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Little Known Facts

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  • Thomas Edison got patents for a method of making concrete furniture and a cigar which was supposed to burn forever
  • Elton John’s real name is Reginald Dwight. Elton comes from Elton Dean, a Bluesology sax player. John comes from Long John Baldry, founder of Blues Inc. They were the first electric white blues band ever seen in England–1961
  • Elton John’s uncle was a professional soccer player. He broke his leg playing for Nottingham Forest in the 1959 English FA Cup Final.   
  • The saying “it’s so cold out there it could freeze the balls off a brass monkey” came from when they had old cannons like ones used in the Civil War. The cannonballs were stacked in a pyramid formation, called a brass monkey. When it got extremely cold outside they would crack and break off… Thus the saying.
  • S.O.S. doesn’t stand for “Save Our Ship” or “Save Our Souls” — It was just chosen by an 1908 international conference on Morse Code because the letters S and O were easy to remember and just about anyone could key it and read it, S = dot dot dot, O = dash dash dash..
  • Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks otherwise it will digest itself.
  • When a female horse and male donkey mate, the offspring is called a mule, but when a male horse and female donkey mate, the offspring is called a hinny.
  • A donkey will sink in quicksand but a mule won’t.
  • Cyano-acrylate glues (Super glues) were invented by accident. The researcher was trying to make optical coating materials, and would test their properties by putting them between two prisms and shining light through them. When he tried the cyano-acrylate, he couldn’t get the prisms apart.
  • A walla-walla scene is one where extras pretend to be talking in the background — when they say “walla-walla” it looks like they are actually talking.
  • The “chapters” of the New Testament were not there originally. When monks in medieval times translated it from the Greek, they numbered the pages in each “book.”
  • According to the ceremonial customs of Orthodox Judaism, it is officially sundown when you cannot tell the difference between a black thread and a red one.
  • A ‘jiffy’ is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
  • The growth rate of some bamboo plants can reach three feet (91.44 cm) per day.
  • Your left lung is smaller than your right lung to make room for your heart.
  • U.S. Interstates which go north-south are numbered sequentially starting from the west with odd numbers, and Interstates which go east-west are numbered sequentially starting from the south with even numbers.
  • The phrase “rule of thumb” is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn’t beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.
  • Cranberry Jell-O is the only Jell-O flavor that comes from real fruit, not artificial flavoring.
  • The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.
  • ‘Stewardesses’ is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.
  • 101 Dalmatians and Peter Pan (Wendy ) are the only two Disney cartoon features with both parents that are present and don’t die throughout the movie.
  • One of the longest English words that can be typed using the top row of a typewriter (allowing multiple uses of letters) is ‘typewriter.’
  • The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continually held sports event in the United States (1875); the second oldest is the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (1876.)
  • AM and PM stand for “Ante-Meridian” and “Post-Meridian,” respectively, and A.D. actually stands for “Anno Domini” rather than “After Death.”
  • During conscription for WWII, there were nine documented cases of men with three testicles.
  • Ever think you’re hearing something in a song, but they’re really singing something else? The word for mis-heard lyrics is ‘mondegreen,’ and it comes from a folk song in the ’50’s. The singer was actually singing “They slew the Earl of Morray and laid him on the green,” but this came off sounding like ‘They slew the Earl of Morray and Lady Mondegreen.’
  • Impotence is legal grounds for divorce in 24 American states.
  • Some biblical scholars believe that Aramaic (the language of the ancient Bible) did not contain an easy way to say “many things” and used a term which has come down to us as 40. This means that when the bible — in many places — refers to “40 days,” they meant many days.
  • When a giraffe’s baby is born it falls from a height of six feet, normally without being hurt.
  • To “testify” was based on men in the Roman court swearing to a statement made by swearing on their testicles.
  • A group of unicorns is called a blessing.
  • Twelve or more cows are known as a “flink.”
  • A group of frogs is called an army.
  • A group of rhinos is called a crash.
  • A group of kangaroos is called a mob.
  • A group of whales is called a pod.
  • A group of geese is called a gaggle.
  • A group of ravens is called a murder.
  • A group of officers is called a mess.
  • A group of larks is called an exaltation.
  • A group of owls is called a parliament.
  • The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.
  • Dartboards are made out of horsehairs.
  • The nursery rhyme “Ring Around the Rosey” is a rhyme about the plague. Infected people with the plague would get red circular sores (”Ring around the rosey…”), these sores would smell very badly so common folks would put flowers on their bodies somewhere (inconspicuously), so that it would cover the smell of the sores (”…a pocket full of posies…”), People who died from the plague would be burned so as to reduce the possible spread of the disease (”…ashes, ashes, we all fall down!”)
  • The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time television were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
  • Barbie’s measurements if she were life size: 39-23-33. (Are those measurements worth diamond rings?)
  • In the 1983 film “JAWS 3D” the shark blows up. Some of the shark guts were stuffed animals (ET dolls) being sold at the time.
  • The “huddle” in football was formed due a deaf football player who used sign language to communicate and his team didn’t want the opposition to see the signals he used and in turn huddled around him.
  • 111,111,111 multiplied by 111,111,111 equals 12,345,678,987,654,321.
  • Iguanas and Komodo dragons don’t have two penises. In fact, they have a single penis, but it is split in two (pretty much ‘Y’-shaped.) This organ is known as a hemipenes. Snakes also share this interesting feature. Apparently, the dual penis is for ease of left-handed or right-handed mating.
