Thirsty for knowledge? Then call us “Sprite,” because we’re here to quench that parched brain. After all, expanding our knowledge about the world is what helps us grow. To that end, we’ve compiled some of the most interestingly random facts that aren’t taught in school. Heck, we’re willing to bet that even the most ultra-knowledgable have never heard most of these random tidbits. Here are 42 curiosity-quenching random facts.
42. Not a Bad Way to Get Rich
Forbes broke down a list of billionaires by country, and in Brazil, 3 out of 5 billionaires made their fortune from beer. Don’t quit your day job to start a microbrewery, though—the richest among them, Jorge Paulo Lemann, has a stake in Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest brewer in the world.
41. A Little Ketchup Each Day Keeps the Doctor Away
In 1834, Dr. John Cooke Bennet added tomatoes to ketchup, which back in the day was made out of fish or mushrooms. He alleged that his new ketchup would cure jaundice, rheumatoid arthritis, indigestion, and diarrhea, as they were packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Since, as it turns out, the claims weren’t quite accurate, (shocker!) ketchup was no longer used as medicine by 1850.
40. Tigger The Tiger Invented A Heart
Paul Winchell, the voice of Tigger in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, first gained fame as a ventriloquist, but he decided that he wanted to do more with his life. He ended up sharing his concept for the first artificial heart with Dr. Henry Heimlich—yes, as in, the Heimlich maneuver—and later helped surgeons come up with one of the first mechanical hearts in human history. Unfortunately, his device never worked, but ya gotta give Tigger credit for trying.
39. My, My, What Big Eyes You Have
Turns out, our eyes don’t actually change size as we grow (or at least, they grow only a tiny amount, less than any other body part). On the other hand, your nose and ears constantly grow and change throughout your life, thanks to our old pal gravity.
38. “Urine” Trouble Under UV Light
As all cat owners (and their friends) know, cat urine smells really gross, and it can be pretty darn hard to find where it’s coming from. Next time you can’t find where your cat peed in your home, try using a black light. Cat urine glows under really bright ultraviolet light thanks to its high levels of phosphorus.
37. Where Do Santa’s Letters Go?
There’s a Santa Claus Museum in Indiana that has been getting letters addressed to the man in red since 1914. So if you send a letter with a return address to Santa Claus, PO Box 1, Santa Claus, IN 47579, you’ll get a response free of charge. Go ahead, try it!
36. The Eternal Woman
Emma Morano was born on November 29, 1899. When she passed away in April 2017, she was the oldest person in the world and the last verified person born in the 19th century. So what was her secret? This eternal Italian claimed her longevity was due to staying single, claiming that she “didn’t want to be dominated by anyone.” Take note!
35. I’ve Dreamed Here Before
When you have a feeling of repetition, as though you’ve experienced a precise moment in time before, you call it déjà vu, right? Well, it turns out you can have a similar experience, but in the dream world. If you feel like you experience something in real life that you’ve dreamed before, it’s called déjà rêvé.
34. Decisions, Decisions
Today, Google is worth around $120 billion as of 2018, making it the third most valuable brand on Earth (it’s recently been surpassed by Apple and Amazon). But back in 1999, Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were more than happy to sell it to another company called Excite for a mere $1 million, but Excite’s CEO, George Bell, turned Google down. That’s got to hurt.
33. Did Blockbuster Inspire Netflix?
Netflix’s CEO originally claimed that he came up with the concept of Netflix after he was charged a $40 late fee at Blockbuster for the movie Apollo 13. But later, co-founder Marc Randolph claimed the story was made up to explain why Netflix was better than the competition. Although, I guess some of the people reading this might not even know what Blockbuster is. If you’re one of them, I guess you can just keep reading, leaving the rest of us to sit here and feel old.
32. Stars At War
Anthony Daniels, the actor who played C-3PO, and Kenny Baker, who played R2-D2, hated the living guts out of each other. In a 2009 interview, Baker said that Daniels “looked down his nose at me like I was a piece of sh*t.” Daniels even rejected Baker’s plan to tour with him by saying “I don’t do many of these conventions—go away little man.” And I thought it was Artoo with the bad mouth!
31. Purr-fectly Allergic
It turns out that some cats are allergic to humans—well, at least to their skin cells, as well as dandruff and cigarette smoke. After all, humans shed their entire outer layer of skin every day or two, so all that dead skin can really mess with a cat’s allergies and lead to wheezing, and shortness of breath.
30. Name Changing Gone Right
A 49-year-old British man from Leicester named Tim Price legally changed his name to Tim Pppppppppprice. Yup, this is not a drill—he was sick of getting cold calls, so he felt like he was forced to do this to make it more difficult for those annoying telemarketers to pronounce his name.
