Random #336 – 50 Lesser Known Random Facts

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26Knott's Berry Farm

Knott's Berry Farm

In 1997, Disney offered to purchase Knott's Berry Farm, which would have been part of the Disneyland Resort and converted to Disney's America, originally meant to be built near D.C. The Knotts refused to sell the park to Disney out of fear that Disney would eliminate most of what Walter Knott had built.


27. Pope Gregory XVI opposed gaslighting and railways, believing that they would create commerce and lead to liberal reforms. Gregory XVI banned railways in the Papal States, calling them Chemins d'enfer ("road to hell", a play on the French for railroad, chemin de fer, "iron road").


28. There are six major types of corn, two of which are sweet corn and popcorn.


29. In 1981, a TU-104 crashed in Leningrad killing all onboard which included 16 admirals and generals and dozens of other officers. Investigation revealed that the plane crashed due to improperly loaded goods which were brought by generals who went on a shopping spree.


30. Balthasar Gerard, the assassin of William of Orange, was executed in an extremely gruesome manner. Aside from the standard beheading, he also had his hand burned off, his feet crushed, was disemboweled alive, quartered, and had his heart ripped out and thrown at his face.


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31Hercule Poirot's "Curtain"

Hercule Poirot's

The final Hercule Poirot novel "Curtain" was written in the early 1940s, when author Agatha Christie wasn't sure she would even survive World War 2 and wanted to give the character a proper send-off. After World War 2, she locked it away and had it published shortly before her death in the 1970s.


32. Sea otters were extinct in Washington State between 1910 and 1965. The current population originally came from Alaska and they were evacuated from areas where the US was testing nuclear bombs between 1965 and 1972.


33. The Secret Life of Pets 2 was released the same weekend as X-Men: Dark Phoenix. It outperformed the X-Men movie, making it the first time an X-Men film did not top the box office the week of its release.


34. The "Coal Wars" in the US refers to a period between 1890 and 1930 when many wars were fought against armed unions of coal workers. The Battle of Blair Mountain alone was the second-largest uprising in the US (only after the Civil War), where over 1,000,000 rounds were fired.


35. Hedgehogs can suffer from 'Balloon Syndrome' where they inflate like a balloon after injury or infection and then need to be deflated to prevent permanent injury or worse.


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36Sassoon Eskell

Sassoon Eskell

Sassoon Eskell, the first minister of Finance of Iraq was Jewish. One of his notable decisions was demanding that Iraq's oil revenue be remunerated in gold rather than sterling, a decision that saved Iraq huge sums of money when the Pound sterling plummeted.


37. Centipede venom contains over 500 different compounds, many of which show evidence of potent antimicrobial and anticancer properties.


38. An eclipse never comes alone. A solar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse.


39. When naturalist Robert Plot discovered the first dinosaur fossils in 1677, he believed they belonged to giant humans that roamed the earth years ago. It wasn't until 1824 when Oxford professor William Buckland concluded that the fossils belonged to an extinct lizard, the "Megalosaurus."


40. The Assassin's teapot is a two-chamber teapot originating from China that was used to poison enemies by dispensing different types of liquid depending on which hole of the teapot is covered.


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41Apollo 10's Poop Emergency

Apollo 10's Poop Emergency

Onboard Apollo 10's mission to orbit the moon, there was an emergency when one of the astronaut's poop got loose and floated around the ship. All three astronauts denied responsibility. This came to light when the mission transcripts were declassified.


42. Louis Braille started designing his system of writing for the visually impaired when he was just 12 years old and it was mostly completed by the time he was 15.


43. Peter Gerry, a Senator from Rhode Island, is the only U.S. Senator in American history to lose re-election and later reclaim his Senate seat from the person who had defeated him.


44. The boom mic was invented by director Dorothy Arzner on the set of a 1929 film about drunk college coeds called ‘The Wild Party,’ starring Clara Bow.


45. The tragic launching of the HMS Albion in 1898, was the first disaster caught on film. 38 people drowned by a bow wave caused by the launch.


46Fucine Lake

Fucine Lake

Fucine is a huge lake in central Italy that was completely drained and converted into one of the most fertile plains in the country.


47. Hooters operated an airline called, "Hooters Air" from 2003 to 2006. Two 'hooters girls', dressed in their restaurant uniforms, were on each flight assisting the traditionally attired in-flight crews with hospitality duties.


48. At 9:55 pm every night, many soldiers on both sides of World War 2 in Europe tuned on their radios to the same station, Radio Belgrade, to listen to a nightly broadcast of the wistful love song "Lili Marleen," which was virtually unknown before the war.


49. There is baseball for the blind, called "Beep Baseball" where the baseballs beep and the bases buzz so the blind players can find them.


50. Ballooning spiders can take off and fly through the air, without wind, by using a single line of web ejected into the air to propel them up the naturally generated electric fields in our atmosphere.

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