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39 Amazing Facts That Sound Made Up

1. In Japan, letting a sumo wrestler make your baby cry is considered good luck.

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2. In a study by the Smell & Taste Research Foundation, the scent women found most arousing was Good & Plenty candy mixed with cucumber.

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3. When Canada's Northwest Territories considered renaming itself in the 1990s, one name that gained support was "Bob."

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4. Some cats are allergic to humans.

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5. If your dog's feet smell like corn chips, you're not alone. The term "Frito Feet" was coined to describe the scent.

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6. The word "unfriend" appeared in print all the way back in 1659.

(See Also: 16 Words That Are Much Older Than They Seem)

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7. In the mid-1960s, Slumber Party Barbie came with a book called "How to Lose Weight." One of the tips was "Don’t eat."

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8. The Code of Hammurabi decreed that bartenders who watered down beer would be executed.

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9. The American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-V handbook classifies caffeine withdrawal as a mental disorder.

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10. The Dole/Kemp website from 1996 is still up and running.

(See Also: 17 Ancient Abandoned Websites That Still Work)

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11. Google was originally named BackRub.

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12. The actor who was inside R2-D2 hated the guy who played C-3PO, calling him "the rudest man I've ever met."

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13. Winston Churchill's mother was born in Brooklyn.

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14. In 1999, the U.S. government paid the Zapruder family $16 million for the film of JFK's assassination.

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15. Elmo is the only non-human to testify before Congress.

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16. Mary Todd Lincoln was once asked if Abe had any hobbies. Her reply: “Cats.”

(See Also: 24 Vintage Photos of Abe Lincoln Being Awesome)

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17. Brazil couldn't afford to send its athletes to the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. So they loaded their ship with coffee and sold it along the way.

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18. Before Stephen Hillenburg created SpongeBob SquarePants, he taught marine biology.

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19. New Mexico State's first graduating class in 1893 had only one student—and he was shot and killed before graduation.

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20. Before he played Cliff Clavin on Cheers, John Ratzenberger had small roles in The Empire Strikes Back, Superman, and Gandhi.

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21. Before choosing the name "Chiefs," ownership considered calling the team the Kansas City Mules.

(See Also: 25 Rejected Nicknames for Professional Sports Teams)

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22. George Washington insisted his continental army be permitted a quart of beer as part of their daily rations.

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23. The most shoplifted food item in the U.S. is candy.

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24. In Europe, it's cheese.

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25. In 1986, Apple launched a clothing line.

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26. There are roughly 70 ingredients in the McRib.

(See Also: 10 Things You Might Not Know About the McRib)

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27. President Nixon was speaking at Disney World when he famously declared, "I am not a crook."

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28. After OutKast sang “Shake it like a Polaroid picture,” Polaroid released a statement that said, “Shaking or waving can actually damage the image.”

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29. Nutella was invented during WWII, when an Italian pastry maker mixed hazelnuts into chocolate to extend his chocolate ration.

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30. The Pledge of Allegiance was written as part of a plan to sell flags to schools.

(See Also: Who Wrote the Pledge of Allegiance?)
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31. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh played Screech's cousin on a 1996 episode of Saved by the Bell: The New Class.

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32. The light emitted by 200,000 galaxies makes our universe a shade of beige. Scientists call the color "cosmic latte."

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33. Bikini designer Louis Reard said a two-piece bathing suit couldn't be called a bikini "unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring."

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34. Sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don't drift apart.

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35. Alaska is so big you could fit 75 New Jerseys in it.

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36. The Scots have a word for that panicky hesitation you get when introducing someone whose name you can't remember: tartle.

(See Also: 38 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent)

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37. Between 1900 and 1920, Tug of War was an Olympic event.

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38. A baby can cost new parents 750 hours of sleep in the first year.

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39. Before Google launched Gmail, "G-Mail" was the name of a free email service offered by Garfield's website.

For more amazing facts follow @mental_floss on Twitter and Instagram. Images courtesy of Getty Images and Thinkstock.

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By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
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History
Photo of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, Purchased for $10, Could Be Worth Millions
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Several years ago, Randy Guijarro paid $2 for a few old photographs he found in an antiques shop in Fresno, California. In 2015, it was determined that one of those photos—said to be the second verified picture ever found of Billy the Kid—could fetch the lucky thrifter as much as $5 million. That story now sounds familiar to Frank Abrams, a lawyer from North Carolina who purchased his own photo of the legendary outlaw at a flea market in 2011. It turns out that the tintype, which he paid $10 for, is thought to be an image of Billy and Pat Garrett (the sheriff who would eventually kill him) taken in 1880. Like Guijarro’s find, experts say Abrams’s photo could be worth millions.

The discovery is as much a surprise to Abrams as anyone. As The New York Times reports, what drew Abrams to the photo was the fact that it was a tintype, a metal photographic image that was popular in the Wild West. Abrams didn’t recognize any of the men in the image, but he liked it and hung it on a wall in his home, which is where it was when an Airbnb guest joked that it might be a photo of Jesse James. He wasn’t too far off.

Using Google as his main research tool, Abrams attempted to find out if there was any famous face in that photo, and quickly realized that it was Pat Garrett. According to The New York Times:

Then, Mr. Abrams began to wonder about the man in the back with the prominent Adam’s apple. He eventually showed the tintype to Robert Stahl, a retired professor at Arizona State University and an expert on Billy the Kid.

Mr. Stahl encouraged Mr. Abrams to show the image to experts.

William Dunniway, a tintype expert, said the photograph was almost certainly taken between 1875 and 1880. “Everything matches: the plate, the clothing, the firearm,” he said in a phone interview. Mr. Dunniway worked with a forensics expert, Kent Gibson, to conclude that Billy the Kid and Mr. Garrett were indeed pictured.

Abrams, who is a criminal defense lawyer, described the process of investigating the history of the photo as akin to “taking on the biggest case you could ever imagine.” And while he’s thrilled that his epic flea market find could produce a major monetary windfall, don’t expect to see the image hitting the auction block any time soon. 

"Other people, they want to speculate from here to kingdom come,” Abrams told The New York Times of how much the photo, which he has not yet had valuated, might be worth. “I don’t know what it’s worth. I love history. It’s a privilege to have something like this.”

[h/t: The New York Times]

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