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Chesty Puller A god among mere mortals





Of the people Mind Melting Facts has covered so far we’ve had quite a few bad asses. Such people as the explorer Amerigo Vespucci, the double agent Joan Pujol Garcia, and even Marine Scout Sniper Carlos Norman Hathcock II. But this week we are really turning up the bad ass dial to one of the most well known bad asses to ever walk the face of this great planet. His name is Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller; perhaps better known as Chesty Puller. If you are in the military you will have undoubtedly heard of this man. Though if you aren’t there’s a good chance you may have heard the name in passing; but now we’re here to give you a bit of his story!

 

Chesty puller was born 1898 June 26 in West Point, Virginia. He grew fond of military lore as he listened to the old veterans of America’s Civil war. Even at a young age the military called his name. He attempted ito join the Army during the Border War with Mexico in 1916, but they turned him down due to being underage. Many could say this was their loss. Though it’s said he was more determined than ever to join after they dismissed his application. As World War I raged in Europe Chesty Puller once more attempted to join the ranks of those serving. He was accepted by the Marine Corps as a private recruit. He never did see the battlefield in WWI but it was just a matter of time. After finishing boot camp he went on to OCS and after graduating in 1919 he became a non-commissioned officer with the rank of second lieutenant in he reserves. Now, after WWI the military began a period of troop deflation causing Chesty Puller to be put on the inactive list until he reenlisted. Though he was then demoted to the rank of Corporal.

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It would be a long arduous road to get his officer status back but this was a man tougher than any that had come before him. Between World War I and World War II Chesty Puller roamed across the globe fighting in the Banana Wars in Haiti and Nicaragua and also in other conflicts in China. In Haiti he fought against Caco Rebels and took part 40 engagements while trying to gain back his position as an officer twice. Then upon returning home from Haiti in 1924 he was finally given back his rank as a second Lieutenant. He was station in the USA for a few years until he returned to Central America to fight in Nicaragua. It was there he was awarded his first of 5 Navy Crosses for leading his men and defeating a superior force 5 times in a row in a period of 6 months. Later, while leading his 40 men through the mountains, he was ambushed by 150 rebels. He lost several people right off the bat but eventually destroyed the entire rebel group; Oh, he was also ambushed twice more while navigating through the same mountain range and consequently destroyed them as well earning his second Navy Cross. By the time he left Nicaragua he had a bounty on his head and the bad ass nickname “The Tiger of the Mountains.”  It was from this point on where he would begin to leave mortality behind and join the ranks of immortals reserved for legends.

 

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This is not Chesty Puller. How well do you know your history? Can you guess who it is?




 

World War II

#1 Guadalcanal

After moving around the Pacific few awhile Chesty Puller and the Marines under his command found themselves at Gaudalcanal. Several groups of Marines had broken through the heavily fortified Japanese military line and had become trapped. Many officers thought the groups of Marines were done for, there was no hope for them. Chesty Puller ran out of his command tent to the shoreline, flagged down a nearby Navy destroyer and began directing the action that would save nearly all of the men trapped behind enemy lines. (Although nobody had given him the authority to do so…. he saw the opportunity and seized it). The destroyer rained down a tsunami of steel as landing craft approached the beach. The groups of Marines were able to return to the landing craft to fight another day. For these actions he earned the Bronze Star with a “V” standing for Valor.

 

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click for source




#2 Battle for Henderson Field

Also on Guadalcanal Chesty Puller and his men found themselves outnumbered, outgunned and what would generally be called shit out of luck. With 700 young men, along a mile long length of dirt protecting an airfield that was priceless in terms of military strategy, he held off a much more seasoned Japanese force that was twice their size. The Japanese attacked in the middle of the night on October 24, 1942. For three hours they fought as Chesty Puller ran down the lines directing men and company commanders. In the end the Americans lost less than 70 people while the Japanese endured over 1,400 Japanese fatalities. The Americans were also able to seize 17 truck loads of Japanese weapons and goods. After the battle Chesty Puller nominated 2 men for the medal of honor.

It is also important to note that during the Guadalcanal battles Chesty Puller was wounded by shrapnel from an exploding mortar and shot twice by snipers.

Chesty Puller continued to lead men throughout the duration of WWII including the battle of Peleliu which could can read more about HERE.

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The Korean War

Many people call it the war that the history books forgot. A war stuck between two major conflicts in American history. Though for the people involved it wasn’t an experience easily forgotten. By the time the Korean War had started Chesty Puller was just a few tender years over the age of 50. He, now with the rank of Colonel, was headed toward a remote part of Korea called the Chosin Reservoir. Before they were able to set up base they were attacked by the Chinese. The following excerpt is from the Wall Street Journal and sums up this situation perfectly:

“As related in Jon T. Hoffman’s ‘Chesty,’ the Marines barely had time to set up base camp when the Chinese People’s Liberation Army attacked their position. The embedded journalists immediately confronted Chesty, demanding to know his plan. Calmly he replied: ‘We’ve been looking for the enemy for several days now. We’ve finally found them. We’re surrounded. That simplifies our problem of finding these people and killing them.’ ” (Source)

A month later Chesty Puller was asked to bring his men back (to what is now South Korea) by opening up an escape way for all of the Marines under his command. If you know anything about Korea you’ll know it is freezing in the wintertime… I believe the term of today would be “Freezing-balls” cold. The temperatures were in the below Zero’s (-25 at one point) and they fought their way back to safety. He brought all the dead, wounded and all the equipment worth salvaging behind. He and his men also left seven Chinese division in tatters behind them. Before getting on the boat to head home he talked to reporters and this is what he said:

“Remember, whatever you write, this was no retreat. All that happened was we found more Chinese behind us than in front of us. So we about-faced and attacked.” – Chesty Puller

For his actions he was awarded his 5th and final Navy Cross. Chesty Puller went on to serve a few more years in the military (as a general) until a stroke forced him to resign from the military. He died in 1971. Today he remains one of the most decorated and respected military men of all time. If you’re interested in learning more about Chesty Puller you can watch the attached videos or click the book links below!

