Random Fact Sheet #234 – 45 Fun and Unusual Facts



Popeye the Sailor became so popular during the Great Depression that consumption of spinach increased by 33%. His popularity also led to American children listing spinach as their third favorite food, after turkey and ice cream.

2. Alchemist Hennig Brand is thought to have used upwards of 1500 gallons of human urine in his quest to make gold. After he evaporated, boiled and distilled it multiple times, it started to glow in the dark and burst into flames. He had instead discovered the element phosphorus.

3. Hannie Schaft was a WWII Dutch resistance fighter known as “the girl with the red hair”. She carried out assassinations and sabotages, but once refused to kidnap the children of a Nazi official. At her execution, she was shot and injured and taunted her killers by saying “I shoot better”.

4. At age 113, Bernando LaPallo continued to shop for himself, cook, bathe, shave without any assistance from anyone to help him in and out of the shower. He generally slept by 9:30 and got up at 3:30 or 4 am.

5. American Rapper Pusha T wrote the famous McDonald’s jingle “I’m lovin it” in 2003 but does not own any of the publishing rights for it. He learned from his multi-million dollar mistake and now owns 40% of the publishing rights of the “We have the meats” campaign from Arby’s.

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The Pantheon, in Roma, holds the record for the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome and presents no signs of weakening more than 1800 years after its rebuilding.

7. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Lithuania could not afford to send its men’s basketball team to the 1992 Olympics, so the rock band ‘Grateful Dead’ sent the team colorful, free-flowing tie-dye warm-up jerseys with a flying, dunking skeleton, and the team took the bronze medal.

8. During the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s, a woman named Ruth Coker Burks used her salary as a real estate agent to provide support, medication and palliative care for more than 1000 AIDS patients whose families had abandoned them, and she also helped to bury some of them in her own family cemetery in Arkansas.

9. An “unpaired word” is a word that, according to the usual rules of the language, would appear to have a related word, but does not. Examples of this include: disgruntled, nonchalant, and ruthless.

10. In the 1920s, a man convinced his wife to pull out all her teeth and then refused to buy her dentures because it was ‘cheaper to feed her soup than solid food’. The wife took him to court and the man was told to get her two new sets of teeth and at least a beefsteak a week.