Written by Sophia

Modified & Updated: 28 Apr 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

fun facts

A wise man once said, “Learn something new every day.” We might not know a lot about the world yet compared to how much is out there, but we always discover new things about it. This huge selection of fun facts will definitely make you the most interesting person in the room – but #300 is pretty gross.

Table of Contents

Fun Facts Infographics

fun facts infographics

Bangkok is the world’s most visited city.

With 22.78 million international visitors, Bangkok has been named the most visited city in the world for the fourth year in a row – beating Paris, London, Dubai, and Singapore. 

bangkok fun facts
Source: Pixabay

Typing keyboards used to be arranged alphabetically.

Have you ever wondered why keyboards aren’t arranged by the ABC’s compared to the QWERTY keys we know now? You’d be surprised to know the uniform QWERTY keys we use were chosen at random. Before PC’s and laptops, the typewriter was man’s first typing experience. The earliest typewriters had alphabetic keys, but people typed so fast that the mechanical arms got jammed and tangled up. To solve this, the keys were randomly positioned to slow down typing and prevent key jamming.

We are born with only 2 natural fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud sounds.

One of the most surprising fun facts about life: All other fears and phobias are learned or acquired later in life. 

Baked beans are not actually baked.

In the U.K., the dish is usually stewed in sauce. On the other hand, canned baked beans are cooked through a steaming process. Bottom line? “Baked” beans are rarely ever baked.

Antarctica is the only continent without any reptiles or snakes.

Not only does the elusive continent of Antarctica lack McDonald’s joints – but it also doesn’t have any of our lizard friends. Why? Well – we all know that reptiles are cold-blooded – so they can’t produce their own heat. Meaning, they’d get turned into popsicles in the frosty Arctic.

Video games help surgeons perform better.

According to a 2007 study, surgeons who play certain video games at least 3 hours a week performed 27% faster with 37% less errors during surgery.

surgeon fun facts
Source: Unsplash

Tomato ketchup was used as medicine for 16 years.

Whether you love it or hate it, this condiment once had a place in the world beyond hotdogs. However, you’d be surprised to know that ketchup only had tomatoes in it starting 1834. Before, ketchup was made with a mix of fish and mushrooms. When Dr. John Cooke Bennet added tomatoes to the mix, he claimed that the antioxidants gave it a medicinal property. He had a pill salesman turn his tomato ketchup into pills and claimed it could treat diarrhea, indigestion, jaundice, and rheumatism.

The brain is the fattest organ.

The stomach may be our body’s fattest part, but the fattest organ is our brain. The brain is composed of nearly 60% fat.

Australia has the most number of venomous snakes worldwide.

Australia is home to almost a hundred species of venomous snakes. However, only one fatal snake bite incident is recorded per year.

Dead people get goosebumps.

One of the not-so-fun but amazing fun facts: When people die, the tiny muscles under their hair follicles contract. This gives skin the appearance of their hair standing on end. If you think death is a hair-raising concept, you are absolutely right

You can’t move or touch William Shakespeare’s bones.

William Shakespeare’s legacy doesn’t stop at his plays and how many words he created – but even in the afterlife, he leaves a lasting display of his wit. Buried in 1616, the playwright was said to write his tombstone inscription which reads: “Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forebeare, To digg the dust enclosed heare; Bleste be the man that spares thes stones, And curst be he that moves my bones.” 

shakespeare fun facts
Source: Pixabay

"Digging a hole to China" is possible if you start in Argentina.

One of the most intriguing fun facts about Argentina is that you could dig a hole to China from there. As a feat usually done by cartoon or comic book characters, traveling to China underground is possible in theory, but not so much in practice. Underground conditions such as heat, pressure, and lack of oxygen are just one of the few realities that keep this cartoonish concept just that – a concept for cartoons.  

A snail can sleep for three years.

Aside from their shocking number of teeth, these small critters have some more astonishing tricks up their sleeve. Nap time for a snail can last from a few hours up to 3 years.

A musician named Jim Sullivan mysteriously disappeared 6 years after recording an album called “U.F.O.“

The 1969 album featured strange lyrics about leaving his family and being abducted by aliens. Sullivan disappeared six years later with only his abandoned car found on a desert road in New Mexico as evidence.

The name for the Pringles shape is a hyperbolic paraboloid.

The saddle shape of a Pringles chip is known in math as a hyperbolic paraboloid.  Pringles were made in this shape because it allows the chips to be stacked easily and kept in place during packaging.

There is McDonald’s in all continents except Antarctica.

fun facts about antarctica
Source: Pixabay

Fast food giant McDonald’s serves 120 countries with about 37,855 restaurants worldwide – but you wouldn’t find a single McDonald’s joint in Antarctica. Not only does it have a McDonald’s-shaped void, but Antarctica is the only demilitarised continent worldwide. Instead, the entire continent is relegated for educational and scientific purposes.

At any point in time, 0.7% of the world’s population is drunk.

As you are reading this, 50 million people are drunk! Check out other fun facts about alcohol!

Sonic the Hedgehog isn’t his full name.

In fact, Sega’s posterboy is actually named Ogilvie Maurice Hedgehog.

A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.

Because of a membrane that holds its tongue to the roof of its mouth, a crocodile can’t stick its tongue out of its elongated snout. However, alligators can. 

Like fingerprints, everyone's tongue print is different.

One of the more mind-blowing fun facts: no two tongue prints are alike. The use of tongue prints as a forensic identifier began fairly recently. 

Toilet paper in France is generally pink.

What is usually found in our homes as a stark white is a lively pink for the French. Pink toilet paper is commonly found in the bathrooms and kitchens of France as a regional preference. In the 1950’s, colored toilet paper was also the rave in the U.S. however, health and safety concerns over the dye caused it to be discontinued in the early ‘2000s.

fun facts about france
Source: Pixabay

Artificial banana flavoring is based on an extinct banana.

You may notice that your banana-flavored food products don’t taste quite like the real thing. This is because commercially-used banana flavoring is based on a type of banana that got wiped out by a plague in the 1950’s. 

Four out of the ten largest statues in the world are of Buddhas.

Out of the 130 largest statues in the world, China has the most at 35 statues. This is followed by India at 25 statues. It’s no surprise that a chunk of these 130 statues depict Buddha who originated from India and one of the main religions in China. The Spring Temple Buddha in the Lushan county of Henan, China stands at 128 m (420 ft) and is the second-largest statue in the whole world. 

Squeaky floors were the best home security in 17th century Japan.

You’d expect Japanese feudal lords to live in pristine houses with the sturdiest materials – and that is mostly true, save for their squeaky, creaky floors. Nightingale floors were flooring systems that “chirped” when somebody walked on it. They were installed in temples and palaces to alert of intruders. The floors were built in a way that the flooring nails rub against jackets or clamps, causing squeaking noises.

Half of all bank robberies in the U.S. are done on a Friday.

According to 2011 government statistics, bank robberies in the U.S. take place most often in mid-morning, on Fridays and in the southern and western states. Out of the total stolen US$43 million in 2011, only a measly US$8 million was recovered.

Tinder made its first match in Antarctica in 2014.

Tinder made its first match on the continent of Antarctica in 2014. The match in question was between two research scientists. You could pretty much find a match for you anywhere with these new dating apps.

fun facts about australia
Source: Unsplash

Men’s dress shirt collars used to be detachable.

To save on laundry costs, men’s shirt collars were removable in the mid-1800s. This was because the collar was the part that needed the most frequent cleaning.

The first novel in the world ended mid-sentence.

The Tale of Genji, World's Earliest Novel
Image by Amazon

The Tale of Genji, written by Murasaki Shikibu in the 11th century, is the world’s oldest novel. Towards the end of 54 chapters, the story is stopped abruptly mid-sentence. Some translators believe the work is complete and intended to end that way, but others say a few pages haven’t been recovered yet. 

Get the book here!

In 2014, a missing woman on a vacation in Iceland was found in a search party for herself.

A missing tourist in the Eldgja Canyon was found in the search party tasked to locate her. She was last seen in the tour bus nearing the volcanic canyon. However, when she changed out of her clothes, she was reported missing. The search progressed from evening until the wee hours of the morning. The tourist group – and likely the tourist herself – were in for the surprise of their lives when they found the missing person in the search party itself. 

Sneezing while traveling at 60 mph makes you close your eyes for 50 feet.

In a not-so-fun fun fact, the few milliseconds you spend sneezing can make you lose track of the distance you travel. No matter how amazing that may be, it is very hazardous for the road. About 2,500 road accidents occur in a U.K. winter due to colds and sneezing.

People don’t sneeze in their sleep.

While asleep, humans are actually more prone to sneezing because the mucous membranes swell when lying down. However, the brain shuts down the neuroreceptors that stimulates our sneezing reflex. That way, only very strong stimuli can wake one to sneeze. 

brain fun facts
Source: Pixabay

If you make $1 every second, it will take you 2,921 years to be richer than Bill Gates.

At a net worth of US$110 million, Microsoft founder Bill Gates consistently topped the world’s richest billionaires for 18 years. He was dethroned only recently by the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos. 

February used to be the last month of the year.

