As I assemble this list of interesting facts, I shall make some self-indulgent observations on how to write a list of interesting facts. I shall not be at all ashamed to admit that I have no formal training in any area. I have no degrees, and am only barely literate. But I have found that there are two key ingredients to making any list interesting. One is a good story. Any good list must have a narrative arc to it. I have a knack for telling stories, and a very specific sort of story, in fact. My kind of story is simple and brief. It's like a fairy tale or a children's fable. It has a mood, but no message. The other thing I enjoy this list of interesting facts is the element of surprise. The list is designed to be read while one is lying on a couch, perhaps drinking a glass of wine. A good surprise is a crucial component to this type of reading material. I have spent the better part of my adult life developing and honing this particular skill, so I won't bore you with the details. 

We could have Baja Blast blue salmon if farmers weren’t cowards.

Farmed salmon could be any color the farmer wants, not just pink. GRAGKED.COM Farmed salmon is actually naturally white in color. It's reddish-pink only because farmers add in a pigment compound to the fishes' food, which makes the meat more appealing to consumers.

Time

An erupting volcano killed 30% of Russia’s population.

2 million people in Russia were killed in a volcanic winter in 1600. CRACKED.COM An eruption in Peru from Huaynaputina created a worldwide volcanic win- ter, causing Russia's worst famine, killing 30% of the population be- tween 1601 and 1603.

AGU

German soldiers burned their fort down trying to heat up coffee.

Over 600 WWI German soldiers burned to death when someone tried to heat up coffee with flamethrower fuel. CRACKED.COM The fuel proved to be too flammable and spread to shells which were careless- ly placed right next to the heating element, and a firestorm ripped through Fort Douaumont.

History

Comcast charged customers a monthly fee for nothing.

Comcast charged customers a $5/month service protection plan that did nothing. CRACKED.COM They were ordered to re- fund nearly 50,000 cus- tomers and pay a $9.1 mil- lion fine when a judge ruled that it violated Washington state consum- er protection law hundreds of thousands of times.

ARS Technica

Black Bart was a successful stagecoach robber.

The outlaw Black Bart successfully robbed 28 stagecoaches. CRACKED.COM One poem he left after a robbery read: I've labored long and hard for bread/ For honor, and for riches / But on my corns too long you've tread/You fine-haired sons of b*tches.

Smithsonian

Young soldiers at the Olympics would run in armor to train.

Greek soldiers would practice sprinting in heavy armor at the Olympics. - LAND - 02 NS NO DE 21 20 L.L.Bean ... GRAGKED.COM The 1,300 foot race young citizen soldiers had to run developed the battlefield tactic of rushing to the Persian lines at a rapid pace so as to counter their archers.

Realm of History

800 French women volunteered to be married off in Quebec.

France sent 800 poor women to Quebec in 1663, called The Daughters of the King. CRACKED.COM These women agreed to go to the mostly male New France colony to marry them. It worked, the popu- lation more than doubled in 10 years, and two-thirds of French Canadians today are their descendants.

CBC

Calvin and Hobbes has only been licensed once.

Bill Watterson only licensed his characters once, for a 1993 textbook. TEACHING WITH CALVIN and HOBBES® CRACKED.COM Teaching with Calvin and Hobbes is now so rare that only 7 li- braries in the world have copies. A copy sold for $10,000 in 2009.

Library of Congress

Einstein’s brain was stolen, much to his chagrin.

The doctor performing Einstein's autopsy stole his brain. CRACKED.COM Albert Einstein wanted to be cremated and his ashes scattered to discourage idolaters, but the doctor performing the autopsy put the brain in formaldehyde and kept it for himself.

Gizmodo

The doctor that tried to save JFK also tried to save Oswald.

One doctor treated multiple people relating to the JFK assassination. GRAGKED.COM Dr. Bob McClelland was the surgeon who attempted to save Kennedy after his as- sassination, and also at- tempted to save Lee Harvey Oswald after his shooting. Не later performed a cancer surgery on Zapruder.

Richmond

Britain chose boring code names for WWII projects so no one would investigate.

Tracked vehicles are called tanks because of the code given to their secretive projects. CRACKED COM In Britain, the project for the vehicles was named ship water tanks, which sounded so boring that nobody would investigate them. They did the same thing for the Man- hattan project, which was called tube alloys.

Wallace Alan Akers

A fish was given a fake eye so it would stop being bullied.

A fish at the Vancouver Aquarium was given a prosthetic eye so it wouldn't be bullied by other fish. CRACKED COM The copper rockfish had developed cataracts with old age and needed one eye removed, so head vet- erinarian Dr. Martin Haule- na sewed the prosthetic eye to the bone above the fish's eye socket.

Huffington Post

Sand particles from Kazakhstan colored snow orange in Siberia.

Orange colored snow fell on Siberia in 2007. CRACKED.COM Tests on the snow re- vealed numerous sand and clay dust particles and high iron content, which were blown into Russia from the upper stratosphere.

BBC

The Grateful Dead sponsored the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic basketball team.

Lithuania competed in the 1992 Olympics wearing tie-dye uniforms from The Grateful Dead. CRACKED.COM Lithuania had to withdraw due to the lack of money after the fall of the USSR. The Grateful Dead agreed to fund transportation costs for the basketball team along with designs for the team's jerseys.

EW

A song about meth and sex was used in the trailed for “The Tigger Movie.”

The original theatrical trailer for Disney's The Tigger Movie was recalled due to a dirty song choice. CRACKED.COM Parents complained that the background music was Semi-charmed life by Third Eye Blind, a song about crystal meth ad- diction and sex.

Hollywood

Postal delivery began because a postman felt bad for war widows.

The US Postal Service began home delivery during the Civil War. HC www.usps.com UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE CRACKED.COM After a postal worker be- came so torn up by seeing women lined up in the cold to see if a letter had ar- rived from a son or hus- band at the front lines, he started delivering mail to homes.

PS Mag

People who paid for the first Volkswagens never received them.

During the Nazi regime, no one who purchased a Volkswagen Beetle actually received it. KA VH 33H CRACKED COM German workers pur- chased an installment plan where they made pay- ments and posted stamps to be redeemed for the car. Due to the shift of wartime production, no consumer ever received a car.

The Wages of Destruction

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