Random #345 – 50 Awesome Random Facts

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26Albatross' Flying Ability

The albatross rarely flaps its wings while flying across the ocean. It uses "dynamic soaring" and "slope soaring" to carve through the air, gaining velocity from wind gradients. It can cover almost 1,000km (620 miles) every day, all without a single wing-flap.


27. McDonald's famous kids meal, ‘The Happy Meal,’ was invented in Guatemala in 1974. The original meal consisted of a small burger, small fries, small soda, and a small sundae.


28. In 1961, Thomas Monaghan got half-ownership of "Domino's," now one of the largest pizza companies in the world. All he had to give in return was his used Volkswagen Beetle car.


29. Swimmer Tom Dolan has both exercise-induced asthma and a narrow trachea, giving him access to only about 20 percent of the air an average person breaths. Despite his shortcomings, he was considered one the world’s best swimmers in the 90s. He won a Olympic gold medal twice and is also a world record holder.


30. Baby kangaroos are born as fetuses and climb into their mother's pouches to finish gestation. Mother kangaroos can suspend their pregnancies and produce four different types of specialized milk at one time to satisfy the developmental needs of individual offspring.


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31Crocodiles Ancestors

Crocodiles and alligators are surviving members of an ancient evolutionary division of Archosaurs that dominated the planet in the late Triassic, before an extinction event led to them being usurped by Dinosaurs.


32. The term 'extra' as in 'Extra! Extra! Read all about it!' referred to a special paper issued outside the normal publishing schedule. It reported on important or sensational news which arrived too late for the regular edition.


33. In the early '70s, a cannabis strain nicknamed "Acapulco Gold" became so popular at the Columbia University that the college had a dedicated smuggling route via Austin, Texas.


34. Sea cucumbers have anal teeth to stop certain organisms from living inside their butt.


35. Cold reading is a technique used by mediums and psychics in which the reader, through strategic questioning, gets the subject to reveal information, and through clever psychology convinces them the information actually came from the reader rather than themselves.


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36Saint Catherine's Monastery

The world's oldest continuously operating library is in St. Catherine's monastery in Egypt. Built in the 550s A.D. by order of Emperor Justinian I, it contains one of the largest collections of early Christian icons, including the earliest known depiction of Jesus as "Christ Pantocrator."


37. The German battleship Tirpitz's route along Norway during the height of World War 2 can still be traced by trees along the coast that were damaged by artificial fog it released. It released chlorosulphuric acid to create an artificial fog to mask its location.


38. In the bible, Simon the Sorcerer is a magician who tried to pay his way into the Apostles and knew how to fly.


39. Pemmican was a survival food made of crushed dried meat, suet, and berries. It was so important to early Canadian settlers that wars were fought over it.


40. When Kurt Angle won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1996, his opponent Abbas Jadidi tried raising his arm believing he'd won, leading Kurt to believe he lost. The referee then raised Kurt's hand, and Kurt got more emotional than otherwise cause he genuinely believed he'd lost.


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41Antoni Gaudí

Antoni Gaudí, one of Spain's greatest ever architects, once got hit by a tram. People who walked by him assumed he was a common beggar and ignored him until it was too late. He died of these injuries.


42. The winner of the marathon at the 1904 Summer Olympics, Fred Lorz, was later disqualified as he had hitched a ride in a car for part of the race.


43. Vancouver's "Dude Chilling Park" is a local name based on the sculpture "Reclining Figure" (which looks like a dude chilling). An artist erected a fake Parks Dept. sign reading "Dude Chilling Park," but the city took it down. After public outcry, it was replaced and got official approval.


44. The YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) was founded under the principles of 'Muscular Christianity,' a Christian philosophy that ties physical strength and development with Christian spiritual growth. The creation of the modern Olympic Games was also influenced by this philosophy.


45. The 1962 film ‘Dr. No’ features a replica of the painting 'Portrait of the Duke of Wellington' by Goya in the villain's lair because the original had been stolen the year earlier. The replica was used for film promotion and like the original, it was also later stolen.


46The Bodhi Fig Tree

The Bodhi fig tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka is the oldest tree on Earth with known planting date. It was planted in 288 B.C. by an Indian Princess. The sapling was taken from the original tree where Buddha found enlightenment. The tree is honored every year on December's full moon.


47. A modest Georgian townhouse near Trafalgar Square is the only remaining building in the world where Benjamin Franklin resided. He lived there for 16 years from 1757 to 1773.


48. The Elephantine Colossus is a 200-foot-tall elephant-shaped hotel that was built on Coney Island in 1885, that housed a concert hall, museum, observatory, and more. It later became a brothel but burnt down on 27th September 1896 following a mysterious incident.


49. Spiro Mounds is a Native American "King Tut's Tomb" that was ransacked, desecrated, and destroyed by a group of local treasure hunters in 1935, and is considered the worst looting of an archaeological site in US history.


50. Percussion instrument manufacturer, the Zildjian Company was founded almost 400 years ago during the Ottoman Empire.

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