Random #342 – 50 Lesser Known Random Facts

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1Trent Park POW Camp

The British had a POW camp during World War 2 called 'Trent Park'. They would take axis prisoners of war and let them live in luxury, while secretly bugging their residences. The program gave the allies lots of intel including the the location of a V2 rocket facility.


2. Around 94 US World War 2 Servicemen who were executed by the US Military are buried in "Plot E" of the Oise Aisne American Cemetery in France, in a section designated for "the dishonored dead." All but one of them was convicted of rape and/or murder. Hedges hide it from view, no US flag is permitted to fly over it, the graves lack headstones and it is not publicly accessible.


3. Sarah Wilson, born in the 1700s, was an English conwoman who often travelled in the United Kingdom, presenting herself to be of royalty and conned many lower class families. She was convicted as thief in 1770s. She however managed to escape to America and lived like a royalty for the rest of her life, under the guise of Princess Carolina Matilda.


4. Sisamnes was a judge in the Persian Empire, who took a bribe in court and passed an unfair sentence. He was skinned alive and his leather was used to make a chair that his son had to sit in, as his son was appointed the next judge. Later a painting was commissioned that depicted him being skinned alive.


5. Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. refuses to perform the play, “Our American Cousin,” which Abraham Lincoln was watching when he was assassinated.


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6Dinosaur Extinction Impact

The asteroid impact that caused the dinosaur extinction set 70% of the world's forests on fire, caused tsunamis that rose to a height of 300 ft (100 m), and ejected 25 trillion metric tons of debris into the atmosphere that reduced sunlight by up to 90% for a decade.


7. The iconic Australian slouch hat is bent up on one side to allow the armed forces to maneuver rifles on and off their shoulders without hitting the brim.


8. In the 1700s, oysters were so overly abundant and popular in the New York City that their discarded shells were repurposed into mortar paste to aid New York’s building boom. Trinity Church is an example of a building built with oyster shells.


9. Back in 1910, Citibank took over the National Bank of Haiti, which besides being the sole commercial bank also served as the Haitian treasury. Then in 1915 after both withholding Haitian funds and paying rebels to destabilize the country, the bank pressured the US Government to occupy Haiti.


10. Heinrich Schliemann was an amateur archeologist who located the ancient city of Troy in the 1870s among other feats. Modern archeologists disapprove of his methods of using dynamite to blow up the site and look through the debris.


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11Belcher Islands Massacre

In 1941, after a meteor shower, two members of a Canadian Inuit camp on the Belcher Islands in Hudson Bay announced that they were Jesus and God. They gained followers, whom they convinced to kill their sled dogs (telling them people will soon be able to fly) and unbelievers. Around 9 people ended up losing their lives as a result of the community spread insanity.


12. Electric blankets can cause heat strokes in sleep, which may result in rectal temperature up to 41.2 °C (106.2 °F), severe burns, and death.


13. The chemical compound (Isopropyl Acetate) produced by bees to make the beehive attack someone, is the same chemical which is used to make banana-flavored sweets. This means that bees can become hostile around those sweets.


14. The samurai were trained not only to kill someone, but to do so aesthetically. They considered killing to be an art form of the highest aesthetic needed for self-perfection.


15. The Maze in Utah ranks as the one of riskiest hikes in the world. It is the least accessible district of Canyonlands. It's a difficult place to navigate, with lots of side canyons and dead ends from the main trail. Food and water are scarce and it could take rescuers three days to reach.


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16Chicago Public School Swimming Rules

For more than 50 years, Chicago Public Schools required that male students be nude while attending swimming classes. Female students were allowed to wear swimsuits.


17. Fossilized trilobites were plentiful in Utah and the Ute natives of the area wore them as amulets to protect against bullets and diphtheria. They also correctly identified them as marine creatures.


18. New Hampshire is the only state in USA with no adult seatbelt laws. Seatbelts are only required by law for minors under the age of 17 in the state. According to the data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2017, it also had the lowest percentage of seatbelt usage among the 50 states, at just 67.6%.


19. In Tibet, it's traditional for a woman to be married to multiple husbands who were usually all brothers to keep the land within the same family under inheritance laws. The practice was technically outlawed in 1981, but it carries no penalties and people aren’t prosecuted.


20. The 1874’s Battle of Liberty Place was an attempted coup against the Louisiana government. After a disputed election, 5000 members of the White League (a paramilitary terrorist organization made up largely of Confederate veterans), attempted to overthrow the government of Louisiana. The insurgency was put down with the help of former Confederate general James Longstreet leading a unit of African-American militia.


21Mr. Met

The New York Mets mascot, Mr. Met, was replaced for one season (1979) by a live mule named Mettle the Mule. The team finished the season with the worst record in their division, and the average attendance was the lowest in Mets history.


22. Karman line is the border that separates the Earth's atmosphere from outer space. It is defined as being 100 km above sea level by the Fédération Aéronautique International. This is regarded as the starting point of outer space, i.e. where the atmosphere is too thin to support flight.


23. Newark in New Jersey was founded in 1666 by disgruntled Puritans from Connecticut. Wishing to start a theocracy, they named their settlement New Ark believing they were creating a new ark of the covenant. New Ark remained a Puritan theocracy until 1746 when Episcopalian missionaries built a church.


24. George Forster was a convicted murderer who was sentenced to death in 1803 in London. His body was subject to a Galvanism experiment by Giovanni Aldini, where a current was passed through his muscles. Despite being dead, his face contorted and one eye even opened.


25. When a female porcupine is ready to mate, she climbs a tree and vocalizes loudly like a cat. This mating call attracts the males, who then fight brutally with each other. It's not unusual to see a mating male who has won the fight, with a hundred or so quills of rival males' tails stuck in his face.

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