50 Real-Life Stories That Are Nothing Short Of ‘Fascinating’
No matter how many books you read, documentaries you watch, people you know and podcasts you listen to, there will always be more information to learn about our world. And as it turns out, plenty of that info is actually incredibly interesting!
We took a trip to the All Things Fascinating X account to find some of the best fun facts and amazing true stories you may have never heard before, pandas. So enjoy scrolling through this list that's sure to teach you something new, and remember to upvote the information you can’t believe is true!
This Wild Orangutan Tried To Save A Man From A Snake Infested Pond Believing That He Was In Danger. The Man Was Actually There To Remove Snakes From The Pond To Keep The Apes Safe. This Ape Made Repeated Attempts To Help The Man, By Reaching Out His Hand
In 2019, A 5-Year-Old Michigan Boy Invitied His Kindergarden Class To Witness His Adoption. His Entire Class Showed Up
Chen Si Is A Man Who Spends His Weekends Visiting The Largest Bridge In China To Prevent People From Jumping. He Has Saved Over 300 People
The All Things Fascinating X (formerly Twitter) account has a simple goal: sharing “fascinating facts, stories and videos.” And although it has only been around since 2021, it has already shared over 900 posts and amassed nearly 100k followers. The creators even have a YouTube account and Instagram page sharing even more information about the world you might not know but would probably like to!
When it comes to learning fun facts, it can be challenging to know where to start. But according to J. Keith van Straaten, Host, Co-Creator, Co-Producer and Co-Writer of the Go Fact Yourself podcast, we should never stop seeking out new information. “What makes life interesting and expansive is a willingness to examine the stories we tell ourselves -- and a willingness to change the narrative," J. Keith told Bored Panda in a previous interview.
In 2001, Kenny Waters, A Man Wrongfully Imprisoned For 18 Years, Was Finally Released After His High School Drop Out Sister Went To Law School, So That She Could Prove His Innocence
In 1996, A Mother Cat Named Scarlett Rescued All 5 Of Her Kittens From A Building Burning In NYC. She Walked Through Flames 5 Times To Rescue Each One
Scarlett had been severely burned in the process of pulling her kittens from the fire. Her eyes were blistered shut, her ears and paws burned, and her coat highly singed.
The majority of her facial hair had been burnt away. After saving the kittens she was seen to touch each of her kittens with her nose to ensure they were all there, as the blisters on her eyes kept her from being able to see them, and then she collapsed unconscious.
Scarlett and her kittens were then taken to a vet and were treated for injuries.
The weakest of the kittens, a white-coated, died of a virus a month after the fire. However, after three months of treatment and recovery, Scarlett and her surviving kittens were well enough to be adopted.
Scarlett died on October 11, 2008, while with her adoptive family in Brooklyn.
Daniel Kish Is A Blind Man Had To Have His Eyes Removed Before He Was 13 Months Old Because Of Eye Cancer
He's mastered the ability of echolocation by clicking his tongue and listening to the echoes.
He can ride his bike in traffic, recognize a building from as far away as 1000ft, differentiate specific kinds of cars. He is able to live a relatively normal life.
Kish and his organization have also taught a form of echolocation to at least 500 blind children around the world.
"What usually makes a fact fun is that it challenges an existing narrative. In a small way, fun and random facts remind us to stay humble and be open to being surprised," J. Keith explained. "Plus, if you need something to talk about at a party or on a date, you've always got something in your pocket."
And there are no fun facts that aren’t worth knowing, as the podcast host shared that he knows plenty of facts that might make people wonder why in the world he knows that information. “A few [strange facts] that come to mind: Famed astronomer Carl Sagan sued Apple for calling him a butt-head. The Bellagio Hotel's lake is wider than the Titanic was long. The currency of the Cook Islands featured a topless woman riding a shark... Harley-Davidson once sold its own fragrance called Black Fire,” J. Keith previously told Bored Panda.
In 2000, Zanjeer, A Mumbai Police Dog, Was Was Honored With A Full State Funeral When He Died
During the time of the 1993 Bombay bombings in March, Zanjeer helped avert at least three more attacks in Bombay, Mumbra, and Thane.
