With the advent of the internet, it’s tempting to think we know absolutely everything we need to know. However, there are still many facts and quirks about the world that will completely take you by surprise. Can you hum while holding your nose? Which country was still using the guillotine in 1977? Were the Great Pyramids already built when the wooly mammoth was still alive? Just how small is the planet Pluto? Are Elijah Woods and Dan Radcliffe the same person? The answers to these questions are both silly and profound. Here are 18 facts guaranteed to blow your mind.
Winnie the Pooh was a Canadian Girl
The bear who inspired Winnie the Pooh was a girl, not a boy. And she was Canadian, not British. A black bear named Winnie had been purchased from a trapper in Canada, and she wound up at the London Zoo. She’s named for the city of Winnipeg. A.A. Milne’s son Christopher Robin took a shine to her and the rest is history.
I bet you think you can still hum if you hold your nose. Go ahead and try it… see, the lack of oxygen snuffs out your humming mouth.
Pineapples are Awesome
Look how cool they look in the wild. Just don’t put them on your pizza.
The trickiest part about world history is figuring out what events in ancient history happened at different places in the world. Try this on for size – the Great Pyramids of Egypt were already 1,000 years old when the last great mammoth finally died. So if aliens built the pyramids, then did they whisk the mammoths off to another planet?
Letters from Cleo
Even better, Cleopatra, one of Egypt’s most famous heroines, actually lived closer in time to the advent of the iPhone than to the construction of her country’s pyramids. Cleopatra was the last active ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt and she died around 50 years BEFORE the birth of Jesus Christ.
This Picture Will Change Your Mind About Egypt
All of the times you’ve ever read about the Great Pyramids you have seen some picture that looked about like this one:
But seriously, the Great Pyramids are not miles from civilization in the middle of the desert. They’re actually right on the edge of the sprawling metropolis of Giza.
Pluto Ain’t That Big
The planet that keeps getting demoted isn’t really all that big. The entire surface area of the planet Pluto would fit neatly within the territory of Russia, with plenty of room left over.
Earth is Needle in a Haystack
Earth is much bigger than Pluto, but it’s fairly insignificant in comparison to the giant star known as the Sun: this is the size of earth compared with the Sun’s magnificence.
The landmasses on most maps and globes are completely off. In order to get something closer to scale, use a Gall Peters Projection map, which shows a more accurate view of how big land actually is in reality.
This is either impressive or gross, depending on your tolerance for intact skulls: this is what a young child’s skull looks like when it still has its baby teeth intact. Like almonds, right?
France didn’t invent the guillotine, but it certainly loved it the best. France was still executing people by guillotine hundreds of years after the french revolution ended when in 1977, it held its last execution by beheading. That means France was still using the gruesome procedure in the same year Star Wars debuted? The guillotine was outlawed in 1981 when France got rid of the death penalty.
Dogs and Mice
Apes and monkeys are not our only close cousins. Humans and mice share nearly 90 percent of human DNA, which is one reason that mice have been used in research labs for many years. Dogs share 84 percent of their DNA with humans, which gives new meaning to Man’s Best Friend.
On viewing this morphing photograph, you might decide that Elijah Wood and Daniel Radcliffe are the same person. Just in case you’ve wondered, no one has ever seen them in the same room at the same time.
As if Nickelodeon didn’t play with our minds enough, behold the Krusty Krab. You thought it was a treasure chest. Turns out, it’s a crab trap. isn’t a treasure chest. It’s a crab trap.
A Wrinkle in Time
The Tyrannosaurus rex lived closer in time to humans than it did to its closer relative, the stegosaurus.
Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
The second most popular language in North Dakota is German. N.D. is the only state in the Union where German is second to English. German speakers (8,959) are now neck-and-neck with Spanish speakers (8,201) in North Dakota.
8,959 North Dakotans who speak a German language, and 8,201 who speak Spanish
Barbara Millicent Roberts
Mattel has been holding out on us for years. Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. Creator Ruth Handler named the doll after her own daughter Barbara. Ken, who also has a last name, Carson, is named for her son.
There is no deeper meaning behind the order of the alphabet. The order has remained that way for thousands of years and no one has ever discovered the reasons that alphabetical order because alphabetical order.