Random #390 – 50 Captivating Interesting Facts

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1 Spartan Law on Marriage Age

Spartan Law on Marriage Age

The Spartan law forbade a girl’s marriage until she was in her late teens or early 20s. The reasons were to ensure the birth of healthy children and to spare women the risks and lifelong health damage associated with adolescent pregnancy.


2. John Krasinski advocated for the casting of deaf actress Millicent Simmonds in ‘A Quiet Place.’ She taught everyone sign language on set.


3. Partway through the hour-long trial of former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife Elena, their lawyers abandoned their defense and sided with the prosecutors. Following that, their execution by firing squad happened so quickly that the TV crew was unable to film it in full.


4. Abraham Lincoln was so convinced that he was going to lose the election of 1864 that he asked Frederick Douglass to lead scouts into the South to free as many slaves as possible before the new president took office.


5. Egyptian builders, such as those who built the pyramids, were typically not slaves and frequently took sick days from work. Popular excuses included “stung by scorpion,” “bleeding wife,” “trouble with eyes,” and even “brewing beer.”


6 Deadly Castor Oil Seeds

Deadly Castor Oil Seeds

Humans, as a species, are the “most sensitive” to castor oil seeds. It takes 1 to kill a full-grown human, 11 to kill a dog, and a massive dose of 80 to kill a duck. The seeds contain ricin, which is roughly 6,000 times more poisonous than cyanide.


7. Only after learning she could attend college part-time did actress Blake Lively accept a role on the CW show ‘Gossip Girl’. Lively later said, “This is advice to anyone: when they say, ‘We promise, but we can’t put it in writing,’ there’s a reason they can’t put it in writing.”


8. Only three objects have ever been found inside the Great Pyramid of Giza: pieces of wood, a ball made of diorite, and a copper hook. In 1872, researchers discovered them in a shaft that led from the Queen’s Chamber.


9. Arnold Schwarzenegger auditioned for the movie Hercules in New York (his film debut), and his agent said he had years of “stage” experience, implying theater, when he had only appeared on bodybuilding stages.


10. U.S. troops using flashcard apps accidentally revealed classified information about nuclear weapons in Europe, such as vault locations, surveillance camera positions, signs and countersigns, and duress words.


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11 Drugs in Treated Water

Drugs in Treated Water

Sewage treatment plants are not currently designed to remove pharmaceutical drugs from water, nor are the facilities that treat water to make it drinkable. Aquatic life, particularly fish, has shown that estrogen and chemicals that behave like it have a feminizing effect on male fish.


12. In 1910, English pranksters disguised as Ethiopian diplomats fooled the Royal Navy into giving them a tour of HMS Dreadnought. They spoke gibberish, mostly Greek and Latin, and would shout “Bunga bunga!” to express astonishment. One of them was author Virginia Woolf.


13. Bernie Madoff was treated as a hero in prison. In a letter to his family, the swindler wrote, “I am quite the celebrity and am treated like a Mafia don. I can’t walk anywhere without someone shouting their greetings and encouragement to keep my spirit up.”


14. In 1932, Fritz Gerlich, a German journalist, made fun of Hitler’s bigotry by publishing a satire article “proving” that Hitler was Mongolian. Later, the Nazis took Gerlich to Dachau and murdered him.


15. In the Zhou dynasty, it was believed that the ruling class had excess “de” and so needed a large number of female partners, or else the “de” turns into malevolent “gui.” They had special court ladies, the “nu shi,” to ensure they slept with women in the right order and amount.


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16 Gregor MacGregor’s Fake Country

Gregor MacGregor's Fake Country

In 1821, Scotsman Gregor MacGregor arrived in London as the “Cazique” (a tribal chieftain) of the Central American nation of Poyais. He secured a £200,000 loan underwritten by Poyais’ revenues and convinced 250 people to buy land and settle there. Poyais did not exist.


17. Researchers conducted a study on Capri Sun in 2013. To see what would grow on the filter paper, they filtered it through a vacuum. Researchers identified five species of fungus, noting that because they don’t put preservatives in the drink, it allows lots of fungi to survive.


18. ‘Night of the Living Dead’ (1968) is responsible for the modern conception of zombies as unhinged flesh-eaters. Prior to the movie, “zombies” were typically portrayed as living people enslaved by priests. Interestingly, the entire film never mentions the word “zombie.”


19. ‘Botanical sexism’ refers to the practice of preferentially planting cloned male plants in urban areas to avoid the litter of fruits and flowers. However, since male plants produce pollen, this can lead to high pollen levels in the air, making the area inhospitable for people with allergies.


20. There’s an abandoned Six Flags in New Orleans that was shut down after heavy damage from Hurricane Katrina. Films like ‘Percy Jackson,’ ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,’ and ‘Jurassic World’ have used it for filming.


15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History


21 Schwarzenegger’s Jet Payment Salary

Schwarzenegger's Jet Payment Salary

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s salary for ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ was paid mostly by buying him a $12.75 million Gulfstream III jet.


22. Metallica released a video in 2012 appealing for help to solve the 2009 murder of a 20-year-old fan, Morgan Harrington, who disappeared after their show. They offered $50,000 on top of the $100,000 offered by the police.


23. Women tend to bruise more easily because their skin has more fat and less collagen. Collagen supports blood vessels, making them less prone to breaking. Men’s thicker collagen layer provides better protection for their blood vessels.


24. A young Thomas Edison helped another inventor, Samuel Laws, design telegraph machines. He expected to be paid a few hundred dollars, but Laws instead gave him $40,000, which allowed Edison to afford a new research laboratory and factory. He hired 300 employees and developed 50 inventions there.


25. Within three weeks of Prince’s death, 700 people claimed to be his half-siblings or descendants.


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