So you’re at a gathering of people. What can you say when the conversation starts turning into awkward pauses? “So, uh, how about dem Yankees?” Eh, maybe give one of these little-known facts a try instead…

  1. The longest recorded flight of a chicken was 13 continuous seconds. But the furthest distance another flying chicken achieved was a little over 300 feet(90 meters). That’s more than the length of a football field!
  2. 10 billion ounces(283,495,231 kg) of ketchup are sold in the US every year. In miles, that’d be to Pluto and back! But I think Pluto’s more of a mustard guy.
  3. Speaking of ketchup, it didn’t always include tomatoes, but fermented fish. The original fish sauce was brought from China. Tomato was only added to it in 1812. In 1814, the British burned the White House. Maybe they preferred the fermented fish.
  4. The world’s largest alphabet is Cambodian, which has 74 letters. The smallest is the Rotokas alphabet, and it consists of just 12 letters. It’s spoken on Bougainville Island, part of Papua New Guinea.
  5. Cats can taste things we can’t, including a compound that supplies energy to every single one of our cells. Yet they lack the gene that allows them to taste sweet things.
  6. The finger-nails on your dominant hand grow faster. So if you’re a lefty, you might have to clip those ones more often! The middle finger-nail grows faster than any other because its bones are the longest. And some people just like to show it off.
  7. Over a lifetime, the average person will sweat enough to fill 100 bathtubs. Ew. If you haven’t lost your appetite over that one, you’ll also spend almost 4 years just eating and drinking.
  8. In just 30 minutes, our bodies can produce enough combined heat to boil ½ a gallon of water.
  9.  Penguins are the only birds that can’t fly, but they can swim. They spend 50% of their life in the water and the other half on land.
  10. You ever wondered why a goat’s pupils look so weird? The horizontal rectangular shape gives them a wider peripheral vision so that they can react faster to approaching danger. In fact, they have a 320° field of vision – you and I only have 120°. 
  11. Bees have a total of 5 eyes – 2 large ones on each side of their head and 3 smaller ones in the centre! Bees don’t sleep either, they just remain motionless to save energy.
  12. In the past, a chef’s toque (that’s those tall white hats they wear) had as many folds as recipes they’d mastered. For example, if they mastered 50 ways to cook an egg, then their hat would have 50 folds.
  13. An American newspaper once published a paper titled: “The unsuccessful self-treatment of a case of a writer’s block” – It had a total of zero words. I’d love to read that.
  14. Queen Elizabeth is a trained mechanic and a military truck driver. She is the only female member of the British royal family to have entered the armed forces. Don’t know about you, but I’d love to watch her change a tire. But she has people for that.
  15. There were 675 million book prints sold in the US last year, yet a large percentage of them will never be read. The habit of buying books and never opening them is called “Tsundoku” in Japanese.
  16. The most expensive book ever purchased cost over 30 million USD. It was Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex Leicester, and Bill Gates bought it. I wonder if he READ it, though?
  17.  Melbourne gave email addresses to 70,000 trees so that people could report updates on their condition. As it turned out, the trees’ inboxes were filled with love letters, jokes, and existential questions.
  18. The city of Portland was named using a coin flip in 1845. If the coin had landed on the other side, Portland would’ve been called Boston.
  19. Ever noticed that tiny hole on the lid of your hot takeaway cup? It’s there so that your beverage comes out of the cup smoothly and doesn’t splash erratically. Otherwise, it’d be like when you tip a gallon of milk too far, and the stuff starts coming out in sloshy heaps. The hole allows air to go through and prevents the lid from melting as well.
  20. Space has a distinct smell. It gets it from collapsing stars, and astronauts say it smells like hot metals and burnt steak.
  21. When astronaut Harrison Schmitt returned to his space ship, he started having an allergic reaction. As it turned out, he was allergic to moon dust.
  22. The University of Minnesota is older than the state itself. The institution was founded in 1851, but the state became official 7 years later.
  23. The body’s heaviest organ is the skin, which weighs around 4.5 kg, (10 lb). As for the heaviest organ INSIDE your body, that’d be your liver. It weighs a little over 1.3kg (3 lb). Yet our brain is the weirdest of them all since it’s 60% fat.
  24.  The Romans considered winter a month-less period. So, January and February were added to the calendar years later. February was originally the last month of the year - that’s why they gave it fewer days.
  25. Chewing gum was invented 300 years ago by the Mayans. Back then, they boiled the sap of a sapodilla tree and chewed it. Seemed like a good idea.
  26. The moon has no atmosphere and, therefore, no wind. That means the footprints of the Apollo astronauts will stay there for a million years. That reminds me…
  27. The word “astronaut” comes from the Greek “Astro” (star) and “nautes” (sailor). It’d be nice if someone said, “Hi, I’m Bob, a space sailor.”
  28. Because there isn’t any air or water in space, if you allow two pieces of the same metal to touch, they will connect permanently. That is called “cold welding.”
  29. A car-sized asteroid “hits” the Earth every year, but we don’t notice it since it burns up in the atmosphere before it reaches us. Phew!!!
  30. The University of Manchester found that 50% of dogs are left-pawed, while the other 50% are right-pawed. Which makes it odd, since 90% of humans are right-handed and the other half are left-handed. Did you catch that?
  31. A snake’s metabolism is so slow that many of them can eat just once a week. But some species like rattlesnakes and pythons can go up to 6 months without a meal. When they do eat, it takes their system 4 to 10 days to digest the food entirely since they swallow it whole.
  32. Hummingbirds, on the other hand, have the fastest metabolism in the world. They eat 7 calories a day and only weigh around 4 grams. If we had the same metabolism, we’d have to eat 150,000 calories a day.
  33. Polar bears spend half of their lives hunting, yet only 2% of their hunts are successful. That’s perseverance!
  34. There’s a type of fungus in the Amazon that feeds on plastic. While we’re on the subject…
  35.  5 recycled plastic bottles can create enough fibre to fill one ski jacket.
  36. You are mostly made up of space! If we were to remove all the space from all the atoms not only in your body but in every person on this planet, all 7.5 billion of us would fit into an apple! Ooh, let’s try that.
  37. The longest traffic jam spanned 62 miles. It happened in August of 2010 in China, and it lasted 10 days – the cars were moving less than a mile per day.
  38. There are so many tweets every day that if were to put them all together, we’d have a 10-million-page book. Full of, mostly nothing.
  39. The Woolly mammoth was around when the Egyptian Pyramids were built. It completely disappeared from the Arctic 3,700 years ago. Can I say the construction of the pyramids were a mammoth undertaking? No? okay.
  40. The word “Jurassic” comes from French, and it means “of the Jura Mountains” – they run along the border between Switzerland and France. So, I guess the T-Rex had a French accent?
  41. Marie Curie is the only person to have earned Nobel Prizes in two different sciences – physics and chemistry. Also, her lab’s doorknob, the backrest of her chair, and her notebooks will still be radioactive for another 1,500 years. 
  42. The first non-human to win an Oscar was Mickey mouse, yet the first non-human to gain rights was the Te Urewera forest in New Zealand.
  43. And since we blink about 16 times a minute, our eyes are closed for 10% of our waking hours. That’s about an hour and a half spent just on blinking! 

Now, go start a conversation with someone using these, and tell me about it in the comments! Hey, if you learned something new today, then share it with a friend! And here are some other cool articles I think you'll enjoy. Just click any of the following links. 


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