12 Perfectly Average Bits of Trivia That Are Now Official MCU Canon
In hindsight, it was inevitable: Marvel has tapped every frame of every page of every existing comic book for streaming content, and now they’re coming for the real world. These 12 trivia tidbits are like, fine, but nothing special. Nevertheless, they must have tested well with audiences or something, because they’re going to feature heavily in an upcoming Disney+ series. Hooray?
The Horse With the Largest Carbon Footprint in Recorded History
A horse broke free from its cargo stall, 30 minutes into a transatlantic flight, and wasn’t able to be resecured in the air. In order to pull a U-turn and land back at JFK airport, the plane had to drop 20 tons of fuel into the ocean.
A 19th-Century Train Robber Made an Accidental TV Cameo in the 1970s
While filming an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man in an abandoned amusement park, crew members went to move a freaky-looking mannequin, and accidentally broke its arm off. They quickly recognized it as an actual human arm, and it was eventually identified as the mummified corpse of Elmer McCurdy. He was killed by police, and his body was paraded around in various sideshows and carnivals for decades before being abandoned.
A Bucktoothed Nobleman Got His Revenge from Beyond the Grave
Ninth-century nobleman “Máel Brigte the Bucktoothed” was killed by Sigurd the Mighty. Sigurd had brought 80 men to what was agreed to be a 40-man-per-side battle, easily winning through treachery. Sigurd tied Brigte’s head to his horse, and as he rode away from the battle, Brigte’s famous buckteeth sliced into Sigurd’s leg, causing an infection that ultimately killed him.
A Duchess Fell in Love at 85, and Gave It All Up
Twice-widowed Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart fell in love with a commoner at age 85, and the two made plans to marry. That freaked everyone out, from her kids all the way up to the King of Spain, and her family’s PR firm put out a press release saying the two were just friends. She decided to get out of the royalty game, splitting her enormous wealth among her children and essentially becoming a commoner herself, so she could live in wedded bliss for the last three years of her life.
A 19th-Century Publicity Stunt Is Still Paying Off
The town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyll renamed itself Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch — “The church of St. Mary of the pool of the white hazels near to the fierce whirlpool and the church of St. Tysilio of the red cave” — in 1869, so that its train station could claim to be the longest sign in Britain. They currently have merely the second-longest town name in the world, but they’re still hosting about 200,000 tourist visits per year.
It’s Now Legal to Kill a Lake Monster in Sweden
A 1986 law declared the Storsjöodjuret — a mythical lake monster — an endangered species, providing it legal protection from hunters. In 2005, the law was repealed, saying it can’t be declared an endangered species if they can’t prove it even is a species.
Domino’s Underestimated How Many Russians Were Willing to Get a Stupid Tattoo
A 2018 marketing campaign asked Russians to post pictures of their Domino’s tattoos on social media, in exchange for free pizza for life. It was supposed to run for two months, but five days into the promotion the pizza chain had to tap out, as they’d only budgeted for 350 tattoo-happy Russkies.
Bowling Used to Be a Kegel-Centric Religious Ritual
In fifth century Germany, a game that was identical to modern bowling was played by rolling a rock into a series of clubs (“kegels”), symbolically knocking the crap out of heathenism and freeing yourself from sin.
Tycho Brahe Employed a Full-Time Jester to Hang Out Under His Table
The famed pre-telescope astronomy wiz kept a psychic named Jepp on his staff. Jepp was also a little person, and his main job was to chill under the table during dinner.
Stephen King Was Hit by a Car, Then Wrote the Driver Into His Novel
After a man named Bryan Smith hit him with his minivan, King wrote a story about an irresponsible drug addict named Bryan Smith (who happens to have the same dog and the same minivan as the real-life Bryan Smith). King also bought the dude’s car so he could smash it with a sledgehammer.
The BBC Banned ‘The Monster Mash’ for Over a Decade
From 1962 to 1973, the BBC banned “The Monster Mash” from the airwaves, saying it was “too morbid.”
Lockheed Martin Lost a Whole Mars Orbiter
At a cost of over $300 million in 1998, Lockheed Martin designed (and accidentally sabotaged) the Mars Climate Orbiter by using U.S. custom units (aka “Freedom Units”), instead of NASA-standard metric units.