WTF Fun Fact 13419 – The Train Fueled by Ramen

Buckle up because we’re taking a train ride fueled by ramen. Yes, the noodly food with the broth that can’t be beat.

The magic of ramen

It turns out that the magic of ramen in Japan extends beyond the bowl. Japan’s love affair with ramen has led to an invention that’s a perfect fusion of ingenuity and sustainability: the ramen-fueled train.

In Japan’s Miyazaki Prefecture, there’s a popular sightseeing train on the Amaterasu Railway. It takes you through scenic landscapes in style. And it runs on an unexpected sustainable fuel source: leftover ramen oil!

Yes, you read it right – the waste oil from ramen noodles is now a green energy source.

How does a train fueled by ramen work?

So, how does a bowl of ramen morph into train fuel?

According to Mental Floss (cited below) reporting from My Modern Met:

“As of the latter half of 2022, it runs on tonkotsu ramen broth salvaged from local restaurants. A Japanese trucking company called Nishida Logistics extracts pork fat from the stock and refines it; it’s then mixed with old oils used to fry foods like tempura. The final formula consists of 90 percent cooking oil and 10 percent ramen broth lard.”

Ramen as fuel for green energy

Now, let’s shine the spotlight on the ecological benefits of this ramen revolution. Every liter of biodiesel reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 2.5 kg compared to regular diesel. In one year, the train is estimated to utilize around 21,000 liters of biodiesel. It’s not just a drop in the ocean. It’s a significant leap towards carbon neutrality.

But, the benefits of this initiative extend beyond reducing carbon footprints. By utilizing waste oil, it helps reduce disposal costs and risks associated with waste oil. Simultaneously, it offers an additional income stream to ramen shops that otherwise would have to pay to dispose of the excess oil.

Another noteworthy facet of this project is its community involvement. The biodiesel is sourced from local ramen shops, promoting a sense of community participation in sustainable practices.

Ramen power

While the ramen-fueled train is a unique case, it represents a broader shift towards sustainable energy sources in transportation. The ingenuity of using a readily available waste product showcases the limitless possibilities for sustainable energy.

From a bowl of ramen to the sweeping landscapes of the town of Takachiho, the journey of this energy-efficient train tells a tale of environmental stewardship. The ramen-fueled train is not just a sightseeing marvel; it stands as a testament to Japan’s pioneering spirit in tackling environmental challenges head-on.

So, the next time you find yourself in Japan, relishing a bowl of delicious ramen, remember – you’re not just feeding your stomach, but also fuelling a greener future. Now, that’s food for thought!

 WTF fun facts

Source: “This Tourist Train in Japan Is Fueled By Salvaged Ramen Broth” — Mental Floss

WTF Fun Fact 13415 – World’s Oldest Dog

If dog years are to be believed, Bobi, the world’s oldest dog, would be pushing towards a ripe 217 years old. However, in human years, Bobi has just celebrated a resounding 31st birthday.

The story of the world’s oldest dog

Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, a breed of Portuguese dog, has surpassed all expectations and defied age itself. Bobi’s owners have cared for him with a devotion that has no doubt added to his longevity.

Bobi’s journey started on 11 May 1992, and he’s been going strong ever since. The average life expectancy for a dog is 12 – 14 years, and the pup has more than doubled that! Imagine how wonderful it would be to have your best friend by your side for three decades. Almost none of us are that lucky when it comes to furry friends, sadly.

Bobi’s family planned a big birthday bash for him in May of 2023. They said it would be a very traditional Portuguese party.

A second life

Bobi has lived his entire life with the same family – the Costa family – in the rural village of Conqueiros. That’s located in the picturesque area of Leiria, in western Portugal.

His Guinness Book of World Records broke that of Bluey, an Australian cattle dog who lived for 29 years and 5 months between 1910 and 1939. Bluey held his record for a century!

As Bobi continues to defy age and inspire us all, his story serves as a reminder of the profound impact that love, care, and companionship can have on our furry friends. With each passing day, Bobi demonstrates the immeasurable joy and boundless happiness that our beloved pets bring into our lives.

