Random #342 – 50 Lesser Known Random Facts

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26Glass Sponges Rediscovery

Glass Sponges Rediscovery

Glass sponges were once thought to be extinct for over 100 million years. They have however recently been rediscovered in the last 25 years, found to be living on reefs at depths of 450-900 meters. It is believed that they can live up to 40,000 years, but due to changing seas levels, most probably only live for 15,000 years.

27. Actor Bert Lahr’s cowardly lion costume from the movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’ was made out of real lion's skin and fur. It sold for more than $3 million at a New York City auction in 2014.

28. Sokushinbutsu is a practice of self-mummification observed by Japanese Buddhist monks. The monks follow a strict starvation diet until abstaining from eating altogether to lose as much body fat and moisture as possible. They are then finally locked in a tomb while they are still alive.

29. King Cakes are iced, multi-colored cakes that are served during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Inside the cake is a small baby figurine called a fève which represents baby Jesus. Whoever gets the fève is said to have luck and prosperity for the rest of the year.

30. Ancient Chinese doctor and surgeon Hua Tuo was executed by King Cao Cao when he suggested performing surgery by cutting into his royal skull.

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According to Diogenes Laërtius, Metrocles of Maroneia became a Cynic philosopher after having farted while practicing a speech. He became very upset, but after another philosopher (Crates) himself farted to demonstrate how natural it was, Metrocles was persuaded to let go of his shame.

32. United States Navy’s deep ocean research submersible ‘DSV Alvin’ is a ship of Theseus. Every component of this vehicle has been replaced since it entered service in 1964. It has been used to explore hydrothermal vents, the Titanic, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It was once even attacked by a swordfish. The fish was later cooked and eaten.

33. William Cunningham was a body snatcher in Ohio, who once responded to medical students playing a prank on him by sending them a corpse that was diseased with deadly and highly infectious smallpox.

34. Daniel Daly was a United States Marine, who received his first Medal of Honor for single-handedly killing over 200 enemy soldiers in a single night during the Boxer Rebellion in China.

35. "Trap Crops" are secondary crops which are planted to block or divert insects/parasites off the main crop. In some cases, even decoys made of plastic or cardboard can be helpful to disrupt insects.

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36Yellow Tube Sponge

Yellow Tube Sponge

Spongebob Squarepants’ exact species of sea sponge is Aplysina fistularis, which is also known as "yellow tube sponge."

37. After World War 2, hyperinflation of Hungary held the record for the most extreme monthly inflation rate ever, at 41.9 quadrillion percent (4.19 × 1016%; 41,900,000,000,000,000%) for July 1946, amounting to prices doubling every 15.3 hours.

38. Dublin in Ireland once was the Viking Kingdom of "Dyflin", founded by the Norse in the 9th century. "Dubh Linn" means "black pool" in Irish. Under their rule, Dublin became the biggest slave port in Western Europe. The last king of Dublin was killed by the Norman conquerors in 1171.

39. Portuguese Man O'Wars can be left or right-handed. The "left-handed" ones sail to the right of the wind, while the "right-handed" ones sail to the left.

40. Dina Sanichar (1861–1895) was a feral child raised by wolves in India. He was ‘rescued’ at the age of 6 and sent to an orphanage. He went on to live among other humans for over 20 years but never learned to speak and remained seriously impaired his whole life.

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41Pastry War

Pastry War

France and Mexico fought the "Pastry War" after a French pastry chef in Tacubaya complained to France in 1832 that Mexican officers vandalized his business and then denied him compensation.

42. Pearls are produced when an irritant such as a parasite enters a mollusc's shell. The mollusc secretes aragonite and conchiolin that creates nacre (aka mother of pearl) which encases the irritant.

43. Hertella Auto Kaffeemachine was the first known dashboard-mounted coffee maker. Manufactured in 1959 specifically for the Volkswagen Beetle, it came with porcelain cups that could stick to the machine magnetically.

44. The Galileo spacecraft saw a mile-high, 16-mile-long curtain of lava erupt from Jupiter's moon Io.

45. Sakoku was an isolationist foreign policy enacted by the Tokugawa Shogunate under which they forbade common Japanese citizens to leave the country for 265 years (1603 to 1868).

46Adnan Khashoggi

Adnan Khashoggi

Adnan Khashoggi was a successful Saudi businessman, who among other businesses brokered arms deals between US arms companies and the Saudi Government and made commission on deals. He became so rich that he had a fleet of private jets and his lavish lifestyle cost $250,000 a day just to maintain.

47. The Outback Way is a 2,700 km "shortcut" directly through the Australian Outback. Without it, the trip from Winton to Laverton would be over 4,000 km.

48. Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots is a professional basketball team in Philippines. Owned by a food and beverage corporation, they have previously been known as Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdogs, Coney Island Ice Cream Stars, and the Corned Beef Cowboys, among others names.

49. Speibecken is vomiting basin which is commonly found in men's washrooms at many pubs in Germany.

50. Barley holds significance as the first grain eaten by mankind and can be consumed as bread, beer, and soups. Ancient Greek physician Aelius Galenus recommended dill and leeks for flavoring barley water.


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