100 Useless Facts
These useless facts might not seem so useless after you’ve read through them. From random trivia about everyday life to surprising truths that you never knew, these facts are perfect for killing time.
You can’t bring a Furby to the Pentagon.
Since its release in 1998, Furbies have been a staple in the toy industry. You may find them adorable or creepy, but one thing for sure is that the American government doesn’t trust them. If you’ve ever encountered conspiracy theories about satanic Furbies, you’d be surprised that Furbies are banned from the Pentagon. One of Furby’s main features is speech imitation. Since most (if not all) of the communications in the Pentagon are confidential, they can’t risk a rogue Furby leaking everything to the public. As of 1999, the National Security Agency has banned Furbies from the Pentagon. See for yourself if a Furby would give away all of your secrets.
The pig has the longest orgasm observed in mammals.
The domestic pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) has the longest orgasm of any known mammal, lasting an average of 30 minutes. However, pig orgasms can peak at 90 minutes in some cases. Talk about pure bliss.
Chalk is edible.
Chalk is not toxic, but digesting large amounts is still not advisable. Eating your classroom chalk is also not advised. Check out these edible chalk brands instead.
Most American car horns honk in the key of F.
When the car was first commercialized, the amount of notes in a car honk indicated social status: the more honks, the more elite.
Babies are born without kneecaps.
Turns out, babies are as soft and delicate as they look. Babies may have more bones than the average fully-grown human, but they definitely won’t be doing any stunts anytime soon. Babies are born with a cartilaginous structure in their knees that will eventually develop into kneecaps by the time they are four years old.
Japan invented a tomato robot for runners.
The TOMATAN is a backpack robot that feeds you tomatoes. Invented in 2015 by Kagome, the robot was created for runners to have nutrition on the go. Useless facts, or not-so-useless?
Grass flip flops are an actual product you can buy.
The Australian company KUSA makes artificial grass flip flops that simulate the feeling of walking on fresh grass. See for yourself if these grass flip flops are as comfy as they say so.
Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every 2 weeks.
If your stomach fails to do this, it will digest itself. The fact stands: stomach acid is so powerful, it can melt razor blades and itself.
7-UP is a straightforward name.
When Charles Leiper Grigg created in 7-UP in 1929, he named it after the original 7-ounce bottle (7) and the direction that the bubbles go in a soda (up).
Reindeer love grass.
If you want to meet Santa on Christmas Day, you might want to consider keeping your lawn fresh instead of leaving cookies. Rudolph and his kind love greens such as willows, birches, and sedges. However, they would occasionally eat their old antlers for calcium.
Mustache shields were a thing in the Victorian Era.
You’ve heard of post-mortem photo opps and cocaine toothache drops, but another peculiar Victorian Era thing is the mustache shield. Patented in 1876 by Virgil A Gates, the mustache shield was designed to keep facial hair out of the way when eating and drinking.
Bears don’t poop during hibernation.
You might wonder, “How do animals keep in their poop when they hibernate?” Before an animal goes into hibernation, they will eat a lot to sustain them until they wake. So, where does all the food go? Bears keep their food in by eating grass and twigs, creating a plug or stopper in their bowels. With this stopper, they can sleep continuously without having to poop. However, once they wake up, it all comes out.
Mary Shelley allegedly lost her virginity on her mother’s grave.
It is widely believed that the author of Frankenstein did the devil’s tango with her would-be husband, Percy Shelley, on her mother’s final resting place. Does it get any more gothic than that?
A second is called a second for a reason.
The first division of an hour is by minutes. If you divide minutes, the next measurement is by seconds. The term “seconds” derives its name from being the second way to split an hour.
Blue whales have the largest penises on Earth.
If you think you know big dick energy, think again – blue whales officially have the world’s largest penis at 12 inches in diameter and ten feet in length.
Slinkies are 82 feet long.
Fully stretched out, Slinkies can reach up to 82 feet – or as long as 14 average-sized people.
