1. Swedes and Danes use dead bodies to heat their homes.
It's an idea that makes a lot of sense when you think it through. Crematoriums heat up to 2,000 degrees, which can be a lot of energy going to waste -- until someone got the bright idea to pump that heat into local energy companies, where it's used to warm homes.
2. In parts of Germany and Poland, when a couple marries, guests break a whole lot of porcelain.
And leave it to the couple to clean up. They do this right in front of the bride's home, usually the night before the wedding. It's called "Polterabend" and it's meant to symbolize the struggles the new couple will face as they build a home together, with an emphasis on working together through those struggles.
If you're invited to participate, make sure you break only porcelain (old toilets welcome) and not glass, which stands for happiness, and therefore should never be broken.
3. Brass doorknobs disinfect themselves.
It's called the oligodynamic effect: The ions in the metal have a toxic effect on spores, fungi, viruses, and other germs -- eliminating the nasties within eight hours.
4. The original housewarming party was -- literally -- a housewarming.
Guests brought firewood as gifts and lit fires in all the fireplaces in the home. Obviously this warmed up the place for the family, but it was also believed to ward off evil spirits. Uninhabited homes were thought to attract roaming ghosts, so a new home would have to be rid of that bad energy before it could become a happy abode.
5. A man started with one red paper clip and traded his way to a home.
Kyle MacDonald made his first trade -- one red paperclip for a fish-shaped pen -- in July of 2005. Less than a year and several trades later, he finally traded a film role for a two-story farmhouse in Saskatchewan. Who knew that bartering could be so lucrative?