Do you want ot look like the one with all of the weird answers at a party? Well this list is for you. We have 20 ridiculous but true facts that you won’t believe. In fact, no one will believe you when you tell them.
1 Gladiator Matches Had Referees
Starting our list of ridiculous but true facts is one little known one about gladiator matches.
Amid the brutality and carnage of gladiatorial combat there was actually a referee, and an assistant for the referee, to control the battle. It seems hard to fathom from what we have been shown on the big screen. But as is often the case, what’s made for our entertainment isn’t always factual.
We have become accustomed to the reality that a gladiator fight was brutal. After all, the combatants were battling each other in hand to hand combat while using deadly weapons. But when the image of a fight between gladiators comes to mind we think of an uncontrolled fight to the death between two slaves. This is far from the truth, and the actual contests may have been much more civilized than we have been taught.
As we have said, gladiator combat was brutal, there’s no denying that. We have come to believe that at the end of a battle a gladiator would die, either from wounds, or at the behest of the audience. In the early period of the combats this was often the case. But as time progressed it became a rare occurrence. Unfortunately a gladiator was too expensive to have killed, and if one was unexpectedly killed the owner would be compensated.
To help prevent unintentional deaths, and to ensure a spectacle for the crowd, the gladiators had a referee who controlled the fight. This referee also had an assistant to help. The gladiator referee would pause fights and allow gladiators to refresh, have a drink or a rub down. He would also break up the combatants at crucial points in the match. He even had the ability to stop a match completely. It was the gladiator referee who controlled nearly all aspects of the match, and had a lot of discretion on the final outcome. If a gladiator had had enough of the fight he would signal his retirement, but it was up to the referee whether or not he would accept it.
2 A Chimp In Russia Had To Go Into Rehab Because It Developed A Drinking Problem
Addictions and substance abuse in the human world are not a new thing, and unfortunately, not that uncommon. But in the animal kingdom it’s a relatively unheard of occurrence. But sometimes it can happen, and humans are the culprits behind the unnatural addiction. As in the case of Zhora, a chimp in a Russian Zoo that was sent to rehab for an alcohol addiction. You see, Zhora developed a serious drinking and smoking problem when zoo visitors kept giving him too many treats. The end result was the chimp had to be sent to rehab.
The zoo keepers and officials tried their best to prevent the patrons from rewarding the chimp, however all of their attempts were in vain. They asked people not to give Zhora treats, and he was also kept behind three rows of fences, but visitors still managed to get cigarettes and alcohol into him.
Zhora, the chimp was transferred to another zoo for rehab treatment.
Zoo managers blamed the visitors for his addiction. They said that visitors thought it was funny to see animals drinking and smoking, but failed to understand that it can cause significant health risks.
We are unaware of the outcome of the chimps rehab. We hope that all is now well for Zhora and he has a long, happy and healthy life.
3 The British Won A Battle At Famars By Playing Music
When it comes to war the usual way to win is by out gunning and out maneuvering the enemy. More often than not this involves out thinking and deception to achieve the goal. One British regiment did just this at the Battle of Famars during the Napoleonic Wars, winning a battle by playing music. It is unique as it is the only recorded instance of a battle being won in this fashion.
You may be wondering how a battle can be won by music. Up until the mid 19th century it was common for armies to march into battle playing their regimental, or national song. It turn out that the French, during the battle of Famars on 23 May, 1793, were playing a tune that was kind of getting to the British regiment commander. The song the French were playing was Ca ira, which was a revolutionary song. Out of frustration the colonel commanding the West Yorkshire Regiment was heard to have said “beat the French to their own damned tune”.
That night the colonel summoned his drum Major and asked if the military band could learn the music to Ca ira. The band quietly practiced the song that night to perfection. At dawn the next morning, under a thick fog, the band marched ahead of the army towards the enemy positions playing the French tune of Ca ira. The French units were expecting reinforcements and didn’t lift a finger, thinking that the music were their own countrymen marching to their aid. The West Yorkshire Regiment just walked into the camp unopposed.
With that win by deception the regiment was awarded Ca ira as a battle honour and regimental quick march. Unfortunately though, once home, the locals who didn’t fully understand the story of the battle thought that the regiment showed disloyalty by playing a french song, and hurled abuse at the veterans.
4 During Operation Frequent Wind, USS Midway Destroyed $10 million Of US Helicopters To Save Members Of The South Vietnamese Army
In 1975, as the end of the Vietnam War approached, an aircraft carrier, USS Midway, lay in waiting in the South China Sea for Operation Frequent Wind. Operation Frequent Wind was the final phase in the evacuation of American civilians and “at-risk” Vietnamese from Vietnam as the North were overrunning Saigon and the rest of South Vietnam. To accommodate for those being rescued, the USS Midway had already offloaded 50% of its aircraft. During Operation Frequent Wind, the captain of the Midway would do the almost unthinkable and push $10 million of US helicopters overboard to save a member of the South Vietnamese Army.
On 29 April, 1975, Major Buang-Ly loaded his wife and five children into a two-seat Cessna aircraft and headed for the South China Sea. After evading heavy ground fire he spotted the Midway. The crew of the Midway attempted to contact him, but they were not successful,and the plane continued to circle overhead with its landing lights on. When a spotter on the USS Midway noticed there were at least four people on the two seater aircraft, all thoughts of ditching the plane at sea were abandoned, mainly due to the fact that the occupants would most likely not survive the sea landing.
