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Andy Sullivan:Against the Grain

Last year I began a “50 Fast Facts” review.’ll-crush-your-boredom/ss-BBMlXq8?ocid=spartandhp#image=25 is where I got these facts.  I will continue with where I left off.  Fact 24: Le Palais Ideal is an 85-foot-long, 33-foot-high castle 30 miles south of Lyon made from rocks that a 19th-century French postman picked up during his mail route over the course of 34 years. Despite having precisely zero formal architectural training, he built the massive structure himself, complete with pillars, grottoes and flying buttresses—and visitors still go out to view it today.  

There is an underwater postbox in the Pacific.  According to the Guinness World Records, the Japanese fishing town of Susami houses houses the world’s deepest underwater postbox. Situated 10 meters underwater, the box gets anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 pieces of mail every year—though depositing mail in the box requires a diving suit, water-resistant postcards, and a special oil-based paint marker.  

Unlike the red-orange flickering of flames we see on Earth in normal gravity conditions, in zero gravity conditions, flames burn completely different. As ZME Science explains: “The spherical flame is fed by the slower process of diffusion, so the flame occurs at a border between fuel and air; effectively the entire surface of the flame is the ‘bottom,’ reacting with fresh air close enough to the fuel source to combust, in a rough sphere. Because exhaust gases like CO2 can’t leave the combustion area, by the same dictum, the outward diffusion of combustion gases can limit the inward diffusion of oxygen to an extent that the zero gravity flame will die a short time after ignition.”

All of George Foreman’s sons have the same name.  Things probably get a bit confusing around the Foreman household, seeing as all of the boxer’s sons are named George Edward—and there are five of them. When asked why they all have the same name, Foreman said, “I named all my sons George Edward Foreman so they would always have something in common. I say to them, ‘If one of us goes up, then we all go up together, and if one goes down, we all go down together!'”

The filling in Kit Kat bars is made from damaged Kit Kats.  All those Kit Kat bars that are somehow imperfect during production—due to air bubbles, weirdly shaped wafers or some other issue—are not thrown away or given away, but instead ground up into a fine paste and turned into a filling that’s then incorporated back into the production process to create new, perfect(and delicious) bars.  

Female kangaroos have three reproductive parts.  In order to perpetually work on continuing their lineage, female kangaroos are equipped with two uteri and three vaginas (with the outside two being connected to the uteri and the middle vagina devoted entirely to giving birth). The same goes for koalas.

I’ll be back with more interesting facts in the coming weeks.  


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