Let’s celebrate Bobi’s exceptional journey and cherish the moments we share with our own cherished companions. But hold the visitors – Bobi is largely in good health, but his vet is worried about him being stressed by all of the people who have come by recently to take a photo with the old boy.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Bobi, the world’s oldest dog, celebrates 31st birthday” — CNN

WTF Fun Fact 13412 – Competitive Trash Collecting

In Japan, an unexpected trend has taken hold: Competitive Trash Collecting.

Have you ever considered trash collection to be a high-octane, competitive sport? Probably not, but this isn’t just your run-of-the-mill cleaning drive – we’re talking about an adrenaline-fueled race against time with the goal of making Japan cleaner, one piece of trash at a time.

The pursuit of cleanliness

Japan is renowned for its cleanliness and orderly society, but competitive trash collecting? This concept adds a fresh and thrilling layer to Japan’s ongoing pursuit of cleanliness. So, buckle up and get ready for a wild ride into the world of trash collection gone extreme!

Now, let’s answer the burning question: What is competitive trash collecting? As highlighted in a feature on Yup That Exists (cited below), it’s a dazzling, fast-paced sport where teams compete to collect as much trash as possible within a set time frame. Picture it as a kind of “trash triathlon” – part race, part scavenger hunt, and all parts fun and community service.

What is competitive trash collecting?

The sport injects a dose of high energy and camaraderie into the otherwise mundane task of picking up trash. Teams, donned in matching outfits, dash about parks and public spaces, armed with trash grabbers and bags. Their goal? To collect more trash than their competitors before the clock runs out.

At its core, competitive trash collecting in Japan is a celebration of environmental stewardship. It’s a testament to the national ethos of cleanliness and respect for public spaces. It’s also a testament to Japan’s knack for turning anything into a challenge.

But the beauty of this sport extends beyond mere competition. It’s also about rallying communities around a shared cause, inspiring individuals to take ownership of their surroundings, and promoting environmental awareness in a fun, engaging way.

The social impact of this trend is not to be underestimated either. The competitive element provides a bonding experience for participants while raising public awareness about waste management. It’s a win-win – good for the environment, great for community spirit!

Why is this even a thing?

One might wonder, how did something so peculiar come about? Well, it seems the Japanese have an uncanny talent for blending tradition and innovation. Cleanliness and respect for one’s surroundings are deeply embedded in the culture. Throw in a dash of Japanese ingenuity, and you have a sport that’s just as exhilarating as it is eco-friendly!

In a world grappling with waste management issues, this initiative shines as a beacon of hope. Who knew that tackling trash could be turned into a sport? It’s a testimony to the spirit of the Japanese people – their respect for nature, their communal values, and their unyielding zest for innovation.

Moreover, competitive trash collecting has the potential to inspire global change. It paints a compelling picture of how citizens can come together, have fun, and simultaneously tackle pressing environmental issues.

So, as you contemplate the curious case of Japan’s competitive trash collecting, remember this: Japan didn’t just make a sport out of cleaning; they turned it into a celebration of community, a respect for nature, and an action-packed thrill ride. In the process, they’ve created a blueprint for how we might reimagine our approach to environmental stewardship.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Japan has been promoting trash collecting as a competitive sport, and it’s actually kind of working” — YUP That Exists

WTF Fun Fact 13409 – 3 Athletes vs. 100 Kids

Picture this – 3 athletes vs. 100 kids on the soccer pitch. The athletes, clad in soccer gear, their eyes on the field, facing a tidal wave of 100 energetic kids buzzing with anticipation. This isn’t the plot of a surreal animated show; it’s an actual TV program in Japan that offers one of the most exhilarating and entertaining spins on soccer we’ve seen.

Kicking Off the Soccer Spectacle

The Japanese TV show, an unexpected blend of sports, reality TV, and pure chaos, centers on a straightforward premise. The challenge? Three pro soccer players step onto the field to battle against a horde of 100 kids. The resulting spectacle, as enthralling as it is chaotic, turns traditional soccer on its head.

