Did you know? - Fascinating facts and useful trivia factoids about people, products and places

Fast facts and trivia factoids

| Animals | Arts & literature | Body | Earth & universe | Factoids | Food | History | Inventions | Money | Movies & TV | Music | People | Politics | Religion | Science | Sports | Statistics | Vehicles | War |


Do you know the names of the three wise monkeys? They are: Mizaru (See no evil), Mikazaru (Hear no evil), and Mazaru (Speak no evil).

An atomic clock is accurate to within 1 second in 1,7 million years.

Thomas Cook, the world’s first travel agency in the world, was founded in 1850.

A fathom is 1,8 metres (6 feet).

There are more TV sets in the US than there are people in the UK.

Before the year 1000, the word “she” did not exist in the English language. The singular female reference was the word “heo”, which also was the plural of all genders. The word “she” appeared only in the 12th century, about 400 years after English began to take form. “She” probably derived from the Old English feminine “seo”, the Viking word for feminine reference.

There are no letters assigned to the numbers 1 and 0 on a phone keypad. These numbers remain unassigned because they are so-called “flag” numbers, kept for special purposes such as emergency or operator services.

After the French Revolution of 1789 selling sour wine was considered against national interest and the merchant was promptly executed.

For 3000 years, until 1883, hemp was the world’s largest agricultural crop, from which the majority of fabric, soap, paper, medicines, and oils were produced.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. The US Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.

The word malaria comes from the words mal and aria, which means bad air. This derives from the old days when it was thought that all diseases are caused by bad, or dirty air.

The names of all the continents end with the letter they start with.

On every continent there is a city called Rome.

The oldest inhabited city is Damascus, Syria.

The first city in the world to have a population of more than one million was Rome: see History 303

The most populated city in the world – when major urban areas are included – is Tokyo, with 30 million residents.

Tokyo was once known as Edo.

The pin that holds a hinge together is called a pintle.

The Vatican is the world’s smallest country, at 0,44 square km (0,16 square miles).

The US flag displays 13 stripes – for the original 13 states.

To most Americans, the orient is China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam; to Europeans it is the area of India and Pakistan.

The words “electronic mail” might sound new but was introduced 30 years ago. Queen Elizabeth of Britain sent her first email in 1976.

Some 190 billion emails are sent daily – more than 2 million per second – by 1,2 billion email senders. About 70% (133 billion emails) are spam and viruses. There are about 1,4 billion registered email addresses.

Eskimos use refrigerators to keep food from freezing.

MasterCard was originally called MasterCharge. More at creditcards

Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon with his left foot first.

The sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” uses every letter of the alphabet.

Lightning strikes men about seven times more often than it does women.

Women make up 49% of the world population.

About 50% of Americans live within 50 miles of their birthplace. This is called propinquity.

The pleasant feeling of eating chocolate is caused by a chemical called anadamide, a neurotransmitter which also is produced naturally in the brain.

From the Middle Ages until the 18th century the local barber’s duties included dentistry, blood letting, minor operations and bone-setting. The barber’s striped red pole originates from when patients would grip the pole during an operation.

The US nickname Uncle Sam was derived from Uncle Sam Wilson, a meat inspector in Troy, New York.

The living does not outnumber the dead: since the creation about 60 billion people have died.

The electric chair was invented by a dentist.

Midday refers to the moment the sun crosses the local meridian.

Due to earth’s gravity it is impossible for mountains to be higher than 15,000 metres.

It is not true that the Great Wall of China is the only man-made structure that can be viewed from space – many man-made objects, including the Dutch polders, can be viewed from space.