The world we live in is full of amazing facts you never knew.
Some of these facts are common knowledge, like never eating yellow snow, whilst some are rather unknown knowledge, like the fact that cheetahs love the smell of Calvin Klein.
Today we make these unknown facts, known! Hopefully you’re ready to retain some knowledge because we’ve got a treat for you today!
So grab a drink, sit back, relax and enjoy these 100 utterly amazing facts you never knew!
Oranges were originally green.
The first oranges ever imported from to the West were from Southeast Asia and were tangerine-pomelo hybrids that were green in color.
In fact, oranges grown in warmer parts of the world such as Vietnam and Thailand stay green throughout their lifetime.
Going to work is more dangerous than going to war.
Statistically, you are three times more likely to die travelling to or from work than you are if you were to be shipped out to a war these days.
Russia has more surface area than Pluto.
With 6,601,668 square miles of land mass, Russia beats Pluto’s 6,427,805 square miles of surface area, and dwarfs the world’s second biggest country, Canada, which has a land mass of 3,855,103 square miles.
You can fire an arrow around an object to hit a target.
Both English and Arabic historic sources have mentioned skilled archers curving arrows around objects.
It has become a practice among some modern-day archers who have proved it can be done.
In fact, an arrow can even be fired with a 180 degree curve to hit an object on the other side of a wall – amazing right?!
There is no specific time zone at the South Pole.
This is because all the longitude lines on the planet meet up there (because the planet isn’t flat, yo).
The stations on the South Pole use the time zone of the country that owns them, meaning two stations near each other could be using two different time zones.
The first ever 3D film was released in cinemas in 1922.
Released in September of that year, The Power of Love was a silent film and was released in cinemas worldwide.
It even came with alternative ending that was decided by closing one eye or the other!
Sadly, the film is lost and hasn’t been found for decades!
Sandra Bullock was almost “Neo” in The Matrix.
The film’s producers had such a hard time finding the right man for the role before they found Keanu Reeves that they almost changed Neo to a female character.
Surfer slang “hang ten” means having all 10 toes over your board’s edge when riding a wave.
This is a move that can usually only be done on a heavy longboard.
There was a type of Pterodactyl with a bigger wingspan than a fighter jet.
The remarkable beast’s remains were dug up in Romania.
Standing as tall as a giraffe, it’s believed the flying reptile would have weighed about half a ton.
With a wingspan of 39 foot, it would have been bigger than the roughly 33-foot wingspan of an F16 fighter jet.
Scientists genetically modified goats to spin spider silk from their udders.
US Professor Randy Lewis transplanted a gene into the goats from a spider that allows the goats to produce milk containing an extra protein.
This is then extracted from the goat milk and spun into spider silk thread.
The Burj Khalifa is so tall you can see two sunsets from it in one day.
You can see the sunset happen at ground level, and then if you get the elevator all the way up the building you can see it set again from the top.
The British Queen’s handbag is a body language communication device.
It is used by her to relay secret and silent messages to her staff.
For example, if she is finished speaking to a guest she will move it from one arm to another and her aides will politely end the conversation, or if she wants to abruptly end a conversation she will put her bag on the ground.
There is a spacecraft graveyard in the South Pacific Ocean.
Known as “Point Nemo”, it is the furthest place on the Earth from land.
It is home to over 300 spacecraft and associated space debris, including the MIR space station, the first ever object assembled in planetary orbit by Russian cosmonauts.
Broccoli is a “man-made” food.
So human’s just engineered broccoli out of nowhere? Nope.
Well, not exactly.
Broccoli only came about after years and years of selective breeding between wild cabbage plants that started around the 6th century BC.
In fact, the word “broccoli” comes from the Italian for “the flowering crest of a cabbage”.
High heels were originally men’s shoes.
High heels came into circulation on the shoe circuit in roughly 10 BC.
They were worn by men of the Persian Cavalry to help their boots stay in their stirrups when riding horses.
Bowler Hats were originally invented as safety hats.
Bowler Hats were designed by London hatters Thomas and William Bowler (hence the name).
