80 Fantastically Fun Facts For Kids That'll Make You Go "Huuuuuh?"
Looking for an absolutely huge amount of facts about pretty much every topic under the sun? Check out this bumper list of 80 fun facts for kids!
Are you in the mood to learn LOADS of fun facts about pretty much every topic ever? Then you're in the right place! Because we've compiled an absolute tonne of the most mind-blowing, head-scratchingly fun bits of trivia ever assembled in one place. We've got animal facts, history facts, music facts, gross facts, weird facts, silly facts, facts about the mysteries of life itself... and more. But not necessarily in that order.
So read on, fact fan! And maybe save this page so you can come back later - because there's a LOT here!
1. Mushrooms aren't plants
Let's start off science-y! Mushrooms are fungi - which is a totally different kingdom of life to plants. Fungi are their own thing, they're not animals or plants. But many fungi actually behave more like animals than plants - as they move around to find their own food and "breathe" in oxygen, and "breathe" out carbon dioxide. Weird!
2. The 4,000 year old fart joke
The oldest joke discovered (so far) was written on a Sumerian tablet in 1900BCE, and it's about bottom burps. You know - guffs, grunts, air biscuits, poots, etc. Farts! The joke goes - "Things that never happened since time immemorial - a wife did not fart in her husband's lap". Not sure we get it, but it's to do with farts so.... still funny. 4000 years on!
3. There's a tree that's wider than a supermarket
There's a tree in India that's so wide it takes up more room than the average Walmart store in the USA. The Great Banyan Tree is 250 years old and has a huge mass of aerial roots so it amost looks like an entire forest just on it's own. You can go visit it if you get yourself to Kolkata!
4. A greyhound could outrun a cheetah
Cheetahs may be the fastest land mammal, but they can't keep up their top speed for long. So whilst they'd win in a short sprint, a greyhound could outpace them in a long distance race! Greyhounds can keep up a speed of 35mph for a whopping 7 miles!
5. There are earthquakes on the moon
Guess what they're called? That's right - moonquakes! The moon is gradually cooling down, and as it does it's shrinking and wrinkling up like a raisin. As the layers move about they set off moonquakes, which can be as powerful as 5 on the Richter scale!
6. Pineapples "eat" meat
Well, kind of. Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain which naturally tenderises meat by breaking it down. So it works great as a meat tenderiser. The problem is it also starts to digest living meat if you give it enough time - which is why people in pineapple factories wear gloves! Because otherwise they'd get terrible pineapple skin sores. Gross!
7. T-Rexs are closer to us than Stegosaurus
Ok this one's pretty mind-blowing. We are closer in time to Tyrannosaurus Rex than the T-Rex was to Stegosaurus. There's 65 million years between us and T-Rex, and 85 million years between T-Rex and Stegosaurus. So it's not even close! Woooooooah.
8. Your tongue stops working when you fly
When you're flying in a plane the altitude, low pressure and dryness stops about 30% of your tastebuds from working properly. This really reduces how well you can taste things, especially sweet and salty food. So that's why aeroplane food tastes so bad!
9. Your nostrils take it in turns!
You can breathe through both nostrils - but one of them does most of the work. They then swap every few hours. This "nasal cycle" is controlled by the same part of your brain that does all the stuff you don't think about - like breathing and blinking. Very interesting!
10. Only two mammals like spicy food
So one of those mammals is us humans (mmmm lovely spicy food), and the other is the tiny tree shrew from South and South East Asia. This teensy little rodent can handle a lot of spice, thanks to a special gene it has. Chillies actually evolved so that animals wouldn't eat them - but whilst the tree shrew can blame it's genes, we have no excuse!
