Random Facts Sheet #357 – Curious Nuggets of Knowledge: 35 Little-Known Random Facts That Will Surprise You

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1Stoner and Kalashnikov's Friendship

Stoner and Kalashnikov's Friendship

Shortly after the Berlin Wall fell, Eugene Stoner, inventor of the AR-15, and Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47, met near Washington, D.C., and developed a friendship that lasted until Stoner's death seven years later.

2. Iceland has no McDonald's restaurants anywhere in the country. McDonald's left Iceland on October 30, 2009, as a result of the 2008-2011 Icelandic financial crisis and high import tariffs on imported ingredients, which required the prices of their products to increase.

3. Burt Ward once claimed that ABC prescribed him penis-shrinking pills because his bulge was too large for his Robin costume.

4. King Alfonso XIII of Spain was known as "the Playboy King" and considered the pioneer of pornographic cinema in Spain. He commissioned immoral and degenerate pornographic films, including those depicting sexual relationships involving Catholic priests, and had a passion for "women with enormous breasts."

5. The Movile Cave in Romania has been completely sealed off from the outside world for 5.5 million years and has evolved dozens of animal species found nowhere else. These animals are sustained only by toxic chemicals in the air and water, not photosynthesis.

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6Jethro Tull's Satirical Album

Jethro Tull's Satirical Album

Jethro Tull's album "Thick as a Brick" was created as satire, poking fun at the 10-plus minute songs from prog rock bands at the time. It is now considered one of the best prog-rock albums of all time.

7. When Buddy Holly died six months after being married, his widow inherited everything but signed over 50% to his family.

8. The aardwolf knows not to destroy its food sources. Aardwolves eat part of a termite mound, leave it, and return a few months later when the colony has rebuilt so it can have another meal. An aardwolf keeps track of mounds it has attacked and can eat 250,000 termites in a single night.

9. The Japanese turned the third of their superbattleships (after Yamato and Musashi) into the largest aircraft carrier ever built at the time. After four years of construction at enormous cost, she left the shipyard and was immediately sunk by a submarine.

10. The crews of Apollo 11, 12, and 14 had to spend three weeks in quarantine after returning to Earth because of the possibility that they might have spread contagions from the moon on earth.

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11Sperm Whales: Youth Babysitters

Sperm Whales: Youth Babysitters

Sperm whales use babysitters. Sperm whale youths cannot dive as deep as their mothers, so when the mother needs to forage in the deep, the youth is kept safe by swimming with other adult whales.

12. In 1974, the band Ace had their only hit, "How Long (has this been going on)." The song is not about a cheating girlfriend. It's about the band's bass player, who was moonlighting with another band.

13. Just like in the Tarantino film "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," Sharon Tate really did have the habit of going barefoot in Los Angeles. When she went to restaurants with a "No Shoes, No Service" rule, she would frequently put rubber bands around her ankles to pretend that she was wearing sandals.

14. One of Hitler's earliest allies and closest friends, Ernst Röhm, was actually openly homosexual, despite the Nazis' hatred for homosexuality. He was the leader of the SA until 1934, when he was killed during the Night of the Long Knives.

15. The 'Puckle Gun," considered to be one of the first machine guns (1718), had a specialized square-shaped bullet to be used against Turks as a means to "convince the Turks of the benefits of Christian civilization."

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16Bourne Supremacy: Reshot Ending

Bourne Supremacy: Reshot Ending

The ending of "The Bourne Supremacy" was reshot just two weeks before its release. Director Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon came up with a new idea that would cost $200,000 and involve pulling Damon from the set of Ocean's 12. The movie scored 10 points higher with the new ending and made $176 million.

17. James Blunt gave Weird Al Yankovic permission to parody his single "You're Beautiful." But after Yankovic recorded "You're Pitiful," Blunt's record label refused to let it be commercially released. Yankovic didn't include it on his album. Instead, he released it as a free digital download.

18. In 2001, Disneyland tried to re-theme their aging "Submarine Voyage" attraction around Atlantis: The Lost Empire, but the movie flopped. They tried again with Treasure Planet, but that was a flop too. They finally succeeded with Finding Nemo in 2005.

19. A man suffering from fatal familial insomnia, a condition whereby you become biologically incapable of sleep, attempted vitamin therapy, sensory deprivation, stimulants, and anesthesia to sleep, which only managed to prolong his life by 12 months.

20. In 2021, a man in Spain died inside the leg of a paper-mache Stegosaurus. It was thought the man entered the Stegosaurus to retrieve his phone, and days later he was found by a father and son who noticed a smell coming from the statue.

21Scrabble Dictionary: Dumpster Delay

Scrabble Dictionary: Dumpster Delay

The word "dumpster" wasn't added to the Scrabble dictionary until 2022 due to it being a trademark before.

22. Coca-Cola's Simply Orange Juice is made by an algorithm known as the Black Book. Oranges are divided by source, type, sweetness, acidity, etc. flash-pasteurized, and then combined with flavor packages according to the Black Book algorithm to have a consistent taste countrywide and year-round.

23. An estimated 50,000 Irish were made into indentured servants by Cromwell after he took Ireland in 1653.

24. Winslow's Soothing Syrup was a medicine used in the early 1900s to quiet infants and teething children. Popular in the US and UK, it took twenty years of doctors' complaints before it was withdrawn from the market for being a "baby killer." Its main ingredient was morphine.

25. A 69-year-old South Korean woman named Cha Sa-soon gave her written driving test 960 times before she finally passed and was given her license.

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