The hat was invented to keep horse riders’ heads safe from branches and other obstacles.
“OMG” was first used in writing in 1917.
Although people might have said it before then, the popular acronym for “Oh My God” was first used in writing in a letter to Winston Churchill in 1917.
It was used by John Arbuthnot Fisher, a retired Admiral of the British Navy, who said in his letter “I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis, O.M.G. (Oh! My God!)”.
There is a smoke alarm for the deaf.
Invented by a team of Japanese scientists and engineers, this lifesaving device works by spraying vaporized wasabi into the air, which notifies deaf people of a fire – it will even wake them up if they’re sleeping!
This invention won one of the IG Nobel Prizes in 2011, a spoof of the Nobel Prizes, for inventions that “first make people laugh, and then make them think”.
Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios aren’t nuts.
They’re classed as seeds, because a nut is defined as “a hard-shelled dry fruit or seed with a separable rind or shell and interior kernel”.
Armadillos have shells so hard they can deflect a bullet.
One poor Texan man learned this the hard way when he shot at an armadillo only to have the bullet ricochet off the indestructible beast, and back at him into his jaw! The man was airlifted to hospital.
Amazingly, the armadillo just walked off unscathed.
Only a quarter of the Sahara Desert is sandy.
Most of this gargantuan desert is covered in gravel, although it also has its own mountain ranges and oases.
Also, it isn’t the world’s largest desert, because…
Antarctica is the world’s largest desert.
The Antarctic Polar Desert covers the Antarctica continent and covers roughly 5.5 million square miles.
The Sahara Desert covers roughly 3.6 million square miles.
In 1960, a cow was killed by a chunk of falling U.S. satellite in Cuba.
This was during a time where tensions between Havana and Washington were at their highest.
So the Cubans decided to make the best out of a bad situation and had a good laugh at their American neighbors.
They paraded a cow through the Cuban streets with a sign on it that said “Eisenhower, you murdered one of my sisters!”
Your nose and ears never stop growing.
They are the only two parts of your body that keep growing when all your other features’ growth comes to an end.
In the 1950s, half of the world’s CDs were made for AOL sign-up discs.
For you young ‘uns out there this fact is going to blow your mind – you had to use a disc to sign up to an internet provider!
The world wasn’t always full of all 5G’s just knocking about in the planetary ether – hell, back then I think 3G would’ve been mind-blowing enough, let alone not having to use a disc to sign up to the internet!
The Eiffel Tower “grows” in the summer.
Due to the heat expansion of the tower’s iron in the summer sun, the Eiffel Tower’s height can grow by up to 6 inches!
Bees can fly higher than Mount Everest!
Bees can fly at levels up to 29,525 feet above sea level – higher than the planet’s tallest Mountain!
Until 2015, it was illegal to dance in Japan after midnight.
This was a law introduced in 1948 to crack down on dance halls that acted as fronts for illicit activities and it was only revoked in 2015.
In 1997 a cargo ship lost 4.8 million Lego bits in a storm. They are still washing up today.
The container ship Tokio Express was hauling cargo across stormy seas on February the 13th, when a rogue wave crashed over the decks and caused some of her cargo to become loose and wash overboard.
One such container contained a shipment of Lego including octopuses, dragons, flippers and flowers.
These pieces are often found on the beaches of Cornwall in the UK, whenever there’s a particularly bad storm.
In Tokyo, Japan, there is a hedgehog cafe.
You can go to this establishment and pay 1,000 Yen to go in, have a cappuccino and play with and cuddle some amazing hedgehogs!
Just be careful when you’re cuddling them because they aren’t exactly soft and fluffy!
The smallest dinosaur ever discovered is only 16 inches long.
Discovered in China, the Microraptor is one of the most recent dinosaur discoveries and is the smallest ever found.
Most of the specimens that have been found have also been fully grown, so the baby Microraptors would have been even smaller!
In England, pigeon poop is property of the Crown.
This is because pigeon poop could be used to make gunpowder.
Because of this, King George I declared all pigeon poop to be property of the Crown in the 18th Century.
