Awkward silences can be hard to fill. Most people’s go-to conversation starter is the weather, but other people try to make it interesting with a fun fact. Facts usually get a general response of, “Oh, that’s interesting,” but sometimes they get, “What? How do you even know that??” Well, with an explanation or not, people share the most random and sometimes useless facts that they know both educating and surprising the people of the Internet.
1. Burial Arrangements
Don’t ever bury a dead body in an area without any vegetation. The high nitrogen content in our bodies helps plants to grow and there will be a weird grassy patch at the top of the burial site and anyone would be able to spot it.
2. Don’t Put All Your Limbs in One Basket
The term “basket case” used to refer to a mentally unstable person comes from trench warfare. Some soldiers had so many limbs blown off that they had to be carried off the field in baskets. Due to the severe physical trauma, these soldiers often suffered from lifelong mental problems.
3. Slow Digesting Issues
Sloths have a digestive system to match their slow moving. It takes DAYS for them to process and absorb their food. Their sole food source is leaves which results in simple gut flora. This means that sloths don’t fart. Rather, the methane that’s produced by their gut flora is absorbed through the gut and into the sloth’s bloodstream. They then breathe out the methane instead.
Also, scientists have no clue whether spiders fart or not.
4. Everyone Loves the Pony Ride
If you go to a farmer’s market or another place with those pony rides where the poor things walk around in a circle all day attached to a rotating wheel, all the male ponies are whacking it like crazy out of sheer boredom. Makes for some awkward family home videos later, I imagine. “Here’s our Billy! Enjoying his first pony ride!”
Not nearly as much as the pony seems to be, I guess.
5. Puff, Puff, Fish
Dolphins will poke a pufferfish until it puffs up. Once it does, it will secrete their poison. The dolphins will lick it until they get high. I learned this at the aquarium today.
6. C-U-P Pot
Back in the day, poor families would collect their urine so they could sell it to tanners. Hence, “piss poor.” If you were poorer than that, well, you didn’t even have a pot to piss in.
7. Vampires of the Sea
The Vampyroteuthis Infernalis is a deep-sea cephalopod whose scientific name translates to “vampire squid from hell.” It is not, however, a squid. It’s actually the only living member of the order Vampyromorphida.
8. Sergeant Teddy
A bear fought in the Polish army in WWII; the cub was discovered by Polish prisoners in the mountains of Iran. They taught him how to puff and swallow cigarettes. They even taught him how to turn on communal showers, pick up recruits, and carry empty ammunition crates on the front lines.
9. Can I Achoo with You?
Puppies sneeze at each other to let them know that they’re fighting for play, not for real.
10. Falling to Your Last Breath
When you fall into a crevasse, you don’t die by reaching the bottom and getting crushed to death. As you fall/slide down on one side of the ice, at one point you’ll reach a width where your chest won’t fit through. Your legs dangling there, your chest stuck between two solid walls of ice. As you move or just simply breathe, you melt the ice behind and in front of you ever so slightly, that you slide down, and at one point you exhale but won’t have enough space to fill your lungs and inhale.
11. Unlucky Rabbit’s Foot
Rabbit meat contains so little fat, if you do not supplement it with other fats you can get “rabbit starvation.” It’s why a lot of fur trappers became inexplicably ill and some died in Canada in the 19th Century, and also why a lot of doomsday preppers would slowly starve after their personal disaster of choice occurs as they choose rabbits for a meat source as they are easy to raise and take up little space.
12. Animal Measurements
Many animals have collective group names specific to their species. Some of my favorites: A cackle of hyenas; a sloth of bears; a business of ferrets; a flamboyance of flamingos. If you happen to own maybe three or four ferrets, but not too many of the little scamps, then you are well-qualified to be a small business owner.
13. Immunity Snacks
Opossums eat ticks like we eat potato chips. They’ll hoover up 5,000 ticks a week and never get Lyme disease themselves.
14. 8-Armed Aliens
Octopuses have 33,000 protein-coding genes (humans have 27,000), and their DNA has hundreds of genes that are completely unique and not shared with any other animals. Some scientists have described them as “alien” due to their genome.
15. Fox Alarm
The fox has many different vocalizations including a mating call that sounds like (the Hollywood representation of) a woman being murdered in the middle of the night.
16. Pink Paper Pope Prisoner
During the Papal election of 1292-1294, the cardinals were taking a long time to select a Pope. A hermit wrote to the cardinals saying if they didn’t choose a pope soon, God would be angry. The cardinals elected this hermit as Pope Celestine V. He initially refused and had to be dragged to Rome. He spent his entire papacy writing the rule that popes were allowed to resign. When he was finished writing it, he resigned.
Then afterward, he was imprisoned by the next pope who was worried he would become an “antipope.” He died in prison two years later at 81.
17. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
In ancient Babylon, people would build their most valuable possessions (fine wine, among others) into the walls of their basement, which in the region was usually a naturally occurring cave, so when the taxman came, he couldn’t see it to count it.
18. Far, Far Out in Space
Contrary to what sci-fi movies and games would have you believe, the asteroid field is so sparse that you can’t see them from each other without a telescope. Rather than having to carefully navigate through an area full of space rocks, the most likely scenario is that you’ll pass right through without even seeing any asteroids.
19. Turns Out, Bears Don’t Always Poop in the Woods
Bears eat a ton of grass and twigs and stuff before the hibernate to constipate themselves and pretty much prevent waking up mid-winter to poop. However, when they finally do wake up in the spring, their first poop is a mean one.
20. Guppy Love
The guppy was named after Robert John Lechmere Guppy. Glad he picked Guppy instead of Lechmere. Also, Cap’n Crunch’s boat is named Guppy.
21. Tongue and Cheek
People from western Europe and America tend to lay their tongue on the roof of the mouth and behind the top teeth when relaxed, whereas people from Eastern Europe lay their tongue on the bottom of the mouth, behind their bottom teeth when relaxed.
22. Pythagorean Kingdom
Pythagoras from the Pythagorean theorem ran a cult and another group came to murder him by locking him inside his house and setting it on fire. According to legend, he had his followers make a human ladder to escape the fire, but then abandoned them and they all died. He was murdered later that night being chased by the group in a bean field.
23. Before Copy and Paste
K22MD-4332P-BYBR3-JYPV3-7VFHW is a valid Windows 98 product key. I have it memorized to this day because, when I used to work the tech bench at Best Buy 20 years ago, we would put in the key for customers and it was quicker to memorize one (and not have to dig the license key book out of their box) and use the same one over and over.
This was obviously before online MS product activation.
24. Big Headed Hitler
Erich Hartmann, the top fighter ace of history, yoinked Hitler’s hat. He was being given an award by Hitler himself and had gotten absolutely hammered just a few hours before. As in, he practically couldn’t walk. So, he’s waiting to meet Hitler and be awarded a high honor, is completely drunk, and realizes he doesn’t have his hat. So, he reaches for the closest one, and it’s a bit big.
Hitler’s Luftwaffe adjutant is just appalled, but everyone else is laughing (the big guy with one ball isn’t here yet) and Erich says that it was too big. Then he jokes about Hitler having a big head. He was actually drunk the third and final time he met Hitler too, and according to him, Hitler admitted to him that they had lost the war.
So yeah. One time the best fighter pilot in history stole Hitler’s hat because he was drunk.
25. Pointer Fingers
Disney Park employees point with two fingers instead of one. The reason for this (that they tell you) is that pointing with one finger in other cultures is disrespectful. While that is true, they usually avoid the part that Walt Disney himself use to point with two fingers…because he was always smoking. They actually go to great lengths to hide this and any official picture of him has the cigarette photoshopped out.
It only still exists in old videos because of how hard it was to not show that.
26. When Life Gives You Lemons
Lemons are a cross between a citron and a bitter orange. Either they were a rare naturally occurring hybrid or they were man made, in which case, life does not give you lemons.
27. There’s a Word for That??
The line between the two numbers in a fraction is called the vinculum.
28. That’s Pretty Cheesy
A nursing sperm whale’s milk comes out in the consistency of cottage cheese so the calf can “eat it” in the water.
29. One-Handed Tricks
Lollipop is the longest word in the English language that can be typed using just the right side of a keyboard. And “stewardesses” is one of the longest words that can be typed using just the left side.
30. Arson by Chips
If you want to burn down a building, put potato chips in a toaster with a trail leading from the toaster to other highly flammable things. The potato chips leave no residue and the toaster will pop back up after the chips catch fire so there’s no way to find the start of the fire.
31. Noble Dairy Precautions
Butter knives were created in 17th-century France after nobles kept whipping out daggers and stabbing each other at dinner parties. I learned this randomly watching the History Channel right before a commercial break about a decade ago and it’s stuck with me ever since. I’ve found at least 15 occasions to whip this little knowledge nugget out.
32. Rat Attack
Rat poison is actually an anti-coagulant mixed with stuff like fiberglass because rats are always scraping and squeezing into stuff and they build up these minor injuries. The anti-coagulant stops their blood from clotting properly and they internally hemorrhage to death.
33. Bridging the Last Will and Testament
The Clifton Suspension Bridge (Bristol) was built because a wine merchant left money in his will in trust to build an (at the time) pointless bridge. An act of parliament was required to alter the will to enable them to charge tolls.
34. Unleash Your Inner Self
I know that you can disembowel yourself if you lift weights that are too heavy. It happened to my high school gym teacher who said he’s never felt anything quite like pooping out your intestines.
