A lot of the factoids here were gotten from the chewing gum wrappers. Some of these facts were backed up by an encyclopedia of American history. I also got some facts from the dictionaries. For a comprehensive list of the largest and smallest in Nature, check out Guinness Book of Records.
Did You Know:
[+]that the longest lived mammal after man is the Asiatic elephant. It has lived for about 70 – 80 years. From the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (Illinois), at least, animals are the animals with the longest life span. For those of you new to the world of animals, visit Earth life to learn more about mammals and more facts about humans and animals.
[+]The oldest map is made from baked clay and about 3800 BC. I “googled” for this piece of information and found out that “One such Babylonian clay tablet that has been generally accepted as “the earliest known map” is the artifact unearthed in 1930 at the excavated ruined city of Ga-Sur at Nuzi [Yorghan Tepe], near the towns of Harran and Kirkuk, 200 miles north of the site of Babylon [present-day Iraq]. Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand (7.6 x 6.8 cm), most authorities place the date of this map-tablet from the dynasty of Sargon of Akkad (2,300-2,500 B.C.); although, again, there is the conflicting date offered by the distinguished Leo Bagrow of the Agade Period (3,800 B.C.)” It is in quotes because I culled it directly from Ataman Hotel. Visit History World for a brief history of maps.
[+]Another name for the crane fly is Daddy-long-legs or mosquito hawk. This is correct and the scientific name for the crane fly is: Tipula maxima – Large Crane Fly. Visit First Nature for information on the crane fly. Furthermore, it seems that the term “Daddy-long-legs or Daddy-longlegs” is also used to refer to spiders. “The creatures most correctly called daddy-longlegs are in their own separate Order which is Opiliones. Common names for this Order are 1) daddy-longlegs” and this piece of information was culled direct from Univ. of California, Riverside. Visit The Free Dictionary for more information about crane flies.
[+]Mercury is also called quick silver and is exceedingly dense
[+]Sucre was coined after Antonio Jose de Sucre [1795 - 1830] and is the monetary unit of Ecuador. He has been described as an honest and self effacing man by Bartleby.com.
[+]Gamma globulin is a form of protein that gives protection against certain illnesses. Visit Encyclopedia.com for in-depth and up-to-date data about gamma globulin.
[+]Queen Elizabeth II has the world’s most valuable private stamp collection. The National Postal Museum says the “Royal Philatelic Collection includes the world’s finest and most comprehensive collection of British and Commonwealth stamps.” Judge for yourself.
[+]The British Symphony Orchestra did without conductors till 1820
[+]Olympic gold medalist, American Johnny Weissmuller (1904 – 1984), broke the record with 58.6 seconds swimming freestyle on July 9. This, however, was not Weissmuller’s only feat. He went on to win three gold medals at the 1924 Olympics in Paris, France, and two gold medals at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. In his career, he claimed 52 U.S. titles and 28 world distance records. Johnny Weissmuller (original name: Jonas Weissmuller) was born on June 2, 1904, in Freidorf, Hungary. He died on January 20, 1984, while in Acapulco, Mexico. He portrayed Tarzan in Jungle Boy.
[+]The moon, to the nearest hour, orbits the earth in 27 days 7 hours. According to the Univ. of Leicester, because the Earth moves in its orbit around the Sun at the same time, the Moon’s cycle of phases (one new Moon to the next) lasts 29 days 12 hours.
[+]The earth takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to make a revolution. The Earth rotates on its axis once every 23 hours 56 minutes. Visit Leicester for more.
[+]Padaung women in Burma have the longest necks up to 40 centimeters. Yes, this piece of information is also right. Visit this article about how they have turned themselves into tourist attractions. Visit Myanmar to learn more about these Padaung women and don’t forget to check out Burma for pictures of these women.
[+]Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. This is true and has been substantiated by History faqs at the Navy.
[+]Apollo 8′s mission was to orbit the moon. First of all, visit this Nasa website about the history of these space missions. And yes, this factoid is true. For confirmation, click Nasa.
[+]The Ural mountains separate Europe from Asia. Yep, turns out this factoid also happens to be correct. Visit Activity Tree for confirmation and more information about the continents.