The letter ‘E’ is the most common letter in the English language.
It appears in roughly 11% of all words used in the English language, and is used 12 times in this very sentence alone!
New Zealand is actually part of a much bigger, sunken landmass.
Dubbed Zealandia, it was only discovered after humans had traveled to space as they were able to easily see it from above the Earth.
Some scientists believe it should be formally recognized as the world’s 8th continent.
A female Gladiator was called a Gladiatrix.
Gladiatrices (plural term there peeps) were much the same as their male counterparts and would fight each other for the glory of their masters and the entertainment of the crowds.
However, for some reason, very little history or knowledge of them survived – save for a few accounts written by members of Rome’s elite.
Koalas have unique fingerprints.
So do chimpanzees and gorillas.
However koala fingerprints are so similar to human fingerprints that even the most seasoned forensic scientists would have a hard time telling a koala fingerprint from a human one.
In China, the police use geese as sentries.
In many parts of rural China, police have opted to use geese as police animals as they are highly alert and capable of making lots of noise.
Also “police geese” sounds cooler than “police dogs”.
There are sharks which can live for up to 500 years.
Greenland Sharks have the longest known lifespan of all vertebrate animals.
Bonus fact: They don’t even reach sexual maturity until they are roughly 150 years old!
A man survived being hit by a car and thrown 118 feet.
Off-duty paramedic Matthew McKnight was hit by a car travelling 70 miles per hour and was catapulted 118 feet!
He suffered some fairly serious injuries but amazingly managed to recover.
He now holds the Guinness World Record for furthest distance thrown by a car!
Natural bananas contain seeds inside of them.
The reason your store-bought bananas are nice, soft and seed free is because they have been specially bred over generations so that they do not form mature seeds.
The most common banana, the Cavendish, traces its selectively-bred lineage all the way back to 1834!
In Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro you can legally vote at 16.
However, that’s only if you’re employed.
If you’re unemployed, then the minimum voting age is 18, much like the rest of the world.
All astronauts going to the International Space Station have to learn how to speak Russian.
This is because astronauts traveling to the ISS must hitch a ride with Russian cosmonauts, and the controls of their Soyuz spacecraft are in Russian.
The first British astronaut to go to the ISS, Commander Tim Peake said “Learning Russian has been the single most difficult aspect of my training”!
Sharks are older than trees.
Sharks have been about on this planet for roughly 400 million years, which is about 50 million years longer than trees!
Belgium once tried using cats to deliver mail.
In the 1870s, the town of Liège came up with the idea of employing felines as their new mail couriers.
The mail was loaded into waterproof bags that were tied around the kitties’ little collars and they were sent to their destination.
However, this was quickly dropped as the cats proved slower and more unreliable than human post couriers. Go figure.
In China, ghost marriages are illegal.
Alright, you had me at “ghost marriages” but what exactly is that?
Well, it’s when recently deceased women and men are matched up and ritually married by their respective families to ensure they aren’t lonely in the afterlife.
It’s kind of like those Cher lyrics, just the other way around. Do you believe in love after life?
There is a fictitious Athlete Hall of Fame.
It was formed in 2013 and some of the inductees include Rocky Balboa, Mr. Miyagi and Happy Gilmore.
Scientists in California created a machine to harness power from snowfall.
The machine worked by using negatively charged silicone to catch positively charged snowflakes, which created a static electric effect that was then harvested.
Impressive, yes, but a little fruitless in California right?
An ant can’t die from falling.
Because of their incredibly small weight and rock-hard exoskeleton, an ant’s terminal velocity isn’t enough to kill or harm it upon impact.
Simply put, they could survive being dropped from heights like the Empire State Building and walk away unscathed.
People spend roughly 13% of their lives zoned out.
It happens to us all, according to a study from 2005.
One minute you’re living life and you’re on the ball, then next moment… wait, what was I doing? Oh well, whatever, never mind. I’ll just read some amazing facts instead…
According to the same study, this figure can increase to 26% when you’re intoxicated!
Before trees existed, Earth was covered with giant white mushrooms.
