Random Fact Sheet #300 – Incredible Revelations: 30 Unbelievable Facts

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1Garbage Recycling

Garbage Recycling

There is a community in Cairo, Egypt that collects the trash of the residents of Cairo and recycles upwards of 80% of it. Nicknamed "Garbage City", these mostly Christian residents have been collecting and recycling Cairo's trash for several decades.

2. An ape named Oliver preferred walking upright. He was bald, freckled, showed sexual attraction towards humans and even liked to pour himself a cup of brandy every night while wearing a smoking jacket. Due to his human-like features and mannerisms he was once believed to be a "Humanzee."

3. There is a street that is split down the middle by the USA-Canadian border, aptly named Canusa street. People who live in houses on the south side of the street are in the USA, and the north side, in Canada. Crossing the street requires having to report to the border crossing office.

4. Rome was basically a ghost town during the Middle Ages. After the fall of the West-Roman empire, the population of Rome dropped from 1 million in 330 A.D. to just 20,000 in 650 A.D. The population remained roughly the same till 1600 A.D.

5. Not all people have an internal monologue and people with them have stronger mental visual to accompany their thoughts.

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Grasshoppers are older than grass, having evolved roughly 250 million years ago.

7. In 2016, the “Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum” in Hollywood paid $4.8 million for Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress that Monroe wore at JFK’s 45th birthday celebration. The purchase cements it as one of the most expensive pieces of pop-culture memorabilia of all time.

8. Courtroom sketches became popular in the earlier 20th century due to a general prohibition of cameras in the courtroom. Artists are able to sketch scenes in just minutes, often from memory. Despite most courtrooms now allowing cameras, sketch art is still in demand today.

9. Elephants can hear through both their ears and feet. Through special fat pads called digital cushions, they can hear sounds other elephants vocalize below the range of human hearing from many miles away. This helps warn them of far-off danger, incoming floods, and rival elephants.

10. The Driftless Area is a rugged area of Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and a minor part of Illinois that was completely missed by glaciers. It is roughly the size of West Virginia, and is home to huge bluffs, deep canyons, and rare species of plants found nowhere else.

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11Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese originated in the 14th Century. A Middle English recipe describes it as "Take and make a thynne foyle of dowh. and kerve it on pieces, and cast hem on boiling water and seeþ it well. take cheese and grate it and butter cast bynethen and above as losyns. and serue forth."

12. The American Smarties candy received their namesake “Smarties” because the creator wanted to encourage people to pursue an education.

13. Frank Eaton, a.k.a Pistol Pete, began training to avenge his father at the age of 8. His father's friend handed him a gun stating, "My boy, may an old man’s curse rest upon you, if you do not try to avenge your father.” He succeeded in his revenge.

14. The Brooklyn Dodgers’ name stems from a nickname given in the 1890s to people who, in a matter of life and death, had to evade railcars speeding down the streets. They were known as trolley dodgers.

15. Queen Victoria's coronation was beset with problems. The coronation ring was painfully forced onto the wrong finger, an elderly Lord fell down the stairs while paying homage to her, and a confused bishop wrongly told her that the ceremony was over.

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16Peloponnesian War

Peloponnesian War

In 1996, the mayors of Athens and Sparta signed a symbolic peace treaty, officially ending hostilities and formally bringing the Peloponnesian War to a close 2,400 years later.

17. Yuri Kondratyuk was a Soviet pioneer of astronautics, who while working in Siberia, built an enormous wooden grain elevator with a capacity of 13,000 tons without using any nails. Due to using such an unusual construction, he was arrested on suspicion of sabotage. The elevator stood till the 90s.

18. Dexter Holland, the lead singer of the Offspring came up with the lyrics to "Come Out and Play" (Gotta Keep'em Separated) while trying to cool liquids in his grad school lab.

19. Snapping shrimps (the family Alpheidae), which grow to only 3-5cm long, compete with sperm whales for the title of loudest animal in the ocean. Their snaps are capable of stunning fish and breaking glass jars. In numbers, the shrimp can interfere with sonar and underwater communication.

20. Mariya Tsukanova was a Soviet medic who during World War 2 saved dozens of lives by taking up a machine gun and firing until she lost consciousness from injuries. Being outnumbered, she was brutally tortured and executed by the Japanese and killed. She was named “Hero of the Soviet Union” posthumously.

21San Pedro cactus

San Pedro cactus

Despite the efforts from the Catholic church, the hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus' name is attributed to the belief that just as St. Peter (San Pedro) holds the keys to heaven, the effects of the cactus could allow its users to reach heaven while still being on earth.

22. During solar eclipses, tree leaves act as pinhole cameras, resulting in trees casting crescent-shaped shadows on the ground. This effect puzzled Aristotle in the 4th Century B.C.

23. People can't eat after a breakup due to the body going into survival mode. There are fewer constrictions and relaxations of the muscles in your stomach and bowels, which consequently slows down the digestion of food.

24. Despite the fact that China is wider than the contiguous United States and could ideally have 5 different time zones, China uses only one time zone called China Standard Time (CST) across the entire country.

25. On the first day the Suez Canal opened, in November 17, 1869, a French ship named the Péluse ran aground and blocked the canal, forcing ships stuck in the canal to wait until the next morning when the Péluse was hauled away.

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