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113 Fun Facts to Amaze Anyone You Meet

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Oct 1, 2019 4:00:00 PM

General Education

 

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Want to dominate your weekly trivia contest? Just looking to expand your knowledge with a variety of random facts? We’ve got you covered! This article contains 113 interesting facts about topics ranging from outer space to history to pop culture. By reading these facts, you’ll learn what camels actually store in their humps, why sunsets on Mars are blue, what crazy use ancient Romans had for human urine, and more. We’ve organized these facts into eight categories. Read all of them or just focus on the specific areas you want to learn more weird facts about!

 

Fun Facts About Space 

  • The sun makes up more than 99% of the mass in our solar system.

  • Lined up, all of the planets in the solar system could fit between the Earth and the moon.

  • The Great Wall of China is not actually visible from space.

  • One million Earths could fit inside the sun.

  • It rains diamonds on both Jupiter and Saturn. On these planets, lightning turns methane in the atmosphere into carbon, which hardens into bits of graphite and diamond as it falls to the ground.

  • Outer space is completely silent.

  • It takes about ten minutes for light to travel from the sun to the Earth.

  • The largest known volcano in the solar system is Olympus Mons, located on Mars. It’s roughly triple the height of Mt. Everest.

  • On Mars, sunsets appear blue due to the way light is captured in the atmosphere.

  • Because there is no atmosphere, wind, or water to erode them, astronaut footprints on the moon will likely remain there for hundreds of millions of years.

  • One spacesuit for a NASA astronaut costs $12 million to make.

  • Uranus is the only planet to spin on its side.

  • The diameter of Pluto is smaller than the horizontal length of the United States.

  • The Kármán line, the invisible boundary that officially separates Earth from outer space, is located 62 miles above sea level. So you’re only about 62 miles from space right now!

  • It’s impossible to burp in space. The lack of gravity in space prevents air in your stomach from separating and rising up from food you’ve eaten.

  • Saturn is the lightest planet, and it’s also the only planet that would float in water.

 

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Fun Facts About Countries 

  • Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the world without a single permanent river.

  • Haiti is the only country that recognizes voodoo as a religion.

  • Over 800 languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea.

  • Cyprus is the only country without its own national anthem. In 1966 it decided to adopt the Greek national anthem as its own. (The Greek national anthem also contains 158 verses.)

  • Although soccer is very popular in Greenland, they can’t join FIFA because their harsh weather conditions make it impossible to grow a grass field, one of the requirements for membership. 

  • Uzbekistan and Liechtenstein are the only countries that are doubly landlocked.

  • The Canary Islands, an island nation off the northwest coast of Africa, got its name from “canis” the Latin word for dog. Early sailors landed on the island, found it overrun with wild dogs, and gave it its name. The bird species canary actually got its name from the islands, not the other way around.

  • Chile didn’t legalize divorce until 2004, making it the last country in the Western Hemisphere to do so.

  • Japan is made up of 6,852 islands.

  • Istanbul, in Turkey, is the only city to be located on two continents. The western half is located in Europe, and the eastern half is located in Asia. The two halves are separated by the Bosporus Strait.

  • A town in Wales is famous for having the longest name of any place in an English-speaking country. Its full name is: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, although it is usually abbreviated to Llanfair.

  • Amman, the capital of Jordan, used to be called Philadelphia when it was taken over by ancient Greeks.

  • New Zealand was the first modern country to grant women the right to vote, which it did in 1893.

  • The Louvre in Paris, France, is the world’s most-visited museum. Roughly ten million people visit it each year.

  • Ethiopia follows a calendar, the Coptic Orthodox Church’s, that is seven years behind the rest of the world. They celebrated the new millennium in 2007.

 

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Fun Facts About States 

  • Over 40 buildings in New York City are so large that they have their own zip codes.

  • The shortest river in the world is located in Montana. It’s called the Roe River and only flows for 200 feet.

  • Hawaii is the only state to commercially grow coffee.

  • Hawaii is also home to the only royal palace in the United States ever used by a monarch. It’s called the Iolani Palace, and it was used by the royal family of Hawaii until they were overthrown in 1893.

  • Nebraska is the only state that is triply landlocked: it is three states from the ocean on every side.

  • Alaska has a longer coastline than the coastline of all other 49 states combined.

  • There are roughly 200 chickens for every person in Delaware.

  • Alaska, the biggest state, is 429 times larger than Rhode Island, the smallest state. However, Rhode Island has a higher population.

