Random Fact Sheet #248 – Wackiest 40 Facts You Never Knew You Needed

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26The Great Chain

The Great Chain

The key to American victory in the Revolutionary War was the 75-ton “Great Chain” that stretched across the Hudson River to prevent the British from moving inland. It was such an obstacle, they paid Benedict Arnold £20,000 for the plans to the Chain’s main defenses, at Fort West Point

27. Japan has spent $600 million protecting two rocks that are part of the coral reef Okinotorishima because it gives Japan a 200 nautical mile (370.4 km) exclusive economic zone (EEZ) around the atoll.

28. Hypnagogia is the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep during which many hallucinations can occur, including the sensation of being bigger/smaller than yourself, floating, or falling.

29. Cross dominance or mixed-handedness is a motor skill manifestation where each hand is better at different activities. Ex: being a lefty when writing but preferring the right hand for throwing a ball, etc.

30. Sir Ian McKellen turned down the role of Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise as he felt it would be inappropriate after the previous actor, Richard Harris, called him a 'dreadful actor.'

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31Argentina and Uruguay battle

Argentina and Uruguay battle

In 1841, during a naval battle between Argentina and Uruguay, the ship from Uruguay ran out of cannonballs. The captain ordered his men to shove the hard balls of cheese they had onboard into the cannons and to fire those. The cheese tore holes in the Argentine ship's sails and killed 2 sailors.

32. Eric Betzig conceived the idea for the world's first super-resolution microscope while being unemployed after quitting his job at Bell Labs due to being frustrated with the scientific community. He built this microscope in his friend's lounge room and went on to win the Nobel Prize.

33. Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit! for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System had no real instruction manual. Instead, there was a fake manual with a sticker reading, "Real men don't need instructions". The game also featured dinosaurs, acid-spewing mummies, and robot sentries as enemies.

34. Limewire developed a subscription-based music-streaming service called ‘Grapevine,’ but industry execs wouldn’t accept the inevitable, and chose to sue them into obsolescence instead. Years later, Spotify arrived.

35. Jupiter's moon, Ganymede, is larger than Mercury and would be classed as a planet if it were orbiting the Sun rather than Jupiter.

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Back in 2010, a man named Jon McLoone ran 15 million computer simulations of the game Hangman and found out that the most difficult word for that program to guess is "Jazz."

37. The farthest distance that a lost pet dog has found his way home occurred in 1979 when Jimpa, a labrador/boxer cross, turned up at his old home in Pimpinio, Victoria, Australia after walking 3,218 km (2,000 miles) across Australia.

38. In 1972, hours after American politician George Wallace was shot in an assassination attempt, Nixon rushed E. Howard Hunt to the shooter's apartment to plant campaign literature for Democrat George McGovern, hoping to sway McGovern supporters to Nixon. Hunt called it off after the FBI sealed off the apartment.

39. A topless, laid-back statue of Abraham Lincoln stands at a federal court in Los Angeles. Sculptor James Lee Hansen explained in 1941 that “from a sculpturing standpoint, it’s better to show the body without any clothes, [so] that’s why I left ’em off.”

40. The record for most generations alive in a single-family was set in 1989 and the number was seven. Augusta Bunge aged 109 years was followed by her daughter aged 89, her grand-daughter, 70, her great-grand-daughter, 52, her great-great-grand-daughter, 33, her great-great-great-granddaughter, 15 and her great-great-great-great-grandson born in 1989.

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