It’s easy to forget what an odd place the world can be sometimes. But when you learn that one U.S. president was also a wrestling champion, that most power outages in America are caused by a furry creature, or that a famous singer sparked a chain reaction that led to the invention of Google Images, you remember that literally anything can happen. To prove that point, let’s take a look at the facts that made us say, “Wait, is this real life?!”
40. Dogs are outlawed in Antarctica
Dogs played a pivotal role during the early days of exploration in Antarctica. In addition to being man's best friend, they were also tasked with dragging people around the continent on sleds. In fact, huskies ensured that Roald Amundsen’s expedition became the first to ever make it to the South Pole in 1911. But fast-forward to the present day and you won’t see any dogs in Antarctica.
That’s because dogs were outlawed from Antarctica in 1993. It wasn't only for their own protection from the harsh climate, but to protect Antarctica's wildlife. Banning dogs from Antarctica prevented them from inadvertently infecting the indigenous seal population with foreign diseases.
39. Who's on the $100,000 bill?
What’s the biggest bill of U.S. currency you’ve ever seen? Given that the most valuable one circulated nowadays is $100, anything larger is a real rarity to stumble upon in your daily life. But over the years, some extremely large denominations have been issued. You might possibly have seen a $500 bill at some point in your life, but how about one worth $100,000?
For less than a month in the mid-1930s, such a note really was printed! It bore the face of President Woodrow Wilson. In case you were curious, the $500 bill featured President William McKinley, and the $1,000 bill showed President Grover Cleveland.
38. Napoleon was once attacked by bunnies
After one particular military campaign had come to a successful conclusion, Napoleon Bonaparte felt like hunting some rabbits to celebrate. So, his subordinates gathered several hundred of the creatures – some even say thousands – and set them loose. But rather than fleeing the scene, the bunnies supposedly attacked.
A number of the furry beasts made their way towards Napoleon himself, climbing onto his body and scratching at him. Napoleon, the mighty military genius, was forced into an ignoble retreat.
37. All swans belong to the King
There’s an old law in Britain stating that all wild swans in England and Wales actually belong to the king or queen. Um... what? The bizarre ruling dates back to the medieval era, a time in which swans were considered a luxury. It’s still in place today, as is an annual tradition in which every swan on the River Thames is counted. The monarch is then informed of the tally.
So King Charles III can now add "Swan Keeper" — the official name given to the monarch — to his resume. And as Swan Keeper, he's allowed to give swans as gifts to whomever he wishes.