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Fast Facts


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Illustration by Jennifer Kearney
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, December 2, 2005
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Things you've always never wanted to know

  • In the world's oceans, there are: 58 species of sea grasses; fewer than 1,000 species of cephalopods - squids, octopi and pearly nautiluses; 1,000 species of sea anemones; 1,500 species of brown algae; 7,000 species of echinoderms - starfishes, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and sea lilies; 13,000 species of fishes and 50,000 species of mollusks.

  • A bison can jump 6 feet.

  • There are more than 10 trillion living cells in the human body.

  • South Africa has two official national anthems.

  • Throughout its history, the White House has been known as the "President's Palace," the "President's House" and the "Executive Mansion." President Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its current name in 1901.

  • The word "mullet" describes a hairstyle worn particularly in the southern U.S., which is characterized by short hair on the top and sides, with long hair in the back.

  • Miami is the top metropolitan U.S. city for car thefts, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. New York City and Fresno, Calif., follow.

  • In a 1996 poll, the top reason for filing for bankruptcy, as cited by 29 percent, is that filers are "over-extended." Only 15 percent of bankruptcy filers cited job problems, and 17 percent cited health problems. Divorce accounted for 12 percent of filings. Six percent simply said they couldn't stand bill collectors.

  • Elvis Presley made only one television commercial - an ad for Southern Maid Doughnuts that ran in 1954.

  • Andrew Johnson, the 17th U.S. president, was the only president who sewed his own clothes.

  • New Year's Day is the world's most observed holiday. In most English-speaking countries, it has been observed on Jan. 1 since the British Calendar Act was passed in 1751. There was a time when people wished others a "Happy New Year" on March 25, roughly the date of spring's onset.

  • Florence, Italy, was the first city to mint its own gold coins, which was started in 1252. The fiorino became known as the florence, then the florin.

  • The word "buxom" at one time meant "obedient."

  • Indonesia is the world's largest producer of liquefied natural gas.

  • Some scientists say that people who sleep less than average (less than six hours a night) tend to me more organized and efficient than everybody else.

  • There are 63,360 inches in a mile.



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