100 Fun and Interesting Facts About Practically Everything
You'll never believe these fun facts.
Fact: McDonald’s once made bubblegum-flavored broccoli
This interesting fact will have your taste buds crawling. Unsurprisingly, the attempt to get kids to eat healthier didn’t go over well with the child testers, who were “confused by the taste.” Find out which countries have banned McDonald’s.
Fact: Some fungi create zombies, then control their minds
The tropical fungus Ophiocordyceps infects ants’ central nervous systems. By the time the fungi been in the insect bodies for nine days, they have complete control over the host’s movements. They force the ants to climb trees, then convulse and fall into the cool, moist soil below, where fungi thrive. Once there, the fungus waits until exactly solar noon to force the ant to bite a leaf and kill it. Don’t miss these 12 animal “facts” that are actually false.
Fact: The first oranges weren’t orange
The original oranges from Southeast Asia were a tangerine-pomelo hybrid, and they were actually green. In fact, oranges in warmer regions like Vietnam and Thailand still stay green through maturity. For more interesting facts, find out which “orange” came first: the color or the fruit.
Fact: There’s only one letter that doesn’t appear in any U.S. state name
Can you guess the answer to this random fact? You’ll find a Z (Arizona), a J (New Jersey), and even two X’s (New Mexico and Texas)—but not a single Q. Check out these other 50 fun facts about every state in America.
Fact: Johnny Appleseed’s fruits weren’t for eating
Yes, there was a real John Chapman who planted thousands of apple trees on U.S. soil. But the apples on those trees were much more bitter than the ones you’d find in the supermarket today. “Johnny Appleseed” didn’t expect his fruits to be eaten whole, but rather made into hard apple cider.
Fact: Scotland has 421 words for “snow”
Yes—421! That’s too many fun facts about snow. Some examples: sneesl (to start raining or snowing); feefle (to swirl); flinkdrinkin (a light snow). Don’t miss these other 11 random interesting facts about snow.
Fact: Samsung tests phone durability with a butt-shaped robot
Do these interesting facts have you rethinking everything? People stash their phones in their back pockets all the time, which is why Samsung created a robot that is shaped like a butt—and yes, even wears jeans—to “sit” on their phones to make sure they can take the pressure.
Fact: The “Windy City” name has nothing to do with Chicago weather
Was this one of the random facts you already knew? Chicago’s nickname was coined by 19th-century journalists who were referring to the fact that its residents were “windbags” and “full of hot air.”
Fact: Peanuts aren’t technically nuts
They’re legumes. According to Merriam-Webster, a nut is only a nut if it’s “a hard-shelled dry fruit or seed with a separable rind or shell and interior kernel.” That means walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios aren’t nuts either. They’re seeds.
Fact: Armadillo shells are bulletproof
In fact, one Texas man was hospitalized when a bullet he shot at an armadillo ricocheted off the animal and hit him in the jaw.
Fact: Firefighters use wetting agents to make water wetter
The chemicals reduce the surface tension of plain water so it’s easier to spread and soak into objects, which is why it’s known as “wet water.” Find out which of your favorite science “facts” are actually false.
Fact: The longest English word is 189,819 letters long
Fact: “Running amok” is a medically recognized mental condition
Considered a culturally bound syndrome, a person “running amok” in Malaysia commits a sudden, frenzied mass attack, then begins to brood. Learn some more random facts and trivia you’ll wish you’d always known.
Fact: Octopuses lay 56,000 eggs at a time
The mother spends six months so devoted to protecting the eggs that she doesn’t eat. The babies are the size of a grain of rice when they’re born.
Fact: Cats have fewer toes on their back paws
Like most four-legged mammals, they have five toes on the front, but their back paws only have four toes. Scientists think the four-toe back paws might help them run faster. Do you know any other fun facts about cats?
Fact: Kleenex tissues were originally intended for gas masks
When there was a cotton shortage during World War I, Kimberly-Clark developed a thin, flat cotton substitute that the army tried to use as a filter in gas masks. The war ended before scientists perfected the material for gas masks, so the company redeveloped it to be smoother and softer, then marketed Kleenex as facial tissue instead.
