Category Archives: Featured Facts

Do You Get Your Stuff Back If You Go Missing, are Declared Dead, Then Turn Up Alive like a Certain Shire Hobbit?

ScrobTheFancyTurtle asks: Love your video on what happens when people are accidentally declared dead. But it got me wondering, what happens if you make a will, go missing, so your will is executed, then turn up alive later? Do you get your stuff back? As we discussed in our article on what happens to a person who is accidentally declared dead […]

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Has Anyone Ever Really Inherited Millions from a Random Person They’ve Never Heard Of?

Jessica K. asks: Has anyone ever inherited millions of dollars from a long-lost relative they’ve never heard of like happens in movies? If you’re like, well, pretty much everyone, at some point you’ve received an email claiming you’ve inherited a large sum of money from some person you’ve never heard of. All you have to do to get it is […]

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How Exactly Do You Prove You’re Alive if You’re Accidentally Declared Dead?

Asa K. asks: What happens when people are accidentally declared dead, and how do they prove that they’re alive? As with most legal matters, answering the question of what exactly happens when a person is accidentally declared dead varies from country to country, although, curiously, from our research, with some exceptions like a few instances we found in Canada particularly, […]

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Why Do the Eyes in Some Paintings Follow You Around the Room?

Mark B. asks: How do artists making paintings with people that have eyes that follow you around the room? Art as they say, is subjective, what one person considers a priceless masterpiece others might see as nothing more than a giant black square… But there’s one very specific kind of painting that most everyone sees the same way- the kind […]

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That Time Marines Dumped Millions of Dollars of Helicopters Into the Ocean to Save One Family

Few feats of engineering are as impressive as a military-grade helicopter. Today worth millions of dollars each, these high-tech birds are a formidable military asset, including, among many other uses, for rescue operations- all a fact US military personnel helpfully chose to ignore during Operation Frequent Wind when they pushed several dozen of them into the sea, in one case […]

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Did Mobsters Ever Send People to “Sleep with the Fishes” Wearing Concrete Shoes

Dan P asks: Did mobsters ever really use cement galoshes on the feet of people they sent to sleep with the fishes like in the movies? If there’s one thing everyone knows about the mob it’s that they had an astonishing number of ways to off the various wiseguys, shysters and snitches who got in the way of their business. […]

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What’s the Deal with the Bizarre Clothes at Fashion Shows?

Jeremy R. asks: I wanted to know what the point of the crazy clothes you see at fashion shows is? Does anybody actually buy these? Fashion is an evolving beast with the fashionistas of the world endlessly attempting to create impossibly fabulous and unique new outfits for fashion shows. A commonly seen element of such outfits is that they’re often […]

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That Time Coca-Cola Released a New Soda Just to Spite Pepsi

Few companies have a rivalry as fierce and longstanding as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola and in their never ending battle for soda market dominance each company has gone to some spectacular lengths to screw over the other. Arguably the most fiendishly genius move of all was one made by Coca-Cola in the early 1990s- a move that basically involved intentionally releasing […]

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Math or Maths?

Travis T. asks: Why do Americans say “math” and other English speaking countries say “maths”? Aluminium or aluminum, zee or zed, and removing u’s from certain words or not- among the many discrepancies between American and British English, perhaps none conjures as much religious fervor as math vs. maths. So which one is correct? Well, really neither is technically more […]

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Does Diplomatic Immunity Really Make It So You Can Get Away with Murder?

Mark H. asks: Is it true diplomats can get away with murder because of diplomatic immunity? While the idea of some form of diplomatic immunity has existed seemingly as long as there have been humans banding together in some form, the modern rules surrounding this were originally laid out in 1961 at the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, with to […]

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The Princess Who Worked at Macy’s

Today in History: September 18, 1923 On September 18, 1923, Princess Anne Antoinette Francois Charlotte of Bourbon-Parma was born in Paris, France. Like most European royalty she was relatively closely related to many reining or former monarchs, but more directly she was the second child of Prince Rene of Bourbon-Parma and princess Margrethe of Demark. She spent her early years […]

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How Peanuts Became the Defining Comic Strip of Our Time

Today, Snoopy can be found on coffee mugs, greeting cards and blimps, and even has his own amusement park. But Charlie Brown’s lovable black and white spotted dog wasn’t always mainstream. In fact, when the comic strip first appeared in the 1950s, the dog and his Peanut friends were considered, to quote Time Magazine’s David Michaels, “the fault-line of a […]

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How Many Hamsters Would it Take to Power Your Home and Would This Be Cheaper Than Coal Power?

Jeremy A. asks: How many hamsters running on electricity generating wheels would it take to provide enough energy for an average American household?  Would this be cheaper than coal electricity? While the question of hamsters powering homes may seem a bit farcical, it should be noted that at one point humans did specifically breed a certain type of dog for […]

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What Happens if you Renounce Your Citizenship But Don’t Belong to Another Country When You Do It?

Sarah M. asks: What happens if you renounce your citizenship but don’t belong to another country when you do it? It turns out, renouncing your citizenship to a given nation is generally a fairly simple affair in many nations of the world. It doesn’t even usually cost that much. For example, in the UK- fittingly for a country stereotypical known […]

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