50 TRIVIA FACTS WE BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW
Oxford University, established in 1096, is older than the Aztec Empire (1428-1521)
J.K. Rowling became the first author to make it to Forbes’ billionaire list – thanks to her super successful “Harry Potter” book series and the film and marketing empire based on it. She did drop out of the list in 2012 but for a very noble cause – charity. The author is known for giving a huge chunk of her wealth to charity and has stated, “You have a moral responsibility when you’ve been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently.”
Crayola is actually a combination of two words – “craie”, meaning “chalk” and “ola”, shortened from the French word “oléagineux,” meaning “oily.” In French, it translates into “oily chalk.” It’s believed the term was suggested by Alice Binney, wife of the co-founder Edwin Binney.
Before Google launched its email service Gmail, the term was used by Garfield’s website – Garfield.com – as the name for its free email service G-mail.
During the historic cease fire between German and British soldiers in 1914 called the Christmas Truce, both sides played a game of soccer in the no man's land between trenches.
Studies on dolphin behavior show that they have names for one another.
A dog's nose print is like the fingerprint of a person: no two are alike.
Charlie Chaplin once participated in a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest at a San Francisco theater. He didn't win.
For one very brief moment of time, you were the youngest person on Earth.
Apollo 17 astronaut Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the Moon, wrote his daughter's initials on the surface of the moon, where it's likely to last for tens of thousands of years.
The only fish that can blink with both eyes are sharks.
"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends with the letters "MT."
An average human body has 60,000 miles of blood vessels; they’d stretch the entire earth if you laid them out end to end.
In 1962, an epidemic of laughing broke out and lasted for almost a year in Tanganyika (now Tanzania).
A single mega-colony of ants spreads across Europe, the west coast of the U.S., and the west coast of Japan.
The Haskell Opera House was deliberately built on the U.S.-Canada border. The opera stage resides in Canada but most of the opera seats are in the U.S.
Canada gets its name from a St. Lawrence Iroquoian word, kanata, meaning village or settlement.
A polar bear’s fur is transparent and holds no color.
A goldfish has memory span of 30 seconds.
In the English language, screeched is the longest one syllable word.
In Finland, Donald Duck comics were banned because he does not wear pants.
Alfred Hitchcock’s "Psycho" (1960) is the first American film to show a toilet being flushed on screen.
A rat can give birth to nearly 2,000 descendants a year.
French fries originated in Belgium.
If an electric current is applied to a pickle, it will glow in the dark.
The Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, which is Monaco's national orchestra, is bigger than its army.
Some species of snails may have more than 20, 000 teeth.
There is a village in Norway known as Hell.
Vincent van Gogh sold only one painting during his lifetime: “Red Vineyard at Arles.” He painted more than 850 oil paintings and more than 1,000 watercolors, many of which are now among the most valuable in the world.
Winston Churchill was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the U.S. There have only been eight in total, and only two who have been named so during their lifetimes: Churchill and Mother Teresa.
Sloths spend the majority of their life span in trees. According to the National Geographic, their long claws give them such a strong grip that even after their death they can be found suspended from the branch they were holding when alive.
Intern’s Syndrome (also known as Second Year Syndrome and Medical Student’s Syndrome) is a common diagnosis among medical students, who begin to fear that they have the disease they are studying.
Gravity is not consistent at every spot on Earth. The Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) has helped create a gravity map of the planet, which shows how the gravity field varies. Because of the map’s lumpy 3D shape, it’s referred to as the “Gravity Potato.”
The largest living organism on Earth may well be a honey fungus in the Malheur National Forest, Oregon, U.S. It’s estimated to be roughly 2.4 miles (3.7 kilometers) across and may be more than 8,000 years old.
Alabama was the last American state to overturn a ban on interracial marriage. It finally lifted the law in 2000.
“Red mercury” is a hoax substance, rumors of which have been circulating since the 1970s. It has been claimed to be the basis for a weapon of mass destruction, among other uses. It is thought to be the invention of an intelligence agency to trap terrorists trying to acquire nuclear weapons.
The tongue of a blue whale can weigh as much as an elephant, and its heart is about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle car and can weigh up to 992 lbs (450 kg). Their aorta, the major blood vessel of the heart, is big enough for a human child to crawl through.
The 13th President of the U.S., Millard Fillmore, was neither a Democrat nor a Republican. He was a member of the Whig party and the last Whig president of the country.
The first Oscar ceremony, which was held in 1929, lasted 15 minutes and had just 270 viewers.
Despite what the movie “The Martian” says, NASA is not legally allowed to enter into a scientific partnership with China.
The percentage of tusk-less elephants has grown substantially in the last few decades, suggesting that the species may be evolving in response to poachers’ desire for elephant ivory.
Australia's 31,000-mile-long (50,000 kms) coastline is connected by over 10,000 beaches. That means you can go to a new beach every day for over 27 years!
Until the 1800s, lobsters were found in abundance and were cooked dead. They were dirt cheap, and were the common diet for the homeless, slaves and prisoners. By the 1950s, they established themselves as a luxury food item.
An example of nature’s mysterious-but-delightful surprises is Lake Hilier in Australia. The lake is bubble-gum pink in color! Scientists believe that it is due to some bacteria or algae. Though it is not the only pink lake in the world, it is the only one whose water remains a distinct pink even when taken out of the lake.
Nutella was invented in the 1940s, when cocoa was in short supply due to World War II rationing. Pietro Ferrero, the founder of the Ferrero company, used hazelnuts to extend his chocolate supply and it soon became the Nutella as we know it.
The scientific name for "brain freeze" caused by eating something cold is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.
Turritopsis nutricula, a species of jellyfish, has been deemed immortal. Upon reaching sexual maturity, the jelly has the ability to revert itself back to its earliest form by transdifferentiation of cells. However, they might die if attacked by predators or if they fall sick before they mature.
Lighters were invented in 1823, three years before the first matchstick materialized in 1826.
There are some buildings so big and vast that they have their own weather! One among them is NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building. Another example was the Dirigible hanger in Lakehurst, NJ, constructed before WWII.
Pirates did not wear eye patches as a fashion accessory or to hide a missing eye but to see properly below and above decks. When they moved from brighter area to darkness, they just switched the eye patch to see better.