1. The Queen Owns all the Swans and Dolphins!
Yup, you read that right – she owns them all! Well, not ALL of them, but the ones in the UK and its surrounding waters. She also owns all the whales! Don’t worry, we’re sure she won’t go made with power and create some sort of dolphin-swan-whale super army.
2. There is a Village Called Dull
Dull is in Perthshire, Scotland, and to be honest, it does sound quite, er, dull. There’s only one street of houses and a church! Slightly less dull is the fact that it’s twinned with Boring, USA and Bland Australia. At least they have a sense of humour about it!
3. Urine Used To Be A Detergent
Yuck! In the past, urine was used to wash clothes because of its ammonia content, which helped get out tough stains. Still, some people might prefer having a dirty shirt than one that stank of wee!
4. Apple Pips Are Poisonous!
Well, actually, a LOT of apple pips are poisonous. They contain cyanide, a deadly chemical, but in order to do yourself any harm, you’d have to eat several thousand of them, so don’t worry next time you swallow a stray pip!
5. These Creepy Coffins Were Found on Arthur’s Seat!
In the early 19th century, a boy climbing Arthur’s Seat hill in Edinburgh stumbled across some very creepy little dolls in very creepy little coffins. To this day, no one knows exactly what they were for or why they were there, but they’re on display at The National Museum of Scotland if you want to check it out yourself!
6. You Can’t Hold Your Nose and Hum
Go on, try! Bet you couldn’t! The reason is that humming requires you to breathe out, which you can’t do if your nose and mouth are both shut!
7. There is a Fish with Legs
It’s called a Pink Frogmouth and it lives VERY deep down on the ocean floor. Because it spends most of it’s time looking for food in the sand, it’s fins have evolved into little stumpy legs it can walk around on! Weird!
8. The Bayeux Tapestry is 70 Metres Long!
The Tapestry, created after the Battle of Hastings in 1066 to commemorate William the Conqueror’s victory, stretches to 70m in length, and took years to finish! It’s hand embroidered and you can even see the moment Harold of England gets an arrow to the eye! Ouch!
9. Peanuts Aren’t Nuts!
Nope! They’re actually a legume, and grow out of the ground! You can still call them peanuts though, don’t worry.
10. A Whole Room Disappeared During WW2
It’s called the Amber Room and used to be in the Catherine Palace in Russia. Made of panels of amber (that sticky stuff you get from trees) it was taken apart and hidden by invading Germans in 1941, and hasn’t been seen since!
11. Agatha Christie Has Sold Over 2 BILLION Books
The Queen of Crime was famous for her murder mysteries and characters like Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. She’s one of the most popular authors ever, having sold an estimated 2 billion books in over 100 languages. Decades after her death, she’s still the most successful fiction author of all time. The whole world loves a good whodunnit!
12. People Sometimes Mistake Clouds for Flying Saucers
There’s a particular type of cloud (yes, there are types of cloud) called a lenticular cloud, which forms a sort of oval or cigar shape in the sky. Many people take photos of these clouds, thinking they’ve spotted a UFO. Nope, but you have spotted a pretty cool cloud!
13. There is Graffiti That’s 1000s of Years Old!
The Oldest Graffiti in the World can be found in Egypt, where ancient people wrote all over tombs and temples, including complaints like ‘I can’t read the hieroglyphics!’ and in places like Rome, where people used to draw VERY rude things on walls! Some things never change!
14. If You Chill Your Onions You Won’t Cry
There’s nothing worse than chopping and onion and bursting into tears. Not because you’re sad for the onion, but because your eyes sting! A simple solution is to stick your onion in the freezer for about 15 minutes beforehand. This will prevent the acid enzymes working properly and stop you from tears!
15. Someone Once Tidied Up a Piece of Art
Sometimes it’s hard to tell modern art from rubbish – and that’s just what happened when a cleaner tidied up a piece of art worth thousands of pounds into the bin! The piece of art, on display at a gallery in Italy, featured bit of paper, card and even biscuit crumbs, which the cleaner naturally assumed was a mess! To be fair, it’s an easy mistake to make!
