Random Fact Sheet #134 – 40 Off-the-Wall Facts That Will Make You Smile

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1Hubert Latham

Hubert Latham

In 1909, Hubert Latham became the first person ever to attempt to fly a plane over the English Channel. He failed, but in doing so he became the first person ever to land a plane on water.

2. Anyone who has suffered damage to the right hemisphere of the brain can develop a “joke addiction”, a compulsive need to constantly make jokes and create humor.

3. The richest preacher in the world is David Oyedepo of Nigeria. He has a net worth of $150 million. He owns 2 private jets, a $10 million house, and controls churches in 45 African nations.

4. A swarm of 20,000 bees once followed a car for two days because their queen was inside the car.

5. New Zealand's first tank (the Bob Semple tank) was built from a tractor, sheet metal, and 6 machine guns. When ridiculed for the design Bob Semple said: "I don’t see anyone else coming up with any better ideas."

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6Metro Red Line subway

Metro Red Line subway

During the construction of the Metro Red Line subway in Los Angeles, 2,000 fossils were discovered, some as old as 16.5 million years old. These included 39 species of extinct marine fish that had never before been discovered.

7. In the mid-1970s, a lawyer from Akron, Ohio, wrote to Cleveland Browns football team complaining about the paper planes being tossed around the stadium. The Browns replied with a letter saying “I feel that you should be aware that some as*hole is signing your name to stupid letters.”

8. The expiration date on bottled water is for the bottle, not for the water.

9. A study shows that the average male gets bored on a shopping trip after 26 minutes while the average woman tires after around 2 hours.

10. In 2017, USA overtook Mexico again as the most obese nation in the world with some estimates projecting that 50% of the population in USA will be obese by 2030.

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11Plura cave

Plura cave

Norwegian police banned a team of Finnish divers from Plura cave in 2014 after 2 people died. In secret, the divers pulled their 2 dead friends to the surface and fulfilled a promise to a widow of one man. The illegal rescue took 27 divers and 101 hours in frigid water, using about 1-ton of equipment.

12. Wait Calculation is a dilemma stating that during the millennia-long trip to another star system, humanity would easily find ways to increase travel speed greatly, meaning any new expeditions would arrive much earlier. Therefore, no-one would risk wasting their lives on such a meaningless trip.

13. According to scientists, the South China Tiger is "functionally extinct" as one has not been spotted in the wild for over 25 years, however, a banker named Stuart Bray has 19 of them held in captivity at the Laohu Valley Reserve in South Africa.

14. A kidney can be purchased for $650 in Kenya and sold for $200,000 in South Africa.

15. In Guatemala, an estimated 40-60% of the population still speaks the Mayan language.

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16Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits

There are only 3 original citrus fruits: pomelo, citron, and mandarin. Most other citrus fruits are hybrids of these 3 (eg. orange= pomelo x mandarin).

17. Farbs is a derogatory term used for less-than-authentic Civil War reenactors who half-a*s their look and cosplay. Farbs use sunblock and bug spray, take their iPhones into battle and tend to be overweight (historically inaccurate for the 1860s).

18. The Vulcan Salute from Star Trek was actually based off of an ancient Jewish hand sign used in the priestly blessing. Leonard Nimoy, a Jewish man, based the iconic gesture off the age-old Jewish tradition.

19. A day old baby reindeer is faster than an Olympic sprinter.

20. Game designer Will Wright was inspired to create "The Sims" by the 1991 Oakland firestorm. He lost his home in the fire and wanted to create a game that emulated his experience of rebuilding his life in the aftermath.



Scapegoating was an actual practice where a town would place all of their sins on to a goat and then cast it out of the town to die, thus 'removing' the sin from the town's people.

22. The Lion King (originally titled King of the Jungle) resembles the Japanese anime “The Jungle Emperor,” which is about a lion named Kimba and his journey as he matures and becomes a king, but Disney never gave credit to Kimba’s creator. Matthew Broderick thought they were connected when he signed to be the voice of Simba.

23. Pregnant women that frequently consumed diet beverages with artificial sweeteners were two times more likely to have babies who were overweight or obese at one year after birth. Also, artificial sweeteners weaken the link in our brains between sweetness and calories which can lead to weight gain.

24. By 1991, the air in Mexico City had become so contaminated with fecal dust from humans that it was possible to contract hepatitis by simply breathing outdoors.

25. The mom of Monty Python's John Cleese had such a temper that his "Dad, who had fought in the World War 1 for three and a half years, sometimes yearned for the relative tranquility of the trenches."

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