The world can be a pretty incredible place. Just when you think you heard it all, people and things can surprise you. While everyone loves to read surprising and interesting fun facts, facts that make you say, “No way! Really?”, are what most people prefer. So, for your reading pleasure, we have gathered 20 weird yet interesting tidbits from around the world that will leave you totally amazed.
1. A fortune cookie company once foretold the lottery, resulting in 110 winners.
Turns out, fortune cookies really do tell fortunes in some cases. In 2005, there were 110 second-place winners for one Powerball drawing, who used the numbers from fortune cookies manufactured by Wonton Food. It turns out that the company just so happened to correctly foretell five of the six winning numbers, earning each winner between $100,000 and $500,000.
2. The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland.
In Celtic mythology, the unicorn was a symbol of purity and innocence, as well as masculinity and power. While the animal might be mythological, the ideals it represents are what make it a perfect fit for a nation that has a long history of myths and legends.
3. Chewing gum stops you from crying while cutting onions.
Chopping onions causes our eyes to tear up because the chemicals in onions travel through the air and enter our nasal cavity. Chewing gum can prevent your eyes from watering because the chomping encourages you to breathe through your mouth; thus reducing the amount of onion’s chemicals that make it up your nasal passage.
4. The fire hydrant patent was lost in a fire.
The patent for the fire hydrant is credited to Frederick Graff Sr., who was the chief engineer for Philadelphia Water Works during the early 1800’s. Unfortunately for him, the patent office in Washington, D.C. that held his patent, as well as thousands of other patents, went down in flames in 1836. More than a century later, after many failed attempts, retired firefighter George Sigelakis reinvented the fire hydrant. (source)
5. Saudi Arabia imports camels from Australia.
Saudi Arabia is known for the vast desert and hot, dry climate. In fact, 95% of Saudi Arabia is desert. Another thing the country is known for are camels. It is estimate that there are more than 1.6 million camels within the Arabian Peninsula, and about 53% are found in Saudi Arabia alone. At the same time, it would be surprising to hear that the camels are imported from Australia. It is believed that Australia originally imported camels for transportation of heavy loads. After their work was over, the camels were let loose, causing an unwanted spike in their population. Today, the country exports them back to desert-based countries like Saudi Arabia, who use the animals at a higher volume. (source)
6. The cast of Friends still earns around $20 million each year.
On September 22, 1994, Friends made its NBC debut and forever changed the face of American sitcoms. The stars were paid $75,000 per episode in season three, $85,000 in season four, $100,000 in season five, $125,000 in season six, $750,000 in seasons seven and eight, and $1 million in seasons nine and ten. Even after the show came to an end, the cast negotiated syndication rights for themselves. This means that every year, each of them receive 2% of the profits from the reruns airing across all broadcasting companies. Since the show is loved by millions around the world, it garners more than $1 billion in revenue every year; which means that Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry all make an estimated $20 million for doing nothing. (source)
7. In Switzerland, it’s illegal to own only one guinea pig.
Switzerland is one of the top 10 happiest countries in the world. Not only does the country care about the happiness of its citizens, but also the animals that live within its boundaries. One such pet-related law includes guinea pigs. In Switzerland, you cannot own only one guinea pig. These cute little creatures need social interaction to be happy, so owning a single guinea pig is forbidden by Swiss law. In fact, there are guinea pig matchmaking agencies in Switzerland for this very reason. (source)
8. Tigers can, and will, take revenge on those who have wronged them. They are one of the most vengeful animals on the planet.
Tigers are one of the few animals on planet Earth that will take revenge on those who have wronged them. Studies show that a dog’s memory span is about 5 minutes, whereas a cat’s averaged about 16 hours if it benefited them. Respect nature, especially cats, BIG cats!
9. In 2006, someone tried to sell New Zealand on eBay.
People are known to sell odd things on eBay. One of the oddest things however, was the sale of an entire country. In 2006, an unknown man from Brisbane, Australia tried to sell New Zealand off on eBay. According to the listing, the country had “very ordinary weather”, with a starting bid of one cent. Within just hours, and 22 bids later, the selling price for New Zealand climbed all the way to $3,000. eBay finally caught wind of the auction and pulled the listing off its website. “Clearly New Zealand is not for sale,” a spokesperson for eBay Australia said at the time. (source)
10. A woman who lost her wedding ring found it 16 years later on a carrot in her garden.
In 1995, while cooking for Christmas, a Swedish woman lost her wedding ring. Despite her efforts to find the missing ring, it was nowhere to be found, until it turned up in 2012. 16 years after the ring went missing, the woman was gardening, when she pulled a carrot out of the ground and discovered the ring wrapped around it. According to experts, the only explanation is that the ring must have been lost in vegetable peelings that were turned into compost. (source)