Random Fact Sheet #296 – Wonders of the Unknown: 40 Enthralling Facts


26Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton studied the occult and predicted the end of the world as we know it to happen around the year 2060. He believed humanity would then progress into an era of divinely inspired peace. 

27. The first character on the screen in Super Mario 64 is Lakitu, Mario's camera operator. Because the 1996 game was the first in the series to have 3D gameplay, the developers needed to teach players that they were controlling both Mario and the camera.

28. King George II of Britain died from his heart bursting from exerting too much pressure while pooping.

29. Crowd noises for the movie 'Spartacus' [1960] were recorded at Spartan Stadium of MSU. Prior to a football game between MSU and Notre Dame, 76,000 spectators were instructed by actor John Gavin [Caesar] to roar, 'Spartacus! Spartacus!', 'Hail Crassus' and of course, 'I'm Spartacus!' 

30. Elizabeth Coleman White, whose family owned a cranberry farm, teamed up with botanist Frederick Coville to develop and cultivate the first blueberry crop. White paid people for each bush they found with blueberries that measured at least 5/8 of an inch. Coville uprooted and grafted them. 

31Tom Batiuk

Tom Batiuk

When cartoonist Tom Batiuk lost the ownership of his comic strip John Darling to his syndicate in 1990, he had the main character murdered with no warning. With the protagonist dead, the syndicate had the rights to an unusable property and the strip ended the next day.

32. "Nimh" in the movie "Secret of Nimh" stands for "National Institute of Mental Health" and is based on a book about the institute that did horrific studies on rats.

33. A video game named Castle Infinity was shut down in 2000 but was brought back when the servers were recovered from a dumpster by a former player and programmer. He then established a new development team and relaunched the game online.

34. During the American Civil War, several divisions of the confederate army had a large snowball fight. It started when a couple of hundred men from Texas plotted a friendly fight with men from Arkansas, which spiraled into a brawl involving 9,000 soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia.

35. In 1994, students in Kaktovik, Alaska created a new system of numerals to reflect the way counting is done in their language: in base 20. The system is relatively easy to learn and even makes basic math easier. It has since been widely adopted in Inupiaq communities.

36Baby Eyes

Baby Eyes

At birth, the eyes of a baby aren’t developed enough to perceive color or depth. It usually takes about 6 months for their vision to reach adult levels.

37. Certain plants can warn other nearby plants of danger. When these plants are damaged, they release airborne chemicals that tell other plants to start producing compounds that can hurt and repel herbivores. They can also produce smells that attract insects that attack herbivores.

38. A babirusa's tusks grow upwards through the skin, curve back, and can get so long they penetrate the babirusa's own skull, killing it. 

39. During the sinking of the RMS Titanic, many passengers refused to evacuate, insisting they were safer on the ship than in the tiny lifeboats. Chief baker Charles Joughin eventually took it upon himself to forcibly drag reluctant passengers onto the deck and hurl them into the lifeboats.

40. During the 2008 Olympics 200 meters race, Shawn Crawford finished 4th, but after 2 sprinters were disqualified for running outside their lanes, he received the silver medal. After the Olympics, he gave the medal to the 2nd-placed athlete, with a note saying “You ran a silver medal race and deserve this.”