100 Awesome Facts About Everything

Sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction.

100 Awesome Facts About Everything

Sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction.

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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.

Man yawning at work.

1
Yawning Cools Your Brain

Research conducted at the University of Vienna suggests that yawning may play an essential role in cooling down our brains.

penguin coming for you

2
Penguins Used to Be 6 Feet Tall

Those tiny tuxedo birds we know and love today used to be the size of a high school linebacker. According to a 2017 report published in Nature Communications, there’s evidence that extinct Kumimanu biceae penguins once stood close to 6 feet tall and weighed over 200 pounds. And for more crazy truth bombs, here are the 40 Lies Everyone Tells on a Daily Basis. 

Facebook friend request

3
Facebook’s Blue Color Scheme is for Mark Zuckerberg’s Benefit

The Facebook founder suffers from red-green colorblindness, and blue is the color he can see best.

La Giaconda

4
Picasso Was a Suspect in the Mona Lisa Theft

When da Vinci’s masterpiece was stolen in 1911, 30-year-old Pablo Picasso was questioned about its disappearance before being cleared as a suspect.

Monkey

5
Male Monkeys Will Pay to Look at Female Monkeys

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have discovered that male rhesus macaques will pay—that is, give up their “juice rewards”—to check out the backsides of lady macaques. True story! And for fun trivia, here are 30 Things Americans Do That Foreigners Find Super Weird. 

Power cord

6
Early Pacemakers Had Wall Plugs

According to research published in Images in Paediatric Cardiology, pacemakers in the 1950s required patients to be hooked up to wall sockets. Yes, we’ve come a long way. If you don’t believe us, check out What a “Diet” Looked Like 100 Years Ago.

Flea on dog hair

7
Fleas Are Among the World’s Best Jumpers

Take that, Olympians! Fleas use their toes and shins to jump, according to researchers at the University of Cambridge, which accounts for why they can spring up to seven vertical inches, more than 80 times their height.

Crab on beach

8
Horseshoe Crabs Have Eyes All Over Their Bodies

Horseshoe crabs have 10 eyes in total, including ones near their mouth, on the top of their shell, and down their tail. And for more mind-blowing knowledge, here are 20 Facts You Never Knew About Your Own Body.

Lenny Kravitz long hair

9
Lenny Kravitz and Al Roker Are Cousins

While the mild-mannered weatherman and the rock star may have drastically different demeanors, they’re actually pretty closely related. Roker and Kravitz share a great-great-grandfather.

bad puns

10
Cheese May Prevent Nightmares

According to research conducted by the British Cheese Board, no study subjects reported having nightmares after eating cheese, but blue cheese consumption had a tendency to make dreams a bit odd. And if you want to rest easy tonight, the 20 Nighttime Habits Guaranteed to Help You Sleep Better will help you hit the hay.

French poodle

11
French Poodles Aren’t French

The French Poodle is widely believed to have first been bred in Germany, not France. In fact, the word “poodle” comes from the German word Pudelhund, a combination of words meaning “dog” and “to splash.” And if you want some incentive to bring home a dog of your own, discover the 15 Amazing Benefits of Adopting a Pet!

habits after 40

12
Night Owls Tend to Be Smarter Than Early Birds

Feel bad that you’re never well-rested enough to head out for a jog before the sun’s up? Don’t be. In fact, research published in Personality and Individual Differences suggests that night owls tend to have higher IQs than early risers.

Broken teddy bears

13
Every Dutch Police Car Has a Teddy Bear in It

Dutch Police carry teddy bears with them on the job in case they need to help out a traumatized child.

Dentist Patient

14
There’s a Patron Saint for Dentists

Saint Apollonia is the patron saint of dentists and tooth problems.

