Now that we’re out of school, the old adage “you learn something new every day” doesn’t exactly apply. There are days, sometimes weeks, when our routine seems pretty much the same.
But, every once in a while, we learn something that changes the way we see our lives—and the world—forever.
These 33 facts do exactly that…and more. And when you learn them for the first time, you won’t believe you went your life without knowing them in the first place!
1. Dave Grohl almost quit Nirvana once after he overheard Kurt Cobain calling him a “shitty drummer.” He was convinced to stay by the band’s manager.
Celeb Net Wealth
2. In 2014, Uber launched “Operation SLOG” to try and destroy Lyft. They had teams of independent contractors use burner phones and credit cards request rides from Lyft and cancel over 5,000 rides.
3. In 1930, Babe Ruth signed a contract for a record-breaking $80,000. A reporter asked him what he thought about his salary being more than President Hoover’s $75,000. He replied, “I know, but I had a better year than Hoover.”
4. Prince used a recording of his unborn son’s heartbeat as a percussion track on the album Emancipation. By the time the album was released, his son died of a congenital birth defect.
5. Billionaire Daniel Keith Ludwig had his genetic material frozen just in case his estranged ex-wife’s daughter tried to challenge his will. After his death, she sued his estate—and lost—because DNA analysis proved he wasn’t her father.
6. Time seems to go faster in adulthood because when we’re adults, there are “fewer and fewer memorable events.”
Job Hunter's Bible
7. In 1943, when the 306th Bomber Group was returning to base during World War II, a hail of enemy fire turned the bomber into a flying fireball. Three of the five-man crew bailed, leaving behind the pilot, Sergeant Maynard “Snuffy” Smith. Smith had to juggle between returning fire with guns and keeping the blaze under control by throwing the flaming bits down the hole in the hull.
When the heat started setting off ammunition crates, he tossed them overboard. When he ran out of options, he urinated on the final bit of fire, putting it out. The bomber sustained 3,500 bullet holes and when it touched down, the stress of landing broke the plane in two. Smith was awarded the Medal of Honor for this feat.
8. When Ronda Rousey was 16, she was a moderator for a Pokémon forum. Her username was mew182.
9. Oreos are vegan and do not contain any dairy.
Brian's Running Adventures
10. In 2006, a trial of an autoimmune drug (TGN1412) was found to be safe in mice. When human volunteers took the drug, it caused their fingers and toes to die within minutes of taking it, and left them with multiple organ failures.
11. M&Ms were invented so that soldiers could have easy-to-transport, heat-resistant chocolate during wars.
12. During the Battle of Stalingrad, German soldiers put wire nets on windows to defend themselves and repel grenades. Russians overcame this by attaching fish hooks to the grenades so they would get stuck on the nets.
13. The Life of Brian, a Monty Python movie, was funded entirely by Beatles member George Harrison after EMI backed out due to the subject matter.
MV Film Society
14. Don Lind, a NASA astronaut, waited 19 years to fly in space. He was selected in 1966, but was only chosen for canceled missions or kept as a backup for others. He finally got to go to space in 1985.
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15. Disney’s High School Musical was made from a script called Grease 3 that was originally going to star Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake as Danny and Sandy’s children.
16. A bird took down the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, in 2009 by dropping a baguette inside it.
Eat Me Daily
17. Before John Smith ever set sail for present-day Virginia, he was a pirate who beheaded three Turks in jousting matches while fighting for the Holy Roman Army. He was enslaved in Russia until he killed his master.
18. In Milan, there’s a dog named Cacao that takes the number 54 bus every day to his favorite park in the city. He only gets on the bus with certain drivers, and when he arrives at his destination, he walks around the park for a few hours before taking the bus home again.
19. A man donated his kidney in 2012 to save his sister. Instead of transplanting the organ, a nurse mistakenly threw away the kidney. His sister had to wait three more months for a transplant. The family sued the hospital for negligence.
20. Domino’s Pizza said that during the televised police chase of OJ Simpson, its delivery sales were as high as they are on Super Bowl Sunday.
21. A loan of £1,000, at an annual rate of 6%, was given by a U.K. school to the city of St. Albans in 1722. The city’s council acknowledged the loan but still hasn’t repaid it. As of 2012, they owed the school £21,800,000,000 ($21.8 billion).
St. Albans Tour Guides
22. The pockets on men’s suits are sewn shut to preserve aesthetics during transport and display in stores. After you buy the suit, you can open up the pockets.
23. In 2014, the Colorado River reached the sea for the first time in 16 years.
The Nature Conservancy
24. Lucille Ball’s production company, Desilu, was the original producer for the Star Trek TV series. Lucy herself approved development of the concept into a series.
25. A woman made a fake Facebook profile pretending to be a teenage girl to talk to her husband, using the transcripts of their conversations to get him arrested. After the police nabbed him, the husband produced a notarized affidavit stating he knew the girl was his wife all along. The charges were dropped.
26. On the cover of Prince’s 2013 single “Breakfast Can Wait,” he used a picture of Dave Chappelle dressed as him. When someone asked him about it, Chappelle said, “What am I going to do? Sue him for using a picture of me dressed up like him? That’s a checkmate right there.”
27. “Jamais vu” is the opposite of deja vu. It’s when you experience something that you recognize but suddenly feel unfamiliar with it. It can also happen when you’re reading a word and don’t recognize it, or see someone you know and don’t recognize them.
28. In Africa, there’s such a thing as “AIDS orphan tourism.” Volunteers temporarily care for children who have lost their parents to the virus, and it’s called “voluntourism.” This has left children with attachment disorders and has encouraged orphanages to purposefully leave children in bad conditions to attract volunteers.
29. When the Titanic sank, it only had enough lifeboats for one-third of its passengers. This was the legal requirement at the time for boats because the lifeboats were intended to carry passengers back and forth from the sinking ship to a rescuing ship, not keep the entire population afloat at once.
30. Actress Tammy Lynn Leppert, who played the woman distracting Manny in the movie Scarface, disappeared soon after filming. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
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31. The Rosetta Stone was a royal decree talking about the taxing of temples.
32. A 15-year-old girl named Jeanna Giese was bitten by a bat in 2004. After showing signs of rabies a month later, doctors devised a “last-ditch” experimental treatment that cured her. She was the first known person to survive after showing rabies symptoms.
33. Octopuses are so smart, they’ll sneak onto fishing boats to open the holds and eat the crabs fishermen use as bait.
Okay, so some of these will never be in a textbook, but hey, at least you’re now guaranteed to win the next trivia night!
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