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    Posted on Apr 7, 2017

    7 Random Facts You've Probably Never Heard Before

    There is an island in the Bahamas inhabited only by swimming pigs!

    Getty Images / Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

    Conversations are hard. Each week, two-time Jeopardy! winner and awkward silence warrior Terri Pous makes small talk a little easier by giving you random things to blurt out when you don’t know what else to say. Catch up on last week's here.

    1. A can of Mountain Dew can dissolve a mouse 😳.

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    Apparently, citric acid, which Mountain Dew contains in large quantities, can easily erode teeth and bones in as short as a few months. Welcome to your nightmares! This all came to light in a 2012 lawsuit filed by a man who claimed to have found a whole mouse carcass in his friendly afternoon can of 'Dew. Pepsi, Mountain Dew's parent company, hired experts who discounted the man's case by finding that the neon green soda would reduce the rodent to "a jelly-like substance." Therefore, all that would be left of the mouse would be some rubbery skin tissue, certainly not a whole dead mouse. Yum!

    2. For a short time, the planet Uranus was named...George.

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    Uranus, arguably the most unfortunately named planet, just can't catch a break, huh? When it was discovered by astronomer William Herschel in 1781, King George III of England was so impressed that he declared Herschel the official Court Astronomer. Herschel repaid the favor by naming his discovery "Georgium Sidus," Latin for "The Star/Planet Of George," or just George for short, in honor of the king. That name stayed in official record books until 1850, when German astronomer Johann Bode suggested the name Uranus, derived from the name of the ancient Greek god Ouranos, to better fit with the other planets' mythological names.

    3. Movies have to clarify that they're fiction because of a 1930s lawsuit that traces back to none other than Rasputin.

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    If you've ever seen a movie, you've seen some variation of the disclaimer, “This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, is purely coincidental." Well, that leads back to Grigori Rasputin, aka the creepy healer the Russian royal family relied on in the early 20th century. It all started with the 1932 movie Rasputin and the Empress. Prince Felix Yusupov, Rasputin's assassin, didn't like the movie because it didn't tell his whole story. Yusupov sued MGM for invasion of privacy and libel, and because the movie included a fabricated scene of a character based on Yusupov's wife being raped, he won. MGM was informed that if they had included a disclaimer saying the film wasn't supposed to be entirely realistic, they wouldn't have had to shell out $125,000 to the Yusupovs. With that in mind, MGM started putting very specific language in all of their credits, and other movie studios soon followed.

    4. Iceland has an elf whisperer who inspects construction sites before anything gets built to make sure no elves are hanging around.

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    The latest in "jobs you never knew existed": elf whisperer. Ragnhildur “Ragga” Jónsdóttir currently has this position, which requires her to watch after Iceland’s Elf Park and speak on behalf of the country's numerous elves. Studies have shown that more than a third of Icelanders believe elves exist, so her job is super important — she's inspected potential highway sites and the potential location of an aluminum factory to make sure the construction wouldn't piss off invisible elves living there.

    5. Women in several US cities organized Anti-Flirt Clubs in the 1920s to combat catcalling.

    Library of Congress / Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

    Turns out, having a complete stranger scream "Hey sweetie, where's that gorgeous smile?" when you're trying to walk your dog in a damn blizzard at 7 a.m. is not a recent phenomenon. The first Anti-Flirt Club was founded in Washington, DC, in 1923 because, as the Washington Post reported that year, "too many motorists are taking advantage of the precedent established during the war by offering to take young lady pedestrians in their cars." The group even organized an anti-flirt week, during which club members refused to flirt with any men. (Rules included “Don’t use your eyes for ogling,” “Don’t smile at flirtatious strangers,” and “Don’t accept rides from flirting motorists.") For a while, it was so popular and influential that chapters popped up in New York City, Chicago, and other cities, and a senator even recommended making flirting a misdemeanor. Sadly, the clubs fell off the map by the 1930s, but unwanted, invasive "flirting" did not.

    6. Toilet seat covers are basically pointless.

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    No matter how gross a toilet or bathroom is, it's highly unlikely that you'll contract any sort of disease from a toilet seat. “There are very few germs that can actually be transmitted from the seat to your skin,” Kelly Reynolds, PhD., the director of The Environment, Exposure Science and Risk Assessment Center at the University of Arizona’s College of Public Health, told BuzzFeed. The flimsy paper cover is just a symbolic germ defender to make you feel like you're protecting yourself from the nasty. (This is also why you monsters need to just stop with the squatting/hovering already.)

    7. And there is an island in the Bahamas that's inhabited only by swimming pigs.

    Getty Images / Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

    Pig Beach in Exuma, the Bahamas, is a pig lover's paradise. No one knows how they got there, but thousands of delighted visitors have stopped by the gorgeous beach to say hi to the pigs, watch them swim, and get some pretty incredible photos.

    See you next week! 👋 🐭 👋

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