Random Fact Sheet #347 – Fact Check: 35 Unexpected Random Facts That Will Make You Say ‘Wow!’

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1The Flintstones

The Flintstones

The Flintstones was the most financially successful and longest-running network animated television series for three decades until The Simpsons surpassed it in 1997.

2. A Washington English teacher named Robert Shields wrote diary chronicling every five minutes of his life which consisted of 37.5 million words and filled 91 boxes. He spent four hours a day, in his underwear, recording his temperature, blood pressure, medications, and bowel movements, and he slept for only two hours at a time to record his dreams. He died in 2007 at the age of 89.

3. Ordinary South Korean citizens could not get a passport and travel abroad until 1989, which was right around the time the country saw the end of its brutal dictatorship. Until 1992, South Koreans who wanted to travel abroad still had to go through anti-communist education. Before 1989, the country went through brutal political repression, dictatorship, and even massacres of "leftwing" groups.

4. After being wrongfully convicted and suffering through the longest period of solitary confinement in American prison history, Albert Woodfox's conviction was overturned, and he wrote a memoir entitled "Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades in Solitary Confinement. My Story of Transformation and Hope."

5. When Mozart died unexpectedly at age 35, rumors began circulating that he was poisoned by his colleague Antonio Salieri. Though proven untrue, the accusations and public belief contributed to nervous breakdowns later in Salieri's life.

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6Black Terror

Black Terror

The Black Terror was a fake warship which was used in American Civil War to bluff Confederate forces into destroying the partially-salvaged remains of the ironclad USS Indianola. The Black Terror was also completely fake, and cost $8.63 to construct.

7. Ranch dressing was invented in Alaska by a plumber trying to keep his employees satisfied with his cooking.

8. Spitting Cobras emerged in the fossil record around the same time as early humans. It is speculated that the reason these snakes spray venom is because of the pressure humans in particular put on them. The spraying of venom from a distance countered the humans' use of projectile weapons.

9. In 1997, many people from Kentucky developed CJD (aka human mad cow disease). It was discovered that every single one of them had consumed squirrel brains.

10. Prehistoric monkeys migrated from Africa to South America by traversing the Atlantic Ocean on natural rafts.

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11Millipede With 1000 Legs

Millipede With 1000 Legs

The first known species of millipede that actually has at least 1,000 legs was only discovered in 2020. Before that, the record-holder was a species with only about 750 legs.

12. Between 16th and 17th century, in Europe and America, the concept of 'bundling' was widely used. This process allowed courting couples to share a bed, fully clothed with a 'bundling board' to separate them. This allowed a pair to talk and get to know each other in the safe confines of the girl's house.

13. More than 60% of global steel is manufactured through a process known as ‘basic oxygen steelmaking.’ This process was invented in 1948 by Swiss engineer Robert Durrer. Since the adoption of this technique by the steel industry, labor requirements to produce steel have decreased by a factor of 1,000.

14. Tiny Neolithic baby spoons indicate that new baby gruels were an important innovation in prehistoric baby care, freeing up women to have more babies & leading to unprecedented population growth.

15. The Sega Corporation was originally called Service Games with a focus on coin-operated amusement machines for service members and moved to Japan after the US government outlawed slot machines in 1952.

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The first darknet and the network which is often cited as the beginning of the "dark web", the ‘Freenet,’ was originally a thesis project by Edinburgh University student Ian Clarke. It received a B.

17. Back in 1945, a physicist employed at Kodak in Rochester, New York discovered that atomic bomb testing had taken place in New Mexico, the details of which weren’t yet public. He found that x-ray films they had delivered to customers were returned back due to black exposed spots, which rendered them unusable. Physicist Julian H. Webb discovered that the problem originated from the strawboard which was used to package the film which contained traces of Cerium-141. The straw was sourced from milling plants in Indiana and Iowa. Cerium-141 is one of the fission products of an atom bomb.

18. The average person produces 11,000 gallons (41600 L) of pee in their lifetime, enough to fill up two 16-foot above-ground pools two times.

19. Remora or the Sucker Fish were once used in the Indian Ocean to catch turtles. A rope was tied to the remora's tail and the fish was dropped into the water when a turtle was sighted. The remora would then swim towards the turtle to attach itself to it. The fisherman would then pull them both out.

20. The English town of Pendle Hill derives its name from the old Cumbric word 'pen' (meaning 'hill') and the Old English word 'hyll' (meaning 'hill'). A literal translation of the name could read 'Hill-hill Hill.'

21Shimabara Rebellion

Shimabara Rebellion

There were more than 300,000 Christian converts in Japan around the year 1600. After the failed Shimabara Rebellion led by a Christian samurai, 37,000 Christian rebels and sympathizers were beheaded by the shogunate forces.

22. When Dr. Seuss lived in La Jolla, California, the US postal service kept confusing him with a nuclear physicist named Dr. Hans Suess who also lived in La Jolla.

23. In 1944, a sci-fi writer wrote a short story describing nuclear bombs and their construction methods called "Deadline". It was so accurate that the Counter intelligence Corps feared a leak or spying on the Manhattan Project. In actuality, the info was always there in public scientific journals.

24. Elizabeth Jennings Graham was an African-American woman who, in 1854, successfully sued New York City’s Third Avenue Railway for denying her a seat on horsecar. This lawsuit helped slowly lead to desegregation of the city's public transportation.

25. The little red-haired girl, Charlie Brown's unattainable crush, was based on a woman that Charles Schulz courted who ultimately married a different suitor.

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