Pineapple pizza

15
Hawaiian Pizza is Canadian

That pineapple-ham concoction named after America’s most scenic state was reportedly invented in Ontario in 1962.

long fake nails

16
The World’s Longest Fingernails Measure Over Two Feet Long

Ayanna Williams, a resident of Houston, TX, hasn’t cut her fingernails in 23 years, and they now measure between 24 and 26 inches each.

Shrimp cocktail

17
A Shrimp’s Heart Is in Its Head

A shrimp exoskeleton is divided into two distinct parts: one that contains its head and the other that the latter part of its body, including the tail. The shrimp’s heart is located in the former section, behind its face and stomach.

Princess Diana didn't say the obey part of her vows

18
750 Million People Tuned Into Charles and Diana’s Wedding

The 1981 wedding was watched by more than double the number of people who tuned in for the Friends, Cheers, Seinfeld, and M*A*S*H finales combined.

American Flag

19
Three Presidents Have Died on July 4th

John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe all passed away on Independence Day.

Whale

20
A Blue Whale’s Heart is More Than 5 Feet Long

It can weigh upwards of 400 pounds.

luxury car

21
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

22
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

23
Mr. Clean’s Name Changes Around the Globe

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

Goats

24
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

25
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

26
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

27
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

28
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

29
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

30
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

31
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

32
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

33
Barbie Has a Full Name

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

T-mobile store

34
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

35
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

36
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

37
A Million Earths Would Fit Inside the Sun

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

ATM, travel

38
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

39
Spotted Skunks Do Handstands

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

Psychic

40
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

41
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

42
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

43
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

44
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

45
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

46
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

47
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

48
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

49
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

50
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

51
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

52
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

53
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

54
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

55
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

56
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

57
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

58
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

59
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

60
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

61
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

62
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

63
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

64
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

65
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

66
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

67
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

68
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

69
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

70
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.

healthy woman

71
Avocados Don’t Ripen on Trees

If you want to get that perfect-for-guacamole texture, they have to be plucked first.

Fruit bat

72
There’s Only One Flying Mammal in the World

The bat is the only mammal that can actually fly. Other animals that give the appearance of flying, like flying squirrels, are just gliding through the air, albeit up to 660 feet at a time. Luckily, while we’ve still got plenty of bats on earth, these 20 Animals Are Tragically Near Extinction.

amazon alexa questions

73
You’re Most Likely to Die on Your Birthday

According to research published in the Annals of Epidemiology, people over 60 have a 14 percent higher chance of dying on their birthday than any other day.

things divorced people know

74
Your Dog Is as Smart as Your Toddler

According to the American Psychological Association, dogs are approximately as intelligent as your average two-year-old, and can understand more than 150 words. Funnier yet, they can deceive people and other animals when they want a treat.

google elgoog, Pick-Up Lines So Bad They Might Just Work

75
Google Was Nearly Called BackRub

However, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin eventually settled on Google, a misspelling of the word “googol,” a term for 10 to the hundredth power.

Turkey up close.

76
Turkeys Sing

If you play music for a turkey, it might just sing along with it. Many turkeys will gobble along to music if it’s played for them.

winter superfoods

77
Pizza Hut Used to Buy More Kale Than Anyone in the U.S.

Back when Pizza Hut had salad bars, the chain was the largest purchaser of kale in the United States. However, that kale wasn’t making it into salad: it was just used to spruce up the look of the salad bar.

DM me is something people under 40 say

78
Cell Phones Are Illegal in One West Virginia Town

In Green Bank, West Virginia, no wireless signals are allowed, because they could interfere with the operation of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s radio telescope.

Shucked oyster

79
Oysters Can Change Sexes

Oysters that were initially male can become female over time.

Waffle House exterior

80
Waffle House Informs FEMA Decisions

Although it’s not an official metric, FEMA gets information from Waffle House about their menus and closings to determine the severity of storms.

White House

81
There’s a Flower Shop in the White House

There’s a flower shop in the basement of the White House, where flowers are stored for use in arrangements throughout the building. Want to learn more about where the president lives? Discover these 20 Amazing Facts You Never Knew About the White House!

