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  • President John Tyler - Born During George Washington's Presidency - Has A Grandson Who Is Still Alive on Random Real Facts That Sound Made Up, But Aren't

    (#1) President John Tyler - Born During George Washington's Presidency - Has A Grandson Who Is Still Alive

    John Tyler was the 10th President of the United States, holding the nation's highest office between 1841 and 1845. But even though he was born when George Washington was still President and passed decades before the invention of the light bulb, Tyler has grandchildren who lived well into the 21st century.

    Tyler had a son - Lyon Gardiner Tyler - when he was around 63 in 1853. Likewise, the younger Tyler fathered children into his 70s. Two of them survived into the 2020s: Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. passed in 2020; his younger brother Harrison Ruffin Tyler remains the last surviving grandchild of John Tyler as of 2021.

  • The State Vegetable Of Oklahoma Is The Watermelon on Random Real Facts That Sound Made Up, But Aren't

    (#14) The State Vegetable Of Oklahoma Is The Watermelon

    There's nothing quite like biting into a nice juicy watermelon on a hot summer day. With that lovely feeling in mind it should come as no surprise that Oklahoma would make watermelon its official state vegetable. Except that it's a fruit.

    Oklahoma already had a state fruit, the strawberry, so to honor the state's love of watermelon and its watermelon growing industry a senator introduced a bill in 2007 to name the melon the state vegetable, arguing that it's in the same family as the cucumber, so close enough. The bill passed and watermelon's state vegetable status was here to stay, although it is challenged from time to time.

  • The Man Who Bought Segway, Inc. Passed In A Fatal Segway Accident on Random Real Facts That Sound Made Up, But Aren't

    (#8) The Man Who Bought Segway, Inc. Passed In A Fatal Segway Accident

    In January 2010, British millionaire, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Jimi Heselden purchased Segway, Inc. the company that produced Segways, the personal motorized vehicles that run on two wheels.

    But Heselden's enthusiasm for the machines may have been his downfall. Only nine months later, he was involved in a Segway accident that took his life.

    Heselden was on his Segway in England when he was trying to move out of the way for a pedestrian. In the process, he apparently lost control of the machine or misjudged his surrounding space - Heselden plummeted off a cliff and into a river. His injuries were fatal.

  • The United States Is Less Than Three Miles Away From Russia on Random Real Facts That Sound Made Up, But Aren't

    (#4) The United States Is Less Than Three Miles Away From Russia

    The United States and Russia are separated by the Bering Strait - and the tiny Diomede Islands mark the point where the two countries are closest together. The island of Big Diomede is Russian territory, while - less than three miles away - the island of Little Diomede is American. 

    Though the two islands are technically located in separate countries, indigenous families who called them home historically made little distinction between them. Cold War tensions, however, brought about a stricter border, thus partitioning the indigenous community.

  • Astronauts Have Never Eaten Astronaut Ice Cream In Space on Random Real Facts That Sound Made Up, But Aren't

    (#13) Astronauts Have Never Eaten Astronaut Ice Cream In Space

    That crumbly, freeze-dried, ice cream treat that graces the walls of gift shops in science museums may call itself astronaut ice cream, but it is not eaten by astronauts. Those crumbs and dust from the freeze-dried bars would actually make it more unsuitable for a space food than regular ice cream.

    It was developed under contract to NASA for the 1968 Apollo 7 mission, and the sole surviving member of that mission, Walt Cunningham, straight up says, "We never had that stuff." Most likely it was tested on the ground before the mission and got the boot before it ever made it on board. When astronauts want an ice cream treat these days, they reach for regular ice cream. Freezers were included on International Space Station resupply missions starting in 2007.

  • Scotland's National Animal Is The Unicorn on Random Real Facts That Sound Made Up, But Aren't

    (#11) Scotland's National Animal Is The Unicorn

    It's the land of Highland cows, Shetland ponies, collies, and terriers, but Scotland's actual national animal is a creature of myth, legend, and fantasy: the unicorn. Unicorns appear on the royal arms of Scotland, as well as the royal arms of the United Kingdom, alongside the English lion.

    In the Middle Ages, the unicorn symbolized power and purity. Moreover, unicorns were reputed to have magical properties. Many people in the medieval and early modern world even believed that unicorn horns, which were actually narwhal tusks that enterprising Viking traders peddled around Europe, could counteract the effects of poison.

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