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50 Amazing Facts You Haven’t Heard 50 Times Before

Bookmark this list of fascinating trivia facts for your next dinner party. You're guaranteed to impress all your guests.

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Portrait of a two shocked young men holding mobile phones and looking at each other isolated over yellow background
Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

“No way!”

We live on a pretty spectacular planet. Between animals, weather, different cultures, food, politics, and history, there is so much to learn, including some fascinating trivia. If you’re ever bored or want to impress someone, why not break out these 50 amazing facts that you haven’t already heard 50 times before. You’ll also want to know these crazy weird facts that most people don’t know.

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mosquito on human skin at sunset

Fact: It would take 1.2 million mosquitoes to drain an adult human of blood

If each mosquito only sucked once, there would have to be more than 1million of the little pests to get all of the blood out of a person. And yes: mosquitoes suck, they don’t bite. Here’s why certain people attract mosquitoes more than others.

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fountain of Cibeles In Madrid, Spain

Fact: Spain is the second most-visited country in the world

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, 86.9 million people visited France in 2017. Spain was close behind, hosting 81.8 million visitors. The United States is number three with 76.9 million guests. Another fun fact: Spaniards are some of the healthiest people on earth.

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Bosnia and Herzegovina flag waving against clean blue sky, isolated with clipping mask alpha channel transparency
railway fx/Shutterstock

Fact: Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to the tallest people in the world

Yes, the Dutch are tall—and the Netherlands houses the second tallest people in the world. But the former Yugoslavian country beat them out by one-tenth of a millimeter.

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A view of the Kobe Earthquake Memorial Park, where a piece of the harbor is being left untouched in its wrecked state.
J. Aa./Shutterstock

Fact: More earthquakes have been recorded in Japan than any other country

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that Japan has more earthquakes than anywhere else on earth. China, Indonesia, Iran, and Turkey also have their fair share of the geologic events.

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Crowd of people walking on a street in New York City

Fact: 7 percent of all the people who ever lived are currently alive

Wrap your head around this: of all the human beings who have ever existed, approximately 7 percent of those are alive right now. According to the Population Reference Bureau, there have been more than 108 billion members of the Homo sapiens species on this planet over the past 50,000 years. Here are 75 other mind-blowing facts you’ll think are made up (but aren’t).

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south sudan

Fact: South Sudan is the youngest country in the world

No, we’re not talking about the average age of the citizens—South Sudan itself is young. It has only officially been a country since 2008. Unfortunately, it’s also a country where not all of these children’s rights are universal.

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This is Persepolis ancient city with beautiful and blue sky , famous place to visit ,one of world heritage site , UNESCO in Shiraz , Iran
TripDeeDee Photo/Shutterstock

Fact: Iran is the oldest country in the world

Iran has been a sovereign nation since 3200 BCE, making it the world’s oldest. It is home to two very early civilizations: Elam and Jiroft. It’s also one of the countries that have banned McDonald’s.

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Birthday cake with candles, bright lights bokeh.
Studio Romantic/Shutterstock

Fact: September 9 is the most common birthday

In fact, nine out of ten of the most common birth dates are all in the month of September. This means that December is a popular time to conceive. Can you guess how many living people share your birthday?

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chinese soldiers
Alexander Ryabintsev/Shutterstock

Fact: China has the largest army in the world

With more than 2 million personnel, China’s army is the biggest around. The second largest is from India, while the U.S. army comes in third.

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California Giant Salamander Profile
Matt Knoth/Shutterstock

Fact: Idaho has an official state amphibian

After a five-year selection process, the Idaho giant salamander was chosen as the state’s official amphibian in 2015. These salamanders are, indeed, large, being up to 13 inches (ca. 33 cm) long. Find out the strangest animal in your state.

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Flags of all nations outside the UN in New York City.
Andrew F. Kazmierski/Shutterstock

Fact: 59 countries have stars on their flag

Though we think of stars on a flag as being uniquely American, that’s not the case. In fact, 59 different countries have stars on their flags, including Israel, Nepal, Australia, and Aruba. But these 20 reasons our flag is so cool are uniquely American.

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hialeah florida immigrant population

Fact: The city with the highest immigrant population in the United States is in Florida

We think of New York City as the city of immigrants, but when it comes to which cities have the highest percentage of residents who are immigrants, the Big Apple ranks eighth in the country. First on the list is Hialeah, Florida, where immigrants comprise about 74.4 percent of the total city population. Find out 15 more fascinating facts about America you never learned in school.

