Blue Monday: Cheering up the Office with Random Facts

Balloons released in the sky

The “Random Fact of the Day” is a fun topic for discussion in the TestReach office that began in July 2018, engaging the team in some light hearted conversation around the office or on a coffee break. Today, the 21st January, is otherwise known as ‘Blue Monday’ - aka the most depressing day of the year. Blue Monday is the name given to the Monday that falls in the last full week of January, claimed to be the most depressing day of the year due to the shorter days and lack of sunlight in the winter months.

So for today’s blog post we thought we would share some of the interesting random facts we’ve learned and discussed at TestReach over the past year, with the hope it makes the day less gloomy for all! So here are 40 random and odd facts for you to enjoy. We’ve also included a few strange facts about e-Assessment that have been contributed by leading assessment experts to our “Ask the Experts” blog series.

We hope you enjoy these strange facts and find that Blue Monday is more cheerful than anticipated.

40 Random and Strange Facts

  • 1. Monday is the only day of the week with a single-word anagram (‘dynamo’).
  • 2. Nicholas Cage once bought a pet octopus because he sincerely thought it might help with his acting.
  • 3. The wood frog and some other animals have the ability to freeze solid during winter, thaw in the spring and remain perfectly healthy.
  • 4. Sean Connery was once stopped by a policeman for speeding. The policeman’s name was Sergeant James Bond.
  • 5. In 2015, a man successfully sued Red Bull stating that after 10 years of consuming the product, he received no wings, enhanced physical nor intellectual performance.
  • 6. Donald duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn’t wear pants.
  • 7. The first webcam was created in Cambridge to check the status of a coffee pot.
  • 8. An exam candidate once wrote to the examiner, “My Dad says that if I don’t write anything in this paper, you won’t get paid. Is this enough?”
  • 9. Guinness estimates that 93,000 litres of beer are lost in facial hair each year in the UK alone.
  • 10. Scientists have created glow-in-the-dark cats by inserting the jellyfish protein that codes for bioluminescence into their genome.
  • 11. At a test centre in Malawi a group of students were sitting their A Level Physics exam. When the marker opened the scripts to mark them, there was a note saying that the students had received 10 minutes extra time because the roof had blown off the test centre during the exam.
  • 12. The parody national anthem of Kazakhstan from the movie "Borat" was accidentally downloaded and played in 2012 for a Kazakh gold medalist.
  • 13. O.J. Simpson almost played the Terminator, but James Cameron thought his persona was “too pleasant” to portray such a dark character.
  • 14. There's a lizard known as Jesus Christ Lizard due to its ability to run on the water.
  • 15. It would take you 100 days to see every piece of art in the Louvre, if you spent 30 seconds at each piece, all day every day for 100 days.
  • 16. Steve Jobs used to soak his feet in toilets to relieve stress.
  • 17. A dozen camels were disqualified in 2018 from a Saudi beauty pageant for receiving Botox injections to make them more attractive.
  • 18. In 2009 a man raced South Africa’s broadband by sending a 4GB file over the internet and a 4GB memory stick 80 km via pigeon. The pigeon won.
  • 19. Charlie Chaplin once entered a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest at a San Francisco theatre and lost.
  • 20. Since cats sleep about sixteen hours a day, a nine year old cat has only been awake about three years.
  • 21. John Cleese’s father’s surname was Cheese. Cleese grew up 10 miles from Cheddar and his best friend at school was called Barney Butter.
  • 22. When United Airlines broke a man's $4500 guitar and refused to pay for it in 2009, he wrote a protest song. Over the next 4 weeks, United's stock price fell 10%, costing stockholders $180 million.
  • 23. Starfish do not have blood. Their blood is actually filtered sea water.
  • 24. Alligators, Flounders and Crocodiles show almost no signs of aging, or they are ‘biologically immortal’. Animals like these only die due to diseases, accidents or predators.
  • 25. In South Korea, there is a fake prison where overworked office workers and students can take a break for a day or two. ‘Inmates’ are not allowed to talk with each other or use mobile phones.
  • 26. The Dance Fever of 1518 was a month-long plague of inexplicable dancing in Strasbourg, in which hundreds of people danced for about a month for no apparent reason. Several of them danced themselves to death.
  • 27. In 1995, a group of woodpeckers delayed the launch of NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery after they made 71 holes in its foam insulation. Following the incident, NASA employed decoy owls to keep their spacecraft safe.
  • 28. Jerry Parr, the Secret Service agent who helped save Ronald Reagan during an assassination attempt in 1981, was inspired to become an agent after watching The Code of the Secret Service (1939) — a film starring Ronald Reagan.
  • 29. A Swedish woman lost her wedding ring, and found it 16 years later - growing on a carrot in her garden.
  • 30. J.K. Simmons has been the voice of the Yellow Peanut M&M since the late 1990s.
  • 31. The "sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick" is believed to be the toughest tongue twister in the English language.
  • 32. Sharks are older than trees, and trees are older than grass. Sharks come in at 400 million years old, and trees come in at around 350 million years old. Grass comes in at only 55 millions years old, only five million years older than one of the newest shark species, the hammerhead (50 million years old).
  • 33. A face-recognition software determined that Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa is 83% happy, 9% disgusted, 6% fearful, and 2% angry.
  • 34. Yoda and Miss Piggy were both voiced by the same person.
  • 35. By the time Queen Cleopatra took the throne, the great pyramids were already ancient, crumbling ruins.
  • 36. In 2006, the world’s tallest man was recruited to stick his arm down two dolphins’ throats and retrieve dangerous shards of plastic, saving their lives.
  • 37. The fingerprints of a koala are so indistinguishable from humans that they have on occasion been confused at a crime scene.
  • 38. Rainbows are actually circular. We don't typically see a full circle rainbow because the Earth's horizon blocks the lower part.
  • 39. In 2008, a British 19-year-old officially changed his name to "Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined."
  • 40. Actor Frankie Muniz suffers from long term memory loss and doesn't remember being on Malcolm in the Middle.

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