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    19 Incredible Things I Literally Just Learned That I Almost Didn't Believe

    Personally, I think the marine iguanas are very handsome.

    1. In southeastern France, there's a basilica that has on display what is believed to be the skull of Mary Magdalene, who was one of Jesus' followers and an alleged witness of his execution:

    The skull of Mary Magdalene in St Maximin Basilica in France from pics

    2. This beautiful golden mouse looks fake, but it isn't. It was bred to look this way:

    Golden mouse with wavy fur! from interestingasfuck

    3. Here's what it looks like when the ISS passes between Earth and the Moon:

    Rare Photo Capturing the International Space Station as it Passes in Front of the Moon from interestingasfuck

    4. This is a black-browed babbler. The only known record of this species existing was a single specimen collected in 1850. Understandably, experts believed this bird to be long extinct — that is, until a live one was caught and photographed (and then set free) last October:

    Bird believed extinct for 170 years spotted in Borneo from interestingasfuck

    5. Richard Norris Williams was a Titanic survivor who went on to become a Wimbledon champion and an Olympic Gold Medalist — all thanks to his adamant refusal to allow his legs to be amputated while aboard the Carpathia after being rescued from the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean in 1912:

    R. Norris Williams and the Titanic from Damnthatsinteresting

    6. Minnesota was the 12th state to legalize gay marriage back in 2013, but 40 years earlier it was home to what is believed to be the first same sex marriage ever performed in the United States thanks to a clever loophole:

    a determined man from Damnthatsinteresting

    7. In last week's edition I told you about a black-footed ferret named Elizabeth Ann, the first endangered species ever cloned in the US. Well, the photo I used was from last December when she was just a baby. Here's what she looks like now:

    Elizabeth Ann, the first ever cloned black-footed ferret, created from the frozen cells of a ferret that died more than 30 years ago. She was cloned from a cell line that has been cryopreserved since 1988 at the San Diego Zoo Global Frozen Zoo. from interestingasfuck

    8. Airplane manufacturing plants were popular targets for airstrikes during WWII. To protect itself against such an attack, a Boeing plant in Seattle disguised itself as a neighborhood — no plane manufacturing going on here!

    The Seattle Boeing factory disguised as a fake neighborhood during WWII. The ground was burlap, canvas, and chicken wire. The lawns and trees were spun glass and chicken feathers. Buildings were 4ft tall. from interestingasfuck

    9. Katherine Johnson, a barrier-breaking physicist and mathematician, was required to eat separately and use separate bathrooms than her white colleagues when she arrived at NASA in the early 1950s. She went on to calculate the trajectories that made the moon landing (and return trip) possible — just one of many of her important contributions to both science and history:

    Remember her name from Damnthatsinteresting

    Her amazing work was depicted in the 2017 film Hidden Figures.

    10. A chicken's diet can alter both the color and taste of their egg yolks. In fact, when fed red chile powder, their yolks will turn red. These free range chickens clearly had very different diets than the factory farmed ones (but color doesn't necessarily signify good or bad nutrition, nor quality of life):

    Free range eggs vs factory farmed eggs from Damnthatsinteresting

    11. La Sagrada Familia, a basilica located in Barcelona, Spain, has been under construction since they broke ground in 1883 and has been surrounded by scaffolding and occasionally cranes for much of that time. But there's good news — the Tower of the Virgin Mary is reportedly on track to be finished by the end of this year, with 2026 the target date for completion for the whole basilica (which is significant because 2026 will mark 100 years since architect Antoni Gaudí’s death):

    Sagrada Familia nearing completion from Damnthatsinteresting

    12. Xiaozhai Tiankeng, also known as "Heavenly Pit," is the deepest known sinkhole on the planet. It also led to the discovery of a massive cave complex that's been called "world class" and a "geological wonder":

    This Sinkhole In China from Damnthatsinteresting

    13. Circus Roncalli in Germany has been gradually moving away from animal performances since the '90s, and they haven't featured a live animal since 2018. Instead, they're using modern technology to create a unique and 100% cruelty-free experience that leaves audiences captivated:

    A German circus is using holograms instead of live animals for a cruelty free magical experience from Damnthatsinteresting

    14. This is what a Toucan skull looks like:

    Whats left after a Toucan dies from Damnthatsinteresting

    15. The Perseverance Rover sports a decal that depicts every previous martian rover that came before it, which is reminiscent of that iconic human evolution chart:

    NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars is carrying an adorable 'family portrait' of Martian rovers from interestingasfuck

    16. The Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland is over 700 years old and contains 245 kilometers (about 152 miles) of tunnel. Though walking tours are available and last about 3 hours, only 2% of the mine is open to the public:

    Saint Kinga's Chapel, located 1,000 ft underground in the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Wieliczka, Poland. Carved entirely out of rock salt, including the sculptures, furniture, even chandeliers use rock salt crystals. This is 1 of 4 chapels in an entire underground church dating back to the Middle Ages. from ArchitecturalRevival

    17. The original Star Wars trilogy was ahead of its time when it came to special effects. You might be surprised to learn that some shots were actually matte paintings done on sheets of glass:

    How the original Star Wars trilogy fooled everyone with matte paintings from interestingasfuck

    18. In 2012, Peter Glazebrook set the world record for the largest onion ever grown. Though that record was broken two years later, his 2012 onion is still a sight to behold:

    This 18 pound onion that won the world record in 2012 from interestingasfuck

    19. And last but not least: Also known as the saltwater iguana, the marine iguana can only be found in the Galápagos Islands and are famous for being good swimmers and looking terrifying. Charles Darwin was quite rude in his description, saying they're "hideous-looking":

    This Godzilla-lookalike is a Marine iguana, a species of iguana found only on the Galápagos Islands from interestingasfuck

    Want to see what I learned last week? Click here to find out.

    Correction: Whoops! In my excitement about learning that La Sagrada Familia is nearing completion I made a pretty significant error. The basilica is not on track to be finished this year; only part of it is. It's actually on track to be finished by 2026. Thank you to the kind commenter for pointing out this mistake and teaching me one more cool fact this week

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