17 Noviembre 2016 22:04
Army tanks are called tanks because when they were first being built in World War I, they were so top-secret that factory workers were told they were making water tanks.
The tokay gecko’s mating call sounds like it’s saying "fuck you", so US soldiers in Vietnam nicknamed it the “fuck-you lizard”. It might also have something to do with creature’s penchant for biting you every chance it gets.
The language spoken by the Ewoks is based on that of the Kalmyk, a small ethnic group located in Mongolia and Russia. Just over 80,000 people still speak the language. Imagine the expression on the face of a Kalmyk speaker upon watching Return of the Jedi and wondering "How the hell am I understanding what this weird little bear is saying?"
In 2015, a Chinese woman who’d been missing for ten years and was presumed dead, was found living in a cybercafé, where she’d apparently spent the decade playing videogames. [Via DM]
Marine flatworms are hermaphrodites. When they mate, one takes the role of the male and the other the role of the female. Since both individuals would rather be male to avoid having to take care of the eggs, the pair have a sort of fencing match with their penises to see who gets to fertilize who. The winner gets to be daddy; the loser gets the much tougher job of being the mother.
Why is it the Top 40 and not the Top 30 or 50? Because the early jukeboxes could hold exactly 40 songs.
Remember Heaven's Gate? The sect that committed collective suicide in California in 1997? Well their website still works, though it hasn’t changed since the 90s. And somebody there is still replying to emails.
Giraffes only have seven vertebrae in their neck: the same number as humans. Seven supersized vertebrae.
It’s illegal to hunt whales in Oklahoma. If that doesn’t sound particularly unusual, try googling Oklahoma to see where it is.
The last execution by guillotine in France took place eight years after man walked on the moon for the first time.
Oxford University is 300 years older than the golden age of the Aztec Empire. When the university was founded, there were still Moa birds running around New Zealand.
The earliest forms of writing were developed before the mammoth became extinct.
Cleopatra wasn’t of Egyptian descent: her family was originally from Macedonia. And she lived closer to our time than to the building of the pyramids.
The Romans splurged so much money on Chinese silk that the senate tried to ban it in 14 AD, but the aristocracy refused to stop buying it.
In 986, the Russian prince Vladimir of Kiev met with representatives of various religions to decide which would be best for him and his people. He flatly refused to convert to Islam because of its ban on drinking alcohol. “We can’t exist without that pleasure," he said. What might Russia be like today if Vladimir had decided he could live without the occasional tipple?
The Ainu, in Japan, and the Nivkh, in Russia, practice a form of shamanic worship of bears that dates back to the Stone Age, and appears to be related to certain spiritual practices of the Neanderthals.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, once sent an anonymous letter to five of his friends which said "We are discovered. Flee now". One of them disappeared and was never seen again.
O.J. Simpson was supposed to feature in Terminator, but the producers decided that it would be too weird to depict an American hero killing people. James Cameron said Simpson wouldn’t make a very credible killer.
Emperor Mansa Musa I of Mali was the richest person in all human history. By today’s standards, his fortune would be worth $400 billion. When he visited Cairo in 1324 he spent so much that he single-handedly triggered disastrous levels of inflation.