12 Ancient Bits of Trivia We’ve Been Sworn to Guard Underneath This Bridge, Which We Will Gladly Relinquish — If You Can Answer Our Questions Three
Question the first: What’s up, how’s everything going?
Question the second: You from around here?
Question… the third! Oof, I dunno… favorite movie?
Yeah look, they’re not hard questions. Honestly we’re just trying to offload these trivia tidbits. Really cluttering up our bridge. Anywho, here ya go! Congrats, or whatever.
The U.S. and Canadian Governments Developed a Flying Saucer… Right Around the Time People Started Seeing Flying Saucers
The most oft-cited description of a UFO has a very normal, even boring probable explanation. Throughout the 1950s, the two governments were working on various flying saucer designs, culminating in the Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar, a military flying saucer. The design was scrapped because they couldn’t figure out how to stop making everyone puke their guts out.
Japan’s Fear Mountain
Osorezan, or “Fear Mountain,” is a volcano that’s infused with sulfuric waters that cause the ground to bubble with steam and hot ash. Despite being functionally uninhabitable, it’s home to a gorgeous temple, as it’s thought that this is a spot where people cross over into the afterlife.
The 1960s Flimflam Boob Builder
The Mark Eden Bust Developer was marketed as a way for women to increase their breast size (it was actually a spring-loaded pectoral workout device, which was capable of building muscle, but not boobage). The U.S. Postal Service sued the company for mail fraud, and after 15 years, was able to get the Bust Developer off the market — along with other Mark Eden products like the Astro-Jogger, the Sauna Belt Waistline Reducer, Vacu-Pants and Hot Pants.
Washington’s Heroic Crossing of the Delaware Was Almost Thwarted by a Narc Farmer
Washington famously crossed the Delaware and delivered a historic defeat to the Hessians in Trenton. But one goody-two-shoes farmer heard about the attack ahead of time, and delivered a note to Hessian commander Johann Gottlieb Rall, who promptly ignored it. The note was found unopened in his pocket after he died.
In the 11th Century, Grammar Was a Tool of the Devil
In those days, philosophy and scholarship were the enemy of religion. Benedictine monk St. Peter Damian said that Satan was the OG grammarian, and it was his grammar lessons that led Adam and Eve astray.
After Getting a Dubious Speeding Ticket, a Guy Bought the Police’s Website
When Brian McCrary got a retroactive speeding ticket, he went to the police department’s website to find a number to call to argue it. He got a notice that the domain was about to expire, so he shelled out $80 and made a new website, pointing out the town’s speed traps and hidden cameras.
Martin Luther Ate a Spoonful of His Own Dook Every Day
The founder of the Lutheran Church was pretty sure that poopy was packed with nutrients, and was astounded at the generosity of a god who would give us our own built-in soft-serve machines.
‘Chinese Checkers’ Were Invented in Germany, Based on a British Game and Half-Named in Greek
In 1892, a German board-game company cribbed a British game called “Hoppity” and named it “Stern-Halma” — that’s half-German, half-Greek for “star jump.” It grew in popularity in Europe, but when they tried to bring it to the U.S. a few years after World War I, they knew they needed a rebrand. They pretended to be a Chinese company, and called their game Chinese Checkers. Fresh off their first mahjong high, Americans went nuts for this exotic new game.
That Time Fiat Stalked 50,000 Spanish Women
In an ill-conceived 1994 marketing stunt, Fiat sent love letters to 50,000 women that read, “I only need to be with you for a couple of minutes, and even if it doesn’t work out, I promise you won’t forget our little experience together.” They sent a follow-up two weeks later, inviting them to their local Fiat dealership, but in the meantime, lots of those women thought they were being stalked and holed up in their homes for days on end. The victims later won a class-action lawsuit.
Vermont Has a Pretty Solid Claim to Being Home of the Simpsons
The location of the Simpsons’ hometown of Springfield is left purposefully ambiguous. The closest any Springfield in America has come to being named canonically the Springfield is Springfield, Vermont. The creators of The Simpsons Movie held a contest in 2006, asking the nation’s Springfields to prove they were the most Simpsons-esque. Springfield, Vermont won the honor of hosting a movie premiere event.
Clive Palmer Can’t Stop Attempting to Recreate Disastrous Parables
The Australian billionaire tried very hard to clone dinosaurs to make his own Jurassic Park, but eventually settled for a whole bunch of animatronics instead. He also tried to build a replica of the Titanic, called Titanic II, that would carry rich idiots on the exact same (intended) voyage as the first Titanic. Sadly, it looks like he gave up on that one, too.
A Would-Be Child King Was Found 200 Years After His Disappearance, Under a Stairwell in the Tower of London
Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury disappeared from their home in the Tower of London in 1483, and they wouldn’t be found for almost two centuries, when a pair of small skeletons were found stashed under a staircase during tower renovations. Edward was heir to the throne of England, and they were likely kidnapped and murdered by their father’s political rivals.