Random Fact Sheet #311 – The Random Revolution: 40 Mind-Expanding Facts

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The giant-impact hypothesis says that 4.5 billion years ago, a planet named Theia collided with Earth. The collision resulted in the formation of the Moon and much of the water on Earth is from Theia. The remains of Theia can be found on both Earth and the Moon.

2. When sonar was first invented, operators were puzzled by the appearance of a ‘false seafloor’ that changed depth with the time of day and amount of moonlight. It was eventually identified to be a previously unknown layer of billions of lanternfish that reflect sonar waves and migrate up and down.

3. The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) holds the record for the band having the most Billboard Hot 100 top 40 hits (20) without a number one single in US chart history.

4. When his owner died in August 1936, Shep the Dog followed the casket to the railroad station and watched it being loaded onto a train heading to the eastern US. For six years until his own death, he would greet every train that arrived each day, expecting his master to return.

5. Ford originally wanted to unveil the 2021 Ford Bronco on July 9, 2020. However, the debut was rescheduled for July 13 when it was pointed out that July 9 is the birthday of O.J. Simpson.

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The United States Department of Defense runs on the Linux operating system. In fact, the US Army is the single largest installed base for RedHat Linux, and the US Navy nuclear submarine fleet runs on Linux.

7. Japan has so many “ghost houses” that they are commonly given away at low/no cost.

8. Thomas Jefferson once sent a giant moose carcass to Paris to prove that America’s animals were bigger than Europe’s.

9. Stingray injuries are almost never fatal. When Steve Irwin was killed in a stingray attack in 2006, he was only the second reported fatality in Australia since 1945. Only one to two fatal attacks are reported each year worldwide.

10. In 1999, author of the Dilbert comic Scott Adams released “the blue jeans of food”: a microwave burrito he affectionately dubbed the Dilberito. The product tanked, with the creator himself later admitting that “three bites made you fart so hard your intestines formed a tail.”

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11Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert

When Stephen Colbert was younger he wanted to be a marine biologist, but the surgery left him deaf in one ear and without a right eardrum. The removal of his eardrum meant he could no longer scuba dive without complications, thus ending pursuit of his dream and allowing his career in comedy instead.

12. Military Chocolate was made to taste terrible on purpose, as to have the soldiers actually save it for emergencies instead of eating it prematurely.

13. Bethesda Games set up a challenge that would reward any couple free Bethesda games for life if they gave birth on Skyrim’s 11/11/11 release date and named the baby Dovahkiin. One couple took up that challenge and their son is now called Dovahkiin Tom Kellermeyer.

14. About 50 years ago, Ham the Chimp was launched into space, where he experienced up to 14.7g during a 6-minute free-fall. He survived his ocean splashdown (although he nearly drowned before rescue crews arrived) and lived 20 more years at a zoo in Washington D.C.

15. Bakersfield and Fresno were built on top of a former lake, Lake Tulare which was the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. It was drained for agriculture after the Civil War and was completely gone by World War 1.

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16Iron Ore Line

Iron Ore Line

In Scandinavia, the Kiruna to Narvik electrified railway carries iron ore down a steeply graded route. On the way down the trains generate large amounts of electricity by regenerative braking, which is sufficient to power the empty trains back up the track and pump excess energy into the grid.

17. Muhammad Ali went to Iraq in 1990 against the then-President George H.W. Bush’s wishes to secure the release of 15 American citizens held hostage in Iraqi prisons, and brought them home.

18. Full House and Friends were shot on the exact same stage. When Full house wrapped production it was almost immediately redesigned for Friends.

19. When a plane was hijacked over Switzerland in 2014, the neighboring countries of Italy and France had to send their own fighter jets to the scene because the incident happened outside of the Swiss Air Force’s business hours, and even hijackings weren’t important enough to pay for overtime.

20. A legend goes that during the Thirty Years’ War, a Catholic army wanted to destroy Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany for resisting the Count of Tilly. Tilly declared that if anyone could drink 3.25 liters of wine in one go, he would spare the town. The local mayor saved the town that day.

21Fruit Flies

Fruit Flies

When a male fruit fly is sexually rejected by a female fruit fly, it will seek out more alcohol than those that have successfully mated.

22. The first Soviet citizen to visit the White House was Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a female World War 2 sniper who had 309 confirmed kills, one of which was a sniper she dueled for 3 days.

23. Energy consumption in the United Kingdom has remained the same as in the 1970s, due to more efficient appliances and domestic solar technology.

24. The reason the rainbow has indigo/violet and not just purple is because Isaac Newton was obsessed with the number 7 for occult reasons. He had to have 7 colors.

25. There are no commercial king crab farming operations because, in part, these crabs go through a violently cannibalistic adolescence and have to be housed individually to survive it, which is too expensive large scale.

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