Fact: Blue whales eat half a million calories in one mouthful
These random facts are mindblowing! Those 457,000 calories are more than 240 times the energy the whale uses to scoop those krill into its mouth.
Fact: That tiny pocket in jeans was designed to store pocket watches
The original jeans only had four pockets: that tiny one, plus two more on the front and just one in the back.
Fact: Turkeys can blush
When turkeys are scared or excited—like when the males see a female they’re interested in—the pale skin on their head and neck turns bright red, blue, or white. The flap of skin over their beaks, called a “snood,” also reddens.
Fact: Most Disney characters wear gloves to keep animation simple
Walt Disney might have been the first to put gloves on his characters, as seen in 1929’s The Opry House starring Mickey Mouse. In addition to being easier to animate, there’s another reason Disney opted for gloves: “We didn’t want him to have mouse hands because he was supposed to be more human,” Disney told his biographer in 1957.
Fact: The man with the world’s deepest voice can make sounds humans can’t hear
The man, Tim Storms, can’t even hear the note, which is eight octaves below the lowest G on a piano—but elephants can. Check out these 16 little-known interesting facts about the greatest songs of all time.
Fact: The current American flag was designed by a high school student
It started as a school project for Bob Heft’s junior-year history class, and it only earned a B- in 1958. His design had 50 stars even though Alaska and Hawaii weren’t states yet. Heft figured the two would earn statehood soon and showed the government his design. After President Dwight D. Eisenhower called to say his design was approved, Heft’s teacher changed his grade to an A.
Fact: Cows don’t have upper front teeth
They do have molars in the top back of their mouths though. Where you’d expect upper incisors, cows, sheep, and goats have a thick layer of tissue called a “dental pad.” They use that with their bottom teeth to pull out grass. Check out these 13 fun facts about the human body you’ve always wondered about.
Fact: Thanks to 3D printing, NASA can basically “email” tools to astronauts
Getting new equipment to the Space Station used to take months or years, but the new technology means the tools are ready within hours.
Fact: Bananas grow upside-down
Or technically, we peel them upside-down. These random facts will have you eating fruit differently. Naturally, they grow outward from their stems, but that means their bottoms actually face the sky. As they get bigger, the fruits turn toward the sun, forming that distinctive curve. Check out these 21 food myths that are totally untrue.
Fact: There were active volcanoes on the moon when dinosaurs were alive
Most of the volcanoes probably stopped one billion years ago, but new NASA findings suggest there might still have been active lava flow 100 million years ago, when dinosaurs were still roaming.
Fact: Dogs sniff good smells with their left nostril
Dogs normally start sniffing with their right nostril, then keep it there if the smell could signal danger, but they’ll shift to the left side for something pleasant, like food or a mating partner. Learn the real reason dogs follow you everywhere.
Fact: Avocados were named after reproductive organs
Indigenous people of Mexico and Central America used the Nahuatl word āhuacatl to mean both “testicles” and “avocado.” The fruits were originally marketed as “alligator pears” in the United States until the current name stuck. For more random facts, learn what the original word for avocado means about guacamole’s name.
Fact: T. S. Eliot wore green makeup
Fact: The word “fizzle” started as a type of fart
In the 1400s, it meant to “break wind quietly,” according to English Oxford Living Dictionaries.
Fact: You only have two body parts that never stop growing
Human noses and ears keep getting bigger, even when the rest of the body’s growth has come to a halt. Learn more about the phenomenon and what it means.
Fact: No number before 1,000 contains the letter A
Some of these fun facts will have you counting. But there are plenty of E’s, I’s, O’s, U’s, and Y’s.
Fact: The # symbol isn’t officially called hashtag or pound
Its technical name is octothorpe. The “octo-” means “eight” to refer to its points, though reports disagree on where “-thorpe” came from. Some claim it was named after Olympian Jim Thorpe, while others argue it was just a nonsense suffix.
Fact: The French have their own name for a “French kiss”
This interesting fact doesn’t date that far back. The word hasn’t been around for long. In 2014, galocher—meaning to kiss with tongues—was added to the Petit Robert French dictionary. Here are more fun facts about kissing.
