Random Fact Sheet #143 – 40 Unexpected Gems of Trivia to Impress Your Friends

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1Fake border posts

Fake border posts

The Soviets set up fake border posts at the Czechoslovak borders in order to trick emigrants, making them think they were already in Germany. Once comfortable, they would talk to an "American" agent, revealing their contacts.

2. Time seems to speed up as we get older because each year we live is a smaller percentage of the total amount of time we have been alive. It’s called proportional theory.

3. In 1986, an organ transplant aircraft broke down in Fargo resulting in the governor summoning an F-4 Phantom to transport a heart to California for a recipient.

4. Greek philosopher Anaxagoras (510-428 B.C.) was the first person to correctly explain eclipses. He also theorized the Sun was a star and that stars were burning rocks but the other stars are too far away to feel their heat.

5. Water has been America's #1 drink since 2013. Before that for 20 years it was soda.

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6Oscar Mendez

Oscar Mendez

An architect named Oscar Mendez in Colombia started a company to turn waste plastics into Lego-style bricks for low-cost homes. Using the bricks, it takes 4 people about 5 days to construct a 430 square foot house. The concept is to reduce plastic waste and give homes to those most in need.

7. Orville Wright, the younger of the two Wright Brothers, expressed sadness about the death and destruction brought about by the bombers of World War 2, stating “I once thought the aeroplane would end wars. I now wonder whether the aeroplane and the atomic bomb can do it.”

8. In 1931, a scientist tried to teach a baby chimpanzee-human behavior by raising it alongside his human son (Donald). The chimpanzee (Gua) never acquired language skills and the experiment was called off when the human baby began imitating the chimpanzee's vocalizations.

9. Benjamin Franklin became a vocal advocate for inoculation after losing his oldest son to smallpox.

10. Soviet politician Joseph Stalin had a webbed left foot. In Russian folklore, this is a sign of the devil.

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11Wright brothers

Wright brothers

The Wright brothers may not have done what they did if not for a hockey accident that sent Wilbur Wright into a depression, causing him to cancel his plans of going to Yale, and eventually open the bicycle shop with his brother.

12. A man named William Dean Sullivan attempted to board a cruise ship by bungee jumping off a bridge as it sailed below. He miscalculated the speed and suffered minor head injuries when he bounced off the ship’s tennis court, volleyball net, and a deck railing before being left dangling in mid-air as the ship sailed away.

13. The one-liner, "Why Do We Drive on Parkways and Park on Driveways?" seems ironic because the terms predate automobiles. Way means path, park means scenic natural space, and drive means a short private road.

14. Ostriches don't bury their heads in the sand and think are have hidden from danger. They dig holes to bury their eggs. The myth came about from people seeing ostriches putting their heads in the holes to turn the eggs to ensure they are evenly heated.

15. Queen's drummer, Roger Taylor has the same 4-octave vocal range as Freddie Mercury and Aretha Franklin.

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Every Autumn a fungus epidemic kills off 75% of house flies. It attacks their brain forcing them to land on a surface and climb to the highest point, stand up on its front legs and spread its wings. The fungus then erupts from its abdomen to be spread to other flies.

17. Bats can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour and often consume their body weight in insects every night.

18. One chapter of Memory of Light, the last book in the Wheel of Time series, contained 81,200 words. By comparison, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone was about 78,000 words in its entirety.

19. British people tend to be “bi-measurement” the same way some people are bilingual. Both imperial and metric units factor into their lives.

20. In 2012, a schizophrenic inmate named Darren Rainey died after he was put in a 180°F (82°C) shower for 2 hours. His skin reportedly "fell off at the touch". Two officers who were on duty at the time later received promotions and nobody has ever been charged.

21Civilian Respirator gas mask

Civilian Respirator gas mask

The British World War 2 Civilian Respirator gas mask had filters containing blue asbestos and arsenic. Because of this, it is recommended to wear a gas mask when handling the gas mask.

22. Franklin W. Dixon, who wrote the Hardy Boys books, wasn't a single individual. Instead, a publishing house used the pseudonym to have multiple people produce a lot of books quickly. The Nancy Drew books worked the same way.

23. The Blues Brothers started out as a warm-up act on Saturday Night Live to get the crowd going before they went on air.

24. Avocados are particularly filling because they are very high in fiber. Its fat is slowly digested, which helps your meal stay with you longer

25. Cougars have a rich social structure and even share kill with other cougars, who eventually return the favor.

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