12 Holy Bits of Trivia That Were Immaculately Concepted Into Our Brains, We Swear
We know what you’re thinking, and we agree: It sounds suspicious. But we swear, we’ve never purposely learned a single fact in our lives — and these 12 trivia tidbits are no exception. We didn’t read them in a book, we didn’t see them in a TikTok. The only possible explanation is that they were planted in our brains by an angel, or maybe a benevolent god or something.
Anyway, we can’t raise these factoids ourselves. So you’d better start getting to know them…
A Guy Had to Spend the Night in a Diamond Vault
A man was rooting around his safe-deposit box in Manhattan’s World Diamond Tower, when he somehow got locked inside. The fire department started torching through the 30-inch cement and steel walls, but were worried they might end up cooking the guy alive. He was forced to wait until it opened back up automatically, at 7 a.m. the next morning.
The Abandoned Uzbeki Fishing Village in the Middle of the Desert
The town of Moynaq had a bustling fishing industry, right up until the Soviet government diverted two crucial rivers in the 1960s, leaving the town to decay into a bizarre ship graveyard.
Barbra Streisand Asked Tim Cook to Change How Siri Pronounces Her Name
She took issue with the “z” sound that some fans, and apparently also Siri, say in the middle of her last name: “It’s Strei-sand, like sand on the beach.” She hit up her pal Tim Cook, who got his team to adjust the pronunciation.
If Running on a Treadmill Feels Like a Punishment, That’s Because It Is
Treadmills were first invented as power generators, possibly thousands of years ago. But before they became recreational and rehabilitative, they were straight-up torture. The first large-scale, functionally useless, penal treadmill was developed in 1818 by British engineer, asshole and knight, Sir William Cubitt.
Don’t Hide Under an Overpass During a Tornado
If you’re on a highway, and an unfathomable cloud monster is chasing you, your instinct might be to hide under the next bridge you come across. But that can actually amplify the storm’s winds, as Geary and Suzan Whaley found out in 2013. They parked under an overpass, and when the storm hit, they were both sucked out of their vehicle and thrown about 50 feet apart (though they both miraculously survived).
A Jagermeister Marketing Stunt Almost Killed a Bunch of People
A Jager-sponsored pool party in 2013 turned very nearly deadly, when the event managers dumped liquid nitrogen on the pool to make it all spooky and foggy. Liquid nitrogen + chlorine = trichloramine, which is both toxic and flammable. Nine people were hospitalized, including one guy who fell into a coma.
The Bhutanese Bigfoot Wildlife Sanctuary
A $700,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation was used to set up the Sakeng Wildlife Sanctuary, which exists explicitly to protect the migoi — an abominable snowman-type cryptid who walks backward through its own footprints (and can also turn invisible, if that doesn’t work).
Vulcan, Canada Has Cashed in on ‘Star Trek’ Nerds
Incorporated in 1912, and named for the Roman God of Fire, this small farming town saw an opportunity when Star Trek was becoming wildly popular. They developed the Vulcan Tourism & Trek Station, and host two distinct Star Trek-based holidays: VulCON and Spock Days.
If You Bought Shatter-Proof Glasses in the 1970s, You May Have Contributed to Eugenics
Robert Klark Graham invented shatter-proof eyeglass lenses, and made an insane amount of money off of them. In 1980, he used his fortune to found the Repository for Germinal Choice, an ambitious eugenics project that revolved around collecting sperm from Nobel Prize winners. Its fatal flaw? Most Nobel laureates are quite old, and only one winner was ever able to provide a spunk sample.
A Glitch Led to One-Dollar Flights
China Southern Airlines experienced a glitch in its mobile app that advertised some flights for about $1.37, which went viral for a little while. To their credit, the company has said it will honor any tickets purchased at that price.
A Pope (May Have) Choked to Death on a Fly
In 1159, Pope Adrian IV started choking very suddenly while drinking wine. Reports at the time said that a fly in his cup got lodged in his throat. That may have been true, but it’s more likely that he already had an extremely messed-up throat, from complications of tonsillitis. If there was a fly, it probably agitated his throat just enough to finally kill him.
The Governor of New Mexico Tried to Pardon Billy the Kid in 2010
Billy testified against another outlaw in 1879, in exchange for a pardon for his own crimes. But the governor at the time never gave him his pardon. In 2010, Governor Bill Richardson floated the idea of completing the deal, but ultimately decided not to after people reminded him Billy the Kid was kind of a piece of shit.