35. There Can Only Be One
Most people know about Amazon “Prime,” but they don’t know Amazon went public in 97, which is a prime number. Write out the full year as 1997, and it’s still a prime number. Specifically, the IPO was on May 15, 1997. 5,151,997 (5/15/1997) is also prime. For you non-Americans, 15/5/1997 and 15/05/1997 create two more prime numbers 1,551,997 and 15,051,997.
36. Impossible Repetition
Uncopyrightable is the longest word that can be spelled without repeating a letter. If you have 3 quarters, 4 dimes, and 4 pennies you have $1.19 and cannot make exact change for a dollar.
37. Self-Defense Sock
If you plan on using a baseball bat as a weapon, put a long sock over the end. When someone tries to grab the bat, you can rip it away with ease and continue with the baseball beatdown.
38. Human Head Handling
I know that you should always use two hands to pick up a severed human head. Human heads weigh about as much as a standard-size bowling ball, but unlike bowling balls, they are not perfectly spherical. Therefore, gravity is not evenly distributed across the entire head so they have a tendency to topple out of your hand if you try to hold them with just one.
And nobody wants to be the person who drops a severed head.
That a male human body that weighs approximately 190 lbs will literally melt into a standard Sears La-Z-Boy recliner when left in the heat during the summer—fusing itself onto the fibers. Also, the smell is unforgettable. Also, dying alone and nobody knowing you died really is sad.
40. When Will My Reflection Show Who I Am…
The reason vampires can’t see themselves in mirrors is that mirrors used to be made with a layer of silver inside, however, modern mirrors aren’t—meaning that vampires could look in the mirror now.
41. Americano? No, Americano.
The Americano (three shots of espresso diluted with water) started during WW2 when the Americans were in Italy. They thought that the Italian espresso was too strong and watered it down. The locals started calling it an Americano as kind of an insult because the Americans couldn’t handle the full-strength stuff.
42. The Lung-est Word
The longest word in English. I have it memorized. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. It’s some sort of lung disease, if I’m not mistaken.
It’s actually a deliberate attempt at a “very long disease name.”
Pneumono – of or pertaining to the lungs
Ultra – very
Microscopic – smaller than you can see
Silico – related to silica dust (in the context of medicine, this is the most common usage)
Volcano – You really shouldn’t need this one explained
-iosis – A fairly generic ending for any chronic inflammatory disease
So basically, it’s “a chronic inflammatory lung disease caused by inhaling very small particles of silica dust, specifically ejected from a volcano and not any other source.” It’s far more common to just diagnose pneumonoconiosis, which is far less specific and has the exact same features and treatment. The extra-long name was intentionally designed to be “a very long disease name.”
43. Once a Cheetah, Always a Cheetah
Cheetahs suffered a genetic bottleneck 10,000 years ago. As a result, all cheetahs are so genetically similar that you can take tissue from one and implant it in a second, and the second cheetah’s body will not recognize it as foreign tissue.
44. From the Blood of My Enemies
Let’s say you wanted to make a sword. An average sword requires about 1.5kg of metal. If you were to take the blood out of 600 humans, roughly 3,000 liters of blood, and extract the iron, you could smelt it down and create a sword with it. Then boom, a sword literally made out of your fallen enemies.
45. Facts About Swaziland, Gilbertese, and Ireland
Whenever the King of Swaziland rises from his seat, he must be greeted with cheers and gasps of admiration. A bacteria and virus are as different from each other as a giraffe and metronome. In the Kiribati language Gilbertese, the word for dog is “kamea,” after hearing foreigners tell their dog to “come here.”
There are no moles in Ireland.
46. Today’s Special: Bananas and Batteries
Spinal fluid tastes like a mixture of bananas and a 9volt battery. And I don’t want to talk about it.
47. Macho High Heels
High heels were originally created for men and were advertised as riding shoes. The heel would clip into stirrups more easily than a flat sole. The style then moved to the courts where fancy dukes and kings wore them to be taller and, get this, more manly. Of course, when women started wearing them, the high heel’s “masculine” energy wasn’t a thing anymore so men stopped wearing them.
48. Scamming on the Fly
If you fly a lot and want to be a jerk and never pay for a drink or food while in the air, use a credit card that is deactivated and declines. The Wi-Fi in the air doesn’t pick it up until it’s processed days later. Literally, you can do this every time. Pro tip: make sure the date on the card hasn’t expired and it’s free whiskeys for the entire plane ride. Every single time.
49. Blood Is Thicker Than Water of the Womb
When the German army captured Stalin’s son, Hitler said that if the Soviets release a German general, then Hitler would give Stalin his son back. Stalin replied, “Why would I trade a general for a lieutenant?” That’s right, Stalin was so serious that he wouldn’t release a single POW just to get his own son back.