We may know January and February as the first two months of the year, but these months were actually the last couple of months added to the Gregorian calendar. Before, the Roman calendar only recognized 10 months. However, the winter period was measured in these two months – making February the last month of the calendar. This is also why February has the shortest number of days in a month.

Shoe shops used X-Ray machines to measure shoe sizes.

Way before radiation was fully understood, shoe shops measured sizes through X-rays in the 1940s.

The Big Ben in London is leaning so much that the incline is visible to the naked eye.

Weathering has not been kind to the Big Ben. Experts estimate that it will have the same incline as the Leaning Tower of Pisa in 4,000 years.

Australia has the most beaches in the world.

A fun fact for beach lovers: at 10,000 beaches, you can visit one new beach in Australia every day for more than 27 years.

fun facts about australia
Source: Pixabay

The national animal of Scotland is the Unicorn.

One of the fun facts that’ll make you feel like we’re pulling your leg: the unicorn is officially Scotland’s national animal. The unicorn is the Celtic symbol of purity, innocence, masculinity, and power. Considering the fact that people believed they were real for around 2,500 years, there’s no wondering why the official coat of arms of the United Kingdom features a unicorn. 

The directors of the film Despicable Me wrote their own language for the Minions.

It may sound like total gibberish, but the famed (or infamous) Minions of the Despicable Me franchise speak an actual language. The directors combined Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Filipino (Tagalog), French and Russian to create Minionese.

Alaska had a cat mayor.

Another interesting fun fact: The Alaskan town of Talkeetna had a cat as mayor for 20 years. You read that right – this feline was affectionately called Stubbs (for his lack of a tail) and served as the town mayor from 1997 to 2017. Stubbs didn’t really have to do much official business, since the little town was merely a historic district and tourist spot.

There is an island in the Bahamas with only pigs as residents.

Another interesting fun fact: Pig Beach is an otherwise uninhabited island in the Bahamas mainly populated by feral pigs. There’s no confirmed theory of why these pigs ended up there in the first place, but some speculate that they came from a shipwreck, a business tactic, or an abandoned ration of food.

fun facts about bahamas
Source: Pixabay

Eating polar bear liver can kill a human being.

If eaten in one meal, 30-90 g of polar bear liver can be fatal. Its high concentration of Vitamin A is toxic to humans.

Insects are attracted to light because of the moon.

Bug behavior can be especially strange, but scientists predict that night insects (like moths) are attracted to lights because they used the light of the moon to navigate the Earth way before artificial lights were made.

Lobster used to be considered the cockroach of the ocean.

It may be found in the most luxurious menus now, but lobster was once eaten regularly by the homeless, slaves and prisoners. However, lobster started to be seen as a delicacy after World War II.

DreamWorks studios was created by a former Disney employee.

Jeffrey Katzenberg produced some of Disney’s biggest hits, namely: The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. With the success of these classics, he requested a promotion. However, due to internal conflicts, he got fired, instead.  It was then that he founded DreamWorks Studios with other familiar film personalities, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen.

Australia has a bright pink lake.

Lake Hillier is a pink lake in West Coast of Australia. Although colored lakes seem to be a norm in the world, Lake Hillier is the only one that scientists have yet to figure out. To this day, reasons for its pink coloration remains to be theory. 

fun facts about australia
Source: Pixabay

Netflix spent $0 on marketing its DVD rental business, but over 6 million people still used it.

Remember how compact disks feel like in your hand? The frustration of wiping it clean when it starts to skip? Nowadays, it’s all Netflix and chill. However, one of the coolest fun facts about Netflix is how it owned the marketing game in 2014. Despite spending nothing on marketing, sales for DVD rentals soared at an all-time high that year. 

Spiked and studded dog-collars were an Ancient Greek invention.

Who would think that the spiked collars we see on cartoon characters or the local scene kid had ancient origins? Ancient Greek herders would give their sheep-dogs sharply spiked collars as protection from wolves while they guarded livestock at night.

A full jumbo jet tank has enough fuel to drive a car around the world four times.

One of the most mind-blowing fun facts: The average jumbo jet burns roughly a gallon (approx. 4 litres) of fuel every second. Compared to the average car fuel tank, this capacity can fill a car with enough fuel to circle the world four times over. Talk about a road-trip. 

Artist Salvador Dali would get out of paying at restaurants by drawing on the checks.

The renowned artist responsible for Chupa Chupp’s logo was not a fan of paying for his meals. Often, he would draw on the checks, making them priceless works of art. He may be stingy and obsessed with money, but you gotta give the guy credit for his genius.

Jellyfish almost caused mass nuclear explosions in 2013.

In the extremely warm summer of 2013, several nuclear power plants across the world were forced to close down because of jellyfish. The sudden increase in jellyfish clogged the filters that cooled down the reactors, which led to the power plants to be shut down for immediate maintenance and safety measures.

fun facts jellyfish
Source: Unsplash

A seaman once set a ship on fire to get out of work early.

Definitely one of the “don’t-try-this-at-home” fun facts: A civil employee once started a fire that ravaged the nuclear submarine USS Miami which was docked at a Naval Shipyard. Though the cause for the fire was unclear at first, civilian employee Casey J. Fury soon admitted to starting the fire for an early dismissal from work. Fury was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $400 million in damages.

Tea bags were an accidental invention.

When Thomas Sullivan distributed tea samples in small, silk bags in 1908, his customers dunked them in water – bag and all. Now, this seems like the normal thing to do – but this was during a time when you could only drink tea through big strainers. From Sullivan’s samples, the conventional tea bag was born. 

Your heart beats 100,000 times a day.

A fun fact for when you feel dead inside: your body is working hard to keep you from being dead on the outside. 

J is the only letter that doesn’t appear on the periodic table.

One of the fun facts for whenever you feel excluded: All 26 letters of the alphabet can be found in the periodic table except for the letter J. Out of the 118 elements, not once is J used. 

A man once won a horse race after he died.

This one will have you saying, “What the fact?!” but this dark fun fact is definitely takes “winning spirit” to another level. Frank Hayes was a jockey who suffered a fatal heart attack mid-race. However, his horse still led and finished the race in first place. As such, Hayes was the first and only jockey to win a race posthumously in 1923.

fun facts horse race
Source: Unsplash

At birth, baby pandas are smaller than mice.

Giant pandas may grow to over 6 feet, but one of the interesting fun facts about them is their tiny size upon birth. A newborn panda cub weighs 3-5 ounces and is the measly size of a butter stick. That’s almost 1/900th the size of its mother! 

Jack Daniel was believed to die from kicking a safe.

Another morbidly funny fact: Jack Daniel was said to die from kicking a vault. According to the tale, he broke his toe after kicking the safe in anger due to not remembering the combination. It was then that he contracted sepsis. However, this admittedly ridiculous story has since been refuted by some experts. 

A coffee taster has his tongue insured for £10 million.

Gennaro Pelliccia of Costa Coffee got his tongue insured for £10 million in 2009. 

Herring fish communicate by farting.

When herring fish release gas, the bubbles it produces make a high-frequency sound that only herring can hear. The fish use this noise to arrange themselves into “protective shoals” during the night to keep them safe from predators.

A kimono literally translates to “thing to wear.”

Japanese people are known for their punctuality and precise way of life, but it seems they also have a distinct discipline of words. One of the interesting fun facts about Japan is that the word “kimono” literally translates to a “thing to wear.” Ki means “wear,” while mono means “thing”.

fun facts about japan
Source: Unsplash

Scientists grew a human tooth from scratch using pee.

In 2013, the first artificially reproduced human tooth was created in China. The scientists were able to create the tooth using stem cells extracted from human urine. 

Tic Tacs got their name from the sound they make.

Ever shook a Tic Tac container out of boredom? You’d be surprised to know that the name Tic Tac comes from the tic-ing and tac-ing sound the candies make when tossed around in their container. 

You could go to jail for collecting eagle feathers in the U.S.

Only official members of federally accepted Native American tribes can keep or collect eagle feathers. If a regular citizen had one, it would be illegal.

78% of NFL players undergo financial crisis by 2 years of retirement.

Upon retiring for 2 years, a majority of former NFL players undergo bankruptcy or financial crisis. The main culprits? Unemployment and divorce.

Moon Trees are a thing.

No, it’s not another edgy underground indie band, but one of the endless fun facts about plants: Moon trees were sprouted from tree seeds that were flown to the moon, then planted in the Earth. 500 seeds were taken from 5 different seed types to orbit around the moon. They were later planted around the U.S. and a few other countries. 

fun facts about moon
Source: Unsplash

A filmmaker once created a 10-hour “film” of paint drying.

One of the pettiest yet wittiest fun facts: To protest high tariffs, filmmaker Charlie Lyne submitted a 10-hour “movie” of drying white paint to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). The board had to watch Paint Drying in its entirety – all 10 hours and 7 minutes of it.

During the first 5 months of Pokémon Go, gaming-related accidents increased by 26.5%.

People may joke about Pokemon Go bringing world peace, but the game was actually doing quite the opposite. Upon the first few months of its release, Pokemon Go-related casualties included 2 deaths and $25.5 million in property damages.

If you ate nothing but rabbit meat, you would die from protein poisoning.

Rabbit meat is extremely lean. Using it as a sole food source will leave you with too much protein and no fat, which is toxic for the body.

Hundreds of rare animals and plants thrive in the North Korea-South Korea border.

