The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Oscar Wilde’s ironic twist on human nature makes sense even out of context. The world is filled with little eccentricities weird but true facts that will truly boggle your mind.
A different perspective might change the way you’re looking at things. An odd piece of trivia might revitalize your way of thinking.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the awesome list of weird but true facts that will tingle your curious minds.
1. As of today, Mona Lisa has no eyebrows.
Have you noticed that the Mona Lisa has no eyebrows? Despite their absence, the Mona Lisa has beguiled art enthusiasts for centuries. A closer study did bring some answers.
It wasn’t an unfinished piece of work, nor did Leonardo da Vinci forget to draw them. And no, it wasn’t some sort of high-class fashion choice either. The enigmatic subject did have eyebrows. They eroded overtime or got obliterated by prior restoration efforts.
2. Silence will drive you mad.
A moment of peace is always appreciated, but too much of it might drive you insane. An anechoic chamber in Minnesota’s Orfield Laboratories is said to be the quietest place on Earth. The longest someone has been there was for 45 minutes.
Those who entered the space claimed they had trouble standing immediately afterward. Spooky, isn’t it? This happens because humans tend to use sounds from their surroundings to orient themselves.
3. Spaghetti has a singular form.
Have you ever sat down and basically inhaled a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs? You then notice a single strand of pasta limping on the side of your bowl. Did it ever occur to you that maybe it has a singular term? No? Well, it does.
The singular form of spaghetti is actually spaghetto. So, if you see a messy eater, you can pompously say that they have a piece of spaghetto stuck on their chins. Similarly, the singular forms of confetti and graffiti are confetto and graffito respectively.
4. Spiderwebs were once used as bandages.
Those cobwebs you brushed off last week probably saved someone from bleeding out once upon a time. Doctors from ancient Greece used to make bandages for their patients with spiderwebs.
These webs kept wounds clean and prevented infections because of their natural antiseptic properties. So, if you ever prick your fingers and notice you’ve run out of bandages, you know what to turn towards.
5. Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn.
Unicorns have been featured in cultures from the classical age. Scotland shares a love for myths and legends, unlike any other nation. Their love goes back centuries and it’s the strength these creatures possess that must have drawn the Scots.
In Celtic mythology, the unicorn is a symbol of purity and innocence. Legends claim that their horns can purify poisoned water. There are many tales of dominance, independence, and chivalry associated with these creatures too. So, it comes as no surprise when a fabled creature is dubbed as its national animal.
6. A chicken can survive a few months without its head.
The record time for a chicken surviving without a head was eighteen months. This was done by Mike the Headless Chicken, and the animal was a media sensation decades ago.
A farmer named Lloyd Olsen had chopped off his head in the year 1945, but the chicken didn’t die. This took place because chicken brains are concentrated at the back of their skills. So, a decapitated chicken can be around for a while.
7. The Guinness Book of World Records was born because of a bar argument.
Another weird but true fact revolves around the origin of the Guinness Book of World Records. It started because the participants of an argument couldn’t settle which was the fastest game bird in Europe. If you’re curious to know, it’s the golden plover.
The Managing Director of Guinness Brewery, Sir Hug Beaver, was part of that argument. He noticed how hard it was to find the answers in a reference book. So, he started to settle these by noting down the random facts in a book.
8. Chewing gum is banned in Singapore.
There’s a reason why Singapore is called the first-world oasis in a third-world region. Lee Kuan Yew didn’t only want to make Singapore a global trading hub, but also a country of perfection.
The ban was established in 1992 with the intention to keep the city clean and orderly. There were a few expectations made for therapeutic, dental, or nicotine gums. There are additional laws for spitting and urinating too.
9. One-fourth of your bones are in your feet.
Each of your feet comprises twenty-six bones. That’s fifty-two in total, which makes up twenty-five percent of your skeleton. It might sound weird at first, but it actually makes sense.
Think about it: your feet support all your weight at all times. It’s your feet that enable you to jump, run, climb, and dance. These bones are the reasons why you surpass other mammals.
10. You can’t sneeze with your eyes open.
You really can’t, and you shouldn’t even try. This mechanism exists for a good reason. It’s a natural human reflex. Some people make an added effort to try, but there are no benefits in doing so.
Closing your eyelids ensures that no irritants enter the system and aggravates the eyes. It’s your body’s response to protect itself from unwanted germs. There’s also an age-old myth that claims your eyes will pop up. It won’t. But you’d rather be safe than sorry, wouldn’t you?
11. Panda droppings can be made into paper.
It’s weird but true. Panda droppings can actually be made into paper, and a Chinese firm is doing just that. It’s just hard to imagine someone asking, “What if we made paper from poop?”
The firm will collect the panda droppings from the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda and make toilet paper and other paper products out of it. The resulting product comes with a steep price tag, though! A box of tissue papers will approximately cost $6!
