The world is a weird and wonderful place, if you’ve not noticed already – however, it’s likely to be weirder and more wonderful than you’ve ever imagined. They say that truth is stranger than fiction, and when it comes to history, wildlife, technology and more, you really couldn’t make half of it up! Therefore, we’ve taken the time to set aside some truly amazing facts which are guaranteed to make your head spin.
Looking for some fantastic quiz questions, or some titbits to share with friends and family? Show your innate knowledge of the amazing world around us with some of the following stunning and sensational bits of trivia. It’s a real mixed bag – so dip in and see what you can take out of it!
1. Want to see double the sunsets in half the time?
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world – so tall, in fact, that it’s thought you’ll be able to see two sunsets from the top in the space of 24 hours. It’s a real experience if you ever get to try it!
2. Go diving for Lego!
To this day, there are still bits and pieces of a mass Lego shipment which went adrift in 1997. Specifically, there are still bits of the 4.8 million Lego pieces continuing to drift up on the shores following a shaky journey for the Tokio Express. Believe it or not, you’ll still be able to scoop up some of the 90s Lego if you trawl Cornish beaches.
3. A brilliant excuse for an air joyride!
4. Don’t worry, many of us have this issue!
Ever find yourself buying stacks of books and volumes, only to find that you never actually get around to reading them? There’s a word for the phenomenon – it’s called Tsundoku – and no, it’s not the same as the popular number grid puzzles from a few years ago!
5. Don’t cross a crow!
It’s thought that crows are intelligent enough to hold grudges, and that they will tell other crows about them. Therefore, you’d probably do best not to wind a blackbird up at any costs!
6. Are black cats lucky or not?
Black cats have a strange place in terms of luck and superstition. In some cases, black cats are seen as very unlucky – however, in places such as Japan and the UK, it is seen as very lucky if a black cat blesses you – in Japan, in fact, they are seen as very lucky for women who are single.
7. Your friend will probably gnash you more than a shark might.
Believe it or not, you are more likely to be bitten by another human being than a shark. It’s thought that the number of people who bite each other in New York alone outnumber shark to human bites by up to ten times.
8. Even vending machines kill more people than sharks do.
9. Takeouts might date back centuries.
The idea of a takeout is nothing new – as researchers believe that there were takeout restaurants the city of Pompeii. Sadly, as it is largely rubble now, we have no way of confirming this as fact!
10. That’s a lot of knowledge!
Kids love to ask questions – which is what often leads to fact files such as these! However, it’s thought that the average four year old – boy or girl – is likely to ask more than 400 different questions every 24 hours. It’s the only way they are going to find their way around the world, at least at first!
11. We don’t recommend collecting it!
Ever wondered how much skin you actually shed? Yes – humans shed skin, though perhaps not in the same way as snakes! It’s likely that the average human being sheds around 40 lbs of their own skin across their lives. Therefore, you’re probably going to have a new layer of skin every 30 days.
12. We seriously can’t comprehend this one.
Ants are everywhere – to the extent that it’s thought the total number of ants on the planet outweigh the total number of human beings. For every person on Earth, there are around 1.6 million ants. Who takes the time to count them all, we’ve no idea!
12. How much of you is pure germ?
Disgustingly, much of your body weight is actually bacteria. Not a fat lot, mind – but you are likely to be carrying up to 9 lbs of the critters at any one time.
14. There’s a special court on top of a court in the heart of the US.
What’s the Highest Court in The Land? It’s a hidden basketball court, which you will actually find atop the US Supreme Court. Pun or not, it’s still pretty amazing!
15. Earthquakes are more common than you think.
Earthquakes can be tiny, but they can also be devastating. However, did you know just how many of them strike the Earth each year? The total is thought to be around a million – but who’s counting?
15. We’re at peak population.
It’s thought that around 10% of all the people ever born to live on Earth are around right now. That’s pretty amazing, given how long we’ve been around as a species!
17. Even coconuts have it in for you!
Coconuts are seriously deadly – to the extent that around 150 people die in coconut-related accidents each year.
19. Who’s the true king of the jungle?
Africa is full of dangerous animals. You’re tempted to think that the lion is likely to be the biggest killer on the continent – however, the hippo is more likely to kill more people continent-wide than any other creature.
18. Lightning, however, might not be that deadly.
If you ever thought that lightning was a guaranteed killer if it strikes you – you might be pleasantly surprised. That’s because 90% of strike victims actually go on to live full lives! We wouldn’t recommend setting yourself up as a makeshift lightning rod just in case, however!
20. US prisons are jam-packed.
It’s thought that around 25% of all prisoners on the planet are jailed in the US.
21. The bananas you enjoy are actually carbon copies.
The bananas you buy and eat from shops and supermarkets are actually genetically enhanced – to the extent that they are bred to be soft and seedless. There are some wild bananas which still do, but the ones you’ll buy from Wal-Mart are unlikely to have any in them!
22. Clouds are impossibly heavy.
Clouds might look light and fluffy, but ‘light’ doesn’t really come into it – in fact, a cloud could weigh as much as a million pounds in one go!
