Well, here’s a list of 25 bizarre facts that a lot of people just won’t believe until they have read them for themselves. Surprise and inspire your friends with some totally useless information from these facts. From the quirky to the surreal, this list of bizarre facts is simply astounding. Now, begin your journey through our list and discover something new today.
1 Better Dead Than Red Was First Used By The Nazis
Have you ever wondered who first said better dead than red? Well if you are a fan of the saying, and also have a deep seated hatred of the Nazi’s, you better pick a new slogan to chant.
The anti-communist phrase “better dead than Red” had its origins in NAZI Germany. While it was extensively used during the cold war to show resentment towards the communist ideals, better dead than red was first said by German propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels to motivate the German population to resist the Russian army.
The German version of the phrase coined by Goebbels was “Besser tot als rot”.
So that’s who first said better dead than red. Not a patriotic, capitalist freedom fighting American.
2 There Is A Children’s Book Called “Go The Fuck To Sleep”
You read that right., but it was never an intentional story.
The books author, Adam Mansbach’s had difficulty getting his 2 year old daughter to sleep, something many parents can attest to. One night after battling to get his daughter to sleep he posted a status on his Facebook wall, “Look out for my forthcoming children’s book, Go the — to Sleep“. Several of his friends saw his post and encouraged him to write the book.
He began work on his hypothetical book, and had a friend illustrate his story for him. He took his story to publisher Akashic Books to have it published. It became a viral hit after PDF copies of the book became available before its official release. The book eventually hit number 1 on Amazon.com.
While the book is written and illustrated in a style that resembles a children’s book, it is actually intended for adults. It has since been followed up with “You Need to Fucking Eat.”
3 Union Soldiers Are Buried In Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Front Yard
Why on earth would a Confederate general have Union soldiers buried In his front yard? Because it was not his decision.
When Virginia ceded from the Union in 1861, Robert E. Lee moved his family from their Arlington farm. During the civil war the estate was captured by Union forces and military installations were set up there. The grounds of the estate were soon used to bury the remains of fallen Union soldiers.
General Lee’s descendants challenged the seizure of the property in the courts following the end of the war, and the estate was returned to Lee’s son, Curtis Lee. Congress later purchased the property from Curtis Lee for $150,000, and it has remained in US government hands ever since.
The name of Robert E. Lee’s property is now known as Arlington National Cemetery. It has been the principle resting place of fallen soldiers since the civil war up until the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Arlington is also the resting place of slain US president John F. Kennedy.
4 Earth Is Not A Perfect Sphere
Remember all of our lessons in school where we would look at a globe of the world and it was round? Well the globe was wrong and Earth is not a perfect sphere at all. This is weirdly true, and we will explain it for you.
Now, before you think we have gone back in time by 700 or so years and are arguing the world is flat, we definitely aren’t. Earth is not a perfect sphere because of the gravitational forces which pull it together. If fact, Earth has a bulge, a little like love handles around the equator. The Earth’s Equatorial radius is 6377.01 kilometers (3,963.34 miles) while the Polar radius is 6355.53 kilometers (3949.99 miles), making it not round at all.
Ok, we know that it’s only 21 odd kilometers, and over the entire globe it wouldn’t really equate to much at all, but if you really think about it, it’s evidence enough to show that Earth is not a perfect sphere.
5 You Can Easily Crush Any Size Drum Or Container. Don’t Believe Us, Watch…
Just about any size drum can be very easily crushed using heat and then super cold water, provided that it is sealed once hot, of course. It works because the air inside the drum is heated, which as we have learned from science, expands when heated. Once the drum and the air inside it have been heated enough, the container can be placed into either ice or another cold liquid, such as water. This cooling will contract the air that is trapped inside the container. When the pressure difference inside and outside the drum is sufficiently enough, the outside pressure will force the sides of the drum inwards to equalize the pressure, crushing the drum.
6 The Worlds Oldest And Smallest Republic Is The Republic of San Marino, And You’ll Never Guess Who It Gained Independence From
The idea of nations being a republic is not a new idea. The ancient Greek and Roman republics are among the most commonly known. But they were in the ancient world.
