Best Facts of the Month - Page 9

Did you know that there's an equivalent to a car-wash for underwater animals?


Fish, sea turtles and hippos need to be cleaned just like any other animal, and to do so, they pop in for a quick stop at a cleaning station.

These stations are located either on top of a coral head or between two outcroppings. They are also located under large clumps of seaweed or at a point in a river or lagoon.

When an animal approaches a cleaning station, it will signal that it needs to be cleaned.

Cleaner fish, such as cleaner shrimp, will then eat and remove parasites from the skin and will also swim into the mouth and the gills to clean those hard-to-reach places.

There is, however, a darker side to the operation of cleaner stations. There are some species of combtooth blenny and false cleaner fish that prey on unsuspecting animals.

These animals mimic the appearance and behaviour of cleaner fish, and when a victim approaches, will proceed to tear away scales or flesh.

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During WWII, these enemy planes shot each other down, but the crews helped each other survive!


Even in the worst of times, human kindness has a way of shining through.

In 1940, during the heat of World War II, three British warplanes attacked a German aircraft, knocking out their port engine. The plane crashed in a remote Norwegian mountain.

During the attack, one of the British planes suffered an engine failure, forcing the crew to land on a frozen lake. Believing they saw a hut nearby, two crewmembers trudged through heavy snow to find it.

When they reached the hut, the crewmembers were ambushed by survivors of the German aircraft. Thinking fast, the British crewmembers convinced the Germans they were from a different plane, and the two groups agreed to work together in order to survive.

During their time together, the enemy soldiers shared meals and a common workload. Though they fought for opposing sides, both groups only wanted one thing: to be saved.

The crew was eventually found by a Norwegian ski patrol.However, their rescue was marked in blood when a British survivor was shot by the patrol and the German survivors were taken as prisoners of war, not seeing release until 1947.

These events inspired the 2012 film 'Into the White,' directed by Petter Nss.

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The original Ronald McDonald creator and personality was fired before his character got national recognition. Here's why


Oscar Goldstein, a former Washington, D.C. McDonald's franchise owner, was in some trouble when NBC cancelled his sponsored show Bozo's Circus in 1963. Bozo would regularly make appearance at his McDonald's, drawing in huge crowds. Since the show was now cancelled, Goldstein had to come up with a new mascot to entice his customers to return.

Goldstein met with the star of Bozo's Circus, Willard Scott, and hired him to recreate a new clown for the franchise. Willard Scott got a costume made by a marketing company, created the name Ronald McDonald, and began making appearances at Goldstein's restaurant in Washington D.C.

As McDonald's prepared for their national campaign to introduce Ronald McDonald to America, they fired Willard Scott, deeming his weight as the reason for termination. McDonald's felt that in order to sell hamburgers, shakes, and fries (generally, unhealthy food) to the American people, they needed a thinner mascot who appeared in shape. A thinner clown personality was hired, the campaign began, and business sky-rocketed. Scott moved on from the incident and continued to find success through books and television. He also later became the weatherman for NBC's Today Show.

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A man has been told he's too fat to live in New Zealand!


The tiny island country is trying hard to curb their obesity rate, as they're third in the world in that infamous statistic. One of the ways they've been trying to fight it is by simply not allowing obese immigrants to go live there.

Albert Buitenhuis of South Africa moved to New Zealand in 2007. At the time he weighed 350 lbs and nobody batted an eye at that. Since then, however, the government has since changed the law and thinks that the man, now 285 lbs, is too much of a health risk for his work visa to be renewed.

The man and his wife have appealed the decision and neither can work until the immigration case has been fully heard.

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Helen Mirren pretended to be Queen Elizabeth to fulfill a 10 year old's dying wish. They had tea, and he had no idea it wasn't the real thing.


It’s sad when a young person is diagnosed with a terminal illness, but it’s inspiring to see some of their biggest wishes come true.

You often hear about a professional athlete or actor going to see their biggest fan, but some people don’t want either of those.

One of these people is Oliver Burton, a boy born with autism and then diagnosed with cancer.

His dying wish was to meet Queen Elizabeth II. Perhaps more ambitious than asking to meet John Cena, but if anyone’s deserving, it’s Burton.

Unfortunately this didn’t happen, but that wasn’t the end of it. Actress Helen Mirren who portrays the queen in a West End performance of ‘The Audience’ invited Burton and his family to see the show and brought him backstage after the show.

Mirren stayed in character the whole time. The two drank tea together while Oliver played with the corgis featured in the show. She later knighted him and told everybody that they had to call him “sir Oliver”. Oliver’s father, James Browne, said “Oliver thought she was the real queen, and well, that’s good enough for us.”

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