100 Fun and Interesting Facts about Everything Would Blow Your Mind! (Part 1)
|100 Fun and Interesting Facts about Everything Would Blow Your Mind! Photo: The Fact Sites|
Fact #1: The world’s oldest toy is a stick
Think of how versatile a stick is. Animals play with sticks, and we use them to play fetch with our dogs. Children find sticks an endless source of make-believe fun. Sticks can turn into swords, magic wands, majorette batons, fishing poles, and lightsabers, as cited by Toy Hallo Fame.
The stick is widely considered to be the world’s oldest toy, and it makes sense. During the Stone Age, natural objects were used as tools and it requires no great stretch of the imagination that they were also used as toys, according to the Style Martini.
We were born to play, even 2.6 million years ago! Sticks could have been used as play weapons in make-believe battles or imaginary hunting expeditions. They could have been used to doodle childish designs in the dust. Sticks could even have been used to build the very earliest editions of playhouses. Children are resourceful when it comes to amusing themselves, and that was no different in the Stone Age. It’s easy to see why the humble stick is thought of as the world’s oldest toy.
When children pretend with sticks, they cultivate their creativity and develop their imaginations. They explore as they search outdoors for just the right one. Children build with sticks, bat balls with them, and walk with them. They are the original building blocks for creative play. 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.
Fact #2: 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.
Remember the popular roaring lion that appeared before every episode of Tom and Jerry and movies like The Wizard of Oz? That popular roaring lion symbol of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studios brought sound trademarks to Canada, as cited by Trademarks & Patents.
It all started when MGM applied to register its signature Lion’s Roar in Canada in 1992. In pursuing the application, MGM provided a spectrogram, an audio recording, and a video recording of Lion’s roar.
In March 2012, the Federal Court issued a consent order directing the Registrar to approve MGM Lion’s Roar as a trademark. On March 28, 2012, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office changed its longstanding position by issuing a practice notice stating guidelines for applicants to follow when applying for sound trademarks.
Fact #3: Brad Pitt suffered an ironic injury on a film set
|Photo: The Sun|
Pitt worked hard to get in shape for the character of Achilles. As he admitted in an interview before the film’s release, he worked hard for six months to get in shape and made sure to eat four high-protein meals each day as part of his workout.
According to Fr24 News, he also cut carbs to a bare minimum and did a lot of strength training. However, all of his training couldn’t keep him from sustaining a bizarre injury while filming.
As Pitt revealed, “in a stupid irony, I modified the Achilles tendon”. The injury ended up interrupting filming for several weeks, while Pitt recovered sufficiently to resume production. While the movie didn’t receive the best reviews when it was released, there was no doubt that Pitt certainly looked like Achilles – injured foot and all.
Fact #4: 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.
|According to LA Times, that little loop (which is also in the Library of Congress) was originally recorded in July 1894 at Edison’s Black Maria Studio in West Orange, N.J. A grainy black-and-white clip all of 22 seconds long, it features two cats wearing shoulder harnesses that keep them standing on their back paws with boxing gloves covering their front paws. The cats (a title card refers to them as “Dr. Welton’s”) spar half-heartedly inside a tiny boxing ring while a well-dressed gentleman (whom we presume to be Dr. Welton) stage-manages from outside the ring. |
This means that Thomas Alva Edison, a man known for inventing the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the lightbulb, also happened to invent the cat video.
Fact #5: 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.
Fact #6: 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.”
In 1928, thanks to a lucky accident, Fleming made the most important discovery of his life. He was using Staphylococcus bacteria when he noticed that the bacteria could not survive if a mold, called Penicillium notatum, contaminated the sample.
Fleming had smeared some Staphylococcus bacteria on a culture plate before going on holiday. While he was away, a mold spore had flown into the laboratory from another nearby laboratory where molds were being studied. When he returned, Fleming discovered the bacteria had grown and covered the entire plate except for one area, which was covered in mold. After investigating further, Fleming found a substance in the mold that prevented the bacteria from growing, even if it was diluted 800 times. He named the substance penicillin.
Fact #7: 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.
Fact #8: Your brain synapses shrink while you sleep
Ah, to sleep, perchance … to shrink your neural connections? That's the conclusion of new research that examined subtle changes in the brain during sleep, Scientific American cites.
The researchers found that sleep provides a time when the brain's synapses — the connections among neurons—shrink back by nearly 20 percent. During this time, the synapses rest and prepare for the next day, when they will grow stronger while receiving new input—that is, learning new things, the researchers said.
Fact #9: Baseball umpires used to sit in rocking chairs
Baseball has a rich history. With the All-Star game being played last night I thought we’d go over some of the more unusual historical items in baseball you probably didn’t know.
In the early days of baseball, the umpire sat behind home plate in a padded rocking chair.
Babe Ruth was the first baseball player to order a bat with a knob on it. He put in his order to Louisville Slugger and he used one for the first time in 1919.
Spitballs were banned in 1920, but pitchers who already used them were allowed to continue. Kinda like a grandfather clause. Hall of Fame pitcher Burleigh Grimes continued to use a spitball for the next fourteen years. He finished his career with the Yankees in 1934, as cited by Wyrk.