As the whistle blows, a sea of children engulfs the soccer field, their cheers and shouts echoing. The pros, dwarfed by the sheer number of their pint-sized opponents, exhibit a mix of bemusement and determination. Here, strategy takes on a whole new meaning.

3 Pros vs 100 Kids

In the face of such overwhelming numbers, the three pros rely on their skills, experience, and tactical maneuvering. The precision of their passes, their agile footwork, their calculated shots at the goal – everything is crucial. Each of them must negotiate a swarm of enthusiastic kids, a torrent of tiny football boots and darting bodies, all vying to intercept the ball.

On the other side, the 100 kids deploy their strategy – strength in numbers. They swarm the ball like bees to a hive, using their collective force to create an impenetrable fortress. It’s a hilarious yet heartwarming sight, watching the young players’ fierce determination to outplay their experienced opponents.

The Thrills and Spills of the Game

Amid the sheer chaos, the show brings unexpected moments of humor and excitement. Pro players find themselves hilariously outnumbered at every turn, blocked by a wall of young defenders. The kids, in contrast, often break into spontaneous celebration upon gaining possession of the ball, regardless of whether they score or not.

Watching the pros weave through the crowd, attempting to score against the enthusiastic horde, is a spectacle unlike any other. Equally thrilling is the sight of a kid making a daring attempt to break away with the ball, only to be immediately swarmed by a legion of teammates.

Beyond the Field: What This Show Signifies

On the surface, this might just seem like a wacky TV gimmick. However, the show resonates on a deeper level, reflecting a broader narrative about sports, camaraderie, and ambition.

It encapsulates the awe and aspiration of every child who has watched their sports heroes and dreamed of playing against them. It reminds us of the joy, the innocence, and the boundless energy that makes children’s sports so wonderfully watchable.

Conversely, for the pro players, it’s a chance to relive their early days, to remember why they fell in love with the sport. The lighthearted challenge brings out their fun side, reminding viewers that underneath the rigorous training and competitive pressure, soccer is, after all, a game meant to be enjoyed.

The Lasting Appeal of 3 athletes vs. 100 kids

This Japanese TV show, with its unique spin on soccer, offers an exhilarating ride packed with fun, laughter, and some truly memorable soccer. It captures the spirit of the sport in a way that’s fresh, vibrant, and decidedly out of the ordinary.

100 kids versus 3 pros may sound like an outrageous mismatch, but it’s a testament to the universal appeal of soccer. A reminder that whether you’re a seasoned pro, an aspiring young player, or a viewer at home, the beautiful game has the power to captivate us all.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Here’s What Happens When Three Professional Soccer Players Go Against 100 Kids” — GQ

WTF Fun Fact 13408 – Kingsley Lake Florida

Kingsley Lake Florida is perfectly circular. This has led many to call it the “Silver Dollar Lake.”

Located in the town of Starke, Kingsley Lake spans around 2,000 acres. Its nearly flawless roundness measures an astounding two miles in diameter. It’s a symmetrical spectacle that sets it apart from other natural lakes. The lake’s circular perfection has become a sight to behold, a round masterpiece that Mother Nature proudly exhibits.

The Allure of Symmetry

The geometric perfection of Kingsley Lake provokes a sense of wonder among scientists and laymen alike. A glance at the aerial view of the lake is like peering at a crisp, round coin – a silver dollar etched on the canvas of Florida’s natural landscapes.

The lake’s near-perfect circle, combined with its calm, clear waters, creates a mesmerizing spectacle. The circumference embraces an array of private homes, campgrounds, and retreat centers, all equally benefiting from the lake’s captivating aesthetics. Its tranquil blue, seemingly drawn with a compass, is a soothing sight for locals and visitors who seek respite from Florida’s heat.

Unraveling the Mystery of Kingsley Lake

The intrigue surrounding Kingsley Lake’s unique circular shape often elicits inquiries into its origin. While no definitive explanation exists, some geologists propose that the lake may be a “sinkhole lake,” a common phenomenon in Florida’s sandy terrain. Over time, as acidic rainwater dissolves the limestone beneath the ground, a depression forms, eventually giving birth to a sinkhole. However, the precision of Kingsley Lake’s shape challenges this theory, as sinkholes tend to be irregularly shaped.