12. The guillotine was last used in the year 1977.
It might seem like a while, but the National Razor of France was used in the same year that “Star Wars: A New Hope” came out. In retrospect, that’s not too long ago, is it?
The last person to meet his end through the guillotine was a convicted murderer named Hamida Djandoubi. He was also the last man to be legally executed by beheading in the European Union.
13. Sunglasses were meant to hide the facial expressions of Chinese judges in court.
These popular protective wear had a pretty interesting origin. They weren’t designed to prevent bright sunlight from causing your eyes trouble, nor were they meant to be a fashion accessory.
They were made to help Chinese judges mask their emotions while questioning witnesses back in the 12th century. It has come a long way since.
14. Chocolate milk once served as a medicine.
We’re upset that this trend died out, but we understand the reasoning. Sir Hans Sloane, an Irish physician, was the inventor of chocolate milk. He was in Jamaica when he figured out how to make the concoction pleasant and then brought the recipe back to England.
It was initially manufactured and sold as medicine because chocolate milk has calcium and vitamin D in it. Cacao also had bacterial agents that slowed tooth decay. It was the sugar that caused cavities! So don’t over-indulge the sweet drink.
15. Honey never spoils.
The chemical composition of honey ensures that no organisms live in it. So, if you have a jar of honey that has been abandoned in the cupboard for too long, you can go ahead and use it.
The water content of honey is the reason why it doesn’t spoil. The water activity is too low to entice microbial growth. So, this prevents honey from spoiling.
16. Buttermilk contains no butter.
You might think buttermilk is this enriched, high-fat milk. It’s anything but. Another weird but true fact is that buttermilk has no butter in it. It’s actually lower in fat than regular milk.
The name was presented to this liquid because of the process. The beverage actually results from the process of churning butter. It doesn’t have a sweet taste either. It’s actually tangy!
17. Lobsters have clear blood.
Lobsters have a few interesting features. We know that their shells change color when cooked, but did you know that their blood does too?
The crustacean shell changes to a lovely red when placed in a pot of boiling water. Their blood is initially clear, but it turns blue when it’s exposed to oxygen. Interesting phenomenon, isn’t it?
18. There’s a ninja shortage.
There’s no doubt that there’s a high demand for ninja movies or shows, but Japan is still facing a ninja shortage. This is because it’s a dying tradition. So, if you’ve ever dreamed of becoming one, now would be a great time to chase it.
The job isn’t easy, and mastering it takes time. The birthplace of Ninja, the city of Iga in Japan, is even willing to pay salaries as high as $85,000 for performative ninjas.
19. Pornography sites are safer than religious ones.
You’ll be surprised to know that religious websites carry thrice the number of malware threats that porn sites do. Research shows that only around 2.5 percent of adult websites might be infected. The irony isn’t lost on us.
This happens because porn sites, unlike religious websites, are able to generate profit. So, they have the financial backing to secure their website and promote their business.
20. Chainsaws were originally a surgical instrument.
Two doctors invented the chainsaw in 1780 to help the process of symphysiotomy. It was meant to make the removal of pelvic bone easier during childbirth.
The visualization is frightening, but the surgical equipment wasn’t like the boisterous machine that we see now. It looked more like a kitchen knife and only had tiny teeth on the chain.
21. William Shakespeare didn’t know how his name was spelled.
We know a fair bit about this literary genius, but even historians aren’t too sure about the spelling of his name. Frankly, neither did he! Shakespeare used his moniker in a number of ways.
His contemporaries spelled it in over eighty ways. These also included “Shappere” and “Shaxberd” too. Shakespeare himself used “Willm Shakp” in several accounts. Funnily enough, not once did he use William Shakespeare.
22. Barbie isn’t who you think she is.
This iconic doll is recognized by the name “Barbie.” But the weird but true fact is, that’s only her nickname. Her full name is actually Barbara Millicent Roberts. The name was given to her in honor of Ruth Handler’s daughter, Barbara.
It was she who inspired her mother to design an adult-like doll with grown-up personalities. Fun fact? Ken, Barbie’s on-and-off boyfriend, was actually named after Ruth Handler’s son.
23. Napping on the job is honorable in Japan.
Working yourself to the point of exhaustion is seen as a sign of diligence in Japan. There’s even a word for it! Inemuri. The term roughly translates to being present while sleeping. It’s frowned upon in jobs which aren’t white-collar, though. You can’t expect a waiter to be napping on a clock!
The term, inemuri, isn’t limited to work only either. Sleeping in public isn’t that uncommon. You can find people snoozing in coffee shops or public transport.
24. Cotton candy was invented by a dentist.
Another ironic twist of events is the origins of the cotton candy. It was actually a dentist and a confectioner who introduced cotton candy to the world. In 1897, William Morrison and John C. Wharton came up with the machine that would be used to spin cotton candy.
Initially, it was first termed as “Fairy Floss,” though. The name later evolved into cotton candy when another dentist reinvented the machine.
