Random Fact Sheet #183 – 45 Quirkiest Trivia Yet

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1Harry Truman

Harry Truman

When his eight years as President of the United States ended on January 20, 1953, private citizen Harry Truman took the train home to Independence, Missouri, mingling with other passengers along the way. He had no secret service protection. His only income was an Army pension.

2. In the 1920s newly hired engineers at General Electric would be told, as a joke, to develop a frosted lightbulb. The experienced engineers believed this to be impossible. In 1925, newly hired Marvin Pipkin got the assignment not realizing it was a joke and succeeded.

3. Pat Sajak and Vanna White work only 36 days per year. They work 4 days per month for 9 months, filming six episodes of Wheel of Fortune from 12 noon to 6 pm. It amounts to a full year’s worth of programming for ABC.

4. When J.R.R. Tolkien's son Michael Hilary R. Tolkien signed up for the British army, he listed his father's occupation as "Wizard."

5. A German paraglider named Ewa Wiśnierska once got surprised by a thunderstorm while paragliding and got sucked up by a cumulonimbus cloud to an altitude of 10,000 meters (33,000 feet). She survived temperatures of -50°C and extreme oxygen deprivation at a height higher than the Mount Everest.

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A teenager named Peter Roberts invented a quick-release ratchet and sold his patent to Sears for $10,000, who said that the invention was not worth very much. Sears then went on to make $44 million selling the ratchet. He sued them for fraud and was awarded $1 million.

7. In 1848, an entrepreneur named James Lick arrived in San Francisco with 600 lbs of chocolate to sell. When all of his chocolate sold quickly, he urged his confectioner friend in Peru to come to San Francisco and start his own Chocolate company. That confectioner's name is Domingo Ghirardelli.

8. A teenager named Izaha Akins fooled an entire school, a car dealership, and police officers that he was the youngest elected State Representative ever. He was escorted around the school, given a tour, and even spoke to the high school students about his involvement in politics.

9. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time for the Nintendo 64 is the only game to ever get a 99 rating on Metacritic making it the best-rated game of all time.

10. A 2002 episode of "The Twilight Zone" addressed the Novikov self-consistency principle of time travel: a woman, played by Katherine Heigl, goes back in time to kill baby Hitler. She succeeds, but his mother adopts a child and raises him as Adolf. He grows up to lead the Nazi Party.

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11Mariana Trench

Mariana Trench

In 2015, scientists dropped a microphone 6 miles down into the Mariana Trench. They were surprised with the results. Instead of quietness, they heard sounds of earthquakes, ships, the distinct moans of baleen whales and the overwhelming clamor of a category 4 typhoon that just happened to pass overhead.

12. In 2005, the Republic of Fiji lost its declaration of independence from Britain. After five long years of searching, Fiji's government finally turned to Britain, who provided them with a photocopy.

13. Leprosy doesn't cause body parts to be damaged or fall off. Instead, the disease damages one's ability to feel pain, causing common accidents to become more damaging. In addition to this, leprosy is only mildly contagious and more than 95% of the world's population are naturally immune.

14. George Washington moved his slaves in and out of Pennsylvania every 6 months to avoid them taking advantage of a law that meant slaves residing in the state longer than half a year could claim freedom.

15. Dwayne Johnson was the 2nd person on earth to publicly report the news of Osama bin Laden's death, only 47 seconds after a navy intel officer leaked it from official sources.

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16Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt

When Usain Bolt broke the 100 m world record at the 2009 Berlin World Championships, the mayor of Berlin awarded him a 12 foot long, 6000-pound piece of the Berlin Wall. Bolt accepted and it is now housed at the Jamaica Military Museum.

17. The Murchison meteorite, which fell to earth in 1969 contained high levels of organic compounds. It came from a parent body that had liquid water, and the amino acids it contained could not have been synthesized on earth because they consisted of both left- and right- isomers.

18. The Golden State Killer attended a public information meeting about his own attacks. A husband stood up and mocked the notion that the killer would attack if a man was present in the home. The killer followed the couple home to see where they live and returned 6 months later to attack them.

19. After realizing his voice would be dubbed, David Prowse, the actor for Darth Vader, often improvised his lines which resulted in his co-stars having to respond to the correct lines anyway. 

20. In the 1980s Janet Jackson was criticized for not writing her own music and being dependent on producers. In response, she wrote and co-produced every song on her following album, which ended up being her best-selling album ever.

21Jackie Coogan

Jackie Coogan

Jackie Coogan, the silent film child actor who was famously exploited by his parents for his earnings, found renewed screen success later in life playing Uncle Fester on the Addams Family.

22. Film score composer Hans Zimmer saw the Lion King as a metaphor of a son losing his father at a young age, which tragically also happened to him. "Suddenly I am writing a requiem for my father, and the whole thing became intensely personal”. The score landed him an Oscar for best music.

23. Danny Trejo has been in over 353 movies, and when IMDB tested his knowledge of which movies he had been in, he passed with flying colors.

24. Tupac Shakur was a ballet dancer and played the role of the Mouse King in The Nutcracker.

25. Chimpanzees have been known to steal alcohol, get drunk, then attack humans after mistaking them for monkeys.

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