Random Fact Sheet #274 – Uncovering Most Unexpected Facts: 40 Examples

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The two highest-ranked Sumo referees (Gyoji) have a dagger tucked into the belt of their kimono representing their willingness to commit ritual suicide if they get a decision wrong in the ring.

27. In 1913, Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the Diesel engine mysteriously died while travelling from Belgium to the UK to meet with the British navy about installing his engines on their submarines. His body was found 11 days later floating in the sea. It’s still unknown if he was murdered.

28. Ancient Greek messengers (hemerodromos: one of the men in the Greek military known as day-long runners) routinely ran hundreds of miles to spread information across the Greek city-states.

29. In 2011, the State of New York proclaimed that Wiffle ball, as well as kickball, freeze tag, and dodgeball were "unsafe" for children and that any summer camp program that included two or more of such activities would be subject to government regulation.

30. In 1964, Andy Warhol directed a feature film where Batman battles Dracula, imaginatively titled “Batman Dracula”. The film was never released as Warhol failed to get permission to use the character from DC Comics.

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31Potato cans

Potato cans

During Victorian England winters, street vendors sold baked potatoes for food and as hand warmers. In London, they sold around 10 tons of potatoes every day from "cans" - small metal boxes on four legs fueled by charcoal.

32. It's better to leave an impaled knife in place until it can be surgically removed rather than remove it on the spot - once the knife has punctured deeply, it controls the bleeding. Removing the knife risks uncontrolled bleeding.

33. Dogs can get “Limber Tail” or sore tail muscles from working out too hard, often resulting from swimming. It can cause the dog to have such a sore tail that touching the tail may result in the dog crying and the tail may not wag for days.

34. Ankhesenamun, the daughter of Nefertiti, was forced to marry her father, Pharaoh Akhenaten. After her father's death, she married her half-brother, the pharaoh Tutankhamun. After King Tut died, she was forced to marry her grandfather.

35. In 1962, scientists discovered a limit to how many times human cells divide before they become exhausted. They also figured out that telomeres, which cap the ends of chromosomes and prevent them from fraying, shorten each time a cell divides. When they get short enough, a cell stops dividing.

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36Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes was on a cricket team with the authors of Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh.

37. Vulture bees eat rotten meat and make meat honey from it, which is clear and sweet.

38. John Adams is considered the Father of the American Navy, founding it during the Quasi-War, a non-declared war between America and post-revolution France. Adams believed in peace and neutrality but felt such goals could only be obtained if backed by the ability for America to defend itself.

39. In 1949, French director Willy Rozier challenged a film critic to a duel over comments he had made about Rozier's film. Rozier won the duel (fought with rapiers, to first blood) in front of journalists and photographers. The film was a hit - and footage of the duel is included on the film's DVD.

40. In 216 B.C during the Battle of Silva Litana, the Germanic Boii cut the trees in surrounding forests in such a way that they could fall down with the force of a simple push. Following this they waited and ultimately crushed the approaching Roman column, and destroyed their army of 30,000.

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