Random Fact Sheet #125 – 35 Fun Facts to Spark Your Curiosity

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1Lightning strikes

Lightning strikes

There are two types of lightning strikes - positive and negative. Negative accounts for 95% of lightning strikes, while positive accounts for 5%, and is much more powerful and dangerous, and is more likely to cause forest fires.

2. American president Grover Cleveland developed mouth cancer during his second term. Fearing news of this might cause financial panic, he underwent secret surgery on his friend’s yacht off the coast of Long Island, under the cover story of being on a 4-day fishing trip.

3. Joseph Bramah stared a lock company that was famed for their resistance to lock picking. The company had a “Challenge Lock” where they would pay whoever could pick the lock shall receive 200 guineas. The challenge stood for 67 years until American locksmith Alfred Hobbs finally picked it in 51 hours, spread over 16 days.

4. The CIA used to have a device called Jack in the Box, made from sex dolls cut from the shoulder down. If an agent was being tailed by the KGB, his driver would turn sharply, giving him time to hop out of the car. The driver would then deploy the device, so it would look like the agent was still in the car.

5. Lava is between 100,000 to 1,100,000 times as viscous as water. Falling into it would be like hitting something solid, rather than a liquid.

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6Bruno Manser

Bruno Manser

An activist named Bruno Manser went into the jungles of Borneo in the 1980s and became a respected elder in the Penan tribe, then left the tribe and did hunger strikes outside many multinational corporations responsible for stealing their land.

7. After surviving a car accident and receiving a settlement, Paul Dennis Reid used the money to get a plastic surgery, and then pursued a career as a country singer, under the stage name Justin Parks. When that failed, he became a serial killer.

8. Pants and trousers are called pairs because they used to be separate. As early as the 16th Century, you'd feed one leg in, tie the top around your waist and do the same with the other leg. The name stayed even when they started being made as a single item.

9. Forgotten Baby Syndrome, the tragic phenomenon behind infant hot car deaths, is caused by a change in routine and can happen to anyone.

10. Horses at shows usually have a colored ribbon attached to their tails. They each represent different things: a red ribbon means the horse is a kicker, green means the horse is inexperienced and likely to misbehave, blue means the horse is a stallion, and white means the horse is for sale.

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11Ariana Austin and Joel Makonnen

Ariana Austin and Joel Makonnen

An American woman named Ariana Austin became an African princess in October 2017. She married Joel Makonnen, grandson of the last Emperor of Ethiopia and direct descendant of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Prince Joel, who met Ariana at a club in Washington D.C., initially kept his royal status a secret.

12. In Japan, you can hire actors to pose as short/longterm spouses, children, friends, etc. A man named Ishii Yuichi was hired to pose as a girl's missing father by her mother for over 8 years without his "daughter" knowing.

13. Ruby chocolate is the fourth chocolate type and the first new chocolate type in 80 years. It is pink due to the color of the cocoa beans used to make it. It was unveiled by Swiss-Belgian cocoa company Barry-Callebaut in September 2017 and had been in development since 2004.

14. Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" was completed in 1512 and 478 years later, a physician in Indiana realized that God's shroud is in the shape of the human brain.

15. A woman named Anneliese Michel went through 67 exorcism sessions; one or two each week, lasting up to 4 hours that were performed over about 10 months between 1975 and 1976. After her death, investigation determined that she was malnourished and dehydrated. Her parents and the priests responsible were charged with homicide.

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An orgasm can clear up your sinuses. This is because your body gets a rush of adrenaline when you have an orgasm, which causes tissues in the nose to shrink, opening up passageways.

17. The creator of the popular board game "Guess Who?" was a classmate (Theo Coster) of Anne Frank.

18. Nikola Tesla was at the party that for the first time in the history had a stripper jump out of a cake.

19. Divorce in Ireland was only legalized in 1995 after a referendum. The margin of victory was 0.56%.

20. In 2009, a Japanese whaling fleet used a sonic weapon against a helicopter caring a camera crew of conservation activists. The conservationists noted that their helicopter was also equipped with a similar sonic weapon, but had only used it thus far to play a recording of "Ride of the Valkyries".

21Sargasso Sea

Sargasso Sea

The Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic is the only 'sea' with no land borders but instead is surrounded by ocean currents. It is known for being incredibly clear and full of a particular floating seaweed.

22. Bar soap is better for the environment than liquid body wash and poses no health risk to the general population.

23. The longest confirmed family tree recorded belongs to the Chinese philosopher Confucius. His family tree stretches over 2500 years and he has an estimated 3 million descendants.

24. Over a five-year period starting in 1968, commercial jets were hijacked nearly once a week in the United States.

25. German screenwriter Werner Herzog once promised fellow documentary maker Errol Morris that he would eat his shoe if Morris ever finished his movie on pet cemeteries because he found Morris to be incapable of ever finishing his projects. In 1978, Morris finished his film, and Herzog publicly cooked and ate his shoe.

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