Random Fact Sheet #275 – 30 Fascinating Facts About Everything Under the Sun

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1Processed food

Processed food

In the Philippines, all processed foods are required to be fortified with a vitamin and/or mineral in order to battle the malnutrition that is prevalent in the country. Because they are cheap, most families can only afford processed foods like chips, ramen noodles, and biscuits.

2. Caffeine narrows the blood vessels in the brain. That’s why headaches are a primary symptom of caffeine withdrawal, as, without caffeine, the vessels widen and increase blood flow, causing head pain.

3. Some leafcutter ants grow antibiotics on their backs so that when their nests get infected with microbes they roll on it to kill bacteria. This new discovery is helping doctors and researchers stop the current antibiotic crisis.

4. In September 1978, a paint scraper worth 15 cents was dropped into the torpedo launcher of the US nuclear submarine USS Swordfish, jamming the loading piston in its cylinder. When divers failed to free the piston, the sub had to be drydocked and repaired at a staggering cost of $171,000.

5. The Ancient Chinese could tell the hour of the day by smell. The incense clock had a timed measure of incense attached to a ball, which then dropped from the display. Each section was indicated by a different aroma.

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6Frozen dairy dessert

Frozen dairy dessert

Some Breyers ice cream had to be renamed in 2013 to "frozen dairy dessert" because it didn't meet the legal definition to still be called "ice cream."

7. Theoretically, spiders of the world combined could eat all the humans within a year, and still remain hungry. Average number of spiders in a square meter is 131, and for some areas, it can exceed 1000 per square meter.

8. A 34-year-old French veterinary surgeon named Jean-Pascal Danneels was a passenger on an airliner that crashed into the Atlantic and disintegrated more than a mile offshore from Côte d'Ivoire. He survived the impact, swam for four hours in darkness to the shore, and lived.

9. The Mordhau technique in historical swordsmanship was a half-sword technique where you turned your sword into a hammer and obliterated your opponent’s skull with the hilt.

10. The 'new castle upon the Tyne' which gives Newcastle upon Tyne its name dates back to 1080 A.D., built by the son of William the Conqueror. The castle was called 'new' because it stood on the site of a 2nd-century Roman fort and an Anglo-Saxon town.

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11The Number of the Beast

The Number of the Beast

During the recording process of the Iron Maiden album ‘The Number of the Beast’, producer Martin Birch was involved in a car accident with a minibus transporting a group of nuns, after which he was presented with a repair bill for £666.

12. The average lifespan of a wild rabbit is only less than a year due to starvation, predators, and disease.

13. Pound Cake gets its name because of how it was made in the 1700s. Originally, the recipe called for one pound each of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs.

14. Due to its docile behavior and it's hibernation patterns coinciding with the rainy season, it has been suggested the Chinese alligator is a source of inspiration for the folklore of the Chinese dragon.

15. A cockatoo at Brookfield Zoo named Cookie lived to be 83. He is believed to be the oldest member of his species and one of the longest living birds on record.

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16Magnolia Springs

Magnolia Springs

Magnolia Springs, Alabama is the only place in the US with a boat only USPS delivery service. The only way to get your mail is through the boat service which has been running since 1915.

17. Bananas glow bright blue under black lights. The closer to being perfectly ripe, the brighter the banana glows.

18. Blindsight is defined as the ability of person who is blind to respond to visual stimuli despite having no conscious awareness of it.

19. China's Hongzhi Emperor (1487-1505) used toilet paper made of silk. When he discovered that palace maids collected his used toilet paper to make curtains, he stopped using silk toilet paper. This led to the unemployment of some silkworm farmers, so he went back to using silk toilet paper.

20. The song "Heart of Glass" by Blondie became a hit in part due to critical exposure on the TV show "WKRP in Cincinnati." In gratitude, the band gave the show a gold record, which can be seen hanging on set from the 2nd season onwards.

21Williamina Fleming

Williamina Fleming

In the 1880s, Williamina Fleming, a pre-eminent woman astronomer who classified tens of thousands of star, and discovered white dwarfs and the Horsehead Nebula, was once a maid in the home of the director of Harvard College Observatory.

22. Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams originally auditioned for each other's roles in the movie Mean Girls. The head of Paramount decided Lohan's audience didn't want to see her as a villain which is why she got cast as Cady and not Regina George. McAdams was seen as too old for Cady's role.

23. Surfing existed in ancient Peruvian cultures, which used reed watercraft since 200 C.E. In 1590, a Jesuit missionary commented, “They looked like Tritons, or Neptunes, who paint upon the water.”

24. The Zapruder film of JFK assassination wasn’t shown to the public until 12 years later (1975) when comedian Dick Gregory provided a copy to Geraldo for his show, “Good Night America.”

25. In the 1800s, there was an NYC neighborhood built on a pond called Five Points. The area was gradually redeveloped in the 1900s. During excavations in the early 1990s, 1 million artifacts from the former neighborhood were found and temporarily stored in WTC 6, which were mostly all destroyed on 9/11.

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