11. M&Ms stand for...
Wait for it... Mars and Murrie! That's just the surnames of the two blokes who set the company up in the 1940s. Were you expecting something more interesting? Sorry to disappoint - not all of these 80 fun facts can be as good as the T-Rex one! At least you know now though 🙂
12. Pigeons are really smart
Pigeons are no bird-brains! Pigeons are really good at finding their way around, and can even solve complicated puzzles. Pigeons can even tell the difference between a painting by Monet and a painting by Picasso! Some humans can't even do that! It just goes to show that having a small brain doesn't make you stupid. Intelligence is a much more complex thing than that!
13. "Toilet plumes" are a thing
Ok time for a gross one! When you flush the toilet with the lid up a plume of bacteria and water gets fired up into the air in a microscopic cloud. This includes droplets of bog water that land on surfaces nearby, but also tiny aerosol particles of... whatever was in the toilet. This can contain quite dangerous germs. Normally this isn't anything to worry about, but has been investigated as a way that tummy bugs get spread around on enclosed places like planes and cruise ships.
14. Space smells funny
According to astronauts, space has a very particular smell. When they come back in from a space walk they report their suits smelling like hot metal or burning steak - a bit like a vast, empty barbecue. Very weird! We don't currently know why it does, or if ALL of space smells like that or just the parts us humans have visited.
15. The hardest tongue twister is...
Ok the toughest tongue twister in the English language is this: "the sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick". AAARGH! Go on, give it a go! We have no idea how people work out which one is harder than others, but we certainly can't think of any harder than this one!
16. The biggest eyes in the world
Belong to the giant squid! Not much is known about these mysterious deep sea creatures, but the few that have been caught or found dead have all had absolutely huge eyes. The largest squid eye ever found was about the size of a dinner plate! Living in the deep darkness of the seas, squid need all the help they can get - and big eyes let them see a lot more.
17. Octopus have weird bodies
Like lots of sea animals, octopus have blue blood! This is because it's based on copper, instead of iron like ours. Octopus are famous for being super intelligent, about as smart as a 7 year old human. They're smart in a very different way to us though - they even have 9 brains! They've got a brain in each leg, and a doughnut shaped one in the head. Imagine how they must think? Spoiler - you can't!
18. Bananas are slightly radioactive
Bananas contain lots of potassium - which is one of the reasons why they're so good for us! But potassium is actually slightly radioactive - which means bananas are too! But don't worry, they're not dangerous and you would need to eat a SERIOUS amount of bananas for it to be dangerous. In fact, if you ate that many bananas the radiation would probably be the least of your problems!
19. Russia and the USA are only 2 miles away from each other
You might think the USA and Russia are on the other side of the world from each other, but because Russia is just so big, the far East of the country is really close to Alaska. At their closest point the most Eastern part of Russia and the most Western part of the US is only 2 miles apart!
20. Hippos can run faster than us!
Hippos can run much faster than you might think! They can sprint short distances at 30 km/ph - which is easily enough to outpace a human. In fact, steer well clear of charging hippos - they can be very aggressive and actually are responsible for more human deaths than any other mammal! That makes them technically more dangerous than lions and tigers!
21. Some fish cough!
They do this so they can clear the particles and bacteria out of their gills. Just like with humans, they have to take a quick break from breathing to do it. We wonder what it sounds like? Maybe a kind of wet blub!
22. The Earth isn't round
Well, it's almost round! And don't worry - we're not saying it's flat or anything silly like that. Earth is actually slightly bulged out around the Equator, so it's not totally, perfectly round like a sphere. This is just because of gravity!
23. Hawaiian pizza isn't Hawaiian
Putting delicious delicious pineapple on pizza wasn't first done in Hawaii. In fact, Hawaiian pizza was actually invented in Canada, by a Greek immigrant! And pizza itself is obviously Italian - so whilst it's a very international food, it's hardly Hawaiian. Sorry, Hawaiians!
24. The world's smallest nest
Belongs to a type of hummingbird! They're only the size of a walnut! Hummingbirds are very active during the day and need a safe place to sleep. They've even been caught snoring in their tiny nests, too! Cute!
