Random Fact Sheet #313 – Discover the Unexpected: 30 Jaw-Dropping Random Facts

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1Video Jokey

Video Jokey

In east Africa, movies are often watched with a “VJ” or “video joker” who provides live narration over the movie for translation, contextualization, or comedy purposes.

2. Muammar Gaddafi had a burning hatred of Switzerland. Following the brief detention of his family in Geneva, Gadaffi declared a jihad against the country and used all of his speaking time at the 2008 G8 Summit to propose the country’s abolition.

3. Having resulted in 77 human deaths in 9 years, Australia’s horses and cows are deadlier than its snakes and spiders. Kangaroos killed 60 in that time, while snakes and lizards have only killed 23. Spiders haven’t killed anyone since 1979.

4. The oldest living elephant, Vatsala, lives at an Elephant camp in a Tiger Reserve (as of July 2021). At 105, she has lived for more than double the age of an average Asian Elephant. Despite losing her vision to cataract, she has been able to navigate using her trunk and support from her herd members.

5. In 2016, two thieves in New Zealand accidently stole a box full of extremely smelly “stoat anal gland oil”, mistaking it for drug-making materials.

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6Early Puberty

Early Puberty

Early puberty is a hereditary genetic condition. In one writer’s case, it meant growing pubic hair when he was only 2. According to him, “I Was a 4-Year-Old Trapped in a Teenager’s Body.”

7. When the Miami Marlins built their new stadium, they consulted NASA to make sure no one could hit a home run of more than 500 feet. Aaron Judge hit one 513 feet at the Home Run Derby in 2017.

8. In 1299, Florence banned the use of Arabic numerals in banking, and in 1348 Padua outlawed zero. The bankers switched to having two sets of books: one with Roman numerals to show authorities, and another with Arabic, to do calculations.

9. Saddam Hussein once burned his son Uday’s car collection, consisting of hundreds of rare, luxury cars, as punishment for Uday’s shooting at a dinner party, which killed several people and injured Saddam's half-brother.

10. There is a religion in Vietnam called Caodaism. Its followers believe in a single god who sent many prophets. Some of these prophets include Buddha, Confucius, Jesus Christ, Muḥammad, Pericles, Julius Caesar, Joan of Arc, Victor Hugo, and Sun Yat-sen. It even has a Holy See and Pope figure.

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11Free Schindler’s List Airing

Free Schindler’s List Airing

Ford Motor Company paid for an uncensored, commercial free airing of Schindler’s List in Primetime on NBC in 1997. It included two short intermissions with countdown clocks.

12. The California condor louse exclusively parasitizes the California condor. During efforts to save the condor from extinction, it became extinct itself due to all condors being deloused. This led to major debates about the ethics of saving one species from extinction by killing another.

13. While Austria derives its name from the Germanic for East, Australia gets its name from the Latin for South.

14. PEZ Candy was invented in Vienna, Austria by Eduard Haas III as an alternative to smoking.

15. While many states in the USA have an official food or state fruit, Oklahoma is the only state with an official meal. The full meal is upwards of 2000 calories. A bill to repeal the official meal due to health concerns failed to pass.

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161938 Manmade Flood

1938 Manmade Flood

In 1938, the Chinese caused an intentional flood in an attempt to stop the advance of Japanese troops. It is estimated that 400,000-900,000 people died due to the flood.

17. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream was invented by Ben and Jerry’s in 1984 after a fan anonymously listed it as an idea on their ‘flavor board.’

18. In 1991, a plane crashed after an inspector from the afternoon shift started repair by unscrewing 30 screws, but failed to pass the information when changing shifts. The plane then fell from 3 km height, killing everyone on board.

19. The royalties for The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony” now go to its songwriter Richard Ashcroft, after Mick Jagger and Keith Richards finally agreed in 2019 to grant him the authorship of the song and all the future royalties it generates.

20. Key Limes were considered a weed until The Great Freeze of 1894-95 destroyed Florida’s lemon groves. Farmers replanted “Mexican” limes and they became known as “Florida Key Limes, a beloved regional crop.”

21Inside Pisa Tower

Inside Pisa Tower

The inside of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is completely empty.

22. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were just 2 of dozens of Japanese cities subjected to massive incendiary attacks. Firestorms leveled almost 100 square miles in Japan's three largest cities (Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya) alone. Hundreds of thousands were killed and millions were forced to evacuate.

23. There is a breed of horse called the Yakutian that is native to Siberia. Bulkier than other horse breeds, it has extremely long hair for its coat and can withstand temperatures as low a -70°C (-94°F).

24. The Statue of Liberty was a recycled idea originally meant for Egypt. The original statue was to be called “Egypt Carrying the Light to Asia” and the statue was to sit at the entrance of the Suez Canal. The project was rejected due to its cost and the idea was recycled to be “The Statue of Liberty.”

25. The Sunshine 60 building is a skyscraper in Japan, which is considered haunted in modern folklore. It was built over the former Sugamo Prison, the place where many high-ranking Japanese war criminals, the most famous of which was Hideki Tojo, were held and eventually executed.

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