50 Awesome Facts About Everything

Sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction.

50 Awesome Facts About Everything

Sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction.

When you stop and think about it, you realize that the world truly is a weird place. After all, we humans paint our faces before work and wear sparkly rocks to prove our devotion to one another. Right now, there’s a tortoise living on an Atlantic isle that is 183 years old. Turducken is a thing.

However, just when you thought the world could’t get any weirder or more wonderful, these awesome facts are here to prove you wrong. And if you want more time to discover the world around you, make sure you know the 100 Ways to Live to 100.

luxury car

1
The World’s Largest Pumpkin Weighs More Than a Sports Car

In 2016, Belgian native Mathias Willemijns set a new world record for growing the biggest pumpkin. The massive pumpkin weighed in at 2624.6 pounds—that’s 129.6 pounds more than an Alfa Romeo 4C sports car. And if you’re looking for a great ride (pumpkin-sized or not), check out our picks for the best new cars for 2018.

Barry manilow

2
Barry Manilow Wrote the State Farm Jingle

In addition to co-writing hits like “Copacabana,” Barry Manilow has authored a number of famous jingles. This includes the iconic “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” jingle and the classic “I am stuck on Band-Aid brand ‘cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me.” And for more great fun facts, check out the 20 slang terms from the 1970s no one uses anymore. 

Mr. Clean

3
Mr. Clean’s Name Changes Around the Globe

In Germany, he’s Meister Proper, and in Spain, he’s Don Limpio.

Goats

4
Goats Have Unique Accents

Their voices may sound largely the same to humans, but goats actually have distinct accents, according to researchers at Queen Mary University.

Tortoise

5
The World’s Oldest Tortoise is Twice as Old as Queen Elizabeth

Jonathan, a Seychelles giant tortoise living on Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, is thought to be 183 years old. That makes him more than twice as old as Queen Elizabeth, who clocks in at 91. Oh, and speaking of the Queen: don’t miss the one thing no British royal will ever do. 

pizza on countertop

6
350 Slices of Pizza Sell Every Second in America

To keep up with demand, approximately 17 percent of all American restaurants are pizzerias.

Cat grooming itself

7
Ernest Hemingway’s Former Home is Overrun With Cats

The famed author’s former home in Key West, Florida, is home to 54 cats. Hemingway was particularly fond of polydactyl cats, and these largely make up the population at Ernest Hemingway House today. And if you’re a cat person like Papa, check out the 20 amazing facts you never knew about your favorite feline. 

Pair of otters

8
Otters Hold Hands

Otters like to keep close company, even in the water. Not only do otters link arms to avoid floating away from one another, the Asian small-clawed otter mates for life. And to win over your own lifetime partner, make sure you’re well-acquainted with the 20 Compliments Men Can’t Resist.

Rainbow slinky

9
The Slinky Was Created by Accident

Inventor Richard James, a naval engineer, was trying to create a spring that could help stabilize equipment on boats in choppy waters. However, his spring’s ability to move seemingly on its own proved more interesting, and became the prototype for the Slinky in 1943. More than 300 million Slinkys have been sold since it hit the market in 1945.

Condiments

10
Ketchup Used to Be Considered a Medicine

In the 1800s, ketchup was sold as medicine and was even made into pill form to rid people of stomach ailments.

Polar bear

11
Polar Bears Don’t Have White Skin or Fur

That white fur polar bears seem to sport is actually two layers of clear fur that appear white to the human eye. Underneath that coat, their skin is actually black.

Sneezing

12
A Sneeze Sounds Different Around the World

While people in English-speaking countries tend to say “achoo” and French-speaking countries go with the similar sounding “atchoum,” Germans say “hatschi” and the Japanese say “hakshun.” And for more great trivia, here are the 30 major city names you’re pronouncing all wrong. 

Barbie dolls

13
Barbie Has a Full Name

Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. Ken’s full name is Kenneth Carson.

T-mobile store

14
T-Mobile Owns the Color Magenta

The brand trademarked the color and a Texas judge ruled that similar colors, even with different names, can’t be used by other telecom companies.