29. Queen Of Mechanics
Queen Elizabeth worked for a time as a truck mechanic in the army during World War II. She was just a princess at the time, but one who was good with the wrench. Who would’ve imagined?
28. Drones From The Past
Archibald Low, a British inventor, designed the first drone (a radio controlled, unmanned flying vehicle) in 1916. He also flew it, but it was unsuccessful because the noise from the engine interfered with its radio controls. They were made to counterattack German Zeppelin airships. I guess Low had some high expectations… ba dum tss.
27. BFFs? Not on My Watch!
In order to prevent possessive relationships and to promote a more inclusive atmosphere, some schools have actually tried to stop students from having best friends. The argument is that choosing a best friend is exclusive and some kids might feel left out. Next things on the cutting block? If I had to guess, I’d say probably cute puppies, smiling, and happiness in general.
26. There’s No Dying In Norway
Nobody dies in the town of Longyearbyen on the island of Svalbard, north of Norway. Have they found the Philosopher’s Stone? Not quite—terminally ill people are flown off the island before they die. It’s either that, or have a huge pile of dead bodies to deal with, because Svalbard is too cold to allow bodies to decompose, and the ground is almost always too hard to dig a grave into. Another concern is that, with temperatures slowly rising, these bodies might begin to attract too many polar bears, and if there’s one thing any town doesn’t need, it’s too many polar bears.
25. Lean Back, Lean Back
If you look at buildings in Amsterdam carefully, you’ll notice that many of them tend to lean. Since the city is built almost entirely on water, all of its buildings are built on stilts (they usually use concrete nowadays, but many wooden poles remain). Some of the wooden poles date back to the 17th century or even earlier, and as they degrade the buildings above them start to lean. In many places, buildings are held up by leaning against their neighbors. That’s intense!
24. Michael Jackson, The Wannabe Spiderman
The King of Pop was a huge fan of Spiderman—so much so that he almost bought Marvel Comics in the hopes of playing the web-slinger in a movie! Jackson met with Stan Lee and told him about his plans, but Lee suggested that he needed to talk to Marvel directly. The movie never came to be, but really, it couldn’t have been worse than Spiderman 3.
23. Dog People = Good People
Some researchers left a bunch of fake wallets around a city, containing the address of the fake owner. Some of the wallets contained photos of puppies, old couples, and babies, while others contained no photos. The wallets that showed the owner was a supporter of a charity were barely returned, but nearly half of those filled with doggy pics made it home. Guess we like dog people more than we like charitable people.
22. Maybe Could Have Predicted That
In 2015, an 11-year-old child whose parents wouldn’t allow them to get vaccinated got measles and became patient zero when they took a trip to Disneyland. 125 people caught the infection from the kid. Scarily enough, most of those who got sick had never been vaccinated either. Shocking, right?
21. Apple And Samsung, Sitting In a Tree, S-U-I-N-G
For the last five years, Apple and Samsung have been suing one another because each of the creators alleged one stole ideas from the other. Samsung ended up having to fork over a lot of cash after Apple argued that the rounded edges of the iPhone are unique features that were allegedly stolen by Samsung. Does Apple actually own curves now?
20. Miley Was Replaced
Conspiracy theorists have alleged that Disney planned to off singer Miley Cyrus after she shed her positive Hannah Montana persona and started getting nude and doing drugs. Allegedly, Disney killed her, buried her in the desert, and replaced her with a clone. But here’s the thing: can you prove they didn’t? Woah.
19. The Bloody Thank You Text
Blood donors in Sweden don’t just get to feel good about knowing their blood saved a life, they also get a text thanking them every time their blood is used.
18. Fergie Brown
Okay, so we know that Charlie Brown is a fictional animated character, but the voices behind the characters are human, and in the mid-’80s, Charlie’s sister Sally was voiced by Fergie of Black Eyed Peas fame.
17. Feeling The McDonald’s Blues
We all know that the McDonald’s arches are always yellow, but not in Sedona, AZ, oh no! You see, the natural red rock in Sedona supposedly clashed with the yellow. So, they decided to go with turquoise arches instead—it’s the only McD’s in the world to have this feature.
16. Animal Obsession
In a bizarre turn of events, it turns out that Bronx Zoo cheetahs can’t resist the scent of…Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men! When scientists realized this, they started using the cologne to attract wild cats closer to the cameras when conducting behavioral tests. So fancy!
15. Lord of the Nos
Apparently, Sean Connery could have played Gandalf in Peter Jacksons Lord of the Rings trilogy, but he was, well…not having it. He said, “I read the book. I read the script. I saw the movie. I still don’t understand it.” Fortunately, actor Ian McKellen did understand the role and gave us an unforgettable performance.
