Random #377 – 50 Uncommon Facts That Will Amaze You

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26Mongols and King Henry II

Mongols and King Henry II

When the Mongols defeated the Poles at the Battle of Legnica, they beheaded King Henry II and paraded his head. His wife recognized his mutilated body by his eleventh toe.

27. The Merci Train was a collection of 49 boxcars sent by France to the United States in response to humanitarian aid the US provided after World War II. Each state, barring Alaska, got their own, and 43 still survive today.

28. Although chopsticks have supplanted spoons for eating rice in China and Japan, Korean people continue to use spoons to eat rice and alternate back and forth with chopsticks during a meal.

29. Director Michel Gondry found Jim Carrey's emotional state after a breakup "so beautiful, so broken" that he asked him to stay that way for one year to fit his character in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."

30. Due to consistent rock falls, Reunion Island (France) has created the most expensive road in the world. The road is estimated to be worth 1.6 billion euros for a length of 12.5 km. That is 133 million euros per kilometer. To avoid the rocks, engineers constructed the ring road in the ocean.

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31Tortoiseshell Ban and Its Origin

Tortoiseshell Ban and Its Origin

Tortoiseshell, used in eyeglass frames, guitar picks, and luxury items, has been banned for trade since 1973 because it mostly comes from the endangered hawksbill sea turtle. Manufacturers now use plastic to make most "tortoiseshell" objects.

32. Mayor Richard J. Daley presented the bluegill fish to the then-Crown Prince of Japan, Akihito, in 1960 as a gift from the city of Chicago. The prince donated the fish to fishery research agencies in Japan, but they escaped and became an invasive species. Emperor Akihito apologized in 2007.

33. Egyptian mummies would have their eyes replaced by shells, linens, or painted onions. This has made it especially difficult to study Egyptian mummy eyes since embalmers often made no effort to preserve them.

34. The earliest depictions of Jesus from the 3rd century present him as a beardless man wearing Roman clothes.

35. After one of the contestant's parents accused it of being rigged, Fox canceled the TV game show "Our Little Genius". Since the show never aired, the FCC couldn't conduct any investigation.

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36VW's Emergency Services Controversy

VW's Emergency Services Controversy

Volkswagen offered 5 years of free connected emergency services on certain car models after law enforcement contacted VW's Car-Net service to ask for the GPS location of a carjacked vehicle with a child inside, and the representative refused to help until a $150 subscription fee was paid.

37. People with B blood type tend to be resistant to most Norovirus strains.

38. Despite being commonly ranked as one of the worst Christmas films ever made, the 1985 film "Santa Claus: The Movie" is immensely popular in the UK. One of the film actors, John Lithgow, said in 2019 that he wishes he had a nickel for every Englishman who's told him it's their favorite film.

39. Humphrey Bogart was an avid chess player and often played correspondence chess with soldiers overseas during World War II. In 1943, the FBI told him to stop doing so after they intercepted his mail, believing the chess notations to be secret codes.

40. In 1941, Time originally intended to name Dumbo the elephant, whose film was released that year, as "Mammal of the Year" instead of "Man of the Year." After the attack on Pearl Harbor, however, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt quickly earned the title of "Man of the Year" for a record third time.

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41Admiral Dewey's Candidacy Withdrawal

Admiral Dewey's Candidacy Withdrawal

After being quoted as saying that being president was easy because he would just follow the orders of Congress, Admiral George Dewey withdrew his candidacy for the 1900 election.

42. The "earworm" phenomenon (having a song stuck in your head in a loop) can occur due to the brain's attempt to fill a gap in the auditory cortex.

43. There was a craze for emu meat in the early '90s, and a pair of emus sold for as much as $60,000 before the market crashed.

44. Federico da Montefeltro, fifteenth-century duke of Urbino, after having lost one eye in a tournament, had his surgeons successfully amputate the bridge of his nose to widen his field of view.

45. Lucasfilm hired YouTuber Shamook as their Senior Facial Capture Artist after Shamook dropped a deepfake video that went viral because many felt it improved the VFX used to de-age Mark Hamill in Season 2 of The Mandalorian.

46Mexico's 2009 Swine Flu Lockdown

Mexico's 2009 Swine Flu Lockdown

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns around the world, Mexico had a 5-day nationwide lockdown in 2009 (with nearly identical rules to those seen during the COVID lockdowns) for the H1N1 swine flu pandemic.

47. Indigenous Bolivians in the Andes have evolved to be arsenic-resistant due to the strong presence of the AS3MT enzyme in their bodies that can metabolize the toxic element naturally found in drinking water.

48. The 7-Eleven convenience store's name dates to 1946, reflecting the store's new 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. hours of operation, which were unprecedented at the time.

49. When New Zealand crowd-sourced ideas for a new national flag, one of the most infamous designs was "Fire the Lazer," a flag with a silver fern and a kiwi shooting a laser out of its eyes.

50. Hannah Ocuish, a 12-year-old Native American girl, holds the record for being the youngest person ever executed in the United States. In 1786, Hannah Ocuish confessed to beating and choking 6-year-old Eunice Bolles to death over strawberries.

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