Fact: You can thank the Greeks for calling Christmas “Xmas”
In Greek, the word for “Christ” starts with the letter Chi, which looks like an X in the Roman alphabet.
Fact: Mercedes invented a car controlled by joystick
The joystick in the 1966 Mercedes F200 showcase car controlled speed and direction, replacing both the steering wheel and pedals. The car could also sense which side the driver was sitting in, so someone could control it from the passenger seat.
Fact: The U.S. government saved every public tweet from 2006 through 2017
Starting in 2018, the Library of Congress decided to only keep tweets on “a very selective basis,” including elections and those dealing with something of national interest, like public policy. Here are 18 more interesting facts about Washington, DC you’ve never heard.
Fact: H&M actually does stand for something
This is one of the random facts you’ve probably never thought about before. The clothing retail shop was originally called Hennes—Swedish for “hers”—before acquiring the hunting and fishing equipment brand Mauritz Widforss. Eventually, Hennes & Mauritz was shortened to H&M.
Fact: Theodore Roosevelt had a pet hyena
Fact: Cap’n Crunch’s full name is Horatio Magellan Crunch
He’s also been called out for only having the bars of a Navy commander, but the so-called cap’n held his ground on Twitter, arguing that captaining the S. S. Guppy with his crew “makes an official Cap’n in any book!” For more fun facts, find out other characters you didn’t know had full names.
Fact: Giraffe tongues can be 20 inches long
Their dark bluish black color is probably to prevent sunburn.
Fact: There’s only one U.S. state capital without a McDonald’s
Montpelier, Vermont, doesn’t have any of those Golden Arches. It also happens to have the smallest population of any state capital, with just 7,500 residents. Find out the farthest you can possibly be from a McDonald’s in the United States.
Fact: Europeans were scared of eating tomatoes when they were introduced
Scholars think Hernán Cortés brought the seeds in 1519 with the intent of the fruits being used ornamentally in gardens. By the 1700s, aristocrats started eating tomatoes, but they were convinced the fruits were poison because people would die after eating them. In reality, the acidity from the tomatoes brought out lead in their pewter plates, so they’d died of lead poisoning. These facts about our world are so surprising, they’re hard to believe.
Fact: Humans aren’t the only animals that dream
Studies have indicated rats dream about getting to food or running through mazes. Most mammals go through REM sleep, the cycle in which dreams occur, so scientists think there’s a good chance they all dream. Here are 13 more interesting facts about dreaming.
Fact: The inventor of the microwave appliance only received $2 for his discovery
Percy Spencer was working as a researcher for American Appliance Company (now Raytheon) when he noticed a radar set using electromagnetic waves melted the candy bar in his pocket. He had the idea to make a metal box using microwaves to heat food, but the company was the one to file the patent. He received a $2 bonus but never any royalties. Here are 16 more random facts about money.
Fact: Glitter was made on a ranch
A cattle rancher in New Jersey is credited for inventing glitter, and it was by accident. Henry Ruschmann from Bernardsville, New Jersey was a machinist who crushed plastic while trying to find a way to dispose of it and thus made glitter in 1934.
Fact: Creature is a vegetarian
Victor Frankenstein’s Creature is actually vegetarian. Frankenstein and Creature are fictional characters created by Mary Shelley in her novel, Frankenstein. In the novel, Creature says, “My food is not that of man; I do not destroy the lamb and the kid to glut my appetite; acorns and berries afford me sufficient nourishment.”
Fact: Medical errors are a top cause of death
According to a Johns Hopkins research team, 250,000 deaths in the United States are caused by medical error each year. This makes medical error the third-leading cause of deaths in the country.
Fact: Sloths have more neck bones than giraffes
Despite physical length, there are more bones in the neck of a sloth than a giraffe. There are seven vertebrae in the neck of giraffes, and in most mammals, but there are ten in a sloth. Still, giraffes are among 23 of the world’s biggest living animals.
Fact: Bees can fly higher than Mount Everest
Bees can fly higher than 29,525 feet above sea level, according to National Geographic. That’s higher than Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.
Fact: Ancient Egyptians used dead mice to ease toothaches
In Ancient Egypt, people put a dead mouse in their mouth if they had a toothache, according to Nathan Belofsky’s book Strange Medicine: A Shocking History of Real Medical Practices Through the Age. Mice were also used as a warts remedy during Elizabethan England.
