Category: Believe It Or Not

Interesting Fact: August 2008

There has never been a dearth of facts…

1. Saturn is the only planet in our solar system that is less dense than water. If you could build an imaginary gigantic bathtub, Saturn would float in it says NASA

2. Basenji, smallish dog with a silky copper coat, does not bark. Instead, it yodels when it gets excited

3. Fossilised tree sap or resin must be at least 30 million years old to be recognised as Amber. Interestingly it is considered as one of the most popular gemstone in jewellery

4. The 4 minutes 33 seconds (4’33”) musical piece is famous for its no sound at all. Written by the American composer John Cage, it is a piano piece where a pianist sits at the piano and plays nothing for exactly 4 minutes and 33 seconds

5. One of the most important inventions in history was the rubber band-powered airplane, the planophore. French scientist Alphonse Penaud astounded everyone by flying a rubber band-powered aircraft for 131 feet. Indeed it was the first recorded flight of an inherently stable aircraft

6. Nepal is the only country without a rectangular flag as theirs look like two pennants glued on top of the other

7. The most filmed story of all time is Dracula followed by Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and and Oliver Twist in the second and third position

8. Libra, the Scales, is the only inanimate symbol in the zodiac signs

9. Pingu a swiss animated children’s television serial has adventures that are suitable for broadcast in any language, because the closest thing it has to a dialog is in a non-language called “Penguinese”

10. Nasturtiums have long been prized for their nutritive value. A nasturtium leaf is as high in vitamin C as a lettuce leaf

By Deeya Nayar-Nambiar, Published in SigningOff column, btw of Chitralekha Group

Interesting Fact: July 2008

It has been a great experience in reading and collecting these facts. Hope you enjoy too.

1. In the aftermath of World War II, Japanese biologist Shinya Inoue used a tin can and a discarded machine gun to build the first polarised light microscope

2. Europe’s red-barbed ants form colonies that are either entirely male or female. Believe it or not, the two sexes can never live together!

3. Half of the oxygen in the atmosphere comes from microscopic life in the world’s ocean

4. A statue of Vladimir Lenin stands at the South Pole of Inaccessibility, the point on Antarctica that is furthest from the ocean

5. Policemen in Tijuana equipped themselves with slingshots in January 2007 after the Mexican government took away their guns

6. Austria has a series of postage stamps that contains real meteorite dust. The stamps issued in 2006 had the dust collected from a 19 kg meteorite found in Morocco

7. Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) from south of the Sahara in Africa is one of the most common wild bird in the world. These birds are so prolific that they are serious pests and millions are killed at roost sites every year in a vain attempt to control their numbers

8. British sailors used to be called “Limeys” because they ate citrus to prevent scurvy on long sea voyages

9. Zorro is the most filmed cartoon character and featured in 69 films. Created by Johnston McCully, he was the first comic strip character to be the subject shown in a major film, The Mark of Zorro (USA 1920).

10. Widow is the only female form in the English language that is shorter than its corresponding male term (widower)

By Deeya Nayar-Nambiar, Published in SigningOff column (April 2008), btw of Chitralekha Group