The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is 155 miles of untouched land that separates North and South Korea. In these heavily fortified fences, several endangered animal and plant species thrive. Ecologists identified around 2,900 plant species, 70 mammal species, and 320 bird species in this narrow buffer zone.

The tongue is the only muscle in the body attached from one end.

All other muscles are fully attached to bones and skin.

fun facts tongue
Source: Unsplash

In a conversation, each speaker’s “turn” is 2 seconds, with intervals between turns only 200 milliseconds.

According to experts, this model is nearly universal in terms of conversations.

Sleep literally cleanses your brain.

When we sleep, more cerebrospinal fluid flushes through the brain to wash away the day’s worth of harmful, excess proteins and toxins. Think about that on your next Netflix binge.

Sudan has the most pyramids out of any country.

One of the mind-boggling fun facts: The plentiest pyramids in the world is not in Egypt! Instead, the record belongs to Sudan with 255 pyramids – which is twice the amount of the pyramids in Egypt. 

The Lego Group is the most powerful brand in the world.

One of the most shocking fun facts: There are more Lego minifigures than all the people on Earth. Says a lot about your childhood toy. 

Mr. and Mrs. came from the words master and mistress.

Mind? Blown. The first use of the abbreviated Mr. and Mrs. were traced to a letter written in the 1600s by an unknown R. P. addressed to William ffarington Esqu.

fun facts language
Source: Unsplash

The only difference between kosher salt and table salt is the grain size.

Both come from underground salt deposits – the only difference is that Kosher salt grains are smaller. 

Humans specifically have eyes that face forward for the purpose of seeing in 3D.

On the other hand, vegetarian dinosaurs such as the Triceratops had eyes facing both sides so they could look out for predators.

The founder of Pringles, Fredric Baur, requested to be buried in a Pringles can.

Another morbid fun fact is that his children honored his dying wish when Baur died in the ‘80s.

The sound of a Star Wars lightsaber is the combined sound of a film projector and noise from an old TV.

Sound designer Ben Burtt created the iconic whooshing sound of lightsabers almost accidentally. The sound made when lightsabers make impact resulted from TV feedback on a shieldless microphone – which Burtt discovered on accident while looking for something to add to the projector hum.

Humans can’t taste food without saliva.

Another fun fact about the body: You wouldn’t taste your food without spit. Your saliva dissolves food, which allows the receptors in your taste buds to detect food molecules.

fun facts saliva
Source: Pixabay

There’s a plankton that reverses your feeling of hot and cold.

Dinoflagellates are marine plankton that can alter as well as hallucinations. These trippy symptoms can last from weeks up to years.

You can eat the stickers on fruit.

The adhesive used for fruit stickers is FDA-regulated, and paper is edible. However, don’t forget to wash it first. 

Scientists don’t know what causes the shower-curtain effect.

Picture this: you hop into the shower after a long day. You close the curtains. As you run the shower, you notice that the curtain billows inward. Thus, you discover the shower-curtain effect. Until now, scientists haven’t pinpointed what causes this strange phenomenon.

The Chanel double C was the first designer logo of all time.

The famous double C symbol was created by Coco Chanel in 1925. This famed Parisian brand’s symbol was the first ever designer logo and remains unchanged to this day. 

Giraffes have less neck bones than a sloth.

Another one of those fun facts that’ll make you go, “Are you kidding me?” I mean, one look at a giraffe and a sloth shows the very obvious… amount of neck on a giraffe compared to the sloth. However, giraffes actually have 7 neck vertebrae, while sloths have 10.  

fun facts giraffe

The word “friends” is said in every episode of Friends.

The 90s television hit also had the words “Oh. My. God.” mentioned 1,027 times by its characters for its entire run. 

Manatees can get cold stress.

These gentle giants may look like tough guys, but they can be pretty sensitive to cold. In waters below 20°C, manatees can get “Florida frostbite.”  Manatee fat isn’t enough to insulate their body temperature in the cold – which is why manatee deaths spiked in the Florida cold snap of 2010.

Not sporty? Try aggressive sitting.

Ok, it’s not actually as tame as it sounds – think skateboard tricks, but with a stool. Sporthocking is a unique German street sport created in 2007. It combines the principle of skateboarding with a distinct rubber-lined funnel stool instead of a board. Participants  can spin, kick, throw, juggle, and slide. However, the hocker rule of thumb is they always have to slam their bottoms down on the stool to signify the end of each trick.

27,000 trees are cut per day for the world’s toilet paper.

Toilet paper doesn’t just wipe our whatever’s, but it also wipes out 27,000 trees a day. Similarly, about 500,000 trees are cut for daily newspapers. 

May 22nd is the least common birth date.

The 22nd of May is the least common day to be born. On the other hand, the 16th of September is the most common birthday. In fact, more people in the world are born in September than any other month. 

fun facts birthdays
Source: Unsplash

No one knows for sure how dinosaurs mate.

It’s easy to get caught up in a dinosaur’s grotesque features, but have you ever wondered how dinosaurs mated in the first place? With all those spines and armor, how did they do it enough to roam the world before us? So far, no dinosaur has been found with their reproductive organs intact. Until then, only cross-referencing from existing descendants (birds and reptiles) as well as computer modeling can give us hints as to how they’d done the deed. 

Airport runway numbers actually indicate the direction on a compass.

One of the fun facts to consider in your next travel: The numbers you see on an airport runway aren’t random coordinates for the aliens. They’re actually based on the compass and helps pilots navigate precisely. A single runway number is 63 ft. tall by 20 ft. wide.

Hershey’s Kisses were named that after the kissing sound the chocolate makes on the conveyor belt.

Before discovering this fun fact, I thought Kisses were named after the shape your mouth makes when you place the chocolate on your lips, tip-first. However, Hershey’s are actually named for the sound it makes during the manufacturing process. A machine squirts the chocolate mixture onto the conveyor with a “kiss” sound. Another Hershey’s fun fact? The paper-strip plume on top of Hershey’s Kisses are trademarked.

Butterflies taste with their feet.

Butterflies have taste receptors on their feet. By standing on a leaf, they can sample it to see if it is edible. 

Penguins can jump as high as 9 feet in the air.

These creatures may be known for their adorable waddling, but they’re actually quite the action stars. One of the fun facts about these fun creatures: Depending on their species, penguins can jump up to 9 feet. How do these boxy birds do it, you ask? The magic happens underwater – penguins wrap their bodies in air bubbles from their wings and use this to propel themselves up to the surface.  

fun facts penguins
Source: Pixabay

Polar bears aren’t purely left-handed.

Although it has been said that all polar bears are left-handed, it has actually been discovered that they use both hands equally for activities. 

A frog can throw up an entire organ.

Frogs don’t have a gag reflex like humans and other animals. Their way of rejecting unwanted elements is way more hardcore: The frog vomits its entire stomach out, dangling it from its mouth. The frog then uses its forearms to clear out all of the stomach’s contents. Finally, it swallows the stomach back down again. 

The legs of a bat are so thin, they can’t walk.

Only two species of bats can walk on their front and hind legs: the Vampire bat and burrowing bat. 

The katydid bug hears through holes in its hind legs.

Insects are known to be all sorts of strange, but this is one of the cooler fun facts: The katydid hears with its legs! The katydid’s ears are located on its two front legs. Like the human ear, the ear of the katydid collects sound, converts it, and analyzes the frequency. 

Slugs only have one nose.

It’s a common myth that slugs have 4 noses, but this isn’t actually the case. A slug’s features and sensory organs are found in tentacles on its face. A pair of tentacles hold each eye, while another pair of tentacles underneath contains nostrils. The four-pronged appearance of a slug’s face gives the illusion that it has four “noses.”

fun facts slug
Source: Unsplash

A shrimp's heart is in its head.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you can’t choose between following your head or your heart? Well, it seems shrimp have an evolutionary advantage when it comes to tough decisions. Kidding aside, one of the fun facts about shrimps is that their hearts are literally in their heads. Specifically, it is found in the thorax just behind the head – but they are covered in the same shell segment.

Chickens are eaten for their whole life cycle.

A not-so-fun fact for the chickens, but one of the fun facts to ponder: when you’re eating chicken katsu or a chicken omelet, you could be eating a whole family. You’re essentially eating a chicken before (AKA, the eggs) and after its birth. Oh, not to mention day-old chicks. 

Sharks can “blink” and “wink”.

Sharks are generally perceived as scary (Thanks, Jaws.) but they can wink quite a charm. The nictating membrane covers and protects a shark’s eyes and – in doing so –  gives it a blinking or winking appearance.

Toilets usually flush in E flat.

Another weird bathroom fun fact: most toilets flush in a certain key. Try listening for the key of E flat in your toilet at home. 

A raisin dropped in fresh champagne will keep bouncing up and down from the bottom to the top of the glass.

When you add raisins to a glass of champagne, they’ll sink to the bottom at first. However, after some time, the raisins will move up and down in the glass dancing. This motion is due to dissolved carbon dioxide in the liquid. The CO2 bubbles cling to the surface of the raisins. Thus, the raisin method is used to “revive” flat champagne, as well.

fun facts champagne
Source: Unsplash

It takes 142.18 licks to reach the center of a Tootsie pop.

