Random Facts Sheet #354: Whimsical Wonders: 40 Random Facts that Will Amaze You 2

26Ocular Immune Privilege

Ocular Immune Privilege

Our eyes have evolved to essentially hide from our own immune systems to avoid damage and blindness from inflammation. The main problem with this privilege is that most ways of giving medicine to the eye don't work. This makes it hard to treat any serious eye infections.

27. The Hocker Album, which was found in 2006, is one of the few photo albums that proves for sure that high-ranking Nazi leaders were at Auschwitz.

28. In 1965, the Swedish government pledged to build 1 million new apartments in a country of 8 million people in 10 years. All in all, they built 1,006,000 apartments.

29. NBA player Lou Williams was almost carjacked in 2011, until the thief recognized him and stopped because he was a Lou Williams fan. As a thank you, Lou Williams took him to McDonald's.

30. In 1944, a bunch of prisoners decided to revolt at Auschwitz by blowing up the crematorium and gas chambers. They were able to destroy one gas chamber and several crematoria, injuring and killing several SS guards. Ultimately, the revolt was unsuccessful, and all were caught and executed.

31Unpainted WW2 American Planes

Unpainted WW2 American Planes

American World War II airplanes were sent to war unpainted starting in 1943. The polished surface made the planes faster and lighter, giving all planes more range and more cargo hold for the bombers.

32. When Anders Celsius designed the temperature scale that bears his name, he chose 0° as the boiling point and 100° as the freezing point. It was not changed until after his death.

33. The Qing dynasty of China forced their male subjects to wear a hairstyle called the queue. It featured a long braid and a shaved front of the head. Cutting the queue became seen as a symbol of rebellion against the empire. The "Queue Order" took around 10 years of military action and hundreds of thousands of deaths to enforce.

34. Aldgate Pump is a historic water pump in London. Its water was said to have a "bright, sparkling, cool, and pleasing taste." These characteristics were traced back to the decomposition of organic waste in nearby graves and the leaching of calcium from the bones of the deceased in numerous new cemeteries in north London. Hundreds of people died after it became contaminated in 1876.

35. For centuries, physicians blamed behavioral changes (especially among the mentally ill) on the pull of the moon. The word "lunatic" stems from this idea.

36Appetite Control

Appetite Control

Appetite control in the human body is so complex that there are 20 appetite inhibitory hormones and six appetite stimulatory hormones, all of which act to maintain our satiety. Because appetite biology is so complicated, it has been very hard to make drugs that help control hunger.

37. Fungi communicate with each other through electrical signals carried by underground filaments. Scientists studying these networks have identified common signal patterns that make up a vocabulary of up to 50 words.

38. As a result of the WARN Act, large companies are required to give states notice before massive layoffs, and most states allow you to look at which companies will be laying off employees ahead of time.

39. The reason that farmers flood rice fields isn't to water the plants, as you might expect. It's done to keep away pests and weeds and to protect against uneven rainfall.

40. The Kremlin is home to the Tsar Cannon, which was never fired, and the Tsar Bell, which has never been rung.