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Surprising Science

Random fact roundup: Luck, death, and Texas

What do luck, death, and Texas have in common? They’re all part of our weekly random fact roundup.
Einstein and Carl Sagan discuss some random facts on the ranch. (Image: Big Think)



— If you were to pick the same six numbers (out of 1 to 49) every day you’d probably win once every 292,000 years. That’s about a one in 13.9 million chance. You have a much better chance of dying in a plane crash. Your chances of dying in a plane crash are, at best, one in 5.6 million. If you were to take the same flight every day, it would statistically crash once every 14,500 flights. 

— .00086% of the world is famous. A mathematician found that out by dividing the ‘living people’ section of Wikipedia by the world’s population! 

— You have a 6.7% higher chance of dying on your birthday, and a 14% chance of dying on your birthday if you’re 60 or older. More people die in January than any other month. 



— Per national average, a hearse car in a funeral procession costs about as much as a New York City cab ride, at $2.00 per mile. Another fun fact about New York and death… almost twice as many people kill themselves (565 suicides for 2016) within New York City limits per year than are murdered (290 for 2017). 

— In England, you can pay a company called Rent A Mourner to have actors to show up at your funeral. For about $70 USD, an actor will show up at your funeral or wake and cry for 2 hours. In Amsterdam, if you die and friends or family aren’t available to show up at your funeral, a poet will write a poem about you and read it at the service. 

— The American funeral industry brings in about $20 billion a year, about as much as the toy industry. The average funeral is about $8,000. Cremation averages $1,100. One of the most expensive single burial plots in the world is a $600,000 burial plot near Marilyn Monroe’s mausoleum in Westwood Village Memorial Cemetary in Los Angeles. 

— When you die, your body drops in temperature from 98.6ºF (living temperature) by 1.5ºF per hour. 



— The Katy Independent School District has a $70 million stadium… for high school football. The Katy team has won 4 state championships since 2006. If you combined the total number of seats in every high school football stadium (1,305 stadiums with a total combined capacity of 4,130,440), you could comfortably seat every man, woman, and child in Dallas and Austin with room to spare.   

— Texas is an enormous place. Driving from the north of Texas to the southernmost point of Texas is about as many miles as driving from Glasgow, Scotland to Rome, Italy. You could fit two Germanys into Texas (2 x 137,847 miles for Germany, and 268,820 square miles in Texas). 7.4% of America’s total landmass is in Texas. 

— The King Ranch, in south Texas, is bigger than the entire state of Rhode Island. From end to end, all the fencing in King Ranch would stretch from New York City to Bisbee, Arizona. The King Ranch is relatively close to Laredo, which holds the odd distinction of being the world’s largest inland port, 131 miles away from the nearest ocean. 


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