Random Fact Sheet #336 – The Quirk Quest: 30 Fascinating Facts to Feed Your Curiosity

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1Tapeworms

Tapeworms

Tapeworms can live inside you for up to 30 years and grow up to 80 feet long.


2. In 1914, a 17-year-old Princess Mary decided to distribute tin boxes containing small Christmas gifts to British Empire troops at the frontlines of World War 1. After trying to finance it from her allowance, she set up a fund, appealed to the public, and raised the equivalent of £17 million today.


3. The 1st Minnesota Infantry lost 82% of its fighting strength on July 2nd, 1863 at the Battle of Gettysburg. This is the largest loss by any surviving US military unit in a single day's engagement.


4. "Terminal Lucidity" describes the phenomenon of brief return of mental clarity or memory, right before death, in people who suffer from severe dementia and other neurological disorders.


5. Due to the intense heat experienced while flying at 1350 mph, the Concorde's fuselage would expand by up to 12 inches. It was painted white to help dissipate heat.


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6Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

Songwriter Joni Mitchell only released a greatest hits album, "Hits," on the condition that she released a "Misses" album to go with it.


7. Chuck E. Cheese was created by Nolan Bushnell, the Co-Founder of Atari Video Games as a way to open up arcade games to younger children.


8. In the late 1960s, the Lorillard Tobacco Company was successfully sued for sending company vans into housing projects to give out free Newport cigarettes to black children.


9. In 1997, Disney offered to purchase Knott's Berry Farm, which would have been part of the Disneyland Resort and converted to Disney's America, originally meant to be built near D.C. The Knotts refused to sell the park to Disney out of fear that Disney would eliminate most of what Walter Knott had built.


10. Pope Gregory XVI opposed gaslighting and railways, believing that they would create commerce and lead to liberal reforms. Gregory XVI banned railways in the Papal States, calling them Chemins d'enfer ("road to hell", a play on the French for railroad, chemin de fer, "iron road").


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11Types Of Corn

Types Of Corn

There are six major types of corn, two of which are sweet corn and popcorn.


12. In 1981, a TU-104 crashed in Leningrad killing all onboard which included 16 admirals and generals and dozens of other officers. Investigation revealed that the plane crashed due to improperly loaded goods which were brought by generals who went on a shopping spree.


13. Balthasar Gerard, the assassin of William of Orange, was executed in an extremely gruesome manner. Aside from the standard beheading, he also had his hand burned off, his feet crushed, was disemboweled alive, quartered, and had his heart ripped out and thrown at his face.


14. The final Hercule Poirot novel "Curtain" was written in the early 1940s, when author Agatha Christie wasn't sure she would even survive World War 2 and wanted to give the character a proper send-off. After World War 2, she locked it away and had it published shortly before her death in the 1970s.


15. Sea otters were extinct in Washington State between 1910 and 1965. The current population originally came from Alaska and they were evacuated from areas where the US was testing nuclear bombs between 1965 and 1972.


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16The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Secret Life of Pets 2 was released the same weekend as X-Men: Dark Phoenix. It outperformed the X-Men movie, making it the first time an X-Men film did not top the box office the week of its release.


17. The "Coal Wars" in the US refers to a period between 1890 and 1930 when many wars were fought against armed unions of coal workers. The Battle of Blair Mountain alone was the second-largest uprising in the US (only after the Civil War), where over 1,000,000 rounds were fired.


18. Hedgehogs can suffer from 'Balloon Syndrome' where they inflate like a balloon after injury or infection and then need to be deflated to prevent permanent injury or worse.


19. Sassoon Eskell, the first minister of Finance of Iraq was Jewish. One of his notable decisions was demanding that Iraq's oil revenue be remunerated in gold rather than sterling, a decision that saved Iraq huge sums of money when the Pound sterling plummeted.


20. Centipede venom contains over 500 different compounds, many of which show evidence of potent antimicrobial and anticancer properties.


21Eclipse Occurrence

Eclipse Occurrence

An eclipse never comes alone. A solar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse.


22. When naturalist Robert Plot discovered the first dinosaur fossils in 1677, he believed they belonged to giant humans that roamed the earth years ago. It wasn't until 1824 when Oxford professor William Buckland concluded that the fossils belonged to an extinct lizard, the "Megalosaurus."


23. The Assassin's teapot is a two-chamber teapot originating from China that was used to poison enemies by dispensing different types of liquid depending on which hole of the teapot is covered.


24. Onboard Apollo 10's mission to orbit the moon, there was an emergency when one of the astronaut's poop got loose and floated around the ship. All three astronauts denied responsibility. This came to light when the mission transcripts were declassified.


25. Louis Braille started designing his system of writing for the visually impaired when he was just 12 years old and it was mostly completed by the time he was 15.

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