25. Viking men dyed their hair and wore makeup
For the Vikings, blonde hair was thought of as very attractive, so Viking men used to dye their hair and beards blonde. They also wore charcoal eyeliner - partly because it helped keep the glare of the sun out of their eyes, but also because it looked pretty!
26. Dogs are way better than us at some things
So a dog is never going to write a novel or invent anything useful. But dogs senses are WAY better than ours! For a start, they can hear 10 times better than we can. But the real show-stopper is their sense of smell - which is an unbelievable 100,000 times better than ours!
27. Baby elephants don't suck their thumbs
Well obviously! They don't have thumbs! But they DO suck their trunks for comfort - like a human baby does! Like a human, baby elephants have a strong sucking reflex, which tells it how to suckle milk from it's mama. So sucking = comfort and safety. Makes sense!
28. Venus is REALLY hot
Venus is BY FAR the hottest planet in our solar system. Average temperatures on the surface are 450 degrees celsius! Water boils at 100 degrees, so just imagine what it must be like down there! As you can imagine, we're really not expecting to find any life down there. But then again... who knows?
29. There are more stars in the Universe than grains of sand on Earth
Scientists reckon there are a septilion stars in the Universe (which is way way more than just our Galaxy, the Milky Way). And this is really a guess because we will probably never know. So we're clear, a septillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars. That's way more than the measly 7 quintillion grains of sand on Earth!
30. But there are more trees on Earth than stars in the Milky Way
There's about 100-400 billion stars in our galaxy. This is a huge number and we don't really know exactly how many because it's such a difficult thing to work out. But we can guess that there are about 3 trillion trees on Earth - which is way more!
31. There's a planet made of Diamonds
The planet is called 55 Cancri e, and is twice the size of Earth and made of a mixture of diamonds and graphite. It's super hot there, and probably not a nice place to visit, even if you really wanted to grab some diamonds. Anyway, it's 40 light years from Earth so realistically we won't ever get there!
32. 12% of people can only dream in black and white
Generally these people grew up before color TVs became a thing. People under 25 usually dream in full colour, whilst people over 55 often dream in black and white. And 12% of people never dream in colour! In the 1940s, before colour TV, three quarters of Americans reported that they hardly ever saw colours in their dreams.
33. Losing things is a big waste of time
The average human being spends about two and half days per month looking for things they've lost! That's weeks and weeks of your life! How annoying is that? You can always write a list to keep organised... but what happens when you lose the list? AAARRRGGH!
34. Only female mosquitoes bite us
Male mosquitoes are actually vegetarian! They prefer drinking the sugar-rich juices from plants, and that gives them everything they need. Female mosquitos need protein to make eggs though, and animal blood is the perfect stuff!
35. You have a lot of veins
If you unwound all of your blood vessels - so that's your arteries, veins, capillaries, everthing - you could stretch them out 100,000 miles! That's enough to go round the Earth many times! Urrgh!
36. The Eiffel Tower grows every year
But it also shrinks! Because of heat, the Eiffel Tower expands in the summer, and shrinks back down again when the weather cools down. The Eiffel Tower is on average 15 cm taller in the summer than in the winter!
37. There are more people in California
Than in the whole of Canada! Woah! That's a lot of Californians! Or is that just not very many Canadians? Maybe both. California is so big though that they could probably be their own country - and some people are even arguing for that too!
38. Babies have more bones than adults
A baby is born with 300 bones, but over time many of these fuse together. As an adult, us humans have only 206 bones! Babies have quite different knees to adults, which is one reason why they can crawl around for so long!
39. The Mariana Trench is really deep
Like, REALLY deep. So deep that Mount Everest could fit comfortably inside it! And unlike Mount Everest which quite a few people have climbed up now, the Mariana Trench is almost totally unexplored. We know there are all kinds of weird animals down there, and there will be plenty more we sill haven't discovered!
