Best Facts of the Month - Page 2

Cats were used as live shields by the Persians

During the battle of Pelusium in 522 BC, Cambyses II, the King of Persia, used cats as leverage against Egyptians. He knew that Egypt revered cats, so during various ocassions, him and his soldiers would use cats as shields knowing that the Egyptians would be too scared to strike them in fear of hurting the cats.

Other tactics included simply letting the cats loose in the battlefield, and creating chaos in the egyptian armies. It was against Egyptian law to hurt or kill attack, so in many occasions, for fear of accidentally hurting a feline, the Egyptians would surrender the city.

The world’s most expensive coffee is made from feces!

It’s called Kopi Luwak, or civet coffee, and it is the world’s most expensive coffee at close to $160 a pound! Why is this coffee so expensive? Made in Indonesia, civet coffee comes from coffee berries that have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet.

Once the beans are partially digested and passed through the digestive tract, they are harvested and roasted. Civet coffee may sound gross, but it is supposed to be the most aromatic and least bitter coffee there is!


There is a town in Norway named ‘Hell’.

It gets even better - if you use the country’s abbreviated form, the town is called Hell, NO! The name Hell is deriven not from the fiery furnace, from the Old Norse word hellir, which meant ‘cliff cave’. Strangely enough, nowadays the word ‘hell’ in Norwegian means luck! As you would expect, the town has become a relatively popular tourist destination over the years. Visitors enjoy taking photographs of the local train station, which boasts a sign which reads “Hell: Gods-expedition”. This is actually a clever play on the Norwegian term godsekspedisjon, which means “cargo handling”! Rumor has it that this Hell tends to freeze over annually, believe it or not.

Another Hellishly fun fact: Mona Grudt, the first Norwegian to be named "Miss Universe", is from a small town near Hell. During the competition in 1990, she listed herself as "The Beauty Queen from Hell" as a publicity stunt. The trick must've worked, because she ended up winning the entire competition!

Some awesome lists!

Game of Thrones started as a story about turtles.

George R. R. Martin is known as one of the most famous current fantasy writers, specifically for his acclaimed series called A Song of Ice and Fire, the first book of which is A Game of Thrones. So popular is the series that, as you likely know, it has spawned a wildly popular HBO series.

Martin has said that when he was a child, he would often buy “dime store turtles,” turtles that came in a plastic bowl with water, gravel, and a fake palm tree. The dime store turtles were the only pets Martin was allowed to have, and so he had half a dozen turtles living in a model castle courtyard in his room.

He started to pretend they were knights, lords, and kings, and soon began writing about the “turtle kingdom.” According to Martin, the turtles died very easily, so he began thinking they were killing each other in sinister plots and wrote this fantasy story about the wars in the turtle kingdoms.

Martin says this was how A Game of Thrones was started. Martin, who has been publishing the series since the 90s, is currently writing the sixth entry in A Song of Ice and Fire. The television adaptation on HBO has received widespread critical acclaim, and is returning for its third season next year.



Watching a horror movie may burn as many calories as a bar of chocolate has!

All this time you were buying workout videos, when really you should’ve been looking for the scariest movies you could find. Scientists have found that when people watch adrenaline-pumping horror movies they can burn as many as 200 calories in 90 minutes, the equivalent of a bar of chocolate.

The reason is because when you get scared by a horror movie, your pulse quickens, and adrenaline surges, creating an increase in your calorie consumption by 1/3 over what a person staring at a blank screen burns.

So which are the best horror movies to watch? The Shining came in the highest, burning about 184 calories on average. Jaws did 161 calories per 90 minutes, and the Exorcist, 158.

Learn more about this study here.


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