Random Fact Sheet #112 – 40 Facts That Will Make You Wonder About The World

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1Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings

1 out of every 160 New Zealanders was a part of the production of The Lord of the Rings films.

2. The “Magic Eight” plants are inherently Native American that were given to the world and didn’t exist anywhere outside of America before 1491. They are corn, beans, squash, chili, tomato, potato, vanilla, and cacao.

3. The famous 'Pony Express' that was vital in sending mail from east to west during the wild 1800's was actually a failed venture that bled money and lasted only a mere 19 months.

4. In 1945, a British Indian Army soldier named Fazal Din was impaled by the sword of a Japanese officer. He pulled out the sword, killed the officer who stabbed him and another enemy soldier, destroyed an entire enemy position, and walked 25 yards with a hole in his chest to deliver his report. He was taken to the Regimental Aid Post, but he did not survive.

5. ESPN anchors Keith Olberman and Dan Patrick always made sure to announce the results of the NASCAR driver Dick Trickle because they thought his name was funny. Trickle had a hole drilled into his helmet so that he could smoke cigarettes during races, and won rookie of the year at 48 years old.

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During the entire month of December in 2017, Moscow experienced only 6 minutes of sunlight total.

7. Chichen Itza was constructed so that on the spring and autumn equinox it created the image of a snake slithering down the pyramid to honor the Mayan deity Kukulan, the Feathered Serpent.

8. Sesame Street's Oscar the Grouch has been performed by the same original Muppeteer (Caroll Spinney) since 1969.

9. Latin abbreviations e.g doesn't stand for "example given", it stands for "exempli gratia" (for example) and i.e stands for "id est" (in other words), and they're not interchangeable.

10. In 2016, when a Baptist church in Texas put an anti-beer advertisement in the newspaper calling craft beer “the devil’s craft,” listing excerpts of 10 different bible verses as a warning to those who drink booze. According to the ad, you could die in a coma or lose your kingdom. Avoiding booze, on the other hand, could result in you becoming “great in the sight of the Lord.” A local brewery accepted it as a $1 off coupon.

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The word “Good” replaced an old Germanic word “Bat,” which is why the comparative forms are better and best.

12. The Duracell Bunny promotes battery everywhere in the world, except in USA and Canada where Energizer holds the trademarks to a “battery bunny.”

13. Because the Space Shuttle was so hard to land (it was nicknamed "the flying brick"), shuttle crews trained in a modified Gulfstream with its main landing gears down, its engines in reverse, and its left hand side windows covered.

14. The fade-out at the end of Holst's Neptune was achieved by slowly closing the door on a female choir as they sang in another room.

15. Coins (originally made from precious metals) have ridges in them to prevent people from shaving down the edges to sell those shavings and use the devalued coins to their original value.

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16Aztec gold

Aztec gold

Spain brought back so much Aztec gold that it caused massive inflation and crashed the economy of Europe.

17. Friday the 13th is the most common day of the week for the 13th to fall on.

18. A set of triplets named Robert Shafran, Eddy Galland and David Kellman were intentionally separated at birth and given to three sets of parents with intentionally varied socioeconomic backgrounds as part of an experiment. It was uncovered when two of the triplets happened to attend the same college in 1980. The next day, after spotting a photo of Shafran and Gallan together in the news, Kellman contacted the pair to inform them that he believed he was their third brother, making them not twins, but triplets.

19. The ingredient in spicy peppers, Capsaicin, is sometimes strong enough to cure prostate cancer.

20. Mechanical prosthetics date back to the 16th century when wounded knights needed mechanical fingers to properly grip their swords or lance.

21Martin Luther

Martin Luther

German Reformation leader Martin Luther was extremely antisemitic and advocated forced labor, expulsion, the burning of synagogues, of Jewish schools, and of Jewish books, and even their murder.

22. In 1930s, a Welsh Spiritualist medium named Colin Evans claimed to be able to levitate with the help of spirits. People demanded their money back after learning that he was simply jumping up in the air.

23. Mark Twain based the character Huckleberry Finn on a real person named Tom Blankenship. Tom was 4 years older than Twain, and they knew each other growing up in Hannibal, Missouri.

24. Gyros, döner and shawarma, which are similar types of food cooked on a vertical rotisserie, all mean “turning” in different languages.

25. Edna Mode, the superhero costume designer in 'The Incredibles', is voiced by Brad Bird, the film's director. Bird voiced Edna during story boarding sessions, after which the production team couldn't find an actress who could do the voice better than him.

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