20 Weird Facts

  • In 1952, claims that smoking causes cancer caused Kent cigarettes to come out with an asbestos filter to protect its smokers.
  • There is only one recording of Hitler’s voice where he is not giving a speech – a private conversation between himself and Finnish leader Mannerheim recorded in secrecy by a sound engineer in 1942.
  • In 1999, twin brothers ran a marathon where halfway through the race they switched places in a toilet. The 1st brother drove ahead while his twin ran, rejoining the race ahead finishing 9th winning R6000. A keen eyed journalist noticed the two wore their watches on opposite hands in different pics.
  • In 2008, a 51-year-old priest named Adelir Antonio, as part of a fund raiser, strapped 1000 balloons to a lawn chair and sent himself up. He had a parachute, a satellite phone, and a GPS. When he was lost over the sea, he phoned for help, but rescuers were unable to determine his location since he could not use his GPS. Weeks later, he was found dead at sea. This stunt earned him a Darwin Award.
  • About 40% to 50% of the genetic information found in your GI tract does not match anything that’s ever been classified before – not plant, animal, fungus, virus, or bacteria. We have no clue what it is. Biologists call it “biological dark matter.”
  • The state of Kentucky currently has 4.9 million barrels of Bourbon that are aging, which exceeds the state’s own population.
  • During the Vietnam War sniper Carlos Hathcock volunteered to crawl 3 days across 2000m of open field containing an enemy headquarters. He had bed sores from staying motionless for so long. He could only move when the wind blew the grass around him. Enemy patrols came so close they actually stepped on his knuckles and stopped to smoke within feet of him. He took a single shot that killed a NVA General and then had to back track the same way while enemy patrols were swarming looking for a sniper. He was only able to move inches at a time and made it back without being spotted.
  • 1835 was the only time in U.S. history where the country was debt free, when Andrew Jackson paid off what he called “the national curse.” It lasted exactly one year.
  • The Swedish warship Vasa, which sank in 1628 less than a mile into its maiden voyage, was built asymmetrically. Archaeologists have found four rulers used by the workers. Two turned out to be based on Swedish feet with 12 inches. The other two used Amsterdam feet, with 11 inches.
  • Constantinople became Istanbul because people started referring to it as “The City” and the Greek phrase for “In The City” is pronounced “Is Tin Poli.” Over time, this became Istanbul.
  • The SR-71 did more than just take pictures. It could aim its radar 45 degrees to the side, map the terrain like side scan sonar, intercept enemy comm and radar signals and record  its entire flight path with infrared cameras to prove to countries that it didn’t violate their airspace.
  • A recent study showed 25% of US drivers making a turn failed to use signals correctly. 48% of US lane changers failed to use signals. Such failures are responsible for up to 2 million preventable accidents a year.
  • A formation of larch trees in the shape of a swastika was discovered in Germany in 1992. The formation, only visible in the fall, went unnoticed for 60 years. After that discovery, other forest swastikas were found in Germany and beyond.
  • The first microprocessor was not made by Intel. It was actually a classified custom chip used to control the swing wings and flight controls on the first F-14 Tomcats.
  • In 1921 a group of whites burnt the black community of Tulsa, Oklahoma to the ground. It was the wealthiest black community in the United States, known as “black wall street.” Firebombs were dropped from airplanes and hundreds were killed. This massacre was not acknowledged in state history records until 1996.
  • In January 2014, Aitzaz Hasan, a 15-year old Pakistan boy, died when he bravely confronted a suicide bomber walking toward his school which resulted in early detonation of the bomb. His action saved the lives of hundreds of students.
  • In 1929, the US supreme court voted 8-1 in favor for a Eugenics program requiring forced sterilization of citizens deemed not smart enough to reproduce.
  • Shipping is cheap. So cheap that, rather than fillet its own fish, it is cheaper for Scotland to send its cod 10,000 miles over to China to be filleted and returned to Scotland.
  • An officer of the California highway patrol, Sgt. Kevin Briggs, has stopped more than 200 people from committing suicide on the Golden gate Bridge.
  • A tick bite can cause a lifetime allergy to red meat. The Lone Star tick injects a type of sugar found in red meat into the blood and causes antibodies to be made that cause an allergic reaction when the person later ingests meat with the sugar.

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