Applesearch is an organization that has dedicated the last 20 years to finding and saving heirloom apple varieties to ensure their survival for future generations.
2. There is a blood type called “RH null”, which is called “golden blood”. This blood is so rare that only 43 people worldwide have it. Its properties make it attractive in numerous medical applications and make it very valuable.
3. A bacterium that does photosynthesis without sunlight exists that uses thermal “black-body” radiation. It was discovered in 2005 on a deep-sea hydrothermal vent, at a depth of 2400 meters, in complete darkness.
4. The Montréal–Mirabel International Airport in which the movie “The Terminal” starring Tom Hanks was shot was a massive failure. Traffic predictions were grossly overestimated, the highways to link it to Montréal were never built and its terminal was insulated with asbestos. The terminal was destroyed in 2016 after it didn’t receive any passengers since 2004.
5. Due to a 1700% increase in bank robberies during the Great Depression, the Texas Bankers Association created the Dead Bank Robbers Reward Program, paying $5000 to anyone who killed a robber during the crime, no questions asked.
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6Moken Tribe Kids
Children belonging to the Moken tribe of Thailand have perfect vision underwater. They do is by constricting their pupils and changing their lens shape, just like dolphins and seals. They use this ability to hunt for fish, clam, and shells to eat.
7. Researchers have found that naturally occurring lithium in water supply lowered suicide rates. They were able to measure lithium levels in 27 Texas counties and it showed that in counties with more lithium in their water had fewer suicides. Similar studies in Greece, Austria, and Japan corroborated the results.
8. It is theoretically possible to send a paper plane from the ISS to earth, without the planes burning upon reentry. An experiment was scheduled but unfortunately canceled.
9. The plasma globe was invented accidentally by an MIT undergrad, who was working in a lab to create electrical rocket engines. Right after inventing it, he naturally brought it to his girlfriend’s house party.
10. Balkan sworn virgins are women who take a vow of celibacy in order to be able to live as a man in certain Balkan nations. They could wear male clothing, inherit property, and become the head of a household. Women take the oath to escape arranged marriages and having to bear children.
The Caesar Salad was not named after Julius Caesar but rather its inventor, an Italian restaurateur named Cesare Cardini who created the salad in his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico in 1924.
12. There is an unusual instrument called the celeste/celesta which looks like a piano, but has metal plates like a xylophone, instead of strings, inside. This instrument is what gives the Nutcracker’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies, and the Harry Potter theme, their distinct sound.
13. While dying of stomach cancer and hospitalized in 1989, Osamu Tezuka (creator of Kimba and Astro Boy) was still able to draw tons of sketches with his pens and paper. His last words were “I’m begging you, let me keep working!” as a hospital nurse took away his pens and paper so that he could rest.
14. During the American Civil War, the king of Siam (now Thailand) offered Lincoln war elephants to help fight the confederates. Lincoln respectfully declined.
15. Astronauts often see random flashes of light in space, even through closed eyes. This is caused by cosmic rays passing through their eyes or optical nerves. Scientists think the light is either generated by Cherenkov radiation or by the ray being powerful enough to activate the optical nerve.
16Karl P. Schmidt
A herpetologist named Karl P. Schmidt documented his own death after he was bitten by a juvenile boomslang snake. He made detailed notes on the symptoms he experienced, almost right up to the end. He died 24 hours after the bite, bleeding in his lungs, kidneys, heart, and brain.
17. In 1900, a category 4 hurricane was raging through the Bahamas. The advanced weather stations in Cuba tried to inform the US Weather Bureau that it was headed west to Texas. They ignored the Cubans and claimed it was headed north instead. The hurricane hit Texas killing up to 12,000 people.
18. The male Platypus is venomous during mating season and its venom is immediate, sustained, and devastating. Though the venom is not lethal to humans, it produces excruciating pain that may be intense enough to incapacitate the victim. The venom is immune to all forms of painkillers including morphine and it lasts for months.
19. Shuttlecocks used in professional badminton are made of feathers from the left-wing of a goose. Feathers from the right-wing make them spin the wrong way.
20. American businessman Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt died when RMS Lusitania sank in 1915, after giving his lifejacket to a young mother and her baby. He knew that he could not swim and that there were no other lifeboats available at the time. His body was never recovered.
France was the first western European country to decriminalize homosexuality way back in 1791. The man who presented it, Louis-Michel le Peletier, stated that only “true crimes” ought to be punished, and not “superstition.”
22. Rapper DMX became addicted to crack cocaine at the age of 14, has fathered 15 children and has been arrested over 20 times.
23. In 1859, during a massive solar storm, telegraph operators in Boston, Massachusetts unplugged their batteries and were able to send messages to Portland, Maine using only the auroral current.
24. The Southern Baptist Church formed in 1844 when Baptists living in the south opposed the efforts of Baptists living in the north to prevent missionaries from owning slaves. So they formed the Southern Baptist church, a church that explicitly allowed slavery.
25. A German filmmaker named Philip Gröning once asked Carthusian monks for permission to film a documentary of their lives. They responded affirmatively 16 years later and Gröning then came alone to live at the monastery, where no visitors were ordinarily allowed, for a total of six months in 2002 and 2003. He filmed and recorded on his own, using no artificial light. He then spent 2.5 years editing the film. The final cut of ‘Into Great Silence’ contains neither spoken commentary nor added sound effects. It consists of images and sounds that depict the rhythm of monastic life, with occasional intertitles displaying selections from Holy Scripture.