A belief in witches -- and consequently witch-hunts -- have been found in every single inhabited continent of the world, and most of the peoples who have lived on it. But belief in witches is not entirely universal: the largest witch-free area is Siberia, covering about a third of the northern hemisphere, and the ancient Egyptians were notable for their lack of belief of witchcraft and embracing magic, instead of fearing magic.
In British English, raisins are also called "sultanas." That's because they were originally a foreign import, from the Ottoman Empire. In the UK and Australia, "Raisin Bran" cereal is "Sultana Bran."
Fiji boasts nearly 800 species of plants found nowhere else in the world. The most famous of these is the tagimoucia flower, which only grows on a single mountain ridge on the northern island Taveuni. According to legend, the flower's ruby red petals were stained that color by the tears of a Fijian princess. The tagimoucia flower has deep significance for many Fijians; it is featured in tales of romance and heartbreak, and appears on Fiji’s $50 bill.
Bamboos are the fastest-growing plants on earth. Trees such as oak or apple can take up to 120 years to reach maturity. Most bamboo trees take 5 to 7 years to reach maturity. Yet apple trees bloom every year. Bamboo blooms once every 60 to 130 years! And, even more mysteriously, all the bamboo of that species bloom at the same time. All over the world, from Japan to France to the USA. And records from China dating to 919 CE tell us this has been happening for a long, long time. It is as if the plants carry an an internal clock ticking away until the preset alarm goes off simultaneously. This mass flowering phenomenon is called "gregarious flowering." And botanists are still stumped as to why, exactly, bamboo does this --although of course there are plenty of hypotheses!
Cameroon's national soccer/football team, the Indomitable Lions, has qualified for FIFA competitions six times, more than any other African team. In 1990, they became the first team in Africa to make it to the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup. They went on to win the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!
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