40 Strange Facts & Fun Items
40 Strange Facts & Fun Items
1. There are more public libraries in the US (an estimated 119,729) than McDonald’s restaurants in the world (35,000+)
2. Laughter is universal in humans. We all laugh in the same language.
3. Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn.
4. Hans Island is a disputed territory between Canada and Denmark. When the Danish visit, they leave a bottle of Schnapps for the Canadians. When the Canadians visit, they leave a bottle of Canadian Club for the Danish.
5. Rats laugh when tickled.
6. A group of hummingbirds is called a charm.
7. Octopi seem to like shiny objects and will sometimes collect them.
8. Someone somewhere is having the best moment of their life at this exact time.
9. One man, James Harrison, has saved over 2.4 million lives by simply donating plasma. His unusual plasma composition has been used as a treatment for Rhesus disease, and he has donated over 1,000 times.
10. Popsicles were invented by an 11-year-old who left a glass of soda with a stirring stick out on the front stoop overnight.
11. Researchers say that 1 week of camping can reset our biological clock and synchronize our melatonin hormones with sunrise and sunset.
12. Mr. Rogers personally replied to every piece of fan mail that he received.
13. Catastrophe has an antonym, eucatastrophe, which means “a happy ending”. It was coined by Tolkien.
14. Snoopy was inspired by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz’s childhood pet, Spike.
15. The first ingredient listed in Goldfish crackers are smiles.
16. Cuddling can release oxytocin, which in turn can speed healing of physical wounds and relieve pain.
17. Neanderthals may have loved music. A 40,000 year old flute made from a cave bear bone was once excavated in Slovenia.
18. The smiley as we know it was invented in 1982 by Scott Fahlman, but both Vladimir Nabokov and Ambrose Bierce have discussed proto-smilies in the past.
19. In the 1630s, tulips were worth more than gold and were sometimes used as currency in Holland.
20. We answer the phone with “Hello” because Thomas Edison petitioned for it. Alexander Graham Bell was in support of saying “Ahoy.”
21. The handshake is thought to have originated as a gesture of peace indicating that the shakers’ hands held no weapons.
22. The gender neutral term for a niece or nephew is “nibling.”
23. Vikings sometimes gave kittens to newlyweds as an essential household gift.
24. Hermit crabs are actually social creatures and thrive in
25. “Old book smell” has been identified as a mix of grass and vanilla.
26. A Malawian teen brought power to his village by building a windmill out of junk. He learned how to do it from an old textbook that he found.
27. There’s a park in Japan with small enclosure holes that let you shake hands with adorable otters.
28. Four US states — Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii, and Maine — ban roadside billboards in order to preserve natural beauty.
29. Volvo invented the life-saving three-point seatbelt, and instead of capitalizing on it, gave the patent away so that other car manufactures could use it to save lives.
30. An average cloud weighs around 1.1 million pounds.
31. There are vending machines in Istanbul that dispense food and water for stray dogs. The price? An empty recyclable bottle.
32. A couple invited the Queen of England to their wedding as a joke, and she went.
33. The chills you get when listening to music are a result of the brain releasing dopamine in anticipation of the peak moment of a song.
34. The ozone layer is healing, and is expected to completely heal by 2050.
35. Out of 403 episodes of “The Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross, 91% of them contain at least one “happy tree.”
36. Keanu Reeves gave $50 million of his $70 million earnings from The Matrix sequels to the special effects and makeup staff, saying “Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries.”
37. Sikh places of worship have a community kitchen where visitors of any background are welcome to eat for free.
38. There are trees that can produce 40 different types of rare fruit.
39. Babies can recognize mother’s smell and voice at birth.
40. Angelina Jolie purchased 60,000 hectares of Cambodian land and turned it into a wildlife reserve employing former poachers as rangers.
41. Freddie Mercury once dressed Princess Diana up as man in aviators and leather, and took her out clubbing.