We live in a pretty strange and interesting world. The sheer amount of information out there feels insurmountable, and sometimes it feels like you’ll never know it all – you definitely won’t. Still, here are the top 10 strange facts you’ve probably never heard before.
10. The longest time between twins being born is 87 days
On average, the time between twin births is 17 minutes. Once the first baby is out, the second one is birthed much more easily (unless it’s in breach). In a very unusual case, twin babies were born a whopping 87 days apart. Maria Jones-Elliott went into labour four months early, giving birth to one of her twins, Amy, prematurely. 87 days later, Katie arrived. The births have since become a Guinness World Record for “the longest interval between the birth of twins,” beating the previous record of 84 days.
9. Northern Leopard Frog eats with its what?
On the more gruesome side of things, the Northern Leopard Frog swallows its prey using its eyes. It uses them to help push food down, but retracting them into its head. There’s an entire paper that’s been published about this, but really it’s just kind of gross.
8. Serious case of Dance Fever
Not to be mistaken with Saturday Night Fever with John Travolta, the Dance Fever of 1518 was a month-long plague of inexplicable dancing in Strasbourg. While historians aren’t entirely sure what caused it, it was likely the result of mass hysteria. Hundreds of people danced for about a month for no real reason, with several actually dancing themselves to death.
7. Sigurd the Mighty’s unexpected death
Sigurd the Mighty, a ninth-century Norse earl, was killed by a man he had murdered hours prior. He’d beheaded the man, and then tied the head to his horse’s saddle. While riding home, one of the head’s teeth grazed open his leg. He later died from an infection. Talk about revenge!
6. Have you heard of the blue skinned family from Kentucky?
The Fulgates of Troublesome Creek, a family with blue skin, lived in Kentucky for generations. They’re thought to have gained their blue skin via inbreeding and a rare genetic condition called methemoglobinemia. Most recently, Benjamin Stacy, born in 1975, frightened doctors with the shocking blue hue of his skin at his birth. He died in 1985.
5 . Running out of time
Earthquakes with extremely high magnitudes can permanently shorten the length of Earth’s day. By moving the spin of the Earth’s axis, the 2011 Japan earthquake took 1.8 microseconds off of our days. The 2004 Sumatra earthquake knocked off 6.8 microseconds.
4. Shocking way to die
Roy C. Sullivan, a U.S park ranger, holds the record for being struck by lightning the most times. He was struck, and survived, lighting strikes a whopping 7 times between 1942 and 1977. He later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1983.
3. When the show won’t end…
The longest musical performance is currently underway in the church of St. Burchardi in Halberstadt, Germany. The performance of John Cage’s “Organ²/ASLSP (As Slow As Possible)”, started in 2001, and is set to finish in 2640. The last time the note changed was in 2013, with the next change due sometime in 2020.
2. More mass hysteria
A laughing epidemic that lasted nearly a year broke out in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in 1962. Thousands of people were affected, with the epidemic spanning across several villages and even forcing a school to close. Apparently it wasn’t all that much fun though, with other symptoms including crying, pain, rashes, and fainting.
- Brendan O’Smarty
This might not be the strangest item on the list of top 10 strange facts you’ve probably never heard before, but it’s definitely the funniest. In 1993, San Francisco held a referendum over whether Bob Geary, a SF police officer, could patrol while carrying – get this – his ventriloquist’s dummy. Brendan O’Smarty was the dummy, and boy did he make a fine police officer. Yes, there really was an official referendum for this. The outcome? He could.
From blue people, to ventriloquist’s dummies, the world is full of some pretty bizarre things. This list could go on forever (got any we should know about?), but here we have it, our top 10 strange facts you’ve probably never heard before, hopefully you learned something new.