The first incident happened on 15 March 1993 when Zanjeer alerted his handlers to a scooter bomb on Dhanji Street that contained RDX explosives and gelatin sticks.
He was then called to the scene of ten unclaimed suitcases outside the Siddhivinayak Temple where the dog detected three Type 56 rifles, five 9-mm pistols, and 200 grenades marked "Arges 69".
Days later, Zanjeer investigated two suitcases at the Zaveri Bazaar that contained nine Type 56 rifles.
Over the course of his career he detected more than 2,329kg of explosives, 249 hand grenades, and 6406 rounds of live ammunition.
Zanjeer developed bone cancer and died in November 2000.
In 2018, A Heroic Dad, Brad Lewis, Saved His Youngest Son From A Fatal Fall From A Balcony By Jumping After Him And Cradling Him To His Chest, Taking The Brunt Of The Impact
He suffered a fractured skull among other injuries.
The incident happened when his son fired a toy Nerf gun and chased after the bullet onto the balcony - only for him to slip and lose his footing.
Both Brad and his son made a full recovery.
In 2009, Sgt. Dakota Meyer Disobeyed A Direct Order To Pull Back From His Position And Instead Rescued Wounded Soldiers From A Firefight Nearby
He went back five times, saving the lives of 36 soldiers. When asked why he did what he did, he said: That's what you do for a brother.
While there are plenty of ways we can acquire interesting information these days, J. Keith says him and his co-host Helen Hong spend dozens of hours searching the internet and visiting the library for each episode of their show. “A great resource for lesser-known facts are interviews on YouTube," J. Keith noted. "You pick up a lot in a spoken discussion that hasn't already been disseminated in articles. Of course, when possible, we go to the sources themselves -- making calls to professors and authors to make sure we have our facts straight."
In 2007, Us Marine, Brian Dennis Befriended A Stray Desert Dog Called Nubs In Iraq. After The Dog Was Stabbed With A Screwdriver, The Marine Nursed Him Back To Health
The two developed such a bond that when the unit left, Nubs picked up the scent and walked 70 miles through Iraqi desert warzone to be with him.
Nubs' miraculous journey forced the Marine's hand, and Dennis and his fellow Marines unanimously decided to keep the animal, building a doghouse at the camp.
When two military police officers told Dennis the dog could not stay at the camp, he decided the only way to properly keep the animal was to get it to the United States.
Dennis' family and close friends helped raise $3,500 to fly the dog to San Diego.
In 1836, The Directors Of The Bank Of England Received An Anonymous Letter, In Which The Author Claimed To Have Direct Access To The Gold In The Bank
The directors assumed this to be a joke and simply ignored it.
However, sometime later, they received another letter, in which the enigmatic author offered to meet them at an hour of their choosing inside the main gold vault.
According to the bank’s website, the directors were intrigued but considered it impossible for someone to break into the vault without their knowledge.
Nevertheless, they agreed to the meeting and gathered together one evening, inside the vault as agreed.
To their great surprise, at the appointed time, a noise was heard beneath the floorboards, and a man popped up underneath their feet.
He was a sewer worker who had been working on repairs close to the Bank of England site at Threadneedle Street.
During his routine inspection, he had discovered an old drain that led directly underneath the gold vault inside the bank itself.
After a quick stock take, they realized that the sewer worker had not taken anything from the vault, despite having multiple opportunities to do so.
As a reward for his honesty, the directors gifted him £800, a sum that equates to £80,000 in today’s money.
Barry Marshall Was Convinced That The Helicobacter Pylori Bacteria Caused Stomach Ulcers, But No One Believed Him
Since it was illegal to test his theory on humans, he drank the bacteria himself and developed ulcers within days.
He treated them with antibiotics and we on to win a Nobel prize in 2005.
But no matter how much research J. Keith does for his podcast, he’s not worried about becoming bored of fun facts any time soon. “Our show is based on the interests that our guests have, many of which I don't share. So there's always more facts to investigate and more knowledge to celebrate," he previously told Bored Panda.
"'Go Fact Yourself' uses trivia about topics our guests love, to bring people together with experts on that topic. It's always a point of pride when we ask a question of our guest that even our expert didn't know the answer to," J. Keith shared. "Or to discover something NOBODY knew about (Did you know Celine Dion sang the wrong words to one of her songs on a best-selling album??)"
