Random Fact Sheet #318 – Unveiling Wonders: 35 Facts That Will Leave You Astonished

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1Professor John Mainstone

Professor John Mainstone

Professor John Mainstone ran a long-running study on a pitch drop but he missed every single drop. He missed it in 1977 because he went home tired, another in 1988 because he went to get a cup of tea, and in 2000 due to a malfunctioned webcam. When the next drop finally fell in 2014, he had died 8 month earlier.

2. Anime characters shout out their attacks because manga is black and white and it would be confusing for readers to tell what is going on.

3. Vampires were not inspired by bats. Bloodsucking bats were only discovered in Latin America in the 16th century, while the earliests vampires stories were from 12th century Europe.

4. One of the richest families in history was a German merchant dynasty, the Fuggers. One member, Jakob Fugger (d. 1525) ranks among the wealthiest men in modern history with $400 billion, 2% of Europe's GDP. The name Fugger was originally rendered as, F*cker.

5. US Navy Admiral Michael Boorda was the first person to rise from the enlisted ranks to become Chief of Naval Operations. He killed himself after being accused of wearing 2 unauthorized service ribbons.

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6Residential Air Conditioners

Residential Air Conditioners

In 1914, the first residential air conditioners cost between $10,000 and $50,000 (or $120,000 to $600,000 inflation-adjusted). By the 1960s, they were as low as $416 (or $4,000 inflation-adjusted). Since then, heat-related deaths in the U.S. have declined by 80 percent.

7. After studying every prediction that Spock made, it was discovered that the more confident he was in his predictions, the less likely they were to come true. When he described something as being "impossible," he ended up being wrong 83% of the time.

8. The anti-diabetic medication, metformin, is derived from French Lilacs. In medieval times, French lilac was used to treat the symptoms of a condition we now know today as diabetes mellitus.

9. In 1985, the French foreign intelligence service bombed and sank a Greenpeace vessel while the vessel was moored at Auckland, New Zealand.

10. Black stones in Go are manufactured to be slightly larger compared to the white ones, to compensate for the optical illusion of white objects looking bigger when placed adjacent to black objects.

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11Cruise Dumps

Cruise Dumps

The cruise line industry dumps 255,000 US gallons of greywater and 30,000 US gallons of blackwater into the sea every day.

12. In 1952, a neighborhood cat named Room 8 wandered into a classroom at an elementary school in California. He lived in the school during the school year and then disappeared for the summer, returning when classes started again. This pattern continued without interruption until the mid-'60s.

13. German Novelist Franz Kafka starved to death because tuberculosis in his throat would not allow him to eat.

14. Purkinje Effect is the tendency of humans' eyes to get more sensitive towards the blue end of the spectrum as the lights dim. This is the reason why in movie theaters, chairs are usually red. In low light, red is the first color the human eye loses sight of, hence enhancing our viewing experience.

15. There were two versions of the horror movie Dracula (1931) filmed at the same time. An English version (the Bela Lugosi classic) was filmed during the day and at night, a different set of actors filmed a Spanish version using the exact the same sets.

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16David Ruffin

David Ruffin

After Motown mega group 'The Temptations' fired lead singer David Ruffin, he snuck on stage during a live show, grabbed the mic, and sang a full song, stunning the band and the audience. The band hired more security but Ruffin kept finding ways to sneak on stage, grab the mic, and sing a song.

17. Creatures with compound eyes aren’t watching you when you move around them. The pupil-like dot seems to move because you are looking straight down one of the many long cylindrical structures that make up their eyes.

18. Jerry Seinfeld's association to the phrase "What's The Deal With.." was caused by an SNL sketch he was in mocking Observational Comedians that always say the phrase before a joke. Seinfeld himself rarely said the phrase in his shows and in all 180 episodes of his series he only said it 4 times.

19. 'Smart' motorways in the UK, with 70mph speed limits, are built without a breakdown lane. Coroners have ruled that this has contributed to several fatalities and referred Highways England to prosecutors to consider a corporate manslaughter charge.

20. The Palace of the Parliament in Romania is the heaviest building in the world. Started in 1984, it is still unfinished, with only 400 of 1100 rooms in use. The lowest of 8 basements is a nuclear bunker linked to 20 kilometers of tunnels. It has 480 chandeliers & a million cubic meters of marble.

21Cassandra Peterson

Cassandra Peterson

Actress Cassandra Peterson, best known for her horror character Elvira, was severely burned by boiling water as a child. She underwent 17 skin grafts throughout her childhood, covering over 35% of her body.

22. Post-micturition Convulsion Syndrome a.k.a. 'pee shivers' seems to be more frequently reported by men than women, with no definitive researched reason why it happens in the first place.

23. On the first day of the Korean war, the South Korean navy spotted and sunk a ship carrying 600 North Korean commandos near the Southern port city of Busan. Since the city was barely defended, historians believe that had they landed, South Korea would've fallen before UN forces could intervene in the war.

24. All of the platinum ever mined could fit inside the average person’s living room.

25. From 1948, until 1963, all young men in Britain between the ages of 18, and 30 had to serve two years (later four) national service in the military.

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