Random Fact Sheet #250 – 30 Oddball Facts That Will Leave You Speechless

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1George Lucas

George Lucas

When George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, Lucas donated nearly the entirety of the $4 billion to charities based on education and wellbeing.

2. In 2018, an 88-year-old former commando named John Nixon was attacked by five robbers who were mugging a woman. He was stabbed in the hands and head after he tried to disarm one of them. They fled afterward, leaving empty-handed. Nixon survived the encounter and recovered in hospital.

3. Sperm whales can vocalize at 230 decibels, which is about 100 decibels more than a jet engine (from 100 feet away). The sound is so loud that, if close enough, it can paralyze or even kill a human by vibrating their body to death.

4. Tomato plants fertilized with human urine produce up to four times more fruit and had higher levels of beta-carotene and protein than traditional fertilizers.

5. When Monty Python and the Holy Grail screened at the Cannes Film Festival, firefighters came in and made everyone in the cinema go outside as there was a bomb scare. As the projector stopped, the audience roared with laughter thinking it was all part of this movie.

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6US Army helicopters

US Army helicopters

All US Army helicopters are named after indigenous North American tribes.

7. Pavilion Lake, a freshwater lake in Canada is one of only a few lakes in the world to contain living coral reef-like structures believed to resemble early life on earth or life on other planets.

8. The asteroid belt is nowhere near as crowded as portrayed in movies and on TV. There are millions of kilometers between each object and astronauts would probably not even realize they were flying through the belt.

9. Canadian game show host Monty Hall was born Monte Halparin. Excluded from medical school due to secret quotas restricting the number of Jewish students, he got a job in broadcasting. His station misspelled and shortened his names, making him Monty Hall. He co-created and hosted "Let's Make a Deal" for almost 30 years.

10. The Christian Cult called "The Children of God" encouraged its female members to enter into sexual relationships with potential converts to lure them in. Called 'Flirty Fishing', they 'successfully' lured over 100,000 men into the cult.

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Humanity nearly became extinct 72000 years ago as human population plunged to just 40 'breeding pairs' due to a super volcanic eruption. Toba eruption dimmed the sun for six years, disrupted seasonal rains, choked off streams and scattered whole cubic miles of hot ash across acres and acres of plants and trees, killing them. Humans are genetically less diverse than most species largely due to this (and possibly others) bottleneck event.

12. Photographer Lassi Rautiainen documented an unusual friendship between a female grey wolf and a male brown bear in Finland. He spotted them together every night for 10 days straight, spending several hours together between 8 pm to 4 am. They would even share food together.

13. American science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein challenged readers' possible racial preconceptions by writing strong, sympathetic characters, only to reveal later that they are of African or other ancestries.

14. Producer Jeffrey Katzenberg revived Walt Disney Studios by many of their biggest hits: The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Beauty, and the Beast and Aladdin. After these, he requested promotion and was then abruptly fired by them. He then swore revenge against Disney and founded Dreamworks.

15. Up until 1991, there was a dedicated position in the British Armed Forces called 'The Keeper of the Apes'. Their job was solely to care for the monkeys of Gibraltar. The military even had a budget for ape-related expenses. Any sick or injured monkey was cared for in British hospitals.

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In 2009, a parrot was banned from a football game in England for imitating the referee's whistle and causing confusion.

17. Steve Martin and Martin Short both turned down the role of Lloyd in Dumb and Dumber. Originally the Farrelly Brothers didn't know who Jim Carrey was and was only told that he was "The White Guy" on In Living Color series.

18. A mother from Washington State named Lydia Fairchild was accused of fraud and kidnapping her own children. During the application for government assistance, her DNA test showed that she had no connection to her kids. It turned out she has chimerism. She has 2 sets of DNA which was the reason behind the maternal test anomaly.

19. There are over 7,500 varieties of apples. One particular variety of it is called the Pink Pearl, which is known for its taste, resembling that of a raspberry, but it smells like a grapefruit.

20. The cool Japanese bamboo water features that give out a ‘DOOK’ sound are called Shishi-odoshi. Originally created to scare away deer or boar, to prevent them from eating crops, they are now used as an audiovisual aesthetic.

21George Preston Marshall

George Preston Marshall

In 1962, when Washington Redskins owner George Preston Marshall refused to integrate his team, President Kennedy forced his hand by refusing to allow the team to play in their then-new stadium, which was on Federal land. Marshall relented and became the last NFL owner to integrate.

22. A starfish does not have the capacity to plan its actions. If one arm detects an attractive odor, it becomes dominant and temporarily over-rides the other arms to initiate movement towards the prey.

23. To shoot a documentary called Kadoma, 2 American Pro Kayakers and their South African guide named Hendri Coetzee attempted the first descent of the Lukuga River in The Democratic Republic of Congo. Seven days into their expedition, the guide was snatched out of his kayak by a 15-feet crocodile and never seen again.

24. In 1793, Thomas Jefferson requested a 1 kg copper cylinder from France, to be used as a weight standard in adopting the metric system in the United States. The ship carrying the copper was blown off course into the Caribbean, where it was looted by pirates.

25. South Korean singer PSY, famous for Gangnam Style, stayed up late for about 30 nights to come up with the dance. He had tested various "cheesy" animal-inspired dance moves with his choreographer, including panda and kangaroo moves, before settling for the horse trot, which involves pretending to ride a horse.

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