10 min read

Wacky Random Facts You’ll Never Believe!

Can your tongue actually get stuck to a light pole in the winter? Are humans really taller in outer space? Can you seriously heal a cut with sugar? If you’re into random, strange facts in these areas of science, history--or just plain fun --you’ve come to the right place!

Read on for 50 of our top favorite interesting facts to find out how much random info you already know!

1. You can't hum more than a note or two while plugging your nose with your mouth closed. Air needs to flow over your vocal cords to produce sound. When your nose is plugged and your mouth is closed, the air can't escape!

2. The average person spends 38.5 days brushing their teeth over their lifetime – and every minute is worth it, so you don’t spend more time than that getting cavities filled!

3. Rabbits and parrots see behind themselves without even turning their heads. Because both are prey animals, the placement of their eyes and nearly panoramic vision helps them to see their predators early on and escape when they are being chased.

4. The Avengers aren’t just a fictitious group of beloved superheroes. There was an actual group called the Avengers during the time following World War II. They were Jewish assassins who searched for Nazi war criminals and are known for having poisoned over 2,000 German prisoners of war.

5. When humans are in outer space, they briefly get “taller” as an effect of having no gravity.

6. The world’s smallest reptile was documented in January of 2021. The Brookesia nana of northern Madagascar measures 28.9 millimeters long.

7. The shortest war in history was between Zanzibar and Britain, which officially lasted a total of 38 minutes. It was called the Anglo-Zanzibar War and took place on August 27, 1896. The British won. Curious as to why it was fought in the first place? The war came about in regard to the next Sultan rising to power in Zanzibar. The British preferred a candidate more favorable to their interests in the region.

8. Want to make that cut heal faster? Put a little sugar on it before wrapping it in a bandaid. This lets the sugar crystals help out the body by absorbing the moisture that bacteria would normally consume.

9. Tablecloths were once used as one giant group napkin. During the Renaissance period, people would wipe their hands and face on the edges of the tablecloth after dining, rather than each individual having their own napkin like we do today.

10. The highest number of births in the world occur on Thursdays. The fewest occur on weekend days in December.

11. It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open. This is due to an involuntary reflex, like a message sent to our muscles from our brain, possibly to protect our eyes from allergens.

12. The heads on Easter Island also have full bodies attached. While only their heads can be seen above the surface of the grass, their lower bodies can be dug up all the way down to the torso.

13. In Britain and Ireland during the 19th century, long before we could set alarm clocks, timers, or use the alarms on our phones, there used to be people called “knocker-uppers” who would literally go around to people’s doors and windows and wake them up so they could be ready for work on time.

14. Outer space smells like a combination of burnt meat, barbecue, welding fumes, and diesel fuel. Scientists believe this is due to the high number of stars dying in our galaxy.

15. The “M” in “M&M’s” stands for “Mars” and “Murrie”. Those were the names of the men who invented them, Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie. These two names would later become just one -- Mars -- as Murrie was bought out of his shares by Mars for only a fraction of what the business would soon become worth. The idea for M&M’s came from rations given to soldiers during the Spanish Civil War.

16. Children’s book writer Roald Dahl was a WWII spy and fighter pilot in the British Royal Air Force before becoming an author. An emergency crash landing that he had to make later became the subject of his first attempt at writing, which was an article for the Saturday Evening Post called ‘Shot Down Over Libya’. After that, he wrote his first children’s book, The Gremlins, in 1943 followed by many others, including The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

17. In 1833, a man named William F. Berry joined together with none other than our own Abraham Lincoln, who was a licensed bartender at the time, to open up a bar called Berry & Lincoln. Sadly, the bar closed as a result of Berry’s alcoholism.

18. Cap’n Crunch (of breakfast cereal fame) has come under fire. Turns out his name isn’t actually Cap’n Crunch after all. Truth is, his full given name is Horatio Magellan Crunch. (He was named after the world-renowned Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan.) But he’s not really a captain. According to the three bars on his U.S. Navy uniform, he’s a commander -- which is exactly one rank lower than a captain. Furthermore, the company was once sued for not using real berries (apparently “crunch berries” were a real thing in some folks’ minds). The judge dismissed the case, however, pointing out the fact that “crunch berries” are indeed *not* a real thing.

