Chicken was considered a luxury food in the United States until the discovery of vitamin D in 1922, allowing chickens to thrive indoors and during the winter season.
The Chinese word for “contradiction”, 矛盾, consisting of the characters for “spear” and “shield” respectively, is said to derive from an old tale in which a Chinese merchant proclaimed to sell “spears that could pierce any shield” and “shields that could defend from all spear attacks”.
“RMS Titanic” fired 8 emergency flares before sinking. A ship in the area, the “SS Californian”, saw the flares and that the ship appeared uneven in the water. The crew told the captain, who did not believe the rockets were fired in distress. All of Titanic’s passengers could have been rescued.
Czechoslovak runner Emil Zátopek decided to compete in the marathon in the 1952 Olympics, despite never having run that distance in his life. Zátopek asked fellow runner Jim Peters, who he was racing alongside, if the pace was fast enough. When Peters said “no”, Zátopek sped up and won the race.
An Apollo astronaut lost his wedding ring during his trip to the moon… and found it again during a spacewalk.
Astronaut John Glenn became the oldest person in space at 77 after “lobbying NASA for two years to fly as a human guinea pig for geriatric studies”.
The airplane which was featured in The Dark Knight Rises’ plane scene actually crashed with no survivors a year after the film was released.