Random Fact Sheet #247 – Craziest 35 Facts You Never Knew

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1Bill Berry

Bill Berry

Bill Berry, the drummer for R.E.M., suffered an aneurysm on stage in 1995, then decided to quit the band along with the whole music industry and took up farming.

2. For Prince’s debut album, ‘For You,’ which released in 1978, Prince wrote, arranged, composed, produced and performed the album all by himself.

3. Unless you have particularly rare facial features, you may have literally thousands of doppelgängers (nearly identical lookalikes) around the world.

4. Former Russian president Boris Yeltsin once on his tour to USA got drunk and wandered into the streets of Washington DC in his underwear, trying to get a pizza.

5. The reason so many African flags have green, yellow and red is because of the Ethiopian flag. It was one of the few independent African nations during the colonial period and therefore the new countries of Africa looked to them for inspiration.

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6Great white sharks

Great white sharks

Great white sharks rarely survive in captivity. Experts suspect being surrounded by glass might either confuse or overload the shark's electroreception system, which is used to sense the electrical signals given off by fish in the open ocean, not necessarily inside a glass box.

7. The founder of Barbie named the dolls after her kids, Barbara and Kenneth. Therefore, the real Barbie and Ken are actually brother and sister. 

8. The 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles was so profitable that profits continue to help fund youth sports as recently as in the 2010s.

9. In 1915, Kulbir Thapa was the first Nepalese Gurkha to receive the Victoria Cross. Thapa carried two wounded Gurkhas through No-Man’s-Land despite being wounded himself. When he went back a third time, German soldiers stopped firing and began clapping, allowing him to walk back to his own line.

10. Talking to yourself in the third person - a technique known as illeism - can improve your decision making and emotional stability.

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11Yang Shangkun

Yang Shangkun

Former Chinese President Yang Shangkun told his doctor before his death that the crackdown on June 4 had been the Communist Party's "most serious mistake in its history, a mistake he couldn't correct but which would eventually be corrected." He had initially opposed the use of force on students.

12. In December 2014, a guy dressed as Santa robbed a bank in San Francisco. The robbery took place during “Santacon”, an annual event in which hundreds of people dressed as Santa swarm Union Square. 

13. British singer Petula Clark caused a stir when she touched the arm of Harry Belafonte during a duet. She refused to destroy the negative and sponsors lost their cool. She and her husband ensured the negatives remained intact by locking herself in the editing suite and refused to do another take.

14. Neil Douglas boarded a flight and found his doppelgänger/lookalike, Robert Stirling, sitting in his seat. The whole plane laughed & they took a selfie. Douglas arrived at his hotel, only to find the same double at the check-in desk. Their paths crossed again at a bar & they shared a laugh & a pint

15. In the book "Gulliver's Travels", the laputans, scientists who live on a magnetically levitating island, discovered two moons of Mars. This was 150 years before we actually discovered Mars had moons.

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16Jonathan Lee Riches

Jonathan Lee Riches

Jonathan Lee Riches got the Guinness world record for having filed the highest number of lawsuits in the world. When he heard of this, he sued the Guinness Book of World Records.

17. In the 1980s American Airlines sold tickets for unlimited travel (priced around $250,000). One passenger, over a period of more than 10 years, traveled more than 10 million miles, accumulated over 40 million frequent flier miles (all of which he gave away), and cost the airline more than $21 million.

18. In German, there are two verbs for eating, one exclusively for humans and one for animals. In fact, you can use the animal verb to imply (impolitely) that someone eats like an animal.

19. Children’s book author and illustrator, Gyo Fujikawa is recognized for being the earliest mainstream illustrator of picture books to include children of many races in her work before it became common to do so.

20. Skateistan is an organization in Afghanistan dedicated to young people's education and skating. 50 percent of the children skating are girls because Afghanistan culture views it as a toy rather than a sport.

21Mongolia ships

Mongolia ships

In 2004, 260 ships were sailing under the flag of Mongolia, despite Mongolia being a landlocked country with no access to the sea.

22. Mr. Rogers enjoyed George Romero's films even calling Dawn of the Dead "a lot of fun." Romero even wanted to cast some actors from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood but Rogers wouldn't let him. 

23. After the fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett was knighted in 2009, he forged his own sword out of iron and some pieces of a meteorite. He humorously said that he was frustrated knights were not allowed to carry around swords anymore due to knife crime laws in the UK.

24. Helen Keller's family forbade her from marrying her fiancé, Peter Fagan, an ex-newspaper reporter who was working as her secretary, because of her disabilities. And the society of her time believed women with disabilities shouldn't experience romance of any kind.

25. In 1964, Muhammad Ali threw his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio River as an act of protest against racism.

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