Random Fact Sheet #276 – 35 Thought-Provoking Facts to Ponder

26Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson

In 1771, Sarah Wilson, the maid of Queen Charlotte's Maid of Honor was sentenced to indentured labor in America for theft. Upon reaching there, she escaped and posed as the Queen's sister, living a life of luxury, defrauding many wealthy people with the promise of an audience with the queen.

27. Roman emperor Caracalla once slaughtered 20,000 Egyptians just because they made a play mocking him.

28. Vikings never wore horned helmets. The notion that the Vikings wore horned helmets actually comes from a costume designer for the 1876 performance of Wagner's classic Norse saga, Der Ring des Nibelungen.

29. Australia invented the secret ballot in 1856. Before that votes were cast in full view of the assembled crowds and would often end in riots. When the practice started to be adopted in the US in the 1880's it was known as the Australian Ballot.

30. The blue macaw parrot that was the inspiration for the 2011 kid’s movie “Rio” was declared extinct in the wild in 2018.

31Jayme Gordon

Jayme Gordon

A man named Jayme Gordon sued Dreamworks Animation for stealing ideas from his drawings to make “Kung Fu Panda”. Investigators found that he had traced his drawings from a “Lion King” coloring book. Gordon was charged with perjury and wire fraud. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

32. In 1984, a Russian ice-breaking ship named Moskva was called to save over 2,000 trapped Beluga whales. At first they refused to follow the ship to open water. However, when the crew began playing classical music through the ship’s loudspeakers, the whales finally followed Moskva to the unfrozen sea.

33. During the filming of the 1978 film "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", actress Veronica Cartwright was not told the film would end with Donald Sutherland delivering his infamous pod shriek rather than meeting him for an actual conversation. She was genuinely terrified when Sutherland shrieked at her.

34. When Agatha Christie married Max Mallowan, he was working with archaeologist Leonard Woolley, but Woolley’s wife didn't let Christie stay with Mallowan at a digging camp. Christie soon wrote "Murder in Mesopotamia", with the victim being an archaeologist's wife - and dedicated it to the Woolleys.

35. Folklore says that Grace O'Malley, the pirate queen of Ireland once rallied her crew and successfully defended her ship from a pirate ambush an hour after giving birth at sea.