Random Revelations: Article #146- 46 Unexpectedly True and Captivating Random Facts

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1Normandy American Cemetery

Normandy American Cemetery

France has granted the US permanent, rent-free possession of the American cemetery in Normandy, which contains the remains of 9,387 fallen troops plus a memorial of 1,557 killed there whose remains were either not found or not identified.


2. The drug cocktail that allows AIDS patients to survive came along just months after Freddie Mercury died.


3. Support team members who work for Waffle House Corporate spend one day a year working inside a Waffle House restaurant.


4. “It's not the fart that kills you, it's the smell”, is a famous quote by Norwegian rally car driver Petter Solberg. In Norwegian, fart means speed and smell means impact. The expression has become a meme.


5. English author Terry Pratchett was a Skyrim and Oblivion modder.


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6Devil's Cigar

Devil's Cigar

The Devil’s Cigar is a fungus that strangely only exists in a small area of Texas and Japan, separated by 11,000 km. They have been separated across the continents for at least 19 million years. The fungus looks like a cigar, hisses, releases clouds resembling smoke and then splits open into a something resembling a flower.


7. The letters Q, W, and X were illegal in Turkey for 85 years until 2013 because the letters were associated with the Kurdish language. Enforcement wasn't that strict for Western companies (like Xerox), but in 2005 a group of Kurds was fined 100 lira for holding up signs with the letters.


8. After Prussia had its army limited to 42,000 men, King of Prussia enrolled the permitted number of men for one year, then dismissed that group, and enrolled another of the same size, and so on. Thus, in the course of ten years, he was able to gather an army of 420,000 men who had at least one year of military training.


9. A study shows that smokers have been found to be more successful at quitting smoking when they go "cold turkey" (sudden abstinence), as opposed to gradually cutting back.


10. A study examined the brains of nuns who engaged in “centering prayer,” which is meant to create a feeling of oneness with God. The nuns’ brain scans showed similarities to people who use drugs like psilocybin mushrooms.


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11Harlan County War

Harlan County War

There was a decade-long conflict, lasting from 1931 to 1939, in Harlan County, Kentucky, to unionize the coal mines. It resulted in many deaths, several bombings, and three separate instances of intervention from the National Guard.


12. The Late Bronze Age Collapse was a dark-age transition period which was seen throughout the world. During this phase, incredibly rich, powerful, advanced civilizations, who were dependent on complex trade and agriculture, vanished in the span of a human lifetime and transformed into small isolated village cultures.


13. Students at Oberlin College can rent original paintings by Picasso, Monet, and Dalí (among others) to hang in their dorm rooms for $5 per semester.


14. India is the largest producer of mangoes, it accounts for less than 1% of the international mango trade; India consumes most of its own production.


15. PayPal Mafia is the original group of PayPal founders and employees who have gone on to become one of the most successful groups of individuals in the world. The portfolio of companies they have founded includes; Tesla, Youtube, Space X, Linkedin, Yelp, and Founders Fund, to name a few.


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16Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud

Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud's development of psychoanalysis, including concepts such as the id, ego, superego, and libido, was all done under the influence of a constant supply of cocaine, which he advocated unreservedly, and even endorsed for cash.


17. R. Lee Ermey, the actor who played the drill instructor in “Full Metal Jacket”, was originally meant to be a technical advisor for the film. However, after Ermey made a tape tirading over the various extras, he was cast as the instructor.


18. A Minnesota man named Scott Wagar once sprayed toilet-papering teens on his property, with a squirt gun full of fox urine.


19. There is a 'Richter scale for human calamity' called the Foster scale. According to the Foster scale, World War 2 was the most disastrous event in human history with a score of 11.1, the Black Death ranks number 2 at 10.9, and World War 1 comes at number 3 with 10.5.


20. Yogi Bear used to be the mascot of a chicken restaurant franchise, and when they all closed, the statues were dumped in the middle of a forest. This site became a tourist attraction in and of itself, known as the "Yogi Bear Graveyard."


21Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg refused a salary for “Schindler’s List,” calling it “Blood Money,” and believed that the movie would flop. The film went on to become one of the most successful movies of all time.


22. The world’s oldest known spider lived to be 43. Named Number 16, she died in 2017 after being stung by a wasp.


23. In January 2018, Belgium and the Netherlands swapped land to change their national borders. Belgium's foreign minister noted that "the agreement shows that borders can also be exchanged peacefully."


24. There is a statue of Jason Voorhees chained under the Crystal Lake located in Crosby, Minnesota.


25. The Boeing 747-200 Air Force One costs $206,000 per flight hour to operate (including fuel, flight consumables, and maintenance), while a commercial 747 costs about $20,000 to $25,000 per flight hour.

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