Random Fact Sheet #253 – 40 Most Uncommon Facts You Never Knew

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1Trained monkeys

Trained monkeys

Majority of coconuts exported worldwide are picked by trained monkeys. Most coconut oil and meat comes from Thailand where monkeys are used to climb trees and retrieve coconuts. Male monkeys on average can retrieve 1,600 coconuts a day whereas humans only get about 80.

2. In 2001, Stan Lee was given the opportunity to re-imagine DC's Justice League and he made Batman black, Wonder Woman Hispanic, and The Flash a teenage girl.

3. New York City’s tap water is full of copepods (tiny crustaceans). Because of this, the water is technically not kosher.

4. Nigerian-Americans are the most educated ethnic group in the United States. According to the Migrations Policy Institute, 29% of Nigerian-Americans have graduate degrees (compared to 11% of the overall American population)

5. After all the local swans were eaten by Alligators a Florida woman wrote to Queen Elizabeth for assistance. The Queen provided two royal Swans. The Swans alive in Lakeland today are their direct descendants.

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6Chameleon Effect

Chameleon Effect

The "Chameleon Effect" is how people subconsciously copy other people. This mainly includes accents, facial mannerisms, and vocal inflections. People who can hear and separate musical notes are more susceptible to the Chameleon Effect. They also come across as more empathetic or nice to others.

7. Psychologist B.F. Skinner tried to train pigeons to serve as guides for bombing runs in World War 2. After canceling the project, he successfully taught the pigeons to play ping pong instead.

8. A rescue ship at the Titanic sinking pulled a dead infant from the sea who wasn’t able to be identified. The ship’s sailors paid for a graveside monument dedicated to The Unknown Child. In 2007, DNA testing showed the child to be from an English family of six, the Goodwins, who all drowned.

9. People have been living in the multi-story buildings of Taos Pueblo for over 1,000 years, the longest continuously inhabited place in the USA.

10. Attila the Hun died of a nosebleed. On his wedding night, he drank heavily and passed out in his bed. He then had a severe nosebleed and choked to death on his own blood.

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11Antimony pills

Antimony pills

In the 1700s, pills made out of the element antimony were taken orally as a laxative for constipated bowels. Once they passed through, they were retrieved from the excrement to be used again. Some families passed down the same pill from one generation to the next.

12. Black tea and green tea come from the same plant. The only difference is black tea is fermented.

13. Cheetahs are so instinctively shy animals, especially in captivity, that they even fail to procreate. Therefore for years, conservationists have been giving cheetahs emotional support dogs who are raised with them and help them socialize and reduce anxiety.

14. In 2018, Judge Judy made $147 million, and she films her show 52 days a year. Thus, in 2018 she made approximately $2.8 million a day when working.

15. When bandleader Miles Davis checked into a hospital for routine tests, doctors suggested he have a tracheal tube implanted to relieve his breathing after repeated bouts of pneumonia. The suggestion provoked an outburst from Davis that led to an intracerebral hemorrhage that killed him.

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16Antonio Pigafetta

Antonio Pigafetta

Antonio Pigafetta was an Italian tourist who joined Magellan’s historic circumnavigation around the world. Magellan himself was killed, and only 18 crew members survived, including Pigafetta. His surviving journal is where most of the information about the voyage comes from.

17. Manatees rely on their farting abilities to keep them afloat. When they have gas stored up, they’re more buoyant and float to the surface. When they fart out that gas, they sink. When constipated and can’t pass gas, they can't swim properly and float around with their tail above their head. 

18. One of the rarest fish in the world is the Devils Hole Pupfish. They are only found in Devils Hole a water-filled cavern in Nevada and are critically endangered with only 136 fish (as of 2019) left in the wild.

19. Among Queen Elizabeth II's many honors - she is an Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska. Its award certificate "requires all officers, seamen, tadpoles, and goldfish under your command to be obedient to your orders as Admiral". Nebraska is America's only triply landlocked state.

20. Before he was president, Abraham Lincoln was a wrestler winning 299 out of 300 matches. Old Abe is actually in the Wrestling Hall of Fame.

21Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain came up with the song's title when a friend wrote "Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit" on his wall. She meant that Cobain smelled like the deodorant Teen Spirit, which his girlfriend wore. Cobain said he was unaware of the deodorant and had interpreted it as a revolutionary slogan.

22. Fermi's Paradox proposes theories for why we haven’t heard from or seen any aliens, one of which is that they aren’t communicating because of an impending threat they know about, that we are not aware of.

23. A unit of 'shyness' is called a Dirac, named after the famous theoretical physicist and father of quantum physics, Paul Dirac. Known for his succinctness, his colleagues jokingly defined 1 Dirac as 1 word per hour.

24. There is a form of telephone fraud called the "one ring scam," in which the scammer calls the victim via the area code (473) at times in which the victim is unable to take the call, and then when the victim calls back an automatic $20 fee is charged to their account for making the call. 

25. When Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashed, the first helicopter on the scene that evening reported no signs of life so rescuers decided to pause and continue the next morning. Many initial survivors slowly died through the night from shock and exposure, leaving 4 survivors out of 524.

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