100 Strange But True Facts That Will Shock You

100 Strange but True Facts that Will Shock You
Written by:
Luke Ward
Est. reading time:
15 mins read

What’s the weirdest fact you know of?

We bet it’s not as strange as any of these! You might think these facts sound totally false, but trust us, they’re totally true!

So, if you’ve got 10 minutes to spare, why not check out these 100 strange but true facts that will shock you!

Donkey Kong got his name because his creator believed “donkey” meant “stupid” in English and wanted to convey the impression that the character was a “Stupid Ape.”

More than 1/5 of all the calories consumed by humans worldwide is provided by rice alone.

People can have a psychological disorder called Boanthropy that makes them believe that they are a cow. They try to live their life as a cow.

The name for the shape of Pringles is called a “Hyperbolic Paraboloid.”

There is a McDonald’s in every continent except Antarctica.

There is a McDonald’s in every continent except Antarctica.

Overall, there are more than 36,000 McDonald’s restaurants spread out across the globe.

While this number is incredibly high, it makes perfect sense considering that this favorite fast-food ranks as the second-largest fast-food restaurant chain in the world!

The first McDonald’s to open outside of the USA commenced operations on June 3, 1967, in Richmond, Canada.

Mr Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on TV.

A duel between three people is actually called a truel.

The stage before frostbite is called “frostnip.”

The two tiny holes in every BIC pen ensure that the air pressure is the same both inside and outside the pen, which helps the ink flow to the tip.

In South Korea, there is an emergency number (113) to report spies.

Japan is facing a ninja shortage. There is a high demand for “ninja shows,” but it is a dying tradition, and companies have trouble finding properly trained ninjas.

The process by which bread toasts is called the “Maillard Reaction.”

“Weird Al” Yankovic wrote “Albuquerque” to be as a joke specifically to “annoy people for 12 minutes.” It ended up becoming one of his most popular songs.

Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was not a man in a suit; it was actually a giant puppet.

Sonic the Hedgehog’s full name is actually Ogilvie Maurice Hedgehog.

Sonic the Hedgehog’s full name is actually Ogilvie Maurice Hedgehog.

This is a bit of a contentious one, though, as some fans claim that it isn’t canon. This is because Sonic’s full name was never published.

Archie Comics, who publish two different Sonic comics, released a comic that mentions that Sonic’s middle name is Maurice but never mentioned his first name.

One of the Archie Comic writers has since shared that Sonic’s first name is actually Ogilvie.

Fans disagree, as they say that Archie Comic’s Sonic isn’t true canon, only the video games and the Japanese manga are.

Even though Froot Loops are different colors, they all have exactly the same flavor.

The first roller coaster was used to transport coal down a hill. After people found that it could reach speeds up to 50 miles per hour, tourists asked to ride on it for a few cents.

Most toilet paper sold for home use in France is pink.

Marmite was one of the most confiscated items at airports from the U.K. – to overcome this issue, Marmite made smaller ones for traveling.

Warner Bros canceled “Home Alone” because they didn’t want to spend $14 million on it. 21st Century Fox continued the production, and the film grossed $476 million worldwide.

Cards Against Humanity bought an island in Maine to preserve wildlife. It is called Hawaii 2.

In 1862, the King of Siam offered Abraham Lincoln many elephants on the grounds that a “Country as great as the United States should not be without elephants.” Lincoln politely declined.

The television was invented only two years after the invention of sliced bread.

Bullfrogs do not sleep.

The dark region on the north pole of Pluto’s moon, Charon, is called Mordor.

The dark region on the north pole of Pluto’s moon, Charon, is called Mordor.

In July 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft became the first spacecraft to fly past Pluto, the formerly ninth planet in our solar system.

NASA called on the general public to aid them in giving names to the many new features of Pluto they expected to find, and the general public certainly didn’t disappoint.

Not only did they name a dark spot on Charon’s moon after Sauron’s holdout in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, but they also named a dark spot on Pluto’s south pole Cthulu from H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu Mythos!

Eight of the ten largest statues in the world are of Buddhas.

In 2015, a silver coin with Superman on the head side was made, which is legal tender in Canada. There were only 350,000 produced.

It took the creator of the Rubik’s Cube, Erno Rubik, one month to solve the cube after creating it; as of June 2018, the world record is 4.22 seconds.

Japanese square watermelons are ornamental plants and are not edible.

Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur. The stripes are like fingerprints, and no two tigers have the same pattern.

Ketchup originated in China as a boiled-down brine of pickled fish and spices called “ke-chiap.”

In Morse Code -.- means k.

In 2005, a fortune cookie company called Wonton Food Inc. correctly foretold lottery numbers, resulting in 110 winners and an investigation. No fraud was involved.

Two PlayStation 1 games, FIFA 2001 and Gran Turismo 2, have scratch & sniff discs. The FIFA 2001 smelled like a soccer field, while Gran Turismo 2 smelled like car tires.

Mexico’s presidential palace is 14 times larger than the White House and started allowing visitors for the first time in 2018.

Mexico’s presidential palace is 14 times larger than the White House and started allowing visitors for the first time in 2018.

From 1935 to 2018, the Los Pinos presidential palace was the official place of residence for Mexico’s presidents and was closed off to any who weren’t expressly invited.

This changed in 2018 when Andres Manuel López Obrador was elected the Mexican President, winning his campaign on the back of promises to fight corruption.

As a gesture of goodwill, he chose not to move into the palace, instead simply living in a small apartment in Mexico City’s central district.

To give you an idea of what the Mexican president gave up, the presidential palace covers 56,000 square feet (5,203 square meters).

Boeing uses potatoes to test their in-flight Wi-Fi, as they reflect and absorb the signals similarly to people. The project is called Synthetic Personnel Using Dialectic Substitution- or SPUDS.

In 2014, Sony made a cassette tape that can store 185TB of data!

The collars on men’s dress shirts used to be detachable. This was to save on laundry costs as the collar was the part that needed cleaning the most frequently.

There’s a flower that smells like chocolate! Native to Mexico, this dark red flower is not edible. It is called “cosmos atrosanguineus” or “chocolate cosmos.”

In 2014, a missing woman on vacation in Iceland was found when it was discovered that she was in the search party looking for herself.

If you sneeze while traveling at 60 mph, your eyes are closed for an average of 50 feet.

Your tonsils could grow back if there were tissue left behind during the removal process. Sometimes it’s accidental; other times, it’s left on purpose.

Alligators will give manatees the right of way if they are swimming near each other.

Crystal – the monkey from The Hangover 2 and Night at the Museum, has her own IMDB page!

Although the TV show “Friends” is based around life in New York City, the entire show was filmed in California.

Although the TV show “Friends” is based around life in New York City, the entire show was filmed in California.

Whether you love it or hate it, Friends was one of the most iconic TV shows to come out of the nineties and early 2000s.

One of the most surprising facts about Friends is that it wasn’t filmed in Manhattan, where it’s set, but at the Warner Brothers Ranch just outside of Los Angeles.

That being said, there are actually a small handful of locations where filming took place outside of LA.

One of these is, of course, Monica and Rachel’s apartment building at 90 Bedford St in New York.

A number of other locations filmed in New York for the serious include the places where the friends all work.

Magpies are considered one of the most intelligent animals in the world and the only non-mammal species able to recognize themselves in a mirror test.

Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, Trivago, Travelocity, and Orbitz are all owned by the same company, Expedia Inc.

The world record for the longest human chain (holding hands) is 652.4 miles, and it consisted of 5 million people in Bangladesh as part of a campaign.

Baked beans are actually not baked but stewed.

Rowan Atkinson – also known as Mr. Bean – is the voice of Zazu in The Lion King.

The most popular item at Walmart is bananas. They sell more bananas than any other single item they have in stock.

Sunsets on Mars are blue.

“lbs” comes from the Latin word “libra,” which means “pound.”

The small indents in the bottom of frozen pizzas are there to prevent air bubbles from forming inside the dough.

The term “footage” comes from films being measured in feet when being edited in the early days of filmmaking.

The term “footage” comes from films being measured in feet when being edited in the early days of filmmaking.

Why footage got its name is one of those questions that you have when taking a long shower or when you’re just starting to drift off to sleep.

Fortunately, we have the answer for you and even an explanation!

Back in the day, when movies were released without audio, they used to use 35mm film.

During this era, the film was measured out and cut into foot-long (0.3 m) strips, which contained 16 frames in each.

One foot of 35mm film was just one second of screen time. The amount of seconds in a film naturally became known as the footage.

In 2005, Mark Zuckerberg unsuccessfully tried to sell Facebook for $75 million. Back then, it was called TheFacebook.

