12 Partially Decomposed Bits of Trivia We Found Out by the Railroad Tracks. Wanna Take a Look?
You wanna go see a trivia tidbit? We overheard our big brothers talking about a bunch of them out in the woods by the railroad tracks. There’s one about a lady who got fired after giving her boss a kidney, another one about the college that sued a guy for graduating too quickly, and — it almost sounds too good to be true — one about frog divorce.
Come on — you’re in the prime of your youth! And you’ll only be young once!
The Plant That Will Kill You With a Smile on Your Face
Water dropwart contains a deadly neurotoxin known to cause a “sardonic grin” — a sustained muscle spasm that creates a smile-like facial expression.
The Guy Who Came Up With ‘Lost’ Got Fired for Making Such an Expensive Pilot
Lloyd Braun, the ABC exec who greenlit Lost, was fired before the show premiered. Ratings had been low, and the last straw was giving the thumbs up to a $10 million pilot (which, little did they know, would solve those pesky ratings issues for a few years).
A 99-Year-Old Woman Wanted to Be Arrested Before She Died (and the Cops Obliged)
An old Dutch woman wanted to “experience a police cell from within,” so her niece asked the cops nicely, and they put her in cuffs and chucked her in a cell.
A Woman Says Her Boss Took Her Kidney and Then Fired Her
A Long Island woman agreed to donate her kidney in order to give her long-time boss better odds of finding a match herself. After the surgery, her boss allegedly started treating her like absolute garbage, eventually firing her for taking too long to recover.
Doritos Are Disney Detritus
The founder of Frito-Lay opened up a restaurant in Disneyland called Casa de Fritos. He found he had an excess of tortillas, and after throwing them away for a while, he started chopping ‘em up and frying them. They became a local favorite, but no one bothered to tell corporate about it. When a VP came to visit a year later, he was struck with inspiration: drastically change and then make money off of something people love.
A German School Sued a Guy for Graduating Too Fast
The School of Economics and Management got pissed that student Marcel Pohl managed his time too well. He took as many classes as he could, then collected notes from friends in other classes and was able to take all the exams and collect all the credit he needed to graduate with a bachelor’s and a master’s, in just 20 months. The school sued him for $3,772, claiming they lost income from the scheme.
Frog Marriage (and Divorce) Is Sometimes Deployed As Climate-Control Measures
The Indian state of Madhya Pradesh was experiencing a drought in 2022, so two frogs were ritualistically wedded to please the Hindu god of rain. This is reportedly not an uncommon practice. Within two months of this particular marriage, though, they’d gotten over a quarter of the yearly expected rainfall, causing massive flooding. They had to ritualistically divorce the frogs in a last-ditch effort to keep the rain in check.
Falkland Islands Penguins Live on Top of a Minefield
The Argentinian military laid tens of thousands of mines on a beach in the Falkland Islands in 1982 to ward off British attack. The mines are extremely hard to remove, so the area has become a penguin preserve, because they’re too light to set them off.
Britain’s Laws Are Extremely Un-Vegan
The British Parliament had a thousand-year tradition of printing all their laws on vellum (calfskin paper). In 2017, some members tried to dial back the unnecessarily brutal, and wildly expensive practice. They reached a compromise: going forward, laws would be printed on paper, but bound in vellum.
New Delhi’s Tree Ambulances
Local municipalities deploy vehicles equipped with all kinds of equipment to quickly perform “tree surgery.” Tree ambulances are stocked with insecticides, pruning equipment and hydraulic lifts. There’s a six-digit 9-1-1-esque number you can call to request one.
The 10th-Tallest Pyramid in the World Is a Bass Pro Shop
The 32-story Memphis Pyramid was built in 1991 as a 20,000-seat arena. It hasn’t been an active venue since 2007, but they turned it into a gigantic Bass Pro Shop in 2015.
Walgreens Has Prohibition to Thank for Its Success
During prohibition, whiskey could only be sold by a pharmacy. Charles R. Walgreen already had 20 stores in 1919, but booze was such a lucrative business that he had over 500 a decade later. Walgreens officially says it was their signature milkshake, not alcohol, that accounts for their incredible success during that time period.