Best Facts of the Week - Page 8

Sometimes when banana slugs mate, they get stuck together, so they take turns gnawing off the penis to get unstuck!

Banana slugs are often associated with worms, but they’re actually part of the mollusk family; related to octopuses and oysters. So as not to dry out, it is covered in a film of slime. They have a hump on them like shoulders that works as primitive lungs. There’s a pore on the right side of the hump, called the mantle, which allows the air to circulate. It is basically the slug’s nose and it’s called the pneumostome.

Banana slugs mate at any time of the year, but most often when it’s nice out and they are out and about in the big old world. They find each other by following the slime trail and the slime likely carries chemicals that alert slugs that it is time to mate. Mating isn’t really a pleasant thing for the banana slug, as they often bite each other literally taking off chunks of flesh. Sometimes they even rise up and strike their partner like a venomous snake does. They do a sort of foreplay for sometimes hours to stimulate each other. It gets worse, too. Once they actually fertilize one another, they thrash about for sometimes hours trying to pull apart.

If they can’t disengage, they’ll turn to taking turns gnawing of the penis to get away from each other. Aren’t you glad you aren’t a banana slug! The only cool thing, is that they do have the ability to regenerate their penis, like a lizard can re-grow their tail.


The first photo with humans was taken by accident. You'll never guess how long the film was exposed for!

In a time where "selfies" are way too commonplace, it's hard to believe a photo of a person would be such a big deal. However, the first photo with an actual person in it happened completely by accident, taken way back in 1838 in Paris, France.

The name of the photo is "Boulevard du Temple" by Louis Daguerre and is the first photograph known to include humans. The photo had an exposure time of at least 10 minutes, so nearly nobody was around long enough to be captured—except a shoe shiner and his customer in the lower left hand of the photo.

The photo was actually a "Daguerreotype," which is a very complicated plate that is exposed to a silver-plated copper sheet to the vapour made by iodine crystals. The image was both reversed and had to be lit at a certain angle so you could see the smooth parts reflected something dark. This process was used regularly until the 1860s when it was replaced by newer forms of photography.


An empty casing of the largest bomb used in WWII was on display at the Royal Air Force gates in the UK. Find out what they discovered when they tried to move it!

In 1958, the road that led to The Royal Air Force Scampton's front gates in the UK was going to be widened.

First, workers had to remove the empty casing of a WWII bomb, known as The Grand Slam Bomb. The Grand Slam Bomb is a deep penetrating bomb and weighs over 22,000 pounds. The workers brought in a crane to move the huge casing, but noticed that is was heavier than expected. Some though it could have been filled with concrete, but others thought maybe they should have an expert look at it before they moved it.

An expert examined the bomb and discovered that it was a real live bomb! The "casing" was filled with live filling from 1944. This bomb had been sitting there for 14 years. People had taken pictures with it and even sat on it. If the bomb had detonated, it would have flattened, not only the whole base, but most of the town that it was in, including a historical cathedral that was built in the year 1250! The bomb was eventually removed using a crane designed to withstand the weight and was demolished for safety reasons.


Some awesome lists!

A Japanese millionaire eats the same thing for almost every meal—and what he eats will shock you!

Takashi Kotegawa is a self-made millionaire who turned his part-time earnings from college of $13,600 into $153 million by trading stocks over the course of eight years. The most lavish thing he's bought is a condo worth $4.2 million. The next most expensive thing? Two Nintendo Wii systems.

Despite being able to plunk down the cash for something a lot more grand, he only eats Cup Ramen! Why? He claims it saves time and keeps him from getting sleepy in the afternoons. No doubt that this gives him more time to trade stocks!

What makes those earnings even more impressive? The average median income in Japan is $24,147—and Kotegawa has made almost six thousand times that amount!


At a college in Maryland, you can take a class about South Park!

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that South Park has made a huge impact on TV. The hit show has been on the air for 17 seasons. It boats over 200 episodes, a full length movie, several Emmy Awards, and guest stars like Jennifer Aniston and George Clooney.

The show’s biggest claim to fame, however, are its controversial episodes that often get right to the core of social issues. McDaniel College in Maryland offers a class run by a Philosophy lecturer and a Sociology professor that discusses the show’s topics of gay marriage, business ethics, race, and more. Students say that they find it easier to critically think these topics through and form their own opinions on them since they’re presented through the show first.



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