“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers…

An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers……….
An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

The Knowledge Library

Weird & Wonderful Facts

1. The dot over a lowercase i and j has a name!

It’s called a tittle, which is a noun meaning “a tiny amount or part of something”. Like the dot over an i or a j.

2. Water makes different sounds depending on its temperature!

If you’ve listened to boiled water being poured, you’ll discover it makes a different sound to cold water as its energy molecules are moving around at a much faster rate. Cold water has a lower pitched tone and sounds heavier for some reason.

3. McDonald’s invented a sweet-tasting type of broccoli!

In a bid to trick some people into eating vegetables, the restaurant chain tinkered with science to create broccoli which tasted like bubblegum. The customers weren’t into it one tiny bit. Anyway, real broccoli is delicious and everyone knows it.

4. Rabbits can’t be sick!

It’s just the way the long-eared rodents are built. Due to their diet and digestive system, rabbits physically can’t be sick and wouldn’t know how to, even if they could. This photograph is just to illustrate what a rabbit would look like if it DID throw up. The actual creature is fine and was probably yawning when the shot was taken.

5. Humans are the only animals that 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.

6. The hashtag symbol has a fancy term!

It’s actually called an octothorpe, due to its eight points and probably someone called Thorpe who coined the phrase. #facts

7. Apple pie isn’t American!

Although people in the USA are fiercely proud of this pastry-cased desert, the humble apple pie was actually invented in England. Sorry about that.

8. It would take 19 minutes to fall to the center of the earth!

To be fair, it’s something that scientists have worked out using mathematics, rather than get a keen person to dig a very long hole and time using a stopwatch.

9. You can draw a line 35 miles long using one pencil!

We’re not sure who found this out, but there’s enough graphite in a regular pencil to draw a line from Birmingham to Leicester.

10. Dog’s noses are unique!

Every dog’s nose has a unique set of creases and markings, like a fingerprint. They’re all able to sniff out a treat from a mile away though.

11. Rhythm is the longest English word…

…without a single vowel. It’s also really tricky to spell, isn’t it?

12. The first speeding fine took place in 1896!

Walter Arnold was caught tearing through Paddock Wood, Kent at EIGHT MILES PER HOUR and fined one shilling, which is about 5p in today’s money.

13. The smallest dinosaur to exist is called a Microraptor!

They were a feathered dinosaur with four wings, measuring up to 77 cm long, which is about the size of a crow. The ideal size for a pet, several million years ago.

14. Oranges are naturally green!

The green skin means they’re packed with chlorophyll, which is a pigment needed during photosynthesis – the process which allows plants to absorb energy from sunlight. When they’re orange, they’re very ripe.

15. A dog was once voted as a mayor four times!

Duke, a Great Pyrenees dog, held office in the village of Cormorant, Minnesota. He served four one-year terms – that’s 28 years for a dog – after a fun community vote took a serious turn when the fluffy pooch-turned-politician became a viral sensation.

16. The abbreviation OMG was used over 100 years ago!

It was first used during the First World War by an admiral named John Arbuthnot Fisher. In a letter to Winston Churchill dated 9/9/17, he wrote “I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis – O.M.G. (Oh! My God!) – Shower it on the Admiralty!” Churchill, pictured below, would probably responded with a sarcastic ‘LOL’.

17. The Sahara Desert isn’t that sandy!

The huge desert is about 25 per cent sand, while the rest of it is made up of rocks and gravel.

18. The Eiffel Tower grows 6 inches in the summer!

That’s due to heat making the steel expand. It goes back to its normal size when the weather cools down.

19. The first 3D film was released almost a century ago!

Believe or not, the first 3D film was released in 1920. The Power of Love was shown to an audience in Los Angeles, thanks to an invention by Robert F Elder.

20. Scotland’s national animal is a unicorn!

The magical creature was adopted by the country in the 15th century and local legend reveals that they could purify poisoned water. Nowadays, the horned horse can be seen on everything from lunchboxes to cool backpacks, such is its popularity.

21. Easter Island’s Moai statues actually have bodies!

A team of archaeologists studying the South Pacific island monoliths discovered that centuries of landslides gradually buried the statues. After careful excavation, it was revealed that they’re actually attached to bodies and legs and probably moved by groups of up to 250 islanders who used ropes and a rocking motion to move them into place.

22. Candy floss was invented by a dentist!

Even though this sugary fairground treat is pretty bad for your teeth, a dentist named William Morrison invented ‘fairy floss’ in 1897 with a confectioner called John Wharton and eventually sold 68,000 boxes of the stuff at St. Louis World’s Fair a few years later.

23. M&M’S doesn’t stand for Mmm and Mmm, believe it or not!

The initials represent the chocolate maker owners Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie, and their initials appear on 400 million sweets every day!

24. A human can sweat around 26 gallons in bed every year!

That works out at 416 cups over the course of 12 months. Ew! It’s one of the many reasons you should change your bed sheets regularly.

25. Space has a smell!

According to several astronauts, space has a hot metallic whiff. But British astronaut Tim Peake has said it also reminded him of a summer barbecue, but explained that it’s most likely to be static electricity with ozone.

