Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Freaky facts

Call me an autistic savant, but I happen to love interesting factoids. You know the kind of ones that, even if you were the prime prosecution witness in a gripping court case, you couldn't help but recount, at random? Love 'em. That's why I'm presenting you with eighty of the best right here. Enjoy, nerds!

1. Tomato ketchup was once sold as medicine.

2. Kleenex tissues were originally used as filters in gas masks. 

3. Cabbage is 91% water.

4. Henry Ford never had a driving licence.

5. A pig always sleeps on its right side.

6. Benito Mussilini would ward off the evil eye by touching his testicles.

7. The ferret was domesticated 500 years before the cat.

8. Apollo had twenty seconds of fuel left when it landed.

9. In 1915, William Wrigley Jr sent chewing gum to everyone in the phone book.

10. The oldest word in the English language is 'town'.

11. Cows can smell odours six miles away.

12. Bill Clinton sent only two emails during his eight-year presidency. One was to John Glenn aboard the space shuttle, the other was to test the email system. 

13. Salt is the only rock humans can eat.

14. A laboratory mouse runs five miles per night on its treadmill.

15. Some birds have eyes that weigh more than their brains.

16. George Washington's false teeth were carved from hippopotamus ivory and cow's teeth, and fixed together with metal springs.

17. In 18-century English gambling dens, there was employee whose only job it was to swallow the dice in the event of a police raid.

18. The only living tissue in the human body that contains no blood vessels is the transparent cornea of the eye.

19. The word mafia was created as an acronym for morte alla francia italia adele, meaning ' death to the French is Italy's cry'.

20. The ostrich yolk is the single largest cell in the world.

21. California has issued driving licences to six people called Jesus Christ.

22. More than half the world's people have never made or received a telephone call.

23. The first toothbrush was invented in China in 1498.

24. At full speed, a cheetah takes eight metre strides.

25. If astronauts feel upset in space, the lack of gravity will prevent their tears from running down their faces.

26. Humans have forty-six chromosomes, peas have fourteen and crayfish have two hundred.

27. The first supermarket in the world was in France.

28. Ties were first worn in Croatia - which is why they were called cravats, from à la croate.

29. Camels chew in a figure-of-eight pattern.

30. Moby Dick sold 50 copies during its writer Herman Melville's lifetime.

31. Bagpipes were invented in Iran, then brought to Scotland by the Romans.

32. A Camel's backbone is as straight as a horse's.

33. King Louis XIX ruled France for fifteen minutes.

34. Chickens that lay brown eggs have red ear lobes.

35. In England in the seventeenth century, married women had, on average, thirteen children.

36. The last letter George Harrison ever wrote was to Mike Myers asking for a Mini Me doll.

37. When the first regular telephone service was established in 1878 in the US, people said 'Ahoy' on answering.

38. Louis IV of France had a stomach the size of two regular stomachs.

39. Chevy Chase was expelled from school for taking a cow onto the third floor of a campus building.

40. After man, the porpoise is the most intelligent creature on earth.

41. A blue whale's heart beats nine times a minute.

42. Dartboards are made of horsehair.

43. When we blush, our stomach lining also turns red.

44. The embryos of tiger sharks fight each other in the womb and only the survivors are born.

45. Jellyfish sometimes evaporate.

46. There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

47. Six out of seven gynaecologists are men.

48. It is said that 80% of creatures on earth have six legs.

49. The world's smallest winged insect is the Tanzanian parasitic wasp, which is smaller than a horsefly's eye.

50. Just 1,000 words make up 90% of all writing.

51. The baby blue whale gains ten pounds in weight per hour.

52. If you put a drop of alcohol on a scorpian, it will go mad and sting itself to death.

53. It would take seven billion particles of fog to fill a teaspoon. A cubic mile of fog is made up of less than a gallon of water.

54. The cockroach is the fastest thing on six legs: it can cover a metre a second.

55. Whale songs rhyme.

56. Michelangelo's cook was illiterate so he drew her a shopping list.

57. No piece of paper can be folded in half more than seven times.

58. Mongolians put salt in their tea instead of sugar.

59. Tuna fish swim at a steady rate of nine miles per hour until they die - they never stop moving.

60. A lobster can lay 150,000 eggs at one time.

61. A spider dismantling its web is a sure sign of a storm on the way.

62. The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds.

63. There is the same number of chickens in the world as humans.

64. Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucas every two weeks otherwise it will digest itself.

65. The average lifespan of a parrot is 120 years.

66. A duck's quack doesn't echo and no one knows why.

67. Owls are the only birds that can see the colour blue.

68. England is smaller than New England.

69. After oil, coffee is the most traded commodity in the world.

70. Soldiers from every country salute with their right hand.

71. In China, the entire population of over a billion shares only about 200 family names.

72. There are more Barbie dolls in Italy than Canadians in Canada.

73. In Lima, Peru there is a large brass statue of Winnie the Pooh - even though it's Paddington Bear who came from Peru.

74. In 1778 Prussia and Austria fought the Potato War in which each side tried to starve the other by consuming their potato crop.

75. Lightning strikes our planet about 6,000 times a minute.

76. If you went unprotected into space, you would explode before you suffocated.

77. The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for blood plasma.

78. Newborn babies are given to the wrong mother twelve times a day in maternity units across the world.

79. The Bible is the most shoplifted book in the US.

80. Every megabyte sent over the internet needs two lumps of coal to power it. 

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