25 Amazing Facts for People Who Like Amazing Facts

21. Blood donors in Sweden receive a thank-you text when their blood is used.

The message is along the lines of “Thank you, the blood you gave is now benefiting a patient.”

22. Kea parrots warble together when they’re in a good mood.

They’re the first known non-mammal species to communicate with infectious laughter.

23. Long before rap battles, there was flyting, the exchange of witty, insulting verses.

The verbal throwdowns were popular in England and Scotland from the 5th to 16th centuries.

24. Melbourne gave some of its trees email addresses so residents could report problems.

Instead, the trees received love letters.

25. An estimated 1 million dogs in the U.S. have been named primary beneficiary in their owners’ wills.

Beagle

A beagle. / Jamie McCarthy/GettyImages

Leaving a pet money in a will can get a bit legally complicated.

26. At Petrified Forest National Park, visitors sometimes break the rules (and the law) by taking rocks home with them.

According to rangers, they often end up returning the stolen goods in the mail—along with an apology note.

27. The Russian team showed up 12 days late to the 1908 Olympics in London.

They were using the Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar.

28. Maya Angelou was the first Black female streetcar conductor in San Francisco.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou. / Jemal Countess/GettyImages

She began working that job when she was 16.

29. In Japan, letting a sumo wrestler make your baby cry is considered good luck.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=5I8ROyD85S4%3Ffeature%3Doembed

The tradition even has its own festival.

30. J.K. Simmons has been the voice of the yellow Peanut M&M since the late 1990s.

M&M’s have a long, interesting history.

31. Count von Count’s love of numbers isn’t just a quirky character trait.

In traditional vampire folklore, the bloodsuckers have arithmomania, a compulsion to count.

32. In Great Britain and Japan, black cats are perceived as auspicious.

In the English Midlands, new brides are given black cats to bless their marriage, and Japanese people believe that black cats are good luck—particularly for single women.

33. Portland was named by a coin flip.

Had the coin landed the other way, the city would be Boston, Oregon.

34. Neil Armstrong’s astronaut application arrived a week past the deadline.

30th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Mission

Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 Moon Mission. / NASA/GettyImages

A friend of Armstrong’s slipped the tardy form in with the others.

35. During World War I, a Canadian soldier made a black bear his pet.

He named her Winnipeg. “Winnie” was later a resident of the London Zoological Gardens where she was an adored attraction, especially to a boy named Christopher Robin Milne, the son of A. A. Milne.

36. Sleep literally cleans your brain.

During slumber, more cerebrospinal fluid flushes through the brain to wash away harmful proteins and toxins that build up during the day.

37. The “Waffle House Index” is informally used by FEMA to gauge storm severity.

It's ability to stay open is legendary.

Its ability to stay open is legendary. / Steven Miller, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This is due to the restaurant’s reputation for staying open in extreme weather.

38. The first sales pitch for the Nerf ball was “Nerf: You can’t hurt babies or old people!”

Fortunately, that isn’t the brand’s slogan.

39. The manchineel tree is nicknamed the “tree of death” for good reason.

Touching it can leave chemical burns on your skin, its fruit is toxic, and its bark—when burned—can cause blindness.

40. Route 66 sings.

Exploring Santa Monica's Coastal Charms

Route 66 in Santa Monica. / George Rose/GettyImages

If drivers adhere to the 45 mph speed limit on a stretch of Route 66 in New Mexico, the road’s rumble strips play a rendition of “America the Beautiful.”

41. Russian cosmonauts used to pack a shotgun in case they landed in Siberia.

They’d use the shotgun to fend off bears.

42. Space has a distinct smell.

It smells like a bouquet of diesel fumes, gunpowder, and barbecue. The aroma is mostly produced by dying stars.

43. The annual number of worldwide shark bites is 10 times less than the number of people bitten by other people in New York.

Beware of biting humans.

Beware of biting humans. / Eva-Katalin/Getty Images

Perhaps the ocean is safer than the Big Apple.

44. The Seven Dwarfs in Snow White could have had very different names.

Before settling on the Seven Dwarfs we know today, Disney considered Chesty, Tubby, Burpy, Deafy, Hickey, Wheezy, and Awful.

45. In 1997 a Louisville woman left actor Charles Bronson all of her money in a handwritten will—a total of about $300,000.

Charles Bronson

Charles Bronson. / United Archives/GettyImages

She’d never met him; she was just a fan.

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