Random Fact Sheet #286 – Hold on to Your Seat: 45 Thrilling Facts

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1Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka only became an island in 1480, when a cyclone destroyed the land bridge connecting it to mainland India.

2. In 1714, 2 gunships fought for 14 hours before one ran out of ammunition. The captain messaged his opponent, thanking him for a fine duel, and asking for more ammunition so that the fight could continue. His opponent refused, but they then agreed to sail away in opposite directions.

3. A study from Yale found that kids who watched 'Mr. Rogers Neighborhood' retained more information than children who watched 'Sesame Street.' They also had a higher 'tolerance of delay', meaning they were more patient.

4. A South African farmer named Marius Els rescued a baby hippo (Humphrey) from a flood and gave it a home. The farmer fed him, brushed his teeth and helped him. About 6 years later the farmer was found dead with severe bite marks from the hippo and his body submerged in the same river where he rescued the hippo.

5. Dr. Seuss made a connection between himself and The Grinch, stating that he wrote about him to, "rediscover something about Christmas that obviously I'd lost." In the book the Grinch says he has put up with Christmas for 53 years- Seuss was 53 when he wrote and published the book.

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When dreaming, hardcore video gamers have been reported to be able to toggle between first and third-person point-of-view; readily take control over and even enjoy nightmares; and have more dreams that involve far-fetched or impossible scenarios, like imaginary characters or space travel.

7. In the 20th century, the phrase "He never married" was a euphemism used by British obituary writers to imply that the deceased man in question was homosexual.

8. In the 1950s, Scandinavian country Denmark conducted a social experiment and abducted 22 Greenlandic inuit children, assimilating them into Danish culture. More than half died before reaching adulthood.

9. Stephen King got hit by a minivan on June 19, 1999. King had multiple injuries (collapsed right lung, broken hip, and more). King did recover, fortunately, and bought the car, but it got crushed in a junkyard. King was disappointed because he wanted to smash the car.

10. John von Neumann was a child prodigy who could divide eight-digit numbers in his head by age 6 and learned calculus by age eight. He developed computer architecture that virtually all computing devices use today. He became a US strategic adviser and his game theory led to the MAD doctrine.

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11Joseph Blankson

Joseph Blankson

A Nigerian Contractor named Joseph Blankson died while saving 13 victims of a boat accident. He swam in and out of a river 13 times to rescue the passengers. Suffering from exhaustion, he drowned on the 14th rescue attempt. He was the only fatality in the accident.

12. In 2010, Nickelback approached Dark Horse Brewery about having their beer featured in a video, which would have meant great exposure for the small Michigan brewery. They declined, however, as “none of us at the brewery really care for the band.”

13. The book "death by starvation", written by Hegesias of Cyrene, a philosopher who believed that life was futile and advocated for suicide, was so influential that it convinced a number of people to kill themselves. Subsequently, Hegesias was banned from teaching in Alexandria.

14. The Beechcraft Bonanza airplane is nicknamed "the doctor killer". This is due to the number of wealthy professionals who take up flying as a hobby and end up crashing in it.

15. Black Forest Ham comes from the Black Forest region of Germany, where it was originally coated with beef blood to give it its dark color.

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16The Frog Prince

The Frog Prince

In the original version of The Princess and The Frog, by the Brothers Grimm, the princess does not kiss the frog to turn it into a prince but rather throws the frog at a wall as hard as she can which breaks the curse on the frog and turns it back into a prince.

17. The highest g-force voluntarily experienced by a person was 46.2 g's by John Stapp. He rode a rocket sled that reached a top speed of 632 mph, the land speed record at the time and he stopped in 1 second. For a brief moment his body weighed 7700 pounds.

18. The rocket in Jules Verne’s 1865 story From the Earth to the Moon launched from Florida and landed in the Pacific Ocean because of Verne’s calculations. In 1969, Apollo 11 took off from Florida and landed in the Pacific Ocean.

19. Colonel Sanders (which is the highest honorary title in the State of Kentucky) of KFC fame sold his company in 1964 for only $2 million dollars ($17 million today). He remained as a brand ambassador but complained the company had cut costs and made an inferior product than the early days.

20. On 14th December 1971, just two days before officially losing the war, Pakistan made a final effort to kill as many intellectuals (including professors, journalists, doctors, artists, engineers, etc.) as possible, to eliminate the future leaders of the new nation of Bangladesh.

21Linguistic overcompensation

Linguistic overcompensation

Lower-status individuals use more jargon when communicating. The behavior is described by scientists as "linguistic overcompensation."

22. In 1927, Nan Britton, the mistress of US President Warren G. Harding, claimed that her daughter, Elizabeth, had been fathered by Harding, and maintained this despite skepticism until her death in 1991. in 2015, DNA testing confirmed Elizabeth was indeed Harding's daughter.

23. Buster Keaton's famous stunt when a building facade collapses on him, with an open window fitting perfectly around his body, used no trickery. The facade weighed two tonnes, and the mark on the ground telling him exactly where to stand to avoid being crushed was a nail.

24. The iconic riff to Rage Against The Machine's "Killing in the Name" was conceived while guitarist Tom Morello was giving a student a guitar lesson. He then stopped the session to record the part.

25. Old houses in the USA could have hundreds of old rusting razor blades between the walls. This is the result of a safe solution designed to dispose of blades after being used, which was to drop them in a slot in the wall.

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