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The world’s first navigable submarine was created by Dutch inventor Cornelis Drebbel in 1620. Propelled by oars and sealed against the water by a covering of greased leather, the wooden vessel traveled the River Thames at a depth of 12 to 15 feet.
The rural Midwestern farmer and his daughter (or, by some readings, his wife) portrayed in artist Grant Wood’s iconic painting American Gothic were modeled after Wood’s younger sister and his local dentist.
Jane Goodall’s fascination with chimpanzees was sparked at the age of 1 year old when her father gave her a stuffed toy chimpanzee named Jubilee.
Decades before Tim Burton launched the Batman movie franchise in 1989, Andy Warhol directed his own Batman movie. Titled Batman Dracula, the 1964 film was never completed by the artist, but six hours of original material resides in the Museum of Modern Art’s film archive.
They may look light and fluffy, but most cumulus clouds floating above you on a sunny day weigh an astonishing 1.1 million pounds—roughly the same as 100 elephants.
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