19. The massive Stegosaurus dinosaur averaged out to be around 30 feet long -- but its brain was only the size of a walnut.

20. If you’re ever in the southern hemisphere, you might catch a glimpse of the Aurora Australis, a sister phenomenon to our northern hemisphere’s northern lights, or the Aurora Borealis. Rumour has it they are both astoundingly beautiful.

21. Nearly 15 years before the heart-wrenching 1912 sinking of the Titanic luxury steamship, a story called The Wreck of the Titan was written by an author named Morgan Robertson. Robertson’s tale was about a very large ship, said to be ‘unsinkable’, named “the Titan”. The Titan hit an iceberg in the Northern Atlantic, started to sink, and was found to not have enough lifeboats for the numerous passengers to survive. Sound familiar?

22. Have you ever wondered if you could actually get your tongue stuck to a frozen light pole like that scene in A Christmas Story? Turns out, according to LiveScience, you can. This occurs because your tongue is wet, or more accurately ‘moist’, meaning it starts freezing when temps drop below the freezing point -- at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Frank J. DiSalvo of Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future says, “As your tongue touches the flagpole, the moisture on your tongue is robbed of heat. The temperature of the moisture drops. Water freezes inside tiny pores and surface irregularities on your tongue and the pole. You're stuck.”

23. The apples in your supermarket can be up to ten months or even a year old. Yep! According to Reader’s Digest, the apples you see in your favorite store today may have been kept refrigerated after having been picked last fall, treated with chemicals, laden with wax, then dried with warm air.

24. Did you know that the nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb is based on a true story? Turns out that back in 1806, a young girl named Mary Sawyer used to walk to school at the Redstone Schoolhouse (shown above) in Sterling Massachusetts every day. One day, a lamb did actually follow her to school, and indeed bonded closely with Mary and would follow her everywhere. Why did this happen? Mary had insisted on keeping the lamb alive when its mother rejected it for its frailty on the family’s farm. She brought it with her to school one day after her brother coaxed her into it -- and the lamb let out a loud bleat in the middle of class, causing the students to laugh and the teacher to insist the lamb be put outside until Mary could take it back home at lunchtime. Read more about the story here.

25. The letter ‘E’ is the most common letter in the English alphabet and is used in 11 percent of all English words. Following ‘E’ in popularity is the letter ‘A’, with the least popular letter being ‘Q', which are used in 8.5 and 0.2 percent of all English words. Try writing a few paragraphs and see how many of each letter you end up writing!

26. Butterflies taste their food by standing on it. Their taste sensors are on their feet, so after standing on their food to give it a taste, they lower down their long proboscis “tongues” to lap up their dinner (if it tastes right, that is).

27. The Amazon rainforest produces 20% of the Earth’s oxygen. Most living organisms on the planet need oxygen to breathe, giving off carbon dioxide as part of the process. Plants give off oxygen through photosynthesis, essentially doing the opposite (absorbing carbon dioxide and making oxygen). Often referred to as ‘the lungs of the earth’, the Amazon rainforest’s 2.1 million square miles does a great deal of this for us - up to 20% of it, in fact -- not to mention providing up to 15% of the world’s freshwater.

28. Athletes in the Ancient Olympics did things a bit differently...they competed naked! Before you shake your head in disbelief, hear us out - they did it because they felt it would bring them closer to the gods they worshipped, and they believed it helped detoxify their bodies via sweating through the skin. Who knew? (P.S. Don’t try this at home. Or anywhere else either. Thanks!)

29. Turns out it isn’t all just folk stories. Johnny Appleseed was, in fact, a real person! Sources share that Johnny’s given name was actually Ron Chapman and he grew up in the town of Leominster, Massachusetts. What’s even more interesting? His apples were not for eating -- they were ideal for making hard cider, a far more lucrative practice at the time (until Prohibition hit, that is, which eventually killed most of his trees). You can see what’s left of his very last tree (pictured above) in a town called Savannah, Ohio, on the grounds of a family farm.

