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In 2002, Norwegian footballer Kenneth Kristensen signed for third-division team Floey and was paid his weight in shrimps.

The modern Spanish Navy is still called the Armada.

There are more Catholics in Scotland than in Northern Ireland.

A 2005 United States medical research project showed that 20% of interviewees admitted to taking Derbisol, a drug that does not exist.

The director and producer of the 1971 film Fiddler on the Roof was called Norman Jewison.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

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The December 2013 FIDE rating list recorded 1441 chess players holding the Grandmaster title, out of those 31 were women.

The Latin haedus means both ‘child’ and ‘young goat’.

Bonnie Prince Charles had a Polish mother, princess Maria Klementyna Sobieska, and spoke English with a Polish accent.

The phrase ‘OMG’ meaning ‘Oh my God’ dates back to 1917.

According to research conducted by the Daily Mail, British women spend 474 days putting on their make-up; this translates as three hours, 19 minutes each week in front of the mirror. The power of make-up is so strong that 27 per cent admit feeling ‘vulnerable’ without it. It also found losing expensive cosmetics now costs the typical British woman £248 a year. In fact, women mislay so much make-up they spend a staggering £15,872 replacing it during their lifetime.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Wojtek The Bear

In the spring of 1942, a new Polish Army was being formed in the Middle East under the command of the British and on their way to the organization area, a group of Polish soldiers came across a little bear in the mountainous region of Persia.

The cub was an orphan following the death of his mother at the hands of hunters and he was traded to the soldiers by a shepherd boy who kept the bear in a sack.

Wojtek The Bear

Wojtek with a Polish soldier

Eventually, the bear was taken to the 22nd Transport Company, Artillery Division, Polish 2nd Corp where the men would become his companions for the next few years. He was given the name Wojtek.

In Palestine, Wojtek became a hero one night by capturing a thief who had broken into an ammunition compound where the bear was sleeping. The Arab was shocked to find himself confronted by the animal and the commotion that ensued resulted in his arrest. Wojtek was rewarded with a bottle of beer.

As the Polish Army prepared to enter the war zone in Italy during 1943,  the problem confronting the Polish soldiers was the question of Wojtek’s status. Animals were not permitted to accompany the army during the fighting. By giving the bear his own paybook, rank and serial number there would be no question that he was now officially a soldier.

In Italy, the Polish 2nd Corps prepared to break through the German defences at Monte Cassino where it successfully captured the stronghold after much bitter fighting.

Wojtek as mascot of the Polish 22nd Transport Company

During the conflict, Wojtek found himself at the artillery firing line where he was seen to move crates of ammunition close to a truck where he was chained. Always inquisitive and willing to copy what the soldiers were doing, he began picking up the crates and moving towards the cannons.

After the battle, the official badge of the 22nd Transport Company became a likeness of Wojtek holding a shell. This symbol appeared on vehicles, pennants and on the uniforms of the soldiers.

Wojtek survived the war and after the demobilisation process he found a home at Edinburgh Zoo.

Wojtek the bear died at Edinburgh in 1963. His death was mourned by many; numerous newspapers published an obituary to the beloved mascot. Today, statues of Wojtek have been erected both in Edinburgh, Scotland and Kraków, Poland.

“The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.” – Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality

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Aberdeen has the largest and busiest civilian heliport in the world, though the world record for helicopter flights during a single day occurred at Silverstone heliport during the 1999 Grand Prix.

Battle Abbey, Main gatehouse

Battle Abbey, Main gatehouse, Sussex, England

Battle Abbey in Sussex was built by William the Conqueror in 1070 on the site of the Battle of Hastings. The high altar was placed directly over the spot where King Harold was killed.

The word ‘abbeys’ appears only once in the whole of Shakespeare. There are 8,597 other words that Shakespeare uses only once.

Cleveland Abbe (1836-1916) was the first official weather forecaster in America and also the man who divided the USA into time zones.

The Aokigahara Forest is the most popular site for suicides in Japan. After the novel Kuroi Jukai was published, in which a young lover commits suicide in the forest, people started taking their own lives there at a rate of 50 to 100 deaths a year. The site holds so many bodies that the Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) pays homeless people to sneak into the forest and rob the corpses. The authorities sweep for bodies only on an annual basis, as the forest sits at the base of Mt. Fuji and is too dense to patrol more frequently.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

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The ghost of Archbishop Laud, beheaded in 1645, is said to haunt the library of St. John’s College, Oxford where apparently it plays football with its own head.

William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury

William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury

Golf balls were originally made of wood. Later, they were made from boiled feathers stuffed into stitched leather known as featheries. The modern (and cheaper) golf ball filled with gutta-percha was not developed till 1848.

A swarm of gnats is called a ghost.

The oldest golf club in the world is St Andrews, founded in 1552.

The word lemur means ghost. It was coined by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707-78) from the Latin, Lemures: the shades of the departed.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

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The first record of golf in England is more than a hundred years older than its appearance in Scotland.

English: Auguste Vaillants execution.

The execution of Auguste Vaillant in 1894

From 1871 to 1981, the title of the executioner of France was Monsieur de Paris, “Mister from Paris.” He was the only man certified to carry out executions in France, and was required to live in Paris.

Approximately 20 million golf balls are lost in water hazards on British golf courses every year.

The Tunisian born Hamida Djandoubi was the last person to be guillotined in France on the 10th of September 1977. Making him the last person to be executed by the modern Republic of France. The official execution method in the modern Republic of France had always been the guillotine.

King James II of Scotland (1430-60) made golf illegal on pain of death.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

A Cunning Plan

Scottish mathematician, physicist, astronomer and astrologer John Napier of Merchistoun (1550 – 1617) is most renowned as the inventor of the logarithm, and of an invention called “Napier’s bones”. Napier also made common the use of the decimal point in arithmetic and mathematics.

John Napier

He always wore black which made the people Edinburgh – his home town – suspect him of worshipping the devil. His greatest companion was his black cockerel which he carried around everywhere.

When he suspected a member of his household staff from stealing he told them to gather around and go into a little darkened room one by one, each member of the staff had to stroke the black cockerel that was inside, Napier had told the staff that his bird could tell which hands had thieving fingers.

Each member of staff did so, not knowing that Napier had covered the bird with suet (a raw beef or mutton fat commonly used in a haggis or steak and kidney pudding) the servant who had stolen – being afraid of being ratted out by the bird – only pretended to have stroked the black cockerel and was the only servant with clean hands when he came out of the little room.

See other: Admin’s Choice Posts

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Which Portuguese islands are located in the mid-Atlantic?
– The Azures

Which country sold Alaska to the USA?
– Russia

Which country is home of the Olduvai Gorge?
– Tanzania

Which Scottish mountain has a ruined observatory at its summit?
– Ben Nevis

What is the capital city of Pakistan?
– Islamabad