Fact #10: The Eiffel Tower can grow more than six inches during the summer
The Eiffel Tower gets taller by up to 6 inches during the summer when the temperature reaches as high as 40°C. Extreme heat causes the metal at the base to expand, increasing the height of the 300-meter-tall tower. It also causes the top of the tower to tilt away from the sun by up to 7 inches, as cited by In Shorts.
From the bottom to the highest point the tower measures 324,82m and has a weight of around 7300 tons of wrought iron. According to Steemit, today’s article is not about the Eiffel Tower itself, it's more about a physical phenomenon: Thermal expansion.
Imagine you have a rod. This rod can be made of metal, plastic, or wood. The length of your rod changes proportional to the environmental temperature.
Fact #11: The Terminator script was sold for $1
Prior to directing and co-writing The Terminator, Cameron directed Piranha II: The Spawning in 1982. Cameron's directorial debut wasn't well received; critics panned the film and commented on the aesthetic of the film, effects, and one called it "abject".
|Photo: Brain Charm|
Currently, it holds a mere 6% on Rotten Tomatoes. Therefore, even though The Terminator was a good idea, one that he shared with his then-partner, Gale Ann Hurd (The Walking Dead), Cameron was not considered trustworthy as a director. Nobody wanted him to direct the film because of Piranha II's failure and because he was an unknown, and too new to take on something that was so ambitious, as cited by Screenrant.
Cameron received many offers for the script from studios that weren't interested in hiring him as an unknown to direct it, therefore, even though some of the offers were attached to large amounts of money, he turned them all down.
Fact #12: Bees can fly higher than Mount Everest
According to Live Science, Alpine bumblebees have the ability to fly at elevations greater than Mt. Everest, scientists have found.
Bumblebees cannot survive the freezing conditions of Mt. Everest's peak. But researchers based at the University of California, Berkley simulated the low oxygen and low air density conditions of such high elevations to determine the limits of the bumblebee's flight capacity, and found the bees were capable of staying afloat at remarkably inhospitable elevations.
The team traveled to a mountain range in western China and collected six male bumblebees of the species Bombus impetuosus at about 10,660 feet (3,250 meters). The species is considered alpine, because it lives at alpine elevations, but it doesn't differ very much from similar species that live closer to sea level.
Fact #13: An espresso maker was sent into space in 2015
The coffee on the International Space Station is about to get much better. The SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule linked up with the station on Friday, bringing groceries, supplies — and a long-awaited espresso machine called the ISSpresso, as cited by NPR.
In a rendezvous that was streamed live online, astronauts inside the ISS extended a robotic arm and captured the SpaceX Dragon early Friday. NASA says the pair made contact 257 miles over the Pacific Ocean.
The robotic arm was operated by Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency. It was her compatriot Luca Parmitano who said in 2013 that espresso was the only thing he really missed when he served aboard the space station.
Fact #14: 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 #15: 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 #16: Scotland has 421 words for “snow”
The claim that the Inuit have 50 words for snow has endured for decades, but it now looks as if the Scots have beaten that figure. Researchers on a new Scots thesaurus say they have found more than 400 Scots words for the white stuff, from “feefle” to “flindrikin”, “spitters” to “snaw-pouther”.
According to The Guardian, academics compiling the first Historical Thesaurus of Scots, which will include every word in the Scots language from earliest records until today, claim they have found 421 Scots words for snow. Other examples include “snaw” and “sneesl”, meaning to begin to rain or snow, and “skelf”, a large snowflake.
No matter the type of snow, there is a Scots word for it, according to the thesaurus, whether it is “feefle” (to swirl, as of snow round a corner), “flindrikin” (a slight snow shower), “spitters” (small drops or flakes of wind-driven rain or snow) or “snaw-pouther” (fine driving snow).
“Feuchter” is defined as “to fall lightly, to come down in odd flakes”, “snaw-ghast” is an apparition seen in the snow, and “blin-drift” means drifting snow, etc.
Fact #17: 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 #18: Only a quarter of the Sahara Desert is sandy
Most of it is covered in gravel, though it also contains mountains and oases. Oh, and it isn’t the world’s largest desert—Antarctica is.
Sand dunes and sheets cover only around 25% of the Sahara’s actual surface. This desert also has numerous other land features including salt flats, gravel plains, plateaus, and even mountains where snow has been recorded, á cited by On The Go Tours Blog.
Fact #19: 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 #20: You can thank the Greeks for calling Christmas “Xmas”
It turns out, “Xmas” is not a non-religious version of “Christmas”. The “X” is actually indicating the Greek letter “Chi”, which is short for the Greek, meaning “Christ”. So “Xmas” and “Christmas” are equivalent in every way except their lettering.
According to Today I Found Out, although writing guides such as those issued by the New York Times; the BBC; The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style; and Oxford Press discourage the use of Xmas in formal writing, at one time, it was a very popular practice, particularly with religious scribes, who are thought to have started the whole “Xmas” thing in the first place. Indeed, the practice of using the symbol “X” in place of Christ’s name has been going on amongst religious scholars for at least 1000 years.