  • No animal, once frozen solid (i.e., water solidifies and turns to ice) survives when thawed, because the ice crystals formed inside cells would break open the cell membranes. However there are certain frogs that can survive the experience of being frozen. These frogs make special proteins which prevent the formation of ice (or at least keep the crystals from becoming very large), so that they actually never freeze even though their body temperature is below zero Celsius. The water in them remains liquid: a phenomenon known as ’supercooling.’ If you disturb one of these frogs (just touching them even), the water in them quickly freezes solid and they die.
  • The term, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye” is from Ancient Rome. The only rule during wrestling matches was, “No eye gouging.” Everything else was allowed, but the only way to be disqualified is to poke someone’s eye out. (Unfortunately progesterone wasn’t available in Ancient Rome, so if you lost the match, you were still prone to eye gouging from the wife.)
  • Jethro Tull is not the name of the rock singer/flautist responsible for such songs as “Aqualung” and “Thick as a Brick.” Jethro Tull is the name of the band. The singer is Ian Anderson. The original Jethro Tull was an English horticulturalist who invented the seed drill.
  • Studies show that if a cat falls off the seventh floor of a building it has about thirty percent less chance of surviving than a cat that falls off the twentieth floor. It supposedly takes about eight floors for the cat to realize what is occurring, relax and correct itself. At about that height it hits maximum speed and when it hits the ground it’s rib cage absorbs most of the impact. (Don’t try this. Just take our word for it.)
  • Ivory bar soap floating was a mistake. They had been over-mixing the soap formula causing excess air bubbles that made it float. Customers wrote and told how much they loved that it floated, and it has floated ever since.
  • “Freelance” comes from a knight whose lance was free for hire, (i.e. not pledged to one master.)
  • At a glance, the Celsius scale makes more sense than the Fahrenheit scale for temperature measuring. But its creator, Anders Celsius, was an oddball scientist. When he first developed his scale, he made freezing 100 degrees and boiling 0 degrees, or upside down. No one dared point this out to him, so fellow scientists waited until Celsius died to change the scale.
  • In Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift described the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, giving their exact size and speeds of rotation. He did this more than 100 years before either moon was discovered.
  • At a jet plane’s speed of 1,000 km (620mi) per hour, the length of the plane becomes one atom shorter than its original length.
  • In the Durango desert, in Mexico, there’s a creepy spot called the “Zone of Silence.” You can’t pick up clear TV or radio signals. And locals say fireballs sometimes appear in the sky.
  • Ethernet is a registered trademark of Xerox, Unix is a registered trademark of AT&T.
  • Bill Gates’ first business was Traff-O-Data, a company that created machines which recorded the number of cars passing a given point on a road.
  • Uranus’ orbital axis is tilted at 90 degrees.
  • The final resting-place for Dr. Eugene Shoemaker – the Moon. The famed U.S. Geological Survey astronomer, trained the Apollo astronauts about craters, but never made it into space. Mr. Shoemaker had wanted to be an astronaut but was rejected because of a medical problem. His ashes were placed on board the Lunar Prospector spacecraft before it was launched on January 6, 1998. NASA crashed the probe into a crater on the moon in an attempt to learn if there is water on the moon.
  • Outside the USA, Ireland is the largest software producing country in the world.
  • The first fossilized specimen of Australopithecus afarenisis was named Lucy after the paleontologists’ favorite song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” by the Beatles.
  • Figlet, an ASCII font converter program, stands for Frank, Ian and Glenn’s LETters.
  • Every human spent about half an hour as a single cell.
  • Plutonium – first weighed on August 20th, 1942, by University of Chicago scientists Glenn Seaborg and his colleagues – was the first man-made element.
  • If you went out into space, you would explode before you suffocated because there’s no air pressure.
  • The radioactive substance, Americanium – 241 is used in many smoke detectors.
  • The original IBM-PCs, that had hard drives, referred to the hard drives as Winchester drives. This is due to the fact that the original Winchester drive had a model number of 3030. This is, of course, a Winchester firearm.
  • Sound travels 15 times faster through steel than through the air.
  • On average, half of all false teeth have some form of radioactivity.
  • Only one satellite has been ever been destroyed by a meteor: the European Space Agency’s Olympus in 1993.
  • Starch is used as a binder in the production of paper. It is the use of a starch coating that controls ink penetration when printing. Cheaper papers do not use as much starch, and this is why your elbows get black when you are leaning over your morning paper.
  • Sterling silver is not pure silver. Because pure silver is too soft to be used in most tableware it is mixed with copper in the proportion of 92.5 percent silver to 7.5 percent copper.
  • A ball of glass will bounce higher than a ball of rubber. A ball of solid steel will bounce higher than one made entirely of glass.
  • A chip of silicon a quarter-inch square has the capacity of the original 1949 ENIAC computer, which occupied a city block.
  • An ordinary TNT bomb involves atomic reaction, and could be called an atomic bomb. What we call an A-bomb involves nuclear reactions and should be called a nuclear bomb.
  • The first full moon to occur on the winter solstice, Dec. 22, commonly called the first day of winter, happened in 1999. Since a full moon on the winter solstice occurred in conjunction with a lunar perigee (point in the moon’s orbit that is closest to Earth), the moon appeared about 14% larger than it does at apogee (the point in it’s elliptical orbit that is farthest from the Earth). Since the Earth is also several million miles closer to the sun at that time of the year than in the summer, sunlight striking the moon was about 7% stronger making it brighter. Also, this was the closest perigee of the Moon of the year since the moon’s orbit is constantly deforming. In places where the weather was clear and there was a snow cover, even car headlights were superfluous.
  • According to security equipment specialists, security systems that utilize motion detectors won’t function properly if walls and floors are too hot. When an infrared beam is used in a motion detector, it will pick up a person’s body temperature of 98.6 degrees compared to the cooler walls and floor. If the room is too hot, the motion detector won’t register a change in the radiated heat of that person’s body when it enters the room and breaks the infrared beam. Your home’s safety might be compromised if you turn your air conditioning off or set the thermostat too high while on summer vacation.