  • California is home to the tallest living object in the world. It’s a redwood tree named Hyperion that is 379.7 feet high.

  • The Florida Everglades is the only place on Earth where alligators and crocodiles live together in the wild.

  • Texas is larger than any European country, excluding Russia.

  • The first-ever Ferris wheel was built in Chicago, IL for the 1893 World’s Fair.

  • About 80% of the land in Nevada is owned by the federal government. 

  • Montpelier, Vermont is the only state capital without a McDonald's.

 

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Fun Facts About Animals 

  • Neither kangaroos nor emus can walk backward. Both animals are included on Australia’s official crest to represent continuous progress.

  • The bite of a grizzly bear is strong enough to crush a bowling ball.

  • Bats give birth while hanging upside down, and they catch their newborn with their wings as it drops.

  • Octopi have three hearts.

  • Dolphins have names for each other and are the only species other than humans known to do this.

  • Elephants are unable to jump.

  • Under their white fur, polar bears have black skin to help absorb heat from the sun.

  • Cats don’t have sweet taste buds and therefore can’t taste sugar.

  • Wombat poop is cubed-shaped.

  • Sloths can swim about three to four times faster than they can move on land.

  • A flock of hummingbirds can be referred to as a hover, a glittering, a bouquet, a tune, or a shimmer.

  • Only female mosquitoes bite humans. Male mosquitoes drink flower nectar.

  • Baby T-rexes were covered with feathers, which they may have kept as adults.

  • The largest animal to ever have existed is the blue whale. It can grow up to 98 feet (30 meters) and weigh 200 tons.

  • Camels store fatty tissue, not water, in their humps. Storing fat in one area helps keep them cooler than if it was distributed across the rest of their body like fat is in most other animals.

  • A shrimp’s heart is located inside its head.

  • Anteaters eat roughly 35,000 ants a day.

  • Koala fingerprints look extremely similar to human fingerprints.

  • Male platypuses have spurs on their back feet that can release venom, making them one of the few poisonous mammals.

 

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Fun Facts About Holidays

  • It’s a common tradition in Japan to eat KFC on Christmas. In order to ensure they get their fried chicken, over three million people a year preorder their Christmas meal, sometimes months in advance.

  • UPS delivers about 20 billion cards and gifts during the holiday season.

  • Americans eat roughly 150 million hot dogs every 4th of July.

  • During the holiday season, some people in Wales celebrate Mari Lwyd. This tradition involves a group of people caroling with a real horse skull, and it’s thought to come from ancient Celtic celebrations.

  • The most covered Christmas song is Silent Night. Since it was written in 1818, there have been over 26,000 versions of it.

  • In Thailand, during the Buddhist New Year celebration of Songkran, passerby are sprayed with water from giant statues of Buddha.

  • The first Thanksgiving likely didn’t include turkey, and other staples like cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes weren’t on the menu either. The pilgrims and Wampanoag Native Americans likely dined on foods such as seal, deer, eel, squash, berries, and cornmeal.

  • Real Christmas trees are actually better for the environment than fake ones. This is both due to the toxic materials needed to make fake trees, and the fact that Christmas tree farms serve as a habitat for wildlife.

  • Since “Hanukkah” is a Hebrew word translated to English, there is no official correct spelling of it. Some spelling variants include Chanukkah, Chanukah, Hannuka, and Hannukah.

 

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Fun Facts About History 

  • Since 1945, all British tanks have included equipment to make tea.

  • Ancient Romans used human urine as mouthwash. The ammonia in urine is an effective natural cleaning agent.

  • The world’s shortest war, the Anglo-Zambian War, lasted less than 45 minutes. It was fought between the United Kingdom and the Zanzibar Sultanate in 1896 and was won by the British.

  • Tug of war was an Olympic sport between 1900 and 1920.

  • Ronald Reagan, in addition to being the US president and a film star, was also a lifeguard when he was younger and saved multiple people from drowning.

  • The oldest known advertisement is over 5,000 years old. It advertises the sale of a slave named Shem in ancient Egypt.

  • Winston Churchill smoked an average of 10 cigars a day.

  • The first face to appear on the US $1 bill wasn’t George Washington. It was Salmon P. Chase, the Secretary of Treasury and designer of banknotes when the first $1 bill was released in 1862.

  • Ancient Egyptians invented many items we still use today, such as pens, keys, locks, and toothpaste.