Others suggest that the lake could be a “Carolina Bay.” These elliptical depressions, predominantly found along the Atlantic seaboard, are renowned for their distinct shapes, which may have been sculpted by wind and water currents over centuries. Still, the perfect circularity of Kingsley Lake nudges against this theory, as Carolina Bays typically exhibit more of an oval shape.

The Round Lake Lifestyle

With its alluring roundness as a backdrop, life on Kingsley Lake offers an unforgettable experience. The lake’s sandy bottom and clear waters make it ideal for boating, swimming, and water skiing, attracting outdoor enthusiasts year-round. As sunlight dances on the lake’s smooth surface, those lucky enough to live around its circumference cherish their unique front-row seats to this natural spectacle.

In the sweltering Florida summer, Kingsley Lake transforms into a refreshing oasis. The lake’s cool, crystalline waters beckon swimmers, while its wide expanse offers ample space for boaters and water skiers. The lake’s sandy beaches and picnic areasvare perfect for family outings. This makes Kingsley Lake a beloved destination for both recreation and relaxation.

Celebrating Kingsley Lake Florida

In the grand array of natural wonders that dot Florida’s landscapes, Kingsley Lake shines uniquely. Its perfect roundness is not only a geographical anomaly but also a source of constant fascination and charm.

Kingsley Lake serves as a humbling reminder of nature’s capacity to awe and inspire. Whether it’s the result of a sinkhole or a Carolina Bay, its perfect roundness adds a dash of mystery to Florida’s natural beauty.

Undoubtedly, Kingsley Lake’s perfect circle will continue to enthrall its onlookers, offering an unmatched view of nature’s geometric prowess and fostering a sense of community among those fortunate enough to live around its shores.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “KINGSLEY LAKE, FLORIDA: Camp Blanding and Strickland’s Landing” — Florida Back Roads Travel

WTF Fun Fact 13407 – Girl Scout Troop 6000

The Girl Scouts Troop 6000 us brimming with girls navigating life amid homelessness or in shelters. Transforming adversity into opportunity, these extraordinary girls leverage cookie sales to fund not just activities and trips, but also to forge their resilience and self-esteem.

Since its spirited initiation in 2017, the girls have carved a remarkable path in the world of cookie sales, churning out a staggering $1.6 million. This triumphant accomplishment has benefitted approximately 2,500 women and girls residing in over 20 shelters in the Greater New York area, presenting a new paradigm of hope and independence.

The power of cookies

Troop 6000 sells cookies in booths across the New York City area. In 2023, their efforts were amplified by Bank of America’s generous matching of sales. Their online cookie sales are also a testament to their efforts. The funds raised are funneled back into the troop, driving Girl Scouts activities and initiatives like the Troop 6000 Transition Initiative. This unique program assists scouts and their families in transitioning to permanent housing.

Inspiration from Troop 6000’s endeavor has spread nationwide, sparking similar troops in Middle Tennessee, Greater Iowa, Sierra Nevada, Greater Los Angeles, and Orange County, California. This wide recognition has been further propelled by a viral tweet in 2021, spotlighting Troop 6000 and its noble mission.

The expanding frontier of Troop 6000

This year, Troop 6000 has amplified its reach, expanding into New York City’s Emergency Response and Relief Centers. This move has opened the Girl Scouts’ empowerment gateway to immigrants and asylum seekers. In the process, 100 migrant girls have joined the ranks of Girl Scouts Troop 6000. This impactful expansion is especially poignant for new recruits like 11-year-old Laura, a recent immigrant from Colombia. “I’ve only seen this in the movies. This is like a dream come true,” she said.

Even as Troop 6000 continues to empower girls, it hasn’t overlooked the crucial role mothers play. As these women often can’t work while waiting for asylum cases to be heard, the girls offers them a chance to lead within their communities by assuming volunteer roles within their shelter troops. This holistic approach to empowerment is transforming not only the lives of the girls but also their mothers.