  • Western Electric successfully brought sound to motion pictures and introduced systems of mobile communications which culminated in the cellular telephone.
  • On December 23, 1947, Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., held a secret demonstration of the transistor which marked the foundation of modern electronics.
  • The wick of a trick candle has small amounts of magnesium in them. When you light the candle, you are also lighting the magnesium. When someone tries to blow out the flame, the magnesium inside the wick continues to burn and, in just a split second (or two or three), relights the wick.
  • Time slows down near a black hole; inside it stops completely.
  • Tiny dust particles surround a comet. They are swept into a long tail by the solar wind, which consists of subatomic particles speeding from the sum at speed of hundred of miles per second.
  • To an observer standing on Pluto, the sun would appear no brighter than Venus appears in our evening sky.
  • Traveling at the speed of 186,000 miles per second, light take 6 hours to travel from Pluto to the earth.
  • A brown dwarf is a very small, dark object, with a mass less than 1/10 that of the Sun. They are ‘failed stars’, globules of gas that have shrunk under gravity, but failed to ignite and shine as stars.
  • A bucket filled with earth would weigh about 5 time more than the same bucket filled with the substance of the sun. However, the force of gravity is so much greater on the sun that the man weighing 150 pounds on our planet would weigh 2 tons on the sun.
  • A car traveling at a constant speed of 60 miles per hour would take over 48 million years to reach the nearest star (other than our sun), Proxima Centauri. This is about 685,000 average human lifetimes.
  • A cosmic year is the amount of time it takes the sun to revolve around the center of the Milky Way, about 225 million years.
  • A day on the planet Mercury is twice as long as its year. Mercury rotates very slowly but revolves around the sun in slightly less than 88 days.
  • A dog was killed by a meteor at Nakhla, Egypt, in 1911. The unlucky canine is the only creature known to have been killed by a meteor.
  • You know the three physical dimensions, and the fourth dimension, time. For years, people have speculated about other dimensions. Experts in theoretical physics now say the major theories about the universe make sense together – and all the math seems to work – if there are 10 dimensions.
  • A scientist at Michigan State University has calculated that the production of a single hen egg requires about 120 gallons of water, a loaf of bread requires 300 gallons, and a pound of beef, 3,500.
  • Portland cement is used for underwater work. It hardens because of a chemical reaction it has with the water, not because the water mixed with it evaporates. The amount of water that reacts with the cement is crucial for this process, and the physical structure of this cement enables it to control exactly how much water gets into the reaction. So it doesn’t matter at all how much water surrounds the cement as long as it has enough to set.
  • Dating back to the 1600’s, thermometers were filled with Brandy instead of mercury.
  • The first “technology” corporation to move into California’s Silicon Valley was Hewlett-Packard, in 1938. Stanford University engineers Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started their company in a Palo Alto garage, with $1,538. Their first product was an audio oscillator bought by Walt Disney Studios for use in making Fantasia.
  • The first U.S. census to be tallied by computer was in 1950. UNIVAC did the tallying.
  • Rain contains vitamin B12.
  • ENIAC, the first electronic computer, appeared 50 years ago. The original ENIAC was about 80 feet long, weighed 30 tons, had 17,000 tubes. By comparison, a desktop computer today can store a million times more information than an ENIAC, and 50,000 times faster.
  • From bridges to rebar, rust is everywhere. According to a recent study, the annual cost of metallic corrosion in the U.S. is approximately $300 billion. The report, by Battelle, Columbus, Ohio, and the Specialty Steel Industry of North America, Washington, D.C., estimated that about one-third of that cost could be avoided through broader application of corrosion-resistant material and “best anti-corrosive practice” from design through maintenance.
  • From the smallest microprocessor to the biggest mainframe, the average American depends on over 264 computers per day.
  • The first man-made item to exceed the speed of sound is the bull whip our leather whip. When the whip is snapped, the knotted end makes a “crack” or popping noise. It is actually causing a mini sonic boom as it exceeds the speed of sound.
  • The hardness of ice is similar to that of concrete.
  • A full moon always rises at sunset.
  • A bowl of lime Jell-O, when hooked up to an EEG machine, exhibited movement which is virtually identical to the brain waves of a healthy adult man or woman.
  • If the world were tilted one degree more either way, the planet would not be habitable because the area around the equator would be too hot and the poles would be too cold.
  • The opposite of a “vacuum” is a “plenum.”
  • In 1980, Namco released PAC-MAN, the most popular video game (or arcade game) of all time. The original name was going to be PUCK MAN, but executives saw the potential for vandals to scratch out part of the P in the games marquee and labeling.
  • Clothes that are dried outside DO smell better because of a process called photolysis. What happens is this: sunlight breaks down compounds in the laundry that cause odor, such as perspiration and body oils.
  • Clouds fly higher during the day than the night.
  • Dirty snow melts faster than clean.
  • Back in the mid to late 80’s, an IBM compatible computer wasn’t considered a hundred percent compatible unless it could run Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, probably because of the fact that it is one of the hardest programs to get running.
  • Some early TV screens did emit excessive X-rays, as did computer monitors, but that was fixed long ago. Doctors suggest that at worst, sitting too close might cause some temporary eye fatigue—the same for reading with insufficient light—but no permanent damage, no matter what your mother claimed.
  • A “fulgerite” is fossilized lightning. It forms when a powerful lightning bolt melts the soil into a glass-like state.