14. Space Smells
If you could actually breathe in space without dying, you’d notice a pretty unique scent, which would smell like barbecue, gunpowder, and diesel fumes. These combined scents are created mainly by dying stars.
13. Heroin For Everyone!
In 1897, an employee of the Bayer Company, Felix Hoffman, invented aspirin, and he would quickly become famous for the creation. Unfortunately, just days after he created the iconic painkiller, he created another headache that no pain pill could ease: heroin. The intensely addictive drug was originally sold as a cough suppressant, and it was on the market for twelve years before the dangers became known and it was pulled off the shelves, putting a black stain on Bayer’s reputation.
12. Was That So Hard?
Dating back hundreds of years, Hawaiian culture actually identified a third gender called mahu that represented aspects of both the male and female, and there has been a group of people in Southern India called hijra that does not identify as male or female for centuries. More recently, the governments of both India and France have officially recognized a third gender, a surprisingly novel event in modern societies.
11. Don’t Drive And Billboard
Billboards are made to be noticed, but sadly, they can also get you in accidents. In the Netherlands, studies have shown that drivers lose focus thanks to billboards by the side of the road.
10. Human Brains Were All The Rage
According to Edouard Giard, iconic French author Voltaire’s brain was actually sold at an auction. There was also once an eBay listing put up for the brain of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, though it was eventually taken down because the company does not allow the sale of “human organic material.” I guess we’ll never really know if it was the real deal.
9. Medieval Fashion Statement
Wearing stripes on the 12th and 13th century was a death sentence, and we mean that literally. A French cobbler was put to death for wearing stripes in 1310, as stripes supposedly represented the ungodly. Seems a little harsh to me.
In 2010, the home of activists Mike Kelly and Linden Gawboy was raided by the FBI. The raiding agents took all kinds of things from the apartment, yet somehow managed to leave behind a document that thoroughly outlined the activists’ upcoming operation, as well as some potentially damning evidence regarding some of their comrades. Whoops!
7. Close Your Eyes and Make Water Sounds
When medieval soldiers would get wounded during a battle, a doctor would take his personal medical tool out and… pee on the wound. Doctors would use pee to heal sores, bites, burns, and much more. Believe it or not, the ammonia in the pee probably did actually help disinfect the wounds. Gross, but hey, back then if something worked even a little I’ll call it a win.
6. Leave the Light On
Walt Disney would visit Disneyland a few times a week and even had a secret apartment which is still there today, above the fire station on Main Street, USA. Next time you’re at the park, keep an eye out for the light in the building’s front window—it’s always kept on to represent Disney’s spirit, meaning a part of him is always there.
5. Gingers Are Tough
Medical studies show that gingers are tougher when they suffer from pain than people with other hair colors. Other studies show that gingers need 19 percent more anesthesia than dark-haired people. Maybe it’s because they have to put up with more punishment than most people?
4. Bankable Haunted Houses
Haunted Houses have become a $300 million industry. Unsurprisingly, people love visiting the spooky spectacles during the Halloween season, and they’re willing to pay up to $40 a pop for the chance. So, the next time you have a fright because you’re short on rent for the month of October, go ahead and make a haunted house for that quick cash.
3. Holy Crap!
A case of diarrhea is already a nightmare while on a flight, but it was even worse for Joao Correa on a Delta flight from Honduras to Atlanta in 2009. Unfortunately, when the runs hit the coach bathroom was blocked by a beverage cart. After waiting as long as he could, Correa eventually had to make a mad dash to the business class bathroom, but when he got there he found a flight attendant who refused to make an exception for him. After trying his hardest to be polite, eventually, Correa couldn’t handle it anymore and twisted the attendant’s arm to get past her into the bathroom. All in all, it was a terrible experience, and one that was made even worse when the plane landed and the attendant charged Correa with assault. So next time you’re on a bad flight, remember it’s probably not as bad as Joao Correa’s was.
2. Bottling Up Sweat
Gladiators were seen as objects of sexual desire, so naturally, people collected their sweat after each fight. Some used it on their skin as an anti-aging agent, while others used it as an aphrodisiac. To collect the stuff that I’m going to call “fight juice,” servants used a curved tool called a strigil that was specifically designed for the job.
1. Pulling The Burying Alive Test
From the 1800s to the early 1900s, doctors would prick you under the fingernails with a pin (ouch!) to see if you were actually dead. They might also have held a lit match or candle under your fingernails until they burned. If there was no reaction, then you were probably checked out… hopefully…