These huge fungi were 24 feet tall and three feet wide, and covered most of the Earth’s surface before trees existed.
Snakes can burp fire.
For this to happen, a decomposing animal a snake has eaten has to burst whilst being digested, releasing methane and hydrogen into the snake’s stomach.
All that’s needed for the snake to fire up is a spark.
Soviet Cosmonauts took shotguns to space with them.
This wasn’t to fight off any capitalist aliens they might encounter in space…
It was for when they returned to Earth in case they landed in Siberia and had to fend off hungry bears.
Jackie Chan sung the theme songs for all his films in the 1980s.
Nope, it’s not a different Jackie Chan, it’s the two-parts martial arts and one-part comedy fellow y’all know and love.
However, Jackie Chan is quite the singer as well as a fist-slinger.
In 1984, he won the Japanese Best Foreign Singer Award, has sang in over 5 languages on over 100 songs, and sang at the Beijing Summer Olympics opening ceremony in 2008!
You’re more likely to get bitten by a person than a shark.
Especially in New York City, where the annual number of people-on-people bites is 10 times higher than the annual number of worldwide shark bites!
Bryan Cranston learned how to roller skate for an episode of Malcolm in the Middle.
Bryan Cranston is one hell of a dedicated actor if you ask me.
He spent literally hundreds of hours learning how to roller skate, like an absolute boss!
All this for his “last dance” in the episode where he teaches his son, Malcolm, how to skate.
Dogs can learn up to 250 words and gestures.
The average intelligence of a dog is akin to that of a two-year-old human child.
You may also like these 100 amazing facts about dogs & puppies!
Fried chicken originated in Scotland.
It was a Scottish tradition from the Middle Ages to deep fry chicken.
The Scots bought this dish over to the Americas with them when immigrating to the Southern United States where it became a staple of American cuisine.
Avocados never ripen on trees.
Because of this, farmers often use the avocado trees as a form of storage to keep their fruit fresh until they are ready to pick it and sell it.
The slang term for dollars, “bucks”, originates from the early 1700s.
It refers to deer skins from male deer, or bucks as they’re commonly known.
This is because during these early times, deer skins were used as an informal currency.
In fact, a diplomat in 1948 noted that 5 Bucks would buy you a cask of whiskey.
40 million years ago penguins were 6 feet tall.
This was discovered from bones found at Seymour Island dating back to 37 – 40 million years ago.
These gigantic penguins would have weighed up to 250 pounds!
Beer was classified as a soft drink in Russian until 2011.
Before 2011, anything with less than 10% alcohol was classified legally as a soft drink.
25% of all mammal species on Earth are bats.
There are a whopping 1,200 different types of bat!
They range in size from a Bumblebee Bat – the world’s smallest mammal – all the way up to the Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Bat which has a huge wingspan of almost 6 foot!
Jellyfish are 95% water.
Not surprising, given that they have no brain, no blood and no heart!
The other 5% is made up of what little solid mass jellyfish possess.
Fortune cookies are an American invention.
They were invented by Makoto Hagiwara of San Francisco in the 1890s and sold at the Golden Gate Park’s Japanese Tea Garden.
When Nintendo was formed, there were only 38 US states in the Union.
The company that would go on to bring us Super Mario and Pokémon was formed in September of 1889.
By the end of that year there were 42 US states in the Union!
On statues, a horse’s legs tell you how the statue figure died.
If a horse has both its front legs in the air, then the person died in battle.
If the horse has one of its front legs in the air, they died of wounds received from a battle.
And if the horse has both its front legs on the ground then the person died of natural causes.
Japan has a roaming deer infestation.
Because of this, the Japanese government has set up the National Wolf Association, which is focused on reintroducing wolves to Japan to help reduce the amount of wild deer.
The pH scale was invented by the Carlsberg brewery.
It was the brainchild of one Søren Sørensen who invented it in 1909 while researching the best proteins, amino acids and enzymes in the Carlsberg brewery laboratory.
Most perfume is made from Sperm Whale puke.