25. Pineapples are sweeter with salt.
We sprinkle sugar to get something sweet, but that doesn’t work with pineapples. In fact, adding salt makes it sweeter. How? The salt suppresses the bitter flavor of the fruit.
The counterintuitive method actually works. Once the bitterness is out of the picture, you get to experience the innate sweetness of the spiky fruit. To make the most of it, soak pieces of the fruit in saltwater.
26. Cheetahs can’t roar.
Cheetahs may look like a large cat, and they somewhat are, but they meow and purr just like a regular housecat. These cats may weigh up to 160 pounds or so, but their anatomy is more akin to a small cat’s.
Their vocal cords vibrate as they breathe since their voice box is fixed. This negates their ability to roar. That doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous, though.
27. Clouds aren’t as light and fluffy as they seem.
Another weird but true fact is that clouds weigh a ton. Researchers have found out that a single cloud may weigh up to a million pounds, or more.
The value is calculated by considering the water density and volume of the cloud. The only reason they float is that the air below the clouds is even heavier. This certainly places things in a different perspective, doesn’t it?
28. Cashew nuts grow on the end of cashew apples.
The fruit from cashew trees contains a single seed, which is primarily recognized as the cashew nut. The tree produces a long, fleshy stalk that looks much like a kidney or even a boxing glove.
Cashews go through a rigorous process before it can be eaten. Raw cashews contain a toxic component that causes rashes on the skin. It’s the same ingredient that makes poison ivy lethal.
29. Peanuts aren’t nuts.
Despite having the term nuts in their name, peanuts aren’t nuts at all. So, what are they? The weird but true fact is that they’re a legume, much like peas or lentils. So, if you’re allergic to them, you’re not safe from other tree nuts either.
They’re essentially edible seeds enclosed in pods. These pods are technically classified as seeds of trees. For culinary and nutritional purposes, they’re widely acclaimed as nuts.
30. All the swans in England belong to the Queen.
As odd as it sounds, a British law states that any unclaimed swan in England and Wales belong to the Queen. So, any unmarked swan is the Queen’s by default. The “Swan Keeper” also dispatches swans all over the world as gifts.
Historically, this legislation was passed because swans were considered to be a delicacy for the wealthy. It’s no longer the case, as they’re a protected species. There’s also a traditional practice called “Swan Upping” that takes place in the third week of July.
31. You can see rainbows at night too.
While exceedingly rare, you can see something as amazing as a rainbow at night. They have a special name, and they’re called moonbows, also known as lunar rainbows.
They’re caused by the dispersion of light and occur in places with waterfalls and mists. The chances of you witnessing this are higher during the full moon because there’s enough light for this phenomenon to take place.
32. There’s a potato-shaped planet.
You read it right. Not every planet is a beautiful orb. Some celestial objects have the funniest shapes while others have the gaudiest colors. Haumea, a dwarf planet that orbits the sun beyond Neptune, is the perfect example.
Haumea has similar rights to Jupiter but has a decidedly weird shape. It looks like a potato or a misshapen dough. In our opinion, that’s what makes it truly cool.
33. You can tattoo your eyeballs too.
If you’re going for the full tattooed body, why leave your eyeballs out? The ink is injected into a thin layer of skin called the conjunctiva. People have inked their eyes in all kinds of colors.
The procedure is surprisingly not as painful as a regular tattoo. People find it much more stressful, though—even hardcore body-art fans. We don’t blame them. This process comes with risks, so be wary of all possible outcomes.
34. The teabag was an accident.
Thomas Sullivan, a tea merchant during the 1900s, sent a sample of tea leaves to his buyers in small silken bags. They presumed these bags were meant to be used too. So, they placed the entire thing in the teapot.
This misdirection led to Sullivan creating teabags for commercial production. It may have been an accident, but it’s certainly an accident we can all be grateful for. Initially, his sachets were made of gauze. It was later made of paper.
35. Paper bags aren’t as environmentally friendly as they seem.
Another weird but true facts is that paper bags may cause more harm to the environment than plastic ones. You’ll be surprised to find out that bans on plastic bags are being enacted frequently. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its drawbacks.
Paper bags use four times more energy to produce. It goes through a more expensive process as well. Producing these emits 70% more pollution than plastic bags too! It’s best to ditch them both and use reusable bags.
Just when you think you know it all, the world and its inhabitants surprise you. Some of these facts may sound far too outlandish to be true. The more you dig into that topic, you’ll manage to uncover tidbits of information that wouldn’t be deemed important otherwise.
History is filled with silly or odd traditions that will make you balk.
Did you know that archaeologists found an elixir of immortality in some tomb in China? It didn’t work very well for the family that believed in it, did it? Nature works in the most mysterious ways too. A day in Venus is longer than a year in Venus. That statement confused us too.
Make use of these weird but true facts in your life and jumpstart an invigorating conversation. Who knows? Your conversation partner might surprise you with more!