Completely Random Facts of the Week – Issue 61

June 15, 2016

randomfactsheader61The weekly collection of random and fun facts.  In this week’s edition: A German Salt Mountain, Why Elsa Wasn’t a Villain, Cereal and a Roman Goddess, A New Skeleton, and the Origin of a Greenhorn.

Monte Kali Germany
2micha/wikimedia

There is an unlikely mountain in the middle of Germany that is made only of table salt. Monte Kali is a 660 foot, man-made mound of common table salt near the town of Heringen, Germany. The summit is 1,740 feet above sea level. The salt is a byproduct of potash mining and the mound began in 1973. It contains 188 million tons of salt with 900 tons being added every hour, and 6.4 million tons of salt are deposited every year.

Around 10,000 climbers scale Monte Kali each year, but the presence of the man-made mountain has come at a cost. Because of the high concentration of salt, the soil and the rivers around the area have become almost completely barren, and the nearby Werra River has had such an increase in salinity that most freshwater animals can’t survive in its waters. Source, Source

frozen elsaThe Disney movie, Frozen, has made well over $1 billion since its release, but if it weren’t for one major change, it may have never had the same success. In the original story, which was an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”, Elsa was going to be the main villain of the movie. The character was even fit for the part with blue hair, blue skin, and a coat made of live weasels.

The change from villain to heroine came about when Robert Lopez and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who were both songwriters, began writing a song to be sung by the character. Originally it was going to be a song for Elsa as a villain, but when the directors heard the song “Let It Go”, they rewrote the script to change Elsa into one of the heroes. They also changed the relationship between Elsa and Anna to that of sisters instead of having Elsa as the Snow Queen and Anna as a peasant. Frozen ended up being different from typical Disney princess fairy tales because of the change. Source

cereal bowlIt’s probably one of the most common breakfast foods that many enjoy everyday. It’s the ever versatile cereal, and its name comes from the Roman goddess Ceres. Ceres was the goddess of harvest and agriculture and was also connected to fertility and grains. There was even an ancient Roman festival known as Cerealia that took place in April for seven days to honor Ceres. Remember that the next time you’re enjoying a bowl of Fruit Loops. Source

skeletonAt any particular time, up to 10% of the human skeleton is being remodeled. This takes place throughout an entire lifetime and results in the entire skeleton being replaced about every 10 years. Osteoblasts are responsible for the synthesis of the new bone, and osteoclasts are responsible for reabsorbing bone.

The remodeling of bone as an adult serves many useful functions. It prevents old bone from aggregating which can be a problem since this bone can become weak.  Remodeling also repairs damage to the bone that is caused by ongoing stressors or damage to the bone. When bone is reabsorbed by the body, important minerals such as phosphorus and calcium can either increase the supply of these minerals or be used where there is a deficiency of these minerals in the body. It’s like you’ve received a whole new body. Okay, maybe not. Source, Source

green hornA “greenhorn” is used to refer to a newcomer or inexperienced person. The word “greenhorn” first appeared in the 15th century and referred to a young ox with new, or “green,” horns. The word was later used for new recruits in the army around 1650 before it morphed into meaning anyone without experience in some sort of job or endeavor. It’s also used in the much less flattering way to talk about someone who is gullible or easily tricked. Source, Source

That’s it for another rousing edition of this week’s random facts. Show everyone how smart you are, will you?

Other issues of the Completely Random Facts of the Week.

About the author 

Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of great trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium. I hope you find things here to annoy those around you with your new found knowledge.

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