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7 Random Facts You've Probably Never Heard Before

Did you know that fruit salad trees are real?!?!

Conversations are hard. After a brief hiatus, two-time Jeopardy! winner and awkward silence warrior Terri Pous is back to make 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 the most recent edition here.

1. A writer predicted how the Titanic would sink in 1898, 13 years before it was even built.

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American author Morgan Robertson might be as close to a Nostradamus as we'll ever see. Robertson wrote The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility at the end of the 19th century, and some of the similarities between the book and the actual 1912 disaster are shocking. Not only is the ship in the book called Titan, it also sunk in mid-April (the real Titanic sunk from April 14-15), it had too few lifeboats, and it sunk after hitting an iceberg. Robertson, an experienced seaman who often wrote about maritime events, lived long enough to see his imagined tragedy come to life, but when people called him a clairvoyant, he brushed them off, saying, “No, I know what I’m writing about, that’s all.”

2. There's a town in Poland where everything is decorated with paintings of flowers.

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Zalipie, Poland, is a small town of about 750 people, but it makes up for its tiny size with style. According to legend, townspeople started painting beautiful floral motifs on their houses to cover up smoke stains from their wood-burning stoves, and the trend caught on. Now, everything in the town, from houses to chicken coops to bridges is covered in gorgeous paintings of flowers, making it perhaps the prettiest small town in the world.

3. There are trees that can grow more than one kind of fruit, and they're called fruit salad trees.

Getty Images / Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

This isn't some Dr. Seuss stuff, this is real life, people. Australians James and Kerry West breed the whimsical trees by grafting different types of fruits from the same family onto a single tree. The result? Stonefruit trees that produce peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums and peachcots all from the same branches; citrus trees that magically grow lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits; and a multi-colored apple tree.

4. "Horizontal refreshment" was 19th century slang for sex.

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In 1863, people were a lot more colorful with their descriptions, apparently. Other charming old-school references to sex include lerricompoop (1694), to play at rumpscuttle and clapperdepouch (1684), and fadoodling (1611).

5. In Queensland, Australia, it's illegal to own a pet rabbit unless you're a magician.

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As recently has 2014, the Queensland Government flat-out rejected citizens' requests to legally own pet rabbits of their own, stating that the fuzzy animals are destructive agricultural pests. In fact, if you're caught owning one in that part of the world, you'll be slapped with a $44,000 penalty and six months in prison!

6. Elizabeth Jennings Graham did what Rosa Parks did, but a century earlier on a New York City streetcar. Her eventual lawsuit led to the desegregation of New York's public transit system.

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In 1854, segregation was still legal in New York City — for instance, African-Americans were only allowed on city streetcars if no white passengers protested. That year, Graham, a teacher, boarded a streetcar, only to have the conductor try to physically remove her. Graham held onto a window to resist, and eventually, two men pushed her out of the streetcar and onto the street. Horrified by what happened, Graham wrote about it for the New York Tribune and sued the Third Avenue Railway Company. Even though she eventually won the case, streetcar lines were individually owned and operated, meaning it took a painstaking amount of time to individually challenge each one. New York's state legislature didn't officially ban segregation on streetcars until 20 years later.

7. Sea otters have a pouch under their forearm to store food and their favorite rocks.

Getty Images / Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

In case sea otters weren't already the cutest animal, here's more proof. Otters use the pockets of loose skin under their arms to not only store food for later, but also their favorite rocks, because what's better than a really good rock? Nothing, that's what.

  1. BEEP BEEP!!! Before you go, tell me which one of these facts you found the most interesting!

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BEEP BEEP!!! Before you go, tell me which one of these facts you found the most interesting!
    vote votes
    The Titanic wizard.
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    The cute town in Poland.
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    Fruit salad trees?!?!?!
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    Horizontal refreshment lololol.
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    Elizabeth Jennings Graham <3.
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    SEA OTTERS!!!!

See you next week! 👋🚢👋

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