Interesting Fact: Why we knock on wood for good luck
The common explanation for knocking on wood claims the ritual is a holdover from Europe’s pagan days, an appeal to tree-dwelling spirits to ward off bad luck or an expression of gratitude for good fortune. Knocking on wood may seem trivial, but it is one small way people quell their fears in a life full of anxieties.
Fun Fact: Bob Dylan’s birth name was Robert Zimmerman
When Bob Dylan graduated from high school, he chose the stage name Elston Gunn, but this didn’t stick for long. For a while, he went by his first and middle name, Robert Allen, but that didn’t feel right either. Eventually, he came upon the name Bob Dylan and officially changed his name to this.
Fun Fact: A swarm of 20,000 bees followed a car for two days
A 68-year-old grandmother got quite the surprise returning from a nature reserve when a queen bee got trapped in her car. She parked her car to go shopping, only return to a car covered in bees! The bees were safely removed from the car, and the lovely old lady made her way home. Much to her surprise, the bees were back the next day! It seems that the queen bee was still inside, and the bees followed her the whole way home.
Interesting Fact: Recycling just one tin can saves enough energy to watch TV for 3 hours
The average person has the chance to recycle 25,000 cans in their lifetime – that comes out to 75,000 hours of television!
Fun Fact: On average, men get bored of a shopping trip after 26 minutes
Meanwhile, women don’t get tired of shopping until around 2 hours have passed! Also, it has been found that eight in ten men hate shopping with their partner.
Interesting Fact: Saint Lucia is one of only two countries named after a woman
One of just two countries in the world to be named after a woman (Ireland was named after the Celtic goddess of fertility Eire). St Lucia was named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse.
Interesting Fact: In the Ancient Olympics, athletes performed naked
The athletes did this to imitate the Gods, but also to help them easily clear toxins from their skin through sweating after each attempt at a sport.
Fun Fact: During your lifetime, you will spend around 79 days brushing your teeth
Four minutes of brushing a day over the course of a year come out to 1,460 minutes, which is just over one day of tooth brushing every year. So, if you live for the average life expectancy in the US, 79 years, then you’ll brush your teeth for a total of seventy-nine days!
Fun Fact: Paraskavedekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th is considered unlucky within Western culture and may even have roots going back to Norse mythology. It was well established by the 20th Century that any Friday which happened to fall on the 13th of any month would inherently be full of misfortune. It’s so commonly held that there’s even a phobia of it.
Fun Fact: Walt Disney World is the second largest buyer of fireworks in the US
There are six Walt Disney World’s in total, so the fireworks are split between them. Most of them put on nightly fireworks displays, too, with some displays costing up to $50,000 every night!
Interesting Fact: Each year there are more than 40,000 toilet-related injuries in the US
The injuries run the gamut such as children or infants falling off the toilet but then there are other injuries, like the toilet physically collapsing due to the person’s weight sitting on it 🙄
Fun Fact: Tears contain a natural painkiller, which reduces pain and improves your mood
Crying may not be a blockbuster drug, but the latest research suggests it’s highly effective at healing, and that it improves the mood of 88.8 percent of weepers, with only 8.4 percent feeling worse.
Interesting Fact: Ants leave maps for other ants when they walk
The ants walk in a straight line because they follow the scent the leader left behind. Once the ants find food and head back to the nest, they will lay down another trail of pheromones, allowing others to pick up their scent and follow the same route.
Fun Fact: Nutella was invented just after WWII ended because chocolate was so expensive
The availability of chocolate was so low because most of the world’s armies issued a ration of chocolate to their soldiers. Pietro Ferrero came up with an idea in 1946, a spread made of tiny amounts of chocolate and plenty of inexpensive hazelnuts. The final Nutella product was created by his son, who pushed the formula to perfection in 1964.
Interesting Fact: The average person walks the equivalent of five times around the world in their lifetime
On average a person walks around 7,500 steps per day. Assuming the average person lives until they’re 80, it works out that you will walk about 110,000 miles (177,027 km) in your lifetime.
Interesting Fact: An apple, potato, and onion all taste the same if…
80% of our sense of taste comes from our sense of smell. Because of this, if you were to block the sense of smell, many things actually would taste the same, or at least pretty close.