40. You can't own just one guinea pig in Switzerland
In fact, it's illegal! Just having one guinea pig is considered animal abuse because they're social beings, and they get lonely. We think this is a good rule! Let's keep those guinea pigs happy!
41. Lemons have more sugar in than Strawberries!
Lemons actually have a lot more sugar than strawberries do! But they also have loads of citric acid (that's what makes lemons sour) - and this is what overpowers the sweetness. That's whay you've probably never noticed it!
42. The Continents are moving
The Earth's continents are all on tectonic plates, which move around on top of the Earth's molten core causing earthquakes and stuff like that. These plates move at roughly the same speed your fingernails grow! So you see how long your fingernails got last week? That's how much smaller the Atlantic ocean has got in the same time!
43. Mexico City is sinking
The capial of Mexico was originally built on a lake in the 1300s. The Aztecs then filled the lake in and built on top, and then when the Spanish invaded they built a new city on top of that. Now, residents get most of their water from what used to be the lake underneath - but drinking it all causes the city to sink about 3 feet a year!
44. There’s a Lake Within an Island on a Lake Within an Island
In the Philippines, you'll find Vulcan Point, an island within Main Crater Lake. Main Crater Lake is located on Volcano Island. Volcano Island is located in Lake Taal. Lake Taal is located on the island of Luzon. Did you follow all that?
45. Russia has 11 time zones
Russia is so big and has such a time difference, that some Russians wake up whilst other Russians are sitting down to eat their dinner. So a "good night" in one place could be a "good morning" somewhere else! Amazing!
46. Three Countries Are Landlocked by Just One Country
Lesotho has South Africa on all sides, and both San Marino and The Vatican are totally surrounded by Italy! There's no way out!l All three have their own histories though, and whilst it seems a bit silly it will make sense for someone to have it like this. Probably!
47. The Sargasso Sea Has No Coasts
This on'es a bit more confusing! The Sargasso Sea is a sea that's totally surrounded by ocean. So sealocked, if that's a word? (It isn't a word). The Sargasso sea is right in the middle of the Northern Atlantic and named after the type of seaweed that grows there.
48. Sudan Has More Ancient Pyramids Than Egypt
They might not be as big or as famous, but they're there! They're called the Nubian pyramids and they were built by the Kushite Kings, about a thousand years after the Egyptians. The Nubian pyramids also housed the tombs of the Kushite Kings, and are located on the banks of the Nile, further south.
49. The World's Largest Rock
Is in Australia... but it's not Ayers Rock! Ayers Rock is pretty big, but Mount Augustus is almost twice the size! It's not just a really big rock, it's also very old at a whopping 1.65 million years old. Having been around for so long it's an amazing habitat for animals and an important ecosystem.
50. Kentucky Has A Lot Of Caves
In fact, more than any other place on Earth! The Mammoth Cave system is 400 miles long, at least. 400 miles is just what we've explored though, and they guess there are another 200 miles left that nobody has ever visited. Spooky!
51. There is a language spoken by almost nobody
The Busuu language is spoken by eight people in the world! It’s the language of the Southern Bantoid of Cameroon. There were 8 speakers of the language in 1986 and only 3 in 2005 - so it's possible nobody speak it at all any more. This makes it a very endangered language, and unless more people start learning it right now, it might go extinct!
52. The Bible is the most translated book
Ok, this one isn't that surprising. The Bible has been translated into over 3,300 languages! But what's the second most translated? Well believe it or not, it's actually Pinoccio by Carlo Collodi! Pinocchio is only in about 260 languages though, so it's fair to say that the Bible is safe!
53. One country has more than 800 languages
And that country is Papua New Guinea! A country made up of lots of little islands and dense forests, these languages evolved over time alongside the various communities that live there. It currently has 841 languages, but many of these are endangered because not enough people speak them.
