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    92 Things I Learned In April That Blew My Mind In Ways I Didn't Know Possible

    A muscle you might've been born without, an infamous serial killer meeting a First Lady of the United States, a species of frog that looks like poop, and much more!

    Before you continue reading, I want you to know that this post *might* contain a bunch of facts you've already read.

    Some context: I write a weekly series, published on Saturday mornings, where I round up a bunch of cool facts I learned that week. Then, at the end of every month, I take everything I learned and put it all into one convenient place for your reading pleasure ‚ÄĒ and that's what you're reading now. Here's the one I wrote in March.

    A titanic survivor, the size of the statue of david next to a person, and free range versus factory farmed eggs
    Getty / u/TripleGem-and-Guru / Via

    SO, without further ado, here are 92 Things I Learned In April‚ĄĘÔłŹ:

    Oh, and a quick warning: Number 11 on this list features a photo that people with trypophobia and arachnophobia might find disturbing.

    1. H.H. Holmes has been labeled America's first serial killer. Holmes's hotel, which has been informally referred to as his "Murder Castle," was in operation during the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, which drew 27 million visitors, many of whom were out-of-towners looking for a cheap place to stay. For this reason, it's difficult to determine precisely how many people might've perished within the Murder Castle's walls:

    The murder hotel in Chicago from ThatsInsane

    2. This is the hat worn by Abraham Lincoln to Ford's Theatre on the night he was shot on April 14, 1865. The silk band was added to honor his son Willie, who died of typhoid in 1862 and whose death had a profound and devastating effect on the Lincolns:

    Top hat worn by Abraham Lincoln the night he was shot. Now on display at the National Museum of American History [1024x1010] from ArtefactPorn

    3. This 75-pound (34-kilogram) monster is the "Pearl of Puerto Princesa," the largest pearl ever discovered:

    Filipino fisherman got stuck on a rock and he decided to bring it home as a good luck charm. And then he kept it under his bed for 10 years until one day his house burned down. Then he found out this "rock" was actually the biggest pearl ever found and is valued at $100.000.000. from interestingasfuck

    4. One of the most legendary pranks in the history of April Fools' Day was played by a man named Oliver Bickar, affectionally known as "Porky," who managed to convince the city of Sitka, Alaska, that this dormant volcano was about to erupt:

    April 1, 74. Oliver Bickar ignited 100 old tires in a crater, convincing nearby residents of Sitka, Alaska that the volcano was erupting. Round the rim of the volcano someone had spraypainted "April Fool" in 50 ft letters. He had been planning the prank for four years. from RedditDayOf

    5. LANSA Flight 508¬†was flying over the Amazon rainforest on Christmas Eve in 1971 when it was struck by lightning and destroyed instantly. Of the 92 people on board, only¬†Juliane Koepcke¬†survived. In an interview with BBC she recalled, "Suddenly the noise stopped and I was outside the plane. I was in a freefall, strapped to my seat bench and hanging head-over-heels. The whispering of the wind was the only noise I could hear." Aside from a broken collarbone, a torn ligament, and some cuts and bruises, she escaped the crash ‚ÄĒ and fall ‚ÄĒ without any major injuries...and then went on to survive in the wilderness for 10 days:

    17 year-old Juliane Koepcke was sucked out of an airplane in 1971 after it was struck by a bolt of lightning. She fell 2 miles to the ground, strapped to her seat and survived after she endured 10 days in the Amazon Jungle. from Damnthatsinteresting

    6. This is what the Burning Man festival looks like from above:

    Burning Man is cosmically beautiful. from Damnthatsinteresting

    7. When someone from the Northern Hemisphere visits the Southern Hemisphere ‚ÄĒ and vice versa ‚ÄĒ they might notice that¬†the moon appears to be upside down. Turns out, it's not just their imagination, as illustrated by this helpful diagram:

    People in Australia see moon upside down from Damnthatsinteresting

    8. It's not at all uncommon for giraffes (and other herbivores) to chew on bones they find lying around their environment. In fact, it's their primary source of calcium and phosphorous:

    Giraffe eating a skull- osteophagy is the practice in which animals, usually herbivores, consume bones. from natureismetal

    9. Located in Utah, Pando is considered by some to be the largest living organism on the planet. It occupies 106 acres, consists of over 40,000 individual "trees," and is believed to weigh about 13 million pounds (5,896,701 kilograms):

