1. The longest place name in the UK is…
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, a small town in Wales. If that wasn’t enough, scientists decided to make up an even longer name when they discovered a new type of bacteria in the soil of the town, which they named Myxococcus llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogochensis. Thanks, science!
2. Mushrooms aren’t plants
They’re fungi, which are actually more like animals than plants. That’s right, a mushroom has more in common with you than it does a banana or a potato. They’re not really animals or plants though, so if you’re veggie you can still eat them!
3. The Statue of Liberty has size 879 shoes!
Sounds about right for someone 305 feet tall!
4. How cheesy is hip hop?
A Swiss cheese maker is doing an experiment to see if playing music to cheese helps improve it’s flavour. They played Mozart, hip hop and rock to different cheeses as they aged, and found that the music did indeed made the cheese taste better. Out of all of them, hip hop seemed to give the cheese the strongest flavours.
5. Armadillo shells are bulletproof!
One man from Texas had to go to hospital after he shot at one, and the bullet bounced back and hit him in the jaw. He was fine in the end, but serves him right for shooting at things!
6. There are earthquakes on the moon!
They’re less common and less powerful than the quakes on Earth, and they’re called…wait for it… moon quakes!
7. Humans are the only animals that blush
Blushing might seem like an embarassing thing to do, but scientists reckon it’s a useful way to create relationships in our complicated human world. No other animal does it!
8. Firefighters have extra wet water
Fire brigades have “wetting agents” – which are chemicals that can make water seem wetter, and better for putting out certain types of fire.
9. In the 1400s…
The word “fizzle” meant a fart.
10. A baby puffin is called…
A puffling! Maybe pufflett and puffball were taken?
11. There’s a frog that can hold it’s wee in for a really long time
Alaskan wood frogs can hold their wee in for up to 8 months – and the wee actually helps them survive the winter, as their bodies “recycle” it during hibernation.
12. No number before 1,000 contains the letter A
That’s right, there’s no letter A in one, two, three, four….all the way up to one thousAnd. Go on, count to 1000 to prove us wrong!
13. It’s raining fish!
When tornadoes pass over water, they suck it up in big spouts. Very occasionally they also suck up fish and dump them somewhere else – sometimes miles inland! There have been lots of reports over the years of hundreds of fish suddenly dropping out the air during storms. Cats and dogs are yet be spotted, however.
14. In a right pickle!
In the US state of Connecticut, it’s illegal to sell pickles that don’t bounce. The law was written in 1945 to stop a couple of local men selling dodgy pickles, and has stayed on the books ever since!
15. Crows are super smart!
Crows are on average as smart as a seven year old child. GASP! They can use tools, remember people’s faces, solve puzzles, and even have regional accents. In fact scientists think they’re the smartest animals after primates – putting them well ahead of dogs and dolphins!
16. Sharks are older than trees!
Sharks have existed for about 450 million years in one form or another, whilst trees have only been about for a measly 350 million years! Whipper snappers!
17. Forks were once very rude
When forks were first brought to Europe about 1000 years ago, they were very unpopular and even seen as the work of the Devil. You see, God had given us hands to eat with – so using a fork was insulting His Holy creation. Apparently.
Dr Suess’ name isn’t meant to be pronounced Dr Soose – it’s actually said Dr Soice – so it rhymes with voice.
Well, there you go.
19. The Eiffel Tower is growing
…And shrinking, too! The heat from the summer sun makes the Eiffel tower expand 6 inches every year, and then the cold winter weather makes it shrink back again.
20. Newborn babies have no kneecaps!
Well, they sort of do – but they’re made out of a softer stuff called cartilage. It takes between 3 and 5 years for this stuff to harden into the kneecaps we have for the rest of our lives.
21. Frankenstein’s monster was veggie
In the original book by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein’s monster says he would never harm another animal, and that acorns and berries are enough food for him. What a nice guy!
22. Tinned Guam
The tiny Pacific island of Guam eats more SPAM than anywhere else in the world. On average, everyone in Guam in 16 cans of SPAM each – every year! SPAMtastic!
23. Monowi, Nebraska
…Is the name of a village in the USA with only 1 resident! 84 year old Elsie EIler is the town’s Mayor, librarian and bartender. She even pays herself taxes!