  • STASI, the East German secret police organization, devised a devilishly clever way to prevent someone from giving them the slip during the Cold War: they managed to synthesize the scent of a female dog in heat, which they applied to the shoes of the person under surveillance. Then they simply had a male dog follow the scent.
  • Experiments conducted in Germany and at the University of Southampton in England show that even mild and incidental noises cause the pupils of the eyes to dilate. It is believed that this is why surgeons, watchmakers, and others who perform delicate manual operations are so bothered by noise. The sounds cause their pupils to change focus and blur their vision.
  • A downburst is a downward blowing wind that sometimes comes blasting out of a thunderstorm. The damage looks like tornado damage, since the wind can be as strong as an F2 tornado, but debris is blown straight away from a point on the ground. It’s not lofted into the air and transported downwind.
  • On December 2, 1942, a nuclear chain reaction was achieved for the first time under the stands of the University of Chicago’s football stadium. The first reactor measured 30 feet wide, 32 feet long, and 21.5 feet high. It weighed 1,400 tons and contained 52 tons of uranium in the form of uranium metal and uranium oxide. Although the same process led to the massive energy release of the atomic bomb, the first artificially sustained nuclear reaction produced just enough energy to light a small flashlight.
  • A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continually from the bottom of the glass to the top. This is because the carbonation in the drink gets pockets of air stuck in the wrinkles of the raisin, which is light enough to be raised by this air. When it reaches the surface of the champagne, the bubbles pop, and the raisin sinks back to the bottom, starting the cycle over.
  • Bacteria, the tiniest free-living cells, are so small that a single drop of liquid contains as many as 50 million of them.
  • The proper name of earth’s satellite is Luna. The grammar books say that “moon” (and likewise “earth” and “sun”) should be lower case, with the exception of when “earth” is in a list with other planets. The earth is Terra; the sun is Sol. This is where we get the words “extraTERREstrial” and “SOLar”.
  • At any given time, there are 1,800 thunderstorms in progress over the earth’s atmosphere.
  • Compact discs read from the inside to the outside edge, the reverse of how a record works.
  • Because of the rotation of the earth, an object can be thrown farther if it is thrown west.
  • The fastest moon in our solar system circles Jupiter once every seven hours – traveling at 70,400 miles per hour.
  • George Ellery Hale was the 20th century’s most important builder of telescopes. In 1897, Hale built a 40 inch wide telescope, the largest ever built at that time. His second telescope, with a sixty inch lens, was set up in 1917 and took 14 years to build. During the 14 years Hale became convinced that he suffered from “Americanitis” a disorder in which the ambitions of Americans drive them insane. During the building of his 100 inch lens Hale spent time in a sanatorium and would only discuss his plans for the telescope with a “sympathetic green elf”.
  • Hale’s 100 inch lens built in the early 1900s was the largest solid piece of glass made until then. The lens was made by a French specialist who poured the equivalent of ten thousand melted champagne bottles into a mold packed with heat maintaining manure so that the glass would cool slowly and not crack.
  • The shockwave from a nitroglycerin explosion travels at 17,000 miles per hour.
  • The planet Saturn has a density lower than water. If there was a bathtub large enough to hold it, Saturn would float.
  • Earth’s atmosphere is, proportionally, thinner than the skin of an apple.
  • The first portable calculator placed on sale by Texas Instruments weighed only 2-1/2 pounds and cost a mere $150. (1971)
  • Carolyn Shoemaker has discovered 32 comets and approximately 800 asteroids.
  • Because of the salt content of the Dead Sea, it is difficult to dive below its surface.
  • The planet Venus has the longest day.
  • The first atomic bomb exploded at Trinity Site, New Mexico.
  • All organic compounds contain carbon.
  • Three astronauts manned each Apollo flight.
  • Out of all the senses, smell is most closely linked to memory.
  • There are 7 stars in the Big Dipper.
  • Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system.
  • The speed of sound must be exceeded to produce a sonic boom.
  • The nearest galaxy to our own is Andromeda.
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa is predicted to topple over between 2010 and 2020.
  • Mercury is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature.
  • Blood is 6 times thicker than water.
  • Dissolved salt makes up 3.5 percent of the oceans.
  • Three stars make up Orion’s belt.
  • Glaciers store about 75% of the world’s freshwater. In Washington State alone, glaciers provide 470 billion gallons of water each summer.
  • To an observer standing on Pluto, the sun would appear no brighter than Venus appears in our evening sky.
  • Traveling at the speed of 186,000 miles per second, light take 6 hours to travel from Pluto to the earth.
  • A car traveling at a constant speed of 60 miles per hour would take over 48 million years to reach the nearest star (other than our sun), Proxima Centauri. This is about 685,000 average human lifetimes.
  • Scientists recently announced the discovery of a new planet orbiting a star that’s practically next door – relatively speaking. There’s also the possibility that the system might contain a second planet. The star, Epsilon Eridani, is only 10.5 light years away — which is just down the block in astronomical terms — making it the nearest star known to have such a planet. The new planet appears similar to Jupiter, but half again as big. The discovery was made by a team of researchers led by scientists at the McDonald Observatory at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • A cosmic year is the length of time it takes the sun to complete one revolution around the center of the Milky Way galaxy. That’s approximately 225 million earth years.
  • The sun is estimated to be between 20 and 21 cosmic years old.
  • It takes a plastic container 50000 years to start decomposing.
  • Lab tests can detect traces of alcohol in urine six to 12 hours after a person has stopped drinking.
  • Sound at the right vibration can bore holes through a solid object.
  • The color black is produced by the complete absorption of light rays.
  • There are 3 golf balls sitting on the moon.
  • The Sun has a diameter of 864,000 miles.
  • Air is denser in cold weather. A wind of the same speed can exert 25 percent more force during the winter as compared to the summer.
