Popeye the Sailor became so popular during the Great Depression that consumption of spinach increased by 33%. His popularity also led to American children listing spinach as their third favorite food, after turkey and ice cream.
2. Alchemist Hennig Brand is thought to have used upwards of 1500 gallons of human urine in his quest to make gold. After he evaporated, boiled and distilled it multiple times, it started to glow in the dark and burst into flames. He had instead discovered the element phosphorus.
3. Hannie Schaft was a WWII Dutch resistance fighter known as “the girl with the red hair”. She carried out assassinations and sabotages, but once refused to kidnap the children of a Nazi official. At her execution, she was shot and injured and taunted her killers by saying “I shoot better”.
4. At age 113, Bernando LaPallo continued to shop for himself, cook, bathe, shave without any assistance from anyone to help him in and out of the shower. He generally slept by 9:30 and got up at 3:30 or 4 am.
5. American Rapper Pusha T wrote the famous McDonald’s jingle “I’m lovin it” in 2003 but does not own any of the publishing rights for it. He learned from his multi-million dollar mistake and now owns 40% of the publishing rights of the “We have the meats” campaign from Arby’s.
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The Pantheon, in Roma, holds the record for the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome and presents no signs of weakening more than 1800 years after its rebuilding.
7. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Lithuania could not afford to send its men’s basketball team to the 1992 Olympics, so the rock band ‘Grateful Dead’ sent the team colorful, free-flowing tie-dye warm-up jerseys with a flying, dunking skeleton, and the team took the bronze medal.
8. During the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s, a woman named Ruth Coker Burks used her salary as a real estate agent to provide support, medication and palliative care for more than 1000 AIDS patients whose families had abandoned them, and she also helped to bury some of them in her own family cemetery in Arkansas.
9. An “unpaired word” is a word that, according to the usual rules of the language, would appear to have a related word, but does not. Examples of this include: disgruntled, nonchalant, and ruthless.
10. In the 1920s, a man convinced his wife to pull out all her teeth and then refused to buy her dentures because it was ‘cheaper to feed her soup than solid food’. The wife took him to court and the man was told to get her two new sets of teeth and at least a beefsteak a week.
Some Californian red and white wines went up against French wines in a 1976 blind competition judged by the top wine experts in the world. It was considered a non-event... until the American wines won and it changed the wine industry forever.
12. Ferdinand Demara posed as a surgeon aboard a Navy destroyer in the Korean War and was forced to perform surgery on 16 people. He proceeded to speed-read a textbook on general surgery and was able to successfully perform all the surgeries without anyone dying.
13. Chinese billionaires are trying to “return” China’s lost cultural artifacts that were looted from the country by colonial powers in the 19th Century. Their efforts range from “buying back” said artifacts to hiring thieves to steal them away from museums and private collections.
14. The American flags at Disneyland don’t have 50 stars and 13 stripes. Therefore they are not classified as true American flags and do not need to be lowered or lit every night.
15. About 67% of millennials see their pet as part of the family and refer to them as a “fur baby.” They would like to take leave from work to care for a new pet if their employer offered it. Millennial dog owners spend an average of $1,285 per year on their pets.
When British scientists discovered homosexual behavior in penguins in 1911, they were so shocked that they published the study in Greek so it would remain accessible to only a few scientists.
17. The concept of fairy dust was only added in the later iterations of Peter Pan after several reports came forward of kids hurting themselves attempting to fly from their beds.
18. Famous chemist and lifelong bachelor Robert Bunsen once proposed to a girl who said yes, but he then lost himself in his work for a few weeks. When he finally emerged from his lab, he couldn’t remember if he ever proposed or not, so he did it again, only to have her turn him down.
19. The first-ever Super Bowl Halftime Show (1967) didn't feature award-winning musicians, but rather two men flying around with jet packs. The spectacle was witnessed by 60,000 in attendance and 50 million watching at home.
20. Throwing rice at weddings will not cause birds to explode and the myth that it is harmful was probably started by churches and wedding venues who didn’t want to clean it all up and for them to avoid potential slip-and-fall lawsuits.
When KFC opened in China in the late 80s, the restaurant accidentally translated its famous slogan “Finger-lickin’ good” to “Eat your fingers off.”
22. Hans Litten was a German lawyer that represented Nazi opposition during various trials. In 1931, he subpoenaed and cross-examined Hitler for hours. His bravery eventually resulted in his detainment and torture in various concentration camps, leading to his death by suicide.
23. Scientists believe that younger Sand Dollars sift through sand and ingest small grains of Magnetite, an iron-rich deposit found in the ocean. These Sand Dollars will then take these grains and store them in chambers inside their body to help weigh them down and keep them from floating away.
24. The last person to die of smallpox was Janet Parker in Birmingham the UK in 1978. She was infected in the laboratory at Birmingham Medical School. When the Professor in charge of the lab found out about her illness, he committed suicide.
25. Jan Baalsrud was a Norwegian who took 11 commandos into the fjords aboard a fishing boat full of explosives to sabotage the Nazis during World War 2. His feet froze solid and an avalanche buried him. He then used a knife to amputate his frostbitten toes and his escape made him into a Norwegian national folk hero.