The Tootsie Pop was created in 1931, and was popular staple during the Great Depression because of its cheap price. The more you know, right?

Human birth control pills work on gorillas.

During an experiment conducted on four captive gorillas, scientists observed a difference in behavior. Peak sexual behavior was observed during menstruation rather than after. 

When the first Star Wars movie came out, France was still executing people with the guillotine.

The first Star Wars movie, Episode IV, came out in 1977. France used the guillotine for capital punishment until it was abolished in 1981. 

Queen Elizabeth II owns the swans in England.

Not only does she own generations of corgis, but this monarch also co-owns most of the geese in England. Why? Swans are the British royal family’s symbol. As of the 12th century, a legislation was passed stating that all mute swans were ownership of the Crown. In the 15th century, two other entities were entitled to the swans in River Thames.

During World War II, the Oscar awards were made of painted plaster.

The prestigious Oscar awards were made of painted plaster for three years following the metal scarcity of WWII. After the war, the Academy offered to replace the plaster figures for gold-plated metal ones.

Academy Awards, The Oscars, Trophy
Photo by Cliff on Flickr

For every non-porn webpage, there are five porn pages.

Whether that’s part of the fun facts is up to you or not, but 30% of all data transferred across the Internet is porn.

Napoléon Bonaparte’s penis was stolen.

Posthumously, if that makes it any better. The genitalia was removed from his body by his doctor during autopsy. Allegedly, it was given to a priest in Corsica. However, his junk was not properly preserved, so now it has been compared to dried leather and beef jerky. It was first displayed in a museum in 1927. Currently, the daughter of a urologist (who bought it for US$3,000 to keep under his bed) keeps it. Bids for the shrivelled genitalia have reached US$100,000. 

M&M’s stands for “Mars & Murrie’s.”

The two ‘M’s on this candy staple represent the names of Forrest E. Mars Sr., (founder of Newark Company), and Bruce Murrie (son of Hershey Chocolate’s president William F. R. Murrie). One of the little-known fun facts about M&M’s is that it’s made with Hershey’s chocolate. Another fun fact? It’s a copycat product! Mars only had an idea for the product from seeing its British predecessor, Smarties.    

Millions of trees were estimated to be planted by squirrels that forgot their buried nuts.

Dreamworks’ Ice Age franchise may not be fully accurate, but it sure got one thing right: Squirrels love burying their nuts. 

A pound of houseflies contains more protein than a pound of beef.

Another little-known fact (Or maybe, just one we don’t want to acknowledge) about insects is that they are a very rich protein source. So much so, that sustainability advocates are calling for insects as a meat substitute. 

fun facts protein
Source: Unsplash

Cats sleep for ⅔ of their lives.

People have a love-hate relationship with cats. It’s somewhat understandable, since cats tend to be the exact opposite of the warm, eager demeanor loved by many in dogs. Another stark difference is that cats spend a lot of time asleep. Like, 15-hour average kind of a lot. Cats sleep mostly during the day and only become active around twilight. 

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho was the first American film to show a toilet being flushed on screen.

The groundbreaking flushing took place right before Janet Leigh’s character’s iconic shower scene. 

The Eiffel Tower leans away from the sun.

Heat makes metals expand. As such, the top of the Eiffel Tower can move up to 7 inches in the summer. 

A laughing epidemic made 14 schools close in East Africa.

In 1962, a laughter epidemic broke out in Tanganyika (now known as Tanzania). It started with three young girls and the uncontrollable laughter spread to neighboring villages. Symptoms included crying, fainting, rashes, and pain. All in all, it made 14 schools close. 

The youngest parents in the world were aged 8 and 9.

The parents had their child in China in 1910.

During WWI, Kotex was first manufactured as bandages.

No, they didn’t actually use the pads. However, the material used for these bandages (cellucotton) was what eventually became the first Kotex pad in 1919.

fun facts kotex
Source: Unsplash

Drinking coffee in Turkey was once punishable by death.

In 1633, The Ottoman Sultan Murad IV beheaded anyone he saw drinking coffee in public.  Aside from coffee being seen as a mild narcotic back then for its stimulating properties,  Murad IV believed that coffee shops could encourage dangerous thoughts or speech against his rulership. 

The Speaker of the House isn’t allowed to speak in England.

Okay, not literally. Instead, the Speaker of the House acts as a mediator for debates. They are not allowed to speak their own opinion on an issue. 

Crocodile poop was the first contraceptive.

The Ancient Egyptians certainly had a unique way of doing things. One of the fun facts about Egypt is how they practiced safe sex: Women would insert crocodile dung into their vagina. (Uh, fun?!) The science was that it would soften when it reached body temperature, forming a barrier.

The youngest Pope elected was 11 years old.

Pope Benedict IX was one of the most controversial Popes – people aren’t even sure when he was elected as the Pope. however, the choices were 20, 11, or 12. If that were true, he was the youngest Pope.

Only 2 countries don’t sell Coca-Cola.

Due to political reasons, North Korea and Cuba do not distribute the world’s most famous drink. 

fun facts coca cola
Source: Unsplash

The Paris Agreement on climate change was signed by the largest number of countries ever in one day.

The Paris Agreement (Accord de Paris) is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which deals with greenhouse-gas-emission mitigation, adaptation, and financing. Initially signed in 2016, 195 UNFCCC members have signed the agreement as of November 2019.

The world's quietest room is located at Microsoft's headquarters in Washington state.

In Building 87 of Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington lies the quietest room in the world. With a record-breaking background noise of -20.35 dBA, this room is 20 decibels below the minimum of human hearing. It is so silent that if you stay in it for long enough, you’ll start to hear your heartbeat, a deafening ringing in your ears, and the grinding of your bones. To achieve absolute silence, the room was constructed with an onion-like structure made of six layers of concrete and steel. 

Only 3 countries don’t use the metric system.

Namely, Myanmar, Liberia, and the U.S.

President Bush was re-elected by less than 31% of all eligible voters in the United States.

Only 60.7 percent of eligible voters participated in the U.S. presidential election of 2004. It was the highest percentage in 36 years, but more than 78 million people did not vote. 

Wayne's World was filmed in two weeks.

The critically and commercially acclaimed 90s comedy only took two weeks to shoot. Pretty surprising for a 95-minute film. 

Dodge made the first engines used by Ford.

The Dodge Brothers Company built every part of the earliest Ford car except the seats and tires.

fun facts ford
Source: Unsplash

In Ancient Egypt , priests plucked their bodies bald.

Ancient Egyptians believed that body hair was unhygienic and shameful. As such, it was a common practice for men, women, and children to remove their body hair. 

The population of the United States increases by one person every 12 seconds.

Every eight seconds, a person is born. Every 25 seconds, an immigrant is added, and a death occurs every 13 seconds. 

Toto was paid $125 per week while filming The Wizard of Oz.

In the 1939 hit The Wizard of Oz, Toto was played by a brindle Cairn Terrier named Terry. She was paid a $125 salary each week, which was even more than some of the human actors (ie: the Singer Midgets who played the Munchkins allegedly received $50 to $100 a week).

The electric chair was invented by a dentist.

In more shocking fun facts (perhaps literally): Alfred Southwick was a dentist who conceptualized electrical execution when he heard of an intoxicated man who died from touching a live electric generator. Realizing the man’s quick death, Southwick concluded that electricity could be an alternative to hanging for executions. However, he first intended for electrocution to euthanize stray dogs. 

Frankenstein is a vegetarian.

Turns out, this figure always seen along with Dracula and ghost isn’t as scary as you think. Victor Frankenstein’s Creature is – in fact – a vegetarian. In the Mary Shelley novel Frankenstein, the Creature says: “My food is not that of man; I do not destroy the lamb and the kid to glut my appetite; acorns and berries afford me sufficient nourishment.”

fun facts frankenstein
Source: Unsplash

The Terminator script was sold for a dollar.

James Cameron is the award-winning director who made his name with hits such as Titanic, Avatar, and The Terminator. However, his life wasn’t always that grand. In fact: in order to get his breakout hit made with The Terminator, he sold the script for US$1 and a promise that he’d get to direct.

Computer mouse speed is measured in "Mickeys."

The roller-ball device was first invented by a British scientist in 1946 while working for the Royal Navy. However, the word “mouse” was not coined until 1965

Pigeon poop is property of the British royal family.

Pigeon poop was used to make gunpowder in the 18th century, so King George I confirmed all the droppings as property of the crown.

Ancient Egyptians slept on pillows made of stone.

The Ancient Egyptians used wooden or stone headrests as pillows. They believed it helped with body vigor, blood circulation, warding away demons.

The microwave oven was another accidental invention.

The heating effect of a high-power microwave beam was accidentally discovered when it melted a chocolate bar in 1945. Percy Spencer, an American self-taught engineer, was working on an active radar set when he noticed his chocolate melted in his pocket. 

fun facts microwave
Source: Unsplash

In Elizabethan England, the spoon was so novel and prized that people carried their own folding spoons to banquets.

In the 13th century, the coronation of every British king was preceded by a ritual where the new king would be anointed by a ceremonial spoon.

Millie the White House dog earned more than four times as President Bush in 1991.

