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Fast Facts


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Illustration by Patricia Tompkins
Arizona Daily Wildcat
August 30, 2005
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Things you've always never wanted to know

  • A "hinney" is a hybrid ungulate resulting from the mating of a male horse (a stallion) with a female donkey (a jennet or jenny). A mule is bred from the mating of a female horse (a mare) with a male donkey (a jack).

  • The deadly martial art of tessenjutsu is based solely on the use of a folding iron fan.

  • In Switzerland, the average person consumed 25 pounds, 6 ounces of chocolate during 2000. This is equivalent to 230 bars at 50 grams each year.

  • A flea is capable of jumping 13 inches in a single leap. That would be like a human jumping 700 feet.

  • Venus has an average temperature of around 900 degrees Fahrenheit. This scorching heat is hot enough to melt lead and, coupled with the atrocious atmosphere, makes exploration of the surface by probes very difficult. If you were to step onto the surface of Venus you would be simultaneous crushed by the pressure, incinerated by the heat, dissolved by the sulfuric acid and suffocated by the carbon dioxide.

  • Cellophane is not made of plastic. It is made from a plant fiber, cellulose, which is shredded and aged. Cellophane was invented in 1908 by Swiss chemist Jacques Brandenberger, who was trying to make a stainproof tablecloth and ended up with cellophane instead.

  • The buzzing of flies and bees is not produced by any sound-producing apparatus within the insects' bodies. It is simply the sound of their wings moving up and down and back and forth at a rapid rate.

  • Diamonds mined in Brazil are harder than those found in Africa.

  • When a Canadian grocery store accidentally sold several copies of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", the sixth book in the series, before the authorized July 16 release date, Raincoast Books obtained an injunction from the Supreme Court of British Columbia prohibiting the purchasers from reading the books in their possession.

  • Emily Dickinson wrote more than 900 poems, only four of which were published during her lifetime.

  • The Indian epic poem "Mahabharata" is eight times longer than "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" combined.


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