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Fast facts


Photo
Illustration by Holly Randall
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
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Things you always never wanted to know

  • Sea worms mate by first swarming together in season. Suddenly the females turn on the males and bite their tails off. The tails contain the male's testicles, and when they are swallowed and acted upon by the females' digestive juices, they fertilize their eggs.

  • The average housewife walks 10 miles a day around the house doing chores. She walks 4 miles and spends 25 hours a year making beds.

  • A python can swallow a rabbit whole and may eat as many as 150 mice in a six-month period.

  • The chow is the only dog that has a black tongue. The tongues of all other dogs are pink.

  • The woolly mammoth, extinct since the Ice Age, had tusks almost 16 feet long.

  • Napoleon suffered from ailurophobia, the fear of cats.

  • 73 parties were on the ballot for an election in Italy in 1968. One was Friends of the Moon, which sported exactly one candidate.

  • Franklin Pierce, the fourteenth President of the United States, was an alcoholic. His wife undertook to control his behavior, and her influence led him away from the drunken pranks and tavern brawls that marked his youth. After her death, he spent his last years succumbing to his drinking problem.

  • At its zenith, about 200-250 A.D., the land area of the Roman Empire was roughly the size of the U.S. today. The population was in excess of 100 million, with the city of Rome itself having a population of about 1 million. The empire was knit together by 180,000 miles of roads.

  • Solon's first step as Athenian archon, or lawgiver, around 600 B.C., was to cancel all debts, to forbid the enslavement of debtors, to set free those who had been enslaved, and to buy back at public expense those who had been sold outside Athenian territory.

  • It was only 1 cubic foot of space, but the biology unit in the Viking lander that touched down on Mars in 1976 and examined soil for signs of life contained the following: three automated chemical labs, a computer, ovens for heating samples to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, counter for radioactive tracers, filters, sun lamp, gas chromatograph to identify chemicals, 40 thermostats, 22,000 transistors, 18,000 other electronic parts and 43 valves.


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