24. The Queen has two birthdays!
She has her real birthday in April, and then an official birthday in June. The tradition was started by King George II, whose birthday was in November – he just wanted a birthday party in warmer weather!
25. The King of pigeon poo
On the subject of English Royalty – King George I decreed that all pigeon poo in the Kingdom belonged to him. It wasn’t because he particularly liked pigeons, but because it could be used to make gunpowder!
26. Mold juice
Penicillin – one of the most important antibiotic medicines – comes from mold. In fact, before it’s inventor came up with the name “Penicillin”, he just called it “mold juice”. Gross!
27. Tennis balls should be kept cool
But not too cool! In fact – exactly 20 degrees C. Temperature affects the ways things bounce, and the boffins at Wimbledon have decided that 20 degrees is the best temperature for a good game of tennis. So now you know.
28. Chef’s hats
The 100 folds in a chef’s hat are supposed to represent the 100 ways to cook an egg. Fried, scrambled, boiled, poached, omelette… OK how many was that? Does pickled count?
29. The Queen is a trained mechanic
She learnt how to fix cars as a teenager during the War!
30. In Japan, it’s good luck for a Sumo wrestler to make your baby cry
The same thing is probably bad luck in other parts of the world!
31. What does space smell like?
Well, space is a vacuum so it doesn’t really smell like anything – but astronauts have reported that when they come back from a space walk, their space suits smell like burnt metal or overcooked steak. Weird!
32. Bubbles keep your bath warmer!
The little pockets of air insulate the bath water and keep it hotter for longer. A fur coat might work too but it definitely wouldn’t be as nice.
33. The inventor of the Pringles can…
Was a man named Frederic Bauer. When he died in 2008 he was cremated and his ashes were buried in one!
The scintific word for brainfreeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. Try saying that with a mouth full of ice cream!
35. A group of pugs is called a grumble!
36. Queen Cleopatra’s reign…
Was closer to today than it was to the Great Pyramids being built! Cleopatra died about 2000 years ago, and the Pyramids were built 2500 years before she was born. Ancient Egypt was going for a really long time!
39. Another Ancient Egypt fact!
Cor! There are loads of Egypt facts in this list!
Anyway, Pharoahs used to have a servant covered in honey nearby so that flies would be attracted to them instead. Un-bee-lievable!
38. Wild elephants only sleep 2 hours a night!
This is so they can stay alert to danger. Elephants in zoos on the other hand, sleep for a leisurely 4 hours a night!
39. China owns all the pandas in the world
But they do rent them out to zoos in other countries – for about $1 million a year!
40. Tug of War used to be an Olympic sport
But it was only held between 1900 and 1920. Let’s bring it back!
41. Rubber bands last longer if you keep them in the fridge
Do what you will with this information.
42. A mobile phone can have 10 times more bacteria on it…
…Than a toilet seat! Gross!
43. The speed of farts
…Is about 7 miles an hour. On average.
44. Heavy cream isn’t heavier than normal cream
The word heavy in cream is to do with the amount of fat, not the weight. Skimmed milk is actually the heaviest type of milk because it has the least fat in it.
45. Hippo milk is pink!
46. Roman Emperor Caligula made his horse a Senator!
And that wasn’t even the weirdest thing he did!
47. The current US flag was designed by a 17-year old
Robert Heft submitted the 50-star design as a science project and it got a B! It was submitted to President EIsenhower as part of a competition, and it won! The teacher agreed to change his mark to an A after that. Nice.
48. The Pope hated cats!
Well, Gregory IV did, anyway. He thought they were servants of the devil, and ordered they all be killed. This (obviously) turned out to be a really bad idea a few years later, when the bubonic plague spread through Europe carried by rats. Doh!
49. The largest organism on Earth is a fungus
That’s right – not a whale or a massive tree, but a giant honey fungus that lives under a forest in the USA. It’s 3,700 metres square and probably about 8,000 years old. That’s one humungous fungus!
50. Pepsi once had the sixth biggest army in the world
In the 1970s, Pepsi Cola made a deal with the Soviet Union to swap three billion dollars worth of Pepsi for miltary equipment – instead of money. The USSR gave Pepsi 17 submarines, a cruiser, a frigate, and a destroyer – which technically made Pepsi the 6th biggest army in the world, until Pepsi sold the ships on for scrap metal!