No rhyme, no reason. Just deliciously random knowledge that’s unlikely to serve you any real purpose other than to impress your friends with your ninja-like trivia skills. Here are 25 random facts!
25. Bloody Brilliant
The 2013 remake of Evil Dead used 70,000 gallons of fake blood! In an interview, director Fede Alvarez said that 50,000 gallons were used in the final scene alone. The original film only used about 200-300 gallons of blood.
24. Bogged Down
A “Bog Body” is a human cadaver that has been preserved by a bog. This natural preservation can be insanely effective. In 1952, researchers discovered a man who had live around 300 BCE that was so well-preserved that they could determine his cause of death: His throat had been slit.
23. More Civilized Than Salem
Canada as a nation recognizes the freedom of religion, but only if you actually mean it. While actual witchcraft remains perfectly legal, the country’s criminal code contains a provision outlawing “pretending to practice witchcraft.” Also illegal are any kind of “sorcery, enchantment or conjuration.” Rather than prosecute religious beliefs, these laws are on the books to prevent fraud. Earlier this year, a man was charged under this statute after claiming to be a psychic and billing a client $101,000.
22. Stinky Bowls
Many gourmet cooking techniques can seem like they’re total bunk—rinsing a Martini glass with too little Vermouth to possibly taste in order to make a dry martini, for example. The biggest prank played on foodies was by a writer for the Saturday Evening Post in 1936. George Rector published a recipe for green salad in the French style: a leafy salad served without dressing in a bowl that had been rubbed with garlic and then never washed. The myth lasted until the 1960s, when people figured out that the salads they were eating out of musty, stinky unwashed salad bowls were far grosser than those smothered in ranch dressing.
21. Catch Phrase
Commercial slogans and jingles are designed to be as catchy as possible, but they sometimes drive us crazy. But imagine the actors who have become famous for these lines! Paul Marcarelli, star of Verizon’s ad campaigns, reported being plagued by his stint as the Verizon guy. He told The Atlantic in 2011 that someone even shouted his catchphrase “Can you hear me now?” at his grandmother’s funeral. While her casket was being lowered.
20. Unfair Problem
According to Amnesty International, as of 2011 there were an estimated five vacant homes in the United States for every homeless person. That’s a homeless population of 3.5 million people compared to 18.5 million vacant homes, many of which are foreclosed upon and owned by banks.
19. Mistaken Identity
In 2009, a judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by Cap’n Crunch eater Janine Sugarawa against Pepsico, Inc, the company that manufacturers Cap’n Crunch. Sugawara claimed that, after four years of eating the cereal, she had only just discovered that she was not eating fruit for breakfast: instead of “crunchberries” being actual dried fruit, they were simply colored and sweetened corn cereal balls. A judge dismissed the case because, as he said, to not know that crunchberries weren’t real fruit would be “to ignore all concepts of personal responsibility and common sense.”
We all see what he meant…
18. A Terrible Shame
In 2005, residents of New London, Connecticut were evicted from their homes by the government, who claimed “Eminent Domain,” and promptly handed the land over to developers hoping to build condos, malls, and an entertainment complex on the land. However, development never occurred—developers couldn’t secure financing. By 2014, eight years later, the land was nothing but empty fields.
17. Unfortunate Inspiration
During a trip to New York City, Samuel Morse received a letter that warned of his wife’s illness. Morse left for home, but arrived to find his wife already buried. Heartbroken that he had been unaware of his wife’s illness and death for days, he developed an interest into communication technology, which lead to his research and patent of the telegraph, a way to transmit information across long distances instantaneously.
16. Picture Imperfect
Police thought they might have a wannabe terrorist on their hands when they arrested a suspicious “trespasser” taking photos of trains and tracks in New York’s Pennsylvania Station in 2009. The man was belligerent upon his arrest, refusing to delete the photos. As it turned out, he did have a legitimate reason for photographing Amtrak’s fleet — he just wanted to take photos for his entry into Amtrak’s “Picture Our Train” contest.
15. Toxic Hazard
If your home or deck is built using pressure-treated wood, you may want to take some extra precautions. The wood contains high amounts of arsenic, which, if left unfinished, can leach into soil and groundwater and cause illness or death in humans and animals. Pressure treated wood should also never be burnt, as the ash is highly toxic and hard to contain. A single tablespoon of ash has enough arsenic to kill a 150-pound human.
