🚨 Warning: This article contains mentions of murder, violence, and other sensitive topics. 🚨
There's nothing I love more than a good fact, whether it's a pop culture history lesson, a stunning tidbit about outer space, or an adorable fact about animals.
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I'm so into facts that I write a weekly post full of all of the best things I've learned each week. At the end of each month, I put them all into one mega post for your reading pleasure. Of course, this means there's a chance you might have already seen some of these facts in previous BuzzFeed posts.
And here are the original posts:
So, without further ado, here are 85 incredibly fascinating things I learned in June:
1.The Jacuzzi was invented after Candido Jacuzzi's son was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis as a child. His son contracted arthritis after having strep throat, and suffered from severe joint pain. In order to help alleviate his son's pain, Jacuzzi invented a portable water pump and put it in the bath at their house because his son benefitted from hydrotherapy. By 1968, the Jacuzzi we all know and love was born.
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2.In 1972, Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman set out to design a revolutionary running shoe, and used his wife's waffle iron to create a sole that he believed would help runners increase their speed. Nike made 12 versions of the shoe for runners to use in the 1972 Olympic trials.
In 2019, the "waffle shoe" became the most expensive sneaker to ever be sold at auction. Canadian entrepreneur Miles Nadal bought the shoes for $475,000. They were actually part of an auction of the world's rarest 100 sneakers. Nadal ended up purchasing the 99 other shoes for a combined $850,000.
3.H.H. Holmes is considered America's first serial killer. Holmes is believed to have killed 27 people by luring them into his "Murder Castle," which had outfitted with secret passageways, trapdoors, and torture rooms. After killing his victims, Holmes would transport them to his basement using an elaborate elevator system, and then would dissect their bodies.
Holmes, who changed his name to reflect his love of Sherlock Holmes, grew up wealthy and enrolled in medical school around 1880. During his years at school, he was known for criminal activity, and was caught robbing graves to steal cadavers to sell. In the mid-1880s, he abandoned his wife and children and moved to Chicago, where he built his murder castle, just in time for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.
Holmes was so charming that he easily could coerce fairgoers to come into his castle, where he would kill them and examine their bodies. In 1894, he was arrested in Boston on suspicion of fraud. The evidence from his arrest linked Holmes to the murder of Benjamin Pitezel, who was one his business associates. Historians have had difficulty determining the exact extent of Holmes' crimes, but it is believed that he is responsible for at least 27 murders. Holmes was found guilty for Pitezel's murder, and was executed in 1896.
4.It's impossible to drink a beer in space. Gravity affects the distribution of the carbonation, resulting in a foamy mess that's undrinkable. So, what happens if an astronaut drinks the foam? The bubbles, which are normally burped out, would go through the astronaut's digestive system, causing some severe pain.
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5.In Australia, rabbits are considered pests, so in some places, it's illegal to keep them as pets. The only exceptions are made for people who use the rabbits for public exhibitions, like magic acts, or for scientific use.
6.Some believe that singer Sam Cooke eerily predicted his own death in his song "Frankie and Johnny." The song was a reference to two women, both named Frankie, who killed their husbands in the 1800s. Cooke recorded his own version of the song, which had been around for decades at that point, in 1964. Some of the song's lyrics include, "Frankie reached down in her pocketbook / And up with a long .44 / She shot once, twice, three times / And Johnny fell on the hardwood floor."
A few months later, in December 1964, Cooke had taken a woman back his hotel room. A fight between the two occurred, and the woman took Cooke's clothes and ran out of the room. She would later testify that he had tried to rape her. Cooke, who had been drinking, asked the hotel manager if he could search her office for his clothes. She refused and shot Cooke three times, killing him.
7.After Rosa Parks was robbed and assaulted in her Detroit apartment in 1994, Little Caesars Pizza owner Mike Ilitch decided he was going to step in to ensure the civil rights leader could live safely. He ended up finding her a new place to live, and quietly paid her rent until she died.
8.If you're wondering where Ronald McDonald has been lately, blame the clown scare videos from 2016! After the videos, in which people dressed as clowns creepily stood in roads and parking lots to scare unsuspecting people, went viral, McDonald's began slowing phasing out Ronald. That wasn't the only reason why the restaurant started shifting their marketing away from the once-beloved mascot. Some criticized the fast-food chain for using a mascot to normalize unhealthy eating for young children.
