High school textbooks can only cover so much. Sometimes, the most fascinating tidbits slip through the cracks. Here are 17 facts that might not have made it into your school curriculum but are sure to pique your interest.
Benjamin Franklin Didn’t Invent the Lightbulb
When we think of Benjamin Franklin, inventions like bifocals or the lightning rod might come to mind. Surprisingly, the lightbulb isn’t among them. That distinction goes to pioneers like Thomas Edison and Sir Hiram Maxim.
Napoleon Wasn’t That Short
Standing at about 5’7”, Napoleon’s height was standard, if not slightly taller than the average man during his era. The misconception could stem from the variance in French and British measurement systems or from some exaggerated tales told by his rivals.
Shakespeare Had a Tremendous Vocabulary
Shakespeare wasn’t just a playwright; he was a linguistic virtuoso. Researchers estimate he had a vocabulary exceeding 29,000 words. In comparison, the everyday person today employs a mere 5,000 to 6,000 words in regular conversations.
Cleopatra Lived Closer to the Moon Landing than the Pyramids
Cleopatra’s reign is closer to the iconic moon landing in 1969 than to the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza. This tidbit showcases the vastness of human history and how modern events are just a blink in time’s vast expanse.
The Color Pink Didn’t Always Mean “For Girls”
Fashion and societal norms evolve. In the early 20th century, pink, now often associated with femininity, was viewed as a strong, masculine hue. Blue, on the other hand, was soft and feminine. Over the decades, societal perceptions shifted, leading to today’s color conventions.
The Eiffel Tower Can Grow Taller in the Summer
Steel structures like the Eiffel Tower aren’t as rigid as they appear. Due to a phenomenon called thermal expansion, the Eiffel Tower can stretch up to six inches during hotter months.
The Sandwich Was Named After an Actual Person
Legend says John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, wanted a quick meal that wouldn’t disrupt his card games. Thus, the idea of meat between bread was born, and mealtime was forever changed.
The Shortest War in History Lasted 38 Minutes
Wars often span years, but the Anglo-Zanzibar War is an exception. In 1896, this brief battle between Britain and Zanzibar concluded in just 38 minutes. That’s less time than some folks spend deciding what to have for dinner!
Humans and Giraffes Have the Same Number of Neck Vertebrae
While giraffes are known for their long necks, they share a skeletal similarity with humans. Both species possess seven neck vertebrae. The key difference is that each giraffe vertebra is substantially longer, allowing for that signature elongated neck.
One Light Year is About 5.88 Trillion Miles
“Light year” might sound temporal, but it’s all about distance. This term denotes how far light travels in a year, an astounding 5.88 trillion miles. Space truly is the final, and seemingly infinite, frontier.
Alaska is the Westernmost and Easternmost U.S. State
Due to the Aleutian Islands stretching past the 180º line of Longitude, Alaska has a unique claim. It’s both the westernmost and easternmost state. A geographical marvel, indeed!
You’re Always About a Foot Away from a Spider
For those with arachnophobia, this may not be a comforting fact. Spiders are omnipresent, playing an essential role in ecosystems by managing insect populations.
“OK” Stands for “Oll Korrect”
The universally accepted “OK” derived from a playful misspelling of “all correct.” Its widespread adoption turned it into the affirmative staple we utter daily.
Your Taste Buds Have a Short Lifespan
Those tiny taste receptors on our tongues work hard. But their tenure is brief, with a lifespan of just 10 to 14 days. As old ones retire, new ones emerge. It’s a perpetual cycle that ensures we savor every bite.
Honey Never Spoils
Ancient tombs have offered up pots of honey that, despite being millennia old, remain edible. This natural sweetener’s composition prevents bacteria, granting it an eternal shelf life. So that jar in your pantry will outlast us all!
Cows Have Best Friends
Animals have social hierarchies and bonds, with cows being no exception. They often form tight-knit bonds with specific peers and can exhibit signs of stress when separated. Just like humans, cows value friendship and camaraderie.
Carrots Were Originally Purple
Centuries ago, in regions like Afghanistan, carrots showcased a deep purple or even black appearance. The orange variety we’re familiar with today resulted from selective breeding by Dutch farmers. The goal? To honor the House of Orange. CF
Times change, and some of us are old enough to remember how much. Some things that were seen as affordable or reasonable a few decades ago are now luxury items kept as a rare treat, only exist in certain instances (or not at all), or are reserved for the wealthy. One internet user recently inquired, “What was normal 20–30 years ago but is considered a luxury now?” Here are the top 20 replies:
A recent internet survey posed the question, “Married men: what’s one thing you wish you could tell your wife but won’t because you know it will start a fight?” Here are the 23 best responses.
Some things never change, and a few products hold onto the past. Here are 21 items that scream ‘Boomer’ and are associated with outdated technology and nostalgic trinkets. Check your home to see if you have any of these relics.
As times change, there are inevitably some things that baffle our beloved seniors, while leaving the rest of us in splits or simply shrugging it off. From avocado toasts to e-books, in this article, we’re highlighting 19 things old people hate that the rest of us just don’t understand.
They say you are what you eat, but for these treats, you might want to wish otherwise. Read on for the top 20 foods that Americans may love but the rest of the world just absolutely can’t stand.