30. Some bees sting each other. We all know that awful pain. It’s summertime, you’ve been running through the yard barefoot again and sure enough -- you stepped on a bee. Oh boy, does it hurt! But are humans and animals the only creatures that can get stung like this? Turns out some bees will actually sting each other. Marianne Peso of Macquarie University has studied the matter and explains, “In protecting their hives from outsiders, some "guard bees" will stay by the entrance and sniff the bees that come in. If there's a rogue bee from another hive trying to steal some nectar, the guard bee will bite and even sting the intruder.”

31. When a black hole consumes a star, it looks like this.

The process is explained by Johns Hopkins University researcher Suvi Gezari, "As the star gets sucked up into the black hole, a huge jet of plasma is burped out, spanning hundreds of light-years. When the star is ripped apart by the gravitational forces of the black hole, some part of the star's remains falls into the black hole, while the rest is ejected at high speeds.”

32. Ketchup used to be sold as a medicine. Back in the 1830s, it was sold as a remedy for indigestion by a physician from Ohio named John Cook. It wasn’t used widely as a condiment until the late 1800s.

33. The night Abraham Lincoln was shot and killed at Washington D.C.’s Ford Theater, he actually had a bodyguard on duty. Sadly, the bodyguard who was named John Frederick Parker wasn’t the best. He arrived 3 hours late for the job, then left the president without protection while he enjoyed a drink next door at the Star Saloon. During the time he was at the Saloon, John Wilkes Booth snuck into where President Lincoln was sitting at the theater and killed him.

34. The biggest set of eyes in the world belong to the giant squid. They are the size of soccer balls at approximately 9.84 inches across.

35. Penguins are said to be unable to fly but yet they can swim incredibly fast -- up to 35 mph to be exact!

36. Richard Nixon could play five instruments: the piano, the accordion, saxophone, clarinet, and the violin - but he could not read music. He once played Happy Birthday on the White House piano for Duke Ellington. He also played Wild Irish Rose in honor of his wife at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and he met his wife at a community theater when they both tried out for a musical play.

37. Not only do human beings have unique fingerprints and DNA -- we also each have a completely unique tongue print. Do you know another creature that has totally unique fingerprints besides humans? Koalas! Each dog and cat nose print is different, too.

38. Long before technology like Photoshop, Joseph Stalin used to have people he disliked removed from photographs with him (as shown below) -- which wasn’t unusual for powerful folks in the Soviet Union -- and had himself added to other photos he wanted to be in like the second one with Lenin below.

39. Iceland is the only country in the world that doesn’t have mosquitoes. Scientists say the country’s oceanic climate keeps them away.

40. Crows can recognize human faces -- and they may remember them for up to five years or longer, maybe even their entire lives. They may warn their friends about certain folks, too.

41. The United States Supreme Court building has a basketball court on the top floor. The name of it? “The highest court in the land!”

42. Mickey Mouse’s favorite female rodent’s name is not Minnie -- it’s Minerva. Minnie is just a nickname.

43. Broccoli contains more protein than many kinds of meat -- including steak!

44. If uncoiled, the DNA in all the cells in your body would stretch out to be around 10B miles long – enough to go from Earth to Pluto and back!

45. SPAM (the processed meat you can buy in a tin) is actually short for “Spiced Ham.”

46. If you’re in outer space, you can’t burp. There’s no gravity, which is necessary to separate solids, liquids, and gases -- so you’d just throw up instead of burping.

47. By simply eating prey with seeds in their bellies, cougars do their part (via spreading scat) to plant up to 94,000 plants annually.

48. Dolly Parton once entered a Dolly Parton look-alike contest without revealing her true identity -- and lost.

49. All the swans in England and Wales belong to the Queen. This is according to a British law, which was written in medieval times. There is also a ritual performed every July during which all the swans in the River Thames are counted for the Queen which is called “Swan Upping.”

50. If you drive down Route 66 between Albuquerque and Tijeras New Mexico at 45 mph, you will notice the sound of the grooves in the road playing the song ‘America the Beautiful.’ This occurs due to the arrangement of grooves laid down, similar to rumble strips, and their distinct vibrations on the wheels of your car.

At Jungle Roots Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics, we strive to provide the highest comprehensive pediatric and orthodontic dental care in a unique, fun-filled environment staffed by a team of caring, energetic professionals. We believe the establishment of a “dental home” at an early age is the key to a lifetime of positive visits to the dentist.

Call Us - (480) 759-1119

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