Legos have a uniform system.
A Lego brick made in 1960 will fit perfectly with a Lego brick made today.
Bangkok has the world record for the longest name.
Bangkok’s full name is “Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.” Why it was eventually called Bangkok is still unconfirmed, but some theories point to the Thai word for “island village” or that it is named after a certain plant.
Americans eat enough burgers to circle the earth over 32 times.
Americans eat an estimated 13 billion hamburgers each year, which is enough to go around the Earth more than 32 times.
Bees have 5 eyes.
The 3 small eyes on a bee’s head detect light and help them escape from predators approaching from above. The 2 visible front eyes help them with navigation and recognizing shapes.
Watching TV burns more calories than sleeping.
But it’s not by a lot. Watching TV only burns 10% more calories than sleep.
The thumb nail grows the slowest, the middle nail the fastest, nearly 4 times faster than toenails.
Fingernails grow about 3.5 millimeters per month while toenails grow 1.6 mm on average.
The 57 on Heinz ketchup bottles has a hidden meaning.
No, it’s not the Illuminati. The “57” on Heinz bottles represents the 57 varieties of Heinz products. However, Henry Heinz first chose 57 because he thought it was lucky.
A blob of toothpaste is called a nurdle.
The everyday toothbrush blob may not seem like a big deal to you, but actually caused a court dispute between the two biggest toothpaste brands in America. In 2010, GlaxoSmithKline got sued by Colgate Palmolive for claiming ownership of using nurdle pictures in branding and packaging.
Plants do a lot for your room aside from making you happier.
Rooms with plants have up to 60% less airborne mold and bacteria.
You spray 2.5 drops of saliva per word.
The average talker sprays 300 microscopic saliva droplets per minute. No one has the statistics for announcers and DJs yet, though.
About 11,000 Americans injure themselves while trying out weird sexual positions per year.
Safe sex doesn’t just mean using contraception, it seems.
The average person spends 2 years using their phone.
We’ve heard it from adults billions of times: “You spend way too much time on that phone!” However, they may not be exaggerating. So far, the average person spends an entire 2 years on their phones throughout their lifetime.
"I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
“I am,” is a complete sentence because it has a subject (I) and a predicate (am).
Edgar Allan Poe married his thirteen-year-old cousin.
Edgar Allan Poe was 27 when he got married to his 13 year-old cousin. Now that’s one of the useless facts that are a lot to unpack.
J.D. Salinger drank his own urine.
Most known for his classic novel, Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger had a reputation for being strange. However, you wouldn’t think it was this bad: According to his daughter, Margaret Salinger, her father would drink his own urine and speak in tongues.
Lego bricks can be combined in nearly a billion ways.
Six pieces of the standard eight-studded Lego bricks can be combined in 915,103,765 ways.
Play-Doh was invented as wallpaper cleaner.
Play-Doh was initially invented to remove soot and dirt from wallpaper. In fact, antique restorers still use it for refurbishing antique pieces. However, Play-Doh was officially recognized as a toy in 1954.
The Play-Doh scent is patented.
In 2017, Hasbro filed a trademark for Play-Doh’s distinct smell of “sweet, slightly musky vanilla fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, mixed with the smell of salted, wheat-based dough.” Soon after, the trademark was approved.
Marvel action figures helped ToyBiz save money.
In the U.S., dolls based on human figures are taxed more heavily than other toys. Owning the rights to several Marvel Comics characters, ToyBiz successfully convinced the court that X-Men and Fantastic Four action figures should be taxed less. Their argument? The action figures were based on mutants, not humans. Following their appeal, the toy company won a reimbursement on the year’s taxes and cut their rate in half.
Junk food is as addictive as drugs.
The struggle to quit and the tendency to lose control may sound like a drug problem, but it’s a similar problem for junk food. According to as study, eating junk food has a similar effect on brain activity as narcotics do. This phenomenon is more common with highly-processed food such as fast food and instant food. Isn’t that one of the useless facts you wish you didn’t know?