Once known as the most famous dog in White House history, Millie was one of the Bush’s family dogs. One of her amazing feats? The $900,000 in royalties earned from Millie’s Book easily outsold the $2,291 earned in 1991 by the President for his 1988 campaign autobiography, “Looking Forward.”

Nebraskan drivers had the flashiest traffic situation back then.

In 1912 a Nebraska law stated that night drivers must do the following: stopping every 150 yards, sending up a skyrocket, then waiting eight minutes for the road to clear before proceeding – while blowing their horns and shooting off flares.

Over 70% of people would reveal their passwords for chocolate.

In a 2004 study, 71% of office workers stopped on the street agreed to give up their computer passwords for a chocolate bar. Who could blame them?

A Boeing 747 airliner is made of over 6,000,000 separate parts.

The Boeing 747-8 is known as the world’s longest aircraft. It takes four months to finish building. 

fun facts airplane
Source: Unsplash

The word "testify" is based on… testes?

The term “testify” is said to be rooted in the Ancient Roman custom of making men swear on their testicles in court. However, there is no written confirmation that this is the case. Instead, people may have taken the Latin word testis out of context: it can mean testes, but also translates to witness. You decide which one makes more sense.

“Pants” used to be a dirty word.

Shortened from pantaloons, “pants” was considered vulgar by some language commentators. In Ambrose Bierce’s 1909 book Write It Right, he wrote the following on using the term “pants” for trousers: “Abbreviated from pantaloons, which are no longer worn. Vulgar exceedingly.”

Palindromes are the most difficult kind of phrase to form.

According to language experts, the hardest phrase to create is a palindrome: a sentence or group of sentences that are the same when reading forward or backward. Examples include:

  1. A man, a plan, a canal – Panama
  2. Madam, I’m Adam
  3. Never odd or even

The oceans contain 200,000 different kinds of viruses.

Dive deep into this next fun fact: Marine viruses have been found in the ocean from the surface down to 4,000m deep and from the North to the South Pole. Most of these viruses are harmless to humans. However, they can infect marine life such as whales and crustaceans. 

The tallest tower of cupcakes ever made is over 35 feet.

On Sep 23, 2017, Cupcakes of Hope (ZAF) built a tower of cupcakes standing at 35 ft 4” (10.77 m) tall in Vereeniging, South Africa.

fun facts cupcakes
Source: Unsplash

The biggest grill out of all time had 394 people grilling meat.

On August 19th, 2017, the Yuca Expoeventos (MEX) gathered 394 barbecuers to a grill out at the Plaza de la Mexicanidad in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

The average person will spend six months of their life waiting for red lights to turn green.

According to a 2016 U.K. study, the most common activity while waiting at a red is adjusting the stereo (59%). More than a third of people adjust the air-conditioner (38%) and a similar number eat a snack (36%).

A single lightning bolt has enough energy to toast 100,000 slices of bread.

One typical lightning strike could power a 1000 Watt, 2-slice toaster for 84,000 minutes. During this time, you could make around 100,000 slices of toast.

A blue whale's heartbeat can be heard from two miles away.

Contrary to popular belief, a blue whale’s heart isn’t as big as a Volkswagen beetle. However, it is still huge at 5 ft in length, 4 ft in width, and standing at 5 ft tall. This massive organ weighs about 181 kg.

The Netherlands has a squirrel bridge.

One of the most interesting fun facts about humans’ relationship with animals: After a few squirrel casualties, Netherlands officials built a squirrel bridge across the N44 motorway. The two-year project cost a hefty £120,000. However, to date, only five squirrels have been seen using it. 

fun facts netherlands
Source: Unsplash

Subway footlongs don’t measure a foot long.

Man, talk about false advertising. A fun fact you probably don’t know about this beloved sandwich joint is that Subway actually faced a 2013 lawsuit for their “foot” longs. The food chain explained that the Subway Footlong is merely a brand name and not meant to be the actual measure of the sandwich. The case was then promptly thrown out. 

Marie Curie's belongings still have radioactive residue in present day.

Marie Curie’s contributions to science had her named by many as the mother of modern physics. One of the works she was most known for was her study of radioactive materials and the discovery of elements such as polonium and radium. However, her research took a toll on her health. Radioactive exposure not only led to her death due to aplastic anemia – but her clothes, furniture, and books remain radioactive to this day. Now, over a century later, her notebooks have to be stored in a lead box, as they will still be radioactive for another 1,500 years.

The Canary Islands are named after dogs, not birds.

One of the fun facts you wouldn’t think about: The Canary Islands aren’t named after canary birds! The location was actually named after dogs. Despite being off the coast of Northwestern Africa, the archipelago is actually part of Spain. The area’s Spanish name is Islas Canarias. This name roots from the Latin phrase Canariae Insulae, or “island of dogs.” 

The Netherlands has the tallest population.

At an average height of 72.36” (6.03 ft), the Netherlands is home to the tallest population on Earth. 

Indonesia has the shortest population.

On the flip side, the smallest population in the world are in Indonesia. It houses the world’s smallest average height at 62.2” (5.2 ft).

fun facts indonesia
Source: Unsplash

Tom Hanks was not paid for Forrest Gump.

This may be surprising for one of his most iconic roles, but Tom Hanks did not receive a set fee for this film. Instead, he signed an agreement that entitled him to percentage points from the film’s profit. Ultimately, his part in the film’s earnings netted him at US$40 million.

Arnold Schwarzenegger once forgot to take off the Terminator look.

During a break in filming Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger went to a restaurant in downtown L.A. to get lunch. However, he realized too late that he was still in Terminator makeup – missing eye, exposed jawbone, burned flesh, and all.

The sound of the automatic doors opening on the U.S.S. Enterprise is made by a toilet.

One of the fun facts about the rich world of Star Trek is the story behind the U.S.S. Enterprise’s doors: The distinct sound is actually the sound of a Russian train’s toilet flushing.

Will Smith wanted to adopt the German Shepherd in I Am Legend.

Will Smith grew so fond of his canine co-star, Abbey, that he tried to adopt her when filming was finished. However, the dog’s trainer didn’t want to give her up.

Henry Cavill’s muscles are the real deal.

Henry Cavill refused to take steroids for his role as Superman. He also refused digital enhancements, so the hulking physique you see in the films are all-natural. He reasoned that it would have been dishonest to manipulate the Superman look.

fun facts superman
Source: Unsplash

The Titanic film runs for as long as the ship sunk.

Minus the present-day scenes and opening/ending credits, Titanic is 2hrs and 45 minutes long – which is also the time it took for the ship to sink in 1912. Additionally, the collision scene lasted 37 seconds, which is also how long the ship collided with the iceberg in real life. 

Sylvester Stallone landed in the I.C.U. while filming Rocky.

Stallone wanted to make sure the boxing scenes looked authentic in Rocky IV, so he instructed Dolph Lundgren to actually hit him. A punch to the chest landed Stallone in intensive care for four days.

Brad Pitt and Edward Norton actually learned how to make soap in Fight Club.

The 90s cult classic had one of its most iconic scenes when Brad Pitt and Edward Norton’s characters made soap. They actually learned for real. 

Brendan Fraser almost died filming The Mummy.

During a scene where his character is hanged, Fraser nearly lost his life on the set of The Mummy. According to co-star Rachel Weisz, Fraser had to be resuscitated after the botched hanging scene. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger practiced with guns every day for a month to prepare for The Terminator.

To achieve the mechanical motions of The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger worked with guns daily for an entire month. At the first two weeks of filming, he practiced stripping and reassembly while blindfolded until he was able to do it robotically and with both hands. He also practiced using different weapons without blinking or looking at them when reloading. 

fun facts movies
Source: Unsplash

Daniel Kaluuya was given the lead role on the spot after nailing his audition.

According to director Jordan Peele, Kaluuya did five takes of a key scene where character needs to cry. Each take was so perfect that the single tear came down at the exact same time.

Michael Fassbender had makeup artists put alcohol on his mustache for a role.

For 12 Years A Slave, Michael Fassbender had his makeup artist apply his mustache with alcohol. His reason? He wanted to better portray an alcoholic and wanted other actors to react naturally to the smell.

The Kingsman underwater scene was not scripted.

One of the most grueling scenes in Kingsman is the underwater escape scene. The actors delivered a scene that even had you panicking. However, it’s actually closer to life than you think. The flooding was a technical mishap that derailed the rehearsed flow of the scene. Director Matthew Vaughn recalls it as a horrible first day of filming. The cut was still used in the film. 

The creators of Stranger Things wanted to direct the It remake.

The Duffer Brothers wanted to direct the 2017 remake of It, but the film wasn’t given to them because they weren’t established enough. However, they ended up creating Stranger Things (2016), which co-stars Finn Wolfhard (who plays Richie in It).

There were 25 snakes found on The Maze Runner set.

The grassy plains of the first Maze Runner film definitely creates a fearful anticipation of what lies within – and for the film’s cast and crew, it would have been snakes. Prior to shooting, the production team had to hire snake wranglers to clear out the area. They located a total of 25 venomous snakes – with the biggest one they found at 5 feet long.

fun facts movies
Source: Unsplash

Crushed vitamins have been used for cocaine scenes in movies.

For The Wolf of Wall Street, the actors inhaled crushed B vitamins in cocaine-snorting scenes. In fact, after so much inhaling, Jonah Hill contracted bronchitis and had to be hospitalized.

