Random Fact Sheet #319 – Random Delights: 35 Facts That Will Make Your Jaw Drop

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1Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay has 16 Michelin Stars. Only two chefs have ever earned more.

2. Jouhatsu refers to people in Japan who choose to vanish from their current lives without a trace. There are companies there who can help them do that.

3. Merle Haggard was a prisoner in the audience when Johnny Cash performed for inmates at California’s San Quentin State Prison in 1959.

4. Mice do not have a special appetite for cheese and will eat it only for lack of better options. They actually favor sweet, sugary foods. It is unclear where the myth came from.

5. When Fleetwood Mac broke up mid-tour, their manager decided he owned the name of the band and continued the tour with a completely different band, which he renamed Fleetwood Mac. The tour was eventually canceled due to angry crowds and promoters pulling the shows.

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6Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

About 138 songs of Taylor Swift have entered the Billboard Hot 100 (as of October 2021), the all-time record for a female artist.

7. The transformation of common metals into gold, a seemingly impossible goal attempted by alchemists for centuries, is now entirely possible using either a nuclear reactor or a particle accelerator. However, the process is so expensive that it is functionally useless.

8. An American doctor named William Walker overthrew the Nicaraguan government in 1856 and became president for 10 months. He was overthrown by a coalition of Central American armies and later executed by Honduras.

9. In 1900, the Secretary of the Navy wanted to use the USS Constitution for target practice until it sunk. A benefactor offered to buy it but was refused so he started a campaign that successfully pressured Congress into saving it. Built-in 1797, it is now the oldest ship still afloat.

10. Switzerland has 7 simultaneous “presidents”, each with equal power. Every year they rotate control of 7 federal departments and who acts as “head of state” (e.g. when dealing with other countries). They come from various parties, i.e., right now (as of October 2021) it's 2 conservatives, 2 liberals, 2 socialists, and a centrist.

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11Cornell University Pumpkin

Cornell University Pumpkin

In 1997, a 50-pound pumpkin was speared atop a tower at Cornell University, 173 feet in the air. It stayed in place for months. Alumni are still trying to figure out who did it without being noticed and how.

12. Guevedoces is a term used in a small community in the Dominican Republic for some children who are genetically males but are born with a vagina instead of a penis. Miraculously though at puberty, the vagina automatically fuses into a fully-functioning penis and scrotum.

13. From 1844-1958, there was a statue in front of the Capitol Building depicting Christopher Columbus holding the world in the palm of his hand while a Native American woman cowers in front of him. The statue was removed in the 1950s after protests from Native Americans and it is currently in storage.

14. Agatha Christie has outsold Stephen King and J.K Rowling combined by about 2 billion books.

15. There is an abandoned McDonald’s floating on a barge in Canada. The Mcbarge has been closed for over 30 years.

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16Rick's Dali Painting

Rick's Dali Painting

When Rick James attended a dinner party in Hawaii with Salvador Dali, Dali insisted on drawing him, sketched him on a napkin, and gave it to him. The priceless memento became an inky blob the next morning when he smoked a joint and went swimming with the napkin still in his swim trunks.

17. Hospitals can and do prescribe alcohol to patients in order to prevent delirium tremens and alcoholic withdrawal.

18. Even though Henry Heimlich demonstrated his signature maneuver thousands of times throughout his life he never got the chance to use it in an actual emergency until he was 96 when he saved a woman in his nursing home from choking on a burger.

19. A woman named Angela Hernandez drove her car off a 250-foot cliff and ended up stranded on a beach for a week. She was found alive with a brain hemorrhage, fractured ribs, a collapsed lung, broken collar bones, and ruptured blood vessels.

20. Highly lethal, hallucinogenic, and terrifying effects from consuming the attractive flowers of the Brugmansia (aka angel tears) plant include the documented case of a young man who amputated his own penis and tongue after drinking only one cup of Brugmansia tea.

21Elizabeth Ann Ferret

Elizabeth Ann Ferret

Elizabeth Ann is a black-footed ferret, the first U.S. endangered species to be cloned. The animal was cloned using the frozen cells from Willa, a black-footed female ferret who died in the 1980s and had no living descendants.

22. During Civil War, the North blockaded salt imports and destroyed salt mines in the South to sabotage food preservation. The food shortages resulted in general unrest and contributed to surrender.

23. In 1971, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Jeremy Spencer went AWOL before a gig at LA’s Whiskey A Go-Go and couldn’t be found for weeks. The band eventually tracked him down and discovered that he had joined the religious cult Children Of God and formed a band of his own with the members.

24. Humans didn’t perform the critically acclaimed high five before the 1970s.

25. Traditional battleships are no longer used by any navy. Most were decommissioned following World War 2, but the US maintained 4 that were in and out of service until the 1990s.

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