  • An iceberg contains more heat than a match.
  • Every cubic mile of seawater holds over 150 million tons of minerals.
  • A temperature of 70 million degrees Celsius was generated at Princeton University in 1978. This was during a fusionism experiment and is the highest man-made temperature ever.
  • Bacteria can reproduce sexually.
  • The pressure at the center of the Earth is 27,000 tons per square inch.
  • There are five trillion trillion atoms in one pound of iron.
  • German chemist Hennig Brand discovered phosphorus while he was examining urine.
  • The densest substance on Earth is the metal “osmium.”
  • The clock at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C., will gain or lose only one second in 300 years because it uses cesium atoms.
  • Vinegar was the strongest acid known in the ancient times.
  • A shrimp has more than a hundred pair of chromosomes in each cell nucleus.
  • About 500 meteorites hit the Earth each year. The largest known meteorite was found at Grootfontein in Namibia, southwest Africa, in 1920. It is 9 feet (2.75m) long and 8 feet (2.43m) wide.
  • According to experts, large caves tend to “breathe”; they inhale and exhale great quantities of air when the barometric pressure on the surface changes, and air rushes in or out seeking equilibrium.
  • Because of a large orbital eccentricity, Pluto was closer to the sun than Neptune between January 1979 and March 1999.
  • The whirling cloud, a flat cloud hovering over the peak of an extinct volcano, Mount Jirinaj in Indonesia, affected by hot air rising from the crater, spins swiftly around and around.
  • The Earth gets heavier each day by tons, as meteoric dust settles on it.
  • The earth rotates on its axis more slowly in March than in September.
  • The first man-made insecticide was DDT.
  • We are in the middle of an ice age. Ice ages include both cold and warm periods; at the moment we are experiencing a relatively warm span of time known as an “interglacial period.” Geologists believe that the warmest part of this period occurred from 1890 through 1945 and that since 1945 things have slowly begun freezing up again.
  • Men fart an average of 17 times a day, and women fart an average of 9 times a day.
  • If you fart constantly for 6 years, 9 months and 23 days you would produce enough gas to explode an atomic bomb.
  • The longest ever penis recorded by scientists is 13.5 inches.
  • Humans are only second to cats for having the dirtiest mouths.
  • It takes about 40 muscles to smile, but only 4 to pull the trigger of a decent rifle.
  • Beard hair grows at twice its usual rate when you’re in a plane.
  • Around 15 men each year have their penises chopped off by their wives and the highest proportion of men who suffer this are Italians.
  • You use more calories eating celery than there are in celery itself.
  • More than 2,500 left handed people are killed every year from using right handed products.
  • Semen is one of the most fattening substances known to man.
  • An average of 76 people a year die playing twister, and about 23 of which are through playing the nude version!
  • Linda McCartney has sold more vegetarian ready made meals than Paul has sold records.
  • In the course of the 18 year run of Cats on broadway, 3,247 lbs of yak hair was used for wigs.
  • The shortest war in history was between England and Zanzibar in 1896. Zanzibar surrendered after 38 minutes.
  • 65 people become millionaires every day.
  • The average human will eat one pound of insects in their lifetime.
  • You are more likely to be killed by a rogue champagne cork than a poisonous spider.
  • By the time a person is 18, they would have spent 12,000 hours in school, but 14,000 hours watching television.
  • Woman blink nearly twice as much as men.
  • Humans share one third of their DNA with lettuce!
  • You could comfortably fit the entire population of the planet into a cube with sides 1km long.
  • Approximately 69% of all Internet content consists of pornographic material.
  • Porn sites generated $970 million in revenue in 1999.
  • Charlie Chaplin once came third in a Charlie Chaplin look-a-like competition.
  • Every 20 minutes a hapless person treads on a land mine.
  • The average adult falls asleep seven minutes after turning out the light.
  • 6,000 new computer viruses are released every month.
  • Over one trillion matches were being produced every year at the beginning of the last century.
  • Elvis Presley had a twin brother.
  • Zeuxis a Greek painter in the 5th Centrury BC laughed himself to death while looking at one of his paintings.
  • A Roman leap year had the same number of days as ordinary years but January 23rd lasted for 48 hours.
  • After being decapitated a human can still see for 20 seconds! (Not sure how ‘they’ worked this one out!).
  • Under EC law it is legal to have sex with inflatable dolls in the street.
  • Winners at the 2001 Ig-Nobel Prize ceremony for eccentric researchers, inventors and scientists include an American who claims to have invented anti-flatulence underwear, a Lithuanian who set up a theme park dedicated to Stalin, and two Indians who discovered that nose-picking is commonplace.
  • Right-handed people live on average, 9 years longer than left-handed people.
  • Human stomachs produce a new layer of mucus every 2 weeks to stop it digesting itself.
  • Humans are the only animals to sleep on their backs.
  • More boys than girls are born during the day, but more girls are born at night.
  • Julio Iglesias once had five gallons of water flown from Miami to L.A. so he could wash his hair.
  • Clark Gable was listed on his birth certificate as a girl.
  • Johnny Vaughan was born at the precise moment that England scored the winning goal in the 1966 World Cup final.
  • Bernard Manning did his National Service in the Military Police and one of his duties was guarding Albert Speer and Rudolf Hess in Spandau.
  • Elvis Presley’s hip-wiggling started out as a stage fright. He was so nervous, that his legs would shake.
  • John Lennon shoplifted in Holland the harmonica he used on Love Me Do.
  • Mel Gibson broke the school record for the most strappings in a week – 27.
  • Tom Cruise and Robbie Williams were both voted least Likely To Succeed at school.
