15 Flames of Trivia We Lit This Week
The Great Chilean earthquake in 1960 had all kinds of aftereffects. It set off floods, tsunamis, landslides and even launched a volcanic eruption. It also caused some strange activity among the people who stuck around afterward.
Find out exactly what they did below, along with some quick advice connected to just how disgusting restaurants are.
Sigmund Freud’s first great scientific triumph was discovering testes in an eel. No one had previously managed to locate any male eel’s gonads, and Feud dissected 400 eels until he finally succeeded at finding the elusive organs.
World’s Greatest Attention Hog
A man famous for filing frivolous lawsuits announced a lawsuit against the Guinness Book of World Records in 2009. He said he was suing them for naming him the world’s most litigious man. Guinness responded that they’d never named him anything, and this suit, like all his suits, was just a publicity stunt.
Blood and Wine
It took humanity surprisingly long to figure out that blood circulates through the body and carries nutrients. Once we did figure it out, scientists theorized that various other fluids could work as blood substitutes. Perhaps, they suggested, we could replace someone’s blood with wine.
In 1903, a Hearst paper reported that Annie Oakley had been arrested for stealing to fund her cocaine habit. She spent the next decade suing them and every other paper that printed this false story, winning 54 cases.
The last recorded sighting of a Great Auk happened on June 3, 1844. Three Icelandic fishermen, Jon, Sigurdur and Ketil, spotted a breeding pair and an egg. Two of the fishermen strangled the birds, and the third smashed the egg.
An Easy Fix
In 1892, Australia discovered that Mount Kosciuszko, their supposedly tallest peak, was slightly shorter than the mountain next door. To spare everyone the embarrassment of Kosciuszko not being so tall after all, they switched the two mountains’ names, so Kosciuszko would remain the tallest.
Chlamydia rates doubled among young Swedes in one year, from 2003 to 2004. The country responded by debuting condom ambulances, that would respond to emergency calls by dispatching condoms to the scene.
No More Mr. Knife Guy
A 19th-century man named John Cummings managed to swallow several knives, which passed all the way through his digestive tract without hurting him. He spent the next several years repeating the stunt for those who didn’t believe he’d ever done it. This killed him, of course.
The Rods of God
One proposed weapon system would drop metal to the Earth from a large height, relying on pure kinetic power rather than any kind of explosive force. Drop a few tungsten rods from space, and they’d hit the ground at hard as a nuclear bomb, but without any nuclear fallout.
My Beard’s Pointing at Heaven
Michelangelo really hated painting the Sistine Chapel. He even wrote a poem about how the horrors. “My haunches are grinding into my guts,” he wrote. “My poor ass strains to work as a counterweight / Every gesture I make is blind and aimless.”
When you get “food poisoning” after eating at a restaurant, you might have gotten it from the ice in your drink. The food was probably cooked, while the ice wasn’t, of course, and may have been scooped from an ice machine crawling with germs.
The Cutest Fish
The official scientific name for one fish that lives in shallow Atlantic waters is Boops boops. It also has a series of informal names, all related to how big its eyes are.
Stephen Hawking and his wife found some appropriate alternative partners. Jane Hawking started sleeping with a man in the church choir. Stephen left Jane for his nurse, who was also the ex of the man who designed his voice synthesizer.
In 1960, after an earthquake, villagers in Chile carried out a human sacrifice to calm the earth and sea. A judge acquitted the killers, saying they’d “acted without free will, driven by an irresistible natural force of ancestral tradition.”
The Three Wishes
The oldest story of a genie granting three wishes comes from One Thousand and One Nights. A man first wishes for a bigger penis. It becomes as big as pillar, so he wishes it away, leaving him with no penis at all. Finally, he just wishes for his original penis back.