Random Fact Sheet #140 – 40 of the Most Unusual Facts

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26Underwater explosion

Underwater explosion

When testing underwater acoustics during the cold war in 1960, scientists detonated a series of 300lb bombs off of Perth, Australia. This was heard three and a half hours later 10,000 miles away in Bermuda.

27. In France, they have short story vending machines in public locations. You can select 1, 3, or 5 minutes, and the machine prints a story on a strip of paper for free.

28. In the aftermath of the Great Japan Earthquake of 1923, when the fire broke out around the city of Tokyo, 44,000 people went to the river to escape the flames, only to be closed in by the flames on all sides. Almost all were then, in a single moment, incinerated by a 300 feet tall fire tornado.

29. Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula has no rivers, lakes, or streams. The Maya relied on the flooded mouths of underwater caves, called cenotes, for all of their fresh water.

30. In addition to the Percent sign (%) for 1/100, there is also a Per-mille symbol (‰) for 1/1,000 and a per-the-thousand symbol called a Bias Point (‱) for 1/10,000.

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31WD-40 formula

WD-40 formula

The rust removal aerosol spray WD-40 formula is not patented. If it were, the makers would have to disclose its ingredients, making it easier to copy.

32. Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was the first person to reach both poles and was also the first person to reach each pole. He was the first to reach the South Pole first in 1910, and also the first to reach (verified and credibly) the North Pole in 1926.

33. Lightning plays an important part in the Earth's nitrogen cycle by breaking down nitrogen molecules in the air, so they can be dissolved by rain, and then carried down to the Earth. Nitrogen is a very important element and needed for the production, growth, and decomposition of every living thing.

34. One of the largest earthquakes in North American history occurred on January 26, 1700. It was only documented by oral history in the First Nations populations and collaborated by a Japanese record of a tsunami around the same time.

35. In the original novels, James Bond was found to consume, on average, 92 units of alcohol a week. His preference for martinis “shaken, not stirred” may have stemmed from an inability to stir his drinks due to persistent shaking from alcohol-induced tremors.

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36Dennis Quaid’

Dennis Quaid’

Dennis Quaid’s face appeared on warning labels of vials of blood thinner Heparin to remind nurses not to accidentally inject patients with high concentration doses after Quaid’s newborn twins almost died of an accidental overdose.

37. The Dog's Bollocks is a defunct punctuation mark which appears in the Declaration of Independence and symbolizes a pause but fell to the wayside because of its phallic resemblance.

38. Paul Lieberstein, the actor of The Office’s Toby Flenderson, pitched an idea of an Office Spin-off titled “The Farm” that would star Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute in his own show about his life and beet farm.

39. The word "essential" in "essential oil" doesn't mean "important," but rather "the essence of". So oil of clove smells like clove, capturing the "essence" of the plant, and therefore can be called an essential oil.

40. Ryan Gosling turned down a spot in The Backstreet Boys because he thought they were a rip off of the boy band New Kids On The Block.

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