Are You a Master of Uncommon Facts?

By: Robin Tyler

Which fictional character was also known as Greystoke?

Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan is the character’s ape name, meaning “white skin.” His English name is John Clayton, Viscount Greystoke.

Can you name the two numbers are used in binary code?

Binary code is the simplest form of data. It is represented entirely by a binary system of digits consisting of zeros and ones. It still plays a critical role in computing today.

From this list, can you name the actress who has won the most Best Actress Academy Awards in history?

Katherine Hepburn has won the most female acting Oscars with four awards. Meryl Streep and Ingrid Bergman each have three.

What chess piece can only move diagonally?

The bishop can move any number of squares. He is, however, limited to diagonal movement. This is stopped when another piece stands in his way.

When was the Euro introduced as legal currency on the world market?

The Euro was introduced on 1 January 1999 as the single currency of 11 member states of the European Union. Greece became the 12th member state on 1 January 2001, and Euro banknotes and coins were introduced as legal tender on 1 January 2002.

The liqueur Cointreau is what flavor predominantly?

Cointreau is a brand of triple sec (an orange-flavored liqueur). It is used in many popular cocktails, including the margarita and the cosmopolitan.

Who became the British Prime Minister after Winston Churchill in 1955?

Eden succeeded Winston Churchill when he retired in 1955. He served briefly from 1955 to 1957, being forced to resign due to ill health.

What was the last letter added to the English alphabet?

J was the last letter added to the alphabet, in 1524. Prior to that, I and J were used interchangeably by scribes to express the sound of both the consonant and the vowel.

Which country’s national anthem has no words?

The Spanish national anthem, the Marcha Real, is one of only four national anthems in the world to have no lyrics. The others are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and San Marino.

Can you name the national animal of Scotland?

The unicorn was central to Celtic mythology. It first appeared on the Scottish coat of arms in the 12th century and has stayed there ever since.

Which of these books is most often stolen from public libraries?

The Guinness Book of Records is most commonly stolen from public libraries. Well, it is a good read, isn't it? The Bible came in second.

What is missing from Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa?

The painting appears to have no eyelashes or eyebrows. However, high resolution scans provide evidence that they may have originally been painted but over-cleaning has removed them.

What is the most common first name in the world?

Although these things are difficult to count and are indeed not an exact science, Mohammad is thought to be the most popular name in the world. Estimates say it has been given to an estimated 150 million men and boys.

What do paper grocery bags, fire escapes, windshield wipers and Monopoly all have in common?

All were invented by women – paper bags by Margaret Knight in 1868, fire escapes by Anna Connelly in 1887, windshield wipers by Mary Anderson in 1903, and Monopoly by Elizabeth Magie in 1904.

What is the only foodstuff that does not spoil while in an edible state?

Honey doesn't spoil. The oldest jar of honey found is believed to be 5,500 years old and is still edible. Would you try it?

What creatures cause the most human deaths per year?

Mosquitoes are the biggest killer, estimated to kill about 725,000 people from malaria every year. The situation regarding malaria is particularly bad in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Kleenex tissues were originally invented as which of these below?

Kleenex tissues were originally developed in 1915 as crepe paper and used as cheap filters in gas masks during World War I. The product we use today evolved from that by accident.

Can you name two diseases that have successfully been eradicated?

The last naturally occurring case of smallpox was diagnosed in 1977 and the last case of rinderpest was recorded in 2001. Let's hope other quickly follow!

Pteronophobia is the fear of which of these below?

Pteronophobia is the fear of feathers – the word “ptero” is the Greek word for feather and “phobia” is also Greek, meaning fear. Imagine a fear of feathers and tickling!

In music, what does the term “piano” mean?

“Piano” in music means to be played softly, as opposed to “forte,” which means to be played loudly. These marks and terms are found on sheet music to inform the musician how the notes should be played.

What kind of flower bulbs were once exchanged as a form of currency?