[+]January’s birthstone is the garnet
[+]The 24th Olympics were held at Seoul.
[+]Australia is bounded of by the Coral Tasman sea and the Indian ocean. This continent is bounded on the north by the Timor Sea, the Arafura Sea, and the Torres Strait; on the east by the Coral Sea and the Tasman Sea; on the south by the Bass Strait and the Indian Ocean; and on the west by the Indian Ocean. This information was gotten from Info-Indo.
[+]24 people can dine at a standard snooker table
[+]A typical hen hatched 19 dozen eggs in a year. First of all, this bit of information is true. Visit Alberta Egg Producers for more information on eggs and hens.
[+]David Moorcroft beat the world record by 5 seconds in 1982. This is not entirely true. In fact, on 7th July 1982 at the famous Bislett Stadium in Oslo, Norway, David Moorcroft carved almost six seconds off Henry Rono’s World 5000m. record. This tidbit was gotten from Sporting Heroes.
[+]King Charles I was the last king to step into the house. According to Wikipedia, this might not be entirely true. Charles I had a son who succeeded him though not directly. After the Restoration of the Monarchy system, Charles II came to be king.
[+]Olympic boxers have had to protect their heads since 1948. Firstly, check out a history of Olympic boxing.
[+]Tartaric acid is from argol, C4H6O6. This tidbit is also correct. During the alcoholic fermentation of grape juice it is deposited in the form of an impure acid potassium tartrate which is known as argol, and when purified as cream of tartar. Visit Encyclopedia for more information.
[+]King Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 to become the Duke of Windsor. He was the only monarch to voluntarily relinquish his throne. Born Andrew Patrick David Windsor (23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972), King Edward “reigned as King of the United Kingdom, Ireland and the other British Dominions, and as Emperor of India from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December 1936 (although in South Africa he was deemed to have abdicated the previous day, and in the Irish Free State his abdication did not take effect until the following day). He was the last monarch to serve his entire reign as Emperor of India.” Visit Wikipedia to find out more about Edward VIII.
[+]The Belgian Congo was the name of Congo in its colonial days. This is correct and as you may have guessed, they were colonized by Belgium. These days, Congo is officially the Democratic Republic of Congo. Check up Info Please for more about that country.
[+]The battle of Jutland was a major sea battle of the first World War. According to Great-Britain.co.uk, it was the major battle of WWI so my factoid is correct.
[+]Aqua fortis is nitric acid
[+]the largest egg by a hen was 11.4cm and had 9 yolks. First of all, In 1971, a hen at Hainsworth Poultry Farm in NY laid an egg that contained 9 yolks! The largest chicken egg was laid by a Black Minorca in England. The 5 yolk egg weighed nearly 12 ounces. It was 12 1\4 inches around the long axis and 9 inches around the short axis. The heaviest chicken egg was laid by a White Leghorn in NJ. The double yolk and double shell egg weighed 16 ounces. This information was culled from Coops Jokes. For further verification, check out The Hen House for more chicken trivia. To learn more about eggs, visit AEB.org.
[+]the longest year in history was 46 BC and had 15 months and 445 days . Before you snort in disbelief, check out this page for confirmation of this fact. It was 707 A.R.C. (Anno Romanus Civitas), better known to us as 46 B.C. Check out Wolfram Research for more information on the Julian Calendar.
[+]the youngest Island in the world was formed on 14 November, 1963. The British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) has it that Photographer Gordon Ridley (Icelandic adventure – 1981)led a pioneering BSAC trip to the Vestmannaeyjar islands off southwest Iceland. Three consecutive fortnight voyages took place, including a visit to the world’s youngest island, Surtsey, a volcanic island that was spewed out of the Atlantic between 1963 and 1967.
[+]Cyprus Island has the largest promontory for its size. Visit Study Light for thorough information on Cyprus Island. It is the largest island in the Mediterranean with the exception of Sardinia and Sicily. That’s all I could find out.