Known as Ambergris, this waxy secretion belched out by Sperm Whales is a core component to making any perfumes due to its pleasant smell and is often found floating in tropical seas.
In the Californian White Mountains, there are trees older than history.
These wise old trees, known as Pinus longaeva, have been aged at up to 5,060+ years old!
Written history is believed to have begun roughly 5,000 years ago – back then these magnificent trees would have just been starting out their long lives!
“Mountain Dew” was originally a slang term for moonshine.
Used as a bit of slang for mountain-brewed moonshine, the hella sugary drink we know and suffer through today was originally marketed as a whiskey chaser.
There is a black market for illegal skin trade.
Nowadays there’s a black market for most about anything! This one is particularly grim though.
In India, women from poor backgrounds are being trafficked and duped into selling their skin for use in the global cosmetic surgery world for operations like penis enlargements and breast enhancements.
Roughly half a human body is red blood cells.
We have roughly 50 – 75 trillion cells in our bodies, and almost half of those are red blood cells.
It takes one of these little red blood cells just 20 seconds to travel around our entire body.
10 gallons of carrot juice will kill a person.
That is because the Vitamin A content of that much juice is high enough to make your brain swell and kill you, along with a load of nasty other symptoms!
You can also overdose on Vitamin A by eating 1 pound of polar bear liver.
The movement of falling cats is used as part of an astronaut’s training.
The way cats try to correct themselves when falling was studied and analyzed by NASA scientists.
They then used their findings as a means to teach falling astronauts how to correct their movements in zero gravity.
We have a house fire to thank for The Sims.
Will Wight, creator or the iconic gaming franchise, suffered a tragic house fire in 1991 where he lost everything to the flames.
Afterwards he had a vision of rebuilding his house, which led him to thinking of a game where one would create a “virtual dollhouse”, and from that The Sims was born.
Three types of Australian birds deliberately spread wildfires.
Why would they do that? Well, it’s Australia, what did you expect?!
Black kites, whistling kites and brown falcons all purposefully aid the spread of wildfires by picking up and dropping flaming sticks just so the fire will flush out their prey and make it easier for them to catch.
An Italian punk band once ate spaghetti on stage instead of playing any songs.
In 1979, at the height of punk, Italian comedy punk band Skiantos wheeled a kitchen, a table, a TV and a fridge onto their set stage, boiled up some spaghetti and then sat there eating it.
Unsurprisingly, the audience was less than pleased at the “gig”!
Woodpeckers eat brains when they get too hungry.
Nope, not zombie woodpeckers, just normal woodpeckers.
If they’ve gone too long without food, they will pin down other birds and peck at the back of their heads until they crack through their skulls and then eat their brains. Freaky.
You might also like to read these 6 reasons why woodpeckers peck wood!
Italy has 34 native languages in use today.
Surprisingly, most of these different languages are not, in fact, dialects of Italian.
Rather they are evolved independently from common Latin.
Amsterdam’s Royal Palace sits on 13,659 wooden poles.
Because of the thick layer of fen and clay present in Dutch soil, all the buildings in the Netherlands are built on wooden poles.
These wooden poles are fixed into a sandy layer over 35 feet below ground-level!
There is a gargoyle with Darth Vader’s head on it on the Washington Cathedral.
It was placed there after a child’s “design a carving” competition was held in the 80s to decide what character should adorn the Cathedral.
Dolph Lundgren has an IQ of 160.
That’s right; the “If he dies, he dies” meme fellow from Rocky IV is actually a super genius!
He has a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney and the Royal Institute of Technology, alongside a Fulbright scholarship to MIT.
Oh, he was also the European Champion of Karate in 1981.
Two stealth nuclear submarines once bumped into each other by accident.
In 2009 in the Atlantic Ocean, two stealth-cloaked nuclear submarines (one from France and one from Britain) bumped into each other out of sheer coincidence.
They were both cloaked so well from each other that neither submarine could detect the other, even when they were only a couple feet apart.
The Hawaiian flag purposefully looks like a combination of the British and American flags.
This is because it was designed by then-King Kamehameha I in 1812, and he wanted a flag that would appeal to both the Americans and the British.
