Best Facts of the Month - Page 5

Is Mario a murderer in Super Mario Bros?

You've probably played or at least seen the original Super Mario Bros. The game was an instant classic in 1985 and propelled the Nintendo Entertainment System to the top of every kid's Christmas list and was responsible for saving the dying video game industry and putting Nintendo firmly on the industry's map.

What you probably don't know is that there's a really dark side of that game: you were probably killing a lot of innocent people. No, not the Koopas and Goombas, but actual citizens of the Mushroom Kingdom. If you read the original manual, it says that the Mushroom Kingdom was invaded by the Koopas who turned people into stones, bricks and plants.

Did it click yet? A lot of people in the Mushroom Kingdom were turned into bricks, the very same bricks that Mario gleefully destroys as you go through the game. So there you have it… Mario, savior or murderer?


There’s a plant that can kill you if you touch it!

Dendrocnide moroides, also known as the stinging bush, gympie stinger, mulberry-leaved stinger, gympi gympi, stinger or moonlighter, is a large shrub native to rainforest areas in northeastern Australia, the Moluccas and Indonesia.

It is best known for stinging hairs which cover the whole plant and deliver a potent neurotoxin when touched. It is the most virulent of the Australian species of stinging trees.

The sting causes an extremely painful stinging sensation which can last for days or even months, and the injured area becomes covered with small, red spots joining together to form a red, swollen mass. The sting is known to be potent enough to kill humans, and it can also kill dogs and horses.


In the prehistoric times, there was a flightless bird that ate horses!

We may laugh at the flightlessness of birds like ostriches and penguins nowadays but you did not want to mess with their oldest ancestor, Phosurhacida. Aka: The Terror Bird. It was the largest species of predators in South America between 62 million to 2 million years ago.

They were roughly 3 to 10 feet tall and munched on small mammals. They used their massive beaks to either pick up prey and slam them into the ground or inflict precision strikes on critical body parts. Archeologists say that this species left the world at about the same time we got here.


Some awesome lists!

Johnny Depp is descended from the first free African woman in the US!

It make sense that Johnny Depp's heritage would be as varied and quirky as he is. The actor is known for playing odd characters like Captain Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands and Willy Wonka. He has children with a French actress and the family lived in France for a while.

Depp's family - all the way back to his great great grandparents - is from Kentucky though. He has stated that he is English, Irish and Cherokee. According to Depp, one of his great grandmothers was part Cherokee.

To add to his varied heritage, Depp is also 3/2048ths African. His great great great great great great great great grandmother was of African descent and lived in 1612. Her daughter, Elizabeth Key, was also Depp's ancestor. She was the first woman to take legal action to gain her freedom from slavery in 1656.


Charles Dickens is the reason we celebrate Christmas as we do today!

Christmas used to be a very church-centered holiday. The observance of it was falling at the end fo the 18th century / beginning of the 19th century. 

However, Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" would change the way Christmas is celebrated up to this day. The main shift that occurred due to Dicken's work is from a church-centric celebration to a self-centered generosity festival.

The story of Scrooge changing his mind and helping out his workers moved people into celebrating Christmas as a time for being generous, being around loved ones and helping people out. This shift resulted in the more typical celebration of today, where families get together and celebrate by eating. 

He also helped propagate emerging traditions such as gift-giving and the display of Christmas trees, which had been introduced by Prince Albert but were not ingrained into the public consciousness until Dicken's work became popular.

As a last note, while some of these traditions had in some form existed before, they were dwindling and were repopularized by Dickens. There's a lot more on this subject to read, so check out the sources!

(Sources 1 and 2)


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