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19 Fucking Odd Facts About Scotland That'll Make You Say "Hmm, Random"

Bill Murray once showed up at a student party in Scotland and did their washing up.

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1. A Scottish penguin called Sir Nils Olav is officially a Colonel-In-Chief of the Norwegian army.

He was previously a knight, then a brigadier and each time was promoted in a lavish ceremony in front of 50 Norwegian soldiers in full dress uniforms.

3. And the Red Wedding from Game of Thrones was inspired by a real-life event that happened in Edinburgh.


The infamous wedding was inspired by a bloody massacre from 15th-century Scotland known as "The Black Dinner". At the time, the King of Scotland was fighting the Black Douglas clan. He invited them for dinner at Edinburgh Castle, but at the end the drums started pounding and they were captured and put to death. Harsh.

4. Bill Murray once showed up at a student party, drank vodka out of a mug, then did their washing up.

American Zoetrope / Giphy

It was at the University of St. Andrews in 2006, and he was wearing a brown vest and a checked shirt. After drinking a bunch of their vodka, he washed up for them, then left.


7. One of the gargoyles on Paisley Abbey is an alien. / Creative Commons / BuzzFeed

It's not an original feature though. It dates back to the 1990s when the abbey was undergoing renovations and replaced 12 of its gargoyles.

8. Scottish ferry workers once let Germans travel for free because Germany beat England in football.

Sky Sports / Giphy

After Germany defeated England in a vital 2000 World Cup qualifying match, ferry workers on the Isle of Skye route let German tourists travel for free.


9. In 1896 a group of boys discovered a bunch of miniature coffins in an Edinburgh cave. / Creative Commons

The coffins each contain a carefully-made miniature doll, wearing a tiny outfit. The coffins are all decorated differently. No one knows who put them there, or why.


15. There's a Canadian town called Cape Breton where the descendants of Scottish settlers still speak Gaelic.

Twitter: @beatoninstitute

Highway signs are bilingual (English/Gaelic) too, piping is very popular, and some old dialects that have died out in Scotland have been preserved in Cape Breton.


19. And there's a fine of two cans of beer for any Scotsman caught wearing underwear under his kilt.

This odd law first cropped up in 1935, and might be a bit tricky to enforce. It was probably a joke, but it's best to leave your underwear at home just in case, guys.