Random Fact Sheet #296 – Wonders of the Unknown: 40 Enthralling Facts

- Sponsored Links -

1Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake

When recording a guest spot on The Simpsons, Justin Timberlake took issue with a line in which he said "Word!" saying it felt inauthentic. As a prank, the staff then edited his dialogue in production so every line ended with him saying "Word!"

2. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) was produced by Quaker Oats. Idea was that they were going to release a chocolate bar & the movie would promote it. However, they goofed the formula & it melted at room temperature. So when the movie was released, there was no chocolate bar to sell. 

3. The rarest naturally occurring element on Earth, astatine, is so rare that there are only 28 grams of it on Earth at any given time. It is difficult to study, as most of its isotopes have a half-life of 1 second or less. Its appearance is not known with certainty.

4. Mariano Martinez in 1971 modified an ice cream machine to create the first frozen margarita machine. He did this to meet the demand for a popular margarita recipe he was serving at the time. You can find his invention on display at the Smithsonian Museum for American history. 

5. Hawaii was not a U.S. state when Pearl Harbor was attacked. It was 18 years after Pearl Harbor that Hawaii officially became the 50th U.S. state on August 21st, 1959.

Latest FactRepublic Video:
15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

6Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood hated the cigars that his character smoked in the “Dollars Trilogy”. Because he would have to do multiple takes, he smoked them quite a bit. According to Eli Wallach, Eastwood would sometimes tell the director: “You’d better get it this time because I’m going to throw up.” 

7. The first country to recognize Greek independence was not any of the western powers, but Haiti, which allegedly sent 25 tons of Coffee beans to finance their rebellion.

8. Robert-François Damiens, after trying to assassinate the king, was sentenced to be executed by having his skin ripped with pliers, molten lead and sulfur being poured onto his ripped skin, then dismemberment by four horses. At hearing this, Damiens replied: “Well, it's going to be a tough day.”

9. The drought of 1976-77 aligned harmoniously with the rise of skateboarding. In an effort to conserve water, pools were being emptied all throughout Southern California. With that, emerging skaters like Tony Alva, Steve Olson, and the late Jay Adams were jumping fences and skating empty pools.

10. Charlie Chaplin’s corpse was dug up and held for ransom in 1978.

- Sponsored Links -

11Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie gave Lin-Manuel Miranda the idea for the song "You'll Be Back" from Hamilton after a guest-starring on House in 2009. Miranda mentioned to Laurie he was trying to write a breakup letter from King George to the colonies and "without blinking, he improv'd at me, 'Awwww, you'll be back." 

12. Harvard University (founded 1636) temporarily lost the title of "oldest university in the United States" when the US colonized the Philippines (1899-1946), as Manila's Universidad de Santo Tomas (founded 1611) predated Harvard by 25 years.

13. After hearing Leonard Cohen's album including "Hallelujah," the head of CBS Records said it wasn't good enough for a U.S. release. Years later, accepting an award, Cohen thanked his record company by saying, “I have always been touched by the modesty of their interest in my work.” 

14. In 1947, American researcher John Calhoun began a 2-year study of rats in a massive pen. Although 5 females could have produced 5,000 progeny, the population never passed 200. The rats did not scatter but organized themselves into 12 colonies of a dozen rats each. He noted that 12 was the maximum that can live in peace.

15. Belgian-Australian singer Gotye didn't monetize his music on YouTube, missing out on millions of dollars in revenue from just his "Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra)" video on YouTube. 

- Sponsored Links -

16Newlywed couples

Newlywed couples

Newlywed couples who watched and discussed five movies about relationships over a period of a month reduced their three-year divorce or separation rate from 24% to 11%. That makes it as effective in reducing divorce rates as a 20-hour therapist-led early marriage counseling program.

17. Staying awake for more than 24 hours brings deficiencies in performance equivalent to having a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.10. Most western developed countries consider 0.05 Blood Alcohol Concentration as the threshold for intoxication.

18. A Japanese journalist named Kiyoshi Shimizu helped solved a series of child kidnapping cases and released an innocent man from further prosecution. He also helped solve the murder of Shiori Ino which led to the changes to the legal treatment of stalking in Japan.

19. In the 1960s, an American doctor named Chester M. Southam tested if his patients could develop immunity to cancer by injecting them with cancer cells without their consent. He went on to be president of the American Association for Cancer Research.

20. The Apollo Guidance computer was programmed in metric but showed imperial values in the displays. Using metric meant fewer calculations thus optimizing the use of the limited processing power and the astronauts were used to imperial so that's what they saw on the display. 



Argentina has the most pets per capita, with 80% of the population having a pet. Argentineans have the most dogs (66% of pet-owners), Russians have the most cats (57% of pet-owners), Turks have the most birds (20% of the population), and Chinese have the most fish (17% of the population).

22. When her son Jeremy began showing symptoms of schizophrenia, Professional glass artist Elli Perkins refused to consult a psychiatrist due to her Scientologist beliefs and tried to cure him with alternative medicine instead. This resulted in Jeremy murdering her because he believed she was trying to poison him.

23. A Christian sect called "Millerites" believed that Christ would return by October 22, 1844. When that didn't happen, the "Great Disappointment" caused them to fall into confusion and disband, with some former Millerites reinterpreting their doctrine and forming the Seventh Day Adventists.

24. Cats commonly have white bellies and paws because when pigment develops in the womb, it starts along what will become the spine and works its way around to the front. Sometimes pigmentation doesn’t make it all the way around, resulting in color on top and white on the bottom.

25. Alexander Graham Bell was a eugenicist and feared the creation of a "deaf race", advocating for the elimination of sign language and deaf schools in order to prevent deaf people from reproducing

- Sponsored Links -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here