54. It also has the shortest alphabet!
One of those languages from Papua New also has the world's shortest alphabet! The language of Rotokas has only 11 known letters! The letters are written in Latin characters (like English), but there are just a lot less of them. Here's an example sentence - Osireitoarei avukava iava ururupavira toupasiveira. Which means "The old woman's eyes are shut."
55. And some languages don't even have an alphabet!
Chinese, Japanese and Korean don't have alphabets. They use characters instead, which work in a very different way to letters. Each character is a whole word, instead of each word being made out of letters. More complicated words might be made out of 2, 3, or 4 characters. Cool!
56. Chinese is the world's only ancient language
The roots of the Chinese language go back thousands of years! Ancient Chinese would certainly sound very different to how it does today, but it's history goes all the way back 6000 years... around the same time that Ancient Egyptians were writing with hieroglyphics! In fact, Chinese characters are pictograms - which means they still work in a similar way to hieroglyphics!
57. There aren’t “57 varieties” of Heinz ketchup
And there never were! The inventor, HJ Heinz, just thought it would be good to have a number on the bottle and he liked the sound of 57. And here's a pro ketchup tip - don't hit the bottom of glass bottles to make the ketchup come out, hit the side! It just works much better!
58. Sandwiches were named after their inventor
The Earl of Sandwich supposedly invented sandwiches, so he could eat his dinner wihout having to leave his gambling table! And so, sandwiches were named after him. Apparently. But we doubt that he was the first person to ever decide to put something in between two pieces of bread. Because surely that idea is as old as bread.... right? What do you think?
59. Peanuts aren't nuts!
They're technically a kind of legume - like peas or lentils! But they do have lots of protein in them like regular tree nuts, so you can kind of see why people think of them as nuts. They taste pretty nutty too! Just don't call them nuts in front of a legume expert!
60. What on Earth is "Backrub"?
Believe it or not, Backrub was what Google was originally going to be called! Thankfully they thought better of this idea and changed it to Google. The name we all know (and love?) is based on a googol - which is an absolutey huge number. It's a 10 with 100 zeroes after it - so no we won't try and write it down!
61. Bats are the only mammal that can fly
And they can even fly better than a lot of birds! Bats can reach speeds of 60 miles an hour! And they do loads of other cool things too, like organise creches to look after each other's young while they're out hunting. So there you go, bats - they're not just spooky villains in Vampire stories!
62. Cows don't really have 4 stomachs
It's really one big stomach with four different compartments. They need all this tummy power to digest grass, which is really tough to break down. During a cow's digestion they produce loads of methane in their farts! Which sounds funny but is actually a huge cause of global warming! Is that the only time farts aren't funny? Maybe!
63. Miss Piggy and Yoda
Nope, it's not the set up to a joke! You might not think these two characters have a lot in common, but they're both played by the same voice actor! Frank Oz is the puppeteer and voice behind both of them. Even more than this - he did most of the Muppets as well! Talented guy, he is!
64. The deadliest animal on Earth is tiny
The most dangerous animal on Earth isn't lions, tigers, or even hippos (see fact above). It's actually a tiny insect - the mosquito! This is because mosquitoes pass on malaria, dengue fever, zika, and loads of other horrible illnesses. Luckily there is lots of work going on to invent vaccines for these things! So good luck, scientists!
65. There are no muscles in your fingers
Honestly! It's true! We know everyone wants muscly fingers (right?) but the truth is that your fingers movements are controlled by muscles in the palm of your hand! The bones of your fingers are connected to the muscle with tough tendons.
66. A dog ate John Steinbeck’s homework
It's everyone's favourite excuse, but it really did happen to the famous American author John Steinbeck! Apparently his dog ate the first draft of his well-known book Of Mice and Men, which forced him to rewrite it all. The new version of the book ended up being a huge success so maybe he should be thanking his dog!
67. Kit Kats are recycled
Well not all of a Kit Kat! You know the layers of... chocolatey stuff between the layers of wafer? That's not just chocolately stuff, that's actually the ground up remains of any Kit Kats that got damaged in the production line!
