Random Fact Sheet #304 – Uncharted Territories of Knowledge: 40 Unbelievable Random Facts

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Apple purchased the iPhone.org domain name in 1999, 8 years before the official introduction of the iPhone.

2. In 1506, Louis II of Hungary was born prematurely and doctors kept him alive by slaying animals and wrapping him in their warm carcasses as a primitive incubator.

3. Curry has a long history of being served in Britain than fish and chips, with the first Indian restaurant opening in 1809 and fish and chips only being served from 1858 at the earliest.

4. When merging two lanes of traffic, a zipper merge is recommended because leaving a lane unoccupied as a result of early merging is inefficient. It only makes traffic heavier.

5. In 2004, there was an "election" for a new Chex flavor in South Korea. The green onion flavor won, but because Kellogg wasn't expecting this, they chose the chocolate flavor anyway. 16 years later, the South Koreans finally got it.

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6Girl Guides

Girl Guides

During World War 1, the MI5 used Girl Guides to deliver secret messages. They used Girl Guides instead of Boy Scouts because they found out that Boy Scouts weren't efficient enough, boisterous and talkative.

7. Jack Foley was so successful in the art of creating sounds for movies that his name was given to a whole new profession: a Foley artist. They specialize in creating sounds that are hard to record during filming.

8. The first documented gold found in the United States was discovered by 12-year-old John Reed, who pulled a 17-pound gold nugget from a North Carolina creek. Unsure of the substance, Reed's family used the nugget as a doorstop for several years before selling it to a jeweler for $3.50.

9. A company called Tweeter had its most active stock trading day in its history five years after it went out of business, after traders mistook their stock for that of Twitter, causing the price of the defunct company's shares to rise 1,000%.

10. In 2019, Pope Francis received a bottle of Oban malt whiskey while visiting Scottish priests, and declared it to be 'the real holy water'. The BBC captured the footage for a documentary, which was censored by the Vatican.

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Sharks smell in "stereo," that is, they can detect the tiny delays in the time it takes for a scent to reach one nostril compared to the other and use it to determine the direction from where the scent is coming. This helps them in tracking their prey.

12. In 1939, a woman tried to assassinate the 11-year-old Shirley Temple while she was singing “Silent Night” on a live radio show, under the logic that the star had swiped her daughter's soul and shooting her would unleash it.

13. Large sections of Montana and Washington used to be covered by a massive lake held back by ice. When the ice broke it released 4,500 megatons of force, 90 times more powerful than the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated, moving 50 cubic miles of land.

14. During the Golden Age of Piracy, women sometimes became pirates by disguising themselves as men in an effort to take advantage of freedom and rights that only men could enjoy. Anne and Mary were two famous female pirates of that time who fell in love with each other’s disguised manly appearance.

15. In 2017, the British Nutrition Foundation ran a survey that found that 18% of 5 to 7-year-olds thought fish fingers are made from chicken, and 29% thought cheese came from a plant.

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16Rigby family

Rigby family

In 1911, the Rigby family included their cat Tom in their census form. 'Tom Cat' was listed as being an 8-year old, married Mouse-Catcher, Soloist and Thief with 16 children. His birthplace was listed as Cheshire and he was described as being 'speechless' in the infirmity section of the form.

17. “Three-quarter siblings” are siblings who are genetically halfway between full siblings and half-siblings. This happens if they share the same father, but different mothers who are sisters or the same mother but different fathers who are brothers.

18. Galba, the sixth Roman emperor, was so unpopular that after he was murdered by his successor Otho, around 120 people claimed credit for killing him, hoping that Otho would reward them. However, Otho was then deposed by Vitellius, who ordered them all executed.

19. An oil exploration company dug up seamonkey cysts in the 1990's while drilling near the Great Salt Lake that were radiocarbon dated to be 10,000 years old, and when the cysts were placed in water, some of them hatched.

20. In 1821, during the Greek War of Independence, 120 Greek men held out against 8,000 Ottoman soldiers, causing 900 casualties against 6 of their own deaths. This bought time for the Greek army to regroup.

21Lease Human Bodies

Lease Human Bodies

It’s legal in the US for companies to sell or lease human bodies that have been “donated to science.” Many donated bodies have to be paid for by researchers, and funeral homes earn a kickback for every “donation.”

22. When Apple ads claimed the iPhone X took “studio quality photos” there were complaints to the UK’s advertising standards about misleading statements. These were rejected because there isn’t a technical definition of what “studio quality photos” is: it’s completely subjective.

23. The Hammer Museum in Haines, Alaska is the first museum in the world dedicated to hammers, and it boasts 1400 hammers and related tools ranging from ancient times to the industrial era. Its mission is to educate the general public about the history and use of hammers.

24. "Nitrate free" labeled cured meats often use celery juice, which is naturally high in nitrates.

25. Bessie Coleman was the first African-American and Native American female pilot. She would only perform if the crowds were desegregated and entered through the same gates.

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