Following the gradual fall of the Roman Empire the middle ages heralded in a period of autocratic rule, either by monarch or religious leaders. It wasn’t until fairly recently in modern history that republics have come back into favor. One tiny nation however lays claim to being the oldest and also the smallest republic in the world. That nation is San Marino, officially known as the Republic of San Marino. San Marino is an enclave in Italy, being completely encompassed by its only neighbor.
San Marino gained its independence from Rome, that is the ancient Roman Empire, on the 3rd day of September 301 AD. It has been governed by a series of six books written during the 16th century that govern the way the country is run. The independence of San Marino was finally recognized by the Papacy in 1631.
Now some may be thinking that there are republics smaller than San Marino. There are some countries that are smaller, however they are not republics. The Vatican City for instance is smaller, but it is an ecclesiastical state. Monaco is also smaller but is a Principality. There are other countries that are smaller, however they are all territories of other countries. Nauru on the other hand also has laid claim to being the worlds smallest republic. While the land area of Nauru is smaller than that of San Marino the territorial waters it controls covers a much larger area.
So, given that it has been a continuous republic since 301 AD, and the area of the nation is the smallest, San Marino can comfortably lay claim to being the worlds smallest and oldest republic.
Speaking of European countries…
7 The National Animals Of Monaco Are Cute And Fluffy
Usually when a country selects their national animal it will be an animal that is fearsome, majestic, or easily identified as being from that country. Some notable examples include the United Kingdom which has the lion as one of its animals, The United States has the Bald Eagle, Australia has the Kangaroo as one of its animals, and the Kiwi is the national animal of New Zealand. Some countries however, such as Scotland and North Korea, got confused as to what actually constitutes an animal. Monaco on the other hand decided to go out on a limb and do something completely different.
Monaco is well known around the world for its Grand Prix and its casinos, but not many would know what animals it has chosen to represent itself. They did not choose an animal that is fearsome. Nor did they select an animal that is majestic. Unlike North Korea and Scotland though, they did pick real animals. The national animals of Monaco are the rabbit, hedgehog and wood mouse.
Now, personally I could understand if they were like Bugs Bunny, Sonic the Hedgehog and Speedy Gonzales, but I don’t quite think they had them in mind when making their selections.
8 Rainbows Viewed From An Airplane Are Circles
If you look at a rainbow from a plane it is a full circle, not just an arc like you see from the ground. This is a phenomenon that can also be experienced from very tall buildings and mountains, when there are clouds below viewing level. They are commonly known as glories.
A glory s formed when you are situated directly between a cloud containing small water droplets and the sun. The light is refracted at a smaller angle than a common rainbow, about 5 to 20 degrees. They are most commonly seen when flying,
9 Third World Doesn’t Mean Poor
It’s common today for people to talk about Third World countries as if they are poor and disadvantaged. It’s as if the term was made up solely for the purpose of describing these kinds of countries. But did you know that Third World doesn’t actually mean they are poor?
The term “Third World” originated during the Cold War years and was used as a geo-political description. The first world countries were the NATO countries such as the USA Canada and their allies around the world. The second world countries were the USSR, China and their communist allies, and everyone else who was not affiliated with either side were third world. It just happened to be that they were also the poorest countries.
10 Hitlers Nephew Wrote An Article About Why He Hated His Uncle
Now this is a family feud that many of us don’t know about. In 1938 the nephew of German leader Adolf Hitler wrote a piece for British magazine “Look” titled “Why I Hate My Uncle.”
William Patrick Stuart-Houston (ne Hitler), born in Liverpool, England in 1911, was the son of Hitlers half brother Alois Hitler, Jr. He went to Germany in 1933 hoping to benefit from his uncle’s rise to power. Adolf Hitler found him several jobs that he was dissatisfied with. William blackmailed his uncle for a better job or else he would release damaging family secrets to the press.
In 1938 Adolf Hitler asked William to relinquish his British citizenship in return for a high ranking position. He felt it was a trap and fled back to England. That was when he wrote the article about why he hated his uncle.
He returned to Germany in late 1938 and fled again in January 1939 with help from a British agent. He soon afterwards accompanied his mother on a lecture tour of the United States and was there when war broke out in Europe in September 1939.
