they were talking to someone far cleverer than most of themselves.”


3. The Egyptian egg ovens were brick incubators that were created during the 4th Century B.C., which were capable of hatching out thousands of eggs in 2-3 weeks. Two hundred of them are still in use today and use techniques that were passed down orally for more than 2000 years.


4. Until 1971, the Government of Canada assigned all Inuit people a number in lieu of a surname and issued each a leather disc with the number that had to be carried at all times or sewn into clothing.


5. Roughly 70% of businesses in Sicily still pay protection money to the Sicilian Mafia.


6The Deer Hunter Live Round

Robert De Niro requested a live cartridge in the revolver for the scene in “The Deer Hunter’s Live Round” in which he subjects John Cazale’s character to an impromptu game of Russian roulette. Cazale obsessively rechecked the gun before each take to make sure that the live round wasn’t next in the chamber.


7. The Russian World War 2 movie “Come and See” uses almost only live rounds. Bullets sometimes passed just above the heads of actors, making their terrified looks genuine.


8. In 1972, Billy Joel got into a legal battle with his label and was forbidden from recording. He moved to Los Angeles and played at a bar under an assumed name to earn money. This was the inspiration for the song “Piano Man.” All the characters in the song were based on real people Joel had met at the bar.


9. When Dr. Joyce Brothers was a contestant on ‘The $64,000 Question,’ the show’s sponsor Revlon tried to get rid of her because she didn’t wear makeup on air. She was asked increasingly obscure questions but was able to answer them all correctly and became the show’s first woman to win the top prize.


10. Between 1867 and 1974 various cities in the USA passed ‘Ugly Laws’ that prohibited any person who is diseased, maimed, mutilated, or in any way deformed, so as to be an unsightly or disgusting object or an improper person to be allowed in or on the streets, highways, thoroughfares, or public places in the city.


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11Frank Wills

Frank Wills, the security guard who discovered the Watergate break-in that eventually led to the resignation of Richard Nixon, struggled with unemployment and poverty for the rest of his life. He died at age 52 of a brain tumor.


12. According to the head of MI6, if James Bond was real, he would be unable to work for British intelligence because he lacks the required emotional intelligence, respect for the law, and teamwork abilities.


13. Texas A&M University offers a class on Texas Barbecue that teaches the history of BBQ, cooking methodology, flavorings and seasonings, and different types of BBQ. The class is offered in the fall and is held on Friday afternoons.


14. The city of Baltimore used flogging as a punishment till 1938. People were sent to the whipping post for one crime only; wife-beating. This punishment was used because wife beaters often escaped conviction, as their wives simply couldn't afford to send the husband/breadwinner to jail.


15. Canadian filmmakers were planning to make a Canadian adaption of the James Bond movies with Ryan Reynolds playing James Bond.


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16Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith never actually got money when her 90-year-old husband died. His will left his $1.6 billion estate to his son and nothing to her.


17. When Assyrian priests saw a bad omen aimed at the King they used a ritual called The Substitute King. A commoner was found to replace the king while he went in hiding. The man lived as the king absorbing the evil spirits. When the omen passed the commoner was killed and the king returned.


18. In 1972, the Los Alamos National Laboratories patented a nuclear tunnel boring machine, claiming it could reach depths of 18+ miles. It uses molten lithium to melt through rock, leaving behind a tunnel with a glass-like finish.


19. The 9/11 Memorial’s brass panels, on which victims’ names are inscribed, have their own heating and cooling systems so that they are never too hot or cold to touch.


20. Aztec Emperor Montezuma realized that his own seers were all charlatans because they’d failed to see that the Spanish were coming.


211952 German Reunification Proposal

In 1952, Stalin proposed German reunification under a “neutral and democratic” government but was turned down by the West. It is still debated whether the offer was a bluff, a trick, or a genuine missed opportunity for reunification.


22. Janet Jackson was banned from MTV, VH1, and the Grammy's when Justin Timberlake tore her top on stage, but he was not.


23. “Operation Moolah” offered large cash rewards to North Korean pilots who defected with an intact MiG-15 jet fighter during the Korean War. However, the only defector who ever met the conditions, No Kum-sok, was unaware of the offer. He was still paid $100,000 ($967,289 in today's money).


24. The Veryovkina Cave in the country of Georgia is the world’s deepest cave. Since 1982, a team known as “Perovo-speleo” has been researching and going deeper and deeper. In 2021, at a depth of -1100m, they found the body of a tourist.


25. Researchers were able to predict whether or not a couple will stay together with extreme accuracy based on one partner’s reaction to things that excited the other. For example, if a wife says “look at that beautiful bird” and the husband blows it off, that’s a strong indication they’ll divorce.

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