There is an opposite of albino animals, which aren’t white, but black. These are known as Melanistic animals.

In 2016, a student left a pineapple in an art museum in Scotland. Two days later, it had been placed in a glass case as part of an exhibition.

The first film with a $100 million budget was True Lies, which was made in 1994.

“Digging a hole to China” is theoretically possible if you start in Argentina.

Researchers found fossils of a “Mega Penguin” that stood over 6 feet tall and weighed in at over 250 pounds.

Strawberries can also be white or yellow, and some can even taste like pineapples!

The term “brah” is Hawaiian pidgin, short for brahdah (brother), and was popularized by surf culture.

As of 1998, over 50% of Iceland’s population believed in the existence of elves.

The Boston Marathon didn’t allow female runners until 1972.

The Boston Marathon didn’t allow female runners until 1972.

The first woman to finish the Boston Marathon, Roberta Gibb, actually ran the race a few years earlier in 1966.

She hid in some bushes until the race started to avoid detection and then ran the marathon without any official sanction.

Another woman, Katherine Switzer, didn’t declare herself a woman when she competed in 1967 and was allowed to enter the race.

When it became apparent that she wasn’t a man, the officials unsuccessfully tried to stop her from competing.

It wasn’t until fall 1971 when the Amateur Athletics Union allowed women to compete, which made 1972’s marathon the first to officially allow female entrants.

Eight women competed in the 1972 Boston Marathon, and all eight completed it, with Nina Kuscsik claiming the first official female victory.

When watermelons are grilled or baked, they lose their granular texture and can even be used as a meat substitute, a “watermelon steak.”

Nebraska’s official state slogan is “Nebraska: Honestly, it’s not for everyone.”

Some cat breeds (called “puppy cats”) are bred specifically to exhibit dog-like behavior.

In October 2015, United Airlines made a man with Cerebral Palsy crawl off one of its flights. The flight attendants just watched as he struggled.

“Bluetooth” technology was named after a 10th Century king, King Harald Bluetooth. He united Denmark and Norway – just like wireless technology united computers and cell phones.

All dogs are banned from Antarctica since April 1994. This ban was made because of the concern that dogs might spread diseases to seals.

There’s a sport called “squirrel fishing,” in which participants try to catch squirrels and lift them into the air by using a nut on a fishing pole.

In Slovakia, they have Christmas Carp that live in the family bathtub for a few days before they are eaten.

Banks have therapists known as “wealth psychologists” who help ultra-rich clients who cannot mentally cope with their immense wealth.

Hackers uncovered a flaw in Hotmail’s security in 1999, which allowed access to any Hotmail email account by entering “eh” as the password.

Hackers uncovered a flaw in Hotmail’s security in 1999, which allowed access to any Hotmail email account by entering “eh” as the password.

This crippling flaw was deemed to be “the most widespread security incident in the history of the web.”

The group that took responsibility for the flaw’s exposure, known as Hackers Unite, claimed that they didn’t want to destroy anything by leaking it but rather wanted to draw seemingly much-needed attention to Microsoft’s failing security systems.

Experts believe that the ability to access any email account with a simple password was unintentionally left behind as a “backdoor” by Microsoft’s engineers, something Microsoft has never admitted.

Instead, they merely palmed it off as an “unknown security issue.”

A small population of Mammoths survived on the Wrangel Island until 1650 BC, about 900 years after the construction of The Great Pyramid of Giza was completed.

The office Treasurer of the United States has been held by women since 1949.

The Flintstones was the most profitable network cartoon franchise for 30 years, that’s before The Simpsons came along.

The University of Minnesota is older than Minnesota, the state itself!

Tickling has been divided into two types. Knismesis refers to “light feather-like” tickling, and gargalesis refers to “harder laughter-inducing” tickling.

As of 2019, the site MySpace still gets 8 million visitors per month!

C-3PO and R2-D2 had their own 1985 single-season 13 episode spin-off TV series called Star Wars: Droids. The season showed the adventures of R2-D2 & C-3P0 before they joined Luke Skywalker.

People don’t sneeze in their sleep due to their brain shutting down the reflex.

Your nose is always visible to you. Your mind ignores it through a process called Unconscious Selective Attention.

There are twice as many pyramids in Sudan then there are in Egypt.

There are twice as many pyramids in Sudan then there are in Egypt.