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9.In 1944, several crossword puzzles that contained answers that turned out to be the code names for D-Day military operations, appeared in the Telegraph, a British newspaper. Military officials in England began panicking because they were worried that someone had blown their cover and was revealing their missions to enemies through the crossword.
Turns out that Leonard Dawe, the man who wrote the crossword puzzles, was a headmaster at a boarding school adjacent to a military training facility. He would sometimes ask the boys for words to use as crossword puzzle answers, and they would often give him words they heard yelled out from the military trainings. Dawe was arrested, but was found innocent.
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10.Turns out binge-watching old episodes of The Office can come in handy! In 2019, Cross Scott, a 21-year-old mechanic from Arizona, saved an unconscious woman's life using CPR he learned while watching the sitcom. Scott sang the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive," as seen in the episode, to keep the correct 100 beats per minute tempo for chest compressions.
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11.The day before Adolf Hitler died by suicide, he tested the cyanide pills he planned to use on his beloved dog Blondi to make sure they would work. Hitler did not believe that the pills, which were supplied by one of his military officials, would be potent enough to kill him. After ingesting the poison, Blondi died, supposedly leaving Hitler inconsolable. He died by suicide the following day.
12.Before World War II, basketball was a national pastime in Lithuania. After the country became a part of the Soviet Union, many talented Lithuanian players had to play for the Soviet teams. During the 1988 Olympic Games, the Soviet Union won gold, with four of the five starters being Lithuanian. By the 1992 Olympics, Lithuanian players who had found professional success in the NBA wanted to play for their home country, not the Soviet Union. The issue? They didn't have enough money to fund the trip.
After an article about the Olympic hopefuls was published in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Grateful Dead took notice. In fact, Sarunas Marciulionis, one of the Lithuanian players, played for the Golden State Warriors, which was the band's hometown team. The Dead were inspired by the team's story, and decided to fund the team. In addition to paying for the players to compete, they designed red, yellow, and green tie-dye shirts with the band's signature skeleton dunking a basketball for the players to wear during warm-ups. The team ended up defeating Russia to take home the bronze, and wore their warm-ups while accepting their medals. The shirts soon became the must-have souvenir of the games.
13.Sloths may be the only mammals that don’t fart. Their digestive systems are so slow that it takes them days to digest the leaves that they eat. Instead, they breathe out the methane produced by their gut.
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14.Unless you have a lot of free time this summer, I'd suggest steering clear of adding Marcel Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu to your summer reading list. According to Guinness World Records, it is believed to be the world's longest book, clocking in at an estimated 9,609,000 characters.
15.Before the 1959 release of Some Like It Hot, all movies had to cooperate with the Hays Code. Some of the code's rules included bans on nudity, profanity, and interracial or gay relationships. Studios had to cooperate with the code to avoid government censorship.
While movies like Gone With the Wind had previously tried to challenge the code, the filmmakers behind Some Like It Hot completely undermined the rules. The film featured LGBTQ+ themes, and showed men wearing dresses and makeup. As a result, the movie did not get the seal of approval for following the code, yet went on to be a box office hit. By 1968, the Hays Code was completely abandoned.
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16.About 200 feral cats live at Disneyland. The cats are allowed on-site in order to control rodents from ruining the park experience. While guests are not encouraged to feed or pet the cats, there is a crew of Disney cast members assigned to taking care of them.
17.In 1985, Aretha Franklin was honored by her home state of Michigan when the department of natural resources declared her voice was indeed a natural resource. The announcement was made as part of a state-wide Aretha Franklin Day.
18.The 1984 release of Red Dawn marked the first time a movie hit theaters with a PG-13 rating. The movie, about a group of teens (including Patrick Swayze) fighting against Soviet Union soldiers who invaded their hometown, was released on August 10, and wasn't actually the first to be given the rating. That designation goes to The Flamingo Kid, but Red Dawn beat the movie to theaters.
The MPAA first introduced their rating system in 1968. Movies could be rated G (for all audiences), M (to signify mature content, but all audiences could be admitted), R (only viewers 16 and older could be admitted without an adult), and X (only people 17 and older could be admitted). The M rating was later changed to PG.