[+]the world’s biggest book is 2.80 centimeters high and 4 meters wide. Turns out this record is not true. In 2003, an MIT scientist Michael Hawley, created a 133-pound tome about the Asian country of Bhutan that uses enough paper to cover a football field and a gallon of ink has been declared the world’s largest published book by the Guinness Book of Records. Each copy of “Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Kingdom,” is 5-by-7 feet and 112 pages. For more on this, visit CNN. Hawley said his research revealed that the biggest book in the Library of Congress was John J. Audubon’s 19th century “Birds of America,” which is 2.5-by-3.5 feet.
[+]Edwin Aldrich was the second man to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969 in Apollo XI. Yep, this tidbit is true.
- Neil A. Armstrong (2), Commander
- Edwin E. Aldrin (2), Jr., Lunar Module Pilot
- Michael Collins (2), Command Module Pilot
Visit NASA for more about their mission.
[+]Hans Albrecht Bethe won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1967 and helped to build the first atomic bomb during World War II.
[+]the oldest human teeth are 3 – 4 million years old in China. One of the first to collect “dragon bones” was a German physician K.A. Haberer, who traveled to Peking (now Beijing), China in 1899, during the Boxer rebellion. He found 2 million year tooth and then, in Chou K’ou Tien, Swedish geologist and mining specialist on assignment in China named Johan Gunnar Andersson found similar teeth in 1926. For more on this issue, visit Palomar.edu.
[+]the smallest tree in the world is only about 3 centimeters tall. It is a type of willow. The tiny dwarf willow is the world’s smallest tree. A full-grown specimen may reach a height of only 5 cm. It is found on frozen tundra in the Arctic, and grows very slowly. First of, visit Free Dictionary for oodles of information about trees. Then, check out Grid Club for a record of the true size of the smallest tree.
[+]The duckweed family (Lemnaceae) contains 38 species of minute flowering plants and are the smallest flowering plants in the world. Members of the genus Wolffia are the ultimate in reduction of a flowering plant consisting of tiny, rootless spheres only 1 mm long (or less).
[+]The slowest-growing tree is a white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) located in Canada. After 155 years, it grew to a height of 10.2 cm (4 in.) and weighed only 17 g (0.6 oz), averaging a growth of 0.11 g (0.003 oz) each year. The tree is found on a cliffside in the Canadian Great Lakes area.
[+]Horace G. Wells was the first American dentist to employ nitrous oxide (laughing gas) as an anaesthetic in dental surgery. This information is corroborated by info from Creighton.edu.
[+]Vermiculite, hydrous silicate used as moisture-holding medium for plant growth. From Encarta MSN, Vermiculite is formed from Latin vermiculus “little worm,” because of the way flakes of it expand and writhe in long shapes when heated.
[+]Glenn Theodore Seaborg is the co-discoverer of the 9 transuranic elements – heavier than uranium – number 94 – 102 on the periodic table. This information is backed up by data from the Nobel e-Museum. He won the Nobel Chemistry Prize in 1951.
[+]Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was bombed on the 7th of December, 1941 and its bombing came with the death of 2330 people and left 1145 people wounded
[+]Samuel Finley Breese Morse invented the Telegraph [1791 - 1872] and the Morse code
[+]the highest tower is in the town of Toronto. This tidbit is not correct according to About.com. Petronas Towers in Malaysia are currently the tallest towers in the world. Check out this page for more on the tallest buildings.
[+]the Chinese name their years after animals. This is true so check out the Chinese Zodiac page for an in-depth explanation of why this practice goes on.
[+]Chess was first played in India in the year 500. According to Chess Poster, India seems to be the source of the game. Check out the Freer/Sackler Galleries for more chess history.
[+]the oldest stone temple is in Malta. According to Michael D. Gunther of Art-and-Archaeology.com, the prehistoric temples of Malta are the oldest standing stone structures which date from 4000 – 2500 BC. They are older than Stonehenge, older than the Pyramids.
[+]It takes 8 years to reach Uranus. It is 3 million kilometers from the Earth. No site explicitly states this, but just check out NASA’s page on the Solar system.
[+]Gnats spend their childhood in water. Visit this UCDavis page on insects and check out this page on critters.
