2. Sudden testicular pain can be a symptom of testicular torsion. It occurs in about 1 in 160 males before 25 years of age and if not treated within 6 hours, can result in loss of the testicle.
3. Mona Lisa is far from unique. There were several contemporary versions made by Da Vinci’s presumed male lover Salai, including a nude version.
4. Eiffel Tower’s height can vary with the outside temperature by almost 7 inches.
5. A hoax in 1964 where an artist named Pierre Brassau, exhibited a series of paintings, to critical acclaim. However, “Pierre Brassau” was in fact a chimpanzee. Even after the hoax was revealed, a critic declared that the chimp’s painting was still the best in the exhibition.
6. After the War of 1812, the British left a fully-armed fort in Florida in the hands of 300 fugitive slaves.
7. In 1770, a man invented a machine that could play a strong game of chess against a human opponent. The “android” that played the game was nicknamed The Turk (as was the machine itself). It wasn’t until 1857 that it was revealed to be a hoax (a chess master was hiding in the machine).
8. A chimpanzee has been observed wearing a piece of grass into her ear, with no apparent function. After other members of her group started imitating her, researchers realized to be in presence of the first fashion statement observed in other animals.
9. During the American Revolution, many untrained American soldiers used bayonets to cook meat over fires rather than using them for close combat. After receiving bayonet combat training from a Prussian general, the American Army was able to win an entire battle without firing a shot.
10. Shortly before his death Stanley Kubrick had all the outtakes and deleted scenes from his films destroyed. He burnt “thousands of cans” of film so that no one could re-edit his movies.
11. Women need to strengthen their pelvic floor after childbirth or they risk urine leaks, flatulence, and even prolapse when they a cough, sneeze, laugh or strain themselves. Even after strengthening urine leaks are common even years after childbirth
12. There is a road in Lancaster, California that has hundreds of grooves carved in it, so that when you drive over them, they play ‘The William Tell Overture.’
13. Men and women’s clothes are buttoned on opposite sides because in high societies, men generally dressed themselves whereas women were dressed by servants. Reversing the buttons on women’s clothes made the job faster and easier.
14. Long before trees overtook the land, earth was covered by giant mushrooms.
15. It is thought Viking “Berserkers” would take hallucinogenic mushrooms to induce their battle rage.
16. If you publish a book in Norway, the government will buy 1000 copies (1,500 if a children’s book) and distribute them to libraries throughout the country.
17. Children’s books have 50% more rare words in them than does an average showing of adult prime-time television.
18. A book published over 30 years ago has cryptic art and verses hinting at the location of 12 buried treasures in America. Only 2 have been found.
19. People need to read at least 100 books on their e-readers to break even with printed books on environmental impact.
20. The U.S. military accidentally dropped a hydrogen bomb on North Carolina only a single safety switch worked, ultimately preventing the bomb from detonating.