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Booking.com

Sources:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323829104578621960164422882

http://www.badassoftheweek.com/puller.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesty_Puller

http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/WorldWarIILeaders/p/World-War-Ii-Korean-War-Lieutenant-General-Lewis-Chesty-Puller.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_occupation_of_Haiti

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_for_Henderson_Field

http://blog.uspatriottactical.com/american-heroes-lieutenant-general-chesty-puller/

Written by: Karl Vanzant
Approved by: Jneebs



The Dutch East India Trading Company Facts





Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft. You’ve heard of all these companies and you probably have bought their products. You probably think that these modern giants of industry are undoubtedly among the most valuable companies of all time. So which one do you think is the most valuable? Actually none of them! If you’re a fan of history or economics the real answer shouldn’t surprise you… Who is it you ask? The Dutch East India Trading Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC). How much was it actually worth? Well you’ll have to read further to find out! Before hand here is a short list of some Dutch East India Trading Company Facts!

 

click for source link

 

#1 BUY! SELL!BUY BUY BUY!

The Dutch East India Trading Company was the first publicly traded company on the worlds first stock exchange. It is also considered the first real multinational company to exist. Not too shabby! It started of as a “humble” spice trading company that would become the worlds biggest financial giant.

 

#2 Half the world is yours!

Click for source

The Dutch East India Trading Company at one time controlled half of the worlds trade industry. At its peak the East India Trading Company they controlled trade in and out of 10 Asiatic countries !

 

#3 Now Hiring!

click for source!


 


In the Dutch East India Trading Company’s lifetime it created nearly a million trade related jobs. In contrast the rest of Europe… the whole rest of Europe… ” the rest of Europe combined sent only 882,412 people from 1500 to 1795.” (Wiki)

#4 Paying Dividends

Click for source

As many modern publicly traded companies do they also paid dividends. For just shy of 200 years the company paid and annual dividend ranging from 12%-63%. Not too shabby considering Microsoft’s current dividend is under 3%.

#5 Monopoly !

Not the game… well I guess it was a real life version. Today Monopolies are looked down upon. But back in the day they seemed to be the name of the game… err.. Not well put sorry. Anyways they were given a royal charter allowing them to have a 20 year monopoly and special rights for any newly found territories to trade with. When their charter ran out they gave the government a healthy sum of money and renewed it.

#6 Run by the people, but mainly for the rich ones

Click for source

The Dutch Government didn’t actually own any shares and only had the slightest bit of control on their actions. Most of the shares were own by wealthy or aristocratic people.

#7 Power in Numbers

Click for source

The Dutch East India Trading Company wasn’t the brain child of one man. No, it was actually a whole band of spice traders who decided instead of competing and driving the prices of spice down they could band together and rig the game. They would find wealthy people to front the bill, via bonds, and then split the profit. For nearly two hundred years they made a killing!

#8 Private Army




click for link

At its peak the Dutch East India Trading Company had 40 ships outfitted for war with 10,000 soldiers on their payroll. This would help them defend shipments and stomp out any troubles they had in securing their goods in foreign lands. Along with its sister company they quelled rebellions and secure trade for nearly two hundred years!

#9 Tulip Mania

Click for source

Humans are simple creatures. We place value on things that really aren’t that important. For example during the middle of the 1600’s Tulip bulbs were brought to Europe from lands of the Ottoman Empire. They quickly became a status symbol and soon tulip bulbs were being traded for 4, 5, even 6 times the annual salary of a normal working person. This incident has been named “Tulip Mania” and I’m sure you’ve heard about it sometime in your life. These bulbs were by in large brought by the Dutch East India Trading Company. This created the first “bubble market” that burst after a few years. The Dutch East India Trading Company weathered the storm with minimal losses.

#10 Money bags!

Click for link to Bus*ness Insider

You remember watching Scrooge Mcduck as a child right? He was the posterchild of a rich and luxurious ma…er…duck…. Forbes estimated his net worth to be about $65.4 Billion. Not too shabby. Well that’s just one person (duck) you say! True enough the highest valued brand today is Apple worth $145.3 Billion. That’s some major Mula! But the Dutch East Indian Trading Company would be  roughly worth a magnificent

$7,699,709,312,630.72

Yes your read that correctly. Adjusted for inflation it would be worth $7.6 Trillion dollars. Enough money to fill a lake with gold coins.

 

Like all big things they must make way for others to follow after. The Dutch East India Company was disbanded just shy of its 200th birthday. If you’d like an in depth look at the Dutch East India Company check out the resources below! Thanks for stopping by!






Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_India_Company

http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Dutch_East_India_Company.aspx

https://people.hofstra.edu/geotrans/eng/ch2en/conc2en/map_VOC_Trade_Network.html

https://finance.yahoo.com/photos/most-valuable-companies-ever-adjusted-for-inflation-1351801906-slideshow/most-valuable-companies-in-history-adjusted-for-inflation-photo–1113431046.html

http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/08/first-company-issue-stock-dutch-east-india.asp

http://www.in2013dollars.com/2012-dollars-in-2015?amount=7400000000000

http://global.britannica.com/topic/Dutch-East-India-Company

Pope Facts





Very few people have the power to change the world. Kings, Queens, revolutionaries and religious leaders are among the most prolific. This week we will be looking at some of the more interesting characters from the ranks of Catholic Popes. Some of these facts are simple others more complex; some even down right sacrilegious. Now, we aren’t here to judge, just to inform and entertain so here we go!

 

Pope facts

This….. is…… ALEXANDER VI! BEEE….YAWWW

Starting things off on an odd foot is Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503). He was part of a wealthy merchant family and, like a rapper with no street cred but a few bucks in the bank, essentially bought his Popehood. Though he would later become one of the richest popes in history his greed wasn’t what made him shocking. To start Pope Alexander VI basically spit on all of the previously held traditions and beliefs of popes. Can’t get married? “HAHAHA I fart in your general direction!” can’t have children? “PSSHHHH Get outta heya ya bums!” He lived and died like a boss.

He also pimped out his beautiful daughter to help pay the bills. Wealthy foreigners would arrange to marry her and then Pope Alexander VI would ask for a massive dowry but when time came for the two to marry, he being the pope, would claim they couldn’t be married for one reason of another… but he still kept the money. He was continually using church funds for banquets and parties including one of the most famous…  the Banquet of Chestnuts.

