General Facts

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Published: 09 Aug 2021

Modified: 27 Sep 2021

general facts

Life does not have to be mundane. We have random yet interesting facts in general that may just surprise you. We update this article regularly, so do check back!

Table of Contents

The Olympics was postponed for the first time in modern history.

The 2020 Summer Olympics, scheduled to start on July 24 2020, has officially been postponed due to the severe outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide.

This is the 4th occasion that the Olympics is affected by external events, and the first time it is postponed. The first three instances were cancellations due to World War 1 and World War 2.

You can find egg coffee in Vietnam.

Vietnam is the second-largest coffee producer in the world. You can find many different types of coffee, hot and iced, in different parts of the country.

Most noteworthy is the egg coffee (ca phe trung), a specialty in North Vietnam. Egg coffee is made using dark coffee topped with egg yolk and condensed milk, whipped together to create an airy froth on top.

There are 10 types of green tea.

Green tea is called as such due to the natural green color of the leaves, and the color of the brew.

green tea leaves
Photo from Adobe Stock

The 10 types of green tea you can find are; Sencha, Gyokuro, Tencha, Matcha, Funmatsucha, Konacha, Shincha, Fukamushicha, Kukicha, and Bancha. How many have you tried?

The term T-shirt first appeared in a novel in 1920.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was the first known person to use the term T-shirt when he included it in his novel, This Side of Paradise.

The most visited website in the world is YouTube.

With a monthly traffic of 8,564,946,885, YouTube holds the top spot as the most popular website in the world. Coming in second is Facebook, with less than half as much traffic at 3,483,131,264, and Wikipedia in third place with monthly traffic of 2,223,668,855.
(Source: Ahrefs)

A&W is the oldest fast food restaurant chain.

Founded in 1919, A&W started off as a root beer stand. After the tremendous success of the first root beer stand by Roy W. Allen, he partnered with his former employee Frank Wright to expand their root beer stand business and named their business A&W, using the first letter of their last names. They started to sell A&W franchises in 1925, and expanded their menu to include more food items you see in their menu today.

Some may argue that White Castle, founded in 1921, is the oldest fast food restaurant chain, since A&W started off as a root beer stand. To this date, this is still a debatable topic.

Female Komodo dragons can reproduce without a mate.

Known as parthenogenesis, female Komodo dragons are able to reproduce both sexually and asexually. In the circumstance that there are no male Komodo dragons, female Komodo dragons can lay eggs without mating. Interestingly, her offspring are all male, which grow up to be her mates. Although this is not an ideal case, this is undeniably an effective way to keep the species going.

There are more than 3 million shipwrecks on the ocean floors.

And less than 1% of them have been explored. It is estimated that more than $60 billion of treasures are in these shipwrecks. So what’s everyone waiting for? Of course, there is more to it. Each diving expedition can cost millions of dollars, and it is uncertain what each shipwreck exactly holds and if it is worth the effort and cost.

Marshmallows used to be a delicacy for gods and royalty.

As early as 2000 BC during ancient Egyptian times, the Egyptians extracted sap from the mallow plants and mixed the sap with nuts and honey to make marshmallows.

The first Disneyland opened in 1955.

Originally called Disneyland, the first Disneyland Park was designed and built under the supervision of Walt Disney himself, and the park was officially opened on 17 July, 1955 at Anaheim, California.

disneyland california, disneyland anaheim, first disneyland, disneyland entrance
Photo from Adobe Stock

The park garnered over 1 million visitors shortly within weeks of its opening. Until today, Disneyland Park is still one of the most popular theme parks in the world.

Everyone with blue eyes are related.

Scientists in Copenhagen University have found that 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, everyone had brown eyes. Due to a sudden mutation of the OCA2 gene, blue eyes were formed! From this, they were able to conclude that all blue-eyed people are related to the same ancestor.

The headquarters of the United Nations is in New York City.

Founded after World War 2, the United Nations, or commonly known as the UN, was formed to replace the League of Nations. Overseeing the East River, the UN headquarters is a complex located in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of Manhattan. Despite being situated in New York City, the land occupied by the headquarters complex and other buildings are all under the United Nations, and not the US government under a mutual agreement.

😂 is the most popular emoji.