In 2012, A German Kindergarten Teacher Named Ina Koenig Jumped Down A 75-Foot Mine Shaft When A 3-Year-Old Student Of Hers Fell Into It
The shaft was filled with cold water, but Koenig managed to keep the child's head above the surface for over 2 hours, saving his life.
In Cluj, Romania, You Can Pay For Your Bus Ticket By Doing 20 Squats. Disabled And Elderly People Get To Ride For Free
Earlier This Year, A Portuguese Dog Named Bobi, Set The Record For The Worlds Oldest Dog. He’s 30 Years Old
For another previous Bored Panda article featuring fascinating fun facts, we got in touch with fellow lover of fun facts and author of How to Kill an Earworm, Jana Louise Smit. When it comes to why we should never stop learning, Smit says, "Continuous learning makes you smarter and can ground you in a world where people are being swept away by false stories. I believe that fun facts make the best teacher. They’ll educate, inform, and open the mind merely by being entertaining."
On April 1, 2001, Hooters Offered Employees The Chance To Win A Toyota As Part Of A Beer Sales Contest
One employee called Jodee Beery knocked it out of the park with sales and ended up winning the contest.
But instead of a car, she got a small package with a toy Yoda inside and
Hooters claimed the entire contest was only an April Fools’ joke.
A year later Berry and Gulf Coast Wings, Inc., the corporate owner of the restaurant, ended up with a settlement at court.
Berry cited breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation and walked out with an undisclosed sum of money in her pockets.
David Noll, her attorney, was quoted on saying that the amount of money the woman received would allow Jodee to “pick out whatever type of Toyota she wants.”
In 1993, A Man Named James Scott Purposely Damaged A Levee And Caused A Massive Flood Of The Mississippi River Only To Stall His Wife From Coming Home So That He Could Party
His actions flooded 14,000 acres of farmland, destroyed buildings, and closed a bridge. He was convicted of "intentionally causing a catastrophe" and is still in prison serving a life sentence.
Richard Batista Gave His Wife A Kidney. Four Years Later, She Filed For A Divorce. During Court, Richard Demanded She Return His Kidney Or Pay $1.5 Million
In 2001, Dawnell Batista was suffering from kidney disease and was in need of a transplant.
Richard, her husband at the time, offered to donate one of his kidneys. The transplant was a success, and Dawnell's health improved significantly.
However, the couple's marriage began to deteriorate, and they eventually divorced in 2005.
During the divorce proceedings, Richard made the surprising demand that Dawnell return the kidney he had donated to her or pay $1.5M in compensation, arguing that it was a gift given in the expectation of love and companionship, which had not been fulfilled.
It was ruled that organs in the United States may not be bought or sold, and donating one is considered a gift.
Richard did not get his kidney back or any compensation.
Smit also shared why she was inspired to write a book featuring psychology fun facts we all should know. "I want people to fall in love with the wonderful rabbit hole of psychology and that means giving them something of value, something that will keep their eyes glued to the page," she explained. "For this reason, I decided to write a book packed with unusual facts that provide quick shortcuts to a deeper understanding of the human mind."
In 1994, A 73-Year-Old Man Who Was ‘Too Blind’ To Get A Driver's License Drove 240 Miles From Northwestern Iowa To Southwestern Wisconsin, On A 1966 John Deere Lawnmower To Visit His Brother, Who Recently Had A Stroke
On good days he averaged about five miles an hour along U.S. 18. But about four days into the trip, the engine failed on his mower in West Bend, 21 miles from where he had started in Laurens, Iowa.
Straight spent $250 replacing points, the condenser, plugs, the generator and the starter.
He made it to Charles City, 90 miles from West Bend, when he ran out of money in mid-July, and had to camp out until his next Social Security check arrived.
By Aug. 15, he had made it to within two miles of his brother's house near Blue River, but then his mower broke down again. A farmer helped him push it the rest of the way.
In total, the journey took six weeks, and he inspired the 1999 film ‘The Straight Story.’