14. Graphic Memory
In 1972, Mickey Mantle was asked to describe an “outstanding event” that occurred at Yankee Stadium to celebrate its 50th “Golden” Anniversary. He responded in writing with a graphic description of fellatio he received under the bleachers during a game.
13. Movie Magic
In Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller Psycho, the sound effects for the famous shower scene were actually created by repeatedly stabbing a casaba melon.
12. Real Fear
Janet Leigh, star of Psycho, was so struck by the film’s iconic scene in which she is killed while taking a shower that she herself did not take a shower until 1997. The actress took only baths until a shoulder injury prevented her from her bathing routine and forced her back into the shower. She said, “I know it sounds stupid, but Psycho showed me how truly defenceless we really are [while showering]—naked, deaf, and blind from water running—I don’t ever want to be put in that position.”
Horror filmmaker Eli Roth ventured into the Peruvian Amazon to make his film The Green Inferno. He encountered a remote native village deep in the jungle, and to show them what a movie was (they had never seen one), the crew screened the controversial horror film Cannibal Holocaust for them. Luckily, the villagers thought the film was a comedy! According to Roth, it was “The funniest thing that they’d ever seen. And they wanted to play cannibals in the movie. So we had the entire village acting in the film.”
10. Written in Blood
The national anthem of Algeria, called “Kassaman,” was first written (as lyrics) by Moufdi Zakaria in his own blood on prison walls. During the French occupation of Algeria, Zakaria, a poet, was jailed as a political prisoner several times, and in 1955, he wrote the bloody “Kassaman” as he had no access to paper or writing utensils.
9. Too Weird To Be True?
In 1988, the New York Times reported the story of a 19-year-old college student driven to suicide as a result of his disabling obsessive-compulsive behaviour. The student acquired a pistol and, in an attempt to end his life, shot himself in the head with a .22 caliber rifle. The bullet did not kill him, but it did cause some minor brain damage. Almost unbelievably, the damage was localized to the area of his brain responsible for his OCD! The man fully recovered, his IQ in tact.
8. Old Statute
A motorist in Ipswich, England left magistrates shocked and puzzled when he insisted on his right to trial by combat, an ancient Medieval law somehow still on the books. He claimed he had the right to assert his innocence by fighting to the death with a champion nominated by the courts. The practice was adopted after 1066 and was commonplace until the 1300s, when trial by jury was introduced. Traditionally, fights under the law take place by combatants “wielding swords, lances or staves with iron heads.” Citing the out-dated nature of the law, the courts argued he did not have a right to ask for trial by combat.
Too much Game of Thrones, perhaps!?
7. Alternate Universe
Orion Pictures originally proposed OJ Simpson to play the Terminator before the part went to Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, he was passed over for the role because he was “likable, goofy, kind of innocent”— this was of course before he was accused of his wife’s murder. Perhaps now he’d be considered ruthless enough to play the role?
6. Stranger Danger
Every year in New York City, people are bitten 1,800 times by other people. That’s six times higher than the homicide rate in 2016, and 10 times the worldwide number of yearly shark bites. People may have some seriously misplaced fears.
5. Acoustic Kitty
In the 1960s, the CIA tried to spy on the Kremlin and Russian embassies by turning cats into listening devices! The program, called Acoustic Kitty, involved surgically implanting batteries, microphones, and antennae inside cats. This would allow the CIA to listen remotely to any meetings that the cats could record and transmit. The plan was scrapped after the CIA realized that you can’t train a cat to do much of anything!
4. Melted Down
It takes a lot more than slapping a pair of wings on a caterpillar to make a butterfly. When caterpillars spin themselves into a chrysalis, enzymes make their bodies essentially digest themselves. The caterpillars completely liquefy inside their cocoons, and their nutrients and cells are repurposed and turned into butterfly parts. Gross!
3. You Are An Ecosystem
If ever you start feeling like a special unique snowflake, just remember that you are not so much an individual as you are bacteria—an estimated 90% of the cells in our bodies are non-human microbes! This includes the 100 trillion bacteria on your skin alone! There more than 10,000 times the number of bacteria on your skin as there are people on earth!
2. Truly Twisted
When Twister was introduced by Milton Bradley, it was the first popular game to use human bodies as playing pieces. After Johnny Carson played Twister with Eva Gabor in 1966, the game was denounced by moral authorities as “sex in a box.” The controversy only made Twister more popular with teens.
On September 11th, 2001, the company that owned the World Trade Center had a meeting scheduled to discuss what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. The meeting never took place—it had been rescheduled the night before because one participant could not attend.
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