Random Fact Sheet #345 – Embrace the Randomness: 30 Facts That Will Surprise and Delight You

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1Theagenes Of Thasos

Theagenes Of Thasos

After the death of ancient Greek athlete Theagenes, his rival athlete who held a grudge against him, beat his statue. The statue fell on his rival, killing him. The statue was then put on trial, convicted of murder, and exiled by being thrown into the sea.

2. There is no difference between "salt water taffy" and "regular taffy." It is simply a marketing gimmick in coastal regions with origins in Atlantic City.

3. Rowan Atkinson first tested his character Mr. Bean in front of a French-speaking audience at the Canadian ‘Just For Laughs’ festival in 1987. Atkinson insisted on performing for local French Canadians to see if Mr. Bean was funny to a non-English audience and people who didn't know him.

4. The Great Binge is the period in history covering roughly 1870 to 1914. It is so known because of the widespread use and availability of narcotics such as opium, heroin, cocaine, morphine, and absinthe.

5. Prince Philip's 'affectionate' nickname for queen Elizabeth was 'cabbage.'

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6Al Rosen

Al Rosen

Famed baseball player Al "The Hebrew Hammer" Rosen was also an amateur boxer and was known for challenging anyone who insulted his heritage or used anti-Semitic slurs, to fight. His preferred method for dealing with anti-Semitism was to 'Flatten them.'

7. The first documented mention of adults playing cricket came from 1611 when two men were fined 12d each for failing to attend church on Easter Sunday because they were playing cricket.

8. French secret service agents bombed the Greenpeace ship "Rainbow Warrior" to stop Greenpeace from disrupting underwater nuclear testing in 1985.

9. During the filming of the Sopranos, when James Gandolfini needed to make Tony Soprano angry, he'd put a stone in his shoe to irritate him, which would then be displayed in his acting scene.

10. The albatross rarely flaps its wings while flying across the ocean. It uses "dynamic soaring" and "slope soaring" to carve through the air, gaining velocity from wind gradients. It can cover almost 1,000km (620 miles) every day, all without a single wing-flap.

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11McDonald's Kids Meal Origin

McDonald's Kids Meal Origin

McDonald's famous kids meal, ‘The Happy Meal,’ was invented in Guatemala in 1974. The original meal consisted of a small burger, small fries, small soda, and a small sundae.

12. In 1961, Thomas Monaghan got half-ownership of "Domino's," now one of the largest pizza companies in the world. All he had to give in return was his used Volkswagen Beetle car.

13. Swimmer Tom Dolan has both exercise-induced asthma and a narrow trachea, giving him access to only about 20 percent of the air an average person breaths. Despite his shortcomings, he was considered one the world’s best swimmers in the 90s. He won a Olympic gold medal twice and is also a world record holder.

14. Baby kangaroos are born as fetuses and climb into their mother's pouches to finish gestation. Mother kangaroos can suspend their pregnancies and produce four different types of specialized milk at one time to satisfy the developmental needs of individual offspring.

15. Crocodiles and alligators are surviving members of an ancient evolutionary division of Archosaurs that dominated the planet in the late Triassic, before an extinction event led to them being usurped by Dinosaurs.

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16Newspaper Extra!

Newspaper Extra!

The term 'extra' as in 'Extra! Extra! Read all about it!' referred to a special paper issued outside the normal publishing schedule. It reported on important or sensational news which arrived too late for the regular edition.

17. In the early '70s, a cannabis strain nicknamed "Acapulco Gold" became so popular at the Columbia University that the college had a dedicated smuggling route via Austin, Texas.

18. Sea cucumbers have anal teeth to stop certain organisms from living inside their butt.

19. Cold reading is a technique used by mediums and psychics in which the reader, through strategic questioning, gets the subject to reveal information, and through clever psychology convinces them the information actually came from the reader rather than themselves.

20. The world's oldest continuously operating library is in St. Catherine's monastery in Egypt. Built in the 550s A.D. by order of Emperor Justinian I, it contains one of the largest collections of early Christian icons, including the earliest known depiction of Jesus as "Christ Pantocrator."

21Tirpitz's Toxic Fog

Tirpitz's Toxic Fog

The German battleship Tirpitz's route along Norway during the height of World War 2 can still be traced by trees along the coast that were damaged by artificial fog it released. It released chlorosulphuric acid to create an artificial fog to mask its location.

22. In the bible, Simon the Sorcerer is a magician who tried to pay his way into the Apostles and knew how to fly.

23. Pemmican was a survival food made of crushed dried meat, suet, and berries. It was so important to early Canadian settlers that wars were fought over it.

24. When Kurt Angle won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1996, his opponent Abbas Jadidi tried raising his arm believing he'd won, leading Kurt to believe he lost. The referee then raised Kurt's hand, and Kurt got more emotional than otherwise cause he genuinely believed he'd lost.

25. Antoni Gaudí, one of Spain's greatest ever architects, once got hit by a tram. People who walked by him assumed he was a common beggar and ignored him until it was too late. He died of these injuries.

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