Things that make you go … really?

July 02, 2021

Being responsible and staying safe is no fun. Even staring at your phone can be boring, new love interest or not!

That will not stop you, though. So let’s capitalise on that, with facts that will blow your mind and expand your knowledge about our amazing country.

To the moon and back.

If we said to you – name three significant inventions either invented in South Africa or by South Africans, could you? Need some help, here are a few.

  • Ferdinand Chauvier invented the Kreepy Krauly in 1974. An American had invented the first automatic pool cleaner in 1972 but the Kreepy Krauly was far more efficient at its job, was cheaper and had no wheels unlike the 3-wheel 1972 design, this meant more reliability with fewer parts to go wrong.
  • Ever heard of Pratley Putty? No? Ask your dad or grandpa. No doubt they have used it to fix something. Invented in the early 1960s by Krugersdorp engineer George Prately, it is the only South African invention to go to the moon. Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin (Buzz) and Michael Collins took it with them to make repairs on the lunar lander.
  • Arguably the most important of the trio is the Computed Axial Tomography (CAT) scan, known today as a CT scan. Invented by South African physicist Allan Cormack (together with Godfrey Houndsfield), for which they received the Nobel Prize in 1979.
  • In the year 1950 Mr Robinson, first name unknown, invented Q20. The lubricant most South African’s reach for when a key won’t turn or their car won’t start. It lubricates any sticky or squeezy mechanism like a door handle or hinge. The reason for the name: Q20 had the answers to 20 problems. Q20 arrived 3 years before the famous American brand WD40.

Did you know?

Here are some facts about our incredible country you can use to impress friends and family alike.

  • Table Mountain has 2,200 more plant species than the entire UK.
  • South Africa is the only country on the planet to have hosted the Cricket, Rugby and Soccer World Cup.
  • South Africa developed nuclear weapons under the apartheid government and is the only country currently to have dismantled and disposed of them under President Nelson Mandela.
  • Would you jump off a 55 story building with an elasticised rope attached to your legs? South Africa is home to the world’s highest commercial bungee jump. At 216 meters or the equivalent of a 55 story building, jumpers leap from the bridge across the gorge over the Bloukrans River.
  • Annually between May and July, the KZN coast plays host to the Sardine Run. Billions of sardines migrate from the icy waters of the Atlantic around Cape Point to the warmer waters of Southern KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. This creates a silver line 15km long, 3.5km wide and approximately 40m deep. It’s big, space satellites can see it.

The best for last

Before you go, here is a story that happened literally on your doorstep.

The world’s largest diamond, the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond, was discovered in 1905 in Cullinan outside Pretoria. Gifted to King Edward VII of England by the Transvaal provincial government. Edward shipped it to England in a plain wooden box. A decoy was on the same ship guarded by detectives.

The world’s largest diamond found barely 51km from The Fields student accommodation. Kimberley gets most of the fanfare when South African’s talk about diamonds but many diamonds were discovered in the Cullinan mine. Make a turn there, Cullinan is adorable and has great places to eat and after all wouldn’t you want to tell your kids one day about the world’s biggest diamond and that you’ve been to where they found it?

As South Africans, we often take what we have for granted, we shouldn’t. With world class facilities and accommodation at affordable rates, The Fields never takes student tenants for granted. Contact us to see for yourself.

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