    Pando, the tree God from Bossfight

    10. Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda was a Japanese soldier who was stationed at a remote outpost in the Philippines during WWII and who remained there until 1974 under the belief that the war was ongoing. He and a few men (the last of which would die in 1972, leaving Lt. Onoda alone) remained on high alert for all those years, hiding from search parties and even killing locals who they believed posed a threat:

    Hiroo Onoda from ThatsInsane

    11. In order to grow, tarantulas engage in a process called molting, during which they shed their old exoskeletons. This is what they leave behind:

    The exoskeleton shed by a Brachypelma emilia or Red legged tarantula. Spider was not harmed, it simply replaced its old armor. from interestingasfuck

    12. The Great Pyramid of Giza is huge:

    True Size of The Great Pyramid of Giza from HumanForScale

    13. Nikola Tesla is believed to be responsible for the very first X-ray images produced in the United States:

    Nikola Tesla's foot on an X-ray image taken by himself on a device of his own design, 1896. from interestingasfuck

    14. It might sound fake but this photo actually does depict Abraham Lincoln's funeral procession passing in front of the New York City home of Cornelius Van Schaack Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt's grandfather. The two figures in that window are believed to be Teddy and his brother Elliott:

    6 year old Teddy Roosevelt (in the red circle) at Abraham Lincoln’s funeral, 1865 from interestingasfuck

    15. This massive 2010 traffic jam on the north-south Beijing-Tibet expressway stretched for 74.5 miles and lasted for 11 days. It was caused, in part, by road work:

    The China Highway 110 Traffic Jam lasted more than 10 days. Most cars moved at an estimated pace of 1 km per DAY from ThatsInsane

    16. This is the unbroken seal of the third inner shrine of King Tut's tomb. It was notable because, over the centuries, most tombs were raided by grave robbers and stripped of all their riches. Tutankhamun's tomb was relatively untouched because it was unintentionally buried during the creation of Ramesses VI's tomb, and it remained hidden until Howard Carter rediscovered it in 1922:

    The seal securing the entrance to the tomb of king Tutankhamun. When this photo was taken in 1923 the seal had remained intact for more than 3200 years [1600x1200] from ArtefactPorn

    17. This is the Centennial Light, the longest-lasting lightbulb on earth. It burns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in Firestation #6 in Livermore, California, which means it serves a purpose beyond just record-setting. Its longevity is allegedly due, in part, to the fact that it's never turned off, as the constant heating and cooling of the filament is what causes most bulbs to burn out:

    In 1901, an eternal light bulb was connected in California. It still hasn't gone out today, 120 years later. It is cited as strong evidence of how products are purposely made not to last in modern technology. from interestingasfuck

    18. Sultan Kösen is a 38-year-old farmer from Turkey and the world's tallest living person. Here is Sultan's hand holding an average can of Pepsi:

    The world's tallest man, Sultan Kosen, holding a regular sized can of soda. from interestingasfuck

    19. You can still find pieces of the original Star Wars set, which is located in the Sahara Desert just outside the Tunisian city of Tataouine. Yes, George Lucas named the planet Tatooine after the city:

    The abandoned Star Wars movie set in Tunisian Desert from interestingasfuck

    20. Also known as the platypus frog, the gastric brooding frog was notable for converting its stomach into a womb as the eggs it swallowed would turn to tadpoles, which would ultimately grow into fully formed frogs. Eventually, after not eating for six weeks straight, it'd "vomit" its little bundles of joy into the world. Scientists have been attempting to bring the now-extinct species back through cloning:

    When breeding, Australian gastric-brooding frogs (Rheobatrachus) would stop producing gastric acid, swallow their eggs, and carry them in their stomachs past metamorphosis. Extinct since 1985. from Naturewasmetal

    21. This species of frog looks like poo:

    This poopy boy is called Theloderma moloch! It has a very interesting way of camouflaging itself. The texture and color of its skin make it look like bird droppings! This deters predators, cause who in their right mind would eat bird poo from AIDKE

    22. The Titanic's grand staircase was painstakingly recreated for ‚ÄĒ and featured prominently in ‚ÄĒ the movieTitanic. Here's what the actual staircase looked like, and¬†here's what it looks like today:

    The grand staircase of Titanic before and after from submechanophobia

    23. This is Baldwin Street and it's recognized by Guinness as being the steepest residential street on the planet:

    A house on the world’s steepest street in Dunedin, NZ, when adjusted for angle. from interestingasfuck

    24. This is what a section of the Las Vegas Strip looked like in 1955:

    What is now the fully developed Las Vegas strip, 1955. [494 x 492] from HistoryPorn

    25. In 1972, a plane carrying a Uruguayan rugby team to a match in Chile crashed high up in the Andes mountains. Of the plane's 45 passengers and crew,¬†33 would survive the crash¬†but only 16 would make it off the mountain alive. They endured freezing cold temperatures and near-starvation for 72 straight days, and were forced to eat the bodies of those who had died in order to survive. In an¬†interview¬†with National Geographic, Dr.¬†Roberto¬†Canessa ‚ÄĒ one of the survivors who was 19 years old at the time ‚ÄĒ clarified, "Cannibalism is when you kill someone, so technically this is what is known as¬†anthropophagy." The group struggled with the decision over whether or not to eat their fallen friends but ultimately it wasn't a choice at all; they likely would've starved otherwise:

    Survivors of the Andes plane crash Flight 571 pictured outside of the plane, 1972 from HistoryFans

    26. The Perseverance rover is getting a lot of press these days, but the Curiosity rover is still working hard on Mars. In March, it captured some clouds drifting across the martian sky:

    Clouds in the sky, gently passing overhead. On Mars, Friday, March 19, 2021.

    Twitter: @ThePlanetaryGuy

    27. And speaking of the Curiosity rover, this is how big it is:

    The true size of the Curiosity rover from HumanForScale

    28. At the height of the Civil War ‚ÄĒ and with nothing to lose, for he had no intention of being taken alive ‚ÄĒ¬†Robert Smalls¬†seized an opportunity to escape slavery by commandeering a Confederate ship that was armed for combat while its captain was away. To pull off this daring escape, he fooled not one but¬†twoConfederate checkpoints into believing he was the ship's captain by donning his wide-brimmed hat and mimicking his mannerisms. This act of bravery ‚ÄĒ and brilliance ‚ÄĒ earned him not only his freedom but also the freedom of 17 others (including 3 children). He would go on to become a state assemblyman and state senator in South Carolina, and serve in the US House of Representatives:

    Robert Smalls was born into slavery. In 1862 he freed himself, his crew, and their families during the American Civil War by commandeering a Confederate transport ship. He went on to become American politician, publisher, businessman, and naval pilot. from nextfuckinglevel

    29. This photo, which is believed to be the earliest photo of the Taj Mahal, was actually taken sometime between 1858 and 1862:

    The earliest known photo of the Taj Mahal. Circa 1855 [3,518 √ó 3,000]. from HistoryPorn

    30. Unlike other bird species, owls aren't really built to withstand lots of moisture:

    Your Twitter feed needs these photos of a ruru (morepork) getting an antibacterial shampoo & blowdry at Wildbase Recovery Centre. This is why you don't see owls fly in the rain ūüėā #NotWaterProof #Morepork #Ruru #BirdWatching

    Twitter: @CerebralNurse

    31. The USS Johnston ‚ÄĒ a US Navy destroyer that was lost in combat during World War II ‚ÄĒ was recently rediscovered at a depth of 21,000 feet (6400.8 meters) in the Philippine Sea, which is equivalent to four miles (!!), making it the deepest shipwreck ever recorded:

    The USS Johnston barely visible on the dark ocean floor
    Victor Vescovo / Caladan Oceanic

    32. The captain of the USS Johnston was a Cmdr. Ernest E. Evans, who bravely sacrificed the ship as well as his life and the lives of his crewmen by charging into enemy territory and drawing fire so that American landing forces could retake the Philippines. For this selfless act, Evans became the first Native American to win the Medal of Honor. Here's a photo of the captain and his crew:

    Commander Ernest E. Evans addresses the crew of the USS Johnston during her commissioning 10/27/43. 363 days later she finally succumb to the sea at Samar after valiantly doing battle with IJN Yamato and the Japanese fleet. from WorldWar2

    33. CGI has come a longggg way in the last 26 years:

    CGI difference between Toy Story (1995) and Toy Story 4 (2019) from interestingasfuck

    34. Fossil records show that magnolia trees are at least 60 million years old. They're so ancient, in fact, that their flowers evolved to be pollinated by beetles and flies because bees, butterflies, and moths hadn't existed yet:

