The city is dark under a blanket of cloud when the detective arrives at the scene of the murder. He's got his revolver tucked into his belt and is wearing a raincoat over his usual uniform. There's nothing unusual about that, but as he approaches the corpse in the alleyway between two tall buildings, he finds himself thinking: This can't be right. It was only five minutes ago I left him alive. What has happened here?

The dead man is dressed all in black—a tuxedo. He wears gloves. A pair of shiny shoes. His tie is red, like something out of a stage play or film from long ago, but the detective notices the tie isn't fixed right. When he leans in to inspect the tie, he spots the corner of a piece of paper peeking from an inside pocket of the tux. The detective takes it out and examines it -- and, to his amazement, it's a list of fifteen facts.

This is what it says:

It took over two months to drive cross-country the first time.

The first cross-country road trip taken in an automobile took 64 days. 1903 WINTON Horatio Nelson Jackson and his driving partner Sewell Crocker drove their 20 horsepower Winton from San Francisco, CA to New York. That year, the Wright brothers made their historic flight in Kitty Hawk. CRACKED.COM

PBS 

Bears were used to test ejection seats.

The US Air Force tested ejector seats with bears. The Air Force needed to test the ejection seats for the new B-58 Hustler, the first aircraft to go Mach 2. They had to account for even the heaviest of crewmen, so they sedated bears and strapped them in. CRACKED.COM

Military 

For some reason, opossums glow pink.

Opossums glow pink under UV light, but their fur blocks it. The marsupials with a body temperature too low for the rabies virus to live are strange woodland creatures. Scientists are aware of the opossum's pink biofluorescence, but they have no idea what purpose it serves. CRACKED.COM

The State 

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Frozen alligators leave their noses out of the water during winter.

Alligators in Oklahoma keep their snouts above the ice to breathe while they brumate. Alligators enter a sluggish state known as brumation in cold temperatures. The small number of gators in Oklahoma stay in the cold water and poke their noses out above the ice during this time. CRACKED.COM

Oklahoman 

Cannonballs are still stuck in one Dutch church.

There is a Dutch church that still has cannonballs embedded in its walls. During the 1814 Siege of Naarden, French General Jacques Quetard de la Porte held up behind the walls for six months while cannon fire reigned down. Naarden residents suffered no casualties. CRACKED.COM

Atlas Obscura 

Akira Toriyama was sick of inking Goku’s black hair, so the Super Saiyan was born.

The Super Saiyan transformation was designed to be easier to draw. Super Saiyans have yellow hair to make illustrating them easier. In the black and white pages of the original manga, the new power-up would make it easier to ink characters who usually have jet-black hair. CRACKED.COM

Screenrant 

Roller-blading officers are protecting Pakistan.

One of the most difficult cities in Asia to police has roller-blading officers. The elite commandos on roller-blades in Pakistan fight crime in a notoriously dangerous area of the world, known for its corrupt police force, gang wars and ethnic, sectarian and political violence. CRACKED.COM

Arab News 

Thank Marlon Brando for the top half of your wardrobe.

Marlon Brando popularized wearing a t-shirt as an outer garment. Before Brando's 1951 role in A Streetcar Called Desire, it was commonplace to wear a t-shirt only as an undergarment. CRACKED.COM

BBC 

“The Thing” was inspired by the author’s mom, and her twin.

The Thing was inspired by John W. Campbell Jr.'s aunt, who was his mother's twin. Campbell Jr. wrote the story Who Goes There?, about a shape-shifting alien that devours scientific researchers in the Antarctic, after not being able to tell his mother from her twin in his childhood. CRACKED.COM

LA Times

There is a car with a star on the Walk of Fame.

The Chevrolet Suburban has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. SCH E UNTO BER NATIONAL For its appearance in nearly 2,000 movies since 1960, the Suburban is the first inanimate object awarded a star on Los Angeles' historic landmark. CRACKED.COM

The Guardian 

A dozen pilots a year try to fly drunk.

One U.S. pilot a month is arrested for being drunk. A Delta pilot was arrested for attempting to fly an airplane under the influence in 2019. In the airport security video, the pilot leaves a security checkpoint to discard the bottle of vodka that was in his luggage. CRACKED.COM

ABC News 

“Community Service Barbie” didn’t take off.

Babie's creator was convicted of cooking the books and deceiving shareholders. Ruth Handler, who invented Barbie along with her husband, were ousted from the toy company in 1975. Ruth was accused of doctoring Mattel's book and was fined and sentenced to community service. CRACKED.COM

LA Times 

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