Random #334 – 50 Interesting Random Facts

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1Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Philadelphia Cream Cheese was invented in New York and has never been made in Philadelphia. Its name was part of a clever marketing strategy because when it was invented in the 1880s, Philadelphia was known for its high-quality dairy.


2. During the French Revolution, the price of bread went from costing about 50% of a laborer's daily wages to about 88% of their income.


3. Cheetahs were at one point very close to extinction. Currently their genetic diversity has become too low for their immune system to recognize a "nonself." Skin grafts exchanged between unrelated cheetahs are accepted as if they were clones or identical twins.


4. "Birth Control Glasses" was the nickname given to an unfortunate-looking pair of glasses issued by the U.S. Military. The thick brown frames and shapes were extremely unpopular and equated to birth control because of how unattractive the wearer looked. The frames were retired in 2012.


5. In 1896, American taxidermist Carl Akeley was attacked by a leopard while on a visit to Africa. He killed it with his bare hands by ramming his hand down its throat and choking it to death.


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6Osage Orange

The Osage Orange is an anachronistic tree, which evolved to depend on extinct megafaunas like mammoths and ground sloths. It survived their extinction due to the fact that its wood was good for making bows and humans propagated it.


7. In 1323, the Mexica, founders of the Aztec Empire, asked the King of Culhuacan for his daughter, to which the King of Culhuacan agreed. The Mexica then sacrificed her and flayed her skin, and invited the King of Culhuacan to a feast, during which a Mexica priest came out wearing her flayed skin.


8. The ghost town of Kolmanskop in Namibia was once a German diamond-mining settlement. In the early 1900s, it was one of the wealthiest cities in the world. It had a hospital with the first X-Ray unit in the southern hemisphere. Now this ghost town is buried in the desert.


9. "South of the Border," located just south of the North Carolina border, in South Carolina, is a faux-Mexican-themed tourist attraction. Its mascot is a caricature of a Mexican Bandido named Pedro. All of the restaurant’s employees, regardless of race, are referred to as "Pedro."


10. In 1993, Burger King briefly offered table service during dinner hours, offering popcorn as a table appetizer.


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11Thandiwe Newton

Actress Thandiwe Newton decided to correct her name in April 2021, after a 30-year-long career of going by ‘Thandie’ due to a misspelling in the credits of her first film.


12. At amenity movie theaters, cry rooms were started in the 1940s. These were small areas at the back of a theater where those with unruly kids could continue to watch the film. The presence of these rooms declined greatly by the 1970s due to the rise of multiplex theaters.


13. Keeping cats on ships has been a long-held seafaring tradition due to their efficiency as a form of pest control and the supposed luck they brought to vessels. It is thought that cats were spread around the world by groups such as the Ancient Egyptians, Vikings, and Age of Discovery explorers.


14. The "O" blood type is the most common blood type among the indigenous populations of the Americas. Within the Central and South American populations, in-particular, its frequency is nearly 100%.


15. A man named Shi Pei Pu was a Chinese Opera Singer turned spy who obtained secrets from a French embassy worker for 20 years by masquerading as a woman during their sexual affair. He even took a child and pretended it was theirs.


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16Virginia Opossum

The Virginia Opossum has 13 nipples, making it one of the few mammals with an odd number of nipples.


17. There has never been a documented case of rabies being transmitted by one human-biting another. All of the recorded cases of human-to-human transmission of rabies occurred through organ transplants from infected donors.


18. Followers of the Yazidi religion do not eat lettuce, as it is thought that when a 13th-century Yazidi saint was executed, the crowd pelted him with heads of lettuce.


19. It takes about 3 million presses to wear out a button on an Xbox controller.


20. ‘Connections’ was a science education TV series which was created by science historian James Burke. This series, which premiered in 1978, contended that one cannot consider the development of any particular piece of the modern world in isolation but rather that interconnected isolated events are what drives history and innovation.


21Antisocial Personality Disorder

About 3% of the general population has antisocial personality disorder. It is a mental health disorder characterized by disregard for other people.


22. Sir James Chadwick, the English physicist who discovered the neutron and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1935, actually enrolled in Physics by mistake when he was a university student. He wanted to study mathematics. He also led the British team on the Manhattan project.


23. Yuri Knorozov was a Soviet officer during World War 2. After the war ended, he played an essential role in deciphering the Mayan hieroglyphics, after he stumbled upon a book in the German National Library, which said that "Mayan Hieroglyphics were indecipherable."


24. The Verve only made about $1000 from their song ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ due to a copyright issue. The Rolling Stones had originally ended up with the rights before they returned them in 2019.


25. In 1965, Norman Morrison, a Quaker Pacifist doused himself in kerosene and committed self-immolation in front of the Pentagon to protest the US involvement in the Vietnam War.

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