In ancient Hawaii, it was forbidden for men to eat with women and women were not allowed to eat a certain food. The taboo was broken in 1819 when King Kamehameha II had a dinner party with women. They named this festive dinner a Luau.
2. "Cheese-eating surrender monkeys" is an insult used to refer to French people. It first appeared in the Simpsons (1995) when Willy says "Bonjoooouuurrr, ya cheese-eatin' surrender monkeys" to a French class. The term has since entered two Oxford Quotation Dictionaries.
3. Sweden banned hunting brown bear mothers who are still with her cubs. Mother bears have now evolved to care for their cubs an additional year.
4. In 1926, the famous pianist Fats Waller was kidnapped by Al Capone's gang to play piano for his birthday. He basically went missing for 3 days and was returned unharmed but drunk.
5. A sheep named Shrek in New Zealand avoided being caught and shorn by hiding in caves for 6 years. When he was finally found, his fleece had enough wool to make 20 large men’s suits.
Latest FactRepublic Video:
15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History
Pîhtokahanapiwiyin, or Poundmaker successfully pushed back a Canadian military force and instead of continuing the fight, he surrendered himself to the British government stating, “Had I wanted war, I would not be here now. I should be on the prairie. You did not catch me. I gave myself up.”
7. Grocery store shelves are rented by companies to put their products out. Eye level and the perimeter are the most expensive.
8. Monty Python put out a "three-sided" comedy record that would have completely different material depending on where you started the record. It was mastered with two grooves on the second side and no track listing so when people played it they would be surprised to find new material.
9. The “Jefferson Bible” was cut-and-pasted together by American president Thomas Jefferson in his own version of the philosophical and moral teachings and doctrines of Jesus. It is notable for its exclusion of all miracles by Jesus and most mentions of the supernatural including his resurrection.
10. Hitler had France surrender in the same railway carriage at the same spot France and England made Germany surrender in World War 1.
Colorblind people can see the differences in texture and brightness more intensely than non-colorblind people and they were even used in World War 2 to spot camouflage.
12. The USS Niagara was intentionally sunk in 1820 for preservation and raised 93 years later for restoration.
13. Mr. Wizard's science television program—running from 1951 to 1965—was so influential in inspiring people to pursue science careers that approximately 50% of all applicants to Rockefeller University throughout the 1960s-1970s in New York cited him when they were asked how they first became interested in science.
14. The Earth has another continent called Zealandia. The entire continent sank after breaking away from Australia around 65-80 million years ago.
15. Martin Luther King Jr.'s family does not believe James Earl Ray assassinated him and that he was framed for a government conspiracy.
A Finnish soldier named Aimo Koivunen during World War 2, over-dosed on amphetamines, lost his squad, laid in a ditch for a week after stepping on a landmine, then traveled over 250 miles on skis, was found alive only weighing 94 pounds. He went on to live another 45 years.
17. In 1903, a pair of nearly identical strangers named Will West and William West ended up in the same prison in Kansas. This case helped the fingerprint technology to become widely accepted by law enforcement agencies in the United States.
18. The costumes Michael Jackson wore at the end of his shows had to be smaller than the costume he wore at the beginning since he sweated so much during each concert that he physically shrunk.
19. Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time (2 billion books sold), and her estate claims she ranks 3rd overall, behind Shakespeare's works and the Bible. She is the most-translated author with works in at least 103 languages. "And Then There Were None" is her best selling book.
20. American filmmaker Kevin Smith opened his home to Stan Lee after reports of elder abuse.
21Brazil's National Museum
After a fire destroyed Brazil's National Museum in September 2018, university museum studies students began collecting visitors' photos of the irreplaceable artifacts that were lost so they can re-create the museum's collection virtually.
22. In Barcelona, the government controls the pigeon population by mixing birth control chemicals with the birdseed.
23. Dreams are caused by the random firing of neurons in the cerebral cortex during the REM period. The forebrain then creates a story in an attempt to reconcile and make sense of the nonsensical sensory information presented to it.
24. Caffeine evolved independently in many plants. It's toxic in high doses to hungry insects, and caffeinated leaf litter can make soil toxic for other competing plants. Separately, pollinators receive a light "buzz" from caffeine in pollen and are more likely to remember the flower's scent.
25. In 2015, a man named John Cox had his sentence doubled after an appeal judge decided his original 4-year sentence received from starting a toilet fire on a commercial aircraft from a cigarette was too lenient.