Random Revelations: Article #154- 30 Remarkably Fascinating and True Random Facts

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1Opalized Fossil

Opalized Fossil

There is a very rare and special type of gemstone that can only be found and formed in fossils of extinct species of cephalopods over the process of hundreds of millions of years. The most expensive opal in the world is one of these, being an opalized fossil valued at over $1,000,000. There is also a six-meter Plesiosaurus that has an opalescent sheen in its skeleton on display at the Adelaide Museum.

2. Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys was drugged and controlled for years by his live-in therapist, who kept him under constant supervision and profited from the rights to Wilson's work.

3. During the Hundred Flowers Campaign of 1956 in China, Mao Zedong allowed citizens to speak out their opinions on the Communist regime freely. The campaign ended a year later and those who spoke critically of the regime were imprisoned.

4. Ancient Rome lasted so long that the original meaning of Lapis Niger, a shrine built in Rome's city center had already been forgotten by later generations of Romans.

5. Walt Disney's surviving family has largely been torn apart by a vicious legal battle over the $400 million Disney fortune, which led to newspapers calling them “not the happiest family on Earth.”

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6Giant Sloth Tunnels

Giant Sloth Tunnels

Giant sloths which existed 8,000 to 10,000 years ago excavated hundreds of miles of tunnels in South America that still exist to this day.

7. The animatronic whales used in “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” were so believable that Paramount Studios got angry letters from people who thought they got dangerously close to real whales to film them.

8. The creators of the original Scooby-Doo show never meant for Shaggy to be perceived as a stoner. They were annoyed by the marijuana references in the live-action movie.

9. The Ket people are an isolated population of 1200 in Siberia. Their language is strikingly similar in structure to the Native North American languages, and they are one of the last true hunter and gatherer societies on Earth.

10. ‘Soy Cuba’ (I Am Cuba) was a Soviet-directed propaganda film which was released in 1964. The movie backfired by making capitalism look too appealing. The movie was later rediscovered by Hollywood and its groundbreaking filming techniques inspired scenes in Goodfellas and Boogie Nights.

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11Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton’s father paid for her birth with a sack of oats. She is the fourth of 12 children born to Robert and Avie Lee Parton of Sevierville, Tennessee. Her family was so poor that grain was all her father had to give the doctor who delivered her.

12. Charlie Chaplin, while directing his movie “City Lights”, made actress Virginia Cherrill re-do a scene 342 times where she says “Flower Sir?” The movie was a silent film.

13. AIDS was originally called GRID or “Gay Related Immune Deficiency”. In the early days of the disease, it was also known as “Gay Cancer.”

14. Oolichan is a smelt-like fish that is so greasy, with up to 15% of total body weight in fat, that if caught, dried, and strung on a wick, it can be burned as a candle. Thus it is also known as the “candlefish.”

15. In 2016, mummified body of a German man named Manfred Fritz Bajorat was found in his yacht adrift off the Philippines. He had reportedly been sailing the world on his yacht, Sayo, for the past 20 years. The corpse was found slumped at the desk ‘like he was sleeping’ in his yacht cabin, floating in the Pacific.

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16Chocolate Consumption

Chocolate Consumption

The average Chinese consumer has only 70g of chocolate a year while the average European consumer has 7kg.

17. In 1975 George R. R. Martin wrote a short story titled “The Last Superbowl” which depicted the last game of real sports to ever be played due to the rise in popularity of simulated sports. The fictional game took place in January 2016 between the Green Bay Packers and The Hoboken Jets.

18. In the Mexican state of Chiapas, Coca-Cola is easier to find than bottled water and this has led to a diabetes epidemic which has increased 30 percent between 2013 and 2016 and it is now the second-leading cause of death after heart disease.

19. Joker was intended to be killed off in his second appearance after his debut in Batman #1 (1940). The decision was however hastily withdrawn and Joker went on to become one of the greatest comic book villains and a pop-culture icon.

20. The biblical Tower of Babel was likely based on a real building, the Etemenanki which was located in modern-day Iraq. At about 300 feet tall, it was massive by ancient standards and was built by King Nebuchadnezzar II.

21Trail of Tears

Trail of Tears

The American Indian tribes removed to Oklahoma in the “Trail of Tears” were considered “civilized” and had adopted “Christianity, centralized governments, literacy, market participation, written constitutions, intermarriage with white Americans, and plantation slavery practices.”

22. In war, it is illegal under the Geneva Convention to pretend to be injured in order to trick the enemy.

23. Baron Friedrich Von Steuben, Revolutionary War General, hero, and founder of America's professional military was gay.

24. Conrad Heyer, in 1852 at the age of 103, became the earliest born person to ever be photographed.

25. The “Nigerian Prince” money scam people receive through email can actually be dated back as far as the 1830s, with people receiving letters that falsely promise gold and diamonds in return for money.

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