10 more interesting facts you’ve probably never heard!

27 June 2018

10 more interesting facts you’ve probably never heard!

10. The African fork-tailed drongo feeds by earning the trust of meerkat families and then tricking them into thinking they are under attack.

Found in sub-Saharan Africa, this bird is known for its thieving ways. The drongo will first gain the trust of other animals, such as meerkats, by acting as a sentry and letting out an alarming cry when a predator is nearby, allowing the animals to quickly reach safety. But the drongo will often raise a “false alarm”, tricking other animals into dropping their food and fleeing, allowing the Drongo to then swoop in and pick up the treats.

9. An eight metre tall 2,600 year old statue of pharaoh Psamtik I was discovered in a muddy ditch in Cairo in 2017.

Previously believed to be a depiction of pharaoh Ramses II, the monolithic artefact was discovered by researchers from Egypt and Germany in eastern Cairo. Now believed to be a depiction of pharaoh Psamtik I who ruled Egypt between 664 and 610 BC, pieces of the extremely old statue, including a portion of the torso weighing three tonnes, has now been transferred to an Egyptian museum.

8. A dog named Pickles found the World Cup trophy in a bush after it was stolen in 1966.

In the months prior to the 1966 FIFA World Cup held in England, the famous Jules Rimet trophy that is awarded to the winning team of the tournament was on display at an exhibition in London when it was mysteriously stolen on Sunday 20 March. A week after the incident, Dave Corbett was walking his dog Pickles in Norwood, South London, when his dog discovered a package containing the trophy nearby. Following the discovery Pickles went on to receive a medal from the Canine Defence League and scored a role starring in the film The Spy with a Cold Nose.

7. A snake with a functioning clawed limb was discovered in China.

In September of 2009, a 66 year Duan Qiongxiu discovered a “clawed snake” clinging to the wall of her bedroom. Startled by the discovery, she beat the snake to death with a shoe then placing it within a jar of alcohol to preserve the unique specimen. The creature was handed over to the China’s West Normal University in Nanchang for further study. Although all snake genomes contain the DNA for the growth of limbs, such an occurrence is virtually unheard of. Scientists are still unsure of what caused this mutation.

6. There is an island in the Bahamas that is only inhabited by swimming pigs.

Referred to as “Pig Beach”, Big Major Cay is an island in the Lucayan Archipelago that is completely uninhabited — except for a colony of feral pigs, along with some stray cats and goats. Researchers are unsure how the pigs arrived on the island, but the spot has become a popular tourist destination for people visiting the Bahamas. The pigs are reported to swim up to nearby boats in search of food and have at times boarded people’s boats in the pursuit of a meal.

5. A dolphin was found tricking her trainers into awarding her with more fish.

Dolphins at the Marine Institute for Mammal Studies in Mississippi are trained to hold onto litter dropped in the pools until a trainer is nearby, so that they can exchange the litter for food as a means of assisting the trainers in everyday maintenance of the enclosures. However one dolphin, Kelly, would store rubbish under a rock in the pool until a trainer walked by when she would then rip smaller bits off rubbish off the larger piece as a means of gaining a greater reward. Kelly went on to teach her calves these same tricks and these tactics became common among the dolphins.

4. The name ‘Jessica’ was created by William Shakespeare.

The name “Jessica”, spelt in this way, was first found in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (1596). The name is said to be a rendering of the Hebrew name “Jeska”, as it was spelt within English bibles of the time. “Jessica” became the most popular girls’ name during the 1980s and 90s in the United States. Shakespeare is also credited with the creation of over 100 words commonly used today such as “frugal” and the phrase to “kill with kindness.”

3. There is a very high chance that the molecules in every glass of water you drink has passed through a dinosaur.

A very small proportion of all the water on Earth is used for human consumption, but it is still enough to provide for every human that has ever walked the Earth in the past 200,000 years. Water is constantly passing through a cycle and, unlike humans, dinosaurs lived on Earth for an extremely long period — about 186 million years. This means that it is highly likely that the dinosaurs managed to drink all the available fresh water during that time, and all the fresh water available for drinking today probably passed through dinosaurs as urine and continued to flow through the endless water cycle. This video explains the theory in greater detail.

2. McDonald’s created bubblegum-flavoured broccoli as a means of getting children to eat their vegetables.

McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson revealed in 2014 that the fast food giant experimented with various methods to get kids to eat healthier, including the creation of a bubblegum-flavoured broccoli. According to Thompson, the innovative vegetable had actually made it to testing stages where it was taste-tested by children. However, rather than exciting the children, kids were reportedly “confused” and unimpressed by the taste so the project was scrapped.

1. Singer-songwriter Jim Sullivan disappeared without a trace, six years after releasing an album titled U.F.O. that contained strange lyrics including being abducted by aliens, and was never seen again

In 1975 Sullivan left Los Angeles, driving to Nashville. After being cautioned by a police officer about his driving, he checked into a hotel in New Mexico. However, reports state that he never slept there and left his key inside the room. The following day he was seen walking away from a remote ranch where his car had been abandoned with his all his money, guitar and clothes inside. Sullivan was never seen again and no trace of him has been found to this day.