The longest time without sleep is 11 days.
The longest time recorded of a person without sleep is approximately 264 hours. Within 3 to 4 days without sleep, you may start having hallucinations. Sleep is a biological function for a reason – it is not advisable to pull all-nighters all the time.
Salt used to be a currency.
For ancient civilizations, salt was so valuable that the Romans used it as money. They even paid their soldiers in salt rations instead of money.
4 out of 5 children recognize the Mcdonald's logo at 3 years old.
These kids can recognize the golden arches before they even know their own names.
Mr. Potato head used to be made of actual potato.
When Mr. Potato Head was first released in 1952, the toy only included eyes, noses, and mouths. For the potato body, kids were expected to provide their own. However, due to the possible safety hazards of the sharp pieces, the plastic body was provided in 1964.
The Super Soaker was designed and invented by a NASA engineer.
Lonnie Johnson used the royalties from his 1989 invention to fund research on solar power.
Chicken meat is not a main ingredient of chicken nuggets.
The main ingredients for a typical chicken nugget is fat, epithelium, bone, and connective tissue. Sounds appetizing!
Barbie and Ken broke up in 2004.
However, Mattel announced that they were getting back together on Valentine’s Day 2011.
Toy Story helped sell the Etch-a-Sketch.
The Etch-a-Sketch made a 12-second appearance in the 1995 feature film, Toy Story. Apparently, that 12-second cameo was enough to boost Etch-a-Sketch sales, thus saving the Ohio Art Company from bankruptcy.
The Rubik’s cube is the best-selling toy of all time.
Since it was introduced in 1980, over 350 million Rubik’s cubes have been sold.
You can see an owl’s eyeball through its ear.
One of the useless facts you’ll want to unsee: The unusually large ear opening of a northern saw-whet owl lets you have a disturbing view of its eyeball.
The sperm of a mouse is longer than elephant sperm.
However, the fruit fly produces the longest sperm known to science at 6cm. How’s that for useless facts?
You can’t see the Great Wall of China from space.
You may have seen fact sites claiming that the Great Wall is the only man-made structure visible from space, but this is actually not the case. According to the Apollo astronauts, the Great Wall cannot be seen from space. However, city lights at night, roads, and the Pyramids of Giza are said to be visible.
Ice cream warms the body.
It might make perfect sense to eat ice cream when you’re feeling hot, but it actually does the opposite to our bodies. The high fat content in ice cream warms us up rather than cooling down the body as it metabolizes.
The oldest piece of chewing gum is more than 9,000 years old.
The oldest chewing gum ever found was a lump of birch bark tar that dates back to the Stone Age.
Fritos means “little fried things.”
The name for Fritos Potato Chips comes from the Spanish word fritas, which means “little fried things.” We love a name that’s straight to the point.
Pepsi is named after indigestion.
When Caleb Bradham created Pepsi in 1965, he named it after the word “dyspepsia,” or indigestion. Bradham believed that his fizzy drink would help cure indigestion, hence the name, Pepsi.
3.6 cans of Spam are consumed each second.
In the U.S., Spam is the number one brand for canned meat with 3.6 cans eaten every second.
Conception occurs most in the month of December.
Improved sperm quality, ovum receptivity, and rising sexual activity in the winter months all contribute to the most babies being conceived in December.
Oreo has made enough cookies to go to the moon and back 5 times.
Since Oreo was introduced to the market in 1912, over 450 billion Oreo cookies have been sold worldwide.
Hershey's makes one million miles of Twizzlers every year.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there is certainly enough demand for Twizzlers for Hershey’s to create over 1.6 million kilometers of it. Think about that the next time you slander Twizzlers.
The cream in a Twinkie isn’t really cream.
The sweet, buttery filling in Twinkies is actually Crisco – otherwise known as vegetable shortening.
The average American looks at eight houses before buying one.
Now that’s a lot of choices. So much for the American dream house.