Fun Fact: Pirates believed earrings improved their eyesight
There are many reasons why pirates wore earrings. Some pirates would use trinkets for earrings from faraway lands. This was to show how well-traveled they were. Pirates believed that the precious metals in their earrings were magical and would protect or enhance their eyesight. Also, pirates believed earrings could aid in seasickness and prevent them from drowning.
Interesting Fact: The word “y’all” dates back to at least 1631
For a long time, people believed the term originated sometime in the 18th or 19th centuries, but in fact, it’s been in use for much longer. In 1631, English scholar William Lisle wrote the following in a book on Ethiopian history: “The captive men of strength I gave to you, the weaker sold, and this y’all know is true.”
Interesting Fact: Eating carrots can turn your skin orange
Carrots are full of the natural pigment beta-carotene. This pigment is what gives carrots their vibrant orange color. If you eat an excessive amount of carrots, the beta-carotene can enter your bloodstream. This would give your skin an orange glow!
Fun Fact: Honey bees can recognize human faces
Bees can distinguish between many different flowers, so it was theorized that they might tell people apart. Scientists discovered that honey bees could recognize a familiar face, able to pick out individual features on human faces, and recognize them during repeat interactions.
Fun Fact: Squirrels cause approximately 10-20% of US power outages
Squirrels tend to chew things, but combine this with power lines, and there’s going to be a problem. They are King of the Power Outages, causing more than 15,000 of our animal-related outages in 2020 with their cute scampering
Fun Fact: In the 16th Century, Turkish women could initiate divorce over lack of coffee
In the 16th Century, Turkish women could initiate divorce if their husbands didn’t provide enough coffee. It was introduced into the country in the 15th Century, and by the 16th Century, they had mastered the art of coffee. Coffee became so popular, it seems, that it became “grounds” for divorce.
Fun Fact: A sheep, a duck & a rooster were the first passengers to take a trip in a hot air balloon
In 1783 the first hot air balloon was launched carrying a sheep, duck, and a rooster. The Montgolfier brothers invented the hot air balloon in France. The inaugural flight took animal passengers as it was unknown how flying at high altitudes would affect people. The flight was a complete success, and the animals landed, safe and mostly unharmed.
Fun Fact: A lion’s roar can be heard from 5 miles away
A lion can roar as loud as 114 decibels, roughly 25 times louder than a gas-powered lawnmower. Lions can roar louder than other big cats because of the way their vocal cords are shaped. This allows them to produce more noise with less effort.
Interesting Fact: Only 5% of the ocean has been explored
The ocean covers around 70% of the Earth’s surface, and it is much harder to explore than land. As much as 20% of the ocean floor has now been mapped, thanks to advancements in sonar technologies.
Fun Fact: Hawaiian pizza is a Canadian invention
Sam Panopoulos emigrated from Greece to Canada in 1954. He became a chef at the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario. In 1962, Panopoulos had the idea to add canned pineapple to pizza. Chinese Sweet and sour style cooking was his inspiration for this strange combination. The Hawaiian pizza was unpopular at first due to the unusual fruity ingredient. But, once people tried it, the new topping soon became a common choice worldwide!
Interesting Fact: Movie trailers were originally shown after the movie
The world’s first movie trailer was shown at a theater in Harlem, New York, in 1914. The trailer promoted an upcoming movie featuring Charlie Chaplin. The audience would watch the trailer after the movie had ended but was ineffective, as the audience wouldn’t stay to watch them.
Fun Fact: Most Koreans don’t have armpit odor
Research at the University of Bristol found that only 0.006% of the Korean population has the ABCC11 gene. This gene is the cause of armpit odor. In fact, the study found that most East Asians don’t have this gene, but Koreans have the lowest numbers.
Fun Fact: Bananas are curved because they grow towards the sun
Bananas go through a process called “negative geo-tropism.” This process causes the fruit to grow upwards towards the sun instead of towards the ground.
Interesting Fact: If you lift a kangaroo’s tail off the ground, it can’t hop
Kangaroos use their tails for balance whilst hopping. So if you elevate their tail, they would have no balance and fall over.
Fun Fact: May 29 is officially “Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day.”