Girl Scouts empowerment

Among the myriad benefits that the Girl Scouts empowerment initiative offers, perhaps the most poignant is the profound impact on mental health. The once shy Gillesy and her friend Jasmin, now dream of becoming child therapists, a testament to the positive psychological shift they experienced in Troop 6000. In Gillesy’s words, “Girl Scouts helps me when I am sad or mad,” according to CNN (cited below).

And so, Troop 6000 continues its mission, sweetening life one Girl Scout cookie at a time, supporting girls in need, and transforming lives by lighting the torch of resilience and hope in the hearts of those who need it most.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “This New York Girl Scout troop is the first of its kind. Here’s why” — CNN

WTF Fun Fact 13396 – Bill Haast

Bill Haast, a renowned snake handler and scientist, led an extraordinary life dedicated to studying and working with poisonous snakes. He became famous for his fearless approach and was bitten by venomous snakes over 170 times. Despite the risks, Haast’s passion for snakes and their venom led to significant contributions in the field of snakebite treatment and research.

Who is Bill Haast?

Born on December 30, 1910, in Paterson, New Jersey, Haast developed an early fascination with snakes. His first significant snakebite occurred at age 12. A timber rattlesnake bit him while at a Boy Scout camp. This experience ignited his curiosity and passion for these reptiles. Haast’s snake-handling journey began when he joined a roadside snake show in the late 1920s. He later went on to work as a flight engineer with Pan American World Airways, which allowed him to travel the world and collect various snake species.

In 1947, Haast fulfilled his dream of opening the Miami Serpentarium. This serpentarium quickly gained popularity, attracting thousands of tourists each year. Inside, Haast would demonstrate his expertise by milking venom from snakes. This venom was used for research purposes but also for the production of antivenom to treat snakebite victims.

Snake-handling

Haast’s unique approach to handling snakes involved injecting himself daily with small amounts of venom from various snake species. This self-immunization process aimed to build up his immunity and protect him from the potentially lethal effects of snakebites. While he suspected that these injections contributed to his remarkably good health, Haast refrained from making definitive claims until he reached the age of 100.

Throughout his career, Haast made significant contributions to the field of snakebite treatment. Alongside a Miami doctor, he treated over 6,000 individuals with a snake-venom serum that showed promise in addressing conditions like multiple sclerosis and arthritis. The effectiveness of the serum gained attention after a 1979 report on CBS News’ “60 Minutes.” However, the Food and Drug Administration later banned the product due to manufacturing deficiencies identified in Haast’s process. Nevertheless, researchers continue to explore the potential of venom-derived drugs for treating various diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Haast’s dedication to helping others extended beyond his work at the serpentarium. He traveled around the world to donate his antibody-rich blood to snakebite victims, even receiving honorary citizenship in Venezuela for his efforts. In a remarkable turn of events, the White House once facilitated the delivery of a rare serum from Iran to treat Haast himself after he was bitten by a Pakistani pit viper.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “WILLIAM “BILL” HAAST: PIONEER OF VENOM PRODUCTION FOR VENOM RESEARCH” — Haast Official website

WTF Fun Fact 13392 – The Scott Kelly Gorilla Suit Prank

We know, we know. You’ve seen the viral posts about Mark Kelly smuggling a gorilla suit onto the International Space Station (ISS). But it turns out the hilarious moment is actually the Scott Kelly gorilla suit prank. Scott is Mark’s twin brother, and they are both astronauts.

Now, if you haven’t heard about this prank, you’re probably very confused right now.

The Scott Kelly gorilla suit prank

In 2016, former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly secretly brought a gorilla suit with him on the mission, keeping it hidden from his fellow crew members. It wasn’t until one day that he decided to surprise his unsuspecting colleague.

Scott Kelly, known for his adventurous spirit and sense of humor, had a playful idea in mind. He understood the importance of camaraderie and lighthearted moments to boost morale in the isolated and demanding environment of space.