    A magolia tree in full bloom
    Photography By Keith Getter (all / Getty Images

    35. This is Sudan, the last male northern white rhino, right before he died in 2018 at the age of 45. Now there are only two left: Najin and her daughter Fatu. When they're gone, this species that has existed for millions of years will no longer walk the earth:

    Saying goodbye to a species, the very last male Northern White Rhino. A powerful photo of 2018. from interestingasfuck

    36. This is¬†Ha'a Keaulana, a third-generation surfing legend. She's the daughter of¬†Brian Keaulana and the granddaughter of the great Buffalo¬†Keaulana ‚ÄĒ surfing royalty in Hawaii. Here's a photo of her training:

    Hawaiian Surfer training for large waves by carrying a 50lb stone underwater. from interestingasfuck

    37. This is the harpy eagle, one of the most formidable raptor species still in existence in terms of size and strength. Their sharp talons are equal to a grizzly bear's in size, which are perfect for plucking sloths out of trees and baby deer off the ground:

    The welcoming gaze of the mother Harpy Eagle, the greatest powerhouse amongst the surviving eagles. from natureismetal

    38. And here are some scraps that were found in one of their nests:

    Found in a harpy eagle's nest from natureismetal

    39. This amazing photo depicts a 162-year-old portrait of a Civil War soldier in stunning HD. It was restored and colored by Adam "A.B." Cannon, a photo restoration and enhancement specialist based in Illinois:

    The enhanced photo side by side with the black and white original
    ABCannon / Via

    If you'd like to see more of his work, you can follow him on Instagram here.

    40. James Harrison discovered at a young age that his blood contains a rare antibody that helps fight a disease that can be fatal to newborns, so he donated blood every week for 60 years. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service estimated that his donations have saved the lives of *2.4 million* babies in Australia:

    James Harrison from Damnthatsinteresting

    41. This caterpillar, which is able to ward off predators by displaying markings that resemble a row of teeth below two large eyes, will ultimately become a pink underwing moth. It's lucky to have this added layer of protection as its currently an endangered species:

    This caterpillar that looks like predator from WTF

    42. Gaius Caesar, better known by his nickname¬†Caligula¬†(which means "little boots"), was a Roman emperor whom many believed would be a merciful and moderate leader compared to some of the tyrants who ruled before him ‚ÄĒ and sources say he was precisely that for the first six months of his reign. But then, very suddenly, he became gravely ill and this¬†unknown illness¬†would change him forever in strange and consequential ways. He would go on to be remembered for his murderous cruelty and his god complex, and he was eventually assassinated after a mere five years as emperor. This sapphire ring is believed to have belonged to him:

    Wonderful 2000 years-old sapphire ring presumably belonged to Roman emperor Caligula, thought depicting his fourth wife Caesonia. [1916x1384] from ArtefactPorn

    43. The Battle of Trafalgar was a great naval battle between Napoleon's France and Great Britain. Spain joined the battle as an ally of France and this is one of the flags flown on their ships:

    The size of this flag flown on a spanish ship at the battle of Trafalgar (1805) from interestingasfuck

    44. This volcanic eruption in Geldingadalir, Iceland, is expected to last for quite some time; in fact, two new fissures opened up this week, causing lava to ooze from the earth in three separate locations. Fortunately, these eruptions don't post a threat to Reykjavík, though it is drawing plenty of tourists:

    The volcanic eruption that could last for years, Geldingadalir, Iceland [OC][3830x2553] from EarthPorn

    45. And here's what it looks like from above, surrounded by tourists:

    Crowds watching the line of fire as lava spewed from Fagradalsfjall volcano, Iceland. from interestingasfuck

    46. Despite repeatedly rising from the ocean and destroying Tokyo, which resulted in a contentious relationship between the two, Godzilla and the nation of Japan finally reconciled their differences in 2015 when Godzilla was officially declared a Japanese citizen:

    In 2015, Godzilla became an official Japanese citizen and was also employed as a tourism ambassador of japan. from interestingasfuck

    47. The first-ever Marvel movie, Captain America, was made in 1944, and it featured a Cap (played by Dick Purcell) who sometimes carried a gun and shot at people:

    CAPTAIN AMERICA, 1944 (FIRST MARVEL MOVIE EVER) [1080x800] from HistoryPorn

    48. Up until the late 1980s, it was widely believed that babies don't feel pain. So common was this belief in the mainstream medical community that many infants who were undergoing surgery weren't given any type of anesthesia or pain relief.