[+]Indians got their name from Christopher Columbus, an Italian born explorer, discoverer of the West Indies in 1492, South America in 1498 and Central America in 1502. Go to Lapahie.com for more on the history of Indians and check out Swarthmore Univ. page on C. Columbus.
[+]the first stamp was issued in England. It was issued on 6 May 1840 and called the Penny Black. Read more about the history of stamps and the origin of stamps.
[+]the first dirigible aircraft was built by Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin. This factoid can be confirmed by visiting the Centennial of Flight website and checking out general information about aircrafts. Read more about the history of flight at the Aerospace Museum.
[+]the world’s fastest insect is the dragon fly – 36 kilometers per hour. This can be confirmed by visiting World Almanac for Kids, Aerospace, and Wikipedia.
[+]the biggest sailing ship has 6 masts. According to Guiness World Records, the biggest sailing vessel ever built was the 5,900-tonne (5,806-ton) France II, which was launched at Bordeaux, France, in 1911. This steel-hulled, five-masted ship had a 418-ft long hull. Read about humongous ships at Boats.com, and the Schooner Man.
[+]Russia’s famous Tsar-Kolokol is the largest bell in the world, but it is broken, Please visit Russian Bells for more about this bell. The world’s largest accessible and ringing bell is Burma’s Mingun Bell, which rings near the city of Sagaing, at the Mingun pagoda.
[+]the first Winter Olympic games took place in 1924
[+]the giant turtle has the longest life apart from bacteria. It can live up to 200 years
[+]the spectacled snake uses an optical aid
[+]the first talking newspaper was issued in 1975 in Holland for blind people
[+]the youngest student was 10 years and 4 months old
[+]the oldest wine that is still drinkable was made in 1540.
[+]the oldest playable flute is a 9000-year-old flute from a crane’s wing bone
[+]the water turtle lays its eggs on the ground for their development.
[+]a moujik is a russian peasant.
[+]the cockbird does not lay eggs.
[+]no Mountains in England are higher than 1200 meters
[+]you can tell a horse’s age by counting its teeth
[+]you can tell a tree’s age by counting the age rings inside it
[+]the Palestine yellow scorpion is the most venomous scorpion
[+]a Mahdi is one who overthrew the Egyptian power in Sudan in 1884 – 1885
[+]another name for alcoholics is dipsomaniac
[+]another name for sleepwalking is somnabulism
[+]the name of the fastest liner is “the United States,” for USA and can do 35.6knots.
[+]the longest pipeline is in USA “The All America”
[+]a lemming is a small arctic rodent reputed to rush into the sea and drown during migration [+]quicklime is got from heating limestone
[+]slaked lime is used in making fertilizer, mortar and for cement. It’s from a mixture of quick lime and water.
[+]the jugular vein is the vein that brings blood from the brain
[+]TNT (trinitrotoluene) is a high explosive from toluene
[+]Methane is also known as natural gas or marsh gas. It occurs in coal mines as fire damp causing explosions and on marshy areas.
[+]Benzene is found in petroleum and coal tar with 6 carbons and 6 hydrogen atoms
[+]the McCarthy witch hunt in USA for communists was from 1950 – 1954
[+]The Tricolor is the French national flag
[+]Maleic acid is acid isomeric with fumaric acid got from malic acid (obtained from apple juice (with 4 carbons, 6 hydrogen atoms and 5 oxygen atoms), unripe fruits)
[+]Fumaric acid is fond in fumaria and other plants
[+]palmitic acid is a fatty acid got from palm oil with 31 hydrogen atoms, 15 carbons and 1 carboxylic acid group
[+]Malonic acid is white acid with 2 carboxylic acid functional groups and a methylene group
[+]Chromic acid is of an orange red color and is used in dyeing and bleaching with 2 hydrogen atoms, 4 oxygen atoms and 1 chromium atom.
[+]Vesuvianite is a silicate of aluminum and calcium
[+]A moor is a member of Muslim people of mixed Arab and Berber blood who now live in North West Africa; One of Muslim Arabs who invaded Spain in the 8th century.
[+]Fabianism is from Quintus Fabius Maximus surnamed Cunctator (or the delayer) from the masterly way with which he wore out the strength of Hannibal whom he dared not meeting in battle.