Singing into microphone

15
The Spanish National Anthem Has No Lyrics

Spain’s national anthem, “Marcha Real,” or “Royal March,” doesn’t have any official lyrics. It was written as a military march, and as such, was not intended to be sung.

Cat licking mouth

16
A Cat’s Ear Has 32 Muscles

If you’ve ever wondered how your cat seems to hear every little noise from rooms away, blame it on their highly-developed ears. A cat’s ear contains 32 muscles, some of which account for their aural aptitude, providing their ears with a wide range of motion to detect sound.

Sun in sky

17
A Million Earths Would Fit Inside the Sun

If the sun were hollow, you could fit a million Earths inside it.

ATM, travel

18
The Vatican’s ATMs Are in Latin

Let’s hope you were paying attention in high school if you’re going to visit the Pope.

Skunk

19
Spotted Skunks Do Handstands

Unfortunately, this cute little dance only happens before it sprays you, so get out of there ASAP.

Psychic

20
There’s a Town in Western New York Populated by Psychics

Lily Dale, a town an hour southwest of Buffalo, New York, has a population of just 275, virtually all of whom are psychics and other spiritualists.

Female and male lion

21
Female Lions Do More Hunting Than Males

Take that, gender roles. Female lions tend to be the primary hunters in their prides, while male lions tend to enjoy the leftovers from the female lions’ hard work.

Cuban street

22
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights Was Originally a Political Movie

The script the unpopular Dirty Dancing sequel was based on was originally a political romance. Written by NPR’s Peter Sagal, the original script was called Cuba Mine and told the story of the romance between a Cuban revolutionary and an American teen in the 1950s. Welcome to Hollywood, where a script for a political period piece can be transformed into a romantic dance-movie sequel.

San Francisco

23
San Francisco is Mostly Water

The 232 square miles that make up this Bay Area city are 80 percent water, 20 percent land.

Shakespeare wax figure

24
Shakespeare Popularized the Name Jessica

Jessica, one of the most popular names in America for the better part of the 1980s and 1990s, was actually coined by Shakespeare. The first instance of the common spelling of this name comes from The Merchant of Venice, written by the bard in the late 1500s.

Australia's Lake Hillier

25
There is a Hot Pink Lake in Australia

Western Australia’s Lake Hillier has a naturally-occurring pink hue. While scientists aren’t entirely sure why this is, it’s likely that it has to do with the carotenoid pigments produced by microalgae in the water.

Author Stephen King

26
Stephen King Bought the Automobile That Nearly Killed Him

Prolific horror writer Stephen King laughed death in the face when he purchased the van that hit and nearly killed him. “We’ve got the van, and I’m going to take a sledgehammer and beat it!” King announced to Maine’s Bridgton News after shelling out $1500 for the car.

Chuck E Cheese exterior

27
Chuck E. Cheese is a Nickname

Chuck E. Cheese is just your favorite anthropomorphic mouse’s nickname. His full name is Charles Entertainment Cheese.

Dog under blanket

28
Each Dog’s Nose Has a Unique Pattern

Your dog’s nose has a unique pattern to it, just like a human finger print.

Orange juice

29
The Color Orange Was Named After the Fruit

In contrast to popular belief, the fruit wasn’t named for its color, but the other way around. The first known use of the word “orange” to describe a color in English took place in 1512.

Whiskey cocktail

30
George Washington Was a Prolific Whiskey Maker

America’s first president was quite adept at making whiskey. In fact, his distillery at Mount Vernon produced close to 11,000 gallons of the stuff. The site of the former distillery now makes small-batch whiskeys. If whiskey isn’t your preferred method of relaxation, try a trip to one of these amazingly zen travel destinations instead.

Gravestone

31
New York’s Washington Square Park is a Former Graveyard

As you sit on that bench, sipping your coffee and trying to avoid NYU students, more than 20,000 bodies are underneath your feet.

Organizing photographs

32
There’s an Opposite of Deja Vu

Called “jamais vu,” this phenomenon describes when you know something has happened before, but it seems unfamiliar.

Taking selfie

33
Selfies Kill More People Than Sharks

According to the International Shark Attack File, there have been just 439 fatal shark attacks worldwide since 1958. That’s just 7.5 shark-related deaths per year. However, in India alone, 27 people perished from selfie-related causes in 2015.

