Random Revelations: Article #120- 41 Uniquely Interesting and True Random Facts

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Cheetahs can’t roar. They can only meow because of the absence of the hyoid bone in its neck.

2. The German word, Verschlimmbessern, is used to define the act of making something worse in a failed attempt to improve a situation, e.g. trying to dislodge a ball stuck in a tree by throwing another ball at it - which subsequently also gets stuck.

3. Your foot doesn’t fall asleep because of its blood flow being cut off. It happens when the nerves are compressed for a prolonged time.

4. During the Korean War, a British soldier named Bill Speakman led a series of grenade-hurling assaults against waves of Chinese soldiers attacking his post. When he ran out of grenades, he began hurling beer bottles, giving his unit enough time to retreat and stood his ground until he ran out of things to throw.

5. Hummingbirds are only native to the Americas.

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6Richard Stanley

Richard Stanley

Film director Richard Stanley once escaped from war-torn Afghanistan with his wounded cameraman after despite being on LSD that he took earlier. He said the LSD saved his life as he could see in the dark and believed he could smell the landmines.

7. American political commentator Oliver North solicited $10,000,000 from the Sultan of Brunei as a way around US rules on funding Contras in Nicaragua. The money never went to them, but to a Swiss businessman instead because North entered the wrong bank account number.

8. 14 years before the Titanic sank, a book named “Futility” (or “The Wreck of the Titan”) told the story of an unsinkable ship named “Titan” which also struck an iceberg on its starboard side in the North Atlantic on an April night. The fictitious ship closely matched the Titanic’s length, weight, speed, capacity, and lack of lifeboats.

9. In 2012, James Eagan Holmes, the guy who committed the Aurora shooting during the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, was sentenced to 13 life sentences in prison, with an additional 3,318 years for rigging his apartment with bombs and 140 counts of attempted murder.

10. An American doctor named Dr. Ian Crozier survived Ebola after contracting the virus in his eye, which turned it green. He regained his eyesight by taking a non-FDC approved experimental secret drug.

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11Major Patton

Major Patton

In 1932, General Macarthur and Major Patton tear-gassed World War I veterans calling themselves the “Bonus Army.” They had marched on Washington demanding full payment for their service during World War I. 2 vets were killed. Historians claim that without the protest, there may have never been a GI Bill.

12. Polynesians may have traveled to the Americas in pre-Columbian times. Sweet potatoes which originated from the Americas were found in the islands when Captain James Cook discovered them. The Maori word for sweet potato “kumala” is almost the same as the Quechuan's word “k'umara” for sweet potato.

13. Iceland used to have birch forests, but the Viking settlers cut them down and later their sheep ate the saplings, preventing any kind of forest regrowth. This led to the barren landscape we see in Iceland today.

14. In 1894, a female cook named Henrietta Jackson at Cornell University was killed when freshmen redirected chlorine gas into the kitchen as part of a hazing prank.

15. The Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea is 330 meters (1,080 feet) tall and was intended to be world's tallest hotel but these days it is the tallest unoccupied building in the world.

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16The Scream

The Scream

The sky in the famous painting "The Scream" is red probably because of the worldwide effects of Krakatoa's eruption in 1883, which launched particles in the air that changed the sky color for about 5 months.

17. In 1997, the FDA rules governing pharmaceutical advertising changed, allowing companies to name their drug and what it's for, while only naming the most significant potential side effects. Nielsen estimates there's an average of 80 drug ads every hour on American television, up from 3 in 1996.

18. A species of wasp is named Ampulex dementor after the Dementors in Harry Potter. This name was chosen to reflect the fact that the wasp uses a toxin to neutralize the neural behavior of cockroaches and make them docile as if their souls had been sucked out.

19. The box jellyfish has 24 eyes, two of which are capable of seeing color, and four parallel information processing areas that act in the competition. This makes it one of the few creatures to have a 360-degree view of its environment.

20. An author named Ken Ilgunas lived in a van for two years while obtaining his graduate degree at Duke to avoid debt. This is also known as “vandwelling”. His advice for “vandwellers” is don’t drink any liquid before going to bed, come to terms with celibacy, look normal, ensure stealth, and bring essentials.

21Dog petting

Dog petting

Petting a dog can lower your blood pressure.

22. If you've ever worked for the CIA you are forbidden from ever working for the Peace Corps. There's only a 10-year ban if you worked for any of the other U.S. intelligence departments.

23. Over a dozen restaurants in Time Square, New York were sued for adding gratuity to everyone's bill including parties that didn’t have 8 or more guest. Applebees, Red Lobster, and Olive Garden are a few of the places that were sued.

24. The theme songs to DuckTales, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, and Darkwing Duck, all have the same lead singer named Jeff Pescetto.

25. When The Simpsons portrayed Mr. Burns as a Casino owner slowly losing his mind, they did not just include random "crazy" behaviors. They were all based off a real person, business magnate Howard Hughes.

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