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

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26Bronze Buckle

Bronze Buckle

A 1000-year-old bronze buckle from East Asia has been discovered in Alaska. This proves that indigenous people in North America might have been interacting with the Old World earlier than previously thought.

27. Indonesia is the world’s largest island nation. It contains thousands and thousands of islands. Indonesia has so many islands it has never been able to fully count or name them. Indonesia is embarking on an ambitious island census to count the islands and registering their names.

28. The Habsburgs were a dynasty that at one point controlled much of Europe. Many members of this family inherited a distinctive protruding jaw. Charles II (“the bewitched") was the last Spanish Habsburg. He suffered from multiple health issues and infertility and died without heirs in 1700.

29. Before making a speech in 1912, Teddy Roosevelt was shot in the chest from 5 feet away. Instead of going to the hospital, he proceeded to make a 90-minute speech with the bullet still in him. His steel eyeglass case and folded-up 50-page speech stopped the bullet from hitting any vital organs.

30. During the Salem witch trials, the accused witches weren’t actually burned at the stake. The majority were jailed, and some were hanged. But none of the 2,000 people accused ever got burned alive.

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31Baked Beans On Toast

Baked Beans On Toast

When people in the UK talk about eating “baked beans on toast”, they are not referring to the US-style baked beans that consist of a brown sugar base. They have a completely different style of baked beans with a tomato base.

32. The length of a day on Mars has been known (within 3 minutes accuracy) since 1666 but the length of a day on Saturn was a mystery until 2019.

33. There is a material called FOGBANK that's used by the US Department of Energy that's so top secret and compartmentalized, that the government once actually "forgot" how to make it due to a lack of actual records and dwindling institutional knowledge. Its composition and its use in the weapon is also classified.

34. The “London Necropolis Railway” was a railway line which opened in 1854 just to carry corpses (and mourners) to a cemetery (at the time the largest in the world) 37km away from the city. There were even two stations in the cemetery, one for the Anglicans and one for non-Anglicans.

35. Tatsuo Horiuchi is a Japanese retiree who uses Microsoft Excel as a painting platform because he didn't want to spend money on paints.

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36Whale Killing

Whale Killing

The USSR killed more than 180,000 whales between the 1950s and 1991 despite bans and fading commercial demand. The reason was that the quota for whales were never updated to match the need for them.

37. Coffee doesn't actually dehydrate you. A 2003 study found that the diuretic effect of caffeine is negligible in people who regularly consume caffeinated drinks.

38. In the Middle Ages, there was a belief animals understood the concept of morality and possessed rationality. They were summoned to court, put on trial for a variety of offenses, and given the same punishments as humans. Lawyers defended pigs, rats, and sheep. Even flies and slugs faced judgment.

39. Sea snakes can die of thirst and rely on rainwater that sometimes pool on the ocean surface in order to survive.

40. The Jose Marti Park in Tampa is owned by Cuba and for 60 years it was the only piece of Cuban-owned land in the United States.

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