According to the Unicode Consortium, the most frequently used emoji is the 😂 Face With Tears Of Joy emoji. Following closely after are the ❤️ Red Heart emoji and the 😍 Smiling Face With Heart Eyes.

The Titanic took 2 hours 40 minutes to sink.

And that’s the same duration as the length of the movie ‘Titanic,’ without the present-day scenes and end credits. The RMS Titanic struck an iceberg at 11.40 pm on April 14, 1912, and sank at 2.20 am the next day.

Sinking of Titanic
GIF by Artistosteles from Wikipedia

The national flag of Nepal is the only non-rectangular flag in the world.

The Nepalese flag is made up of two pennons, instead of the common quadrilateral flag similar to other countries in the world. The national flag is both its state flag and civil flag of the sovereign nation. During special events, like the Olympic games, the Nepal flag is overlaid on a white area for consistency with other flags.

The youngest mother in history was only 5 years old.

Lina Medina from Peru was born in 1933, and she was less than 5 years old when she became pregnant. She was 5 years, 7 months and 21 days old when she gave birth to her son. The identity of the baby’s father was never revealed.

Beer cans in Japan are stamped with Braille.

This is an initiative from beer companies in Japan to prevent the blind from consuming alcohol by mistake. The word “beer” in Braille is stamped on the top of the can, right next to the tab to open the can. It is still unknown if there actually caused an increase in the number of drunk blind people on the streets instead.

The word “Tip” originally meant “To Insure Promptitude”.

The practice of tipping may have started since the late Middle Ages, but the word “tip” probably originated from Samuel Johnson. In the cafe that Johnson often frequented, a bowl labeled “To Insure Promptitude” was available for guests to drop coins for better service. This phrase was shortened to “T.I.P.”, which eventually became the word “tip” in modern days.

The Grand Canyon is more than 1-mile deep.

Attracting more than 6 million visitors annually, the Grand Canyon is located by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (or 446 km) long, 18 miles (29 km) wide and 6093 feet (1857 m) deep.

A clownfish can change its gender.

All clownfish begin their life as males, while carrying both male and female reproductive organs. Only when the alpha female clownfish dies, an immature male clownfish will change his sex and take her place as the alpha female to mate with other breeding male clownfish.

clownfish, general facts
Photo from Adobe Stock

The name of the CPR dummy is Annie.

Also known as the “most kissed” face of all time, the CPR mannequin face was inspired by the mask, L’Inconnue de la Seine (The Unknown Woman of the Seine). When Peter Safar, an Austrian physician, and Asmund Laerdal, a Norwegian toymaker were making the mannequin in 1958, Laerdal was bewitched by the face hanging on the wall of his parents’ house.

Australia has more than 10,000 beaches.

With over 50,000 kilometers of coastline, Australia holds the record for the most number of beaches. The entire coastline is joined by over 10,000 beaches and if you’re interested, it will take you at least 27 years to visit all of these beaches.

Brazil is 5 times larger than Alaska.

Brazil and Alaska may appear to be the same size on the map, but actually that is the result of the Mercator projection. The Mercator projection is a cylindrical map projection created by Gerardus Mercator, a Flemish geographer and cartographer. The Mercator projection is useful for ship navigation, however it causes the side effect of exaggerating areas far from the equator.

Believe it or not, the land area of Alaska is 1.718 million square kilometers, and the land area of Brazil is 8.516 million square kilometers.

The youngest Nobel Prize winner is Malala Yousafzai.

At just 17 years old, Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people, and the right for all children to receive education. When she was 15 years old, she received threats and was shot by a Taliban gunman on the bus. Fortunately, she survived the murder attempt after being in Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the UK. She is currently an activist for female education.

RSVP stands for “Répondez, s’il vous plaît”.

This French phrase simply means “Please respond”. Now you know you have to reply, whether you’re attending the event or not.

Star Wars debuted in 1977.

The very first movie of Star Wars was released in 1977, which quickly became a blockbuster movie. Following the success of the first movie, two movies in the Original Trilogy were released in 1980 and 1983. To date, there are three trilogies – Original Trilogy, Prequel Trilogy and Sequel Trilogy. Good news for Star Wars fans, a new trilogy is in the making!

Gone With The Wind is the highest-grossing film.