Nestlé supplied 1,850 bars of real chocolate for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The 2005 Willy Wonka remake was definitely true to its namesake with the amount of chocolate used in the film.

Hugh Jackman went 36 hours without water for Les Miserables.

This caused the actor to lose water weight around his eyes and cheeks and end up looking as gaunt as a prisoner. 

Jim Caviezel was struck by lightning while playing Jesus in The Passion Of The Christ.

While filming the Sermon on the Mount, Caviezel and another film crew were suddenly struck by lightning. Luckily, it wasn’t fatal. 

Victorians said "prunes" when taking pictures.

Whenever we take photos, we say “cheese” because it makes us smile. However, smiling in photographs was once seen as a vulgar act. To keep a neutral face, they would say “prunes,” there was little to no chance of it forming a smile.

fun facts history
Source: Unsplash

The foil seals on medicine bottles were placed due to poisoning incidents.

The Tylenol poisonings of 1982 was a widespread crisis that involved U.S. consumers dying or falling ill from Tylenol. It was later found that the bottles had been laced with potassium cyanide. To restore the faith of the public in the product and the company, Johnson & Johnson patented the seal to prevent further tampering incidents. This is also the thought behind the “Do not accept if seal is broken.” warnings that we see with other products.

North Koreans are shorter than South Koreans.

According to a researcher from Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, North Koreans are, on average, four centimeters shorter than South Koreans. Factors that cause the height difference include malnourishment, economic stagnation, and lack of immigration.

Indians read the most out of any nationality.

Indians spend an average of 10 hours and 42 minutes a week reading, which is more than any other country in the world. Other countries that read the most are Thailand, China, the Philippines, and Egypt. 

A pig was once held in trial for the death of a child.

During the Middle Ages, it was normal for animals to be tried for human crimes. In 1386, a pig was even arrested for injuring a child. When the child died, the pig was placed in trial which ruled the pig’s public execution.

You could buy a town from eBay.

Since eBay was founded in 1995, many unusual items have been placed on the online auction site. One of the weirdest fun facts: Someone even tried to sell the country of New Zealand on eBay. Turns out, it was part of the long-known rivalry between Australia and New Zealand – an Australian jokingly posted the auction. However, the bidding was stopped once the bid reached $3,000. 

fun facts new zealand
Source: Unsplash

Doritos are flammable.

Once the world as we know it meets its end – whether through aliens, zombies, or other causes – you can rely on Doritos for survival. These famous corn chips actually make a long-lasting fire due to hydrocarbons and oil content. The more powder-flavoring, the longer the fire will last.

Starbucks flopped in Australia.

Starbucks may be a staple in many countries, but Aussies couldn’t care less. Since opening dozens of locations in Australia in 2000, 70% has already closed down, leaving only 23 cafes still operating in the country. This is only one of the many fun facts about Australia.

Glaciers make sounds.

Aside from the sound of global warming, melting glaciers and icebergs emit a sound similar to fizzling soft drinks that experts have dubbed the “bergy seltzer.” It occurs when melting water frees tiny bubbles of air under enormous pressure, resulting in a sound so loud that it can be used to determine the distance of icebergs.

The first roller coaster was invented to stop sinful behavior.

When LaMarcus Thompson created the first roller coaster in Coney Island, he did it to stop the sinful lifestyle of New Yorkers. The rise of brothels in the late 1800s disgusted Thompson who wanted to provide a family-friendly way to indulge.

Your nails grow at the same time as continental plates drift.

Tectonic plates drift about a millimeter a week, which is the same amount your nails grow. Continental plates drift because of the heat pushing its way to the surface from the core. In a year, tectonic plates end up drifting between one and two inches.

fun facts nails
Source: Unsplash

The longest location name on the planet is 85 letters long.

Taumatawhakatangihanga-koauauotamateaturipukakapikimaung-ahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, New Zealand is officially has the longest place name at 85 letters long.

The people who are currently alive are only 7% of the total number of people who have ever lived.

One of the fun facts that’ll make you realize how long humans have been around: According to the Population Reference Bureau, over 108 billion people have ever been born. At 7.5 billion, that’s only a meager 7% of the people who have ever lived. 

Muhammad is the most popular name in the world.

The most used name in the world is believed to be Muhammad with an estimated 150 million men who share this name. This is largely in thanks to the Muslim practice of naming their first-born sons after the prophet.

There are more than 24 time zones around the world.

If the Earth’s time zones were only one hour apart, then we would have 24 time zones. However, many time zones only differ by 30 to 45 minutes. This means that there must be more than 24 existing timezones.

Sweden has the most islands of any country.

With 221,800 islands, Sweden is believed to have more islands than any country in the world. However, only 1,000 of them are inhabited.

fun facts sweden

The red-billed quelea is the most common bird on Earth.

You may have never seen one in your community, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t building a legion. These birds are native to sub-Saharan Africa, where they’re considered “agricultural pests” because their flocks can destroy entire crops. Their population fluctuates between 1 to 10 billion queleas, which makes scientists conclude that they are the most abundant birds on Earth.

The hashtag symbol is called an octothorpe.

The “octo-” prefix refers to the eight points on the symbol, but it’s not clear where the “thorpe” originated. Some theorize that it comes from the Old English word for “village,” since the symbol almost looks like a village surrounded by eight fields. 

The longest wedding veil was longer than 63 football fields.

If you think you’ve seen how crazy grand weddings can get, think again. Maria Paraskeva claimed the Guinness World Record for the longest wedding veil in 2018. This dream-come-true veil measured nearly 23,000 feet, which the size of 63.5 football fields.

No real astronaut ever said, "Houston, we have a problem,"

The famous line was only said by Tom Hanks in the movie Apollo 13.

The lyrebird can make chainsaw sounds.

The Australian lyrebird can mimic not only animals, but it can imitate sounds from other inanimate objects such as cars, cameras, and chainsaws. 

fun facts birds
Source: Unsplash

9% of Americans have phobias.

Over 19 million people in the U.S. have a specific phobia, with some having more than one. In teenagers, the prevalence of specific phobias in teenagers is higher at 15.1%

Elvis only won 3 Grammys.

The King of Rock and Roll had 18 #1 hits in his career, but only bagged 3 awards out of his 14 nominations. Instead, the record for the most Grammy wins belongs to George Solti, the longtime leader of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, at 31 Grammy awards.

Cornell University offers a wine course.

Technically it’s called a degree in “Viticulture and Enology.” The program deals with grape cultivation and the science of winemaking.

The Krusty Krab restaurant is a lobster trap.

In Spongebob Squarepants (1999), the Krusty Krab is actually designed after a lobster trap. Pretty dark for a cartoon about sea creatures.   

The Hulk was supposed to be grey.

Creator Stan Lee initially wanted the Hulk to be grey, but due to ink problems, the Hulk turned out green. However, the misprint was explained in canon as the two Hulk personas (Grey vs. Green) fighting in Bruce Banner‘s subconscious.

fun facts comics
Source: Unsplash

The Flintstones was the highest-earning network cartoon franchise for 30 years.

However, this record was beaten by The Simpsons in 1996. 

Walt Disney hated Goofy.

Ah-Hyuck! As one of the first Disney staples, you’d be surprised to know that Disney actually hated the character of Goofy. He thought the cartoon was stupid, and the only reason he kept the character was to save other workers’ livelihoods. 

The place that cartoon characters store things, just to pull out of thin air, is known as “Hammerspace”.

If you’ve ever seen Tom & Jerry, you’d be familiar with those scenes where Jerry would pull a bat out of nowhere to bonk Tom mid-chase. However, animators have given this unseen, mysterious sphere where characters pull objects out of a name: the Hammerspace. 

Superman used to leap places instead of flying.

In fact, Superman flying was only a somewhat recent development. In the 1940’s, Superman would only leap onto tall buildings. Thinking it looked silly, the animators of Superman’s first animated show requested permission to give him flight. Superman’s been flying high ever since.

The longest-running primetime animated series is the Simpsons, which began in 1987.

Before the reign of The Simpsons, there were the Flintstones. However, towards the end of the 90s, a new family was in town. Matt Groening’s The Simpsons quickly overtook the Flintstones in terms of profit. The show is currently at its 19th season, with a running total of 672 episodes.

fun facts cartoons
Source: Unsplash

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse were married in real life.

Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse, married Russi Taylor – the voice of Minnie, in 1991. Allwine voiced Mickey for 32 years, while Taylor voiced Minni from 1986 until her death in 2019. 

The Pokemon Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan are based on Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

Pokemon is an RPG known for its world-building, which includes creating Pokemon inspired from animals, objects, space, and – turns out – even renowned martial artists. Generation 1’s Fighting type Pokemon Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan were made as homages to the great kung fu masters.

All the Professors in Pokemon have been named after trees.

If you’ve played or watched Pokemon, you’d notice that through all generations, the Professors are named after trees: Professor Oak of Gen I, Professor Elm of Gen II, Professor Birch of Gen III, all up to Professor Sycamore of Gen IX.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first American film to have a soundtrack.

In 1937, Snow White became the first American film to ever release a soundtrack. The songs were composed by Frank Churchill and Larry Morey while Paul J. Smith and Leigh Harline composed the music score. 