    A newborn baby in the hospital
    Nenov / Getty Images

    49. This is the actual violin that was played on the deck of the Titanic as it was sinking, according to surviving eyewitnesses. It belonged to Wallace Hartley, who led the quintet band. Wallace's body was found floating in the Atlantic several days after the sinking and his violin was found strapped to his back and stored safely inside its case. It sold for $1.7 million in 2013:

    The violin in a display case
    Matt Cardy / Getty Images

    The inscription reads: "For Wallace on the occasion of our engagement. From Maria"

    50. There is so much trash and feces left behind by climbers on Mount Everest that it's been dubbed "the world’s highest garbage dump." As climate change causes the ice on the mountain to melt, even more trash fromdecades agois being exposed and the filthy water that drips down the mountain is posing serious health risks to the locals who have lived there for generations:

    Mount Everest is covered in waste, including 26,500 lbs of human excrement. The Nepalese government now requires climbers to pack 8kg of waste when descending the mountain. from interestingasfuck

    51. History repeats itself in the strangest ways. By now, you've probably heard of the 1918 flu pandemic, which became a major health crisis a little more than 100 years ago. Well, what you might not know is that there were anti-maskers back then too. There was even an organized group called the Anti-Mask League.

    "Wear a mask, or go to jail" (1918 Spanish Flu) from interestingasfuck

    52. In 2014, scientists discovered an ancient virus that had been lying dormant in the Siberian permafrost for 30,000 years and that, when thawed, became infectious again. Though this particular virus poses no threat to humans, it's a stark warning about what sort of long-forgotten threats to humanity might be unearthed as the globe continues to warm.

    Tatiana Gasich / Getty Images, Aitor Diago / Getty Images

    53. Do you see that tendon in the middle of the wrist in the right photo? That's called a palmaris longus and studies suggest it's missing in either one or both arms in a significant percentage of the human population. Cats use this same muscle to retract their claws:

    Today I discovered that I am missing my palmaris longus muscle in my left arm (approximately 20% of the population is missing this muscle in one or both arms) from pics

    54. It's hard to believe this was captured more than 180 years ago, but it's true. The photo (the one on the left is what it actually looked like; the one on the right is a touch-up) is believed to be "the first photographic portrait ever taken":

    In 1839 Robert Cornelius took the world's first selfie. It only took him 15 minutes. from interestingasfuck

    55. There's an¬†island in the Bahamas¬†that's inhabited by feral pigs, and you can go there and feed and swim with them. It's not known exactly how they got there or how long they've been there ‚ÄĒ these pigs are not native to the Bahamas. One theory suggests a group of pigs may have survived a shipwreck and swam over. Whatever the case, they're living the good life now:

    Pigs chilling on the uninhabited island of Pigs beach in the Bahamas from interestingasfuck

    56. Though the photo below depicts a replica, an actual blue whale heart weighs roughly 400 pounds and is the size of a golf cart (not a Volkswagen Beetle, as is popularly claimed):

    The blue whales heart is so big that a human can fit into it's arteries (the image is a replica of it, not an actual heart) from interestingasfuck

    57. Flamingos turn pink because of the food they eat. If they don't eat that food, they won't turn pink:

    Flamingos are not born their iconic pink colour! The grey-born bird changes tone due to their diets of brine shrimp and blue green algaes, which contains canthaxanthin, a natural dye. Zoo contained flamingos have been known to remain grey if not given the usual diet! from Awwducational

    58. The Sun is so massive that 1.3 million Earths would be able to fit inside of it. This model helps illustrate this unimaginable difference in size:

    This is how many Earths could fit inside the Sun from interestingasfuck

    59. Darius the rabbit, who's four feet long (1.2 meters) and is recognized as the world's longest rabbit, went missing this week. Darius's disappearance is being investigated as an abduction (!!!) and there's currently a £2,000 reward available for his safe return:

    Darius , an absolute unit of a rabbit! from AbsoluteUnits

    60. This is what the skeleton of a pufferfish looks like:

    Skeleton of pufferfish from interestingasfuck

    61. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination would change the course of history, actually survived an assassination attempt earlier that day when a bomb that was intended to kill him ended up exploding underneath the car directly behind his in the motorcade. Fate would intervene, however, when Archduke Ferdinand decided to take an unplanned detour to the hospital to visit those injured in the attack. On the way, his chauffeur accidentally made a wrong turn and came to a stop right in front of 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip, who shot and killed him, setting off World War I. Here's the coat the archduke was wearing that day, still covered in his blood:

    The bloodstained coat of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. His assasination started the Great War. Sarajevo, 1914 [811x1000] from ArtefactPorn

    62. The tarantula hawk is a species of spider wasp that gets its name for its penchant for hunting tarantulas, which it's able to paralyze with a single sting. In fact, these terrifying creatures boast the second most painful sting on the planet (bullet ant is the first):

    Tarantula Hawk from ALLTHEBUGS

    63. Katalin Kariko is an unsung hero of the COVID-19 pandemic:

    Story of a 66-year-old researcher, an immigrant, who rarely got grants, never got her own lab, never earned more than $60K. For four decades, she kept working on mRNA‚ÄĒa path considered foolish. Her work is the basis for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

    Twitter: @nathanheller

    64. In pre-Incan, ancient Peruvian cultures, the elites would have their skulls elongated as a status symbol:

    A Peruvian elongated skull with metal surgically implanted after returning from battle, estimated to be from about 2000 years ago. The broken bone surrounding the repair is tightly fused together indicating it was a successful surgery. from Damnthatsinteresting

    65. At the Lidl supermarket in Dublin, Ireland, you can stock up on groceries and learn history. Not only is there a plexiglass floor in the center aisle that exhibits a millennium-old medieval house, but also near the checkout is another plexiglass floor that displays part of the stage of an 18th-century theater:

    During the construction of a supermarket in Dublin, Ireland, archaeologists discovered the remains of a 1000 year old medieval house. Rather than excavate the items and build on top of the site, the store installed glass flooring that provides shoppers with a literal window into history. from interestingasfuck

    66. This is¬†Odette Sansom Hallowes¬†‚ÄĒ codename "LISE" ‚ÄĒ who was a highly decorated spy during World War II. She was hired by the British government to infiltrate Nazi-occupied France and assist in recruiting, training, and arming members of the French resistance. She would eventually be captured and brutally tortured by the Gestapo. Even as they¬†ripped out all of her toenails¬†she would repeat these words: "I have nothing to say." She never once revealed the whereabouts of her co-conspirators and comrades in arms, and was ultimately sent to¬†Ravensbr√ľck, a concentration camp for women. Despite it all, Odette¬†Hallowes survived the war. She died at the age of 82 in 1995:

    WW2 SOE agent Odette Sansom Hallowes GC MBE, photographed in 1946. Colourised. from OldSchoolCool

    67. John Wayne Gacy, the infamous serial killer ‚ÄĒ who was nicknamed the "Killer Clown" because he would perform at charity events and children's hospital under the personas "Patches the Clown" or "Pogo the Clown" and who would prey on children ‚ÄĒ once posed for a photo with First Lady Rosalynn Carter. She¬†reportedly¬†also signed the photo, "To John Gacy, best wishes, Rosalynn Carter." He was arrested a year later and convicted of murdering 33 young men and boys, though there's speculation that there may have been even more victims:

    Serial killer John Wayne Gacy poses with First Lady Roslynn Carter. This picture would become an embarrassment for the Secret Service as the pin Gacy is wearing indicates security clearance. [402x369] from HistoryPorn

    68. A whale's spinal column is so massive that it looks prehistoric ‚ÄĒ almost mythical, even:

    washed up whale spine from interestingasfuck

    69. And this is how big a grizzly bear's foot is:

    This grizzly bear is just sedated to be fitted with a tracking collar in Montana. Look at the size of his foot! from ThatsInsane

    70. Here's what Times Square looked like before all the screens, Coca-Cola billboards, Elmo mascots, M&M stores, Bubba Gump Shrimp, etc.:

    Times Square (1919) Before all the renovations and billboards. from Lost_Architecture

    71. When Bill Clinton was just 16 years old, he got to travel to the White House and shake hands with then-president John F. Kennedy. This was in late July 1963, just four months before Kennedy's assassination:

    JFK & Bill Clinton greeting at the White House, in 1963. [650 x 510] from HistoryPorn

