2.Garfield phones have been washing up on the beaches of Brittany, France, since the 1980s. The source of these phones has long been a mystery until, in 2019, a lost shipping container was located tucked inside a sea cave — the very same shipping container that was carrying the phones three decades earlier. The sad news is that the container was empty, which means every phone has been washed out to sea.
3.More than 300 people have died trying to climb Mount Everest since it became popularized almost exactly a century ago, and a large portion of those bodies remain on the mountain.
4.On October 24, 1926, 52-year-old Harry Houdini was rushed to the hospital after complaining about stomach pains. He died a week later on Halloween. The official cause of death would be attributed to appendicitis and peritonitis — but some, including his grandnephew, believe he was murdered by mystics and spiritualists.
5.George W. Bush was head cheerleader during his senior year in high school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.
6.It takes 248 Earth-years for Pluto to complete a single orbit around the Sun, which means not even half a Plutonian year has passed since it was discovered in 1930.
9.An Egyptian vulture was just spotted in the UK for the first time since 1868, and before that it was last spotted in 1825 — the only two documented sightings of this bird in the region until this year.
10.At the young age of 24, Poon Lim would find himself stranded in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, alone, for *133 days*. Against all odds, and with limited seafaring experience, he would somehow manage to survive the ordeal. Poon Lim holds the Guinness World Record for most days stranded at sea on a raft.
11."Steady" Ed Headrick, who perfected the design of the frisbee and invented the game of frisbee golf, requested that, after his death, his ashes be used to make a set of limited-edition frisbees — and, just after he died in 2002, his wish was granted. Some of the frisbees were distributed to family and friends, while others were sold to help fund the Headrick Memorial Museum.
12.No, this isn't a photo of Mars — it's Death Valley National Park in California. The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth was in Death Valley on July 10, 1913. It was 134°F (57°C) that day, and just this week that record came close to being broken: Temperatures hit 128°F (53°C).
13.The origin of the word "dashboard" — now a commonplace term for the panels in front of drivers and pilots, and more recently for a navigational interface for data management tools and computer programs — comes from a forward-facing piece of wood or leather that would serve as a barrier for when the horses' hooves would dash mud up at the driver and/or the occupants of a carriage or buggy.
14.There's a very remote area in the Pacific Ocean called the "oceanic pole of inaccessibility" — more commonly called "Point Nemo" — and it's the farthest you can get from land in any direction. If you ever find yourself at Point Nemo, the next closest humans might be right above your head on the International Space Station.
16.The largest star ever measured is a red hypergiant called VY Canis Majoris. Over 600 million miles wide and more than 300,000 times brighter than our own sun, if it were plopped down in the middle of our solar system, it would extend past Jupiter's orbit.
And here's a visual representation in case you're having trouble imagining that:
Still having trouble imagining how big that star is? Well here's what a sunset on Mars looks like:
And here's what a "sunset" on Mars would look like if VY Canis Majoris were our sun — Mars would literally be inside of it.
17.So little is known about the mating habits — both the "how" and the "where" — of great white sharks that observing it has come to be considered the "Holy Grail" of marine biology and shark ecology. Only two eyewitness accounts of the act have ever been documented, one of which was reported just last year.
18.Because eucalyptus leaves are loaded with toxins that only adult koalas can withstand, baby koalas have to eat their mothers' poop for a more...diluted eucalyptus diet.
19.There are many more trees on Earth (an estimated 3 trillion of them) than there are stars in the Milky Way Galaxy (somewhere between 100 and 400 billion of those).
22.Pictured below is a life-sized replica of a Titanoboa, which was a prehistoric snake that was almost 40 feet long (12 meters) and more than 2,000 pounds (907 kilograms), making it far and away the largest snake that's ever lived (as far as we know).
The Washington Post / The Washington Post via Getty Images
And what would a list of facts be without a good old-fashioned frog:
23.This weird guy is called a Proceratophrys boiei, or a Boie's frog, and when these frogs feel threatened, they're able to flatten themselves out on the rainforest floor to look even more like a leaf than they already do.
agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo
Want to see what I learned last week? Click here to find out. And click HERE to see everything I learned in May.