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Fast facts


Photo
Illustration by Holly Randall
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, November 1, 2004
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Things you always never wanted to know

  • The King Ranch in Texas is bigger than the state of Rhode Island. It comprises 1.25 million acres and was the first ranch in the world to be completely fenced in. At one time its borders were guarded by armed patrol.

  • The precise geographical center of the North American continent is in a town called Rugby, N.D.

  • Edgar Allan Poe and James Abbot McNeill Whistler (who painted "Whistler's Mother") both went to West Point Military Academy.

  • Ailurophobia is the fear of cats. Androphobia is the fear of men.

  • The record for traveling from New York to Los Angeles by motorcycle is 45 hours, 41 minutes. It was set in 1968 by Tibor Sarossy, riding a BMW model R69S. Sarossy made four fuel stops, never slept, fainted twice and averaged 58.7 miles per hour all the way across.

  • An elevator was installed in the palace of Versailles in 1743. Run by a series of hand-operated weights, gears and pulleys, it was used by Louis XV to go from his own apartments to those of his mistress, Madame de Chateauroux, on the floor above him.

  • A day on Mercury is twice as long as its year. Mercury rotates extremely slowly and revolves around the sun in slightly less than 88 days.

  • Bunker Hill was not fought at Bunker Hill at all. The actual skirmish took place at Breed's Hill in Charleston, Mass.

  • In 1221, Genghis Khan killed 1,748,000 people at Nishapur in one hour.

  • The duckbilled platypus lays eggs, yet platypus mothers nurse their young - though platypuses have no nipples. Their mothers secrete milk from stomach glands and babies lap it up. The platypus has a leathery, ducklike bill and its feet are webbed like those of an aquatic bird. But at the end of the webs are claws just like a cat's or a raccoons. Scientists decided the platypus merits classification as a mammal - but only marginally.

  • A giraffe can go without water longer than a camel can.


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