Major Buang-Ly managed to drop a note while flying overhead. In it he said “Can you move the helicopter to the other side, I can land on your runway, I can fly for one hour more, we have enough time to move. Please rescue me! Major Buang, wife and 5 child.” That is when the ships commanding officer, Captain Larry Chambers ordered that all aircraft that can not be safely relocated to be pushed overboard.
Every available person on the ship pitched in, regardless of rank, to provide the manpower to clear the deck. An estimated $10 million worth of UH-1 Huey helicopters were pushed overboard into the sea. Once Major Buang had landed, the crew of the Midway were so impressed with his efforts that they started a fund to help him and his family resettle in the US.
5 No One Knows Who Invented Fire Hydrants Because The Patent Was Burned
Fire hydrants are something that are almost instantly recognisable. They are used as an active fire protection measure and are used by fire departments around the world by tapping into the suburban water supply. As fire hydrants are such a useful piece of infrastructure one would think that the person who invented them would have a household name. But alas, no one knows for sure who invented them.
Most people credit the invention of the post type fire hydrant to Frederick Graff Senior, Chief Engineer of the Philadelphia Water Works around the year 1801. But while Graff is often considered the inventor of fire hydrants, this claim can never be verified. The reason no one knows who invented fire hydrants is because, ironically, the patents office in Washington DC caught fire in 1836, and in the process it destroyed many patents, the fire hydrant being one of them.
6 DC Comics Villain Dr Arthur Light Is A Serial Rapist
This may come as no surprise to fans of comic books, but one of the villains in DC Comics is a serial rapist. While most supervillains in comic books have a criminal past time, or are turned by a significant event, Dr Arthur Light must surely have one of the most sinister of all past times.
It was revealed that Dr Arthur Light, who is the third character who has adopted the persona of Dr Light, was a serial rapist. In one episode he attacked Sue Digby and the Justice League vowed to alter his mind to protect their loved ones. He later regained his faculties and vowed revenge. He then absorbed the powers of the female hero Dr Light, later referring to his treatment of her as raping her.
This is hardly the kind of comic book you would want your young children to be reading.
7 You Spend 40 Minutes Every Day Blind Due To Saccades
Did you know that every person who has at least some vision spends about 40 minutes every day in blindness? It isn’t because your eyes aren’t working either, it’s because your mind is actually blocking images from your eyes all of the time and refusing to process them. Why is the mind doing this? In part it is because of our ability to move our eyes. It is also known as the stopped clock illusion.
Have you ever looked at your watch and thought the that second hand has momentarily stopped? There is an explanation for that.
You have probably never heard of chronostasis but you would have experienced it at some point in your life. Chronostasis is caused when the eyes move about and cause momentary blindness. The movements and temporary blindness are known as saccades. The mind though does not perceive any blindness. The total amount of time that your mind is refusing to process the missed images adds up to a total of about 40 minutes every day, although you will never notice it.
To experience this all you need to do is look into a mirror. While staring at your eyes move your eyes from left to right. You will not see your eyes moving, while any person standing beside you will clearly be able to see your eyes darting about.
Another common example that many of us would have noticed is when looking at a clock of watch. When we first look at a clock or watch quite often it appears as though the second hand, or its digital display, has stopped. This is chronostasis. The hand has not stopped at all, just our mind has tried to fill in the blank, blind spot for us. In doing so it perceives for us that the second hand was previously in that same position, not the position it was in just before we looked. Our mind basically stretches time backwards for us.
8 Gravity On Earth Isn’t Consistent, And Canada Has A Gravity Hole
During school we are taught that gravity is a phenomenon that all bodies are attracted to one another. We are taught that the gravity of Earth is consistent and the rate of acceleration due to gravity is 9.80665 m/s2.
But what if you were told that the gravity on Earth isn’t always perfect? If you have already read it, you will know that Earth isn’t round, and this has resulted in Mount Chimborazo projecting further into space than Mount Everest. The geology of Earth has an impact on the gravitational field also.
In Hudson Bay, Canada, there is a low gravity anomaly that results in a small drop in the gravitational pull of 0.005%. This low gravity anomaly in Canada is a result of the last ice age when the areas rocks were compressed by the Laurentide ice sheet 10,000 years ago, and are still recovering today. Also contributing to the anomaly is the high density of molten rock beneath the area.
9 Dogs Kill More People Than Sharks Every Year
Every year in the United States dogs are responsible for more deaths than sharks, and many many more bites. It may be hard to believe but it is the truth. In 2009 only one person died of a shark attack, while 25 people were killed in the same year by dogs.
Dogs are nearly always in our environment, while on the other hand not as many people are in a sharks environment. Not all dogs are aggressive either, but the proportion of dogs to people compared to sharks to people lends to a higher risk of being attacked by a dog.
10 Google’s Founders Didn’t Know HTML
What you are about to read proves that an idea is more powerful than the knowledge to implement it. The founders of Google didn’t know HTML, the internet code.
When you load the Google homepage, it is almost empty, except for a search box, their logo, a few links at the bottom of the page and occasionally a copyright symbol below the search box. The first thought about a page displaying like this would be to optimise page load time, but that was not the reason at all. It was designed this way out of necessity.
Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin didn’t know HTML. They didn’t even have a webmaster to help them. What they did have was an idea. An idea to make a search engine look for relevant information the user was searching for. So placing the minimum amount of HTML code on the page made for a simpler implementation of the idea.
In fact, the page is so empty they originally put the copyright symbol at the bottom of the page so people would know that page has finished loading. During initial tests users would just stare at the screen waiting for the rest of the page to load, not knowing it had already completed loading. By placing the copyright symbol at the bottom of the page it was a simple way of letting the user know that page was finished loading.