19.A proposed 1916 amendment called the Ludlow Act would have put all acts of war to a national vote. Those who voted yes would have to serve in the Army during the conflict. The amendment was supported by about 75% of Americans, but failed when it reached Congress.
20.The hippocampus of birds who store their food actually grows to up to 30% of its natural size for a short period of time each year to allow the birds to recall where they hid their food.
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21.President Ronald Reagan was a huge fan of the Beach Boys, and told the band to contact him if they ever needed anything. When band member Dennis Wilson drowned in 1983, the band wanted to honor him by burying him at sea. All sea burials must be approved by admirals or military officials. Reagan approved the burial, and is believed to be the first time a president had become involved in a civilian funeral matter. Wilson was buried at sea in January 1984.
22.Frances Perkins became the first female Secretary of Labor after witnessing the horrors of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Perkins was having tea with friends in New York City when she heard sirens. She followed them to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, where she witnessed dozens of women jumping out of the building to escape the fire. Soon after, Perkins became dedicated to labor causes, and was hired as the executive secretary of a citizen's safety committee on the recommendation of President Theodore Roosevelt.
Perkins' work on the committee helped create laws that made workplaces safer than ever. By 1928, she served as New York's Industrial Commissioner while Franklin Delano Roosevelt was governor. When Roosevelt was elected president in 1932, he tapped Perkins to become the first female Secretary of Labor. She went on to help develop key elements of Roosevelt's New Deal, and was the nation's longest-serving labor secretary. Perkins was a driving force in getting people back to work after the Great Depression, and even fought for universal healthcare while in office.
23.The iconic photo of Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue was actually the scientist's response to paparazzi who were waiting outside his 72nd birthday party. Einstein thought the photo was hilarious and bought dozens of copies to send to his friends, telling them that his cheeky reaction to the reporters reflected his political views.
24.11 Madison is a skyscraper in New York City that was once planned to be the tallest building in the world. The building was originally planned to be over 100 stories tall. When the stock market crashed in 1929, developers halted construction.
Even after the stock market rebounded following the Great Depression, the missing 75 floors of the building were never completed. In 2015, 11 Madison sold for $2.29 billion, which was the second largest office building sale in the United States. The only sale to top it was the General Motors Building, also located in New York City. That building sold for $2.8 billion in 2008.
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25.Francis Ford Coppola might be best known for directing movies like The Godfather, but he actually made far more money from his wine business than his film career. Coppola told Wine Enthusiast that one year, he made over $60 million just in wine sales.
26.Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme was a follower of Charles Manson who attempted to assassinate President Gerald R. Ford in 1975. As a child, Fromme was a talented dancer who joined an elite dance troupe that was invited to perform at the White House. When her family moved to Redondo Beach in California, a 14-year-old Fromme quickly fell in with the wrong crowd, and began abusing drugs. During her first year of college, her fed-up father kicked her out.
In 1967, Fromme met Charles Manson on the beach. Manson had just been released from prison, but Fromme looked past this and quickly became part of Manson's "family." When the Family moved to a mansion in 1968, Fromme became 80-year-old ranch owner George Spahn’s unofficial wife. In fact, he even gave her the nickname "Squeaky." After Manson's 1969 arrest, Fromme managed to avoid being implicated. Instead, she held vigil outside of the courthouse and refused to denounce Manson. Fromme continued to follow Manson's teachings, and became devoted to nature and trees.
When Fromme heard that President Ford was making an appearance in Sacramento to relax environmental protections from the Clean Air Act, she devised a plot to confront Ford. She strapped a gun to her leg under her dress and pushed to the front of the crowd, where she raised her gun at Ford. Officials instantly arrested her. She refused to participate in parts of her trial, and was often carried into court. Ford became the first sitting president to appear at a criminal trial after submitting video testimony. In 1975, Fromme was convicted of attempted assassination and sentenced to jail. She was able to escape from prison in 1987, but was recaptured. Fromme was released in 2009, and moved to upstate New York.
27.People in Japan never have to worry about facing the repercussions after being late because of public transit. If a train is late, passengers receive a train delay certificate to give their teacher or employer to prove their tardiness wasn't their fault.
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28.In the United States, bats single-handedly save the country over $3 billion that would be spent on pest control each year. Their insect consumption saves the corn industry over $1 billion that would be spent on pesticides and crop damage.
