First News
Volume:7, Number:38
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Population Density Greater Than Manhattan

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Santa Cruz del Islote is a small island in an archipelago off the coast of Colombia. This little island, perched on coral, has four times the population density of Manhattan. With no water, and electricity just 5 hours a day, legend has it that about 150 years ago, a group of fishermen from the coastal town of Baru, were pleasantly surprised to discover that the island had no mosquitoes. The story goes that the men slept so peacefully that night that they decided to stay.

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Oldest Chewing Gum

In one form or another, chewing gum has existed for around 5,000 years. The oldest known chewing gum was discovered on a dig in Finland. It dates back to the Neolithic age, around 3000 BCE. This “chewing gum” would not be recognizable today. It was just a lump made out of birch bark tar, but it did have clear tooth imprints in it. Even back then, chewing gum had a medical benefit. The birch bark contained phenols with antiseptic properties, so the chewing gum was likely used to treat gum infections.

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God Who Spoke Through Farts

According to Innu mythology, spirits speak to the living. Some talk through drums. Others come to us in dreams. And one of them, Matshishkapeu, speaks through farts. Matshishkapeu spoke “with great frequency”—especially when men were alone without women. Every fart, they believed, was Matshishkapeu giving them a message. A sudden fart required immediate translation. If someone let one slip, an elder would have to rush over to let everyone know what the fart sounded like.

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