Random Fact Sheet #267 – 40 Bizarre Facts That Will Leave You Wondering

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Meth was used as an antidepressant from the 1930s to the 1950s. A man named Gordon Alles patented the drug after he was injected with it and found that he became talkative and gained "a sense of well-being". 

2. In the mid-1990s, a man in Montana was able to build fully armed Cobra attack helicopters out of supposedly demilitarized military surplus parts. He then used them to hunt coyotes.

3. Otters are capable of killing and eating alligators by drastically wearing out the gator in a fight. The lactic acid buildup in the body would intoxicate the gator, eventually killing it. The otter then rips the alligator hide off with its razor-sharp claws and eats the gator organs.

4. American president Teddy Roosevelt nearly died on several occasions while exploring the previously uncharted River of Doubt. After surviving a close call with a coral snake and an emergency surgery on his leg, he became delirious with a fever and repeatedly demanded to be left alone to die in the jungle.

5. Teddy Roosevelt once had his boat stolen by three armed thieves. With the help of two friends, he built a new boat and personally tracked down and captured the thieves.

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In 1872, a group of hunters in India captured and 'saved' a 6-year-old feral boy they saw trailing behind a pack of wolves in the forest. The boy only ate meat, despised wearing clothes, sharpened his teeth on bones, and communicated in animal noises. He might've served as inspiration for Mowgli.

7. In 2010 a land dispute between India and Bangladesh was solved by rising sea levels. The New Moore Island/South Talpatti in the Sunderbans was completely submerged by water and vanished thus solving the dispute.

8. "Coyote Time" is an invisible feature in some games where game developers give players who walk off the edge of a cliff time before gravity kicks in to prevent rage quitting.

9. Sidney Lewis joined the British Army at age 12, fought in the Battle of the Somme at age 13 but was sent home when his mother complained. He reenlisted without her knowledge, fought in Austria in 1918, and went on to fight in World War 2, before retiring to run a pub.

10. The town of Bridal Veil in Oregon maintains a functional post office despite not having had any permanent residents for more than three decades. This is because each year several thousand couples go out of their way to mail their wedding invitations from Bridal Veil for the unique postmark.

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11Romantic Attraction

Romantic Attraction

People really do have a "type" when it comes to romantic attraction. According to a study, 50% of people’s preferences for faces is unique to them, and who we find attractive is most strongly influenced by our life experiences.

12. African American architect Paul Williams learned to draw upside down because white clients were uncomfortable sitting next to a black man. He practiced mostly in Southern California and designed the homes of numerous celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, and Lon Chaney.

13. There's a "Women Only" village in Kenya, Africa named Umoja Village that was created in 1990 as a safe haven for women escaping violence.

14. Ferdinand Magellan didn’t actually circumnavigate the globe. He was killed by a poisoned arrow in the Philippines, and under the leadership of Juan Sebastian de Elcano, his expedition completed the trip without him.

15. Hard Drives are Drive "C:/" because originally PCs only had up to 2 floppy disk drives labeled A and B. Sometime later hard disks got added and became drive C.

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16Titanic Sinking

Titanic Sinking

During the sinking of the Titanic, an order to evacuate women and children first by Captain Smith was misinterpreted to mean women and children only. As a result, men were prevented from entering lifeboats even when there were empty seats. Only 20% of the men survived.

17. During Napoleon's exile on Saint Helena, no ship could leave the island until the governor laid eyes on him to make sure he doesn't escape. Napoleon sometimes hid just to cause problems to ships trying to leave the harbor.

18. Some languages like English and Mandarin Chinese are spoken slower than others, like Spanish and Japanese, with 20-30% fewer syllables spoken per second. However, in "slower" languages, more information is conveyed in fewer words, but the same amount of information is communicated per unit of time.

19. In 1790, Thomas Jefferson proposed a decimal-based system for weight, length, and volume that predates the metric system. If it had been adopted, 1 mile would equal 10,000 ft, an inch would be divisible by 10, and 1 cubic foot would equal exactly 1,000 ounces.

20. 67% of the prisoners in India have not had a trial due largely in part to the 25+ million backlogged cases. It is estimated that with the current amount of judges it would take at least 12 years to clear the pending cases.

21Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey was the first actor to have three films go straight to number one in the same year. The year was 1994, and the films were The Mask, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and Dumb and Dumber.

22. Danny Elfman of Oingo Boingo fame, who also composed the themes for many Hollywood hits like Back To School, Beetlejuice, Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Men in Black, & Edward Scissorhands, was rejected from his elementary school orchestra "for having no propensity for music."

23. Disney tried unsuccessfully to trademark "SEAL Team 6" the day after the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

24. The name "Dracula", used by Romanian ruler Vlad the Impaler (and later by Bram Stoker), means "son of the Dragon". His father, Vlad Dracul, was a member of the Order of the Dragon, a Christian chivalric order (named after St. George and his legendary defeat of a dragon) that fought the Ottomans

25. Boston's debut album was initially rejected because band founder Tom Scholz had recorded and produced it entirely in his basement. In order to appease/fool the label, Scholz hired someone to pretend to produce the album while he rerecorded and reproduced the same album from his basement again.

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