[+]Aesculin is a glucoside found in horse chestnut bark
[+]Varicose veins: condition in which veins usually of the legs are swollen and painful
[+]melomania is the craze for music
[+]pleonexia is morbid selfishness
[+]Iodine-131 is a short lived radioactive isotope of iodine present in fallout widely used in medicin.
[+]Spode: a porcelain made with addition of bone ash by Josiah Spode [1754 - 1827] at Stoke
[+]Calomel: mercurous chloride used in medicine; becomes poisonous when added to acid e.g. lemon
[+]Carbon-14 is the radioactive isotope of carbon used as a tracing element in biological studies
[+]pedology is the study of soils
[+]sitology means dietetics
[+]Meconium: first faeces of a new born child
[+]Cetyl: the univalent radical with 16 carbons and 33 hydrogen atoms
[+]Cetyl alcohol: a waxy crystalline solid used in detergents and pharmaceuticals so called because compounds of it occur in spermaceti
[+]alpha particle: helium nucleus given off by radioactive particles
[+]gamma rays: penetrating radiation given off by radium and other radioactive substances
[+]infra-red: beyond the red end of the visible spectrum
[+]ultra-violet: pertaining to or using radiations of wavelengths less than those of visible light
[+]X-body: an inclusion in a plant cell suffering from a virus disease
[+]X-chromosome: a chromosome associated with sex determination usually occurring paired in the female zygote and cell and alone in the male zygote and cell
[+]Barium meal: thing taken by patients to make internal organs visible usually when having X-rays done.
[+]the Renaissance: revival of literature, painting etc in Europe in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.
[+]the Protectorate: period between 1653 – 1659 and during the rule of Oliver and Richard Cromwell
[+]X-rays: electromagnet rays of very short wavelengths which can penetrate matter opaque to light rays produced when cathode rays impinge on matter. Discovered by Konrad Roentgen in 1895
[+]Characterist X-rays: secondary X-rays emitted when X-rays fall on matter which contains mono- chromatic radiations that vary in wavelength according to atoms from which they are scattered.
[+]X-ray spectrum: a wavelength or frequency diagram in which a series of lines indicate by their positions the particular X-rays emitted by a body as a result of cathode ray bombardment.
[+]Troposphere: lower layer of atmosphere in which temperature falls as height increases
[+]Stratosphere: a region of atmosphere beginning about 4 and a half to 10 miles up in which temperature does not fall as altitude increases.
[+]angel dust: hallucinogenic drug, phencyclidine hydrochloride
[+]laser: means Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A device which amplifies an input of light producing an extremely narrow and intense monochromatic beam
[+]Torr: unit of pressure equal to 133.32 pascals and equal to 1/760 of 1 atm
[+]Magic sequence of numbers which add up to 15 however you add them:2,7,6 – 9,5,1 – 4,3,8
[+]In Thailand, they have 4-sided coins
[+]the highest temperature man can withstand is 43.8 degrees Celsius
[+]Oysters make pearls in the Ocean
[+]an Elephant’s tusk always regrows if removed
[+]a snail’s reproductive organs are found on its head
[+]Jose Rumanzo from Ecuador wrote the longest poem which had 230 000 verses
[+]the Spaniard mater, Rovilla Doce was the most prolific painter in the World. He painted 22022 pictures in 30 days
[+]the heaviest swinging bell is the St. Peter’s bell hanging in Cologne Cathedral weighing 26 tonnes
[+]beta rays are streams of beta particles given off by radium and other radioactive particles
[+]Weber: S.I. Unit of magnetic flux
[+]the average tortoise has no teeth
[+]miliaria is prickly heat
[+]a sculpture known as venus de Milo (now in the Louvre) was discovered in the Island of Milos, in 1820
[+]quart: unit of dry measure: 1/32 bushel, 1101 c.c.; quart bottle of wine or spirit, 1/6 gallon
[+]First Reich: German commonwealth as a whole; Holy Roman empire [962 - 1806]
[+]Second Reich: 1871 – 1918
[+]Third Reich: Nazi regime [1933 - 1945]