68. The world's biggest Pizza was gluten free
More to the point, it was absolutely huge! The biggest pizza ever created was 13,580 square feet, made in Rome, Italy, in 2012. It was named “Ottavia” after a Roman emperor and earned a well-deserved spot in the Guinnes Book of World Records.
69. The Great Wall of China
Is actually pretty much impossible to see from space with the naked eye. The thing is, whilst it's really really long, it's very thin. You can see the mountains that it's built on, but if you didn't know it was there you almost certainly wouldn't spot. Sorry if that's ruined your trip to space!
70. The first footprints on the moon will be there a long time
NASA estimates they'll be there for at least a million years! This is because there's no wind to blow them away. It's hard to guess what might eventually get rid of them, but it would need to be something pretty major. And we probably won't be around to see it anyway!
71. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune
Are all gas giants, so we'll never be able to land on them. Because there's no land! They're just huge clouds of gas and vapour. We could land on some of Jupiters moons though - and could even ice skate in Europa because it's a totally frozen icy rock!
72. Play Doh was originally wallpaper cleaner
The squidgy toy was invented as a way of getting marks off of wallpaper, but the inventors soon found themselves struggling as people's heating habits changed. They realised they could dye the putty different colours and sell them as a kids toy! And so Play Doh was born!
73. The longest place name in the word is 85 letters long
It's a mountain in New Zealand called... wait for it... Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu! The name is a description of a legend connected to the mountain. Locals usually just call it Mount Taumata, though!
74. Once you pop
Pringles cans were designed by a man named Fred Bauer, who worked for the famous snack company. He was so proud of his invention that he said in his will that he wanted to be buried in one! And when he died his family respected his wishes and buried his ashes in one!
75. There are only 2 countries where you can't buy Coca Cola
And those two countries are Cuba and North Korea! This is because they've had long-running trade arguments with the USA who won't allow any of it's products to be sold there. North Korea has got around it by inventing it's own dark-coloured fizzy drink called Rongjin Cola. We'd love to know what it tastes like!
76. The Sahara Desert used to be a tropical rainforest
The Sahara has gome through a lot of changes! Around 8,000 years ago, the Sahara was a lush, tropical rainforest, as it had been over many points in it's history. It slowly starting drying out when weather patterns changed, which goes to show how dramatic changes in the climate can be. Ir's possible it'll turn back to grassland, and then back to forest one day!
77. Macchu Pichu is an earthquake-proof city
Earthquakes are common in the ancient Inca capital of Macchu Piccu, because it's built on fault lines. But unlike modern cities, Macchu Piccu has never been wiped out by Earthquakes in it's long history. This is because the Incas designed it with perfectly cut bricks that didn't need cement - so when an Earthquake hit they all might wiggle about a bit, but they slot back into the same place again! Very clever!
78. Ethiopia is 7 years behind
Ethiopia is a Christian country, but with a different set of religious traditions to those in Europe. They count the years since Jesus' birth differently, and so the Ethiopian calendar is 7 years behind our Gregorian one! So when it turned 2020 in Europe, it was only 2013 in Ethiopia!
79. Whale songs can be used to map out the ocean floor
Whales have really deep, booming voices - and they live to sing! Their deep songs travel long distances through the water and bounce off the sea bed. Scientists can use sonar and lots of fancy technology to listen to whale songs and work out how deep the ocean is, and what kinds of rocks might be down there. Thanks, whales!
80. Climate change is changing the colour of flowers
Phew - we've made it to the last one! Climate change is leading to more UV radiation from space, which is changing the colours of flowers down here on Earth. The changes are in the UV part of the spectrum, so we can't see the changes with our eyes. But insects can, and they pollinate the flowers - and we don't fully understand what effect this could have. So something we've created is having all kinds of unexpected effects. Bit of a scary one to finish this list off with!