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Fast facts


Photo
Illustration by Mike Padilla
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, April 21, 2005
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Things you always never wanted to know

  • In early 18th century Portugal, the church owned two-thirds of all the land in the country.

  • Until the 12th century, when returning crusaders brought knowledge of them, windmills were probably unknown in Europe. They thereafter became familiar landmarks in Holland, England, France and Germany.

  • The Amazon River has 1,100 tributary streams.

  • A ryegrass plant, grown as part of a scientific experiment, put out roots totaling 378 miles in a single four-month period.

  • "Journal" does not contain a single letter of the Latin word for "day," "dies," from which it derives. Among the intermediate steps in its development were the Latin "diurnus," the Italian "giorno" and the French "jour."

  • If the head of a cockroach is carefully removed, so as to prevent it from bleeding to death, the cockroach can survive for several weeks. When it dies, it is usually from starvation.

  • The Earth receives only one-half of one-billionth of the sun's radiant energy. But in just a few days, it gets as much heat and light as could be produced by burning all the oil, coal and wood on the planet.

  • The explorer Edmund Hillary was the first man to reach the top of the world's highest peak, Mount Everest. He was a leader of the first expedition that crossed the entire Antarctic continent by land from sea to sea.

  • Tuna swim at a steady rate of 9 mph for an indefinite period of time - and never stop moving. Estimates indicate that a 15-year-old tuna travels 1 million miles in its lifetime.

  • The food making up a single bite for a Tyrannosaurus rex could feed a human family of four for an entire month.

  • Coffee, after petroleum, is the world's second-largest item of international commerce.


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