When most people think of pyramids, they instantly think of Egypt, but this couldn’t be more wrong!

Sudan has somewhere between 200 to 255 pyramids, while Egypt is home to just 118 to 138 of them.

So how did so many pyramids end up down in Sudan? From 3,000 BC, Egypt’s armies were sent south to conquer whoever they found, reaching as far as modern-day Sudan.

There they lorded over the locals until the Egyptian empire collapsed in 1,070 BC, but their influence remained for much longer.

Less than three hundred years later, the new rulers of this region, the Kush, still believed in the Egyptian gods and started constructing pyramids en masse.

The word “Jurassic,” which we so often associate with dinosaurs, comes from the Celtic word for “forest.”

The brain is our fattiest organ and is composed of nearly 60% fat.

Guy Fawkes is the reason guys are called “guys.”

February used to be the last month of the year, which is why it has the shortest number of days.

Lego toys are a better investment than stocks, bonds, or gold.

A Canadian company started selling fresh air in a can as a joke, then Chinese consumers made it real, paying up to $20 a can.

In September 2007, a guy named Kevin Shelley broke 46 wooden toilet seats with his head in one minute to create a world record.

College of the Ozarks doesn’t charge tuition. Instead, students work on campus at least 15 hours a week and have two 40-hour workweeks.

The Japanese have a work philosophy called “kaizen,” where people constantly seek ways to improve methods instead of just doing it the same way.

Since 2014 the Welsh government has donated a fruit tree to families in Uganda for every child born or adopted in Wales.

Since 2014 the Welsh government has donated a fruit tree to families in Uganda for every child born or adopted in Wales.

In 2008 the “Plant!” scheme was announced, which would celebrate the birth or adoption of a child in Wales by planting a tree.

With an aim to create new woodlands for future generations, it was already a magnificent scheme, but it became even better with the changes in April 2014.

In Uganda, fruit trees are planted because they can provide vital fruit and timber in a region which has been decimated by deforestation.

Restaurants can sing “Happy Birthday” now because the copyrights’ claims are invalid. Judge George H. King ruled that a copyright filed in 1935 granted only the rights to specific piano arrangements of the music, not the song itself.

Tyromancy is the practice of predicting the future with cheese.

Shoe shops used X-Ray machines to measure shoe sizes in the 1940s before the risks of X-Rays were fully understood.

Iguanas have three eyes. Two normal eyes and a third eye on top of their head that only perceives brightness.

Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower) in London is leaning over so much it can now be seen with the naked eye. In 4,000 years, it will be at the same angle as the tower in Pisa is now.

You’ve reached the end of these 100 strange but true facts – did you learn something new?

If you need more weird facts, check out this list of 1000 random facts!

Your nose is always visible to you, but your brain ignores it through a process called Unconscious Selective Attention.

Leave A Comment

11 Comments

  1. Brian 30 January 2020

    “Smiles” is the longest word in the English language. There is a mile between the S’s.

  2. Mia 20 January 2020

    Did you know that before trees the earth was covered in giant mushrooms?

  3. Max Beran 3 July 2019

    30% of all numbers that you might encounter in ordinary life have “1” as their first digit. It’s called Benford’s Law.

  4. James york 10 February 2019

    Cornelius Vanderbilt was the first person to eat potato chips: he went out to eat at a restaurant and kept complaining to the chef (George Speck. Not crum Vanderbilt kept saying his name wrong) that his french fries were to thick so speck cut potatoes razor thin and boiled them to a crisp

  5. Ron Shlomi 24 January 2019

    Did you know that the female hippocampus is bigger than the males? That means that they have a higher memory potential and a larger sleep requirement!

  6. Sam 2 December 2018

    Wow! I didn’t know any of those!

  7. Embery Holland 10 September 2018

    Women in Ancient Egypt would wear a cone of grease on their heads during the day, so that it would melt in the hot sun and make their hair shiny.

    1. Vivian 13 December 2019

      And make them smell nice

  8. Simon Baker 2 May 2018

    Donkey DOES mean stupid in English, in England anyway as Gordon Ramsey will testify to.

  9. Jack 26 June 2016

    I don’t know if #59 is a mistake or a lie but it is most certainly untrue,there are several movies that exceed that amount before that date.

    1. Luke Ward 26 June 2016

      It’s no mistake, it’s in the Guinness World Records as the first film with a $100 million budget.