Fact: Paint used to be stored in pig bladders
Pig bladders were used in the 19th century to store an artist’s paint. The bladder would be sealed with a string and then pricked to get the paint out. This option wasn’t the best because it would often break open. American painter John G. Rand was the innovator who made paint tubes from tin and screw cap in the 19th century.
Fact: Humans have jumped further than horses in the Olympics
The Olympic world record for the longest human long jump is greater than the world record for longest horse long jump. Mike Powell set the record in 1991 by jumping 8.95 meters, and the horse Extra Dry set the record in 1900 by jumping 6.10 meters. Don’t miss 13 more Olympic moments that changed history.
Fact: The Terminator script was sold for $1
James Cameron is the award-winning director of movies like Titanic, Avatar, and The Terminator. In order to get his big break with The Terminator, he sold the script for $1 and a promise that he’d be able to direct.
Fact: Pigeon poop is the property of the British Crown
In the 18th century, pigeon poop was used to make gunpowder, so King George I confirmed the droppings to be property of the crown.
Fact: Onions were found in the eyes of an Egyptian mummy
Pharaoh Ramses IV of Ancient Egypt had his eyes replaced with small onions when he was mummified. The rings and layers of onions were worshipped because people thought they represented eternal life. This aligns with the reason for mummification: to allow the pharaoh’s body to live forever. Let’s hope these interesting facts don’t all apply to practices used today.
Fact: Abraham Lincoln was a bartender
You know that the 16th president of the United States fought for the freedom of slaves and the Union, but what you didn’t know is that he was a licensed bartender. Lincoln’s liquor license was discovered in 1930 and displayed in a Springfield liquor store. Wayne C. Temple, a Lincoln expert, told the Southeast Missourian newspaper that in 1863 Congress wanted to fire Ulysses S. Grant because he drank a lot and Lincoln’s response was to send Grant a supply of whiskey.
Fact: Beethoven never knew how to multiply or divide
Ludwig van Beethoven is arguably one of the greatest composers in musical history. The renowned pianist went to a Latin school called Tirocinium. There he learned some math, but never multiplication or division, only addition. Once when he needed to multiply 62 by 50, he wrote 62 down a line 50 times and added it all up. Here are 12 easy math tricks you and Beethoven will wish you knew sooner.
Fact: Japan released sushi-inspired KitKats
For a limited time in 2017, Tokyo’s KitKat Chocolatory shop made three types of the chocolate bar that was sushi-inspired but didn’t actually taste like raw fish. The tuna sushi was actually raspberry, the seaweed wrapped one was pumpkin pudding flavored, and the sea urchin sushi was actually Hokkaido melon with mascarpone cheese flavored. All were made with puffed rice, white chocolate, and a bit of wasabi.
Fact: The word aquarium means “watering place for cattle” in Latin
In the classic Latin language, aquarium means a “watering place for cattle.” However, aquariums these days aren’t for cows—instead, they are a place for the public to see sea creatures. The first aquarium that looks like what you’d imagine now was created in 1921 and opened in 1924 in England. If you love what’s in the deep blue sea, take an intimate look at these large and tiny sea creatures.
Fact: An espresso maker was sent into space in 2015
Samantha Cristoforetti is the first female Italian astronaut to get a warm and cozy piece of home sent to her while in orbit. The Italian Space Agency worked with Italian coffee manufacturer, Lavazza, to get the coffee capsules flown up and out into space.
Fact: An employee at Pixar accidentally deleted a sequence of Toy Story 2 during production
Ed Catmull, the co-founder of Pixar, wrote in his book Creativity Inc. that the year before the movie came out, someone entered the command, ‘/bin/rm -r -f *’ on the drive where the files were saved and scenes started to be deleted. It would have taken a year to recreate what was deleted, but luckily another employee had a backup of the entire film on her laptop at home.
Fact: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne started Apple Inc. on April Fools’ Day
The three technology innovators signed the documents to form the Apple Computer Company on April 1, 1976. However, the company was not fully incorporated until January 3, 1977. Thirty years later, the company was renamed Apple Inc. and is no joke. In 2018, Apple Inc. became the country’s first trillion-dollar company.