After the good food and divine wine had been eaten and drunk the dancing women came out. Their dance was meant to be provocative and erotic. As all the interesting hat wearing people watched they couldn’t help but tent pole their frocks waiting for a chance to plunge deep into the trenches of all the Maria’s there that evening. A bit later the dancing women came out wearing their birthday suits. Chestnuts had been placed all along the floor. The women were instructed to pick them up while on their hands and knees. The woman who collected the most would win a prize. Now simultaneously, the crowd was instructed to, ummm, how do you say this politely… join in. Prizes were supposedly given for the man who ejaculated the most or who had put their mini bishop in the most ladies. It is one of the few scandalous events that was even recorded by the popes master of ceremonies in the Liber Notarum.

do you see what I see?




Pope Alexander VI would go on to be the baby daddy of many children. He was a man that must have agreed with the artist Prince that it’s better to be the pope than a president. Anyways, he was later believed to be poisoned and his lasts words were, “wait a minute…”

My fathers a pope!

 If you’re a Catholic or a historian it might not surprise you to know that at one time Popes and priests were allowed to have a wife and children. In contrast to the strict tradition of celibacy today causing problems within the church it seems now more than ever a good idea. But did you know that some popes were actually the children of other popes and priests?

For example St. Sixtus (Xystus) was the first son of a priest to become a pope. This son of a preacher man was roman by birth and is best known for creating 3 rules including saying the Sanctus with his flock after mass.

from wiki

Next up was one big son of a pope by the name of St. Innocent I (401-417). Though scholars believe it was one of the rare instances of a pope succeeding his fathers poperly duties it still set a precedent for it to be possible. During the sack of Rome he allowed private pagan worshiping as a temporary measure during his reign.

from wiki

Defrocked but still Rockin’ like a pope

Pope Boniface VI  (896) was also the son of a preaching man (a bishop if you’re truly interested) and holds claim to one of the shortest reigns in Pope history. Just about 15 days. The circumstances of his death aren’t clear, some documents claim it was gout, other say he was pushed out of the picture to make room for a different pope. Regardless, it should be noted that this pope was previously defrocked TWICE for immorality.

Ouch

All the single popes put yo hands up!

The last pope to be married was Pope Adrian II (867-872). He became pope at a near elderly age with his wife and daughter living with him in the Lateran Palace. This pope was watched carefully by the Emperor Louis II and eventually must have done something to really tick off his noodle. In 868 both his wife and daughter were taken from the palace and assassinated. A rather sad ending, though the pope lived on for a few more years afterward.

 

from wiki

John VIII(872-882) Spent much of his time as pope trying to reduce the gains made by Muslims in  southern Italy. But, after exhausting the treasury and pissing a few people off he was first poisoned and then beaten to death. Not to mention the remaining paintings of him make him look like a giant dildo.

from wiki

Wild Child

Pope John XII (955-964) was only a teen when he became pope. He was also a prince of Rome. I guess it’s a tought spot being a secular prince and the leader of the church. The list of his atrocities would shock most folks some of these things include the following:having sex with his niece and sisters, raping visitors to his palace, ordaining a 10 year old bishop, castrating a blinding a cardinal and of course refusing to make the sign of the cross.

but he looks like Jesus!

It seems we are lucky to find outselves in the modern age. No major scandals, no brothels in the pope land and no real fear of another banquet of chestnuts now. It seems that the choice of popes have actually become better and better including Pope Francis the 266th pope. He is multi lingual (being fluent in Spanish, Latin and Italian and having an understanding of the German, French, Portuguese, English and Ukranian languages) and who also flew economy class to become the pope. Sounds like a cool cat to me! Let’s hope he keeps it up! Thanks for stopping by to check out a few pope facts and feel free to share!

Good bye!






Links:

All links are in the article. Click on them to find out more.

Further Reading:

adrian –http://atheism.about.com/library/glossary/western/bldef_adrianii.htm

 



Ireland Facts from a Parallel Universe

Ireland. The Pharaohs land. The land where Saint Bacon scared all the man snake pigs out of. Yup, you bet your bottom dollar todays topic is indeed Ireland. The place where fairies go to get a good lay. So open up your leprechaun sacks, get out your two Irish pounds for a sweet pint of Ginger Ale and enjoy. Don’t forget everything you read on the internet is 100 percent factual. This is a fact site… which makes these facts doubly believable. That’s 200 percent believable. 200%. Therefore these are 200% believable Ireland facts …. from a parallel universe.

 

 

Fact #1  Zues and Eiocha: Too Hot for Classical Myths

zues

Now we’ve all heard of Eiocha. If you haven’t get off your knob and do something with your time. Now, modern theory (which of course loves the historical copulation stories) has recently discovered that it was in fact Zues who impregnated the mare… not some wack berry seeds. C’mon really people? That’s the best you could come up with? Well anyways… Zues was on holiday from Mt. Olympus and decided he needed to shag something. But alas, the land was barren except for the mare. So in typical Zues fashion he changed himself into one impressive stud and plowed the field. Not long after he found she was with child… And he was gone like a thief in the night. Not even Hera knew about it … until now. Now of course this also means the blood of every Irish man, woman and child also holds the power of Zues deep within their DNA (as well as Dionysus but that’s a story for another time).

 

Fact #2b Dragon Tails for all your Ales

dtail

Not long after the dragon insurrection of 69 AD was quelled it became common practice to use the tails of dragons in the brewing process. It was said that it would give you the strength of a dragon and the power to drink more than a mortal man. Though it usually ended up giving them a belly ache and a case of the sharts that would leave their bowels barren fir several days. Upon the last dragon tail being brewed for the King on England (whom will remain nameless) a party was held the celebrate never having the dragon sharts again. And that’s the rest of the tale (insert terribly shit pun drum here).

Fact #3 Johnny McGiggafligga

It’s commonly held that Ardagh is the birthplace of modern Gangsta Rap. Ireland has been known for its blood filled history and there was never a better place for gangsta rap to be born. Of all the cats that have made the worlds eardrums reverberate (including Tomo, Sniffy, and Siyo) Johnny McGiggafligga (born Johnathan O’Reilly) has got the be the Godfather of any and all of these kats. He was shot 99 times in the face by a super soaker when he was 10 years old! This dude is tough as a bucket of chickens and has the rhymes to prove it! Unfortunately he refuses to be filmed without permission so we here at Mind Melting Facts (of a parallel universe) have scoured the interwebs to find the only filmed show of his. Please be aware viewer discretion is advised. CLICK at you own risk.

