Random #340 – 50 Unbelievable Random Facts

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26Baltimore Fire

The 1904 Baltimore fire got way worse than it could have been because there was no industry standard for fire fighting equipment at that time and therefore the hoses that the fire fighters had did not fit on the hydrants.


27. Vodka can actually save lives. In 2007, a patient arrived at an Australian Hospital having drunk ethylene glycol, a common ingredient in antifreeze, which can cause renal failure. The Vodka drip given to him prevented the toxic effects of the ethylene glycol from killing him.


28. Babe Didrikson was an accomplished track and field, basketball, baseball, and softball star. Babe also competed in the 1932 Olympics and won 7 LPGA major tournaments. In her final years, Babe played and won LPGA tournaments while battling colon cancer and wearing a colostomy bag.


29. During World War 2, the British made "decoy sneakers" for Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents in the Pacific to disguise their footprints and make them seem like barefoot locals.


30. Elephant seals can hold their breath for over 100 minutes and dive to depths of over 5,000ft below the surface of the ocean.


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31Ephedra

Ephedrine, one of the main ingredients in methamphetamine, is made from ephedra, a plant that has been used in traditional medicine for over 2,000 years.


32. Ordinary ice is called ice Ih because it has hexagonal crystals. But if you cool it below -37 °C, scientists believe it will gradually turn into a cubic form called ice Ic.


33. Precursors to chewing gum date back 5,000 years with the first commercial chewing gum released in 1848. To sweeten these early gums chewers would repeatedly dip the gum in a plate of powdered sugar to reconstitute the sweetness while they chewed.


34. The reason Dippin' Dots is not sold in grocery stores is that it has to be stored at -40°F to maintain its consistency. Generally, supermarket freezers sit around 0 to -5 °F. Dippin' Dots uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the pebbles of ice cream to -320° and store it with dry ice at -40°.


35. Neanderthals sailed the Mediterranean. Stone tools, of the kind made by Neanderthals, were found in areas that were known to be distant islands at the time.


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36Shen Fu Tsong

Shen Fu Tsong was the first recorded Chinese person to step foot in Britain. Tsong cataloged the Chinese collection in the Bodleian Library, showed the librarian how to hold Chinese books, and explained their contents. King James II had Tsong's portrait painted and hung it in his bed-chamber.


37. Byron Looper is a Tennessee politician known for both changing his middle name to "Low Tax" as a vote-winning stunt and, during a Tennessee state senate race, assassinating his opponent. In the election, held a month later, he still received 1,531 votes.


38. The Citadelle Laferrière is the largest military fortress in the Caribbean. Its gray walls are as thick as 16 feet and as high as 147 feet and were outfitted with more than 365 cannons. Since its construction, the fortress has withstood numerous earthquakes, though a French attack never came.


39. In 2008, Morgan Spurlock (director of Super Size Me) made a movie called 'Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden?'. Later on, the CIA revealed that Osama bin Laden himself had a copy of the film at his hideout in Pakistan.


40. President Risto Ryti of Finland, in exchange for military and food assistance during World War 2, promised Germany he would fight the Soviet Union. Germany provided the supplies, and Ryti resigned, allowing his successor to seek peace with the Soviets.


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41Abu Simbel Temple Relocation

In the 1960s, the ancient Abu Simbel Temple in Egypt was moved brick by brick to a new location to protect it from flood water.


42. Out of some 45,000 known species of spiders, only 23 are considered to be quasi-social, which includes building and maintaining larger webs together. These colonies can grow large enough to even take down birds and bats.


43. A Japanese company named Tokyo Movie Shinsha was behind the animation of a lot of Disney classics like original Duck Tales, Winnie the Pooh, Inspector Gadget, Chip and Dale.


44. A group of 100 artists covertly placed props with coded messages onto the set of the soap opera 'Melrose Place' for over 2 years. Props included bedsheets with unrolled condoms titled 'Safety Sheets' and paintings depicting locations related to high-profile deaths/murders.


45. There are series of species where species A can interbreed with species B, and species B with species C, but not species A with species C. They're called ring species.


46Polycoria

It is possible to have multiple pupils or even multiple irises in one eye. This condition is called Polycoria.


47. Kosmos 954 was a Soviet nuclear-powered satellite that crashed into northern Canada in 1978, spreading radioactive debris all over the area. The incident was largely kept secret from the locals inhabiting the area at the time.


48. Loons are like airplanes in that they need a runway for takeoff. In the case of loons, they need from 30 yards up to a quarter-mile (depending on the wind) for flapping their wings and running across the top of the water to gain enough speed for lift-off.


49. 19th century French utopian socialist Pierre Leroux advocated the system of Circulus, which proposed human excrement to be collected as a tax by the state to be reused as fertilizer.


50. In 1959, Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes was one a plane that crashed while he was on his way to London to sign the London Agreement on the Cyprus issue. He survived the crash, was rescued from the wreckage and signed the agreement in a hospital some days later.

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