Fact: The inventor of the tricycle personally delivered two to Queen Victoria
In 1881, Queen Victoria was on a tour on the Isle of Wight when her horse and carriage could not keep up with a woman riding a tricycle. The Queen made her servants identify the woman so she could demonstrate the tricycle to the Queen. Intrigued by the bike, the Queen proceeded to order two. She also asked that the inventor, James Starley, arrive with the delivery. Though you might associate tricycles with toddlers, Queen Victoria made them cool among the elite. Special deliveries are definitely a royal bonus. Want more random facts? Here are 15 more of the most bizarre perks of the British royal family.
Fact: Your brain synapses shrink while you sleep
A 2003 study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Sleep and Consciousness was done on mice to observe what happens to our brains while we sleep. Dr. Chiara Cirelli and Dr. Giulio Tononi found an 18 percent decrease in the size of synapses after a few hours of sleep. Don’t worry, though, your brain shrinking at night actually helps your cognitive abilities.
Fact: A waffle iron inspired one of the first pairs of Nikes
Bill Bowerman was a track and field coach in the 1950s who didn’t like how running shoes were made. He first created the Cortez shoe, but still wanted to make a shoe even lighter that could be worn on various surfaces. During a waffle breakfast with his wife in 1970, the idea came to him of using the waffle texture on the sole of running shoes. The waffle sole shoe made their appearance in the 1972 U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene.
Fact: Boars wash their food
National Geographic reported that at Basel Zoo in Switzerland, zookeepers watched adult and juvenile wild boars pick up sandy apples and bring them to a nearby creek in their environment to wash before eating. Though some items like sugar beets were eaten without the human-like behavior, the boars brought a whole dead chicken to the creek to wash before chowing down. One ecologist called this a “luxury behavior.” You’d never believe the 12 animals that are probably smarter than you.
Fact: Baseball umpires used to sit in rocking chairs
People have been playing baseball since the mid 19th century. In the early games, umpires would officiate the games reclining in a rocking chair that was located 20 feet behind home plate. By 1878, the National League also declared that home teams must pay umpires $5 per game.
Fact: The first commercial passenger flight lasted only 23 minutes
These fun facts really get you thinking about how far we’ve come. Taking a 23-minute flight might seem like a waste of money today, but in 1914 Abram Pheil paid $400, which would be $8,500 today, for a 23-minute long plane ride. He flew between St. Petersburg, Florida and Tampa, Florida, where only 21 miles of water separate the cities. Pheil, a former mayor of St. Petersburg, and the pilot, Tony Jannus, were the only passengers. This momentous flight paved the way for air travel as we know it.
Fact: The world’s first novel ends mid-sentence
The Tale of Genji, written by Murasaki Shikibu in the 11th century, is considered the world’s first novel. After reading 54 intricately crafted chapters, the reader is stopped abruptly mid-sentence. One translator believes the work is complete as is, but another says we’re missing a few more pages of the story. If you’ve never read The Tale of Genji, don’t worry. Just be sure to read these 50 books before you’re 50.
Fact: The French-language Scrabble World Champion doesn’t speak French
New Zealand native Nigel Richards memorized the entire French Scrabble dictionary, which has 386,000 words, in nine weeks to earn his title. He has also won the English world Scrabble Championship three times, the U.S. national championships five times, and the U.K. Open Scrabble tournament six times. This comes 20 years after first playing Scrabble when Richards was 28 years old. Here are 22 high-scoring Scrabble words you should try to memorize.
Fact: A woman called the police when her ice cream didn’t have enough sprinkles
The West Midlands police in England released a recording of a woman who called 999 (the U.K. version of 911) because there were “bits on one side and none on the other,” she says in the recording. She was even more upset when the ice cream truck man did not want to give her money back.
Fact: Uncle Ben’s rice was airdropped to World War II troops
German chemist Erich Huzenlaub invented a process of parboiling rice to keep more nutrients in the rice and lessen the cooking time. The “Huzenlaub Process” had another unexpected benefit, too: It stopped bug infestations. The quick-cook, bug-free rice was a big advantage during World War II, and Converted rice (as it was then known) was airdropped to American and British troops. After the war, the company rebranded to Uncle Ben’s Original Converted Brand Rice, named after one of the company’s best rice suppliers, and the product hit the shelves in 1947. Did you know these 11 food product icons were based on real people?