  • Sir Winston Churchill smoked an estimated 300,000 cigars in his lifetime.
  • Michelangelo’s cook was illiterate, so he drew her a shopping list, which today is priceless.
  • The architect who built the Kremlin had his eyes gouged our by Ivan The Terrible so that he would never be able to design another building like it.
  • Pirates wore earrings because they believed it improved their eyesight.
  • Cher’s parents married and divorced each other three times.
  • Mike Myers (a.k.a. Austin Powers) is descended from William Wordsworth.
  • If you shouted for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you would produce enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.
  • Volleyball is the most popular sport at nudist camps.
  • Banging your head against a wall uses a 150 calories an hour.
  • On average, a drop of Heinz tomato ketchup leaves the bottle at a speed of 25 miles per year!
  • If you mouth the word “colorful” to someone, it looks like you are saying “I love you”.
  • The only 15-letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is “uncopyrightable”.
  • The fastest service in a restaurant in the world is 13 seconds from the order to the food on the table.
  • Wayne Static (from staticX) uses glue to stick his hair up.
  • The letter combination ‘ough’ can be pronounced in nine different ways.
  • Every time you lick a stamp you consume one tengh of a calorie.
  • Permanent marker is not actually permanent.
  • The shortest poem ever goes ‘Adam, hae’em’.
  • To convert millinches to micrometers you must times by 25.4
  • There is an average of 3000 ft. of electrical wiring in every car.
  • During the battle for Stalingrad, the German army lost more men attacking a single house defended by sergeant Pavlov’s platoon than it did occupying Paris three years later. Pavlov survived the war and became a monk.
  • Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore were freshman roomates at Harvard.
  • Kermit the Frog is left handed.
  • There is a city called Rome on every continent.
  • The Earth is hit by lightning 100 times a second.
  • Typewriter is the longest word that can be made using only the letters on the top row of the keyboard.
  • “Facetious” and “abstemious” are the only words that contain all the vowels in the correct order.
  • “Adcomsubordcomphibspac” is the longest acronym. It is a Navy term standing for Administrative Command, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet Subordinate Command.
  • “Almost” is the longest commonly used word in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order.
  • “Flushable” toilets were in use in ancient Rome.
  • “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson was the first video to air on MTV by a black artist.
  • “Canada” is an Indian word meaning “Big Village”.
  • “Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”.
  • “Duff” is the decaying organic matter found on a forest floor.
  • “Fickleheaded” and “fiddledeedee” are the longest words consisting only of letters in the first half of the alphabet.
  • “Asthma” and “isthmi” are the only six-letter words that begin and end with a vowel and have no other vowels between.
  • “Fortnight” is a contraction of “fourteen nights.” In the US “two weeks” is more commonly used.
  • “Forty” is the only number which has its letters in alphabetical order. “One” is the only number with its letters in reverse alphabetical order.
  • “Four” is the only number whose number of letters in the name equals the number.
  • “Hang on Sloopy” is the official rock song of Ohio.
  • “Happy Birthday” was the first song to be performed in outer space, sung by the Apollo IX astronauts on March 8, 1969.
  • “Kemo Sabe”, meaning an all knowing one, is actually a mispronunciation by Native American of the Spanish phrase, Quien lo Sabe, meaning one who knows.”
  • The lunula is the half-moon shaped pale area at the bottom of finger nails.
  • “Ma is as selfless as I am” can be read the same way backwards. If you take away all the spaces you can see that all the letters can be spelled out both ways.
  • “Mad About You” star Paul Reiser plays the piano on the show’s theme song.
  • “One thousand” contains the letter A, but none of the words from one to nine hundred ninety-nine has an A.
  • “Rhythms” is the longest English word without the normal vowels, a, e, i, o, or u.
  • “Second string,” meaning “replacement or backup,” comes from the middle ages. An archer always carried a second string in case the one on his bow broke.
  • “Speak of the Devil” is short for “Speak of the Devil and he shall come”. It was believed that if you spoke about the Devil it would attract his attention. That’s why when you’re talking about someone and they show up people say “Speak of the Devil.”
  • “Tautonyms” are scientific names for which the genus and species are the same.
  • “Taxi” is spelled exactly the same in English, French, German, Swedish, Portuguese, and Dutch.
  • “Teh” means “cool” in Thai. (Pronounced “tay”).
  • “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick” is said to be the toughest tongue twister in English.
  • “THEREIN” is a seven-letter word that contains thirteen words spelled using consecutive letters: the, he, her, er, here, I, there, ere, rein, re, in, therein, and herein.
  • “Underground” is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters “und.” $203,000,000 is spent on barbed wire each year in the U.S.
  • 1 and 2 are the only numbers where they are values of the numbers of the factors they have.
  • 1 in 5,000 north Atlantic lobsters are born bright blue.
  • 1 in every 3 people in the country of Israel use a cell phone.
  • 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of lemons contain more sugar than 1 kg of strawberries.
  • 1,525,000,000 miles of telephone wire are strung across the Unites States.
  • 1.7 litres of saliva is produced each day. In Discovery Channel, its a quart.
  • 10 percent of all human beings ever born are alive at this very moment.
  • 10% of human dry weight comes from bacteria
  • 11% of the world is left-handed.
  • 1200 equals 1 pound (72 rupees).
  • 123,000,000 cars are being driven on highways in the United States.
  • 166,875,000,000 pieces of mail are delivered each year in the United States.
  • 1959’s A Raisin in the Sun was the first play by a black woman to be produced on Broadway.
  • 2 and 5 are the only prime numbers that end in 2 or 5.
  • 203 million dollars is spent on barbed wire each year in the U.S.
