75 Mind-Blowing Facts You’ll Think Are Made Up (But Aren’t)
Polar bears aren't white, strawberries aren't berries, and the Earth isn't round—we'll have you rethinking everything you thought you knew for sure!
Froot Loops are all the same flavour
Sure those sweetened O’s are all different colours, but that doesn’t mean they are different flavours. Kellogg’s, the company who makes them, has admitted that each Froot Loop is “froot flavoured” which they describe as “a blend of fruit flavours.”
Anne Frank and Martin Luther King, Jr. were born the same year
Anne Frank is an iconic symbol of the Nazi brutality of World War II in the 1940s while Martin Luther King, Jr. was the face and voice of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. The two events seem so far apart in history but both figures were born in 1929—January 15 for King, and June 12 for Frank. How’s that for a mind-blowing fact?
Dive into the true stories behind the most iconic photos in American history.
Most Canadians live south of Seattle
Canada and the United States are both large countries which can make understanding the relative geography difficult. But the contiguous United States goes farther north than you think and the majority of Canadians live near the southern border. The result? At 45 degrees latitude, Seattle is farther north than Toronto and Montreal, meaning that 64 percent of Canadians live south of Seattle.
Surprise, surprise—here are the things you had no idea were invented in Canada.
More French soldiers died during World War I than American soldiers during all of U.S. history
World War I was catastrophic on levels that most of us alive today cannot even comprehend. One example? The numbers of total deaths. During the first world war, France lost about 1,360,000 soldiers. In contrast, the United States has recorded about 1,350,000 military deaths total, over every war since 1775.
Learn about the everyday things that were actually designed for WWI.
There is a species of jellyfish that is immortal
Think that immortality is just a fantasy? Well, it is for humans. But scientists have discovered that the Turritopsis dohrnii jellyfish can revert back to its juvenile polyp stage after maturing, continuing in an endless cycle making it the only known officially immortal creature.
This species of jellyfish isn’t the only one, however—here are more immortal animals that can basically live forever.
The U.S. government has an official plan for a zombie apocalypse
Think The Walking Dead is straight-up fiction? Well, it is—but the government wants to be prepared for a real-life version anyhow. The 31-page Counter-Zombie Dominance Plan, or CONPLAN 8888-11, was designed in 2011. And just in case you think it’s weird bureaucratic humour, the first line reads, “This plan was not actually designed as a joke.”
Read on for the strangest unsolved mysteries of all time.
There is a country with no capital
Nauru is the only country in the world without an official capital city. The government offices of the tiny Pacific island nation are located in the Yaren District.
Don’t fall for these geography facts everyone gets wrong.
The “word of the year” in 2015 was a picture
Proof that Internet culture has overtaken reality: In 2015, Oxford dictionaries chose the “smiling with tears of joy” emoji as its official word of the year. The pictograph “best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015,” they said.
Make sure you’re avoiding these annoying texting habits.
Prince Charles has a car fueled by wine
In the search for more efficient fuels, Prince Charles is taking a strange-but-entertaining approach: The heir to the British throne had his vintage Aston Martin reworked to use wine as its primary fuel.
Check out these mind-blowing secrets about Prince Charles.
It’s totally legal to escape from prison in Mexico
Several countries, including Mexico, Germany, and Austria, see the desire to escape prison as basic human nature rather than an unlawful act. Consequently, a prison break isn’t considered to be a crime itself but before you started masterminding the perfect escape plan, know that they’ll still try to catch you and you may be punished for any criminal act you commit during or after your escape.
There is such a thing as male PMS
Premenstrual syndrome—the collection of symptoms that hit women in the week or so before their menstrual cycle starts—is the butt of many jokes and has even been cited as a reason a woman should not be president of the United States. But men should stop chuckling as medicine recognizes the male equivalent called “irritable male syndrome,” a behavioural state defined as “hypersensitivity, frustration, anxiety, and anger that occurs in males and is associated with biochemical changes, hormonal fluctuations, stress, and loss of male identity.”
Not all facts are factual—like these false facts everyone believes.
