When I read 10 Myths About Famous Explorers by Alex Hanton, I was reminded of some facts that I had forgotten and I learned a few more along the way.
Here’s a taste of three Myths…
Myth: Robert Peary Was The First Man To Reach The North Pole.
- I knew this wasn’t true and that a black man named Matthew Henson was the first. Since Peary was the leader of the expedition and Henson was black, Peary got the credit. What I didn’t realize was that Peary was such a jerk that “he refused to answer Henson’s letters, help him get a job, or return the photos of the expedition that Henson had taken and paid for.” I also didn’t know that there was another explorer who beat Henson and Peary and his backers used their power and the situation to get the credit!
Myth: Ponce De Leon Was Searching For The Fountain Of Youth
- He wasn’t. “The story was made up by Ponce’s enemies in Spain after his death in order to make him look like a gullible, sexually impotent idiot. It worked—the story largely eclipsed his actual achievements, like discovering the Gulf Stream.”
Myth: Christopher Columbus Died in Poverty
- “The truth is that Columbus died an extremely wealthy aristocrat… The myth probably comes from Columbus’s own bitterness at not getting the insane 10 percent of all gold and silver from the Americas he believed he was entitled to. He spent the last years of his life compiling documents related to this claim, which his descendants used in a famous series of lawsuits against the crown.”
Have you heard about the mummy on display in Sicily who appears to open and close her eyes?
Rosalia Lombardo was a two-year-old girl who died of pneumonia in 1920. Her grieving father had her embalmed and placed in the catacombs beneath the Capuchin convent in Palermo, Sicily.
So how/why do her eyes open?
They don’t. According to Dario Piombino-Mascali, curator of the Capuchin Catacombs “It’s an optical illusion produced by the light that filters through the side windows, which during the day is subject to change,”
io9 posted Why Does This Mummy Appear to Open and Close Her Eyes? and there you can see a video of the optical illusion and more.
Buzzfeed posted 58 Facts That Will Blow Your Mind in Only 1 Sentence!
There are some really amazing (and mind-blowing) facts listed. Seven of my favorites are…
Russia has a larger surface area than Pluto.
Oxford University is older than the Aztec Empire.
Mammoths went extinct 1,000 years after the Egyptians finished building the Great Pyramid.
Alaska is simultaneously the most northern, the most western, and the most eastern state in the U.S.
Cleopatra lived closer to the invention of the iPhone than she did to the building of the Great Pyramid.
Will Smith is now older than Uncle Phil was at the beginning of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
The oldest person on Earth was born closer to the signing of the United States Constitution than to now.
Buzzfeed recently posted 32 Incredibly Weird Deaths…
You have people killed when…
- a cow fell through a man’s roof killing the man…
- a lawyer killed himself when trying to show jurors it was possible to accidentally shoot himself…
- a man fell 24 stories to his death when he jumped against a window to prove it was unbreakable…
- a man jumped from the Eiffel Tower to prove a suit he made would allow him to fly…
- a man died when he fell into the Grand Canyon after pretending that he slipped, and then he actually slipped…
- the man to die in the first plane crash was in a plane piloted by Orville Wright
- and many more which you can read about here.
The house slippers in the photo above belonged to Abraham Lincoln.
Mr. Lincoln wore them often and right up until the day of his assassination. These slippers were so well-known to Lincoln scholars that Steven Spielberg had a pair recreated for a scene in his movie Lincoln.
Abraham Lincoln’s slippers now reside in the Rutherford B. Hayes’ Presidential Museum. You can read more about how President Hayes came to possess the slippers right here.
Most folks consider Cheers a classic comedy. If you’re one of them, then you’ll want to check out Mental Floss’ 30 Things You Might Not Know About Cheers.
Distractify recently posted 10 of the Most Baffling Unsolved Mysteries of All Time. Here’s are the four that I would love to see solved …
The Disappearance of Amy Lynn Bradley: Amy (in the red striped shirt) disappeared on March 24, 1998 at the age of 23 from Royal Caribbean International cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas. She was last seen with a member of the ship’s band, Blue Orchid, known by the alias “Yellow…”
Craig: No family should face the uncertainty of a missing child. You would think this would be the most solvable of the mysteries listed.
The Roanoke Colony: One of the first settlements in America completely vanished. All evidence of 150 colonists vanished at some point during the Anglo-Spanish war while their mayor was detoured in England retrieving supplies To this day there has been no conclusive evidence as to what happened to the colonists…
Craig: I remember hearing about this colony in elementary school and wondering what happened. I still wonder.
The Dyatlov Pass Incident: They set out to go on a ski hike, but days later the mysteriously orange-tanned, half-naked bodies of 9 hikers were found near their demolished tent and a note that read: “From now on we know there are snowmen.” Many of the poor souls also had crushing wounds, and it’s been reported that the bodies were slightly radioactive. And, strangely, one woman was missing her tongue…
Craig: The note “From now on we know there are snowmen” is creepy enough, add in the “crushing wounds” and slightly radioactive corpses and we have a real mystery. I want to know what happened!
The WOW Signal: On August 15, 1977 Jerry R. Ehman on August 15, 1977 quite possibly detected a sign of intelligent life in the universe. The signal came from deep space almost 120 light years away. It lasted for the full 72-second window that Big Ear was able to observe it, but has never been detected again. Scientists say that if the signal came from extraterrestrials, they are likely to be an very advanced civilization because their transmitter would have to be much stronger than any we currently have on earth.
Craig: Discovering intelligent life on another planet [I've given up looking on this one] would be THE story of the century. CNN would probably even stop their round-the-clock coverage of the missing flight to cover it.
Here are 25 Things You Might Not Know About the Shinning.
Then again you might. I knew at least 12 of them and I’m no expert on The Shinning.
Everyone knows the story of The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
Well, let me rephrase that. Everybody thinks they know the story of The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
You’d be surprised at how many people think the gunfight really took place at the O.K. Corral. [As an interesting side note, had the Cowboys stayed at the O.K. Corral, they wouldn't have broken any city laws by wearing their guns, which of course was the "reason" for the confrontation between the Earps, Doc Holiday and the Cowboys.]
If you’d like to read a short, detailed and well written account of The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, by Eddie Deezen, you can, thanks to Neatorama.
Are you better than the average American at Science?
I figured I would do pretty well, but wasn’t sure I’d ace the quiz. I did though, scoring 10 out of 10. perhaps there is hope for me yet.
Which “I Love Lucy” character are you?
I got Fred Mertz which didn’t surprise me one bit.
How many gangs were featured in Walter Hill’s cult classic The Warriors?
There were, of course, the Warriors.
Everybody remembers the Baseball Furies.
The gang that called all gangs for a meet were the Gramercy Riffs.
Then there was the scary gang that rode [inside and outside] the school bus — the Turnbull AC’s.
The all girl gang was the Lizzies.
The gang that almost let the Warriors pass through their territory was the Orphans (so low on the gang food chain they weren’t even invited to the gathering).
The gang that set all other gangs on the Warriors were the Rouges.
There was a gang that dressed flashy and were only seen at the start and they were called the Boppers.
So I got 8. Did you do better?
There were actually 21 street gangs featured in The Warriors and Mental Floss counts them down for us!
Which Superhero Are You?
As you can see I got Professor X. Perhaps from now on you should refer to me as Professor Z.