In 1944 he persuaded President Franklin D. Roosevelt to allow him to serve in the Navy of the United States. He was wounded during the course of World War II and was discharged in 1947. Upon his arrival at the draft office he was said to have introduced himself and the recruiting officer replied, “Glad to see you, Hitler. My name’s Hess.”
Perhaps he hated Hitler because of this problem.
11 Tasers Are Named After A Novel
Tasers, the apparently non lethal device used by law enforcement authorities around the world, is named after a character in a series of books that was published in the early 20th century. It actually drew its name from one book in the series of ten in particular.
The main character in the series of stories is Tom Swift. The particular book that the tasers name is taken from is, Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle. When the taser was invented 60 years later by Jack Cover, and marketed by Taser International, it drew its name as an acronym from the book. Thomas A. Swifts Electric Rifle. While Tom Swifts middle name has never been revealed the “A” initial is only gratuitous.
12 What Does WD-40 Stand For? It’s Really Boring
Have you ever wondered what does WD-40 stand for? Like many products that we have come to know and love, the name, while memorable, actually doesn’t make much sense to us. It’s as if someone just strung a few letters together to make a product name. I mean, just look at Google’s name and you’d be forgiven for thinking that they may have had goggles on their mind when they came up with their name. But they didn’t.
So back to what does WD-40 stand for? Well it actually stands for water displacement 40th try. Wd-40 was developed by Norm Larsen who was attempting to develop a water displacement spray that was also anti corrosive. It took him 40 attempts to get to the successful version.
13 Australia Is The Only Continent Without An Active Volcano
This particular fact is open to interpretation. Australia is a very old continent with many volcanoes, all of which are now dormant or extinct. So that would mean that it is the only continent without any active volcanoes. Even Antarctica has active volcanoes, with the most recent eruption occurring in 2012.
Now remember I said it was open to interpretation? There are several reasons for that. Firstly a few volcanoes in Australia, although they are regarded as dormant, erupted around 4500 years ago. That might seem like a long time, but geologically that is an extremely small time period. Secondly, New Zealand has active volcanoes, and it is regarded as being part of the Australian continent. To add to the confusion, some of the territories owned by Australia have erupted in recent years. As recently as 2013 to be precise.
14 Queen Elizabeth II Doesn’t Have A Passport
Queen Elizabeth II doesn’t have a passport. All people, presidents, prime ministers and other diplomats require a passport while travelling overseas, but not Queen Elizabeth II. The reason she does not need a passport is because all British passports are issued in her name, so hence one for her is not required. She is the most widely travelled head of state in history having visited 116 countries over her 60 year reign. The Queen also doesn’t need a drivers licence for the same reason.
Speaking of the Queen..
15 Queen Elizabeth II Is A Qualified Mechanic
If you ever happen to be driving through London and break down near Buckingham Palace who would you call? Well you could try your luck and just knock on the palace doors and ask Queen Elizabeth II if she can help you.
That’s correct. Queen Elizabeth II is a qualified mechanic. She earned the qualification while she was a princess during the Second World War. It was part of her duty towards the war effort. During the war she was also a military truck driver.
Keeping with the royal theme for just a moment longer
16 The United States Has Had One Queen During It’s Independence
The first and only Queen to rule in any of the United States territory was Queen Lydia Liliuokalani who was queen of the Hawaiian Islands. Queen Liliuokalani also has the distinction of being the last reigning monarch of Hawaii.
She ruled from 1891 until 1893 when American and European settlers formed a Committee of Safety and planned to overthrow the Kingdom, depose the monarchy, and seek annexation from the US. In 1893 US Marines entered Honolulu under orders of neutrality to prevent violence. She was deposed temporarily and hoped that the US would restore her to the throne at a later date. It was not to be. In 1894 the Republic Of Hawaii was proclaimed and four years later Hawaii was incorporated into the United States of America.
17 The Difference Between Poison, Venom & Toxins
Poison, venom and toxins are completely different things. Toxins are substances that are produced naturally, like bacteria that cause illness and infection. Venom is usually injected by an animal and is harmless if ingested. Poisons are man made substances that are dangerous if ingested or injected.
18 Benjamin Franklin Has Inventions That Are Still In Use Today
Benjamin Franklin is often only thought of as a US revolutionary leader during the war of independence. But he was also a prolific writer, statesman, inventor and scientist. He conducted important studies in electricity, weather and Atlantic ocean currents.
