Weird Facts

There’s a company that turns dead bodies into an ocean reef.

For those who romanticize a burial at sea, the company Eternal Reefs offers an innovative solution. It mixes the cremated remains of a person with concrete to create a “pearl” onto which loved ones can etch personal messages, handprints or (environmentally friendly) mementos. The pearl is then encased in a “reef ball” that is dropped into the sea, where it provides a new habitat for fish and other sea life, helping encourage a vibrant ecosystem.

The name “bonobo” resulted from a misspelling.

“Bonobo,” the common name for apes, may sound like some sort of translation of a meaningful term, but in fact, it was the result of a typo. Researchers reputedly first found the animals in the town of Bolobo, Zaire, in the ’20s, but the name of the place was misspelled “Bonobo” on the shipping crate in which the animal was placed, leading others to refer to the animal by the name, which stuck.

There is an annual Coffee Break Festival.

To stop and give the break its proper due, the town of Stoughton, Wisconsin, hosts an annual Coffee Break Festival. The gathering includes coffee tastings, “brew-offs,” and bean-spitting contests. Why Stoughton? According to city officials, the coffee break was “born” in the city in the late 1800s, as women working at the local Gunderson Tobacco Warehouse began the ritual of pausing during the workday to brew up some coffee and have a chat.

Vacuum cleaners were originally horse-drawn.

One of the earliest known vacuum cleaners was so large that it had to be hauled from house to house via a horse-drawn carriage. Its giant hoses were popped through the windows of customers, and a gas-powered motor generated the suction that pulled the dirt and debris into a glass container where onlookers could gawk at the volume of filth coming from their neighbors’ homes.