Soda fountain workers were called soda jerks
The workers were called soda jerks because of the jerking motion used to pump soda water.
There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.
The little indents on golf balls aren’t just there to help you differentiate it from other sports balls. The dimples on a golf ball’s surface create a thin turbulent boundary layer of air that clings to the ball’s surface, which affects the overall trajectory of the ball.
Corn dextrin is also used for glue on envelopes and postage stamps.
Corn dextrin is used as a thickening agent in junk food and a binding agent for fireworks. Mmm.
Germans eat twice as much chocolate as Americans.
At 11.3 kg of chocolate consumed each year, Germans eat twice the amount of chocolate that Americans do.
"Underground" is the only English word that begins and ends with the letters "-und."
There’s another one of the useless facts you can actually use to sound smart.
Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a belly button.
He wasn’t born without a belly button, but Alfred Hitchcock lost his belly button due to multiple gastrointestinal surgeries.
The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat."
Shah Mat means “the king is dead.”
The S in Harry S. Truman does have a meaning.
Harry S. Truman may have said that the “S” doesn’t mean anything, but it’s likely he was just trolling the media. In fact, the “S” stands for two names: his grandfathers Shipp Truman and Solomon Young.
Pennsylvania is misspelled on the Liberty Bell.
On the Liberty Bell, Pennsylvania is misspelled as “Pensylvania.” However, it was an accepted spelling at that time.
You spend 92 days of your life on the toilet.
Based on a study with 2,500 respondents, the average man spends 1 hr and 45 min on the toilet, which is 92 days a week.
Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.
Most planets rotate on their axis in an anti-clockwise motion. However, Venus rotates clockwise in retrograde once every 243 Earth days.
You have a one in 2 billion chance to live over 100 years old.
Only one person out of two billion will live to be 116 or older.
The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn its head.
Praying mantises are the only known insects able to rotate their heads from side to side.
Portugal is the top country for cork production.
Out of 2,200,000 hectares of cork forest worldwide, 34% is in Portugal. With annual cork production at 200,000 tons, 49.6% comes from Portugal. They must be serious about their wine.
There are 1,710 steps on the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower has 108 stories and 1,710 steps. However, visitors climb up to the first platform. Not a fan of stairs? Don’t worry – there are two elevators on the Tower.
Rice is the oldest food we still eat today.
In 2003, scientists recovered 15,000-year-old burnt rice grains in Korea. This makes rice the oldest known food that we eat till the present.
Some lions mate over 50 times a day.
When lions are in heat, they mate every 20–30 minutes, mating almost 50 times per day.
'Grace' is the most popular boat name.
Other choices? Feelin Nauti, Aquaholic, Therapy, and Seas The Day.
Gene Wilder ate wax in Willy Wonka.
For the tea time scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the “candy” flower cup that Gene Wilder chomped on was actually made of wax. Additionally, the chocolate river was made of actual water, chocolate, and cream that spoiled throughout shooting.
The first webcam was invented to monitor a coffee pot.
In 1993, researchers at Cambridge’s computer science department got tired of walking up to an empty coffee machine. So, they wired up a system that would stream images to the Trojan Room that housed the coffee pot.
The holes in spaghetti spoons have a purpose.
The single, circular hole in the middle of pasta spoons isn’t just for draining. It is actually a measure for the serving size of spaghetti. The amount of dry spaghetti that fits snug in the hole counts as one serving.
Non-dairy creamer is highly flammable.
Non-dairy creamer powder contains highly flammable ingredients such as sodium aluminosilicate.
Croissants are not French.
You might associate croissants with French lifestyle, but the croissant is actually from Vienna. In the 13th century, it was known as a kipferl, a denser bread made in the distinct crescent shape.
Before the computer mouse was known as a mouse, it was known as the turtle.
Manufacturers of the early versions of the computer mouse called it a turtle, because of its hard shell and moving part underneath.
Snapple's 1001 "Real Facts" aren’t true.
