Whether you want to test your wits against Jeopardy contestants or be crowned king of trivia night at a local institution, it never hurts to collect as much knowledge as possible. You never know when knowing some seemingly meaningless information will lead to your next world-changing idea. Leonardo da Vinci, for example, worked in a morgue with cadavers, studying muscles and tendons, and analyzing how nerves connected muscles to the brain. What did he do with this random knowledge?
He didn't become a doctor or physician. He painted what is now considered the most famous painting in the history of the world: the Mona Lisa. He created a smile that mysteriously reacts to the the viewer's gaze. Look at it through your peripheral. Look at it directly. Look at indirectly. Look at it and then look away and let it linger. After dissecting human body tissue and muscles, you'd think science and medicine would be the next logical steps, not painting a portrait. But that's what he did. It just goes to show that no knowledge or information is ever random, it just depends on how you use it. And ignorance is not bliss, no matter what people say.
So do you think you know a bunch of random facts? Put your skills to the test here.
The Magna Carta is a charter of rights that was used to make peace between the unpopular King John of England and a group of rebels. It was written in 1215 and went on to inspire every charter of rights ever since, including the U.S. Constitution, which was written in 1787 and enacted in 1789.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, aka FDR, was the 32nd president of the U.S. from 1933 to 1945, for a total of 12 years. He was elected four times and would have served 16 years had he not died while in office. The Constitution didn't define presidential term limits until the 22nd amendment was ratified in 1951.
Homo Sapiens first appeared on Earth about 200,000 years ago. The first human ancestors (not Sapiens) appeared on Earth about 6 million years ago. We (Homo Sapiens) have been around for 200,000 years compared to Homo Erectus (now extinct, but the longest living humans) who lived for about 2 million years. We have a long way to go to beat that record.
Cherophobia is the fear of happiness. There is a phobia for everything and everybody has one and happiness is no exception. People with cherophobia may avoid experiences that invoke positive emotions or happiness.
The Great Pyramid of Cholula, aka Tlachihualtepetl, located in Cholula, Mexico is the largest known pyramid in the world. It measures 1,480 by 1,480 ft. and 180-feet tall. It is believed to have been dedicated to the Mesoamerican god Quetzalcoatl.
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World are: The Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Colossus of Rhodes, Lighthouse of Alexandria, Temple of Artemis, Statue of Zeus at Olympia and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. Niagara Falls is not one of the ancient world wonders.
The French inventor Louis Daguerre invented daguerreotypy, which was the first type of photography, in 1839. That same year a silversmith named Robert Cornelius got his hands on one of the devices and decided to try it out. The first photograph Cornelius took was of himself, and the selfie was born.
The largest planet in our solar system is Jupiter, which is the fifth planet from the Sun and is more than 300 times the size of Earth. Although it is the biggest planet in our solar system, it has a fast rotation of just 10 hours compared to Earth's 24-hour rotation.
Cheng I Sao was a Chinese woman who lived from 1785 – 1844 and terrorized the oceans. She had control of more than 1,500 ships and 80,000 sailors, which is considered one of the biggest naval armies in the history of the world. Blackbeard (Edward Teach), for comparison, controlled four ships and 300 pirates at his height.
The United States Bullion Depository is next to the Fort Knox army post, which is located in Kentucky. It is estimated that the depository holds 2.3% of all gold in human history, a total of 8,965 metric tons with a value of more than $300 billion.
Julia Child worked as a spy for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which was the U.S. government’s precursor to the CIA. Audrey Hepburn worked as a spy with the Dutch Resistance against the Nazis. Roald Dahl spied on the U.S. on behalf of Britain. Clark Gable was never a spy as far as we know.
According to Our World in Data, slightly more than 34,000 deaths each year are attributed to terrorism. Conflict claims 115,00 lives per year and homicide claims 390,000 lives each year. Suicide, on the other hand, claims more than 800,000 lives each year—more than terrorism, conflict, and homicide combined.
Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes for a total of 46 chromosomes. The first 22 pairs are identical in males and females. The last pair is the only thing that differentiates males and females. Females have two X chromosomes and males have an X and Y chromosome for the 23rd pair.
The Blue Whale is the biggest animal on Earth and is likely the biggest animal of all time. It weighs close to 200 tons and is about 100 feet long. Its tongue can weigh as much as an elephant and it can eat half a million calories in a single bite.
When The Beatles first began performing there were five members: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Stuart Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe played bass, and when the band traveled from Hamburg to Liverpool, Sutcliffe stayed behind. He died shortly after and was never replaced, giving rise to the Fab Four.
According to the Guinness World Records, the largest snowflake ever recorded fell in January 1887 at Fort Keogh in Montana. A rancher measured one of the flakes at 15-inches wide and said the flakes were larger than milk pans.