29.Joseph-Armand Bombardier invented the snowmobile after his son fell ill and died from appendicitis during a blizzard. The storm prevented Bombardier from being able to get his son to the hospital on time, so he vowed to create a vehicle that could travel over snow.
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30.In 1862, the King of Siam approached President Abraham Lincoln with an offer to send elephants to the United States to aid with the Civil War. Lincoln turned down the offer, telling the king that advances in boats and steam-powered engines rendered the proposal outdated.
31.You were probably taught in school that humans have 206 bones, but newborn babies actually have closer to 300! As babies grow, some of their bones fuse together as tissues develop.
32.SpongeBob SquarePants as we know and love it originally looked much different! When the show was being developed, Nickelodeon told creator Stephen Hillenburg that they didn't want to order the full series unless they changed SpongeBob to be a kid in school, as the network believed that was their winning formula. Hillenburg refused to budge, and was ready to abandon the project. As a compromise, Hillenburg created Mrs. Puff to be SpongeBob's boating teacher in order to keep the school theme Nickelodeon wanted.
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SpongeBob's name was also different during the development phase. He was originally named SpongeBoy, and a test episode was created with the name. Hillenburg was forced to change it after he learned that there was already a mop company called SpongeBoy. He shifted the name to SpongeBob because he was worried that dropping "Sponge" from the name would lead viewers to think the character was a piece of cheese.
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33.Queen Elizabeth II technically owns all of the dolphins, whales, and porpoises within 3 miles of the United Kingdom's shores. The royal family's ownership of the sea creatures dates back to a law written in the 14th century.
34.When Dum Dums lollipops were created in 1924, I.C. Bahr, who was the company's sales manager, decided to name them Dum Dums because he thought it would be easy for children to say.
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35.A human eye is made up of 95% water.
36.After learning about the 9/11 attacks, Masai tribe members in Kenya donated 14 cows to the United States. Why cows? The Masai people believe that cows are sacred animals, and they believed that they could help the United States in their recovery attempts.
After the Masai people presented the cows to US Ambassador William Brancick, the United States needed to decide what to do with the cattle. They first toyed with sending the cows to the Central Park Zoo, then pondered selling them and using the proceeds to buy Masai jewelry to distribute to New Yorkers. After three years, they settled on using the sales of the cows' offspring to pay for high school scholarships for Kenyan students.
37.When Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, 57 people died. Of the 57, only six of them were found in areas that had been marked as dangerous. The other 51 people had been in areas that officials said were safe places to weather the force of the eruption. Despite this, both the governor of Washington and then-President Jimmy Carter told reporters that everyone who died had been people who deliberately ignored warnings.
38.During the Apollo space missions, astronauts decided to offload unnecessary objects in order to have enough space to bring back moon rocks. They ended up leaving 96 bags of vomit, urine, and poop up in space. Astrobiologists say they hope to examine the waste to see if any genetic mutations occur from being up there.
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39.A study shows that classical music lovers and metal heads actually have more in common than you thought! Fans of the two genres tend to have similar personality traits, with both groups looking for something dramatic, theatrical, and grandiose.
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40.Betty White was a huge animal lover, and said that if she hadn't been an actor, she would have wanted to be a zookeeper. White made a point of visiting the local zoo whenever she traveled, and supported several animal rights groups.
When White was approached to appear in the movie As Good As It Gets, she turned down the role after learning the movie featured a scene where a dog was thrown down a trash chute. She even complained about the scene to the movie's director and tried to persuade him to change it, but he refused, and cast Shirley Knight for the part instead.
41.Ever wonder why movie previews are called trailers? It's actually because they used to play after the movie, trailing the main event. Theaters switched to playing them before the movie after realizing that most people left once the movie ended, skipping out on the trailers.
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42.If a man never shaved during his lifetime, then his beard would be an estimated 30 feet long.
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43.Charlotte Cushman was a 19th-century theater icon who challenged gender roles. As a young woman, Cushman trained for the opera after being encouraged by her mother, and went on to star in several operas before her singing voice began to deteriorate. Cushman decided to turn to traditional stage acting, where she began playing men in Shakespearean plays, including Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet in Hamlet.
Through her career, Cushman played about 30 male roles. Cushman also was known for her refusal to conform to traditional gender standards. She never married, and instead lived in a community of "jolly female bachelors." Together, these women wore men's clothing, created art, and fought for equality for working women.