16. The London Tube Didn’t Used to Have a Roof
When the underground was first built in the mid 19th century, the new third class train carriages didn’t have roofs! Instead, they were open, a bit like a rollercoaster. On top of that, the engines were steam engines, which meant you’d get a face-full of steam and soot as you travelled through the narrow tunnels. Yuck!
17. Fat Bear Week Is A Thing
In parts of the world where bears are common, such as North America, local newspapers like to have a bit of fun with fat bear week – they encourage people to send it pictures of local fat bears. They aren’t body shaming; the bears are storing up fat for the coming winter hibernation, and whoever sends in the fattest bear picture is declared the winner!
18. Cold Baseballs are Worse Than Warm Ones
Baseballs will fly further if they’re warm than if they’re cold! That’s because the warmer ones weigh less and therefore have less air resistance – so next time you want a good game of baseball, pop your ball in a microwave (Note: don’t do that, we have no idea if that’s safe).
19. Charles Darwin was a bit of an oddball
He may be one of the greatest men of all time, but that didn’t stop Charles Darwin being a bit weird. For instance, when deciding whether or not to marry, he drew up a pros and cons list. How romantic! He also kept a diary which sometimes made him sound a bit like a stroppy teenager; ‘”I am very poorly today and very stupid and hate everybody and everything.’ He was also known to eat exotic animals, like owls, ostrich and puma! The best fact? He built a slide for his kids to use instead of the stairs!
20. The Slinky Was Invented By Accident
The scientist who invented the slinky actually knocked a metal coil off a shelf by accident. When he saw it bouncing from surface to surface instead of falling on the floor, he realised he had a potentially great toy idea on his hands, and the slinky was born!
21. The Moon Has Moonquakes!
Just like Earth, the moon can have quakes and were first discovered by Apollo astronauts. They’re not as severe as ones on Earth and can last for up to an hour!
22. Only Humans Blush!
Whenever we’re embarrassed or shy, the veins in our face open and cause our faces to redden. This response is unique to humans, or it just means other animals are very good at hiding it.
23. Your Nose Works One Nostril At a Time!
Think about it. Your nose never stops working. It helps you breathe or appreciate that amazing waft when you first go into a cinema. To stop your nostrils drying out or cracking, they take turns and give each other a break from detecting smells. Teamwork makes the dreamwork, even for noses.
24. Children Ask 300 Questions a Day!
A special study revealed that 4-year-old children ask up to 300 questions during an average day. An author called Warren Berger says that by the time you’re 5, you’ll have asked a staggering 40,000 questions!
25. Water Makes Different Sounds Depending Whether It’s Hot or Cold!
When you pour boiling water out of a kettle, it makes a higher pitched sound because its molecules are moving around really quickly when compared to cold water.
26. The Man Who Wrote Dracula Had a Huge Imagination!
Irish novelist Bram Stoker published his classic Dracula story in 1897, which vividly depicts the vampire’s kingdom in Transylvania. The thing is, it was all guesswork as he’d never visited that part of Eastern Europe, now known as Romania. Still, a great story.
27. Sweat Doesn’t Actually Smell Awful!
It’s true. That particular smell happens when the bacteria on your skin breaks down the acids contained in your sweat. Still, nice to use soap and water regularly, even if you have an excuse now.
28. Crows Hold Grudges!
In 2011, scientific research showed that crows don’t forget a face, and if you’re mean to a crow, they won’t forget and may dive-bomb you when you least expect it. So, be kind to all animals – but especially crows!
29. The Longest Book Title Is 3,777 Words!
Author Vityala Yethindra holds the Guinness World Record for the longest book title, which we’re going to call ‘The Historical Development Of The Heart’ to save time. And there are even more words inside! That’s value for money.
30. There’s a Town In Nebraska With A Population of One!
The town of Monowi has just one resident. 84-year-old Elsie Eiler has several jobs, including mayor, librarian and treasurer. We expect the post office is pretty quiet.