    72. This is what a bottle of Coca-Cola looked like back in 1894; and yes, it did actually contain cocaine. In fact, though cocaine was eventually removed from the formula, the Coca-Cola you drink today still contains coca leaves (the plant that's used to manufacture cocaine) but the cocaine part of it is of course left out. They refer to the ingredient as "Merchandise No. 5," which is supplied to them by the Stepan Company, the only company in the US that's licensed to import and process coca plants:

    Released in 1894, this is the first publicly sold bottle of Coca-Cola, which contained around 3.5 grams of cocaine from interestingasfuck

    73. Cryonics is the act of freezing the dead in the hopes that science will someday become advanced enough to resurrect them. In Scottsdale, Arizona, there's a place called Alcor Life Extension Foundation and they're the self-proclaimed "world leader in cryonics, cryonics research, and cryonics technology." According to their website, they currently have 181 "patients." One of them is baseball legend Ted Williams and a former employee accused Alcor of mishandling Williams's corpse and also preserving his decapitated head separately from the rest of his body:

    145 People Are Frozen And Waiting For Science To Resurrect Them In The Arizona Desert from interestingasfuck

    74. The purussaurus was a prehistoric crocodile that is believed to be the largest croc to ever live. They would reportedly grow as large as 41 feet long (12.5 meters) and weigh 8.4 tons. It's also believed they had a stronger bite than the tyrannosaurus rex, with a pressure of *seven tons*:

    The skull of a Purussaurus, one of the biggest crocodiles to have ever lived from Damnthatsinteresting

    75. Machu Picchu was abandoned by the Incans shortly after being conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century and for centuries after it lay hidden high in the mountains. It was finally rediscovered in 1911. Here's what it looked like in 1915 before excavations began versus what it looks like today:

    Excavation and restoration of the Machu Picchu from interestingasfuck

    76. Earlier this week, the Ingenuity Helicopter became the first aircraft to fly on Mars. One of the reasons this is such a huge deal is because there was no guarantee it would work. Mars has 1/3 of Earth's gravity and a *very* thin atmosphere (helicopters need air to fly and there's not a lot of that on the Red Planet).

    Ingenuity hovering above the Martian landscape
    NASA / Via

    77. Even so, NASA was confident they would succeed. So sure were they that Ingenuity would make history by being the first aircraft to fly on Mars that under its solar panel they fastened a small piece of fabric from one of the wings of the Wright brothers' historic plane, the Flyer, which flew the first controlled and sustained flight on Earth.

    Patrick T. Fallon / Getty Images, Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

    78. Here's what one of the Titanic's propellers looks like today as it sits on the ocean floor:

    Titanic's starboard propeller from submechanophobia

    79. This white stork with a Central African spear through its neck isn't a recreation; it's the real deal, and it's on display in a German museum. There was a time when no one really knew where birds went during the winter months and in 1822, this hapless stork survived being speared in Africa only to make the long journey back to Germany to get shot by a hunter:

    Until a few centuries ago, many European zoologists were perplexed about where migratory birds went during the winter. The mystery was solved in the early 1800s when a stork returned to Germany with a spear from Central Africa through its neck.

    Twitter: @IFLScience

    80. The¬†588th Night Bomber Regiment was an all-woman bomber squadron that flew roughly¬†30,000 night raids against the Nazis during WWII. Since the planes they flew were extremely rudimentary ‚ÄĒ made of little more than wood and canvas, and therefore very flammable ‚ÄĒ they needed to rely on stealth if they were to succeed (and survive), so they took to shutting off their engines as they approached a target. The only warning that an attack was imminent was a faint "whooshing" sound in the night sky, so the Germans took to calling them "Nachthexen," which translates to "Night Witches," a name that the women of the 588th would come to embrace:

    Meet the "Night Witches", fearless Russian female pilots who bombed nazis by night, 1941 [1200x1200] from HistoryPorn

    81. Pangolins are very unique animals for¬†a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is that they're covered in scales ‚ÄĒ the only mammals to possess this added layer of protection. What's¬†really¬†surprising about them, and what would¬†really¬†make you do a double take if you ever saw one out in the wild, is that, like humans, they walk on two feet:

    Pangolins are among the few bipedal animals; they walk on their hind legs, supported by their tail from interestingasfuck

    82. Some American honey contains low levels of radioactivity left over from nuclear bomb tests conducted in the 1950s and 1960s. How did it end up in honey? Long story short, the bombs sent a radioactive element into the atmosphere, wind and rain sprinkled it across the United States, some plants absorbed it, and bees pollinated those plants. Researchers say the amounts are very small and therefore harmless, but that "they may have been much higher in the 1970s and 1980s."