Fact #4 Blood Shamrocks and the land of the Lucky

4 leaf

Just as the diamond trade has been linked to controlling the flow of diamonds Ireland has been known to control the flow of four Leaf Clovers. Yup, you read it here first. Ireland has a secret underground lair in which thousands of millions (also known as billions) of four leaf clovers are held in cold storage. If you find one in the wild you are entitled to wish for anything you’d like… and maybe it will come true. It totally depends on the strength of the clover (much like the clarity of the diamond). In the pasty past fairies, Baby Sasquatches and even unicorns were used in its cultivation. Today the Illuminati uses much simpler means of finding and saving them for themselves. Namely this cunning gardener to locate and steal them from the worlds clover patches. Bew a concious human being and don’t support 4 leaf clovers. You can sign the petition here to end centuries worth of wasted time.

Fact #5 The souls of good men

Well if you’ve made it this far you’re already too kind. We will finish off with the biggest threat to our time. Gingers. Now I don’t personally believe they pose any threat. Hell, I (as well as my current editor) carry the recessive gene for gingerism as well. But in Ireland up to 46% of the population carries the gene for red head and soul-less-ness. It is the rarest hair color and the lighter skin associated with their ability to survive in northern climates. It is indeed evolution at its finest. They know the world is becoming hotter, that the ozone is mere hundreds of years from collapsing and with it burning all the frail skin it can. It’s only a matter of time before a cult of soulless beings began plotting to take over the earth. And if they don’t well shucks put a wig on me and call me Sally.

Written by: Hanz Aurelius

Edited by: Jneebs

Notice: Mind Melting Facts does not necessarily agree with the thoughts and or opinions of the author posted on this page. If you have a problem you can travel to a parallel universe yourself and FOOGLE that shit. Otherwise have a wonderful time of day. Hugs and Kisses. If you or your knob would like to view some facts in this universe CLICK HERE FOR REAL IRELAND FACTS

 

 

Ireland facts

Welcome back to another week of Mind Melting Facts! This week we are talking about Ireland! We’ll be dispensing Ireland Facts at a tapaidh pace! From long lived in castles to the split of Northern and southern island. Sit back, take a few puffs on your leprechaun enchanted peace pipe and enjoy these Ireland facts!

globe

As always, here’s a very succinct lesson on Ireland. There’s way too much history to put down everything that is relevant but this should give you a few basics to talk about at your next tea party, night cap or visit with the pope. Ireland the country resides on 5/6 of island of Ireland off the west coast of England. It is the third largest island in Europe and 20th largest in the world. It has approximately 5 million Irish folks. It’s official languages are English and Gaelic (an gaeilge for the true linguists which is spoken by 38.7 percent of the population).  The vast majority of the population consider themselves Catholic (over 80 percent) and they have a GDP of 224.7 Billion.  Politically it is split between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK. Sometime after 8,000 BCE humans arrived in Ireland and developed their own unique culture. Gaelic Ireland began in the first century CE and lived a long life (16 centuries) before being absorbed (to some extent) by the Tudor conquests. England tried to keep an iron grip on the island for the next few hundred years. Though, early in the 20th century war broke out. This war led to the splitting of the Island and eventually to the current political boundaries that exist today. Ireland’s history has been filled with war, famine, sadness, and deceit but it has also brought forth some of the most inspirational characters, stories and culture to grace the world. Alright, now it’s time for the Ireland Facts!

Ireland

#1 The Olympics aint got nothin on this!

The Irish had their own Olympic games, known as the Tailteann games, starting around 1600 BCE. According to wikipedia these games included the following :

Games included the long jump, high jump, running, hurling, spear throwing, boxing, contests in swordfighting, archery, wrestling, swimming, and chariot and horse racing. They also included competitions in strategy,singing, dancing and story-telling, along with crafts competitions for goldsmiths, jewellers, weavers and armourers. Along with ensuring a meritocracy, the games would also feature a mass arranged marriage, where couples met for the first time and were given up to a year and a day to divorce on the hills of separation.

Sounds like a good party to me! The games died out after the Norman Invasion around 1171 CE. They were revived during the medieval times under the name Tailtan Fair primarily with games of skill and strength. Marriage celebrations were also popular at this festival. In more modern times there were talks of reviving the games once more with activities such as motorcycling and shooting to be added. Though these talks happened to happen just before the Civil war that would split the country. Finally, the games were reinstated and now continue to this day. Now, it is an inter-provincial festival and event.

#2 Under the dirty 30

^The best club in Ireland^

Almost half of the population of Northern Ireland is under thirty years old. This has lead to a boom in nightlife and high tech business moving to Ireland. Originally Northern Ireland was known for its shipbuilding (more on that later).

#3 Of Titanic Proportions

Actually, the world famous ship the TITANIC was built in Belfast the capital of Northern Ireland. The Titanic is the only ocean liner to ever be sunk by an iceberg that had been floating around since 1000 BCE. Had the captain been notified just 30 seconds earlier disaster would have been avoided. But, the Irish did build one hell of a ship!

#4 More out than in they say

There are currently more Irish people (or folks of Irish descent) living outside of Ireland than there are in it. Heck, just walk down just about any residential street in America and you’re guaranteed to find at least a few folks who claim to be of Irish blood.

#5 Obama

obam

What does the current president of the United States have to do Ireland? Well other than being a fan of the green the Chief’s great, great, great grandfather Fulmuth Kearney came from Moneygall. He came to the United States (more specifically New York) at the tender age of 19 in 1850. President Obama went back for a visit in May 2011.

#6 Long time a’brewin

The original Guinness Brewery in Dublin has a 9,000 years lease at a constant rate of 45 Irish pounds a year; The lease was signed in 1759. The Guiness beer brand is world renowned and has quite a few interesting facts as well! For example, workers were once allowed 2 free pints of beer a day, Guiness’ harp was one of the first trademarked products in Ireland, and just over 2.3 million pints of beer can be brewed at one time at their Dublin brewery.  (Click the for example link to see more Guinness facts from Buzzfeed!)