The Little Mermaid was Disney’s first princess movie in 30 years.

When Disney released Sleeping Beauty, it was such a box office bomb that the company was put off creating princess movies. Disney didn’t make another princess movie until 30 years later, when The Little Mermaid was released in 1989. 

fun facts cartoons
Source: Pixabay

Jackie Chan voiced the Beast in the Chinese dub of The Beauty And The Beast.

Jackie Chan dubbed the Beast’s voice for the Chinese translation of the Beauty and the Beast—including the singing. 

The Lion King was the first original Disney movie.

The Lion King was the first animated Disney film that was not an adaptation of an existing story.

Bees bite.

To protect their hives from outsiders, some “guard bees” will monitor the entrance and sniff bees that come in. If they find an outsider bee from another hive, the guard bee will bite and sting the intruder.

Kids ask about 300 questions a day.

A 2013 study showed that the average kid asks one question every 2 minutes and 36 seconds. Of all types of children, girls aged four are the most curious, asking 390 questions per day. Interestingly, 82% of children would ask their mother first before their father. 

T-shirts were originally made for unmarried men who didn't know how to sew buttons on collared shirts.

However, people really didn’t pay much mind to T-shirts until the 1950s.

fun facts history
Source: Pixabay

All Froot Loops have the same flavor.

Yup, you’ve been lied to. 

Before the 1800s, people slept in batches.

Before, people had a “first” and “second sleep.” Towards the evening, they would sleep for 3-4 hours, wake for 2-3 hours to do some activities, then go back to sleep until morning.

Cows have "best friends" and will get stressed when separated.

If a cow is taken away from her “best friend,” her stress levels will decrease her milk yields. Surprisingly, cows are not the only species who form attachments to certain companions. The “best friend” preference is also observed in certain bats, elephants, chimps, and dolphins.  

New Zealanders have more pets per household than any other country.

68% of households in New Zealand have a pet, which is more than any other country in the world. 

The design for the seatbelts we use now was given away by Volvo.

Before 1966, seatbelts were not mandated. During this period, seatbelts just secured the lap but offered no upper-body protection. When Nils Bohlin of Volvo invented the three-point seatbelt design, he gave away the patent for free to keep drivers safe. 

fun facts history
Source: Pixabay

Kea parrots laugh together when they're in a good mood.

Kea parrots are the first known non-mammal species to communicate with laughter.

Flyting was the original rap battle.

Way before flip top and rap battles, there was “flyting”: the artful exchange of witty, insulting lines. Flyting was popular in the 5th to 16th century England and Scotland.

The Russians showed up 12 days late to the 1908 Olympics.

It was no sweat, though: back then, the Olympics lasted for 6 months. The Russians showed up late to the 1908 London Olympics because they were using the Julian calendar, which is 2 weeks behind the Gregorian calendar already used by the rest of the world.

In Japan, letting a sumo wrestler make your baby cry is considered good luck.

One of the coolest fun facts about Japan: they have a ritual where sumo wrestlers make babies cry. Sounds like a dream for me, but a nightmare for parents. However, the ritual is said to bring good luck. The Naki Sumo is a 400-year-old Japanese ritual where babies engage in a baby-cry sumo: two sumo wrestlers face each other carrying a baby each.  The sumo wrestlers will try to make the babies cry, and the child that cries first or the loudest wins.

Black cats are good luck in Britain and Japan.

Black cats may have been universally seen as bad luck, but that isn’t the case for Great Britain and Japan. In fact, new brides are given black cats to bless their marriage in the English Midlands. In Japan, black cats are a symbol of good luck for single women. 

fun facts cats
Source: Pixabay

Ben & Jerry learned how to make ice cream from a $5 course at Penn State.

The titular Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were childhood friends. Although Greenfield finished college, he was unable to pursue med school. Cohen, on the other hand, dropped out of school. In 1977, Cohen and Greenfield completed a course on ice cream making from Pennsylvania State University’s creamery. One of the fun facts no one knows about this famous product: Have you ever wondered why Ben & Jerry’s is so chunky? Ben Cohen actually a condition where he can’t smell or taste anything. Instead, he relied on food textures texture to provide variety in his diet. This led to the company’s trademark chunks in their ice cream.

The the official plural form of a Prius is Prii.

After an online poll in 2011, Toyota announced the official plural form of the Prius: it’s Prii. Add that to the fun facts you never even thought of, but know now. We hope you find peace. 

Dogs can understand up to 250 words and gestures.

The average dog is as smart as a two-year-old child.

Goats have rectangular pupils.

Have you ever looked at a goat and thought, “Man, why do you look so weird?” Goats have been used for different religious imagery and have been associated with satanic or demonic themes. (Hello, Insidious demon.) One of the fun facts about goats is that their weird, rectangular pupils actually give them a wider range of vision to look out for predators. 

Wasting food is illegal for supermarkets in France.

France is the first country in the world that legislated a Food Waste Law that bans supermarkets from wasting unsold food. It mandates that supermarkets must compost their leftover produce, or donate the goods to charity.

fun facts france
Source: Pixabay

A baby can cost new parents 750 hours of sleep.

For first-time parents, having a baby can remove 750 hours from their usual total sleeping hours for an entire year.

A grumble is a group of pugs.

They’re called a “grumble” because of their tendency for snorting and grunting.

Garfield used to own G-Mail.

Before Google launched Gmail in 2004, “G-Mail” was a free email service on the Garfield website. Garfield Mail operated from 1998 to 2001. 

Crayola is literally "oily chalk."

The name is a compound of the French craie (chalk) and ola (“oleaginous,” “oily”).

Abraham Lincoln was a wrestling champion.

Before he was president, Abraham Lincoln was the wrestling champion of his county. Abe fought in almost 300 matches, losing only once.

fun facts abraham lincoln
Source: Pixabay

Queen Elizabeth II has had over 30 corgis in her lifetime.

Queen Elizabeth had Susan, her first Corgi, when she was 18. From Susan, she had 14 generations’ worth of Corgis throughout her life. However, the last one died in 2018. Currently, the Queen has stopped breeding new ones for fear of trampling over a puppy. 

Relative to their bodies, Chihuahuas have the biggest brain in the dog world.

Chihuahuas are very tiny, so that’s not really saying a lot. 

Elvis Presley's manager sold hate merch for profit.

One of the most iconic marketing fun facts: Elvis’ manager, Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk, sold “I Hate Elvis” badges to make money from people who weren’t buying his merchandise.

Avocados never ripen on the tree.

Farmers can use the trees as storage units. As long as avocados are still attached to its parent tree, they can stay fresh for up to seven months.

At the Humane Society of Missouri, kid volunteers comfort anxious shelter dogs by reading to them.

Shelter dogs have usually lived through significant trauma. This makes it difficult for some dogs to be adopted due to their changed behavior. To solve this, the Humane Society of Missouri created the Shelter Buddies Reading Program. It pairs kids aged 6 to 15 with anxious, mistrustful dogs to socialize them for home life.

fun facts dogs
Source: Pixabay

China owns all of the pandas in the world.

The pandas you see in zoos are actually loaned by China at US$1 million a year.

Penguins used to be 6 feet tall.

Whether a terrifying or adorable fun fact: bones found at Seymour Island showed that penguins stood at 6 feet tall and weighed 250 pounds 40 million years ago. 

A scientific calculator is 6 times more powerful than the Apollo 11 computer.

A TI-83 calculator has 6 times more processing power than the computer that landed the Apollo 11 on the moon.

Humans shed 18 kg of skin in their lifetime.

At this rate, a person completely replaces their outer skin every month.

The "Like" button on Facebook was supposed to be the "Awesome" button.

However, the developers decided “Like” would be a more universal term. 

fun facts facebook
Source: Pixabay

Human fingers are really sensitive.

The nerve endings on fingers are so sensitive that if your fingers were the size of Earth, you could still feel the difference between a house and a car.

Humans are genetically related to bananas.

We share 50% of our genes with bananas, which is about 1% of our DNA.

Our sense of smell and taste decrease by 20%-50% during flights.

Because of the lack of humidity and pressure in high altitudes, our sense of taste and smell weakens. 

There are more atoms in a glass of water than glasses of water you could fill with all the oceans of the Earth.

Since the first subatomic particles were identified by J. J. Thomson in 1897, scientists have studied the properties of matter and atoms. It was discovered that there are 1082 atoms in the universe, which is a 10 followed by 82 zeroes. 

Bubble wrap was originally designed to be used as wallpaper.

Bubble wrap was born in 1957, when engineer Al Fielding and Swiss inventor Marc Chavannes tried creating a textured wallpaper. However, their product was rejected. They also tried marketing it as a greenhouse insulator, but the material still fell short. However, when IBM released a new computer, Fielding and Chavannes pitched their concept as a protective covering for computer shipments. From then on, bubble wrap was adopted as the go-to protective wrap. Third time’s the charm, I guess. 

fun facts bubble wrap
Source: Pixabay

Your body replaces all its particles every seven years.

You are not the same person that you were 7 years ago.

The world's longest musical piece lasts 639 years.

Organ²/ASLSP (As Slow as Possible) is a musical piece by John Cage that has been playing since 2001 at the St. Burchardi church in Germany. As Slow As Possible is scheduled to have a duration of 639 years, set to end in 2640.