44.During Ken Jennings' 2004 Jeopardy winning streak, Jennings appeared on so many episodes that he had to start making up anecdotes about his life because he had run out of fun facts to tell when the contestants were introduced on each episode.
45.If you're a Stranger Things fan, then you might recall Project MK-Ultra being name dropped in an episode or two. MK-Ultra was a secret mind-control project led by the CIA, with an end goal of developing methods to get information out of enemies as the Cold War dawned. Much of the project hinged on human experimentation, most of which was illegal. Test subjects were given high doses of LSD, often without their knowledge. They also were subject to sensory deprivation, hypnosis, electroshock, and other forms of abuse.
MK-Ultra lasted 20 years, from 1953 to 1973. While many of the files that revealed the extent of the project were destroyed by the CIA during the Watergate scandal, some information was made public in 2001. The Duffer Brothers, who created the Netflix series, said they decided to use real-life elements like MK-Ultra in the show to give it a more realistic feel. "We wanted the supernatural element to be grounded in science in some way,” Matt Duffer told Rolling Stone.
46.For more than 50 years, many public schools required male students to participate in swim class completely naked because fibers from their bathing suits would clog the pool's filters. This was phased out in the late 1960s and early 1970s as more advanced filtration systems were developed.
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47.Harold Shipman was a British doctor who murdered over 250 of his patients. As a child, Shipman had always demonstrated an interest in medicine, and he became a doctor in the 1970s. In 1975, it was discovered that he had been writing himself fraudulent prescriptions for opiates and went to rehab. By 1978, Shipman was once again practicing medicine and became a respected doctor in his community.
In 1998, an 81-year-old woman who was in good health was found dead just hours after Shipman had made a routine house call. Her family was stunned when they found her entire estate had been left to Shipman, who told authorities that no autopsy was necessary. By 2000, Shipman had been convicted of murder, and an investigation into his practice was launched.
Officials found that Shipman had killed an estimated 250 people, beginning in 1971. He typically would inject patients with diamorphine, and would then sign a death certificate saying they died of natural causes. While there was never a clear reason why Shipman killed his patients, some thought he was a proponent of euthanasia for elderly people who ended up taking things way too far, while others believed it was to avenge the death of his mother, who frequently was injected with morphine after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Shipman died by suicide in 2004 while in prison.
48.Gene Simmons, of KISS fame, was a sixth grade teacher in Harlem for six months in the early 1970s. Simmons said he quit teaching because he realized that he loved being in front of people and wanted to pursue music so he could be on stage in front of thousands, instead of a classroom of 30.
49.Despite the fact that tons of movies and shows stage scenes in alleys in New York City, there are actually very few alleys in Manhattan. When developers were planning the city's grid in 1811, they wanted to maximize the amount of area available for development, so they didn't include any alleys. Most of the alleys that exist in the city today were put there by property owners who wanted a side entrance to their homes.
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50.Lobsters' bladders are located in their heads. This means that they essentially pee out of their faces. In fact, the crustaceans, who use scent as a form of communication, pee in each other's faces when they need to chat.
51.On the morning of 9/11, Stephen McArdle, an FBI informant who was wearing a wire, met a city official suspected of bribery for breakfast at the World Trade Center Marriott. His wire remained on for the entirety of the attacks, creating what is believed to be the only uninterrupted audio recording of the attacks. Both McArdle and the city official survived.
52.During a world tour at the height of Nirvana's fame in 1992, the band chose Calamity Jane, an all-woman band, as their opening act. The crowd at their show in Buenos Aires booed the women and even threw mud at them during their performance. This angered Kurt Cobain so much that he decided to retaliate, and he swapped the setlist to include songs most of the crowd wouldn't know to get his revenge. He even teased the audience with the opening notes of their hit, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," then refused to play the rest of the song.
53.The Manhattan Project, the massive effort during which the United States developed nuclear weapons during World War II, was so secretive that most of the employees had no idea what they were even working on, just that it was an incredibly important project. One laundry woman's entire job was to hold an instrument up to uniforms and note when she heard a clicking noise. Turns out, the instrument was measuring the levels of uranium trapped in the fiber of the clothing.
In fact, many of the workers were in the dark for so long that they only put together what they had been doing once they heard about the bombing of Hiroshima on the radio. The level of secrecy both helped the United States advance their weapons over other countries and allowed decisions to be made faster, by eliminating the need for multiple opinions and perspectives on issues.