  • 22,000 checks will be deducted from the wrong bank accounts in the next hour.
  • 23% of all photocopier faults worldwide are caused by people sitting on them and photocopying their buttocks.
  • 25% of a human’s bones are in its feet.
  • 259,200 people die every day.
  • 27% of Americans believe we never landed on the moon.
  • 27% of U.S. male college students believe life is “a meaningless existential hell.”
  • 3% of all mammals are monogamous
  • 315 entries in Webster’s 1996 dictionary were misspelled.
  • 4 tablespoons of ketchup has about the same amount of nutrition as a ripe tomato.
  • 40% of all people who come to a party snoop in your medicine cabinet.
  • 40% of McDonald’s profits come from the sales of Happy Meals.
  • 43.7% of all statistics are made up right on the spot
  • 48% of astronauts experience motion sickness.
  • 52% of Americans drink coffee.
  • 55.1% of all US prisoners are in prison for drug offenses.
  • 56,000,000 people go to Major League baseball games each year
  • 67 million pounds of pesticides and about 3 million tons of fertilizer are used annually on lawns in the US.
  • 78 rpm albums, used prior to 1948, were only capable of recording for four minutes. It wasn’t until later that year that Columbia Records introduced 33 rpm albums capable of playing 23 minutes per side.
  • 80% of animals on earth are insects.
  • 80% of arrested criminals are male.
  • In Disney’s Fantasia, the Sorcerer to whom Mickey played an apprentice was named Yensid, which is Disney spelled backward.
  • By raising your legs slowly and lying on your back, you cannot sink into quicksand.
  • One in ten people live on an island.
  • 84% of a raw apple is water.
  • 85% of men who die of heart attacks during intercourse, are found to have been cheating on their wives.
  • 85,000,000 tons of paper are used in the United States each year.
  • 28% of Africa is classified as wilderness. In North America, its 38%.
  • Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest.
  • Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.
  • 90% of bird species are monogamous; only 3% of animals are.
  • 90% of New York City cab drivers are recently arrived immigrants.
  • 98% of all murders and rapes are by a close family member or friend of the victim.
  • 98% of the weight of water is made up from oxygen.
  • 99% of the pumpkins sold in the US end up as jack-o-lanterns.
  • A “2 by 4” is really 1 1/2 by 3 1/2.
  • A “Blue Moon” is the second full moon in a calendar month (it is rarely blue).
  • A “hairbreadth away” is 1/48 of an inch.
  • A “quidnunc” is a person who is eager to know the latest news and gossip.
  • A 1,200-pound horse eats about seven times it’s own weight each year.
  • A 1.5 oz. milk chocolate bar has only 220 calories. A 1.75 oz. serving of potato chips has 230 calories.
  • A 10-gallon hat actually only holds about 3/4 gallon.
  • A 14-year old French girl had extraordinary electrical power. With a gentle touch she could knock over heavy pieces of furniture and people in physical contact with her received an electrical shock.
  • A 17 year old girl from Miami, Florida started to sneeze on 4th January 1966 and continued till 8th June 1966.
  • A 6 pound sea-hare can lay 40,000eggs in a single minute.
  • A 7-year study, which concluded in the summer of 2000, found that 33 U.S. deaths were caused by rottweilers, pit bulls were responsible for 27 deaths.
  • A acre of coffee trees can produce up to 10,000 pounds of coffee cherries. That amounts to approximately 2000 pounds of beans after hulling or milling.
  • A B-25 bomber crashed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building on July 28, 1945.
  • A Baboon called “Jackie” became a private in the South African army in World War I.
  • A bat is the only mammal that flies.
  • A bathometer is an instrument for indicating the depth of the sea beneath a moving vessel.
  • A bean has more DNA per cell than a human cell
  • A bee could travel 4 million miles (6.5 million km) at 7 mph (11 km/h) on the energy it would obtain from 1 gallon (3.785 liters) of nectar, or it could just sit down on and enjoy that honey properly.
  • A beaver’s teeth never stop growing.
  • A bibliophile is a collector of rare books. A bibliopole is a seller of rare books.
  • A bird requires more food in proportion to its size than a baby or a cat.
  • A Blue Earth, Minnesota, law declares that no child under the age of twelve may talk over the telephone unless monitored by a parent.
  • A blue whales heart only beats nine times per minute.
  • A body decomposes four times as fast in water than on land.
  • A Boeing 747’s wingspan is longer than the Wright brother’s first flight.
  • A bowling pin only needs to tilt 7.5 degrees to fall.
  • A broken clock is right at least twice a day.
  • A butterfly can look at you through 12,000 eyes.
  • A Californian doctor has set the record of eating 17 bananas in two minutes.
  • A Canadian tattoo artist had 4,831 tattoos on his body.
  • A capon is a castrated rooster.
  • A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
  • A cat has 4 rows of whiskers.
  • A cat uses it’s whiskers to determine if a space is too small to squeeze through.
  • A chameleon can move its eyes in two directions at the same time.
  • A chameleon’s tongue is twice the length of its body.
  • A Cheetah at full speed takes strides of 8 meters.
  • A cheetah is the fastest animal, clocked in at: 70mph.
  • A chef’s hat is tall and balloons at the top so as to counteract the intense heat in the kitchen. The unique shape allows air to circulate around the scalp, keeping the head cool.
  • A Chicago law forbids eating in a place that is on fire.
  • A chicken who just lost its head can run the length of a football field before dropping dead.
  • A chimpanzee can learn to recognize itself in a mirror, but monkeys can’t.
  • A citizen of Calcutta, India , grew the fingernails on his left hand to a length of 76 inches.
  • A cluster of bananas is called a hand and consists of 10 to 20 bananas, which are known as fingers.