Li Jingzhi, A Chinese Woman, Was Reunited With Her Son, Jia Jia, Who Was Kidnapped In 1988
On October 17, 1988, Jia Jia's father, known by his surname Mao, took the two-year-old boy out to play in their neighbourhood in the city of Xi'an.
Mr Mao then walked into a hotel to ask for a cup of water for the thirsty toddler, but when he returned, he realised his son had gone missing.
His mother then spent more than 32 years travelling across all of China, through 20 provinces and hundreds of towns looking for him.
During her quest, she helped reunite 4 different children with their families before eventually finding her own son.
It turns out Jia Jia had been sold to a family in Sichuan in south-western China for 6,000 yuan.
Smit also shared some of the most interesting information she’s come across through all of her research. Apparently, mosh pits are a topic she found particularly fascinating. “Like most people, I assumed mosh pits happened when music fans lost their minds during a live performance, simple as that. I was surprised to learn that this 'mindless' behavior is actually a microcosm with a complex social psychology," Smit explained.
On April 19th 1995, A Man Named Mcarthur Wheeler Robbed A Bank With Lemon Juice On His Face As A Disguise
Since he knew lemon juice could be used as invisible ink, he was sure it would make his face invisible on the CCTV. He smiled at each camera he saw.
Later that night, the police arrested him.
When they showed him the CCTV footage, Wheeler stared in disbelief. He said to the officers "but I wore the juice."
Mt. Fuji From The International Space Station
In 2015, Aitabdel Salem, A 41-Year-Old From Queens, Spent 5 Months In Jail At Rikers Island, One Of The Country's Most Notorious Prisons, Not Knowing That His Bail Was Just $2
Salem was initially jailed on a $25,000 bail for allegedly attacking a police officer who was arresting him on charges of shoplifting on November 21, 2014.
Prosecutors for the case, however, failed to land an indictment, and a judge ordered Salem's release on November 28, 2014, just one week after his arrest.
Salem, however, still had to pay two $1 bail charges for two unrelated tampering and mischief charges.
The only problem: Salem didn't know just $2 could set him free. He remained in the overcrowded prison until May 2015.
And if you need some advice or inspiration to keep you on the path of being a lifelong learner, Smit says, “Choose a topic that you’re already interested in, but don’t hesitate to dive into something completely novel every now and again. Both have the ability to keep you engaged and learning for life."
In 2001, Actor Mark Ruffalo Had A Realistic Dream That He Had A Brain Tumour
Despite no previous signs, he went to see a doctor due to the vividness of his dream.
The doctor booked him in for a CAT scan & discovered that Ruffalo did indeed have a brain tumor behind his ear, which was subsequently removed.
Ruffalo addressed the issue in 2011 with W magazine stating: “You just deal with it. You go on. I’m fine now, I only lost my hearing in one ear. I see it as kind of a gift in a weird way. Your priorities become very clear. My relationship to acting became very clear.”
4000 Years Old Ancient Babylonian Clay Tablet Which Is A Customer's Letter Complaining About Sub-Standard Copper And Wanting A Refund. It Is Considered To Be The Oldest Known Written Complaint
Harrison Okene Spent 60 Hours Underwater In Darkness After His Boat Capsized 20 Miles Off The Coast Of Nigeria And Sank To The Bottom Of The Ocean. He Was Discovered Alive By Divers Who Were Sent To Recover Dead Bodies
Have you learned something new from this list, pandas? We hope you’re enjoying reading all of these fascinating fun facts and stories, and be sure to keep upvoting all of your favorites! Let us know in the comments if you’ve got any more amusing facts to share, and then if you’re interested in learning even more, we recommend checking out this Bored Panda article featuring weird fun facts!
This Is Sergio Gutiérrez Benítez, Better Known As Fray Tormenta, Priest Who Wrestled To Feed Orphaned Children. Inspiration For Nacho Libre Movie
A Colombian Woman Named Marina Chapman Was Raised By Capuchin Monkeys For 5 Years After Being Abandoned In The Jungle
She learned to scale trees, catch birds and rabbits with her bare hands, and lived as one of them until she was discovered by hunters.