26. Sloths don’t fart!

The digestive system of a sloth is slow and it takes days to digest the leaves. Surprising fact: The sloth’s gut produce methane but instead of being released out of the bum in the usual humorous, stinky way, the methane is absorbed into the blood. So there’s absolutely no point in blaming a bad smell on these slow-moving mammals.

27. There are 421 words for snow in Scotland!

While we’re not going to list every single word here, you could call a large snowflake a ‘skelf’, for example. Or, if there’s a short snowfall, you could call it a ‘flindrikin’. So now you know.

28. There are 100 folds in a chef’s hat!

The 100 folds in a chef’s hat are supposed to represent the 100 ways to cook an egg. We came up with a list of about 10 then gave up. We reckon a chef made that up during a quiet lunchtime. Some historians say that the higher a chef’s hat – or toque – is, the more experienced they are.

29. There are earthquakes on the moon!

They’re less common and less powerful than the quakes on Earth, and they’re called…wait for it… moon quakes! That was a quick meeting to name that phenomenon.

Yes, it’s true. We’re as amazed as you are!

31. Chicago is nicknamed The Windy City

But it doesn’t have anything to do with the weather. A journalist came up with the nickname because they thought everyone who lived there was a ‘windbag’.

32. The longest English word is 189,819 letters long!

Are you ready? It’s – DEEP BREATH – methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylalanyl… Actually, it would take you three hours to say out loud. It’s a protein and scientists call it ‘titin’ so save time.

33. You will always see the same side of the moon!

That’s because it spins around while orbiting the earth. It takes 27 days to do one turn while going around the earth. Scientists call this ‘synchronous rotation’, which is very fancy.

34. Sloths can hold their breath longer than a dolphin!

They can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes. And their arms are very strong, which makes them awesome swimmers – we doubt we’ll see them in any Olympic competitions, though. That’s due to them being sloths. And lazy, really.

35. Most Muppets are left-handed!

That’s because the puppeteers who help the soft cloth heroes act in TV shows and films use their dominant hand, which is in most cases their right, to operate their head and mouths.

36. Pringles have an official shape!

Most snacks have a random shape, which is down to the shape of the potato they’re from or the shape of shells, alien heads or teddy bears. Pringles, however, have a scientific name – hyperbolic paraboloids – which can be expressed as the equation z=Ax2+By2. Lovely stuff.

37. Dolphins sleep with one eye open!

That’s because they love to look at stuff. Just joking! Our clicking sea pals do this so they can rest and keep an eye out for predators. Here’s an amazing fact – the left side of their brain sleeps when their right eye is closed and so on. This is called unihemispheric sleep.

38. It’s impossible to hum while holding your nose!

Try it. See? That’s because you need to breathe out to make the sound.

39. Pigs do not sweat!

The farmyard favourites don’t possess sweat glands like humans, so they roll around in mud to keep cool. So that idea you had to make sweatbands for pigs? An absolute waste of time. Sorry.

40. There are thousands of rubber ducks lost at sea

Yup, in 1992 a crate containing 28,000 rubber ducks capsized at sea and spilled out into the ocean. And they’re still washing up today! Maybe you might find one!

41. A film star invented wifi

Hedy Lamarr was not just a glamorous and beautiful actor who starred in many movies, she was also a genius who helped develop the technology that would eventually turn into wifi! Talk about multi tasking!

42. Starlings can sound like your phone

Yes, starlings are pretty cool birds. They have amazing powers of mimicry means they can sound like almost anything they hear – phones, drills, even people!  Next time you see one, see if you can listen out for any weird noises!

43. Pandas fake pregnancy!

Have you ever pretended to feel ill to get some sympathy? Well, you’ve got nothing on pandas! Pandas in captivity have been known to pretend to be pregnant so that they get special treatment! Sneaky!

44. Doctors used to diagnose you from your humours

Not funny humors – humors were four different types of fluids that ancient doctors believed filled the human body. They were: blood, black bile, yellow bile and phlegm. Yuck!! These old doctors believed that if patients had too much of one fluid, it would affect their personality. Truly weird! Don’t worry, doctors don’t do this anymore!

45. It would take an hour to drive to space

‘Space’ is technically only about 62 miles from the earth’s surface. If you had a special car that could drive straight up, it would only take an hour to reach it!

46. Pineapples were once luxury objects

When pineapples were first introduced to britain about 200 years ago, they were so rare and amazing that they became status symbols. Rich people would display pineapples on their mantelpieces until they went rotten, and even build houses shaped like pineapples! Would you build a house shaped like your favourite food?

47. Animals used to be put on trial

Has your dog ever done something naughty? Ok, but would you take him to court over it? Up until the 18th century, animals could be  accused of crimes just like people. Nothing fun like robbing a bank, most of these ‘crimes’ were either killing a person or damaging property.  Finally people realised that animals probably didn’t know what they were doing. So go easy on your dog next time he misbehaves!

48. The tallest ever human was a man called Robert Waldo

Robert Wadlow was an American man who grew to be 8 foot 11 inches tall! That’s nearly three metres! Sadly Robert’s height wasn’t good for his health, and he passed away at only 22 years old.

49. It’s illegal to own only one guinea pig in Switzerland

That doesn’t mean everyone in Switzerland HAS to own a guinea pig. It means that if you own one, you’ve got to get another too! This is because guinea pigs can get lonely and depressed by themselves.


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