    Universalimagesgroup / Getty Images, Nitrub / Getty Images

    83. This gorgeous volcanic eruption in Ethiopia was captured by photographer Olivier Grunewald. When burning sulfuric gas comes into contact with air, it turns blue. But beware, those very same gases can be deadly if you breathe them:

    84. This 5,500-year-old leather shoe was discovered in an Armenian cave in 2008 and it's¬†the oldest shoe ever discovered. In a¬†brief interview¬†with National Geographic, famed luxury shoe designer Manolo Blahnik was blown away by "how much this shoes resembles a modern shoe." He called it "astonishing." In case you're wondering ‚ÄĒ like I was ‚ÄĒ it's a woman's size 7:

    A 5,500-year-old leather shoe ‚Äď complete with laces ‚Äď has been unearthed in cave in Armenia.The perfectly preserved shoe ‚Äď 1,000 years older than the Great Pyramid of Giza and 400 years older than Stonehenge. from Archaeology

    85. This is what can happen to your skin if you survive being struck by lightning. The man pictured below felt soreness in his arm before noticing the marks and the following day the skin began to blister. In an interview with ABC News, Dr. Mathew Avram explained, "The feathering marks are formed by the transmission of static electricity along the superficial blood vessels that nourish the skin":

    This person got hit by a lightning strike. These scars are called Lichtenberg figures. from interestingasfuck

    86. In an ancient quarry in Egypt lies¬†the Unfinished Obelisk. It's estimated to weigh about 1,168 tons and, had it been raised, would've stood 137 feet tall ‚ÄĒ the tallest obelisk to ever exist at the time:

    The Unfinished Obelisk, Egypt. from interestingasfuck

    87. These are the Pyramids of Mero√ę, which were once part of a wealthy ancient city in the Kingdom of Kush in what is now Sudan. If you're wondering what happened to the tops of the pyramids, which were once beautifully ornate, they were literally blown up in 1834 by an Italian treasure hunter named Giuseppe Ferlini, who then looted them and sold the artifacts to museums in Munich and Berlin.

    The pyramids out in the desert with the tops missing
    Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

    88. And this sketch depicts what some of them looked like prior to being destroyed:

    2000 Year old N6 Pyramid in Sudan which was demolished in the 1800’s by an Italian treasure hunter from Lost_Architecture

    89. This terrifying muppet is a Nereis sandersi, a species of microscopic deep-sea worm that survives at extremely high temperatures as they live next to volcanic vents at the bottom of the ocean:

    The face of a hydrothermal vent worm under an electron microscope from interestingasfuck

    90. 100,000-year-old fossilized neanderthal footprints were¬†recently discovered¬†in Spain. Researchers determined that they were left by a group of 36 individuals and that some of the prints were left by a young child who was ‚Äújumping irregularly as though dancing‚ÄĚ:

    100,000 years ago, a group of Neanderthals in Spain walked down to the beach from Naturewasmetal

    91. And these fossilized footprints, which stretch for a mile and are the longest continuous set ever discovered, were left by a woman and a small child who were in a great hurry. For some stretches, the woman carried the child and at times the child walked on its own. Other prints in the area suggest she may have been trying to avoid saber-toothed tigers and that she likely crossed paths with a mammoth and a giant sloth:

    12,000-Year-Old Human Footprints Found in New Mexico

    Twitter: @BetoReitenbach

    And FINALLY...

    92. Horses played a¬†much-more critical role¬†in World War I than you might think. Many battles were fought on rough and unforgiving terrains, ranging from arid deserts to steep mountains. In addition to being used in battle, horses were responsible for hauling gear, pulling artillery, and transporting the wounded ‚ÄĒ all in the midst of explosions, tank and gunfire, and tear gas attacks. Some estimate that as many as¬†8 million¬†horses were killed during the Great War. Here's how some veterans paid tribute to their bravery and sacrifice:

    American Soldiers Paying Tribute To The Horses Lost In World War I from interestingasfuck

    Want to see what I learned in March? Click here to find out.

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