Fact: The British Empire was the largest empire in world history
According to the World Atlas, an empire “is a group of nations or people that are under the rule of a powerful government or an emperor of a territory usually larger than a kingdom.” The British Empire was most powerful in the 1920s when it ruled over 23 percent of the world’s population. That equates to about 13 million square miles.
Fact: South American river turtles talk in their eggs
Turtles don’t have vocal cords and their ears are internal, so scientists believed that turtles were deaf and didn’t communicate through sounds. However, research has found that turtles actually communicate at an extremely low frequency that sounds like “clicks, clucks, and hoots” that can only be heard through a hydrophone (a microphone used underwater). These sounds even come from the egg before the turtle hatches. Researchers hypothesize that this helps all the turtle siblings hatch at once.
Fact: Penicillin was first called “mold juice”
Alexander Fleming was one of those quirky scientists who accidentally made a scientific breakthrough. In 1928, the bacteriologist left a petri dish in his lab while he was on vacation only to return and find that some liquid around the mold had killed the bacteria in the dish. This became the world’s first antibiotic. But before naming it penicillin, he called it “mold juice.”
Fact: The first stroller was pulled by a goat
This is one of the many interesting facts that had us scratching our head. Or a dog or a miniature horse, but not by parents. William Kent, a landscape architect, invented the first stroller for the third Duke of Devonshire in 1733. By the mid 18th century, strollers were still pretty unstable, but they had handles so parents, not animals, could pull the baby behind them.
Fact: May 20, 1873, is the “birthday” of blue jeans
According to the Levi Strauss website, this was the day that Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis, the innovators behind the sturdy blue jeans we all love, got a patent on the process of adding metal rivets to men’s denim work pants for the first time in history. The pants were called waist overalls until 1960 when baby boomers began calling them jeans. Check out the 9 secrets you never knew about your clothes.
Fact: 170-year-old bottles of champagne were found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea
The bottles of bubbly are estimated to have been traveling from Germany to Russia during the 1800s when they sank to the bottom of the sea, says New Scientist. Turns out that the bottom of the sea, where temps are between two and four degrees Celsius, is a great place for wine aging. Oenologists, people who study wine and winemaking, sampled the champagne and described it as, “sometimes cheesy,” with “animal notes,” and that it had elements of “wet hair.” We’ll pass on that and go for the best wine in the world that only costs $10.
Fact: The MGM lion roar is trademarked
At the start of any movie made by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio, there’s the iconic lion that roars at the audience. While MGM has gone through several iterations of lion mascots, the sound of the roar is always the same. The company trademarked the “sound mark” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in the ’80s. Think you know all the fun facts about movies? Check out this movie trivia that you won’t believe.
Fact: Neil Armstrong’s hair was sold in 2004 for $3,000
The lucky buyer, John Reznikoff, holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of hair from historical celebrities, reports NBC. The not-so-lucky barber Marx Sizemore, who cut Armstrong’s hair, received threats of being sued by Armstrong’s lawyers who said he violated an Ohio law that protects the rights of famous people. Sizemore said he wouldn’t pay, and Reznikoff said he wouldn’t give back the hair but that he’d donate $3,000 to charity.
Fact: Irish bars used to be closed on St. Patrick’s Day
You might associate St. Patrick’s Day with wearing green and drinking so much you think you actually see leprechauns. However, until 1961, there were laws in Ireland that banned bars to be open on March 17. Since the holiday falls during the period of Lent in the heavily Catholic country, the idea of binge drinking seemed a bit immoral.
Fact: Nikola Tesla hated pearls
Tesla was a European electrical engineer who paved the way for current system generators and motors. The way electricity gets transmitted and converted to mechanical power is thanks to his inventions. However, despite experimenting with electricity, he despised being in the presence of pearls. One day when his secretary wore pearl jewelry, he made her go home.