#7 Hoban at the White House

hoban

Maybe it’s a conspiracy. Maybe the Irish have been infultrating America for generations creating sleeper cells to one day conquer this great nation and rename it “THE FIRKIN GREAT STATES OF IRELAND”. Or maybe not. Regardless the man who designed the white house was an Irishman by the name of James Hoban. Hoban originally hailed from near Callen in County Kilkenny. He emigrated to the United States after the Revolutionary war and went on to become quite an accomplished architect.

#8 Tall Lads, Tall lads

The tallest identical twins ever born were Irish! The Knipe brothers were born in Magherfelt in Derry county. As the story is told they were 7 feet 2 inches (just over 218 centimeters) tall and were very nicely natured people. They toured through London going by the act name, “The Giant Irish Twins” in 1784 (very imaginative name I know). It’s thought that they suffered from pituitary tumors causing them to grow to such a large size (65.75 inches or 167 centimeters was the average male height at the time).

#9 Nice pad man!

Killyleagh Castle in the oldest occupied castle in Ireland. People have been living in it since the 13th century. It’s history reads as if it was a bad soap opera. Norman founded, clan quarreling, poisoning and all the good stuff you’d come to expect to see through nearly a thousand years of history.

#10 Witch Hunting

Alice Kyteler is said to be the first individual to be accused and prosecuted for witchcraft in Ireland. Mrs. Kyteler outlived 4 husbands and acquired quite a bit of wealth through each of them. It was speculated that she had poisoned them or used witchcraft to kill them. An overly ambitious Bishop saw it as a chance to address the witchcraft problem damning the people and culture of the time. Mrs. Kyteler had made some powerful friends along the way allowing her to skate going to trial for sometime. Eventually the Bishop accused her servants of witchcraft (and her by proxy). Under torture one of her servants confessed. Mrs. Kyteler fled the country never to be found in records again. Her servants on the other hand suffered the wrath of the church and the Bishop. You can read more here and here. Lastly, Some folks commenting seem to be fans of Knob Cheddar. That is all. Have a great day!

Well that’s it for this edition of Mind Melting Facts! If you like what you read please drop us a line on Facebook!

Mind Melting Egypt Facts

Welcome back to another mind melting week of facts! This week we are talking about Egypt facts! Known for its ancient pyramids, pharaohs, political turbulence and a giant river, Egypt is full of interesting tid-bits to share around the campfire or cocktail lounge, So sit back, put your learning cap on and lets get ready to learn some awesome Egypt facts!

 egypt

 

Egypt is  a country located at the north eastern corner of Africa, though it is included as part of the middle east. As of July 2014 Egpyt has a population estimated at about 87 million people. With so many people it’s hard to believe 99% of them live on 5.5% of the land. Egypt is a republic and has a 90% Muslim, 10% Christian (9% being Coptic) religious population. It has the largest Christian population in all of the middle east. Currently the city of Cairo is the capital and Arabic the official language. Life in Egypt goes way waaaaay back; though we can say Egypt became a unified kingdom around 3,200 BCE. Upper and lower Egypt were united by king Menes, who was later killed by a hippopotamus. It remained unified until 341 BCE when the Persians conquered it. Throughout time it has been held by many empires, cultures, religions and countries. A few noteworthy things to keep in mind are the following: Christianity is thought to be the main religion between the 4-6th centuries, Egypt was conquered by the Arabs in the 7th century and ruled it for about 600 years (Their legacy is the use of Arabic in Egypt) and has been under the rule of Greeks, Romans, England and the Ottoman empire. It has also been known by a plethora of names including: Kemet (Black land), Deshret (red land), Hwt-Ka-Ptah (House of the Ka of Ptah). Now that we have a little of its history and information lets move on to the Egypt facts!

 

#1 One Long Reign

pepi 2ii

Pharaoh Pepi II holds the record for the longest reign in history! His reign lasted an astonishing 94 years! (Take that queen of England!) He inherited the throne at age six. Though he is historically attributed with being a spendthrift and the pillager of the kingdoms coffers he did build many wonderful things. After this death his son took over as pharaoh, he was ultimately murdered. His wife and mother took revenge on his killer and then committed suicide ending what is commonly referred to as the “old kingdom.”

#2 Mummy Remedy

mummy

In past centuries it was common for Americans and Europeans to ingest mummy powder as a medicine. It was known to cure just about everything! Have an ulcer? Forget about it! Take some mummy powder! Apparently this stems from an occurrence of the truth being lost in translation. Bitumen was commonly used as a cure all, the Persians referred to it as mumia which they also used to refer to the substance used to embalm mummies. I think you can see where this is going… Alas people began grinding up mummies thinking that it would cure all of their medical issues. The demand was so high that people began to dig up dissected bodies and grind them up instead… So maybe some of your ancestors ingested dead people. Don’t let that keep you up at night.

#3 Where did the word “Pyramid” come from?

pyramid

The word pyramid traces its roots to the Greek word “pyramis” a type of  pointy topped wheat cake that looked like… well, like a pyramid. (kind of confusing when you think about it). The ancient Egyptians called pyramids “mer”.

 

#4 21st Century phenomena

facebook

After the recent revolution a father in Egypt named his new baby daughter… [drum roll]… FACEBOOK. He said he named her that for the role Facebook helped play in the changing of the guard. 

#5 Kitty Love

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It’s common knowledge that the ancient Egyptians loved their kitties. From giant statues, to god-like reverence, to shaving their eyebrows when their pet cat died. Yup, that’s right. They’d shave their eyebrows when their cats died. After which they would plan a ceremony and have their cats embalmed and buried with milk, mice or other goodies for the afterlife.

#6 Pregnant? Here have a beer!

beer

Modern take home pregnancy tests were first introduced to the public in 1978. They work by looking for a specific chemical in the urine. Come to find out this wasn’t entirely different from tests administered in ancient times! The ancient Egyptians had a few methods of finding out if the seed had been planted or not. One involved peeing on wheat. If it grew fungus you were pregnant (and depending on what time of fungus could help interpret if it was going to be a boy or a girl). The other method involved feeding a woman a mash of dates and beer. Then somehow they would interpret if she was pregnant by how much she vomited. I think it’s safe to say it’s a good thing we live in the 21st century!