Fact #21: H&M actually does stand for something
|Photo: Today Show|
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 #22: 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 #23: Mercedes invented the car controlled by a joystick
The second vehicle in the F series was the 1996 F 200 Imagination, an avantgarde coupe with a passenger compartment covered by a glass dome but most important, a car that was controlled only by joysticks, Mercedes cites.
As its name suggests, Mercedes F200 Imagination was not only a visionary and innovative proposal from Mercedes-Benz but also an extremely ambitious project.
Its most important feature is the future-oriented “drive-by-wire” dynamic handling system which allowed the driver to control all vehicle movement by means of one of the joysticks fitted on the centre console and in the door trim panel.
Steering was performed by moving the joystick in the desired direction; pulling forward on the stick accelerated the vehicle and pulling back applied the brakes. The steering wheel and pedals are in this way removed, meaning that passengers have more space and thus more comfort.
Fact #24: T. S. Eliot wore green makeup
No one is sure why the poet dusted his face with green powder, though some guess he was just trying to look more interesting. Here are more fascinating facts about famous authors.
|Photo: The Guardian|
According to The Free Library, in several surprising and enigmatic statements, T. S. Eliot's friends commented on his addiction to cosmetics. On September 27, 1922, Virginia Woolf, always a caustic observer and keen gossip, recorded, "I am not sure that he does not paint his lips." That same year Clive Bell told Woolf's sister, Vanessa, that Eliot had gone further in exterior decoration and "taken to powdering his face green--he looks interesting and cadaverous." Five years later Osbert Sitwell could scarcely believe that the self-effacing Eliot had actually tinted himself: "I was amazed to notice on his cheeks a dusting of green powder--pale but distinctly green, the colour of a forced lily-of-the-valley. I was all the more amazed at this discovery, because any deliberate dramatization of his appearance was so plainly out of keeping with his character, and with his desire never to call attention to himself."
Fact #25: 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.
According to The Healthy, our noses and ears are unique compared to the rest of our bodies because they’re composed of soft tissue enveloped in cartilage. And it’s this soft tissue that keeps growing throughout our entire lives. “When you look at someone when they’re 80 vs. when they’re 20, they’ll have more cells in their ears and nose,” Dr. Neinstein says. If you’ve noticed that some older people seem to have larger ears and noses, well, this is why.
And no, it’s not just “drooping” due to gravity. Dr. Neinstein says that noses and ears grow up as well as down.
Fact #26: 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 #27: Giraffe tongues can be 20 inches long
One part of a giraffe's body that you may not know much about, however, is the tongue.
Much like their necks, giraffe tongues are exceptionally long — usually measuring between 18 and 20 inches long, reported Trê Hugger. They're also prehensile, which means giraffes have fine-tuned muscular control over it. This allows them to grasp and pull leaves and shoots into their mouths.
Because their main vegetation of choice, acacia, is thorny, giraffe tongues are equipped with thickened papillae and thick saliva to protect their mouths.
Fact #28: 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 #29: Johnny Appleseed’s fruits weren’t for eating
|Photo: Techno India University|
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 #30: 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.
Oranges weren’t named for their color – because their color often wasn’t orange. Find out how they get their brilliant hue, why many ripe oranges have to be dyed, and why nothing in the world is what you think it is, according to Gizmodo.
While the name origins of many fruits are a mystery, the orange seems like a no-brainer. It was named for its color. Actually, the use of the word ‘orange’ to describe a cross between red and yellow wasn’t recorded until three hundred years after the fruit appeared in Europe. It’s thought that oranges get their name from the Sanskrit word for fragrant – Naranja. And although the flesh of oranges does flare a tasty-looking orange, the skin of many oranges, especially in the ones in warmer countries, is green.
Fact #31: Samsung tests phone durability with a butt-shaped robot
|Photo: Tech Radar|
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 #32: 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 #33: That tiny pocket in jeans was designed to store pocket watches
The small pocket is actually called a watch pocket because it was originally intended as a safe place for men to store their pocket watches. It dates back to Levi’s first-ever pair of jeans, which hit the market in 1879, á cited by Reader's Digest.
The Levi Strauss blog also pointed out that originally, there were only four pockets on a pair of blue jeans, the watch pocket included.
“The first blue jeans had four pockets—only one in the back and, in the front, two plus the small, watch pocket,” the blog stated.
So next time you find yourself standing nonchalantly with your thumb hooked in that small pocket, know that it was originally used to store a pocket watch.
| 100 Fun and Interesting Facts about Everything Would Blow Your Mind! (Part 3) |
There are endless mysteries that have yet to unveiled. From amazing natural phenomena to unpredictable inventions. Stay tuned with KnowInsiders to know more about our ...
| 100 Fun and Interesting Facts about Everything Would Blow Your Mind! (Part 2) |
There are endless mysteries that have yet to unveiled. From amazing natural phenomena to unpredictable inventions. Stay tuned with KnowInsiders to know more about our ...