Random Fact Sheet #95 – 45 Facts to Expand Your Knowledge

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26Vasily Stalin

Vasily Stalin

After a plane crash that wiped out almost the entire Russian National Hockey team in 1950, Stalin's son (Vasily Stalin) feared his father's reaction and recruited a new team in one day and his father did not even notice.

27. Underwater basket weaving has been used as a pejorative term for excessively easy/useless/niche courses for at least the past 65 years.

28. It took 49 years to publish the first authoritative English dictionary. It took 5 years to publish the first part, A to Ant.

29. Bulgarians refer to bucket hats as "idiotka", which means idiot hats.

30. Michael Jackson couldn't read or write music. Instead, he fully realized music in his head and recorded himself singing the different parts on a cassette recorder.

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31Bog butter

Bog butter

Bog butter is an ancient waxy substance often found buried in peat bogs that was used as a way of preserving butter in ancient Ireland. The butter would gain flavor notes from its surroundings that were namely described as “gamey,” “moss,” “funky,” “pungent,” and “salami.”

32. Johnny Stompanato was a bodyguard and mafia enforcer for Mickey Cohen. He dated actress Lana Turner who he physically abused. On April 4th, 1958 after threatening the life of Turner, her mother, and daughter he was stabbed to death by Turner's 14-year-old daughter (Cheryl Crane).

33. Some chimpanzees have been observed sharpening sticks with their teeth and using them as spears to hunt small mammals.

34. Male rhesus macaque monkeys will pay to look at pictures of female rhesus macaques' bottoms.

35. There is a species of samurai ant (Polyergus samurai) that is known to raid rival species nests, kill all the rival ants, collect the rivals eggs, and raise those hatched ants as slaves.

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36Seattle's Space Needle

Seattle's Space Needle

Seattle's Space Needle is an example of Googie architecture, a type that flourished in the post-World War 2 era and was parodied on The Jetsons. It was named after the West Hollywood Googie's Coffee Shop designed in 1949 by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright.

37. The city of Detroit has its own local currency, fully backed by U.S. currency. It's printed in $3 bills and features the Spirit of Detroit over the Detroit Skyline.

38. After India, the state of Texas now has the world's second-largest tiger population.

39. The oldest recorded murder victim was probably murdered 430,000 years ago. Archaeologists have discovered a skull dating from 430,000 years ago which shows distinct evidence of foul play. This is the earliest clear case of deliberate, lethal interpersonal aggression in the hominin fossil record, demonstrating that this is an ancient human behavior.

40. If you get a zebrafish drunk, it convinces the other sober fish to follow it around.

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41Box beds

Box beds

People used to sleep indoors in ornate boxes called “box beds” or “lit close” to protect themselves from wolves, stay warm, and have some privacy.

42. In 1982, a man named Larry Walters attached his lawn chair to helium balloons and flew to 16,000 feet. He ended up floating in the path of pilots at Los Angeles International Airport. Armed with a pellet gun, he controlled his descent by firing the gun at the balloons, popping them one by one.

43. All of Michael Jackson's 'Dangerous tour' profits which were over $125 million were donated to various charities.

44. In 1910, the United States almost introduced wild hippopotami into Louisiana to get rid of water hyacinth.

45. "Peine forte et dure" was a type of torture used in the common law legal system when a person remained silent upon questioning. It consisted of progressively heavier stones placed upon the chest until either a plea was entered, or the person died. It was legal for about 500 years, until 1772.


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