#7 Moms Rule!

abu

A woman in Egypt worked for 43 years disguised as a man to support her family! The woman’s husband died shortly before her baby daughter was to be born. After the birth she needed income and decided to work rather than beg in the streets. Due to a culture that sometimes turns up its nose at women in the workplace she had to disguise herself as a man. She wore loose fitting men’s clothing and masculine shoes. She worked making bricks, polishing shoes and other jobs. Egypt recently honored her with an the “woman breadwinner” award and deemed her the “ideal mother”. This awesome moms name is Abu Daooh.

Random 1 liner Facts:

*The first tax cheat in recorded history was sentenced to suffer 100 blows in ancient Egypt.

*The worlds oldest dress came from Egypt (5000 years old)

*Ancient Egyptians worshiped around 1,400 different gods and goddesses.

*Egyptian Pyramid workers were paid in beer, about 4 liters a day (1 gallon)

*Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt

*If your married and wearing a ring you can thank the Egyptians

*The Sahara desert is roughly the size of the continental United States

*Ancient Egyptians slept on pillows made of stone

Nancy Astor: An American in England

This week we are enlightening you all with the tale of Nancy Astor. Who? Nancy  Astor. It’s a name all of you (especially in America or the UK) should know… but sadly many do not. Who was she? What did she do? Well search no further keep reading to learn about this incredible woman who left her mark on her adopted home and history!

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Nancy Astor was born in Danville, Virginia on May 19, 1879. She was one of 11 children born to her father and mother. Her father was a prominent railroad business tycoon. Though after the American Civil war his business wasn’t able to be profitable without slavery as well as the devastating effects the war had done to the railroad systems in the south. They spent many years teetering on the line of poverty though eventually her father revised his business through prior contacts gained through the war. This allowed both Nancy and her sisters to attend a finishing school in New York City. Here she met her first husband Robert Gould Shaw II an alcoholic socialite who was known for his wild drinking habits and womanizing. They were married in October of 1897. Nancy was only 18 at the time.

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The marriage was an unhappy one for both of them. Nancy despised his heathen ways and Robert considered her too rigid and pure to be any fun. Nancy left him multiple times, including on their honeymoon. Though they were able to have a child before their eventual divorce after the death of Nancy’s mother in 1903. She returned to her fathers estate known as Mirador until her father convinced her to go on holiday in England. At first she was hesitant, but it was a decision that would forever change her and England. After taking a tour of the country she returned home and her father convinced her to move there telling her it was her mothers’ wish for her to live there. She happily agreed.

On an ocean liner to the old world in 1905 she had the good fortune of meeting Waldorf Astor. A man born on the exact same day in another part of the United States of America. His father, William Waldorf Astor, was an American millionaire who expatriated to England after having a family feud over who should be named the official “Mr. Astor.” While there he also wanted to raise his children in a more aristocratic fashion than he could in the USA. He faked his death but eventually his plot was foiled and he was made fun of by the press back in America. His father had also been awarded a lordship for his wartime contributions. He was also the man behind the iconic Waldorf Hilton Hotel London.

 

Apparently these two young lovebirds had a lot in common; including their temperament, religious views and politics. Some could say it was fate. They were married in 1906 a year after meeting.  Waldorf’s father gave them Cliveden, a luxury estate on the River Thames. They continued their life as socialites and intellectuals until the death of Waldorf’s father 1919. He inherited the title held previously by his father. By doing so he had to give up his seat in the House of Commons due to his automatic acceptance to the House of Lords. It was then that Nancy Astor was given her chance to make her mark on history.

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Beforehand she had been known for her quick wit, gutter humor (though prude actions), and as a great hostess for the social elite. After her husband was forced to give up his seat it was decided that she should campaign for it. Though it was a tough battle for Lady Astor she believed it was possible. Many folks didn’t like her views on alcohol and thought she was out of touch due to her social status. As time went on she gained a lot of support through her wit and ability to change the minds of folks heckling her. It’s been noted that one heckler asked her what her family had done to help the people, her response was, “Why, Charlie, you know.” Her style confused the British populace and some how garnered support. Some of her campaign sloagans included the following: “Vote for Lady Astor and your children will weigh more” a slogan relating to her views on nutrition for children and “If you want a party hack, don’t vote for me.” (Source) Eventually she won the election in 1919. Though she wasn’t the first woman to be elected to the British parliament (Constance Markievicz was) she was the first woman to take her seat at parliament.  Making her the first woman in the House of Commons; who happened to be an American. The next woman wasn’t elected until two years later in 1921.

 

She didn’t leave much of a mark on the actual political climate of the UK but she did leave a social impression. She was considered someone who shunned the rules and social conventions. Many folks said it was due to her being an American. Her sharp tongue also didn’t help. If you’d like to read more about her time as a politician, including her trip to meet Stalin and her views on Nazism, you can click HERE.




She eventually gave up her seat in 1945 due to political and family pressure. She had become a rather unpopular political figure due to her views and the things she said. Her family even stated they would not support her if she ran again. The rest of her life was filled with controversial (note racist and whacky ideas) views estranging her from her family and friends. She died in 1964.

If you’d like to learn more, watch a video, or buy a book on Nancy Astor keep scrolling! Hope you Enjoyed learning about this colorful woman! Have a lovely Day!

 


Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Astor,_Viscountess_Astor

http://womenshistory.about.com/od/morepoliticalfigures/p/nancy_astor.htm

http://www.biography.com/people/nancy-astor-viscountess-astor-9191226

 

Written by: Julianne Thompson

Approved by: Jneebs

Spain Facts

Spain Facts!

japonjoan

Welcome back to another week of fun filled facts! This week is all about Spain facts! From the eloquent nature of Spain’s national anthem to a bad ass double agent this weeks Spain facts may just melt your mind! So sit back, relax and learn on!

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Spain facts 1: Spain is a European country with approximately 47,737, 941 people (CIA Factbook July 2014).

Spain facts 2: Spain is the second largest country in western Europe in terms of landmass.

