5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The USSR

On December 30, 1922, the USSR was formed under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin, who followed the teachings of Karl Marx. The U.S.S.R., or the Soviet Union, was the first government to ever be ruled under the principles of communism. Here are 5 things you probably didn't know about the USSR.

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A Government Department Was Created to Study Lenin's Brain The Moscow Brain Institute, which is still open to this day, was founded specifically to study Lenin's brain. Many scientists believed that Lenin was a genius, and thought that studying this organ would help them better understand the former Soviet head of government's brilliance. Unfortunately, researchers only discovered that Lenin's brain was like any other brain, but it still remains at the institution to this day. The brains of other prominent Russians were also studied at this government department, including the likes of poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, scientist Andrei Sakharov, and politician Joseph Stalin.

The Soviet Union Mapped The Entire World During the Cold War, the Soviet Union mapped out the whole world, with incredible attention to detail. In fact, the map included details such as the level of buildings and others that could be helpful if they considered planning an invasion. Certain details found in the Soviet Union's global map were not included in typical domestic maps, such as bridge load capacities, the width of roads, and factory types. These maps were so precise that the USA continues to use them today.

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The Soviet Union Invented Clear Coca-Cola While the original Coca-Cola was invented in Atlanta, Georgia, clear Coca-Cola was first imagined in the USSR. Soviet war hero Georgy Zhukov played a key role in its invention after General Eisenhower introduced him to the original soda. While Zhukov wanted to enjoy the beverage, he also didn't want to be associated with anything American, and Coca-Cola had become a symbol of American culture at that time. As such, Zhukov asked the manufacturers to make a clear version of the popular drink so it would look as if he was enjoying a glass of vodka instead. The manufacturers obliged, and as a return favor, the trucks that carried Coca-Cola were able to pass through eastern and central Europe more easily when making deliveries.

Mikhail Gorbachev Recorded An Album Of Romantic Ballads Mikhail Gorbachev may have been known for his political movement to reform the Communist Party, but he had a musical side to him, too. The eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union released an album entitled Songs for Raisa, in memory of his late wife, and the album included some of her favorite songs. The album sold for approximately £100,000  ($130,000) at an auction in 2009. The money was donated to a charity in her name, which was established to fight childhood cancer.

The Soviet Union Dug A Really Big Hole In the 50s and 60s the Soviet Union and the USA were in a race to see which nation could drill the deepest hole into the earth’s crust. By 1994, the Soviet Union dug the Kola Superdeep Borehole, and at the time, it was the deepest hole in the world. Located in the Murmansk region in the Kola Peninsula, the hole penetrates 7.5 miles of the Earth’s 18.6 mile crust. The process unearthed evidence of biological activity in the Earth that was more than two billion years old.