Eventually, a day on Earth will be 25 hours long
The Earth’s speed as it orbits the sun is not a fixed rate. No matter how constant it may seem to us mortals, it’s actually slowing over time. The length of a day will become 25 hours… in about 175 million years. So don’t toss your clocks just yet.
Check out the biggest myths about daylight saving time.
A strawberry isn’t actually a berry—but a watermelon is
Raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries aren’t true berries. The scientific definition of “berry” is a plant that has three distinct layers: an outer skin (exocarp), a fleshy middle (mesocarp), and—here’s the key—internally contained seeds (endocarp). So because their seeds are on the outside all those berries aren’t actually berries. However, watermelon, bananas, grapes, and eggplants are all technically berries!
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The Earth isn’t round
Don’t get excited yet Flat Earthers—the planet we all call home isn’t flat but it’s not round either. Technically the Earth is known as an “oblate spheroid” due to the bulge at the equator and the flattened poles.
Take a look at the biggest unsolved mysteries about Earth.
One of the most painful stings known to mankind is from the platypus
Many people think cuddling this adorable cross between a duck and an otter would be fun. But beware to the person who tries it! The duck-billed platypus has poison glands in its hind legs and can release the venom using a hollow spur on its heel. While generally not deadly, the sting is said to be incredibly painful and causes a large amount of swelling.
Here are the funniest animal stories of 2020.
If you’re shot by a sniper, you’ll be dead before you hear the gun
The speed of sound is 343 metres/second. But a bullet fired from a rifle travels at 762 metres/second. This means that if you’re ever targeted by an expert marksman you’ll be dead before you hear the gunshot. Which is comforting? We guess?
We’ll bet you didn’t know about these fascinating Tim Hortons facts.
The city of London only has a population of 9,000
London may be one of the largest metropolises in the world but when it comes to actual people, only 9,000 reside in the City of London. The city is a small area surrounded by the Greater London region—which has 8.1 million people.
Every Canadian should know these British slang words and phrases!
A parrot ruined a presidential funeral
Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, was very fond of his pet parrot and apparently spent a lot of time talking to the bird—as became evident when the president died. The parrot was present in the home where Jackson died and as the funeral commenced began cursing in such colourful language that it had to be removed from the house. So in a way, Jackson really did get the last word.
Check out the most famous pets to live in the White House.
There are more trees on Earth than stars in the galaxy
There are about three trillion trees on Earth but only 300 to 400 billion stars in the Milky Way. Space is big but relatively empty, it turns out.
Check out more baffling mysteries about the universe.
Polar Bears aren’t white, they’re just glowing
Polar bears may be known as being so white they can hide in snow but the truth is they aren’t white at all. Their skin is black and the hairs in their fur are hollow and clear. So why do they look white? Light hits their fur and is trapped inside the hollow part of the hair, causing a reaction called luminescence. In addition, salt particles stick to the bears’ fur and act as light-scattering particles.
These polar bear pictures will melt your heart!
You can hear rhubarb growing
Rhubarb doesn’t get a lot of love (unless it’s in a pie) but the stalky plant does have an amazing talent: It grows so fast you can actually hear it. Listen for yourself!
Brush up on your royal trivia with these Queen Victoria facts.
Yoda and Miss Piggy were voiced by the same person
The crotchety green guru and the pink porcine diva were both voiced, at times, by Frank Oz, a multi-talented actor, puppeteer, director, and producer.
Don’t miss our guide to the best half-hour shows on Netflix Canada to stream now.
There is an “internal deodorant” that makes it so your gas and poop don’t stink
Devrom, the brand name for bismuth subgallate, can be used as an “internal deodorant” that makes your flatulence and bowel movements completely odour-free. It may discolour your tongue and stool, leading to some surprising bathroom (and third date?) moments, so definitely talk to a doctor before trying it.
Here are the eight things your farts can reveal about your health.