54.While I always think of parrots as the OG talking bird, it turns out that ravens are actually pretty talented as well! Ravens that spend lots of time around humans can learn an average of 100 words. They are also better at mimicking sounds than parrots, and can do everything from sirens to animal noises.
55.If you've ever seen something advertised as "military grade" and thought it meant it was the best of the best, then I'm sorry to tell you that you've fallen prey to a marketing scheme. Military grade really just means that items meet certain guidelines set out to standardize the gear the US military purchases, and are often just the cheapest version of the product that can get the job done adequately.
56.When Jules Verne published Around the World in 80 Days in 1872, investigative journalist Nellie Bly became inspired to re-create the novel, which follows Phileas Fogg's attempt to circumnavigate the globe in just under three months. In 1889, Bly set out to travel the entire world in only 80 days, which was practically unthinkable during the time period.
Bly started her journey in America, then sailed to London in just under seven days. Once in Europe, she took a train to Paris to meet with Verne. After crossing Europe, Bly stopped in Egypt, went through the Suez Canal, made her way through Asia, and then made to Japan, where she embarked on the final leg of the trip: sailing across the Pacific Ocean to get to San Francisco. Bly ended up finishing the journey in only 72 days, beating the fictional record set in the novel.
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57.When Rolls-Royce was developing the Ghost, they wanted the car to have a relaxing and quiet feel. Turns out, the engineers working on the car did their job a little too well, because passengers found the lack of noise to be disorienting. In fact, it even made some people feel sick. To combat the issue, sound engineers had to develop methods that harmonized normal car sounds, keeping with the relaxing feel while letting a little noise in.
58.In the 1940s, Shirley MacLaine played baseball on the boys' team at her Arlington, Virginia high school. She was so good that she actually set the school's home run record.
59.Beavers are actually born with the innate ability to build their dams. When beavers hear the sound of running water, their building instincts kick in. A study found that beavers would even build their dams in a dry area after hearing the sound of running water through a speaker.
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60.When Gremlins was released during the summer of 1984, it was rated PG. Despite the PG rating, the movie included some pretty intense scenes, including one where the blended guts of a gremlin splatter all over the walls of a kitchen, and another where a severed gremlin head burns in a fireplace. Moviegoers who had taken their children to see the movie were horrified by the graphic scenes.
As a result, the Motion Picture Association decided to revamp their rating system, and developed the PG-13 rating to sit between movies rated PG and R. Filmmakers loved the new rating system, because it allowed them to put more graphic content in their movies that was once deemed too intense for the PG rating, while remaining tame enough to avoid the audience restrictions of the R rating.
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61.In 1983, Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury recorded three songs together at Jackson's private home studio. During the recording process, Mercury called Jim Beach, Queen's manager, and begged him to get him out of the recording session because Jackson had brought his pet llama into the recording studio. "I’m really not used to [the llama] and I’ve had enough and I want to get out," Mercury allegedly told Beach.
62.If you're terrified of murder hornets, you're not the only one. Asian bees have begun smearing their hives with animal waste to ward off the murder hornets. Scientists believe this is the first time honeybee species have demonstrated the ability to use tools to defend their homes.
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63.Actor Burt Reynolds got so fed up with the National Enquirer printing lies about him that he sought out some rather stinky revenge. Reynolds, who owns about 100 horses, gathered as much horse poop as he could and loaded two massive nets full of manure onto his helicopter to dump on the tabloid's offices. The National Enquirer's Florida office was known for having a massive Christmas tree display, so Reynolds strategically planned to dump the manure on the tree on Christmas Eve. Reynolds recalled the story to the Guardian and said that ruining their Christmas tree "felt great."
64.Just when I thought puffins couldn't get any cuter, I learned that puffin parents tag-team the birthing process. Both adult birds each spend about six weeks incubating the egg of the baby puffling.
65.And finally, Julia "Butterfly" Hill is an environmental activist who lived in a tree for 738 days to protest the clearing of ecologically significant forests. After a near-fatal car crash in 1996, Hill began to reconsider what mattered to her, and found herself drawn to environmental causes. When she learned about the ways the Pacific Lumber Company's practices were damaging the environment, Hill decided to stage a protest.