3D movie

82
The First 3D Film Was Shown in 1922

The first 3D film, called The Power of Love, had its premier at Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel Theater on September 27, 1922.

Ostrich head

83
Ostriches Can Outrun Horses

Ostriches’ elastic tendons mean they have to exert less energy to run than your average animal. According to research published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, this low energy expenditure theoretically means they could outrun many animals capable of running long distances, like horses.

robert downey jr celebrity anti aging tips

84
Robert Downey, Jr. Used to Be Mr. Peanut’s Voice

When the Planters mascot got a makeover in 2010, Iron Man himself was behind his voice.

Canada has been leading the pack in Movemember

85
Canada Has an Indoor Town

Fermont, Canada, is so cold in the winter, it’s built so that residents never have to go outside during the seven months when temperatures dip below freezing. Homes, restaurants, supermarkets, stores, schools, a health center, bars, and a hotel are all contained in a series of interconnected structures.

86
Queen Elizabeth Was a Mechanic

Near the end of World War II, Queen Elizabeth worked as a truck mechanic.

Owl head

87
Owls Have Three Sets of Eyelids

Owls have three sets of lids to cover their eyes. One is used when blinking, another for sleeping, and a third, called the nictitating membrane, to clean the surface of the eye.

Bela Lugosi Hollywood star

88
Béla Lugosi Was Buried in His Dracula Costume

When actor Béla Lugosi, famous for his portrayal of Count Dracula, died in 1956, he was buried in his vampire costume.

Teddy Bears Valentine's Day

89
The World’s Largest Teddy Bear Collection Numbers More Than 8,000

South Dakota resident Jackie Miley has 8,026 teddy bears living with her. That’s one for every nine people living in her native Rapid City.

President John Tyler

90
Two of John Tyler’s Grandsons Are Still Alive

Although President John Tyler was born more in 1790, two of his grandsons were still alive as of 2012.

Cockroach on food

91
Cockroaches Can Survive Decapitation

That rumor about cockroaches being the sole survivors at the end of the world might not be so far off. In fact, cockroaches can often stay alive even after their heads have been cut off.

president barack obama success quotes

92
President Obama is a Grammy Winner

Former president Barack Obama has two Grammys, one for his spoken word album, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts On Reclaiming the American Dream, and one for Dreams From My Father.

50 funniest facts, Pick-Up Lines So Bad They Might Just Work

93
Ancient Philosopher Chrysippus Died From Laughter

Chrysippus of Soli, a Greek philosopher, is rumored to have died while laughing at a donkey eating figs.

50 funniest facts

94
Dolly Parton Lost a Dolly Parton Lookalike Contest

Dolly Parton entered herself into a Dolly Parton lookalike contest for drag queens and didn’t even win first place.

Rose hair tarantula spider

95
Spiders Can Regrow Their Legs

Spiders often amputate their legs as a means of escaping predators. Luckily, they can usually grow them back.

Apple is one of the most respected companies in America

96
Steve Jobs’ Last Words Were Awe-Inspired

According to his sister, the last words Jobs spoke were “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.”

50 funniest facts

97
Cows Get Excited When They Problem-Solve

Research published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science reveals that heifers had increased heart rates and moved more after solving a problem, indicating excitement.

bouquet of roses, cultural mistakes

98
Roses Can Grow Taller Than People

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the tallest rose bush, grown in New Jersey, was 18 feet, 7 inches tall.

Shark in ocean

99
Sharks Can Grow Thousands of Teeth

Sharks can grow up to 30,000 teeth over their lifetime.

funniest facts

100
Betty White Predates Sliced Bread

96-year-old actress Betty White was born in 1922, but commercially-available sliced bread didn’t hit shelves until 1928. Think that’s hilarious? You’ll be in stitches over the 40 Facts So Funny They’re Hard to Believe!

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