Spain facts 3: Spain was inhabited by hominids 1.2million years ago. Though, the first humans are thought to have inhabited the area 35,000 years ago.  It wasn’t until 350 BCE that they became an official part of the Roman Empire.

Spain facts 4: Before becoming part of the Roman empire the area of Spain was under the control of Iberians and Celts. It took Rome almost two hundreds years before they secured the entire peninsula but eventually they all began to share a common tongue, philosophy and the Roman road.

Spain facts 5:In fact several emperors came from Hispania (now known as Spain). These include the emperors  Hadrian, Trajan and Theodosius I. Eventually Muslim Moors from the northern parts of Africa conquered Hispania.

 

 

#1 All Music no Words





Spain’s National anthem once had no words! The original national anthem was one of four national anthems to not have any official lyrics. However this was changed in 1997 when the kingdom of Spain bought the rights to a 16-bar long phrase by the maestro Francisco Grau.

 

 

#2 Merry Christmas! From the Poo Log

pooplog

Many Catalan households have an interesting Christmas holiday celebration. Rather than waiting for Santa they have the Tió de Nadal  (meaning Christmas log in English). It’s essentially a small log covered in a blanket with an eccentric face and a cute little nose. Throughout the holiday season (Beginning on Dec 8 for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception) children are prompted to “feed” the log and take care of it, in hopes that it will bring them nice presents later. Finally on Christmas they beat the log with a stick ordering it to defecate while singing Christmas songs. The children then leave the room to pray for good presents while relatives place presents under the blanket. It generally brings smalls presents in the form of candies or treats until it is “finished.” It leaves a head of garlic, a herring or a bowl of urine (just water) to indicate that it is all out of presents. It’s unnoficial but commonly used name is  “Caga tió” or shitting log.

 #3 Japon… Mr. Japon

japon

In the town of Coria del Rio (near Seville) 6 Samurai remained behind after Japan decided to close down their embassy in 1617. Today about 700 people share the surname of “Japon” indicating that they are related to one of those six Samurai.

#4 The Legacy of Spain: Spanish

One of Spain’s greatest accomplishments has been a linguistic one! Today 500 million people in 44 countries speak Spanish as a first language. This makes it the second most spoken mother-tongue in the world! In Spain 72% of people use Spanish as their first language (followed by Catalan with 17%). Experts estimate that nearly 100 million people speak it as a second language as well!

#5 Rat got Your Teeth?

There is no tooth fairy in Spain. Her competition is actually Ratoncito Perez. A mouse that comes in the night to replace a child’s lost tooth with a small gift.  Click the video below to see an awesome animation of how Ratoncito Perez does his job!

 

 

 

#6 Olive Oil; Yellow Liquidy Gold!




olive
original image source HERE

Italy… PSHHH Get outta hea! Spain produces 45% of the worlds olive oil. This product has been produced for thousands of years and has has a multitude of uses including the following: cooking, cosmetics, fuel, religious ceremonies/purposes and soaps. Modern archaeological evidence shows that olive oil began being produced as early as 6,000 BCE in Israel. Though in recent years drought has depleted Spain’s and other Mediterranean countries abilities to produce Olive oil making the price go up for consumers.

#7 Covert, Get Out or Burn

The Spanish Inquisition has been a topic of historical debate throughout the past half millennium. It began as a way to maintain orthodoxy throughout Spain. Though, as time went on its motives became less clear. Some people think it was about maintaining the Christian faith, other believe it was about gaining wealth and power through the use of religion. The Spanish Inquisition lasted just a few decades short of 400 years in length. It began in 1478 as a court to find and punish heretics. It wasn’t officially dismantled until 1834. During that time 3,000- 5,000 people were executed and 150,000 people tried in the court between 1560 and 1700. Many of the people tried and punished were wealthy people who weren’t Christian. Although popular culture has shown that torture was widespread and incredibly sadistic only 2% of people tried actually underwent torture of some sort. And of those there was only 1 casualty. In fact one of the most used forms of torture according to wikipedia was, “The toca, also called interrogatorio mejorado del agua, consisted of introducing a cloth into the mouth of the victim, and forcing them to ingest water spilled from a jar so that they had the impression of drowning.” Or as we call it today… waterboarding.

#8 Double Agent

joan

Although Spanish history was filled with many interesting and heroic figures there’s one modern man who really stands out. His name was Joan Pujol Garcia aka One bad ass mother f*cker. During World War 2 he was a spy for both the Allies and the Nazi’s. Now, originally he wanted to be a spy for the allies but they didn’t immediately accept him or his proposal. So what did he do? He became a spy for the Nazi’s instead. As time went on he gained the Nazi’s trust and then went back to the Allies offering to be a double agent. He would feed the Nazi’s irrelevant information and give the Allies pertinent facts. He also had a habit of giving the Nazi’s true and very useful information but just a bit too late to be used. He was eventually commissioned by the Nazi’s to set up a spy ring inside of Great Britain. So what did he do? He created fake sub-agents that the Nazi’s paid a salary to. In total there were 27 fake characters in which the Nazi’s paid roughly $340,000 to. He was considered so good at his job that the Nazi’s decided not to try to get more spies in England. Before the D-day invasion he, along with MI5 tricked the Nazi’s into thinking there was going to be a landing at Pas-de-Calais in the north of France. The Nazi’s believed the information and left a large number of tanks and troops there, thinking that the D-day landing was just a diversion. He is one of the only people to have lived that received the Iron Cross from Hitler and the an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) from King George VI. After the war MI5 helped him fake his death to escape reprisals from vengeful Nazi’s.

Here’s a great book about Joan Pujol Garcia!

 

Traveling to Spain? You’re gonna need a hotel…

Booking.com




Thanks for enjoying these Spain Facts. 

10 Positive India Facts

India. A lot comes to mind when you think of this country; a rich, exotic culture, thousands of years of history, the birthplace of several major world religions and of course Bollywood. We can’t forget Bollywood. This week is all about India! Recently we’ve heard a lot of discouraging things about India we took the initiative to find some interesting and happy things about the beautiful country and compiled a short list of India facts!

