The internet is incredible for so many reasons: instant worldwide communication, for example. Or how about the ability to manage planet-wide distribution networks for companies like Amazon or Fed-Ex?
But more importantly than all of that, the internet does one thing above all else: it provides us with access to the weirdest, most outrageous facts ever discovered. Every strange little tidbit, or fascinating story, that's ever weirded someone out... is available (for free) online.
Let's all be thankful for that. Boredom be gone!
On that note: here are 42 awesome (if not all that useful) facts about random stuff. Enjoy!
The universe is big.
Not exactly a shocker, right? But have you ever stopped to considered just how bogglingly, earth-shatteringly, inconceivably big it is?
Here's a fact: the famous astronomer Carl Sagan once said there are more stars in space than grains of sand on Earth. If he were right, that would mean about seven quintillion five quadrillion (7.5 followed by seventeen zeros, or 7.5 billion billion).
But Sagan was actually underestimating. The truth: there's at least 70 sextillion... also known as a billion trillion.
Simply put, there's 10 stars for every grain of sand on Earth.
Nintendo is such a giant in the video game industry, it's next to impossible to imagine there was ever a time they sold anything else.
But here's a shocker: Nintendo was originally a playing card company. They also briefly dabbled in running a taxi service, operating a TV network, and managing a chain of hotels... before finally settling on video games in 1974.
The digitization of everything is picking up speed. Case in point: Ten percent of all the photos ever taken were taken in the past 12 months... which is due to the growing availability of cameras and, more importantly, the digital memory to store all those selfies.
I know, we have a hard time picturing it too.
Shakespeare created the name “Jessica” for his play The Merchant Of Venice. In fact, over Shakespeare created over 1700 words, most of which are not names.
Armadillos always give birth to genetically identical quadruplets (which means they’re all the same sex). No one’s really sure why they do this.
If you ever meet a family of Armadillos, it's considered polite not to ask.
There are more fake flamingos on Earth than there are real ones. Clearly, human beings are really big fans of a good lawn decoration.
What next? Are we going to find out there are more plastic lawn gnomes on Earth than actual, living, breathing gnomes??
The largest freshwater lake on Earth is Lake Superior. It's mind-bogglingly big. In fact, Lake Superior is so big that if you were to spread out all the water it contains across all of North and South America, you'd have a giant puddle one foot deep. You could literally cover two continents in water from a single lake.
The longest time between two twins being born is 87 days. The first twin was born three months premature.
Better late than never, right? But spare a thought for the mother who had to go to the hospital, get put under, and give birth twice in just 3 months.
The world’s deepest postbox is just off the coast of Susami Bay in Japan. It's 10 meters underwater, and is used by divers to send waterproof postcards to their friends and family. A clerk checks the mailbox regularly to ensure all the postcards get to their destination.
Sounds fishy to us.
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In 1923, jockey Frank Hayes won a race in New York despite being dead. He suffered a heart attack mid-race, but he stayed on his horse long enough for his horse to finish the race.
Which is genuinely tragic... and must have felt terrible for the other jockeys. It's never fun to lose a race— but to lose to a dead guy? That might just be a signal that this whole horse racing thing just isn't for you.
Everyone has a unique tongue print, much like fingerprints. Just don’t try to offer up your tongue print to authorities when they request fingerprints. And don’t lick the gun.
Most Muppets are left-handed, because the Muppeteers are right handed and use their right hand for the Muppets’ head.
Female kangaroos have three vaginas. In fact, all marsupials share this three vagina structure. The two side vaginas take sperm up to the uteri (yes, they have 2; yes, the plural of uterus is uteri), and the middle one sends the baby joeys out into the world. We’re speechless too.
Not all light travels as fast you think. When light shines through some materials, such as glass or water, its speed drops significantly below the natural speed of light. Scientists have experimented with this phenomenon for years. The slowest we’ve measured light traveling? Just 38 mph... although that's still 10 mph faster than Usain Bolt's top-speed.
Casu Marzu is a Sardinian cheese that has live maggots in it. The cheese is eaten with the maggots still in it, and eaters often shield their eyes as the maggots can launch themselves up to five inches when they feel threatened. The cheese is considered unsafe to eat if the maggots have died. No cheese for us, thank you, we’re lactose intolerant.
The Northern Leopard Frog uses its eyes to help swallow its prey. After a big meal, the frog will retract its eyes into its body, which helps push the recently devoured food down to its belly.
Imagine that after Thanksgiving Dinner, every member of your family briefly swallowed their own eyeballs, just to help with the digestion. That's how Northern Leopard Frogs live their lives.
The first person to urinate on the moon was Buzz Aldrin, shortly after stepping onto the lunar surface. Don’t worry, he did it in his high tech suit that was equipped for just a thing occur.
I choose to believe that Buzz had to go hours before... but waited until landing on the moon. Just so he could look up to the sky, years later, and murmur, "Yup... I peed on that".
The man said to have the longest beard died in 1567, after tripping on his beard while escaping from a fire.
Next time you're thinking about growing it all out, stop to think: is it worth being burned to death? Obviously, the answer depends on the quality of the beard. A really serious chin-sweater just might be...
Sigurd The Mighty was a ninth-century Norse earl who was killed by a man he beheaded several hours earlier. He attached his enemy’s head on his saddle, and while riding, the decapitated head’s teeth grazed Sigurd’s leg. He died from the infection that it caused.
