Random #340 – 50 Unbelievable Random Facts

- Sponsored Links -

1Secessio Plebis

Secessio Plebis

Secessio Plebis was a form of revolt first introduced in ancient Rome. When the ruling class of Rome would become too corrupt or unjust to the commoners, the commoners would band together, evacuate the entire city, and leave the elites to fend for themselves.

2. To collect taxes, Christian IV of Denmark asked captains of ships crossing the Øresund to estimate the value of their cargo, which was applied as the tax base without further audit. This also meant that the king sometimes claimed the right to buy the entire cargo at exactly that price.

3. After he was fired from his job as an ambassador, tortured, and banished to his farm estate, N. Machiavelli would return home at night, change the dirty clothes he wore for fieldwork, and put on his ambassador outfit, just to study in his office, alone, due to how much he missed his job.

4. Spitfire planes were "crowdfunded" in some cases during World War II. Large-scale contributors were allowed to give the plane a nickname which was printed on the side. For example, 'Dorothy of Great Britain and Empire' was named by a group of women, all with the name 'Dorothy.'

5. Figure skating competitions in the 1800s involved the act of drawing pictures into the ice with skates. This required precision and wasn't as fast-paced as modern figure skating.

Latest FactRepublic Video:
15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

6Haitian Zombie

Haitian Zombie

In Haitian rural folklore, there are two kinds of zombies: the more widely known corporeal zombie, which is missing its spirit, and the "zombie astral," which is missing its body.

7. During the Vietnam War, soldiers built "gun trucks" on their own to defend supply convoys. These 5-ton behemoths were heavily armored, deadly (equipped with .50 caliber machine guns and mini guns), and even had names like Brutus, Eve of Destruction, King Kong, Ace of Spades, and The Untouchable.

8. Operation ABSCAM was an FBI sting operation which was carried out in 1980 to trap corrupt politicians. When FBI offered Senator Larry Pressler a bribe, he refused it and immediately reported the incident to the FBI. This operation however successfully caught one senator and six congressmen. After the revelations, congressmen who weren't arrested banded together and passed legislation so that FBI could no longer conduct these kind of sting operations.

9. In 1830, an attempt was made to steal the skull from the remains of American president George Washington, which resided in a tomb at Mount Vernon. However, the thief mistakenly stole the skull of Supreme Court Justice Bushrod Washington, who also happened to be the former Washingtons Nephew.

10. During the production of 'The Bellboy ' (1960), Jerry Lewis was both the actor and director of the movie, so he invented a system of multiple cameras and monitors enabling him to act, review the performance, and reshoot immediately. Lewis received the Golden Light Technical Achievement award for the invention.

- Sponsored Links -

11Beehive Skep

Beehive Skep

The classic cartoon image of a beehive looks so different from the real thing because it's based on an ancient manmade hive called a skep.

12. After Apollo astronaut Al Worden left NASA, he moved to San Francisco, grew out his hair, and became a quasi-hippie. Worden was also a frequent guest on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, telling children what it was like to be an astronaut.

13. Despite sharing more than 200 miles of border with Wisconsin and only sharing a bridge with Michigan, the Upper Peninsula is part of Michigan (not Wisconsin) because of a fight with Ohio.

14. A Wall Street restaurant named ‘The Exchange Buffet’ operated on the honor system, where customers tallied their own bills. It ran successfully from 1885 to 1963.

15. In Asia, honeybees smear their hive entrances with animal poop to ward off murder hornets. This is one of the few observable times that insects have used tools.

- Sponsored Links -

16Iron Age

Iron Age

Ancient civilizations developed iron tools well before the Iron Age by finding meteorites made of iron and nickel that didn't require smelting.

17. Ted Turner created his own alternative to the Olympics, the Goodwill Games, and Turner believed international sporting competitions would prevent future wars. The Games lasted from 1986 to 2001 and featured the first major international beach volleyball event.

18. Comedian Henny Youngman was known for his workman attitude to the profession. Even after becoming famous Youngman would often try to perform multiple times a day, searching for ongoing events like weddings and bar mitzvahs for him to negotiate an on-the-spot performance.

19. Your body has a relatively constant total daily energy expenditure. It will allow temporarily elevated caloric burns but the more days that you increase your expenditure, it will normalize your daily expenditure by showing or shutting down other processes.

20. Many bird species some purposely get bitten by ants. This releases a kind of venom that kills parasites on the bird's feathers.

21Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis

Praying Mantises have never been an endangered species, and it has always been legal to kill them in the United States. The contrary claim was just an urban legend floating around since the 1950s.

22. In the early 20th century, mother's pensions were used to help poor mothers in the US stay at home so they could take care of their children. During this period, it was common for poor women to give up their kids to orphanages. These cash payments were intended to prevent that.

23. The famous Saigon evacuation helicopter photo at the end of the Vietnam War was not from the US embassy but from the roof of an apartment building that housed senior CIA personnel.

24. The 1960's Pink Panther car was custom built on an Oldsmobile Chassis & V8 engine. Instead of a rearview mirror, it had a camera in the back and a black & white television monitor. The 'Panthermobile' cost $100,000 to build (equivalent to $476,000 in 2021).

25. During World War 2, UK’s Special Operations Executive developed super itching powder to demoralize the Germans soldiers. Some resistance laundresses used this on Nazi uniforms and underwear. One intelligence report stated that at least one U-Boat had to return to port due to the powder’s effects. Condoms lined with the powder was also distributed to German soldiers in Norway.

- Sponsored Links -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here