Monday, March 30, 2009

1001 (well, 15) Horrible Facts

I taught in a second grade classroom today and the teacher had a book on her desk called 1001 Horrible Facts. I love it! Lots of little nuggets of wisdom in there. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. A pregnant scorpion sometimes reabsorbs its babies instead of giving birth.

2. An octopus tentacle will keep wriggling for some time after being cut off.
but I still wonder how long "some time" is. Three seconds?(so what) Two hours? (THAT I would like to see.)

3. Land leeches in Asia can drop from trees onto people and suck out so much blood, the person DIES. Weren't those the leeches in Rambo 3 (or was it 4)? He was covered with them. Just some more evidence to show how incredibly tough John Rambo really is. Sly Stallone, you rock.

Hey, that's not Rambo!

4. A full grown python can swallow a pig whole. when I read that to Mitch he said, "A pig hole? I saw that on Fear Factor once."
I thought stuffing 33 cheeseballs in my mouth was impressive (and chokey. Don't take on this challenge when you're alone. Have someone with Heimlich Maneuver practice as your witness. Just take my word for it.)

5. A ribbon worm can eat 95% of its own body and still survive.

6. Turkey vultures poop on their legs to keep themselves cool. What a charming bird!

7. The female praying mantis begins to eat the male during mating. He keeps going, but she eventually eats all of him.

8. The Japanese beetle, found in Canada and the U.S., can eat through a human ear drum.

9. A flea can jump 30,000 times in a row. Come on, who counted that.

10. Occasionally, human babies are born with a full set of teeth. That is a horrible fact. One of the creepiest thing about children is that they lose their teeth, and the whole tooth fairy thing is crazy if you think about it. What is she doing with all those teeth? Her house must look like the ultimate serial-killer-treasure-hoard. Millions and millions of children's teeth. Beat that Jeffrey Dahmer!

11. Head lice can change color to match the hair they are hiding in.

12. You will produce 8700 gallons of urine in your lifetime.
I'm way ahead of schedule on that one.

13. A rat can fall from a 5 story building and walk away unharmed. How did they find that out? Did the rat finally break his leg and require crutches when they dropped him from the sixth floor? I wonder.

14. Early colonists in America used to clean their windows with rags dipped in urine. Mitch just got me some Sham WOW! s. I have an idea....

15. If you are ever trapped in an avalanche and can't tell which way is up, pee and see which way the stain goes. Gravity will pull it down. Handy little tip. Mitch thinks it would be easier and less disgusting just to see which way the spit in your mouth goes.

I recommend this book. I gave the kids a lot of "free reading" time so I could have some peace and quiet in order to read it. I sub in there next week too. I can't wait!


  1. I can't really vouch for any of these except item 2. Live octopus is a popular dish in Korea - sometimes whole, and sometimes just the tentacles. I can tell you without fear of contradiction that those things are just as lively at the end of the meal as they were at the start (sometimes about 30 or 45 minutes).

  2. "Live octopus is a popular dish in Korea"

    Thank you Jared, for horrible fact number 1002.

  3. It's not that awful, is it? I mean, there's usually like a quart of this very hot red chili sauce involved...put enough of that on *anything* and it will taste good.
    Another horrible fact, though, as long as I'm accumulating them: There are a small but notable number of deaths attributed to the FAILED consumption of live octopi in Korea. The victims sometimes fight back, you see. Score one for the cephalopods.

  4. I'm going to buy this book! Miles and my favorite book to read together is "Oh Yikes! History's Grossest, Wackiest Moments" There is information on where some words come from, like calling someone's hair a "rat's nest". People in France would use beef lard and bear grease to hold up their huge hairdos. And they would literally have rats and bugs in their hair at night while they slept.


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