  • A cockroach can live nine days without its head before it starves to death.
  • A cockroaches favorite food is the glue on the back of stamps.
  • A company, Warner Communications paid $28 million for the copyright to the song “Happy Birthday”.
  • A Cornish game hen is really a young chicken, usually 5 to 6 weeks of age, that weighs no more than 2 pounds.
  • A cough releases an explosive charge of air that moves at speeds up to 60 mph.
  • A cow gives nearly 200,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime.
  • A cow produces 200 times more gas a day than a person.
  • A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.
  • A crocodiles tongue is attached to the roof of its mouth.
  • A cucumber is 96% water.
  • A Dalmatian is the only dog that can get gout.
    A decree declares that anyone caught stealing soap must wash himself with it until it is all used up.
  • A dentist invented the Electric Chair.
  • A device invented sometime around the time of the birth of Jesus as a primitive steam engine by the Greek engineer Hero is used today as a rotating sprinkler.
  • A diamond will not dissolve in acid. The only thing that can destroy it is intense heat.
  • A dime has 118 ridges around the edge. A quarter has 119.
  • A dog can hear high frequency sounds, which a human ear cannot.
  • A dragonfly can fly 25 mph.
  • A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.
  • A dragonfly is also known as “devil’s darning needle”, “horse stinger” and “devil’s steelyard”.
  • A Fag is to work hard or to tire by strenuous activity and cigarettes are sometimes called Fags
  • A fagot is a bundle of sticks or a bundle of pieces of wrought iron to be shaped by rolling or hammering at high temperature.
  • A father Emperor penguin withstands the Antarctic cold for 60 days or more to protect his eggs, which he keeps on his feet, covered with a feathered flap. During this entire time he doesn’t eat a thing. Most father penguins lose about 25 pounds while they wait for their babies to hatch. Afterward, they feed the chicks a special liquid from their throats. When the mother penguins return to care for the young, the fathers go to sea to eat and rest.
  • A father sea catfish keeps the eggs of his young in his mouth until they are ready to hatch. He will not eat until his young are born, which may take several weeks.
  • A female ferret will die if it goes into heat and cannot find a mate.
  • A female mackerel lays about 500,000 eggs at one time.
  • A female swine or sow will always have an even number of teats or nipples.
  • A fetus acquires fingerprints at the age of three months.
  • A fingernail or toenail takes about 6 months to grow from base to tip.
  • A fish’s memory span is 3 seconds.
  • A five and a half year old weighing 250 pounds was exhibited at a meeting of the Physical Society of Vienna on December 4, 1894. She ate a normal diet and was otherwise in good health. The problem: she wasn’t able to sweat.
  • A flea can jump 350 times is own body length. (That would be like you jumping the length of a soccer field)
  • A flock of sheep grazed during Woodrow Wilson’s term. Their wool was sold to raise money for the Red Cross during World War I.
  • A fly always jumps backwards for a quick getaway when you try to hit it.
  • A fly hums in the middle octave, key F.
  • A foal is a baby horse.
  • A full moon is nine times brighter than a half moon.
  • A full-grown bear can run as fast as a horse.
  • A full-grown pumpkin has about 15 miles of roots.
  • A ghost writer pens an anonymous book.
  • A giant squid has eyes that can grow up to 20 inches in diameter. (Now think of how big your computer screen is..)
  • A giraffe and rat can go longer without water than a camel can.
  • A giraffe can clean its ears with its 21-inch tongue. i know some people who can do some amazing stuff too.
  • A goldfish has a memory span of 3 seconds.
  • A googol is a 1 followed by 100 zeros. Mathematician Edward Kasner supposedly asked his nephew Milton Sirotta to suggest a name for the number, and he came up with this word.
  • A grasshopper needs a minimum temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit in order to be able to hop.
  • A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle, a group in the air is a skein.
  • A group of crows is called a murder.
  • A hamlet is a village without a church and a town is not a city until it has a cathedral.
  • A hard-boiled egg will spin. An uncooked or soft-boiled egg will not.
  • A healthy (non-colorblind) human eye can distinguish between 500 shades of gray.
  • A healthy individual releases 3.5 oz. of gas in a single flatulent emission, or about 17 oz. in a day.
  • A hedgehog’s heart beats 190 times a minute on average and drops to only 20 beats per minute during hibernation.
  • A hedgehog’s skin is so tough that when they get run over, its entrails come out of its mouth and its ass.
  • A herd of forty-five thirsty, rambunctious elephants stampeded into a brewery in Midnapore, where they smashed vats and slurped up beer in a bender that went on for two days.
  • A hippo can open its mouth wide enough to fit a 4 foot tall child inside.
  • A hippopotamus can run faster than a man can.
  • A Holstein’s spots are like a fingerprint or snowflake. No two cows have exactly the same pattern of spots.
  • A honey bee must tap two million flowers to make one pound of honey
  • A honey bee travels an estimated 43,000 miles to gather one pound of honey. A pound of honey consists of 29,184 drops.
  • A honeybee can fly at fifteen miles per hour.
  • A horse can sleep standing up.
  • A Horse has 18 more bones than a Human.
  • A human being loses an average of 40 to 100 strands of hair a day.
  • A human has a bone just after the spine ends, which helps proves that humans once had tails (possibly).
  • A human head remains conscious for about 15 to 20 seconds after it is been decapitated.
  • A human’s scent membrane in the nose is about the size of a postage stamp. A dog’s is about the size of a handkerchief. It’s olfactory lobe is also 4 times that of a human.
  • A humming bird flaps its wings up to 90 times in one second or over 5000 times a minute.
  • A hummingbird weighs less than a penny.
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About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.