Thursday, January 19, 2006

There's a weirdness that goes with having 8 legs

Here are 15 pieces of interesting trivia from the online BBC Magazine article “100 things we didn't know this time last year”. There is more information on a lot of these at the link, plus 85 more items.

  • Mohammed is now one of the 20 most popular names for boys born in England and Wales.

  • WD-40 dissolves cocaine - it has been used by a pub landlord to prevent drug-taking in his pub's toilets.

  • Baboons can tell the difference between English and French. Zoo keepers at Port Lympne wild animal park in Kent are having to learn French to communicate with the baboons which had been transferred from Paris zoo.

  • Humans can be born suffering from a rare condition known as "sirenomelia" or "mermaid syndrome", in which the legs are fused together to resemble the tail of a fish.

  • It's possible for a human to blow up balloons via the ear. A 55-year-old factory worker from China reportedly discovered 20 years ago that air leaked from his ears, and he can now inflate balloons and blow out candles.

  • Lionesses like their males to be deep brunettes.

  • Bosses at Madame Tussauds spent £10,000 separating the models of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston when they separated. It was the first time the museum had two people's waxworks joined together. [that should teach them to join a Hollywood couple together in wax]

  • In America it's possible to subpoena a dog.

  • When faced with danger, the octopus can wrap six of its legs around its head to disguise itself as a fallen coconut shell and escape by walking backwards on the other two legs, scientists discovered.

  • "Restaurant" is the most misspelled word in search engines.

  • The name Lego came from two Danish words "leg godt", meaning "play well". It also means "I put together" in Latin.

  • Cyclist Lance Armstrong's heart is almost a third larger than the average man's.

  • You're 10 times more likely to be bitten by a human than a rat.

  • Giant squid eat each other - especially during sex.

  • One in 18 people has a third nipple.

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