 

india

 

You may know about India but first we’ll give you some of the basic information so you can get your bearings! India is the worlds largest democracy with 1,200,000,000 people! With so many people it’s hard to believe that it is only 1/3 the size of the United States! 42% of the people speak Hindi and 80.5% are Hindu by religion. India also has a large Muslim population at about 13.4% of the population. The national animal is the tiger. India has 29 states and 7 territories and you have to be 18 and over to vote! The current president of India is Pranab Mukherjee.

 

 

#1 Can you hear me now?

According to recent estimates India has more mobile phones than toilets! Which isn’t so shocking considering more people live in India that in the entirety of the western hemisphere. Alas, even if you don’t have a place to go at least you can call someone.

 

 

 

#2 Say What?

Anal”  (also known as Namfau) is a language spoken by at least 23,000 people in India. With so few speakers it has been listed as a vulnerable language by UNESCO.  Click below if you’d like to hear what Anal sounds like… You know you’re interested.

 

 

#3 Mustaches for Money

In the Madhya Pradesh state police officers are given a slight pay raise (66 US cents a month) to grow a mustache.

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#4 Mo Babies, Mo Fame

India is home to the worlds biggest family. Ziona Chana is married to 39 women, has 94 children, 33 grandchildren and 14 daughter-in-laws. In total there are 192 members! He lives with almost all of them in a very large (100 room) mansion in Baktwan Village. Ziona Chana and his family have even been featured on 60 minutes! Click HERE to watch!

 

 

#5 Ghandi impersonators

India holds the record for most people dressed as Gandhi in one place at one time.

ghandi

 

 

 

#6 Get your popcorn ready! 

India has the worlds largest film industry! Nearly 1,100 films are produced a year! Although they are 6th in terms of box office returns. Check out the youtube video below for a recently released film!

 

 

#7 Let your taste buds thanks the Indians

70% of all the worlds spices come from India! Here’s a list if you’re into spices.

 

 

#8 Dexterity 

A man in India holds the record for the most pinky pull ups. Yes, PINKY pull ups.

 

 

#9 Chandragupta Maurya aka Indian Chuck Norris

Chandragupta Maurya

Chandragupta Maurya was an ancient Indian leader who founded his own empire that eventually leas to the greater part of modern India being under one unified flag. He defeated nearly all of the city states that had previously kept the empire separated and also defeated Alexander the Greats Eastern most governed places. Afterward he also defeated Alexander the Greats successor Seleucus I Nicator in battle and then married his daughter. Later in life he retired from the throne and even went to a famous religious site and fasted to death.

 

 

#10 Don’t Forget to Bring a Towel!

India hosts the worlds biggest gathering of humans during the Kumbh Mela Festival in which over 100 million people attend every 12 years! People make a Hindu pilgrimage to bath in sacred waters.

Australia Facts

The land of OZ, the outback, Aussie land, dingo territory… whatever you call it Australia is a huge country with a lot to offer your everyday fact junkie. Below are 10+ Australia facts based on the land down under enjoy!

#1 Basic knowledge: Nation and Continent

aussie

Most of your probably know of Australia but it’s important to get a basic grasp of any subject, so here we go! Australia is the only nation continent in the world. It has a population of about 23.13 million people and a total land area of 7,741,220 sq. kilometers. What does that mean? Well, there’s room for 3 people per every square kilometer. That’s so much room for activities! Australia also holds the following titles: largest country in the southern hemisphere, largest country without land borders, and the only continent without glaciers!

#2 Densely urbanized

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Click for image source

With so much room many folks find it hard to believe that 85% of the population lives in coastal cities or less than 15km from the ocean. Perhaps the rumors that everything wants to kill you in Australia are true! Strength in numbers!

#3 The Right to Vote

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Australia was the second country in the world to allow women to vote (New Zealand was first). Though this did not extend to aboriginal women (or men) until 1962.

#4 Where the Cows Roam (Almost) Free

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Australia is home to the largest cattle station in the world. The Anna Creek Station in roughly 6,000,000 acres (24,000 sq. Kilometers) big! It’s larger than Belgium and Israel. The station can handle up to 16,500 heads of cattle. That’s a lot of beef jerky and steaks.

#5 Vino, God Juice, Wine

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Are you a fan of the vino? If so there is a pretty good chance you’ve sipped on some of Australia’s exported wine! 1,200,000,000 liters of wine are produced every year. In fact the wine industry brings in about $2 billion dollars a year!

#6 Death all around

Everything in Australia is trying to kill you. This country is home to many toxic, venomous, sharp toothed animals from the pits of hell. But despite the staggering amount of creepy crawlies and sharks… and spiders you’re still more likely to bite the bullet from a horse or honeybee. Australia Geographic put together a list of the most dangerous animals based on the threat they pose and the likely hood of encountering one. The following list is their top 3:

Box Jellyfish

boxjelly

Honeybee

honeybee

Irukandji (a kind of Tiny Terrifying Jelly fish)

tinyjelly

#7 Older than time

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The worlds oldest fossil was found in Australia. Well, technically it’s a micro-fossil that’s about 3.4 Billion years old. It is believed that it sustained life by metabolizing sulfur. Find this interesting? You can read the paper in its entirety HERE.

#8 Horse Sized Ducks

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Click for image source

Life in Australia before man appeared was mega. Up until human kind reached Australia the land was filled with large creatures. Extinct mega-fauna includes all animals over 45 kilograms (roughly 100 lbs). Fossils have been found during the same time period of the arrival of man; allowing many researchers to speculate that mankind was the reason for their extinction.  There was mega-fauna living in Australia up until about 35,000 years ago. These animals included 3 meter tall kangaroos and horse sized ducks known by its scientific name Dromornis stirtoni.  Want to read more about mega-fauna? Click HERE.

#8 Got humps?

camel

There have been 600,000 to one million feral camels wandering the outback. The government has taken the initiative to begin culling these lovely creatures and have successfully culled over 160,000. Though efforts will continue to keep the population down which will cost an estimated $4,000,000 a year.

#10 No backtracking

coat of arms

Kangaroos and Emu’s cannot walk backward. This was part of the reason they were put on the Australian coat of arms. Apparently, many Australians believe the current political climate may force them to remove these creatures from the coat of arms and replace them with Drop Bears.