[+]hypoxia: oxygen deficiency
[+]hyperemia: excessive quantity of blood in tissues
[+]hyoid: U-shaped bone between chin and thyroid cartilage
[+]ambylopia: impaired vision without apparent change in eye
[+]nephology: study of clouds
[+]oneirology: study and interpretation of dreams
[+]RNA: ribonucleic acid also a nucleic acid yielding ribose on hydrolysis; present in cytoplasm and controls synthesis of proteins
[+]carat: measure of weight for precious stones; 200 milligrams
[+]curie: unit of radioactivity; corresponding to 3.7 e 10 disintegrations per second
[+]musk: odoriferous reddish brown substance secreted in gland by male musk deer used as basis for perfumes and as stimulant
[+]steatopygia: excessive development of fat on the buttocks especially of Hottentot women
[+]lippizaner: horse of fine white breed used especially in displays of dressage
[+]metorrhagia: bleeding from the womb
[+]orchitis: inflammation of the testis
[+]pimpernel root acts to combat hoarseness of the voice
[+]extracts of primrose and thyme are useful in liquefying mucus and facilitating expectoration
[+]in 1932, on the 21st of December, the BBC World service was inaugurated
[+]1st January, 1999, the new single European currency was launched
[+]8th Jan, 1914, the 1st radium cancer treatment was given
[+]22nd January, 1272, paper manufacture was introduced to Italy
[+]29th Jan, the ocean line, Queen Elizabeth, turned in Hong Kong harbour (1972)
[+]30th Jan, 1933, Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany
[+]6th Feb, 1471, Italian translation of the Bible was first printed in Venice
[+]7th Feb, 1958, Munich air disaster happened where 8 Manchester United players were killed
[+]8th Feb, 1597, Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded
[+]16th Feb, Michelangelo began work on the Sistine Chapel
[+]26th Feb, 1748, the buried Roman city of Pompeii was discovered
[+]1998, the film “Titanic” broke box office records taking $477 million
[+]23rd March, 1869, the Suez Canal opened
[+]9th April, the film “Mary Poppins” won 5 Oscars (1965)
[+]25th April, 1953, the structure of DNA was discovered
[+]14th April, 1998, Frank Sinatra (Old blue eyes) died at age 82.
[+]a mongoose can withstand 20 times the venom that is lethal to a mouse
[+]most millipedes emit toxic chemicals like cyanide when attacked
[+]coatimundis feed on tarantulas
[+]most spiders use vibration receptors to locate prey, but salticides hunt exclusively by sight
[+]the oldest flower in the world has no petals
[+]the huntsman spider carries its egg cocoon to protect it
[+]the Rafflesia flower emits a faintly rotten smell to attract carrion flies for pollination
[+]the SE Asian spider has a deceptive guise of its real abdoment being disguised as a false head, the illusion being reinforced by its silkmaking organs that resemble an insect’s antennae and jaws.
[+]mother-or-pearl shells owe their iridescence to their structure of lamella of a substance called conchiolin
[+]friar’s lanthorn is also will-o’-the-wisp
[+]Barbara was martyred at Nicomedia in AD 235
[+]At Valmy, Nov. 20, 1792, the French Revolutionary army defeated the forces of Austria and Prussia.
[+]the world’s biggest crater lake is in the Cascade mountains of Oregon. It is five miles across, 20000 feet deep and its walls are 2000 feet high
[+]the papal chapel in the Vatican was built for Sixtus IV in 1471 – 1481 and is adorned with what is considered to be the world’s finest frescoes
[+]the great river Indus was dammed in 1923 – 1932 near Sukkur in Sind
[+]the ancient bridge over the Korun river at the fortified and semi ruined town of Shashtar, bears the name of Valerian’s bridge. It was built by the roman prisoners captured by the Emperor Valerian who was defeated at Edessa by the great Sassanid king Shapur I (AD 260)
[+]Of the vast palace of the Sassania kings of Persia built by Chosroes I about AD 550 at Ctesisphon, on the bank of the Tigris, all that remains is a portion of the great hall and the facade of the East Wing. The roof of the formed 82ft in Span is still one of the world’s finest examples of barrel vaulting.