Here we go! In countdown fashion, here are fifty little known facts about some widely known things for you to talk about next time you're hanging around the watercooler or just hanging out with friends.
50. If you laid all the DNA in your cells end to end, it would go from the earth to the moon more than 245,000 times.
49. On six-sided dice, the number of dots on opposing sides always adds up to seven.
48. The English invented football (soccer in America) when kicking around the heads of slaughtered Danish invaders.
47. In the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho, they used chocolate syrup for blood, and the 45-second scene took seven days to shoot.
46. Rowan Atkinson, the actor who plays the comedic character Mr. Bean, got his degree in electrical engineering.
45. Technically, zebras are black with white stripes; a shaved zebra would be completely black.
44. Animal cracker boxes were made with a string on the box so they could be used as Christmas tree ornaments.
43. What do bulletproof vests, windshield wipers, and fire escapes all have in common? Women invented all of them!
42. The 60's sc-fi series Lost in Space was set in the year 1997.
41. Watch Raiders of the Lost Ark at the part where Indy is in a snake pit and in the background you can see hieroglyphics of C3PO and R2D2 on one of the walls.
40. Among those voted least likely to succeed by their high school classmates: Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Gene Hackman, Tom Cruise, and Robin Williams.
39. The Statue of Liberty was originally planned to be put in Egypt to celebrate the completion of the Suez Canal.
38. Humphrey Bogart's character Rick never actually says, "Play it again, Sam" in the movie Casablanca.
37. The role of Dirty Harry was offered to Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, and Paul Newman, all of whom turned it down, before Clint Eastwood finally said yes.
36. Mel Blanc's tombstone reads, "That's all folks."
35. The first two female FBI agents were hired in 1972. One was a former nun, the other a former U.S. marine.
34. In the American Civil War, soldiers were required to have at least two opposing front teeth so they could open a gunpowder pouch. Some draftees had their front teeth removed to avoid service.
33. The original Oxford English Dictionary defined terrorism as, "government by intimidation."
32. The voice telling AOL users "You've got mail!" belongs to Elwood Edwards.
31. Chewing celery burns more calories than are in celery.
30. Some flavors of Jell-O that never caught on include cola, chocolate, celery, apple, and coffee.
29. The first time a toilet could be seen on an american television program was on an episode of Leave it to Beaver titled Captain Jack.
28. Viagra was originally designed to treat hypertension and angina when its main side effect was discovered.
27. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, the top Navy command was called CINCUS (pronounce it out loud).
26. There are more plastic flamingos in the United States than real ones.
25. In England, all the swans belong to the queen.
24. Traffic lights were in use before automobiles.
23. The can opener wasn't invented until 48 years after the invention of the sealed can.
22. When two hippos are about to fight, they point their anuses at each other, wag their stubby little tails vigorously, and flick feces at each other.
21. The largest denomination of legal tender ever used in the United States was the $100,000 bill. It had a picture of Woodrow Wilson on its face and was never circulated to the public.
20. Given her proportions, if Barbie were a real woman, she would be 7'2" and her measurements would be 38-18-34.
19. Bill Gates paid $30.8 million for Leonardo DaVinci's The Codex Leicester.
18. Technically, bananas are herbs.
17. Every month that begins on a Sunday will have a Friday the 13th.
16. The only job of male bees is to mate with the queen. Those that do die in the act.
15. Originally, Superman didn't have the ability to fly, just very powerful legs for extremely high jumping.
14. The first computer debugger was Ada Lovelace, who removed dead bugs from the mechanism of Charles Babbage's analytical engine, which was built using mechanical, not electronic, technology.
13. To this day, the ingredients of WD-40 remain a highly protected trade secret.
12. Hitler's personal train was named "Amerika."
11. Humans and giraffes have the same number of neck bones, the giraffe's neck bones are just longer.
10. The machine used in shoe stores to measure shoe size is called a Brannock device.
9. The medical term for cold sores is herpes simplex.
8. The word avocado comes from the Aztec word ahuacate, meaning testicle.
7. Denis Lawson, who played minor character Wedge Antilles in Star Wars Episodes IV, V and VI, is the uncle of Ewan McGregor, who played Obi Wan Kenobi in the more recent Star Wars Episodes I, II and III.
