Is it time for another trivia night with your buds? Are you applying to be on Jeopardy! for the fifth time? Or are you just looking for some fun facts to distract yourself from the banality of everyday life?
Whatever your reason is for wanting to expand your mind with the wonders of the universe, we did some digging to find you 37 interesting tidbits of information. From animal abnormalities to food facts to technology trivia, enjoy these fascinating pieces of knowledge that we’re sure you won’t forget in two days.
37 Fun Facts
1. Elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump.
The bones in elephant legs only point down, so they don’t have the spring needed to get off the ground. Not sure what our excuse was during basketball tryouts, though.
2. Facebook was originally called Facemash.
Mark Zuckerberg originally created this social network to rank people’s attractiveness. Thankfully it evolved beyond that shallow function and into something more wholesome: people you haven’t seen in 10 years wishing you happy birthday.
3. Walt Disney didn’t draw Mickey Mouse.
Animator Ub Iwerks was the person who actually designed the iconic character. But Walt did the voice and created the personality. Their relationship was mostly kept secret, which is kind of a bummer. Going down in history as “Walt Disney’s dirty little secret” must be a weird cross to bear.
4. The actress who voiced Lilo in “Lilo & Stitch” is also Samara from “The Ring.”
5. A Polar bear’s fur isn’t white.
No, you don’t need new contacts. (Although, when was the last time you changed those things?) Polar bears may look white, but their skin is black and their coat is actually clear.
Each hair on a polar bear is a tiny hollow tube that has something called “structural color.” It only appears white because of how the light scatters within these micro tubes. So much for that color wheel you learned about it in kindergarten.
6. Nickelodeon’s Gak was named after an illegal substance.
According to a Nickelodeon tell-all book, the folks behind the scenes at Nick in the 1980s liked to party. And those partying days led to Nickelodeon’s iconic, slimey Gak being named for a particular illegal substance.
Of course we don’t know what that illegal drug is. We can’t do anything harder than caffeine. And honestly, sometimes even that is touch and go.
7. DC Comics didn’t create Superman.
In 1938, Detective Comics bought the rights to this superhuman Krypton character from two Cleveland cartoonists…for just $130. And here we thought LeBron James was the best thing to come out of that city.
8. Charlie Bucket became a veterinarian.
When Peter Ostrum starred as Charlie Bucket in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” he ended up turning down a three-film deal and leaving the acting world for good. In this departure, he went to school to become a veterinarian. We’re more surprised he didn’t become a dentist after devouring that candy room.
9. The Human Torch is considered the first Marvel superhero.
Both the Human Torch and Namor the Sub-Mariner appear in Marvel Comics #1, but the Human Torch appears first. Is he anyone’s favorite superhero? Probably not. But he is the first, and that should count for something! (That count is one.)
10. “Ewok” is never said in any Star Wars movie.
11. Killer whales aren’t technically whales.
An orca is actually a dolphin. While this sounds like a whale of a tale that we’re ocra-strating here, we promise that this is dolphin-ately the truth.
You can use this fact and those puns the next time you want to be berated with a million eye rolls. You’re welcome.
12. The Easter Island heads have bodies.
The name Easter Island “heads” is apparently a misnomer. When a team of archeologists excavated several of the heads, they found full torsos down there. We’re not saying that size is all that matters…but that does make them even more impressive.
13. Dogs can have a dominant paw.
Just like humans, dogs may favor their left or right paw. You could give your dog the Kong Test to see which paw they prefer.
If that’s too much work, just give them a pencil and hope they don’t just chew on it.
14. Pear cider doesn’t exist.
Pear cider lovers might be a little upset to hear this, but pear cider isn’t actually a thing. “Cider” is only made with fermented apples. If the alcoholic drink only uses pears, then it’s called “perry.”
Not to be confused with Matthew, the perry beverage often has a blue cheese taste to it. While that somehow works as an olive addition to a martini, we’re not too sure about drinking a full glass of that flavor. We’ll take a rain check on that happy hour deal.
15. It can snow in the Sahara Desert.
16. Lemons float, but limes sink.
Although these citrus fruits are treated as if they’re quite similar, limes are a little denser than lemons, causing them to sink. Is this also true when your lemons and limes are in a gin and tonic? We’re going to go test that…for research, of course.
17. “Mary Kay and Johnny” was the first show to feature a pregnancy.
Although Lucille Ball often gets credited as the first woman to have her pregnancy shown on the small screen, Mary Kay Stearns did it four years earlier on the show she shared with her husband, Johnny Stearns.
In 1948, when Mary Kay was pregnant, her status was written into Mary Kay and Johnny. We guess every show prior to this one pretended the Stork was a thing.
18. McDonald’s Coke tastes different for a reason.
McDonald’s lovers can attest that Coca-Cola at the fast food restaurant tastes better — and they’d be right. While Coca-Cola delivers Coke syrup in plastic bags at other places, McDonald’s gets theirs from stainless steel containers, keeping the syrup fresher longer.
So, what’s the excuse for why their burgers also stay “fresh” forever?
19. Oranges in warmer climates aren’t orange.
We hate to dismantle some of the most basic facts of the world, but it turns out that an orange isn’t always orange. Cold climates give oranges the color we associate with the fruit. But in warmer climates, orange peels are often greener.
Thankfully, the inside is still orange. We guess there is some stability in the world afterall.
