12+ Random Facts That Are Super Interesting

Diply 27 Jul 2018

Have you learned something new today? If not, then don't worry, I've got you covered!

Whatever sort of trivia you're into, from science to history to the absolutely random, I've collected a little something for everyone!

1. Johnny Appleseed was just a savvy business man.

Flickr | Lisa Yarost

When Ohio was trying to expand permanent settlements, people were given a free 100 acres in return for agreeing to plant 50 apple trees and 20 peach trees within the first three years of moving onto the land.

The logic was that if you planted trees that took 10 years to bear fruit, you'd stay put.

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Sensing a good business venture, John Chapman moved ahead of the settlers, planting orchards and then selling them to new arrivals. 

Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons

However, Chapman's orchards didn't produce edible apples. Rather, they were small, tough, and sour. Not a great snack, but perfect for making the cider that dominated settlers' diets.

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2. In Australia, McDonald's has embraced the local nickname, even printing "Macca's" on new signage.

Reddit | Oohsam

Outside of North America, "Macca" is a common nickname for anyone with a last name beginning with "Mac" or "Mc." Even the McDonald's Australia website uses the nickname.

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3. The Aztec Death Whistle might be the most unsettling sound you'll ever hear. 

Imgur | ToiletpaperToni

While scientists aren't exactly sure what the whistles were used for, one thing they all agree on is that a whistle that sounds like a person screaming in pain is really, really creepy.

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4. The nine-banded armadillo almost always gives birth to identical quadruplets. 

Instagram | kort.jordan

The babies look just like smaller versions of an adult, save that it takes some time for their protective shell to harden.

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5. Nine-banded armadillos are also the only animal besides humans to carry leprosy.

Reddit | @zookeeper_josh

But don't worry! Only 5% of humans can even catch leprosy, and it's even less likely that you'll catch it from a random armadillo.

Plus, we probably gave it to them, so fair is fair.

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6. Penguin eggs have clear "whites" when boiled.

Reddit | giveitago

Unlike chicken eggs, where the whites turn opaque when cooked, penguin eggs stay semi-translucent even after boiling for 10-15 minutes. In the mid-20th Century, the harvest and sale of South African penguin eggs was common practice, but it was discontinued in the 1960s.

According to one person who tried them, they taste fishy, but in a "mild and very appealing way."

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7. Many Canadians are still convinced their money smells like maple syrup.

Instagram | @imjanechoi

Even though the Bank of Canada has gone on record multiple times to explain that no scent has been added to the polymer bills.

It's a myth so prevalent that people are constantly calling to complain that their money has "lost its scent."

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8. The first known swivel chair was likely invented by Thomas Jefferson.

GIPHY

After penning the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson returned home to Montecello. In his belongings was a custom Windsor chair with a strange revolving mechanism.

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9. There is a battleship off the coast of Australia that's been stuck there since 1916.

Reddit | outrider567

The [SS City of Adelaide](//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSCity_of_Adelaide_(1863)?utm_campaign=hubandspoke)_ started life as a steamship in 1863, before passing through a number of hands. In 1912, a fire gutted the insides and it was destined to become part of a jetty at Australia's Magnetic Island in 1916.

As it was being towed to Picnic Bay, it became stuck beyond salvaging and has become a tiny island all its own.

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10. Croissants were invented in Austria, not France.

Instagram | @allyouneedisfood_91

In fact, those puffy, flaky breakfast pastries are known generally as "viennoiseries," or "things from Vienna," in France. In the 1830s, an Austrian-owned bakery called Boulangerie Viennoise opened in Paris, sparking a rise in popularity.

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But while the origins are Austrian, it was the French who added a ton of butter to create the flaky goodness we know today.

Instagram | @nelescakery

The original dough just used yeast to make the flaky layers, but modern croissants are a labor of buttery love between every layer.

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11. Hello Kitty's actual name is Kitty White.

GIPHY

The "Hello" is just part of the brand. Though she was created in Japan, the character of Kitty is actually British. In the 1970s, many Japanese girls were obsessed with British culture and Kitty was designed to fit that fad.

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12. Papaya plants are technically herbs, not trees.

Reddit | Gemini421

Trees and shrubs are plants that contain wood, obviously, but herbaceous plants have no wood in them. The inside of a papaya plant reveals a structure that looks more like corrugated cardboard than actual wood.

The banana plant is is also technically an herb for the same reason.

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13. Lenticular clouds have been confused as UFOs for years.

Reddit | Blackjack667

The smooth, oval clouds are most notable for the fact that unlike most clouds, they don't move. Instead, they continue to form in the same space, usually around mountains, as the air currents flow up and down between the cold air of a mountain's peak and the warmer air below.

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14. You know how everyone's on about how many words for snow there are in the Inuit language? Well, the Scots have them beat. 

Sayingimages.com | Sayingimages.com

A study by the University of Glasgow, as part of an effort to create an official Scots thesaurus, found 421 distinct words or expressions for snow...so far.

My favorite is "feefle," which describes a swirling snow.

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