Neptune was the first planet that was discovered before being seen through a telescope.

Neptune stands out from the rest of the solar system because it was the first planet discovered by Urbain Le Verrier through mathematical prediction rather than an encounter.

You're more likely to become President than you are to win the lottery.

The odds of a person becoming the President of the United State are 10 million to 1. However, the odds of hitting the Powerball jackpot are 292,201,338 to 1.

There’s only one letter that doesn’t appear in any U.S. state name.

You’ll find a Z (Arizona), a J (New Jersey), and even two X’s (New Mexico and Texas)—but not a single American state has the letter Q

fun facts america
Source: Pixabay

Samsung tests phone durability with a butt robot.

People tend to store their devices on their back pockets, which is why Samsung created a robotic butt to test phone durability.

Armadillos have bulletproof shells.

One Texas man was even hospitalized after shooting an armadillo – the bullet ricocheted off the animal and struck him in the jaw.

Kleenex tissues were supposed to be for gas masks.

During a cotton shortage in World War I, Kimberly-Clark devised a thin, flat cotton substitute to use as a filter for army gas masks. However, the war ended before scientists could perfect the material. In turn, the company constructed a thinner and softer material that eventually became Kleenex tissues.

Blue whales eat 500,000 calories in 1 mouthful.

When whales open their gaping mouths in the ocean, they eat half a million calories’ worth of krill. If whales were like humans, their calorie deficit would be way off the charts: the energy they get is more than 240 times the energy they expend to gather all the krill in their mouth. 

The tiny pocket in jeans is for pocket watches.

When jeans were invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1893, it only had four pockets: one in the back, two in the front, and the tiny pocket.

fun facts history
Source: Pixabay

NASA can “fax” tools to astronauts

Sending equipment to the Space Station used to take months or years, but 3D printing technology now lets NASA do it in a few hours.

Only ¼ of the Sahara Desert is sandy.

When you think Sahara, you’d probably think of something out of The Lion King or National Geographic: stretches of dry, barren sands. However, this is actually not the case. One of the fun facts about the Sahara desert is that it’s hardly made up of sand! Most of it is covered in gravel with mountains and oases. 

2 parts of the human body never stop growing.

Our noses and ears never stop growing, even when the rest of the body has stopped. 

No number contains the letter A before 1,000.

Spelled out, one thousand is the first number that has the letter A in it.

Mercedes invented a joystick-controlled car.

In 1966, Mercedes released the Mercedes F200. One of its most defining features is its joystick controller that replaces the steering wheel and pedals. The car could sense which side the driver was sitting in, so someone could control it from the passenger seat.

fun facts cars
Source: Pixabay

The CIA headquarters Starbucks doesn’t put names on the cups.

Its receipts say “Store Number 1” instead of “Starbucks,” and the cafe workers need an escort to leave their work posts.

The Eiffel Tower grows during the summer.

In summer heat, the high temperatures make the Eiffel Tower’s iron expand up to 6 inches.

Bees can fly higher than Mount Everest.

Bees are endlessly interesting creatures with a lot of amazing fun facts. One of which is that bees can fly over 29,525 feet above sea level. That’s even higher than Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world.

Humans have jumped further than horses in the Olympics.

The Olympics has been a good measure for humanity’s physical limits and capabilities. You’d be surprised that the world record for the longest human long jump is even greater than the record for longest long jump done by a horse. When Mike Powell jumped 8.95 meters, he beat the record of Extra Dry who jumped at 6.10 meters.

A waffle iron inspired one of the first iconic Nike shoes.

Nowadays, running shoes have a wide range of different technology and materials. However, that wasn’t the case back in the 1950s. Bill Bowerman of Nike wanted to make a lighter running shoe that could be worn on different surfaces. As such, the idea of using a waffle texture sole came to him during breakfast with his wife. Check out the waffle sole on the recently retroed Nike Tailwind ‘79.

fun facts shoes
Source: Pixabay

Glitter was invented by a farmer.

You wouldn’t think something as sparkly and extravagant as glitter was created by a farmer. Henry Ruschmann of New Jersey was a cattle rancher who crushed plastic in 1934 to dispose of it. The resulting powdered form is what we now know as glitter.

Abraham Lincoln used to be a bartender.

Another fun fact not known by many is that Abraham Lincoln was a licensed bartender. In 1930, his liquor license was discovered and displayed at a liquor store in Springfield.

Beethoven never studied multiplication or division.

One of the greatest composers in history, Ludwig Van Beethoven demonstrated his excellence throughout his lifetime. However, he never learned math beyond addition and subtraction. Beethoven studied at Tirocinium where he learned some math, but never multiplication or division. At one point, when he had to multiply 62 by 50, he wrote 62 down a line 50 times and added it manually.

Aquariums were supposed to be for cows.

In Latin, aquarium translates to a “watering place for cattle.” However, the first aquarium invented in 1921 was clearly not for cows.

An espresso maker has been sent to space.

When an Italian astronaut requests an espresso machine in orbit, who are we to deny her? The Italian Space Agency worked with Lavazza to create the cleverly-named ISSpresso – the first espresso coffee machine designed for space. As a result, the first espresso coffee was drunk in space by Samantha Cristoforetti on May 3, 2015.

fun facts space
Source: Pixabay

Apple Inc. was founded on April Fool’s.

Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne signed the documents for the Apple Computer Company on April 1st, 1976. However, the company was not fully established until January 3rd, 1977.

Wild boars wash their food.

At the Basel Zoo in Switzerland, zookeepers observed adult and juvenile wild boars bringing sandy apples to a nearby creek to wash before eating. They’re even neater than some people.

Baseball umpires used to sit in rocking chairs.

Baseball has been around since the 19th century. However, in the early games, umpires would sit in a rocking chair 20 feet behind the home plate. 

The first commercial airplane flight lasted 23 minutes.

In 1914, Abram Pheil paid $400 (the current equivalent of $8,500) for a 23-minute plane ride. Pheil flew between St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida, which was only 21 miles away from each other.

The French Scrabble World Champion doesn’t speak French

Nigel Richards of New Zealand memorized the entire French Scrabble dictionary (386,000 words) in nine weeks to bag the title. Richards had been playing Scrabble for 20 years since. 

fun facts language
Source: Pixabay

A U.K. woman has called 911 because of ice cream.

The West Midlands police in England once released a recording of a woman who dialled 999 (the U.K. equivalent of 911) because her ice cream didn’t have enough sprinkles. 

The British Empire was the largest empire in the world.

In the 1920s, the British Empire ruled over 23% of the world’s population. Their territory covered 13 million square miles. As such, the British Empire is considered the largest empire in history. 

Turtles can talk to each other.

If you’ve ever had a pet turtle, you would know they’re a silent bunch. However, scientists have discovered that they actually “talk” through low-frequency clicking and hooting.  

170 year-old champagne was found under the Baltic Sea.

The bottles would have been traveling from Germany to Russia in the 1800s before sinking in the sea. With temperatures between 2-4°C, the ocean floor was perfect for wine aging. Oenologists described the flavor profile as “sometimes cheesy,” with “animal notes,” and elements of “wet hair.”

Nikola Tesla did not like pearls.

One of the fathers of mechanical electricity, Nikola Tesla’s love for groundbreaking discoveries let us harness electricity the way we do now. However, he did not love pearls. He once sent an assistant home for showing up wearing pearls.

fun facts electricity
Source: Pixabay

Brad Pitt injured his Achilles heel while playing Achilles.

In the historic hit Troy, Pitt played the Greek hero Achilles. However, he might have gone too deep in character: he injured his Achilles heel tendon during a battle scene, which took 2 months for him to recover from. 

Martin Luther King Jr. had a C in public speaking.

Everyone remembers Dr. King as an activist and his “I Have a Dream” speech delivered in 1963. However, Martin Luther King actually had a C in public speaking while attending the Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania.

Bees can make different colors of honey.

Beekeepers in France once noticed that their bees were making shades of green and blue honey. It was later discovered that the bees were consuming colorful M&M waste from a nearby Mars factory.

The Pope can’t donate organs.

In 1970, Pope Benedict XVI was issued an organ donor card. However, once he ascended to the papacy in 2005, the card was deemed invalid. The Pope had to be buried with his whole body intact, because it was the property of the Catholic Church.

A one-armed player scored the winning goal in the first World Cup.

Héctor Castro played for the Uruguay soccer team during the first ever 1930 World Cup. In the last round between Uruguay vs Argentina, Castro scored a last-minute goal that made Uruguay the first ever winner of the World Cup. 

fun facts sports
Source: Pixabay

The stick is the world’s first toy.

This ancient toy dates back to the Stone Age.

The first baby stroller was pulled by animals.

William Kent invented the first stroller for the 3rd Duke of Devonshire in 1733. However, it did not have handles for parents. Instead, the strollers were pulled by goats, dogs, or miniature horses.

Ancient Egyptians used dead mice for toothaches.

In Ancient Egypt, people soothed their toothaches by putting a dead mouse in their mouth. Sometimes, the Ancient Egyptians would even mix other ingredients with these mice, to form a paste that they would apply to the affected tooth. 

fun facts ancient egypt
Source: Pixabay

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