In 2002, the manufacturers of Snapple began printing “Real Facts” inside the bottle caps. However, most of this information is outdated or simply myths.
Pencils are yellow because of Chinese royalty.
In the 1800s, the best graphite in the world came from China. The Americans wanted to give a tribute to the Chinese for the graphite used in their pencils. Yellow means royalty and respect in China, which is why the Americans manufactured their pencils in yellow. To this day, the default color for pencils is still yellow.
The remote control was invented earlier than the television.
30 years before the first digital television, Nikola Tesla invented a “teleautomaton” that could control certain devices at a distance through radio waves. His first remote-controlled device was a remote-contolled boat in 1898. Since then, people adapted the wired remote for television. However, due to injuries, they developed it further to be a wireless remote.
Standard CD’s are always 74 minutes long.
Sony and Philips set the standard CD length in 1980 as 74 minutes based on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The executives decided that the standard CD should be able to fit the Ninth Symphony, giving it a 74-minute length.
Amazon box sizes aren’t just random.
Sometimes, Amazon ships small items in big boxes. However, it’s not a mistake or a random fluke. Amazon has an algorithm for shipping which decides how all items should fit together. This algorithm is why you may sometimes receive a huge box for little items – it prevents the items from sliding around and colliding with each other.
Maps sometimes have fake places to prevent plagiarism.
Plagiarism can be hard to avoid for mapmakers. After all, what should they do? Invent new places? You’d be surprised to know some mapmakers do just that. Cartographers can add wrong streets, fake towns, or other landmarks to prove whether a competitor mapmaker is copying their work.
The three most popular Western names in China are Jesus Christ, Richard Nixon, and Elvis Presley.
What an interesting choice of personalities.
In Vermont, there is one cow for every 3.8 people.
You may have read that the cow to person ratio in Vermont is 10:1, but it’s actually not true.
A chainsmoker voiced E.T.
Pat Welsh was an American actress who voiced E.T. The trademark rasp of E.T.’s voice is due to Welsh being a heavy smoker. However, she was uncredited in the film.
The average belly button has 67 species of bacteria.
Your mom wasn’t playing around when she told you to clean your belly button. According to research, the belly button is a rainforest of bacteria, with even previously unknown bacteria found in the 60 participants’ navels.
There’s an island that France and Spain takes turns owning every 6 months.
From February till July, the Pheasant Island is under the governance of Spain, while in August to January, it is governed by France.
There are many words starting in Q that are not followed by a U.
In North American Scrabble, acceptable words with a Q and not a U are: qi, qat, qaid, qai, qadi, qoph, qanat, tranq, faqir, sheqel, qabala, qabalah, qindar, qintar, qindarka, mbaqanga, and qwerty. This applies for their plural forms as well.
It was said that Einstein couldn't speak fluently until he was 9 years old.
The validity of this claim is contested, but the medical term for late talkers is still called the Einstein Syndrome. It was coined by social theorist Thomas Sowell to describe children who developed speech later than normal.
A sponge can reconstruct itself in hours.
If you force a live sponge through a mesh screen, it will rearrange itself after a few hours.
Over 10,000 Coca-Cola drinks are consumed per second worldwide.
The 10,000 drinks per second includes other Coca Cola products such as Fanta, Dr. Pepper, Sprite and other Coke varieties.
Every second, over 2 million e-mails are sent.
For each second on the internet, 9.4 websites are created, 3,000,000 google searches are done, and 672 people search for porn.
In the history of boxing, four men have been knocked out within the first eleven seconds of the match.
The fastest knockout was from a 1947 match between Mike Collins and Pat Brownson. Collins was able to knock Brownson out with the ﬁrst punch only 4 seconds after the first bell.
A coin toss isn’t 50-50.
The next time you’re trying to decide something, a coin toss may not be the best idea. Typically, the chances for a coin toss is 51-49, not 50-50. If you flip a coin, there is a 51% chance it will land on the side that it started on.