People in the 1900s didn’t have refrigerators and instead would hang a piece of cloth in their larders. It’s believed that doing so brought luck, peace, and prosperity to the household.
Fun Fact: Crows often hold grudges against specific people
Crows are excellent at recognizing people’s faces and are able to remember people for a long time! This can be either a negative or positive fact, depending on how nice you are to them.
Fun Fact: Snakes can predict earthquakes
Many animals are actually able to predict earthquakes to varying levels of success. Yet, snakes are the most reliable, sensing earthquakes from as far as 75 miles away (121 km) and as many as five days before it actually occurs!
Fun Fact: Pteronophobia is the fear of being tickled by feathers
If you’ve ever felt uneasy around feather blankets or pillows, this could be why! Pteronophobia is the fear of feathers tickling you. In extreme cases, it can involve the fear of feathers in general.
Fun Fact: Fruit stickers are edible
Fruit stickers are edible, though washing prior to eating is recommended. The glue used for them is regulated by the FDA.
Interesting Fact: 65% of autistic kids are left-handed
65% of autistic kids are left-handed, and only 10% of people, in general, are left-handed.
Interesting Fact: A law was passed as a direct result of Canada’s overuse of the word “sorry”
Canadians say “sorry” so much that a law was passed in 2009 (“Apology Act”) declaring that an apology can’t be used as evidence of admission to guilt.
Interesting Fact: The color red doesn’t really make bulls angry; they are color-blind
A Matador’s cape is called a muleta. The bulls can’t actually see red. Like all cattle, they’re color blind to it. Bulls are irritated by the movement of the cape. Suffice it to say that bullfighting is never a fair fight but rather a ritualistic slaughter of a helpless animal and utterly inhumane.
Fun Fact: Vikings used to give kittens as wedding presents
According to legend, Vikings used to gift their new brides with kittens! This was all done to honor the goddess of love Freyja. Legend says that Freyja rode a chariot lead by cats.
Interesting Fact: The human eye is so sensitive that…
The human eye is so sensitive that, if the Earth were flat and it was a dark night, a candle’s flame could be seen from 30 miles away.
Fun Fact: There is an underwater version of rugby, unsurprisingly called “underwater rugby”
It is a contact sport between 2 teams of 6 competing underwater in a pool to score goals while freediving.
Interesting Fact: People who publicly post their fitness achievements are more likely to have psychological problems
People who post their fitness achievements on social media have psychological problems, a study claims. If you’ve ever wondered why people’s post-running selfies annoy you so much, you finally have your reason. According to a study, people who post about their fitness routine on Facebook are more likely to be narcissists.
Interesting Fact: The largest Japanese population outside of Japan lives in Brazil
The largest Japanese population outside of Japan stands at 1.6 million people who live in Brazil. In 1907, the Brazilian and the Japanese governments signed a treaty permitting Japanese migration to Brazil. This was due in part to the decrease in Italian immigration to Brazil and a new labor shortage on the coffee plantations
Fun Fact: Elvis was a natural blonde
Amazingly Elvis was actually a natural blonde until his late teens and even after when his hair began to go darker it wasn’t naturally the shade we all know so well. It was usually dyed a shade of brown known as ‘Mink Brown’, but once when the King himself tried to do it, he opted to use black shoe polish.
Interesting Fact: Pointing your car remote to your head or under your chin increases its range
This works by using your brain to act as a radio transmitter. You are capacitively coupling the fob to your head. With all the fluids in your head, it ends up being a nice conductor. Not a great one, but it works.
Interesting Fact: The real Buddha was actually incredibly skinny because of self-deprivation
The Buddha commonly depicted in statues & pictures is a different person entirely. The laughing and chubby version of Buddha was first introduced in China. This is because in traditional China, being chubby signified good health and fortune.
Fun Fact: A newborn panda is smaller than a mouse
Their itty bittiness is a result of an evolution of millions of years. It is [a] kind of breeding strategy.
Interesting Fact: Cesar Chavez inspired Obama’s “Yes, we can” line
During a 25-day fast in 1972, Chavez and Huerta coined the slogan “Si, se puede,” Spanish for “Yes, it can be done.” It became the UFW’s official motto and a rallying cry for Latino civil rights in general and later inspired the phrase “Yes, we can” for President Obama’s 2008 election campaign.