The interrobang, aka interabang, was conceptualized in 1962 by a marketing exec who wanted to find a way for copywriters to express a rhetorical question in a single mark. It is inspired by the Latin word interrogatio, which means rhetorical. Today it is commonly expressed ?! or !?
Vatican City is one of the few places in the world that is a city and country and it is the least populous UN-recognized country in the world with a population of less than 500 residents. It is home to insanely popular tourist attractions like the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica, so it's population skyrockets each day. About 20,000 people visit the Sistine Chapel each day alone.
Believe it or not, landing on the moon, even in the year 2019, is kind of a big deal. Only three countries (U.S.A., U.S.S.R. (which no longer exists) and China) have ever landed on the moon, and the U.S.A. is the only country to send manned missions to the moon. Twelve astronauts from six Apollo missions (11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17) have walked on the moon. Each mission planted its own flag, leaving six U.S. flags on the moon.
Bananas undergo a weird growth process in where instead of growing downwards, they defy gravity and curve up towards the sun. That's why they are curved. This unique growth process is called negative geotropism.
Both Texas and New Mexico feature the letter "X." Arizona has a "Z." New Jersey is the only state that has a "J." There are no U.S. states that have a "Q" in the name, making it the only letter in the alphabet not to be featured in a U.S. state.
Xertz is a perfect word to play in Scrabble if you need to get rid of your "X" and "Z" tiles, but you won't find it in the Oxford English Dictionary. It is a verb meaning to gulp down quickly or greedily.
Flyting is a contest where both parties hurl insults at each other in verse form. This poetic exchange of insults dates all the way back to the 5th century, which makes it the first known example of a rap battle.
This is understood to be the one lie Pinocchio can say without forcing his nose to grow. It is a paradox known as Pinocchio's Paradox. If the statement is true, Pinocchio's nose can't grow because his nose only grows when he lies. If the statement is a lie, his nose can't grow because once it did, he would be telling the truth.
In the 1940s, Forrest Mars Sr. struck a deal with Bruce Murrie to create a hard-shelled chocolate candy that later came to be known as M&Ms. The Ms stand for the last names of the candy's two creators: Mars and Murrie.
In the year 2000, Netflix was considered a "niche" company that mailed DVDs to customers. It was nowhere close to the media behemoth it is today and its owner approached Blockbuster and offered the company for $50 million. Blockbuster declined. Today, Blockbuster is bankrupt and Netflix is worth billions.
Alaska is the only U.S. state that can be typed on the same row of keys of a QWERTY keyboard. Iowa, Utah, Kansas and even Mississippi—which is 11 letters long but only uses four different letters—come close, but not close enough.
Michael Jackson's autobiography "Moonwalk" was released in 1988 by publisher Doubleday, where Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis worked as an editor. Onassis first declined but then agreed to write the foreword for the book. She also edited the entire thing.
Oprah is worth about $3 billion, making her one of the richest self-made women in the world. Leno and Letterman are retired from television, and their net worths don't come close that anyway. Ellen may be the highest-paid TV personality, making more than $70 million a year for her talk show.
There are 193 countries that are members of the United Nations and two observer countries, for a total of 195 countries. The largest country in the world in terms of land size is Russia. The most-populous country in the world is China with 1.4 billion citizens and India is close behind with 1.3 billion citizens. The smallest and least populous country in the world is Vatican City.
Baby Boomers are commonly recognized as those born between 1946 and 1964. Millennials are commonly defined as those born between 1981 and 1995. Between those two generations—1965–1980—is Generation X, aka the Forgotten Generation, aka the MTV Generation.
The Sistine Chapel is located in Vatican City and is the official residence of the Pope. Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the ceiling between 1508 and 1512 and it is considered one of the greatest works of art known to man. He came back in 1535 and painted "The Last Judgement" on the wall above the altar.
The Empire State Building cost just under $41 million to build in 1931, which equates to $685 million today. The Louisiana Purchase, which added 13 states to the U.S., cost $15 million in 1803 and adjusts to more than $325 million today. Alaska was purchased for $7.2 million in 1867, which adjusts to more than $120 million today. Manhattan Island was purchased "for the value of 60 guilders" in 1626, which adjusts to a bit more than $1,000 today.
In normal conditions, water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Researchers have found that water doesn't absolutely have to freeze at this temperature. The lowest point water can go before it freezes is about -55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Legend has it that Martin Luther nailed a copy of his "Ninety-five Theses" onto the door of a church in Germany in 1517 and all hell broke loose. The document was quickly reprinted and distributed throughout Europe and within months everybody knew Luther's name and his ideals. More than 500 years ago, this is one of the first pieces of content to have ever gone viral. Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" had a similar effect as both documents led to revolutions.