Tulips were introduced in the Netherlands in the 17th century. In 1633, land was sold for handfuls of bulbs and bulbs were traded on the stock market in an early form of future trading.

What is the world’s largest island?

Greenland is the world’s largest island. While Australia is larger, it is not considered an island. It is actually a continent.

How many sides does a dodecagon have?

A dodecagon is a 12-sided polygon, formed from the Greek words duo (two) + deka (ten) + gonia (angle). Coins are often shaped as dodecagons for example, the British one pound coin.

Of the objects below, which did Lenin possess 12 examples of?

Lenin, leader of the Russian Revolution and champion of the working class, loved big expensive cars. Some were acquired after confiscating property from the Romanov family.

The last English woman tried for witchcraft was convicted in which year?

Helen Duncan was imprisoned in 1944 under the British Witchcraft Act of 1735 for the crime of falsely claiming to procure spirits. Duncan was simply a fraudster taking desperate people's money. She died in 1956.

In geography, what Canadian province is the furthest East?

Cape Spear, located on the Avalon peninsula in Newfoundland, is the Canada's most eastern point. It has a coordinates of 52°37'W.

Can you name the Greek goddess of witchcraft and magic?

Hecate is the goddess of magic and witchcraft in ancient Greek mythology. She was believed to have power over heaven, earth, and sea. She is also said to be the goddess of the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy. She sounds like a lovely dinner guest!

Which of these is the highest poker hand?

A full house (three of a kind combined with a pair) is a strong poker hand, beaten only by four of a kind or a flush (five cards in sequence). Just keep your game face on and don't give your good hand away!

Soldiers of which nationality wear a white kilt?

The Greek Presidential Guard, an elite group of Greek soldiers, wear a white kilt called a fustanella, which is believed to represent the liberation of Greece from Ottoman occupation.

How many strings does a cello have?

A cello has four strings, tuned in fifths – C, G, D and A. The strings of a cello can be plucked or bowed. Interesting, several large pieces of music have been made for the cello.

If you were eating biltong what would you be eating?

Biltong is a South African delicacy of spiced cured meat. The meat is first laid in a marinade. Once taken out, it is dried, spiced and hung to cure it. It is similar to beef jerky.

Which of these careers did Danny DeVito work in while trying to make it big acting?

Danny DeVito worked in his sister’s hair salon while he was starting his acting career. He doesn’t like to talk about this early career. His big break came when he starred in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" in 1975.

What color is absinthe?

Absinthe is a pale green, distilled, highly alcoholic spirit derived from botanicals. It is often referred to in literature as “la féeverte” (the green fairy).

What was the first planet to be discovered using the telescope, in 1781?

On 13 March 1781, William Herschel was looking at the constellation of Taurus when he discovered Uranus. Initially, he thought it was a comet, but its orbit proved it to be a planet, the first ever discovered.

Can you name the first author to make the Forbes billionaires list?

J.K. Rowling became the first author to make the Forbes billionaires list in 2004 thanks to her Harry Potter series, which not only sold many copies but was turned into a lucrative film series as well.

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About This Quiz

We all love a few cool facts, don't we? There is nothing quite like broadening your general knowledge. But so many facts are just rehashed and told over and over again. So in this quiz, we are specifically going to test your knowledge of cool facts, but certainly lesser known facts.

As a general knowledge guru, you probably know a lot of them already but let's hope that a few will have you stumped, scratching your head for the answer. And what can you expect? Well, we have certainly focused on a wide spectrum of facts, from different aspects of life.

For instance, did you know that each tongue is unique? What about the fact that every day, your heart beats 100,000 times? Those are just some medical facts that are uncommon that we didn't include in the quiz. What about the fact that Winston Churchill served two terms as Prime Minister, the second one ten years after his Second World War exploits? Not many people know that.

And there are many more such examples of brilliant uncommon facts that if you don't know them, will give you some dinner table conversion pieces for the next few weeks! So let's see if you can ace this uncommon facts quiz.

Good luck!

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