Random #381 – 50 Unique Facts You Didn’t Know

26Okinoshima Island's Female Ban

Okinoshima Island's Female Ban

Okinoshima Island in Japan strictly forbids women from arriving there due to local traditions. The entire island is a sacred Shinto kami, and over 80,000 artifacts left as offerings have been recovered. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017.

27. There was a Nazi concentration camp on British soil in Alderney, known as "The Island of Silence," as not much is known about the exact atrocities that took place.

28. Grizzly bears exhibit a phenomenon called "delayed implantation." The embryo will start gestation only after the mama bear has gained enough weight to avoid death by starvation during hibernation.

29. In 1925, wealthy San Francisco businessman Herbert Fleishhacker built what was then the largest swimming pool in the US. Open to the public, it measured 150 x 1000 feet, held 6.5 million gallons, and could accommodate 10,000 people. The pool was filled with filtered seawater and heated to 72°F. It closed in 1971.

30. The CPR doll is modeled after a real person named L'Inconnue de la Seine, who drowned in a river near Paris. She has come to be known as "the most kissed face in the world."

31Chery's Tower of Electric Models

Chery's Tower of Electric Models

To showcase the strength of their new car's aluminum body, Chinese automaker Chery stacked seven of their eQ7 electric models on top of each other, forming a tower. Volvo had previously attempted a similar gimmick in past demonstrations.

32. The music video for Billy Squier's hit song "Rock Me Tonight" abruptly derailed his career when he was at its peak. Squier believes its homoeroticism alienated a significant portion of his fanbase.

33. Convenience store owners only informally sponsored the redemption of "shooting star" Tootsie Pop wrappers for free candy on a local level. Tootsie Roll Industries never did.

34. The microwave was invented by accident over 70 years ago when Raytheon engineer Percy Spencer was testing a military-grade magnetron and suddenly realized his snack had melted.

35. Scott Fitzgerald created football's "Two Platoon System," with different offensive and defensive players. Before giving Michigan Coach Fritz Crisler the idea in 1945, the same players played both sides of the ball. As a freshman, the 135-pound Fitzgerald didn't make Princeton's team.

36Taboo History of Wearing Shorts

Taboo History of Wearing Shorts

Shorts were once considered taboo in America. In 1938, the city of Honesdale, PA, banned the wearing of shorts, stating, "Honesdale is a modest town, not a bathing beach." In May 1959, Plattsburgh, N.Y., banned the wearing of shorts by anyone over 16. Violators received a $25 fine or 25 days in jail.

37. A batman was an individual assigned to a commissioned military officer as a personal servant. An officer's batman was also responsible for the officer's "bat-horse" that carried his kit during campaigns before cars were invented. The term predates Batman's appearance as a superhero.

38. Walt Disney World in Florida was initially not going to have a version of the popular Pirates of the Caribbean ride. As Florida is part of the Caribbean, Disney felt Floridians would find it redundant.

39. Many of the fundamental elements of modern computers, including windows, hypertext, graphics, video conferencing, the computer mouse, and word processors, were unveiled for the first time in 1968 in a single presentation.

40. Candlewicks are crafted with asymmetrical braiding. As the candle burns, the wick curls on one side due to the uneven structure. Before this innovation, candle users had to regularly trim the wick every few hours to prevent excessive smoking. The asymmetrical design of candlewicks allows for a more controlled and efficient burning process.

41Lawrence Summers' Resignation Speech

Lawrence Summers' Resignation Speech

Former Harvard President Lawrence Summers resigned, in part due to a speech where he suggested that the underrepresentation of women in the hard sciences was partially influenced by genetics.

42. Lettuce Clubs are school student groups that organize eating contests where students must consume an entire head of lettuce to be crowned club president. Those unable to do so within 30 minutes face a ban from attending the club the following year.

43. Brazil nuts contain an elevated amount of selenium (68-91 mcg per nut), and consuming too many can cause the body's selenium levels to exceed the acceptable limit. Extremely high levels of Brazil nuts can lead to a condition known as selenosis, characterized by heart attacks.

44. Pop-Tarts are not named because they pop out of the toaster; the name is a pun/reference to pop art, as they were invented in 1964.

45. Roger Ebert despised the 1994 movie "North" so much that it inspired a book titled "I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie." Screenwriter Alan Zweibel notes that people frequently quote Ebert's zero-star review to him and his son (who inspired North), and he keeps a copy of it in his wallet.

46Bill Withers' Reluctance to Quit Job

Bill Withers' Reluctance to Quit Job

After the success of "Ain't No Sunshine" in 1971, Bill Withers refused to quit his job at a factory, believing the music industry was fickle. The album cover featuring the song is a photograph of Withers outside the factory where he worked.

47. The "Freezer Bowl" marked the coldest NFL game in history, featuring the Cincinnati Bengals against the visiting San Diego Chargers. With nearly 30 MPH winds, an official temperature of -9°F, and a wind chill factor plummeting to -59°, the Bengals emerged victorious and advanced to the Super Bowl.

48. Bull sharks are euryhaline and can thrive in both salt and fresh water. They are known to travel up rivers and have been observed traveling up the Mississippi River as far as Alton, Illinois, about 1,100 kilometers (700 mi) from the ocean.

49. Catherine Hickland married David Hasselhoff while he was playing the character Michael Knight in Knight Rider. After their divorce, she married a man whose actual name is Michael Knight.

50. Tuna fish and mackerel seem not to require sleep. In the case of the Mozambique tilapia, only adults have been observed engaging in sleep.