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Did You know Facts Page #17

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  1. Mother-of-pearl is not always white. It can be pink, blue, purple, gray, or even green. Nor is it produced only by the pearl oyster. The abalone and the pearl mussel both have shells that are lined with fine-quality mother-of-pearl.
  2. The word "sake," Japanese wine made from fermented rice, is shortened from the word sake-mizu, which translates to "prosperous waters."
  3. The Dead Sea is the lowest body of water on Earth at 1,315 feet below sea level at its lowest point.
  4. In the city of Reykjavik, Iceland, one can see the stars eighteen hours a day during the heart of the winter. During the summer, sunlight is visible 24 hours a day.
  5. The sport with the largest expenses (medical, legal, and others) due to injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 1995 was bicycling, with costs exceeding $4 billion. More than half a million bicycling injuries were documented. A huge percentage of those injuries were head injuries, which could have been prevented had riders worn protective helmets.
  6. For his X-Files audition, David Duchovny showed up in a tie with pink pigs all over it.
  7. There are 1,783 diamonds on the Britain's Imperial State Crown. This includes the 309-carat Star of Africa.
  8. To survive, most birds must eat at least half their own weight in food each day.
  9. Despite being 24 years old, Michael J. Fox starred as high school student Marty McFly in the hit science-fiction comedy Back to the Future (1985).
  10. When the Apollo 12 astronauts landed on the moon, the impact caused the moon's surface to vibrate for 55 minutes. The vibrations were picked up by laboratory instruments, leading geologists to theorize that the moon's surface is composed of fragile layers of rock.
  11. Mosquitoes do not bite. They stab. A mosquito has no jaws; when attacking a victim, it pierces it with its long proboscis and sucks the blood up through a nasal tube.
  12. The five favorite U.S. school lunches nationwide, according to the American School Food Service Association, are, in order, pizza, chicken nuggets, tacos, burritos, and hamburgers.
  13. Grasshopper Glacier in Montana was named for the grasshoppers that can still be seen frozen in the ice.
  14. Heinz Vinegar commissioned a survey of Americans' Easter-egg habits, and found that blue was the favorite hue of 35 percent of the respondents when dyeing eggs. Purple (18 percent), pink (17 percent), green (7 percent), and yellow and red (each 6 percent) trailed. After the egg hunt is over, 64 percent of Americans said they eat them and 22 percent throw them away. Ten percent don't color eggs, and 2 percent said they let them rot.
  15. At the height of the teddy bear's huge popularity in the early 1900s, there is record of one Michigan priest who publicly denounced the teddy as an insidious weapon. He claimed that the stuffed toy would lead to the destruction of the instincts of motherhood and eventual racial suicide.
  16. The little lump of flesh just forward of your ear canal, right next to your temple, is called a tragus.
  17. The tails of comets generally point away from the Sun whether the comet is approaching the sun or receding.
  18. The Curly Redwood Lodge is one of northern California's most unique lodges. It was built from one curly redwood tree that produced 57,000 board feet of lumber. The tree cut down in 1952 was 18 feet, 2 inches at the trunk. Curly redwood is unique because of the curly grain of the wood, unlike typical straight grained redwood.
  19. Carp are the largest of the minnows it's a big family, including over 300 American species, mainly small freshwater fishes. True minnows (family Cyprinidae) are soft-rayed fishes with teeth in their throats only.
  20. From the monarchs' investment of $6,000 in Columbus's first voyage, Spain had a return of $1,750,000 in gold after only one century.


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