Some of his inventions are still in wide use today. These include bifocal spectacles, lightening rods and flexible urinary catheters. But probably the most amazing thing about his work in science was that he never patented any of his inventions. In his autobiography he makes mention of this. “… as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously.”
Could you imagine any inventor today being so generous with their work?
19 Argentina Has A Crazy Radio Station, Literally
There’s a radio station in Argentina that is broadcast from a mental institution in Buenos Aires, and interviews the patients. It’s called “Crazy Radio” and has 12 million listeners.
It appears to help the patients too. Most patients who participate in the program are later released and don’t require re-admittance. They are now planning on a television program.
20 Do You Know What Letter Doesn’t Appear On The Periodic Table Of Elements?
Of all of the letters that don’t appear on the periodic table of elements you would think it would be one of the least used letters such as Q, X or Z but they are there. The letter J is the only letter that does not appear anywhere on the periodic table of elements.
It is worth noting that the letter Q does not appear in any official element name. Only temporary elements such as ununquadium use this letter. When the element is actually discovered, its discoverer gets the opportunity to name the element. So it could very well have a different name.
21 Gandhi Never Won A Nobel Peace Prize
Although Hitler was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize probably the most peaceful person to ever live was nominated 5 times and never won. Mahatma Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and finally in 1948 just before his death. The rules of the Nobel Prize exclude posthumous awards, so the Nobel committee decided that year there would be no prize as there was “no suitable living candidate.”
22 Why Is A Bakers Dozen 13?
Have you ever wondered why a bakers dozen is 13? It goes back centruies to when bread was often the only source of food available. Penalties were harsh for bakers who short changed their customers. To beat this bakers gave 13 pieces of bread so that way they couldn’t be accused of cheating their customers. This is generally the most accepted origin of a bakers dozen, but there are others that could possibly be true.
Another possible origin of a bakers dozen being 13 is because of how a baker bakes the bread. Because of the shape of a bakers tray, often being a 3 by 2 rectangle, the configuration of how they would bake in a 4, 5, 4 pattern meant that there would be corners that would cool or heat faster than the rest. This is important to ensure uniformity when baking. But the only thing that this theory fails to allow for is why would the baker still sell 13 loaves, when they could have baked 12 trays and ended up with 13 dozens?
23 Between The Two World Wars Germany’s Money Was Worthless
Before the Great Depression Germany’s money wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on. But why? It goes back to World War 1. Germany was forced to pay reparations to the allies worth $132 billion. They didn’t have that money in gold reserves and to try and compensate they printed more money. This began a vicious cycle of needing more money and thus printing more money. A loaf of bread would come to cost millions or marks and people resorted to a barter system to make ends meet. Things got so bad that the mark was losing millions of dollars value in a single day. People would use the money for wallpaper and burn it as firewood as it was cheaper to burn the money than buy the wood. The depreciation is known as hyper inflation and Zimbabwe is one of the most recent examples of this happening.
The hyper inflation of 1922-23 in Germany and the subsequent Great Depression which hit Germany harder than almost any other country in the world aided in the rise of Adolf Hitler and the NAZI party in 1933.
24 Origin Of The Phrase Drawn And Quartered
Have you ever heard of the phrase drawn and quartered and wondered where it came from? It’s actually a form of medieval punishment that kills the condemned. What they did was tie the 4 limbs of a person to 4 horses and make them go in different directions pulling the person apart and quartering them.
25 Only 30% Of Those On The Hindenburg Were Killed When It Burst Into Flames
One of the most tragic peace time events of the 20th century was the Hindenburg disaster. On Thursday, May 6, 1937 the German passenger airship, the Hindengurg was attempting to dock with its mooring mast at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, New Jersey when it caught fire. The airship was filled with hydrogen, which is a lighter than air gas and is extremely flammable. The entire airship burned in only 32 to 37 seconds.
With the amount and speed of the flames progression it might surprise you to learn that only a third of the passengers lost their lives. The Hindenburg carried a total of 36 passengers and 61 crew members, of which 62 survived the flames. Only one person on the ground lost their life.
That concludes our list of 25 bizarre facts. Why not keep browsing our site for even more weird things from around the world?