After smuggling the gorilla suit onboard, Kelly patiently waited for the perfect moment to execute his prank. He knew that the confined quarters of the ISS would amplify the surprise and make the prank memorable.

Finally, the day arrived when Kelly decided to put his plan into action. He donned the gorilla suit and approached his unsuspecting crew member, who was engrossed in his tasks.

Gorillas in space

Kelly lunged towards his crewmate, letting out a playful roar. The crew member, startled by the sudden appearance of a gorilla in space, jumped in surprise, and his shock quickly turned into laughter.

The crew burst into laughter, with Kelly’s prank providing a much-needed moment of levity. The sight of an astronaut in a gorilla suit floating weightlessly through the spacecraft was undoubtedly unforgettable.

The story of Scott Kelly’s gorilla suit prank spread, capturing the amusement of people on Earth. It showcased the lighter side of life aboard the ISS and reminded us that even in the vastness of space, humor and human connections are vital for well-being.

Of course, the presence of the gorilla suit on the ISS was unauthorized. NASA does not allow astronauts to bring personal items on missions. However, in this case, the harmless nature of the prank and the positive impact it had on the crew’s morale overshadowed any reprimand that Kelly may have received.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Fact Check: Did an Astronaut Smuggle a Gorilla Suit Onto the International Space Station?” — Newsweek

WTF Fun Fact 13391 – Giant Penguin Hoax

In 1948, the quiet shores of Clearwater Beach, Florida, were the site of a giant penguin hoax that would continue for a decade and not be explained for another 40 years.

Florida’s giant penguin hoax

Mysterious tracks resembling giant three-toed footprints emerged from the sea, leaving people astounded and intrigued. These footprints, approximately 35 centimeters long and 28 centimeters wide, stretched along the beach for miles, suggesting the presence of a colossal creature.

Word of the strange tracks quickly spread, and eyewitness accounts of unusual creatures started to surface. For example, students at the Dunedin Flying School claimed to have spotted a creature resembling a furry log with a boar’s head swimming in the water. A couple walking along the beach recounted a sighting of a towering creature waddling near the water before vanishing into the sea. The news of these encounters only deepened the mystery.

Monster hunting

The local police were compelled to investigate the footprints. British biologist Ivan Terence Sanderson, known for his ventures into pseudoscience, also took an interest in the case. Sanderson conducted his own investigations. He meticulously studied the tracks that continued to appear over the next decade. Sanderson proposed that a massive, 15-foot-tall penguin might be responsible for the enigmatic footprints.

The case for a giant penguin

Sanderson noted that the tracks consistently followed gentle slopes, even if it meant meandering along the way. Moreover, they skillfully avoided any obstacles, no matter how small, such as bushes or debris. These traits, according to Sanderson, were characteristic of typical animal behavior. He found it implausible that the tracks could be the result of a hoax, given the level of detail and precision involved in their creation.

The idea of an undiscovered giant penguin roaming the beach without anyone noticing seemed more plausible to him.

Uncovering the truth

Fast forward to 1988. That’s when the truth behind the peculiar footprints was finally revealed. A local man named Tony Signorini stepped forward and confessed to the prank.

Signorini and his friend, Al Williams, were inspired by a National Geographic photo of dinosaur footprints. Motivated by a mischievous spirit, they decided to embark on a decade-long hoax. They constructed enormous three-toed metal feet, which they attached to tennis shoes. Their plan involved taking a small rowboat out to sea, with one of them wearing the 14-kilogram (30-pound) shoes and walking up the beach. Later, they would rendezvous with the boat further along the coast.

To create the illusion of a large stride, Signorini would stand on one leg and swing the other, building momentum for a jump. The pair often had their friend report the footprints the following day to ensure their efforts wouldn’t go unnoticed. They meticulously orchestrated a prank that fooled the public and even experts for an astonishing four decades.

After Signorini’s passing in 2013, his family made sure that his obituary commemorated his role as “The Clearwater Monster.”

 WTF fun facts

Source: “The Giant Penguin Hoax That Fooled Florida For 10 Whole Years” — IFL Science