12 Scrambled Bits of Trivia We Can Just Barely Make Out Through the Static
We don’t even pay for the trivia tidbits channel, but if we adjust the bunny ears just right, every once in a while, we can catch a tantalizing glimpse of factoid. Here are some of the more lascivious bits of trivia we’ve been able to decipher…
Homer Was a Comedian First
Before he wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey, Homer’s first-ever poem was a comedy called Margites. It’s lost to time, but folks like Aristotle and Plato have relayed some of its contents — like how a character with an impossibly large penis gets it stuck in a toilet.
The Amazon Rainforest Isn’t As ‘Wild’ As You Think
Conventional wisdom says much of the Amazon remains unseen and untouched by humans. But scientists are increasingly noticing flora and fauna all over the rainforest that were carefully cultivated by either modern or historical tribes. The peach palm, for example, appears to have been developed by humans to grow more edible fruit than it did millennia ago (much like the difference between a modern banana and an uncultivated ancient banana).
Mammals Are the Only Animals That Hiccup
That’s because we’re the only type of animal that has a diaphragm. That fact has led biologists to hypothesize that hiccups are evolutionarily designed to help us suckle milk (another thing that only mammals do). The contraction of the diaphragm may help babies expel air, effectively burping themselves.
FDR’s Second Bill of Rights
FDR proposed a parallel bill of rights to help usher the country into the modern era (of 1944). It included rights to employment, adequate income, housing, medical care and education. If you haven’t noticed, it was never adopted.
Google Maps Caused a Nicaraguan Invasion of Costa Rica
In 2010, Nicaraguan army commander Eden Pastora planned an invasion because Google Maps appeared to show that Costa Rica had encroached 1.7 miles into his country’s territory.
‘Home Alone’ Would Never Have Been Made Without an All-Time Chevy Chase Meltdown
Chris Columbus was slated to direct Christmas Vacation, but pulled out of the project after meeting Chase, saying, “I can’t do it with this guy.” Within two weeks, the script of Home Alone landed on Columbus’ desk, and he was able to lighten up what was then a very dark comedy, just enough to get it made.
The Catholic Church Says It’s Fine to Play Dress-Up With Your Ancestor’s Bones
You wouldn’t expect them to weigh in on something like that, but the Malagasy people of Madagascar developed the yearly ritual of Famadihana — started as recently as the 1800s — where they dig up their deceased family members, dress them in new clothes and dance in their tombs. Because it’s cultural, not religious, the Church is more or less cool with it.
The U.S. Navy Launched a Frantic Counterattack on a Writhing Mass of Sea Worms
In the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War, the USS Maddox went berserker mode when it detected a bright, torpedo-shaped object directly underneath it. The crew dropped some deep-sea charges and fired off 380 shells at what turned out to be a colony of bioluminescent creatures called pyrosomes.
Artichokes Are Supposed to Make You Hairy and Horny
Humankind has long ascribed mystical powers to the eminently Fibonaccian artichoke. Greek mythology says that Zeus turned a lover into one in a fit of rage, Romans believed it would cure baldness and non-noble French women were once banned from eating them due to their supposed aphrodisiac quality.
The Unfinished Crazy Horse Monument
The face and hand of Lakota leader Crazy Horse are currently jutting out of South Dakota’s Thunderhead Mountain. It was started in 1948 by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, who had no money, workers or electricity, and had to work on it alone for years. If completed, it’ll be the second-tallest statue on the planet.
John Lennon Thought He Was Actually Jesus
Lennon called an emergency band meeting one day, absolutely zonked into outer space on LSD. He announced, “I’ve got something very important to tell you. I am Jesus Christ. I have come back again. This is my thing.” Ringo responded, “Right. Meeting adjourned, let’s go have some lunch.”
The Social Media App That Gamified Heaven
LineForHeaven.com was an extremely Christian Facebook/Reddit knockoff where users would accrue morality points, which would rank them on a list of who was closest to reaching Heaven. You could get points for things like publicly confessing sins and exchanging forgiveness for said sins.