The Las Vegas Strip isn’t in Las Vegas
The Las Vegas Strip is probably the most famous thing about Nevada and the top reason tourists come to Las Vegas. But the strip is misnamed—it’s actually in the unincorporated city of Paradise. Las Vegas’ founders ordered all casinos be built outside city limits to avoid sullying their reputation. In an ironic twist, now that’s all anyone knows the city for.
For your next trip, check out these Las Vegas attractions that aren’t casinos.
You can rent out an entire country
Country clubs and hotel ballrooms are so passe—if you really want to throw a party everyone will remember, try renting out an entire country for the night. For just $70,000 you can rent Lichtenstein for an evening. If that seems excessive, you can always just rent one of the six Austrian villages, three German towns, or one Swiss ski-resort village.
Learn more about the least-visited country in Europe. (Hint: it’s not Lichtenstein!)
Alaska is both the western—and easternmost state in the United States
Thanks to its proximity to the north pole and incredibly large land mass (it’s twice as big as Texas!), Alaska is both the state farthest to the west and to the east in the United States.
Can you answer these real Jeopardy! questions about geography?
Shaking ketchup makes it 1,000 times thinner
There’s a good scientific reason for shaking your ketchup before you pour it on your fries: The more you shake it, the thinner the consistency gets. Why? Spherical tomato particles form into thinner ellipses when shaken, making your ketchup 1,000 times runnier.
These food facts will change how you eat!
There are no lakes in Maryland
Talk about a dubious honour—Maryland is the only state in the United States that has no natural lakes within its borders. The bodies of water Maryland now has have all been the result of damming rivers, so they are reservoirs.
Here are the history questions people always get wrong.
One tiger killed more people than 100 years of all bears, spiders, and snakes combined
Bears kill an average of two people a year, spiders are responsible for six deaths per year, and snake bites account for five deaths each year in the United States. Add those all together for the past 100 years and you still don’t come close to the total deaths caused by the Champawat tiger, who killed 435 people in Nepal and India.
These missing plane mysteries will keep you up at night.
Sesame seeds were once worth more than gold
The people of the Middle Ages prized sesame seeds so highly that they cost more than their weight in gold. They’re highly nutritious and tasty but many civilizations thought they also held magical or spiritual properties, bestowing luck and fortune. Now you’ll never pick them off your hamburger bun again, right?
Relive the beloved franchise with these mind-blowing behind-the-scenes Star Wars facts.
The largest desert in the world is covered in snow
Think the famed Sahara desert is big? At 3.5 million square miles, it’s definitely a monster, but it doesn’t even compare to the Antarctic Polar Desert. It covers the continent of Antarctica and has a size of about 5.5 million square miles. Surprised? The definition of a desert is simply a place that receives less than 10 inches of precipitation per year—it doesn’t have to be hot!
These little-known Titanic facts may surprise you.
After a kidney transplant, you actually have three kidneys
Over 31 million people in the United States suffer from chronic kidney disease and it’s the ninth leading cause of death, making kidney transplants relatively common. But did you know that most of the time the surgeon doesn’t remove the diseased kidney? The doctor normally leaves the old kidney in place and puts the donor kidney in the lower belly on the front side of the body.
Learn about the body parts you never knew you had.
A witness to Abraham Lincoln’s assassination was interviewed on TV
Samuel J. Seymour was just five years old when he attended a play at Ford’s Theater on that fateful evening of April 14, 1865. He was seated in the balcony directly across from the president and says he heard the shot, saw Lincoln slumped over, and watched John Wilkes Booth jump on to the stage before fleeing. On February 9, 1956, two months before his death, Seymour recounted the story on the CBS TV show I’ve Got a Secret. History is more recent than you think!
Don’t miss these other fascinating facts about America.
The longest work of English literature ever written by one person is a Super Mario Bros. fan fiction
Forget War and Peace. If you’re looking for a nice, long read, you’ll want The Subspace Emissary’s Worlds Conquest. This piece of fan fiction, based on the Nintendo video game Super Smash Bros., is 4,102,328 words long—more than seven times the length of Tolstoy’s masterpiece—as of April 2019. We added the date because it’s still a “work in progress” and may get longer!
We bet you didn’t know these facts about every letter in the alphabet.