Mall Santa and kid

34
There Are Seven U.S. Towns Named After Santa

There’s a town named Santa Claus in Arizona, Georgia, and Indiana, and ones named Saint Nicholas in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.

Red ant

35
There Are Over a Million Ants For Every Person on Earth

Human count: 7.4 billion. Ant count: 10,000 trillion. Guard your picnic well.

Two parrots outside

36
Andrew Jackson Owned a Lewd Parrot

President Andrew Jackson taught his pet parrot to curse. The bird was later kicked out of the former president’s funeral for swearing during the service, according to one Jackson biographer.

Bookshelf

37
Christmas with the Kranks Was Written by a Famous Author

Best known for his legal thrillers, author John Grisham also wrote Skipping Christmas, a novel that served as the basis for Tim Allen holiday comedy Christmas with the Kranks. Sadly, it’s one of the 13 Worst Christmas Films of All Time.

Group of snails

38
Snail Teeth Are Hardest Natural Material

The teeth of limpets, a type of aquatic snail, can withstand more pressure than it takes to create diamonds from carbon.

Elephant walking

39
Elephants Bury Their Dead

While sad to imagine, elephants are among the few animals that bury their dead. After a member of their pack dies, elephants not only cry, but create graves for their dead and cover their bodies with leaves.

Woman licking lollipop

40
Purdue University Created a Licking Machine to Finish Tootsie Pops

If you’ve ever wanted to know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop without having to eat one, Purdue University researchers have done the hard work for you. It took the machine 364 licks, while human volunteers got to the center in just 252.

Lego pieces

41
A British Man Created an All-Lego House

James May created a two-story house made entirely of Legos on the Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey, Great Britain. It took 3.2 million tiny plastic bricks to build.

Orange cat

42
A Cat Served as the Mayor of an Alaska Town

Stubbs, an orange cat, was the mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, for 20 years. Stubbs served until his death in 2017.

Champagne glasses

43
Champagne Was Once Used as Shoe Polish

In the early 20th century, men of society eschewed traditional polish, using champagne to shine their shoes instead. In fact, Olga Berluti, a high-end shoe designer whose company is owned by the LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) umbrella, still uses Dom Perignon to polish her famed shoes.

Person in space

44
Astronauts Celebrate Christmas in Space

Not only do astronauts aboard the International Space Station get the day off for Christmas, they also have presents delivered to them in space. Astronauts spend the day eating together and unwrapping gifts, and some even dress up for the occasion.

Gray whale jumping

45
The Pacific Ocean Houses a Mysterious Singing Whale

Known as The Loneliest Whale, this whale sings at a significantly higher pitch than any other blue whale ever discovered. While he’s never been seen, researchers think his strange songs may be keeping him from finding a mate.

Star Wars

46
Darth Vader Never Says “Luke, I Am Your Father”

While often misquoted, the Star Wars villain actually utters the phrase, “No, I am your father” in The Empire Strikes Back. Before you put your supposed movie knowledge to use, make sure you know these famous movie quotes.

Bull

47
Bulls Can’t See Red

Although the bright red color of a matador’s cape may seem to be what angers the bull, the animal can’t actually discern its hue. Cows—bulls included—are generally red-green colorblind; it’s the motion of the swinging fabric that incenses them enough to charge.

Shaving beard

48
Hairiness is Correlated With a Higher I.Q.

Don’t sweat that fuzzy back; one study reveals that Mensa members with more body hair also happened to have the highest I.Q.s.

Potato chip cans

49
The Creator of the Pringles Can is Buried in One

The ashes of Fredric Baur, who created the iconic Pringles can in 1966, found his eternal resting place in one when he died in 2008.

Bunnies

50
There’s an Island in Japan Almost Entirely Populated by Bunnies

Ōkunoshima, also known as Rabbit Island, is a Japanese island that is predominantly populated by rabbits. Formerly the home of a WWII-era poison gas factory, the island is no overrun with adorable rabbits, and has become a major tourist destination. Before you book your trip to this bunny paradise, make sure you know these travel hacks that will make your journey even better.

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