  • In medieval Europe, animals were often taken to court and tried for various crimes such as eating part of the harvest, damaging property, or injuring or killing people. If found guilty, the animal could be exiled or even sentenced to death.

  • The youngest soldier in the Civil War was a nine-year-old boy from Mississippi. The oldest soldier was an 80-year-old man from Iowa.

  • Charles de Gaulle, the former president of France, is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having survived the most assassination attempts in the world. He survived over 30 of them before dying naturally at age 79.

  • Incans, who ruled in South America from the 13th century to 1572, were able to perform successful skull surgeries. Over 100 Incan skulls have been discovered with holes drilled into them, and archaeologists estimate the survival rate for this surgery was around 80% (compared to about 50% in America during the Civil War).

  • In the 19th century, golf balls were made of a leather pouch stuffed with feathers and were often called “feathery” balls.

 

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Fun Facts About Science

  • Humans have more than five senses. In fact, we have nearly 20, including pain, hunger, thirst, and balance.

  • The only letter that doesn’t appear in the Periodic Table of Elements is J.

  • Laid end to end, an adult’s blood vessels could circle the Earth at the equator four times.

  • Babies don’t shed tears until they’re between two weeks and several months old, as their tear ducts haven't fully developed yet.

  • There are 18 volcanoes in the United States with the potential to erupt again.

  • Scientists don’t know why we yawn, but it may be a way to help regulate body temperature or even cool down the brain.

  • Although oxygen is colorless as a gas, when it’s a liquid or solid it has a pale blue color.

  • If you pour a handful of salt into a full glass of water, the water level will actually go down slightly (about 2%). This happens due to solvent molecules becoming more ordered in the presence of the dissolved salt, which reduces the space the solution takes up.

  • Earth is not a perfect sphere. The poles are slightly flattened out, and the equator bulges due to the planet’s rotation.

  • Although clouds look light and fluffy, they can weigh over one million pounds.

  • Hot water actually freezes faster than cold water due to something called the Mpemba effect.

  • About ⅕ of the world’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon rainforest.

  • You have roughly the same number of bacteria cells in your body as you do human cells.

  • About two thousand rainstorms occur on Earth every minute.

 

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Fun Facts About Pop Culture

  • In the Brothers Grimm version of Cinderella, in order to get their feet to fit inside the glass slipper, one of Cinderella’s stepsisters cuts off her own heel, and another cuts off her big toe.

  • Samuel L. Jackson was a cheerleader in college.

  • In 2014, a group of researchers in England determined that the song “Wannabe” by The Spice Girls was the catchiest song ever written. People could identify it in about 2.3 seconds, well below the average of 5 seconds it took to recognize other songs.

  • The same woman, E.G. Daily, was the voice of both Tommy Pickles in Rugrats and Buttercup in The Powerpuff Girls.

  • None of the four members of The Beatles could read or write music.

  • Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling created the game of Quidditch after a fight with her then-boyfriend. She said her frustration from the fight caused her to come up with the idea of the violent game.

  • In 2016, Mozart sold more CDs than any other artist, beating artists such as Beyonce, Adele, and Justin Bieber.

  • During World War II, actress Audrey Hepburn delivered messages for resistance fighters in the Netherlands.

  • Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr, and Hillary Clinton are all Grammy winners in the Spoken Word category.

  • In 1944, Disney’s Snow White became the first film to release a soundtrack.

  • In Game of Thrones, the cloaks that members of the Night Watch wear were created by shaving down and dying rugs bought from IKEA.

  • The first TV commercial aired on July 1, 1941. It was an ad for Bulova watches.

 

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Recap: Interesting Facts to Impress Your Friends

Now that you’ve read over 100 random facts, you’re ready to crush it at trivia, Jeopardy!, or even just when your next conversation starts to lag. As with all information you get from the internet, when you learn new interesting facts, do your best to try to verify their source to ensure they’re true. Many supposedly amazing facts are outdated or just plain false. Doing a bit of research will ensure all your cool facts are accurate!

 

What's Next?

Have you seen a large, black and yellow spider in your yard? Wondering if it's dangerous or not? Learn everything you need to know about the garden spider, including why it's not as alarming as you think.

What is dynamic equilibrium and what does it have to do with rusty cars? Find out by reading our complete guide to dynamic equilibrium.

The 3 hole punch may not have the most interesting job, but it has a fascinating backstory. Check out our guide to learn all about the history of the hole punch.

 

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Christine Sarikas
About the Author

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.



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