501 Facts from a Neighbouring Reality

388. The best way to determine the gender of a mollusc is to time how long it takes it to make a decision.

389. Alexander the Great had three nipples, but only one of them was on his chest.

390. On average, the staff at the World Health Organization take 63 sick days a year each.

391. During World War II German submarine commanders enforced a rule forbidding jokes, puns and tickling because it used up too much oxygen.

392. A recent survey in a pub in Aberdeen, Scotland, revealed that 16% of the regular clientele had absolutely no idea what anyone else was saying, and that of that 16%, 93% felt that it probably didn’t matter.

393. It took Jane Austen’s agent 3 months to persuade her that the title ‘Narcissism and Bigotry’ needed to be toned down a bit.

394. The original motive for understanding the human genome was to prevent any more people being born with a silly face.

395. A defective compass and a hangover resulted in North Carolina originally being south of South Carolina.

396. Most lexicographers are in agreement that by 2025, the most commonly-used curse word will begin with a ‘z’.

397. FIFA is considering soccer with three teams played on a triangular pitch.

398. 14% of the uses of the word ‘constipation’ ought to have been ‘constellation.’

399. Every year 0.04% of fictional characters escape their book and exist in a sort of quasi-ethereal beta state, accounting for about 95% of unexpected furniture noises.

400. 86% of disputes could be avoided if mobile phone numbers were changed to binary.

401. An octogenarian in Sicily who claims that he once assassinated a man using only his ears, explained to a journalist in 1987 that his victim was used to being ignored and that the shock of being listened to for 20 minutes straight stopped his heart.

402. 23% of pensioners in Spain are afraid to put their phones into flight mode in case they fly off.

403. A mouse-dropping mistaken for a comma on the United States Declaration of Independence led to a tax loophole which was successfully exploited to the tune of $4bn by a fast-food conglomerate.

404. Thanks to the Eurovision Song Contest, by 2075 all possible combinations of instruments, notes, chords, lyrics and weird costumes will have been used so that it will no longer be possible to write an original song.

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