23. Dance freely in Japan!
Japan is home to some fairly stringent laws – and among them, until 2015, was the law that people were not allowed to dance after midnight in public. This law was in place since 1948!
24. Orange is the new… orange?
Oranges never used to be orange in color at all. In fact, the very first orange fruits were greenish in color, and some that grow across the hotter countries of the world still are. This is all to do with whether or not the oranges you are pick are hybrids or not!
25. Tissues were once used to filter masks.
Kleenex tissues actually had a very different purpose when they were first designed and produced. They were used as cushioning and filtering for gas masks during the First World War. As the gas mask itself evolved over time, Kleenex tissues later took on the alternative purpose you know them for today.
26. That’s going to need a lot of butter.
Not got a toaster to hand, but plenty of slices of bread? We’d not advocate heading into a lightning storm at any cost, but it’s thought that a bolt of lightning will instantly toast more than 100,000 slices of bread at any one time. That’s a lot of toasty power in one strike!
27. Cows are lacking in one key department.
Cows are interesting beasts, though many of us probably don’t think to look at their teeth! Interestingly, we probably should! That’s because cows don’t actually have any upper teeth at the fronts of their mouths. Instead, they have what is known as a dental pad. This is a tissue common across animals who eat and graze on grass, such as goats and sheep.
28. Dog nostrils have different purposes.
Dogs’ noses are seriously fascinating. To the point where, believe it or not, they actually designate specific tasks to specific nostrils! The right nostril is used as the main sniffing engine, but they will move across to the left nostril if they’re picking up nice smells that they love. The right will keep on sniffing if there’s a sense of urgency or danger in the scent.
29. Computers may never match human brain potential.
Human brains are truly amazing. Believe it or not, they are able to compute around 38 thousand trillion processes every second. When we compare that to computers, our old grey matters are particularly impressive. It’s thought that the fastest and most powerful computer on the planet is only ever able to reach 0.002% of your brain’s capability.
30. An avocado never goes ripe in the wild.
Avocados are some of the strangest fruit on the planet. They’ve seen a massive resurgence in recent years, but even more curious is the fact that you will never see an avocado ripen on its tree. That’s why you are normally able to buy avocados which ‘ripen at home’ instead.
31. Khan’s family line is impressive.
Genghis Khan’s reign in ancient Mongolia is thought to have been so tremendous that, to this day, one in every 200 of us is said to be related – distantly, of course – to the legendary warrior.
32. B&J’s nearly made it in the bagel biz.
Ben & Jerry’s is now one of the most famous ice cream and frozen yogurt producers on the planet. However, did you know that they were almost bagel aficionados instead? Believe it or not, the founders switched to making ice cream instead as it was much more budget-friendly. How different things might have been!
33. What color are your dreams?
Some people are able to dream or visualize in black and white – however, studies show that this is only ever likely to be the case for those people who have ever watched black and white TV. That’s likely to be a bit of a rarity nowadays, admittedly!
34. Denmark has a record-breaking theme park.
The oldest theme park in the world which is still open belongs to Klampenborg in Denmark. While many people will have heard of Legoland as one of the top resorts in the country, it’s actually Bakken which remains the leading amusement park in terms of age. It’s been a part of the landscape since 1583 – and it still has more than 150 different rides and leisure attractions for visitors to enjoy.
35. So many fruits from one flower!
What do plums, apples, strawberries, cherries, pears, and peaches all have in common? They are, deep down, all thought to be related to the rose flower!
36. Mosquitoes have many, many teeth.
Ever wondered how mosquitoes are able to bite so deeply into flesh? They actually have around 40 to 50 teeth – that’s a nasty chomp for such a small critter!
37. Who knows how old the books are?
Lisbon’s Bertrand Bookstore, which you’ll find in the heart of Portugal’s capital, holds a very interesting record. It’s thought to be the oldest book shop in the world – it’s been a part of the landscape since 1732. However, it’s now part of a larger chain. Still, it’s great to see that it’s still going strong almost 300 years on!
38. Mice get to where they need to be thanks to their incredible design.
Mice are extremely compact – so much so that, push came to shove, they’d be able to safely squeeze themselves through a hole that’s roughly the size of your average biro. No wonder they can get everywhere so easily!
39. Some twins are much older than others.
It’s possible to give birth to twins days apart – however, have a heart for the one mother who gave birth to one twin, and then the other a staggering 87 days later!
40. How did Garf let that one go?
Gmail is, of course, the popular web-based email service offered by Google. However, back in the 90s, Gmail was something very different indeed. Gmail as we know it today arrived in around 2004 – but before that, fans of fat cartoon cat Garfield were able to claim themselves a ‘Garfield Mail’ address.
41. Parrots aren’t the best mimics.
You might think that parrots have the edge in terms of birds learning to speak the human language, but ravens actually have a better chance of speaking back to you. That’s because they are actually easier to train to mimic voices and even coughs. Weirdly enough, Edgar Allan Poe – author of classic poem ‘The Raven’ – initially intended the eponymous bird to be a parrot. ‘Quoth the parrot, ‘Polly want a cracker’’ doesn’t really have the same ring to it – what do you think?