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
Melting icebergs and glaciers make a distinct fizzing noise known as “bergy seltzer.”
Also known as Ice Sizzle, it's the sound made as air bubbles in the ice are exposed to the air when the glacier melts.
Speaking of glaciers...
There's a glacier in Antartica with a terrifying claim to fame: it regularly oozes out thick, red liquid that distinctly resembles blood. Don't worry though, “Blood Falls” isn't belching out the remains of the last penguin it devoured... the liquid is just a form of oxidized water.
There is an opera house on the US-Canada border. The stage is in Canada, while the audience is in the US, making every artist that performs there an international one.
The largest snowflake ever recorded was reportedly 15 inches across.
That's astounding! Picture a snowflake the size of your face.
The “Cat Piano” was made in the 17th century and consisted of what looked like a piano with several caged cats at the back end. Each key would drive a nail into the tails of the cats, causing them to meow at different pitches. This idea was far from purrfect, and didn’t survive the test of time.
Cap’n Crunch’s full name is Horatio Magellan Crunch. All of a sudden, Crunch is not the weirdest part of his name anymore.
But doesn't that give your cereal a touch of class? It's a real gentleman's breakfast.
Nearly 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets every year. That's right: every year, 40,000 people are forced to visit the emergency room and say to the nurse on duty, "uhhhh, I had a toilet accident".
We’d make another joke, but this is no time for toilet humor.
Ketchup was sold as medicine in the 1830s. For what, you ask? Indigestion. A physician from Ohio named John Cook marketed his "tomato-based salve" as a cure for stomach troubles.
Of course, today we know that if you really want to cure your indigestion, you need a healthy serving of relish and mustard. Nothing else will do.
Sean Connery might have been a sex-symbol back in his Bond days, but he was harboring a pretty embarrassing secret: the balding 007 had to wear a toupee every time he suited up for a James Bond film.
One more reason to split hairs about who the best Bond is.
Nicholas Cage once bought an octopus because he believed it would help his acting. Beyond that, Cage also hosted a collection of rare dinosaur skulls, and a few exotic animals: including two king cobras, named Moby and Sheba.
Shockingly, Cage went bankrupt in 2009. As surprising as it is, turns out dinosaur skulls are not that prudent an investment. Could you have guessed that? Congratulations! You're officially more qualified to handle money than Academy Award Winner Nicolas Cage.
Steve Jobs was many things: a genius, sure. A visionary as well. The man predicted many almost unthinkable technological advancements, and helped to bring them to the world.
But almost no one would argue he was a particularly nice guy. Steve was known for regularly making employees crying (and shedding tears himself when things didn't go his way. He also had a few... quirky personal habits. He often tried strange diets, like eating exclusively fruit (fruitarian), he didn't believe in wearing deodorant, and, according to rumors, he would unwind after a long workday by soaking his feet in the Apple company toilets.
Not a great smelling guy, is what we're saying.
Fredric Baur invented the iconic Pringles can. When he died, his ashes were buried in one. Sometimes the chips have a way of falling in all the right places.
The average person will likely eat over 35,000 cookies in their lifetime.
Some, like me, will do it all in one sitting.
There is enough sperm in one man to impregnate every woman in America. Baby boomer would take on a whole new meaning if that were to happen.
There's a town in Canada called “Dildo.”
It's not even a recent thing! Dildo has proudly held the name since 1711... although back then they used the slightly less shocking spelling, "Dildoe".
The explanation is a mystery. Some think it's in reference to the rather... odd shape of the island Dildo sits on. Others say it may just be a joke on the part of the explorers who first discovered the area. Turns out, even in 1711 the word Dildo was considered funny.
One thing's for certain, though: Town residents do not want a change. They've been rejecting the efforts of politicians to rename the town since at least 1920.
It is physically possible to sneeze with your eyes open, and your eyeballs won't "pop out," as has been suggested on many playgrounds. Odds are that you can’t test this right now, though, even if you wanted to. The body does have an automatic blink response that occurs whenever most people sneeze, which helps protect the eyeballs from germs.
I'm starting to think that some of the information I received in Kindergarten wasn't exactly well researched...
Human birth control pills work on Gorillas. Our DNA is so genetically similar, their bodies produce similar responses to medications we designed for us. Be warned though: that is not an invitation to hit your nearest zoo with a pocket full of prescription drugs and a notepad. A) You're not a scientist. B) A full-grown gorilla will literally rip your face off.
All that being said... What we want to know is, who figures this stuff out?
1% of all women can achieve full orgasm simply by stimulating their breasts.
Remember, gentlemen, foreplay is important!
The Declaration of Independence wasn't written on the kind of paper you'd recognize. It was written on parchment... which, if you didn't know, is the prepared skin of a dead animal. The same goes for early copies of the Bible.
As far as we know, this is not an actual photo of the moment the document was signed. Disappointing...
All Swans in England are the property of the Queen. It's a holdover from days of yore, when eating a swan was considered a privilege worthy only of God's representative on Earth. These days, of course, things are a little different: although the Queen does not dine frequently on Buffalo Swan Wings (as far as we know), she does have an Official Keeper of the Swans. Which is a pretty great little resume booster for that guy or gal.
Anyway, remember all that next time you’re across the pond and thinking of sneaking up on a swan. The Queen is watching...
For the real factaholics, here are some awesome bonus facts:
My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.
Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.
Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.
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