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Tungurahua Volcano eruption

Fact: There are approximately 1,500 active volcanoes in the world

Though erupting volcanoes seem rare, there are actually around 1,500 active volcanoes throughout the world. Of those, 169 are in the United States. You can actually visit these 13 active volcanoes.

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Bayterek Tower, Nurzhol Bulvar. Kazakhstan, Astana, July 24, 2017
Anton Petrus/Shutterstock

Fact: Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world

Not only is Kazakhstan the ninth-largest country in the world, but it is also the biggest that is entirely land-locked. It also has one of the lowest population densities on earth. Learn about the 20 largest cities in the world.

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Masai man in Masai village, northern Tanzania

Fact: Tanzania is the country with the biggest teacher shortage

A teacher shortage is a serious problem for a country, and Tanzania has the biggest in the world, with a 218.78 teacher-to-student ratio. The Solomon Islands and Sierra Leone are also in need of teachers.

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The skyline view of Ryugyong Hotel, an unfinished 105-story pyramid-shaped skyscraper & the first tall building in Pyongyang city, the capital of North Korea (DPRK)
Chintung Lee/Shutterstock

Fact: The tallest unfinished building in the world is in North Korea

Not only is the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea the tallest building in the country, it’s also the tallest unfinished building in the world. Construction on the hotel began in 1987 and it’s still not done. These are the 25 tallest skyscrapers in the world.

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2020 olympic sports

Fact: 4 new sports will be introduced in the 2020 Olympics

The summer Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 will feature four new sports: karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. Baseball and softball, which had both previously been played in earlier games, will both return.

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Brooks Mountains at Gates of the Arctic National Park
Lloyd Wallin Photography/Shutterstock

Fact: The Gates of the Arctic is the least visited national park in the United States

Out of all the national parks in the United States, Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic is the one with the least amount of traffic. It is, however, home to the second-largest peak in the country. Here are more off-the-beaten-path national parks that are worth a detour.

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Sandstorm in Sudan

Fact: Sudan has the highest number of pollution-related deaths

More people die of causes related to pollution in Sudan than anywhere else on earth. An ongoing civil war has resulted in land degradation and desertification, and high levels of gas emissions reduce air quality. These are more of the most polluted cities in the world.

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first amusement park bakken in denmark
Stig Alenas/Shutterstock

Fact: Denmark is home to the oldest amusement park in the world

Dyrehavsbakken, an amusement park located in Denmark, is the oldest in the world. It opened in 1583 and is located 6.2 miles (ca. 10 km) north of Copenhagen. Here’s more on it and the 7 other oldest amusement parks in the world.

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Orion Nebula M42 with Galaxy,Open Cluster,Globular Cluster, stars and space dust in the universe and Milky way taken by dedicated astrophotography camera on telescope.

Fact: We don’t know how many stars are in the Milky Way

Scientists don’t know the exact number of stars in the galaxy. According to NASA, there are anywhere between 100 billion and 400 billion stars in the Milky Way. Find out 13 amazing facts about the women of NASA.

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Closeup of a rubber band ball
Glenn Young/Shutterstock

Fact: The world’s largest rubber band ball is the size of the average NBA player

The largest rubber band ball in the world is 6 feet and 7 inches tall. It’s made of more than 700,000 rubber bands and weighs in at 9,032 lb (ca. 4 t). Joel Waul of Lauderhill, Florida is responsible for this bouncy monstrosity. Find out the craziest world record set in every state.

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largest toothpick display
debra millet/Shutterstock

Fact: The largest display of toothpick sculptures in the world is comprised of 101 structures

Stan Munro from the United States is the mastermind behind the world’s largest display of toothpick sculptures. It took Munro more than ten years, three million toothpicks and 75 gallons (283.91 l) of glue to make the 101 structures that are part of his display, featuring buildings from 37 different countries. Find out 16 world records set in 2019.

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WWII raising the flat on iwo jima
Everett Collection/Shutterstock

Fact: World War II had the highest total death toll of any war

Counting all battle and civilian deaths, World War II (1939 to 1945) had the most fatalities of any conflict in world history: approximately 56.4 million people. Proportionately, Poland lost the highest percentage of its population, with 6,028,000 or 17.2 percent of its population of 35,100,000 killed. Find out 10 tricky U.S. war history questions no one ever gets right.