Fact: Thomas Edison is the reason you love cat videos
Thanks to Edison’s invention of the Kinetograph in 1892, he was able to record and watch moving images for the first time. He filmed short clips in his studio named Black Maria. Some of his shorts feature famous people like Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill, but the real stars are The Boxing Cats. Check out the video Edison captured of adorable cats in a boxing ring circa 1894.
Fact: Brad Pitt suffered an ironic injury on a film set
During Pitt’s prime acting career, he filmed Troy, based on Homer’s Illiad. He played the brave, and buff, Greek hero Achilles. Legend has it that Achilles could not be defeated unless hit in his Achilles heel. While filming an epic battle scene, Pitt ironically hurt his Achilles tendon that put him back two months.
Fact: Pregnancy tests date back to 1350 BCE
Based on an ancient papyrus document, Egyptian women urinated on wheat and barley seeds to determine if they were pregnant or not, according to the Office of History in the National Institutes of Health. If wheat grew, it predicted a female baby. If barley grew, it predicted a male baby. The woman was not pregnant if nothing grew. Experimenting with this seed theory in 1963 proved it was accurate 70 percent of the time.
Fact: Martin Luther King Jr. got a C in public speaking
Everyone remembers Dr. King as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement and often quotes his “I Have a Dream” speech that he delivered in 1963. However, over a decade before his legendary speech, while attending Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, he earned a C in public speaking during his first and second term. Bad grades don’t change anything about these 8 inspirational quotes from MLK.
Fact: Bananas glow blue under black lights
To the everyday eye under normal conditions, ripe bananas appear yellow due to organic pigments called carotenoids. When bananas ripen, chlorophyll begins to break down. This pigment is the element that makes bananas glow, or “fluoresce,” under UV lights and appear blue.
Fact: Bees can make colored honey
In France, there’s a biogas plant that manages waste from a Mars chocolate factory, where M&Ms are made. Beekeepers nearby noticed that their bees were making “unnatural shades of green and blue” honey, reported BBC. A spokesperson from the British Beekeepers’ Association predicted the bees eating the sugary M&M waste caused the colored honey.
Fact: Wimbledon tennis balls are kept at 68 degrees Fahrenheit
The temperature of tennis balls affects how the ball bounces. At warmer temperatures, the gas molecules inside the ball expand making the ball bounce higher. A tennis ball at lower temperatures causes the molecules to shrink and the ball bounces lower. To make sure the best tennis balls are used, Wimbledon goes through over 50,000 tennis balls. Next, find out the 11 genius ways that tennis balls can actually make your life better.
Fact: Adult cats are lactose intolerant
Feeding your cat milk could be making them sick. Like some humans, adult cats don’t have enough of the lactase enzyme to digest lactose from milk, causing them to vomit, have diarrhea, or get gassy. Cats only have enough of that enzyme when they’re born and during the early years of their life. Find out why cats are also afraid of cucumbers.
Fact: Albert Einstein’s eyeballs are in New York City
They were given to Henry Abrams and preserved in a safety deposit box. Abrams was Einstein’s eye doctor. He received the eyeballs from Thomas Harvey, the man who performed the autopsy on Einstein and illegally took the scientist’s brain for himself.
Fact: The Pope can’t be an organ donor
Pope Benedict XVI was issued an organ donor card in 1970. Once he ascended to the papacy in 2005, the card was invalid, reports the Telegraph. According to the Vatican, the Pope’s entire body must be buried intact because his body belongs to the universal Catholic Church. Don’t miss 27 other things Rabbis, priests, and ministers won’t tell you.
Fact: A one-armed player scored the winning goal in the first World Cup
Héctor Castro played on the Uruguay soccer team during the first ever World Cup in 1930. In the last game between Uruguay versus Argentina, Castro scored the winning goal in the last minute of the game. The final score was 4-2, making Uruguay the first country to win the World Cup title.
Fact: The world’s oldest toy is a stick
Think of how versatile a stick is. You can use it to play fetch with your dog, swing it as a bat, or use your imagination to turn it into a lightsaber. Its adaptability, along with how old sticks are, is among the reasons why the National Toy Hall of Fame inducted the stick into its collection as possibly the oldest toy ever. Next, don’t miss 46 more weird, interesting facts that most people don’t know.