Mercy Dogs Served In Both World Wars And Saved Countless Lives In The Process
In 1724, Margaret Dickson Was Hanged But Later Found Still Alive. She Then Was Allowed To Go Free Because Under Scots Law. Her Punishment Had Been Carried Out, She Could Not Be Executed For A 2nd Time For The Same Crime
A Man Who Thought He Was Suffering From Lung Cancer Underwent Urgent Surgery To Remove A Cancerous Growth In His Lungs. The Surgeons Discovered The Man Did Not Have Lung Cancer, The 'Growth' Was Actually Just A Toy Traffic Cone He Inhaled 40 Years Ago
This Is A Real Picture Taken By Photographer Keinichi Ohno. It's A Single Photo Of A Bird Standing At The Edge Of Some Water With A Wall And Its Reflection Creating A Fascinating Optical Illusion
Ann Hodges Shows Off Her Bruise After Being Hit By A Meteorite, 1954
In Sylacauga, Alabama in 1954, Ann Hodges was napping on her couch, when a softball-size hunk of black rock broke through the ceiling, bounced off her radio console, and hit her in the thigh, leaving a very large bruise.
A geologist working in the area was called to the scene and determined the object was a meteorite weighing 8.5 pounds and measuring seven inches in length.
Ann Elizabeth Hodges is the first documented case of a human struck by a meteorite.
On April 28, 1988, The Roof Of An Aloha Airlines Jet Ripped Off At 24,000 Feet, But The Plane Still Managed To Land. There Was One Fatality
In 2016, Michael Orchard Broke Into His Neighbour's Burning House And Rescued Their Dog. However, It Turned Out That The Dog Didn't Need Saving Because The House Was Not On Fire
The "fire” was part of a hallucination he was experiencing after taking mistakenly mixing his cough medicine with LSD.
In 1863, Jacob Miller, A Union Army Soldier From The 9th Indiana Infantry, Survived Being Shot In The Head During The Civil War
On Sept. 19, 1863, during the battle of Chickamauga, a musket ball pierced him between the eyes, he fell backward and was left for dead on the battlefield.
He distinctly recalled his captain say, “It’s no use to remove poor Miller, for he is dead.”
Miller relayed his story and personal experiences in an interview he gave to a Joliet, Illinois, newspaper in 1911:
“At last, I became conscious and raised up in a sitting position. Then I began to feel my wound," Miller recalled. "I found my left eye out of its place and tried to place it back, but I had to move the crushed bone back as together as near together as I could first. Then I got the eye in its proper place. I then bandaged the eye the best I could with my bandana.”
Miller had been reported dead by his captain, and his name was printed in the newspapers among the killed. Two months later, friends and family finally received word from Miller that he was alive.
He received a pension from the government and could not work because of his wound. He married and had a son.
This Oak Door Belonging To Westminster Abbey Is The Oldest Door In Great Britain
It has been standing for over 950 years, dating back to the reign of Edward the Confessor in the 1050s. The door was made from a single oak tree.
In 2017, German Police In Frankfurt Found A Car Belonging To A 76-Year- Old Man Who Had Forgotten Where He Parked It, 20 Years Earlier
This Is A Dog With A Myostatin Deficiency, Which Allows For Unrestricted Muscle Growth
When Steve Fugate Lost His Two Children, He Hiked Across The United States For Over 12 Years With A Sign That Said "Love Life" To Remind People That They Can Always Overcome Life's Hardships, With The Right Mindset And To Never Give Up
Fugate said it takes him approximately 6 to 8 months to walk across the U.S. averaging anywhere between 7 to 14 miles a day and resting for about two days at a time. Fugate's first walk was back in 2001.
The Largest And The Most Populated City On Earth, Tokyo, Japan
There Was A Fad In The 1950's Called Booth Stuffing Where Teens Would Try To Stuff Themselves In Phone Booths
A Single Red And White Colored Home On A Block Bordering The Ocean In Maui Miraculously Survived The Wildfires That Destroyed The Resort City Of Lahaina
The Inventor Of Vaseline, Robert Chesebrough, Was Such A Firm Believer In Its Medicinal Properties That He Claimed To Have Eaten A Spoonful Of It A Day
During a bout of pleurisy in his 50s, he ordered his nurse to cover him from head to toe in the substance, and soon recovered.
He lived to be 96 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York City.