Weird Facts 20
Dedicated to keeping you informed about all the interesting, strange and cool facts from around the world.
There is a violin made out of stone that is fully playable. Source
- The first country to abolish capital punishment was Austria in 1787.
- The first losing candidate in a US presidential election was Thomas Jefferson. He lost to John Adams. George Washington had been unopposed.
- The first modern Olympiad was held in Athens in 1896. 484 contestants from 13 nations participated.
- American eggs would be illegal in a British supermarket because they are washed and British eggs would be illegal in a US supermarket because they are unwashed. Source
- The first US Marines wore high leather collars to protect their necks from sabres, hence the name "leathernecks."
- The first-known contraceptive was crocodile dung, used by Egyptians in 2000 BC.
- When Yao Ming played his first game in Miami, the Heat promoted the game by passing out 8,000 fortune cookies. Yao wasn’t offended because he had never seen a fortune cookie, and assumed it was an American invention. Source - Facts and History of Fortune Cookies
- The House of Lancaster, symbolized by the red rose, won England's 'War of the Roses.'
- An educator installed a networked PC in a New Delhi slum, and left it there for children to freely explore. Kids from one of the most desperately poor areas of the world, without instruction, quickly learned how the PC operated, and taught each other, easily exploring via online connectivity. Source
- The influence of ancient Rome on architecture is all around us. The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., is almost a dead-ringer for the Pantheon. And the original Penn Station in New York was modeled on the Baths of Caracalla.
- Experts rank Starbucks coffee behind Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Tim Hortons in a blind tasting, saying “This is so bad. It’s the antithesis of coffee.” Source
- The band The Postal Service was sent a cease and desist letter by the US Postal Service for trademark infringement of their name. After negotiations, the USPS allowed the band to use the name in exchange for playing a free show at their national conference. Source
- The longest reigning monarch in history was Pepi II, who ruled Egypt for 90 years; 2566 to 2476 BC. The second longest was France's Louis XIV, who ruled for 72 years, 1643 to 1715.
- The Miss America Contest was created in Atlantic City in 1921 with the purpose of extending the tourist season beyond Labor Day.
- The name of the first airplane flown at Kitty Hawk by the Wright Brothers, on December 17, 1903, was Bird of Prey.
- A 17-year old was ejected from a plane upon crash and landed upright in his seat in the middle of a street. He was the only survivor. Source
- The only repealed amendment to the US Constitution deals with the prohibition of alcohol.
- Practicing magic is punishable by up to 5 years in prison in Israel. Source
- The peace symbol was created in 1958 as a nuclear disarmament symbol by the Direct Action Committee, and was first shown that year at peace marches in England. The symbol is a composite of the semaphore signals N and D, representing nuclear disarmament.
- German Beer was originally hallucinogenic, containing Henbane, until adding Henbane to beer was banned in 1516. Source
- The quarries where the Romans extracted travertine for the Colosseum and other great structures are still being mined today.
- The Republic of Israel was established April 23, 1948.
- The seven wonders of the ancient world were: ... 1. Egyptian Pyramids at Giza ... 2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon ... 3. Statue of Zeus at Olympia ... 4. Colossus of Rhodes - or huge bronze statue near the Harbor of Rhodes that honored the sun god Helios ... 5. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus ... 6. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus ... 7. Lighthouse at Alexandria.
- An Islamic sect had been living in an 8-story underground bunker for more than 10 years including 20 children, some of which had never seen the light of day. Source
- It would take 76 8-hour work days for the average person to read the Terms and Conditions they agree to in a year. Source
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