From Dec. 10, 1997 to Dec. 18, 1999, Hill lived in a 1,000-year-old redwood tree named Luna. She lived on a 6-foot by 8-foot platform that was shaded by tarps, and she communicated via cellphone. Environmental activist groups provided her with supplies, as Hill dealt with inclement weather and illness. The Pacific Lumber Company would use loudspeakers and bright lights to attempt to force Hill down. After over two years in the tree, she reached a settlement with the company that guaranteed protection for the forest and also included a $50,000 grant for forestry research.
66.Wine is sometimes measured in “butts," with a buttload of wine being equivalent to 126 gallons. The term dates back to a time when measurements weren't quite as standardized as they are today. Wine was stored in large wooden casks, which became known as butts, stemming from the French word "bouteille," for bottle.
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67.While Dorothy’s outfit in The Wizard of Oz has gone down in movie history as being one of film’s most recognizable costumes, in reality, it actually looked quite different than how it appears on screen! In order to make the best use out of technicolor technology, Dorothy’s dress is actually light pink and blue. The bright lights on the set washed the pink shade out to look white, creating the recognizable blue and white gingham.
And as for her ruby slippers? In the books, the slippers are technically silver, but the filmmakers decided that they would change them to red in order to make them truly pop using technicolor. The shoes were anonymously donated to the Smithsonian Museum of American History in 1979. They are one of the most visited exhibits in the entire museum, and they have supposedly had to replace the carpet in front of the case several times from so much foot traffic.
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68.In 2006, William Shatner sold a kidney stone at auction for $25,000, then donated the proceeds to Habitat For Humanity. He sold the stone through GoldenPalace.com, an online casino known for auctioning off oddities.
69.It has been estimated that there were between 700 and 1,000 third-class passengers aboard the Titanic. While their accommodations were actually a bit nicer than third-class on many other ships, there were only two bathtubs for all of the passengers to share.
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70.Looks like Mickey and Minnie got a fairy-tale ending worthy of a Disney princess! In 1991, Wayne Allwine, who was the voice of Mickey Mouse, married Russi Taylor, who voiced Minnie Mouse. The pair kept their marriage quiet while voicing the characters because they didn't want people to focus too heavily on their animated counterparts. “It wasn’t Mickey and Minnie; it was Wayne and Russi," Wayne said. "We wanted to keep it about us and not about the characters.”
71.Robin Williams, a huge comic book reader who loved Batman in particular, was overjoyed when he was offered the role of the Joker in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman. Williams was incredibly excited, until he learned that he had only been offered the role in order to bait Jack Nicholson, their first choice, into changing his mind and taking the part.
Williams was incredibly upset, and vowed to never work with Warner Brothers again unless they apologized. To make amends, they supposedly offered Williams the part of the Riddler in the next film. There are differing reports about what happened next: some think that Williams declined because he was still offended, while others believe that Jim Carrey, who ended up with the role, was director Joel Schumacher's top choice all along.
72.I always knew that blue whales were massive, but I don’t think I realized quite how huge they are! Blue whales can weigh up to 200 tons, or about as much as 33 elephants. Their hearts are the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.
BBC / Via giphy.com
73.Andrew Jackson took the presidential tradition of holding an open house a little too far. Thomas Jefferson held the first open house at the White House after his inauguration, and he used it as an opportunity to meet other politicians and greet celebrities and citizens. When Jackson's inauguration rolled around, the typically dignified open house turned into a wild party, with over 20,000 people rolling up to the White House.
The guests began rummaging through the White House, getting food all over the carpets, and standing on the furniture. In order to get the trespassers out, White House servants were ordered to mix up massive tubs of whiskey and juice to lure the partiers out on the lawn. The open house tradition continued until Grover Cleveland's inauguration in 1885, although it never got quite as rowdy ever again. Cleveland opted for a parade, which has since become a staple of presidential inaugurations.
74.When the video game based on The Lion King was being created, developers said Disney told them to make the game as difficult as possible, despite the fact that it was marketed to children. In fact, they were instructed to make the game so challenging that it couldn't be beaten during a single Blockbuster rental period. Disney wanted players to be so invested that they would go purchase the game to finish it, instead of waiting for their turn to re-rent the game. A few developers later apologized for making the game so hard.
Disney / Via giphy.com