NASA’s internet speed is 91 GB per second!
This means on NASA’s internet you could download a high-quality 1080p movie in mere milliseconds!
Normal household internet speeds are roughly 25 MB per second, which is dwarfed by NASA’s hugely superior internet speeds.
For their first month of living, babies only see in black & white.
They also only see silhouettes and are unable to focus on items just after their birth.
This is because their retinal nerve cells aren’t fully established yet and they lack the capability to process visual information.
In 1783, a volcanic eruption killed 80% of the Earth’s sheep.
The Laki volcanic fissure in the South of Iceland erupted over an eight-month period back in 1783, releasing some straight-up nasty hydrogen fluoride into the atmosphere to shower down on the Earth’s inhabitants.
Because of this, roughly 25% of the world’s human population died.
However, that pales compared to the 80% of the world’s sheep population that died as a result!
Malta has never experienced weather below freezing point.
Malta is quite the popular tourist trap in summer and with good reason!
It has never experienced temperatures below freezing point (32°F) and it is the only European country to own this claim!
The Pentagon has its own private island off New York.
It’s used to run war games for the possibility of a massive cyber-attack and resulting massive loss of power.
It’s completely forbidden for anyone to go there.
Cheetahs love Calvin Klein.
Wildlife crews trying to film these skittish big cats tried testing a range of scents of their cameras and equipment in order to draw cheetahs in closer for filming.
Of all the scents they tried, Calvin Klein’s “Obsession for Men” proved to be the one the cheetahs loved the most.
Now there’s an advertising campaign that needs to be run!
There’s a Big Mac Museum in Pennsylvania.
It was opened by McDonald’s themselves in 2007 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Big Mac, and features exhibits such as a 14-foot tall Big Mac!
The US has more millionaires than Sweden has people.
There are over 10 million millionaires in the US, whilst Sweden has a population of less than 10 million people.
The letter “A” doesn’t appear in a written number until you reach One Thousand.
Well, that’s if you don’t count the “and” in numbers like “four hundred and twenty” for example.
Also, the letter “M” also doesn’t appear until you reach “one million”!
“Sombrero” is just a generic Spanish word for “hat”.
Rather than describing the iconic hat of the stereotypical Mexicans, the word is literally just a word used for any hat.
The word “sombrero” derived from the word “sombra”, meaning “shade”.
Ireland’s population still hasn’t recovered from the Great Potato Famine in 1845.
The population of Ireland prior to the devastating famine was roughly between 8.5 million and 9 million people.
Modern day Ireland’s population is estimated at roughly 4.85 million people.
Camels don’t actually store water in their humps.
It’s one of those age-old myths that you hear as a kid and take as fact, but it’s not true I’m afraid!
Their lovely camel humps are actually used to store fat.
But amazingly that’s not the only reason, check out these other reasons why camels have humps!
A man once tripped over his beard during a fire evacuation and died.
Then-Mayor of Braunau am Inn back in 1567, Hans Steininger, was the proud owner of the world’s longest beard (at the time) with a four-foot hairy wonder.
When he was caught up in a fire evacuation drill.
On his way out of the flaming building, Hans’s beard got tangled around his feet and caused him to trip and fall down a flight of stairs, breaking his neck and killing him.
Psycho (1960) was the first film to ever show a toilet flushing.
Alfred Hitchcock is practically a household name when it comes to films – especially horrors.
His 1960 horror flick Psycho captivated audiences and is one of the go-tos when people talk about the invention of the slasher genre.
It was, for certain, a film of firsts, and one of those firsts just so happened to be the first time a toilet was seen flushing on the big screen!
The world’s largest singular snowflake was 15 inches wide.
Most snowflakes are miniscule, delicate microscopic things.
But this monster snowflake fell during a particularly bad snowstorm, over Montana in 1887, and was the size of your average Frisbee.
Well, that’s all! You made it to the end of these amazing facts!
How many did you know? How amazed were you? Were these amazing facts as amazingly amazing as you wished for?
Do you know an amazing fact we can add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!