Random #332 – 50 Interesting Random Facts

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1River Monsters

Animal Planet’s reality series ‘River Monsters’ ended because its star Jeremy Wade was able to catch essentially every exceptionally large freshwater fish species on earth, leaving no remaining content for the show.


2. Former Dutch footballer Dennis Bergkamp was nicknamed “Non-Flying Dutchman” due to his fear of flying. His aviophobia was so severe that he took car, ferry or train to away games. Sometimes he did not travel at all.


3. Revenue generated from mobile gaming in huge compared to other mediums of gaming. Even if not taking into account ad revenues, in 2021 mobile gaming pulled in $93.2 billion, which was more than pc gaming ($37.2 billion) and console gaming ($50.4 billion) combined.


4. Gary Busey once refused to perform a scene, set in heaven because he said that the set design looked nothing like the real heaven he visited during a near-death experience he had while in coma.


5. Paul McCartney wrote "When I'm Sixty-Four" at the age of 14. Later, it was performed in a lower key and sped up so his voice would sound younger.


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6Concrete Arrows

In 1924, the US federal government funded construction of enormous concrete arrows every 10 miles. These were constructed on established airmail routes to help pilots trace their way across America in bad weather conditions and particularly at night, which was a more efficient time to fly.


7. Giraffes were previously thought to be completely silent due to their long necks. However, after monitoring them for 8 years and 1000 hours of audio later, researchers discovered that giraffes make a deep “humming” noise at a frequency of 92 hertz.


8. Charles Darwin often gave his old papers to his children to doodle on. Thus, his original ‘Origin of Species’ manuscript represents the best of his children's writing and drawings, rather than the best of his work.


9. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, The Social Network) takes 6-8 showers a day to get over writer’s block. If writing wasn’t going well, he takes a shower, puts on different clothes, and tries again.


10. Rollie pollies remove toxic metal ions from the soil by taking in heavy metals like copper, zinc, lead, and cadmium which they crystallize into spherical deposits in their midgut.


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11Benjamin Franklin

When Benjamin Franklin returned to America after spending 9 years in Paris as an ambassador, he came with an unexplained shortage of 100,000 pounds in congressional funds. When he questioned about this by a member of Congress, Franklin waved the question away and the matter was never brought up again.


12. Kuwait was the first country in the world to use desalination for large-scale domestic use. It has no rivers or lakes in the entire country and almost completely relies on desalination for drinking water. Currently, there are more than six desalination plants in operation in Kuwait.


13. A Spanish woman named Aurora Rodríguez Carballeira wanted to have a perfect daughter. Her daughter Hildegart read at the age of 2, spoke 4 languages at 8, joined law school at 13, became a professor there at 18 and writing on socialism and sexuality. When she became internationally known for her genius, her mother shot her to death in her sleep.


14. Throwing all our waste into the volcano and burning is not feasible because volcanoes are not hot enough to melt the metals in the trash, and most volcanoes don't actually have a lava lake. Only 8 out of the thousands of volcanoes on earth have a lava lake.


15. In 1987, Morocco applied to join the European Communities (the precursor to the European Union). The application was rejected on the grounds that Morocco was not considered to be a "European country" and hence could not join.


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16Nascar Racers

Nascar racers lose 5-10 pounds of sweat during a race.


17. NASA was inspired by Fritz Lang's film, 'Frau im Mond', to use a countdown for rocket launches. NASA used the countdown to not only help technicians synchronize, but also found that announcing the countdown would build suspense for those watching at home.


18. Tapeworms can live inside humans for up to 30 years and grow up to 80 feet in size.


19. According to a municipal ordinance that was signed in 2001, only white cars are allowed on the island of Boracay in Philippines.


20. Before the 1920s, up to 70% of children in parts of the US had goiters due to iodine deficiency.


21Near-Sighted

60 years ago, about 20% of East Asian young adults were near-sighted. Today that number is 90%. Scientists suspect this is due to decrease in time spent outside during childhood.


22. The story of the film, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” was improvised in a meeting. After the Italian director had a meeting with American movie executives, they asked him what film he had in mind, and in the span of a couple of minutes, they quickly improvised the entire story of the film.


23. In 1982, Jerry Lawler slapped Andy Kaufman on David Letterman. This stunt was revealed to be a hoax years later.


24. The left side of the ship was originally called “larboard” or the “loading side” of the ship. The opposite side was called “starboard,” or the “steering side” of the ship. Because they sounded too similar, the left became “port” since left side of the ship was the one that was against the dock for loading.


25. The hymn 'Amazing Grace' was written by John Newton, an ex-slave ship captain and slave trader. After finding Christianity later in life, he turned his back on the trade and became a prominent supporter of abolitionism. He was also once held as a slave before he escaped.

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