6. A U.S. spinning penny is actually slightly more likely to end up tails because slightly more material is used to make the heads side.
5. If a group of wrasses (a type of fish) is all female, the largest female of the group will transform into a male.
4. Once a male orangutan finds his own dwelling place, and not before, his body will grow large flaps out of the sides of his head and a large neck pouch.
3. Here's a Chuck Norris fact: Chuck Norris was born Carlos Ray.
2. Some scientists think that cavendish bananas (the most commonly sold banana in U.S. grocery stores) might be extinct within 30 years because of a fungal disease called Panama Disease.
1. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliaphobia is the fear of long words.
Hope you all enjoyed this!
Update 11/23/14: If you liked this Hub, you might like my hub Fifty More Interesting and Obscure Facts!
hiba on October 26, 2014:
this site is soooooooooooo useless
june on March 21, 2014:
Bananas are technically herbs because their stem doesn't contain true woody tissue
hero414 on November 23, 2012:
I love your hub! I'm not sure why obscure facts are facinating but they keep me going for hours!
The Zenith Tiger. on November 06, 2012:
Football was invented by the Chinese, you're only a few thousand years out on that one, and it was done with pigs bladders in England.
The Echo on May 01, 2012:
Bananas aren't herbs...they are fruits. The plant that they grow on is an herb.
s on March 12, 2012:
BriceSpears on June 16, 2011:
One of my favorites is that in the original Halloween movie, the Michael Myers mask is actually "Captain Kirk". They, on a tight budget went to a costume store to find a mask, then painted it White. My son thinks the sequel should have had a "Mr. Spook" mask.
Garshin on May 29, 2011:
"Fact" 48 is 100% wrong.
Eyelidman on November 04, 2010:
I sipped my phlegm, and realized, with a sickening jolt, that it tasted delicious.
Dave (London) on October 13, 2010:
Superbly entertaining read, love stuff like this ... however, I don't think it is true about the swans in England .. Our Queen under her Royal Prerogative owns all free swans that are of the breed termed "Mute", other breeds and those owned by private individuals are not owned by the Queen.
As a side line, the Queen is Queen of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (quite a title), not just England - this prerogative would cover the other countries in Great Britain and Northern Ireland too, not just England.
Sasquatch on September 01, 2010:
Actually, bananas are classified as berries, along with coffee "beans." Surprisingly, strawberries aren't considered berries at all because their seeds are on the outside.
jimcrowthers from Port Charlotte on May 31, 2010:
I went to watch Mr. Bean on the silver screen. Not knowing who he was, about ten to fifteen minutes into the film, I walked out and successfully argued to get my money back.
I'm going to have to use #8 when at lunch with the ladies from the office.
Great hub, and thanks for the fun facts!
Duncan on December 27, 2009:
Actually, the whole "bananas are herbs" is a misconception. Bananas *are* fruit, but the plant they grow from is technically a herb.
Trivia on December 26, 2009:
mr. Bean is an electrical engineer? Cool.
Alfreta Sailor from Southern California on October 14, 2009:
That was great, I'm going to print this and share it with my friends. Oh, the hippo thing was so funny. Very good hub.
daniel on May 24, 2009:
the banana is not a herb, it is technically a berry.
you might want to change that one
AshleyVictoria from Los Angeles on March 11, 2009:
Great hub. I wonder who the first person to shave a zebra to see that it as black. "Hmmm...I wonder what this animal would look like hairless!"
Terry Wilson on February 24, 2009:
A hundred years ago one man set off from the North East on a journey which changed the face of motoring. Cult BBC Radio 2 traffic presenter Sally Boazman has joined Inside Out to rediscover Gladstone Adams, the forgotten motoring pioneer
Not as specified in item 43
sschilke on July 23, 2008:
As a lover of the truly inance and useless facts, I have to say that this hub rocked:).
monitor from The world. on July 18, 2008:
48 years after the can hey? Just goes to show how fast we humans really are.
Pam Pounds from So Cal Girl in the Midwest! on July 15, 2008:
Hi Pete - you're right...interesting and obscure! Would I be dating myself too much if I said that actually used to watch Lost in Space?? 1997, huh?? ...danger! danger!