20. Climate change gave us a new hybrid — a pizzly bear.
Talk about finding love in a hopeless place. As polar bears are being forced to move more south, they’re breeding with grizzlies.
They’ve introduced the adorably-named-but-probably-less-adorable-in-person pizzly bears, who appear to be here to stay. Hopefully, way over there.
21. The highest register in vocal pedagogy is the whistle register.
Although only a few pop stars today can sing in the whistle register, like Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande, it’s a more common register that sopranos singing opera have to reach. The jury is still out if these singers can actually shatter glass, though. But do all your neighbors a favor and please don’t try it at home.
22. The Earth isn’t round.
We should probably explain this one before Flat-Earthers say, “Told you so!” The Earth is more closely related to an ellipsoid. But even then, that’s not entirely true because the Earth’s shape is constantly changing.
23. The Boston Creme Pie was invented in one of the most haunted hotels in America.
The Omni Parker House in Boston is known for having been the birthplace of Massachusetts’s state dessert. But it’s also known for its ghostly inhabitants. Guests, particularly those who have stayed on the third floor, have been reporting supernatural activity for quite some time.
It’s even been immortalized in stories, as Stephen King’s “1408” was based on his stay in Room 303. So, come for the dessert, stay for the blood-curdling terror!
24. Spam is a combination of “spice” and “ham.”
Although many people believe Spam stands for “Shoulder of Pork and Ham,” it’s really a combination of the words “spice” and “ham.” Now if you don’t think about it too hard, that doesn’t sound too crazy! But if you look at the ingredient list, you’ll see that “spice” and “ham” is very loosely interpreted.
Spam is made up of pork with ham meat added (one ingredient), salt, water, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrite. It’s not wrong, it’s just not totally right. Kind of like pineapple on pizza. Should someone check on Hawaii?
25. The world’s shortest flight is only 1.7 miles.
Connecting the island of Westray to the more remote island of Papa Westray, this flight only takes 53 seconds, assuming favorable winds. We’re guessing that’s a no on beverage service…
26. Pilots and co-pilots eat different meals, just in case.
Although food poisoning is (thankfully) uncommon up in the air, there’s an unofficial rule that pilots and co-pilots have to eat different meals in case one meal creates some…problems. Basically, the movie “Airplane!” can’t happen. Which is important because Otto Pilot isn’t a thing.
27. Ethiopia’s calendar is seven to eight years behind the rest of the world.
As one of the few countries with its own calendar, Ethiopia is currently living in the year 2014. Their calendar, which has 13 months, can be seven to eight years behind the Gregorian calendar. This makes being “stuck in the past” take on a whole new meaning.
28. Hershey, Pennsylvania, was built for the Hershey employees to have a high quality of life.
Company towns weren’t exactly a new idea, but in 1903 Milton Hershey’s “model town” for his factory employees was.
The town he designed boosted beautiful family homes, an abundance of entertainment, affordable public transportation, and high-quality public schools. Not bad for a guy with only a fourth-grade education.
29. German Chocolate Cake isn’t from Germany.
It turns out German Chocolate Cake was actually created in Dallas, Texas. So, instead of saying something is as American as apple pie, say it’s as American as German Chocolate Cake. You’ll confuse a lot of people while also proving to be the smartest person in the room.
And then maybe get some of that cake smashed into your face. Win win?
30. Oh, and apple pie isn’t American.
Yet another reason to stop saying something is as American as apple pie. The iconically American dish belongs to England. But they were our mother country after all. The apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree afterall.
31. You can technically cross from Alaska to Russia.
Tina Fey’s “SNL” spoof of former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin once said, “I can see Russia from my house!” And while that’s not true, Palin might have been able to walk there.
In fact, the trek has been made before by crossing the Bering Strait while frozen. But just because you can do it probably doesn’t mean you should. We learned that the hard way with a bucket of 500 M&M’s.
32. Our bones are stronger than steel.
Though far lighter, our bones are actually stronger than steel. Unfortunately, because they’re also light and flexible, they’re more prone to breaking than steel.
Still, we’re happy to say that we have more in common with Superman than we thought. If only we could figure out that whole flying thing.
33. Babies have more bones than adults.
It’s morphin’ time! No, seriously. When babies start to grow up, it’s morphing time.
A baby is born with around 300 bones, but those bones fuse together as they grow older. The end result is 206 bones, instead. And 206 strong as steel bones, as we know now!
34. Blockbuster could have partnered with Netflix — but they laughed at the opportunity.
In 2000, Netflix proposed that they would manage Blockbuster’s online brand. But Netflix’s founder, Reed Hastings, was literally laughed out of the room. Do you think Blockbuster execs still wake up in a cold sweat from nightmares about that day?
35. Wood frogs go eight months without peeing.
While some of us can’t get a full eight hours of sleep without getting up to pee, the wood frogs in Alaska hold their urine for eight months. During hibernation, their urine actually keeps them alive.
Dogs who hate going to pee in the snow must be so jealous. And their owners who have to take them out.
36. Food tastes weird in an airplane for a reason.
It’s not your imagination that your in-flight meal tastes gross. Our sensitivity to sweet and salty foods is reduced by 30 percent thanks to dryness and low pressure. So maybe stop complaining to the flight attendant about your sandwich tasting funny next time.
37. Space has its own smell.
What does space smell like? No, it doesn’t smell like chicken, but we get your instincts. Apparently, it smells like “sweet smelling welding fumes.”
That seems like an oxymoron, but whatever, we’re not astronauts here.
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