Random Fact Sheet #310 – Randomly Awesome: 30 Facts That Will Leave You Speechless

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1Maryland 400

Maryland 400

During the American Revolution at the Battle of Long Island, 400 Maryland Soldiers repeatedly attacked a superior British force in order to allow Gen. Washington’s army to escape total destruction. Washington said of them, “Good God, what brave fellows I must this day lose.”

2. A Polynesian man named Tupaia drew an incredibly accurate map for Captain Cook, but it was misunderstood to be badly made and unusable. The map puzzled people for centuries until some researchers finally figured out how to use it correctly.

3. Talk-show host Stephen Colbert half-jokingly ran for US President in the 2008 election. He stated that he would only run if he received a sign, which came when Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, appeared on his show and gave him a replica of the sword, ‘Anduril.’

4. There is more water in the vapor and clouds above the Amazon rainforest than there is in the Amazon River.

5. The first reported successful blood transfusions were performed by the Incas as early as the 1500s. Spanish conquistadors witnessed blood transfusions when they arrived in the 16th century.

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6Soft Bristle Brush

Soft Bristle Brush

American Dental Associations exclusively recommends “soft” bristles for toothbrushes. Medium or firmer brushes are considered harmful because they can erode teeth enamel and damage your gums.

7. 1970's Guess Who song “No Sugar Tonight” was created when the band’s guitarist saw a tough biker in a California intersection getting yelled at by his girlfriend for not taking out the trash and leaving her with the kids. She added, “And one more thing, you ain’t getting no sugar tonight.”

8. In 2016, “Live Nation” admitted that less than 1/3 of the tickets for a popular tour were available to fans. When “The Tragically Hip” announced their final tour, 2/3 of tickets were sold to brokers and more were held for industry guests.

9. For centuries, Poland was home to the largest and most significant Jewish community in the world. Poland sheltered Jews persecuted and expelled from various European countries. About three-quarters of the world’s Jews lived in Poland by the middle of the 16th century.

10. Thomas Jefferson said that his Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom was “meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew, the Gentile, the Christian, and the Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.” It’s on his grave as 1 of his 3 great accomplishments.

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11Charles Hatfield

Charles Hatfield

In 1915, a man named Charles Hatfield convinced the town of San Diego that he could create rainfall using a secret mix of chemicals. The city offered to pay him $10,000 if he could end their drought. A few days later, the town experienced the worst flood of the 20th century. Hatfield never got his money. The city council claimed the floods were an act of God, not an act of Hatfield.

12. Hummingbirds are one of the fastest animals on Earth relative to their body size. They can cover more body lengths per second than any other vertebrate and for their size can outpace fighter jets and the space shuttle, all while withstanding G-forces that would make a fighter pilot blackout.

13. German professor Martin Luther enrolled at the University of Erfurt at the age of 17 to study law which he described as a “beerhouse and whorehouse.” He gave up law for philosophy but eventually left university altogether, sold his books, and became a monk.

14. There are ancient languages that are considered untranslatable or ‘extinct’ because we have no descendant languages to use as a frame of reference for translation. One example is the Etruscan language of Italy that belonged to people who lived in Italy before the Romans.

15. Teddy Roosevelt enjoyed boxing while he was president. His sparring partner once punched him so hard he lost vision in his eye for the rest of his life. Roosevelt never told the other man what had happened.

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16Alcatraz Myth

Alcatraz Myth

Alcatraz’s prison guards created the myths about man-eating sharks and the deadly waters of San Francisco to discourage prisoners from escaping. There is only one recorded shark fatality in San Francisco which was back in 1959.

17. Before Terry Crews was a football player or actor, he was a courtroom sketch artist. He covered the worst murder case in Flint, Michigan’s history.

18. There was a mysterious culture in Eastern Europe between 5500 to 2700 B.C. which constructed sophisticated, organized, densely-populated settlements, only to burn them to the ground every 60-80 years and rebuild the same settlement as before.

19. After an obese umpire died during a game, Major League Baseball decided to enforce weight limits. In 1999 under this policy, umpire Eric Gregg was fined $5,000 for exceeding 300lbs.

20. In the 1980s and 19990s, the Los Angeles Police Department set up a task force to look into the possibility of an active serial killer they dubbed the “Southside Slayer.” In reality, they had 4 or 5 active serial killers.

21Manchester vs Liverpool

Manchester vs Liverpool

The rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool began during the industrial revolution when Manchester built a canal to circumvent Liverpool to avoid paying fees for importing/exporting goods through their port.

22. The only copies of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” and “Beowulf” are unique manuscripts that came from the same private library. Both were nearly destroyed in a fire in 1731.

23. Famous computer hacker Kevin Mitnick only wound up in jail originally because a “friend” was pissed that Mitnick beat him at a $150 bet. After being bested, Mitnick’s then-friend was so angry about losing that he called the FBI and told them about everything Mitnick had ever hacked.

24. Alfred Wintle was a British officer in World War 1, who once tried to escape a hospital disguised as a nurse. Although he successfully attended a women-only dance in the nurses' quarters, he was caught as he forgot to take off his monocle.

25. Actors were not looked upon highly in the Roman Empire and were considered to be on the same social level as prostitutes.

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