Random Facts Sheet #352 – Factopia Chronicles: 45 Tales of Surprising Knowledge 2

26Spiked Contact Lenses

Spiked Contact Lenses

In order to keep the eyes of the deceased closed after death, funeral homes use spiked contact lenses.

27. Many comedic television series, including Community, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and many more, have included the fictitious potato chip brand Let's Potato Chips. To avoid any potential copyright issues, the prop company Independent Studio Services created Let's.

28. During the 1950s, turkey tails were dumped by American poultry companies into Samoan markets. 75% of a turkey's tail is made out of fat, and the oil it uses to preen itself. It's usually paired with a cold Budweiser. Officials in Samoa stopped allowing the entry of turkey tails in 2007 after discovering a link between the meat and the country's obesity crisis.

29. When a pilot uses a Martin-Baker ejection seat to eject out of a plane, they are added to the "Ejectee Club" and given a special tie.

30. After the Titanic disaster, the S.S. Eastland, a tiny steamer, was so heavily loaded with lifeboats that it became unsteady and finally sank, killing 844 people.

31Sable Island Horse

Sable Island Horse

The wild Sable Island Horse is endemic to a small sandbar in the Atlantic Ocean, about 100 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. They were introduced to Sable Island in the 1700s and have now evolved into their own species. The Canadian government has passed a law protecting the remaining 500 wild horses.

32. Each deaf person has a distinctive "name sign" that was given to them by a friend or family member, and as per the hearing culture, only a deaf person is allowed to give a hearing person their own special name sign.

33. It's a myth that Mozart was buried in a mass grave. In Vienna, a "common grave" was a non-aristocratic person's burial that the city might dig up and reuse after a decade.

34. In 1993, the former Czechoslovakia broke apart into the independent nations of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It was the only peaceful breakup of a former Eastern Bloc country. It was dubbed the "Velvet Divorce" because it was so peaceful.

35. James Cook mapped Sandy Island, which he located in the Pacific Ocean near New Caledonia, in 1774. After being shown on maps and charts for almost 200 years, an Australian survey ship found proof in 2012 that the island had never been there and may have been a "pumice raft" instead.

36The Last Supper

The Last Supper

The feet of Jesus were initially depicted in Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper, one of the world's most famous works of art, which was created for the Santa Maria delle Grazie cathedral in Milan. They were cut off to make room for a doorway.

37. Inside the U.S. Capitol dome, a painting of George Washington becoming a god takes up most of the space. It's called "The Apotheosis of Washington," and it's clear that it's just a metaphor for how people felt about our first president. He is surrounded by figures and signs from Greek and Roman mythology. Classical art styles were and still are very popular, and this gives you a small idea of how the Romans honored their emperors.

38. Roman legend says that Cleopatra won a bet with Mark Antony about who could throw the most expensive party by dissolving her priceless pearl earring in a glass of vinegar and drinking it.

39. Europe's wine owes its existence to the grafting of vines onto American grape rootstock that wasn't vulnerable to a species of aphid that was destined to wipe the industry out. In the late 1800s, Phylloxera, an insect that looked like an aphid, caused a lot of damage to European vineyards and almost put an end to the wine industry there.

40. Censors demanded that female cast members of Star Trek cover their navels during filming. Gene Roddenberry was so irritated by this that in his 1973 TV movie "Genesis II," he gave the villains two navels so that viewers could easily tell them apart.

41Radioactive Bananas

Radioactive Bananas

Truckloads of bananas can trigger false alarms in radiation portal monitors (the things that detect nuclear material at the ports) because they are somewhat radioactive.

42. When Amelia Earhart failed to arrive at her last destination, Howland Island, a lighthouse was built there to honor her. The lighthouse on Howland Island was bombed during WWII and later rebuilt as an unlit beacon. Howland Island is now a nature sanctuary with no human occupants.

43. In 2009, a 22-year-old Chinese man by the name of Zhao C (赵C) was compelled to legally alter his name because it contained a Latin character that was not "part of the national standard for "numbers and symbols" of the People's Republic of China."

44. Koala bears have chlamydia, and they can't take the same antibiotics that are used to treat chlamydia in humans because it would disrupt their gut bacteria balance, which they require to break down the eucalyptus leaves they consume.

45. Those who have the "Asian flush" reaction after consuming alcohol are more likely to develop esophageal cancer than those who do not.