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ellis island
Nara Archives/Shutterstock

Fact: April 17, 1907, was the busiest day at Ellis Island ever

Between 1892 and 1954, millions of immigrants were processed at Ellis Island upon arriving in the United States. But the day that holds the record for the most people is April 17, 1907. A total of 11, 747 people were processed on that day.

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mahi mahi sport fishing Costa Rica with trolling lures
Jason Richeux/Shutterstock

Fact: Fishing is the most dangerous occupation in the United States

Although fishing is a relaxing hobby for some people, for those who make a living doing it, fishing can be downright risky. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s the most dangerous occupation in the country.

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Browser: macro shot of www and cursor

Fact: More than 4 billion people use the Internet in the world

As of December 2018, there were approximately 4.1 billion people in the world who used the Internet. That number is steadily increasing; there were 3.9 billion Internet users in mid-2018.

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judge judy

Fact: Judge Judy is the highest-paid host in television

All rise: Judy Judy Sheindlin earned more than any TV host in 2018, including Ellen DeGeneres, Dr. Phil, and Steve Harvey, according to Forbes. She brought in a total of $147 million before taxes. Learn about 22 of the funniest court cases of all time.

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Red, rose and white wine bottles. Top view
Evgeny Karandaev/Shutterstock

Fact: There are approximately 736 grapes in a bottle of wine

Of course, each bottle of wine and grape variety is different, but on average, there are about 736 grapes in a single bottle of wine. Find out 25 more since facts you never learned in school

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United States one dollar bill laying in a stack of money.
Constantine Pankin/Shutterstock

Fact: Producing a $100 bill costs more than double than making a $1 bill

You’d think that paper money is paper money, regardless of the amount printed on it, but that’s not the case. According to the Federal Reserve, it costs 5.5¢ to make a $1 or $2 bill, but approximately 11¢ to make fives, tens, 20s, and 50s. But $100 bills cost 14.2¢ each to manufacture. Here are 16 other facts about money that will make your jaw drop.

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Emperor penguin with children, the Antarctic.

Fact: Penguins used to be much bigger

Penguins are pretty cute, but would we think the same way if they were the size of humans? This is something we don’t need to worry about today, but it turns out that approximately 60 million years ago these cold-weather birds used to be much bigger. We bet they were still adorable, just like their modern-day ancestors.

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Bob Pool/Shutterstock

Facts: Human corpses can move more than one year after death

This sounds like something out of a horror film, but it’s actually true: dead humans can move on their own more than one year after the person passes away. No, this doesn’t mean they’re zombies—scientists think it’s likely caused by the body’s ligaments drying out, shrinking, and contracting. Find out 16 crazy family secrets people learned after their loved one died.

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dolphin underwater on blue ocean background looking at you
Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock

Fact: Most dolphins are right-handed

Approximately 70 to 95 percent of humans are right-handed, but favoring this side of the body extends to the animal kingdom as well. According to a 2019 study published in the Royal Society Open Science, dolphins also tend to primarily use the right sides of their bodies when they look for food. Here’s why dolphins are the second-smartest creatures.

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tornado in texas
Steven Maupin/AP/Shutterstock

Fact: Texas has the highest average number of tornadoes in the United States

Though we may associate Kansas with tornadoes thanks to the Wizard of Oz, Texas actually has more of these destructive cyclones on average each year: 155. Kansas does, however, come in second with an average of 96 tornadoes each year.

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Atacama desert

Fact: The Atacama desert is the driest place on earth (not counting the poles)

Located in Chile, the Atacama desert has an average rainfall of 5.08 mm (0.2 in) per year. However, when it does rain, it occasionally turns the desert into a lush landscape of flowers.

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12 Facts About Animals That You Have All Wrong_291282713
Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock

Fact: Octopuses have 9 brains

If you guessed that an octopus has one main brain in their head and eight mini-brains in each of their arms, you’d be correct. They also have three hearts and are able to camouflage both their color and texture to blend in with their environment. Find out 27 more facts about animals you never knew.

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Close up of big feline wildcat Malayan tiger with beautiful stripe fur

Fact: Tigers have striped skin

According to National Geographic, each tiger’s stripes are unique—kind of like humans’ fingerprints. And in addition to having striped fur, their skin is also striped. Here are 11 majestic tigers found in nature, in captivity, and in memories.

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Esin Deniz/Shutterstock

Fact: Cats can recognize their own name—and also ignore you

If you’ve ever felt as though your cat is ignoring you, you may be right. A 2019 study published in Scientific Reports found that domesticated cats do recognize their own name when called, but may or may not take the time to respond or acknowledge you. Here are 17 other things you never knew about your cat.