After adjusting for inflation, the highest-grossing film is the 1939 film, Gone With The Wind, with a worldwide gross of $3,706,000,000, as of 2019. Following in second place is Avatar, with a worldwide gross of $3,257,000,000, and Titanic in third place with $3,081,000,000.

Gone with the wind movie poster, general facts
Poster from Wikimedia Commons

Juliet is 13 years old in the play Romeo and Juliet.

Whereas Romeo’s age remains a mystery in the play. Although Romeo’s age is not explicitly stated, he is assumed to be older than Juliet, given that he carries a sword in the play.

The longest living insect is the termite queen.

The termite queen can live up to 50 years, making it the insect with the longest lifespan. Its egg production is at its peak for almost 10 years. When she can no longer reproduce, there will be a new termite queen from the colony.

The short form for the word ‘number’ is called the numero sign or numero symbol.

You may have used No. or № when denoting numbers, but you probably didn’t know they have an actual name for it. This numero sign is made up of the uppercase letter N and a superscript lowercase o. For simplicity, it is usually substituted by the two letters N and o.

Monday is the first day of the week.

Some countries, such as the U.S., may regard Sunday as the first day of the week, but according to international standard ISO 8601, Monday is the first day of the week, and Sunday is the 7th, or last, day of the week.

Jupiter has the shortest days in our Solar System.

Despite its big size, Jupiter rotates on its own axis in 10 hours. On the other hand, Venus has the longest day of 5,832 hours.

Snake Island in Brazil is a snake island, literally.

Habitat to more than 5000 golden lanceheads, Ilha da Queimada Grande is home to these snakes. The golden lancehead pit viper is one of the world’s most dangerous and venomous snake species. The venom is so deadly that even a single drop eats away human flesh.

Antarctica is classified as a desert due to its low rainfall.

Antarctica is also the largest desert on Earth, with a total land size of 14 million square kilometers. The average annual rainfall in Antarctica was only 10 mm over the last 30 years. However as Antarctica is covered in ice, we usually don’t associate the continent with low, to little rainfall.

The Three Wise Monkeys have names.

The set of trio monkeys, or more commonly known as “See-no-evil, Hear-no-evil, Speak-no-evil” monkeys, are called 🙈 Mizaru, 🙉 Kikazaru and 🙊 Iwazaru respectively. In the Buddhism tradition, this proverb teaches us not to dwell on evil thoughts.

Earth has experienced 5 mass extinctions.

The first mass extinction happened as early as 444 million years ago, called the Ordovician-Silurian extinction. The subsequent mass extinctions are Late Devonian extinction, Permian-Triassic extinction, Triassic-Jurassic extinction, and Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction.

Now, are we in the sixth mass extinction?

Solitaire was introduced to Microsoft by an intern.

Wes Cherry developed the game while he was interning in Microsoft. Ever since, this game was pre-installed in all Windows PCs, starting from Windows 3.0.

solitaire

Oh, how we missed the time sitting in front of our computers, spending hours playing Solitaire, while changing the card backs of our decks.

The Simpsons are not exactly as young as they look!

Over the years, The Simpsons appear to be as young as how they have looked since the release of this series. Are you ready for the real age of The Simpsons?

Homer Simpson: 64 years old
Marge Simpson: 67 years old
Bart Simpson: 43 years old
Lisa Simpson: 41 years old
Maggie Simpson: 34 years old (Not a baby anymore, isn’t she?)

Moon trees originated from seeds which travelled to the Moon and back.

In 1971, Stuart Roosa brought hundreds of seeds with him for his exploration to space on Apollo 14. The seeds were taken into orbit around the Moon, but they did not land. They spent 9 days in space before returning to Earth.

These seeds were left to care for by the U.S. Forest Service until they sprouted and were given out to be planted as soon as possible. Unfortunately, not all the moon trees have survived.

There are more than 1000 editions of the Monopoly board game.

First published in 1935 by Hasbro, this popular property trading board game has been sold in more than 114 countries worldwide. Some special editions of Monopoly include Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Frozen, and Naruto.

The creator of I ❤️ NY designed the logo in the back of a taxi.

Milton Glaser was hired to design a logo for New York city to boost tourism.

I love NY logo, general facts
Image from Wikipedia

He proved his love for New York city by giving his work to the city for free, letting it become public property. His other notable works include the Bob Dylan poster and the New York magazine.