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Two Monarch Butterflies with wings spread on a Pink Cone Flower
Kate Besler/Shutterstock

Fact: Butterflies don’t eat—they only drink

Though caterpillars constantly eat, once they turn into butterflies they only drink. Not only that, but butterflies taste with their legs. They have receptors on their legs similar to humans’ taste buds.

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Drosophila Fruit Fly Insect on Green Grass

Fact: A fruit fly’s sperm is longer than a human’s

We know that sperm is tiny, but so are fruit flies. But as it turns out, a fruit fly, which is approximately three millimeters (0.11 inch) long, produces sperm measuring about 58 millimeters, or 2.2 inches, long. Human sperm, on the other hand, is significantly shorter: about 0.06 millimeters long, or 0.002 inch. Find out how some bugs are able to make really loud noises.

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natural snowflakes on snow, photo real snowflakes during a snowfall, under natural conditions at low temperature

Fact: Snowflakes aren’t all unique

Yes, the idea that every snowflake is different is a nice example of the infinite possibilities of nature, but it’s not exactly true. In fact, there is at least one recorded case of two identical snow crystals in 1988 at the National Center for Atmosphere Research in Boulder, Colorado.

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View of Yinchuan city (Ningxia province, China) during sand storm

Fact: Extreme weather caused around $160 billion worth of damage in 2018

Climate change isn’t just dangerous because it threatens the very planet we inhabit—it’s also bad for business. After causing approximately $160 billion in damage in 2018, experts predict the figures for 2019 will be even worse. Find out 7 times the weather changed the course of history.

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tootsie pops
Regine Poirier/Shutterstock

Fact: We know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop

Unlike the owl on the TV commercial, researchers at Purdue University took the time to figure out precisely how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Officially, it’s 364 licks.

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Cows on a summer pasture

Fact: Cows moo in different accents

Just like humans, who may have a different accent of dialect depending on where they live, cows experience the same phenomenon with their moos, with different regional accents. The same is true for some birds. Here’s why Americans and Brits don’t have the same accent.

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dolly parton
Jack Fordyce/Shutterstock

Fact: Dolly Parton has donated more than 100 million books

Aside from being a country singer-songwriter, actor, and all-around legend, Dolly Parton has donated more than 100 million books through her nonprofit organization, Imagination Library since it started in 1995. Here are thoughtful ways you can donate your old books.

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salvator mundi painting

Fact: The most expensive painting of all time sold for $450.3 million

In 2017, a painting called “Salvator Mundi” attributed to Leonardo da Vinci sold for $450.3 million at auction. It has been dated to approximately 1500. Learn about the most valuable finds from Antique Roadshow.

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texas longhorns university of texas
Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

Fact: Texas has the most colleges of any state

When it comes to institutes of higher education, Texas has the rest of the states beat. The Lone Star State is home to 299 universities. California is next with 225 universities total. Learn the difference between a college and a university.

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Antarctica glacier on a bright sunny day

Fact: The saltiest body of water on earth is in Antarctica

Located in Antarctica, Don Juan Pond has the highest salinity of any body of water on the planet—40 percent. In fact, despite the fact that surrounding temperatures can get as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit (-5.56 °C), it never freezes. In addition to salty bodies of water, the earth is also home to naturally beautiful pink lakes.

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Hello Speech Bubble Word Cloud on Chalkboard in Many Different Languages

Fact: There are six official languages of the United Nations

Despite having 193 member countries, the United Nations only has six official languages. These are Chinese, Spanish, English, Russian, and French, which also happen to be the languages spoken in the founding members of the organization. The sixth language, Arabic, was added in 1974 by popular demand. Here’s the secret to learning a new language.

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Oldest vine in the world in Maribor, Slovenia
Mino Surkala/Shutterstock

Fact: The oldest functional grapevine in the world is almost 500 years old

Located in Maribor, Slovenia, the oldest grapevine in the world that still produces grapes—and in turn, wine—has been around since the 1500s. Each year approximately 100 small, 250-milliliter bottles are made from the fruits produced from the vine. Next, read on for 100 fun and interesting facts about basically everything.

Elizabeth Yuko
Elizabeth is a bioethicist and journalist covering politics, public health, pop culture, travel, and the lesser-known histories of holidays and traditions for RD.com. She's always mentally planning her next trip, which she'll base around visits to medical museums or former hospitals, flea markets, local cuisine, and stays in unusual Airbnbs or historic hotels.