50 Funniest Useless & Pointless Facts You Should Know!
Ready for some unutterably USELESS information? Then read on and get your fill of foolishness with these funny featherbrained facts!
1. Flamingos can only eat with their heads upside down.
These tall pink characters use their tongue as a sieve to catch food by flipping their heads about. The flamingo’s tongue helps pump the food-filled water in and out of their mouths about three times a second. This technique is called filter feeding!
2. There are 32 muscles in a cat’s ear.
This feature is what allows cats to swivel and rotate their ears so that they can pinpoint the source of a noise. But what's more incredible is that they can move each ear independently and rotate them 180 degrees!
3. The chicken and the ostrich are the closest living relatives of the Tyrannosaurus rex.
In 2003 scientists used collagen in ancient dinosaur remains to figure this out. They had suspected the dino-ness of birds for a long time, and finally here was actual evidence. Before this discovery, many experts believed that dinosaurs were giant reptiles, but it turns out they were basically massive chickens. A thought that makes Jurassic Park a little less scary... or maybe even more scary?
4. It’s impossible to tickle yourself.
You can't tickle yourself because when you move a part of your own body, a part of your brain monitors the movement and anticipates the sensations that it will cause. So we humans can't tickle ourselves because what makes tickles ticklish is that they are surprising!
5. Dr Seuss invented the word ‘nerd’.
Dr Seuss first used the word ‘nerd’ (which he meant as a ‘comically unpleasant creature’) in a book called If I Ran To The Zoo in 1950. Little kids reading Dr Seuss loved the word and passed it on to their older siblings. After that, the meaning of the word began to change to mean someone who wasn't very cool... then changed further to loosely mean someone with an obsessive interest in something - either way, who doesn't love a nerd?
6. A blob of toothpaste is called a nurdle.
Nobody is quite sure where the word 'nurdle' originated. A fact as useless as the word.
7. Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
In some novels published in the 1960s, Barbie’s parents' names were given as George and Margaret Roberts, and apparently, they all lived in the fictional town of Willows, Wisconsin. Don't be fooled by the improbable proportions that she got - She's just Barbie from the Willows.
8. The moon has moonquakes.
Shallow moonquakes are caused when the moon's crust slips and cracks due to the gradual shrinking of the moon when it cools. Meteors can also cause quakes when they crash into the surface of the moon.
9. People used to believe that kissing a donkey could relieve a toothache.
Yep, that’s right! People have always done rather odd things to prevent toothache. For example, the Ancient Egyptians scrubbed their teeth with a powder made from ox hooves and eggshells. But weirder still, during the Middle Ages in Germany, they thought a cure for a toothache was kissing a donkey. Even if it did something for your toothache, it certainly won't do anything for your breath.
10. Your body contains about 100,000 miles of blood vessels.
A bit gross, but if you took all the blood vessels (including arteries, veins and capillaries) out of an average child and laid them out in one line, the line would stretch over 60,000 miles. An adult's would be closer to 100,000 miles long.
11. Slinkies are 82 feet long.
Fully stretched out, Slinkies can reach up to 82 feet – that’s as long as 14 average-sized people, or nearly twice the height of the Hollywood sign, or a just a touch longer than a cricket pitch.
12. An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.
An ostrich is the biggest bird in the world, and it has the largest eyes in the whole animal kingdom – that's right, its eyes are bigger than its brain. Having said that, its brain isn't that big! An ostrich's eyes are about 2 inches or 5 centimetres in diameter, which is around the size of a ping pong ball.
13. If you open your eyes in a pitch-black room, the colour you'll see is called 'eigengrau'.
‘Eigengrau’ is German for ‘intrinsic grey’, also known as dark light, or brain grey. It is used to describe the uniform dark grey background that many people see in the absence of light. The term dates back to the nineteenth century.
14. Humans are the only animals that blush.
Humans are the only species known to blush, but we still don't know why. Charles Darwin called blushing ‘the most peculiar and the most human of all expressions. It can definitely be super embarrassing!
15. Rabbits can’t vomit.
Welcome to the vomit void. Bunny rabbits are very hygienic creatures who self-groom in much the same way that a cat does. But the rabbit’s digestive system does not move in reverse, meaning rabbits cannot bring up hairballs like a cat can. So basically if you're banking on a burst of bunny barf, don't hold your breath.
16. Astronauts say that space smells like hot meat.
In a video, NASA astronaut Tony Antonelli said that space smells "strong and unique". He said he has never smelled anything like it on Earth. Others have described the smell as “seared steak and raspberries”, smokey and bitter. Mmm, delicious outer space!
17. The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland.
The unicorn was a symbol of innocence and purity in Celtic mythology. However, it was also associated with power and masculinity. Romantic stories about chivalry and dominance associated with the unicorn may be why it was chosen as Scotland's national animal... or maybe they were just having a laugh. Either way, we approve!
18. The Australian government once banned the word "mate" for a day.
In 2005 the word ‘mate’ was banned in the Australian Federal Parliament. The ban was revoked within 24 hours after people said it was ridiculous.
19. Some sharks can live for up to five centuries.
Greenland sharks, in particular, can live a long time. They only grow a centimetre a year, but it is believed they may live for up to 500 years – as long as they don't have an accident!
20. Mail was once delivered by 37 cats in Belgium.
These domestic cats were trained to deliver mail in the city of Liège. Waterproof bags containing letters were tied around their necks and then were driven out into the countryside, miles away from their homes and let go. They all made it home within 24 hours. Ultimately the scheme was abandoned as it was easier to deliver the mail yourself than rely on a cat!
21. Alfred Hitchcock didn’t have a bellybutton.
The famous director of The Birds and Rear Window was born with one, but after surgery, it vanished after he was sewn back up!
22. Bees sometimes sting other bees.
They don't mean to, but sometimes when they try to defend their nests from intruders, they accidentally sting other bees. Ouch!
23. The average yawn lasts six seconds.
Humans also yawn on average 20 times per day, so in total, that's 120 seconds or 2 whole minutes you spend yawning each day. Yawning is contagious, so even reading this, and thinking about yawning, might make you yawn. (Bet you a zillion quid you just yawned. Are we right?)
24. You can buy eel flavoured ice cream in Japan.
And that’s not even the weirdest flavour they have! Fancy some horse meat flavoured ice cream? No probs. Chicken? here's a tub, fill your boots (best place for it). Garlic?! Soy Sauce?! You're in luck. Welcome to Japan!
25. There are more chickens in England than people.
There are around 982 million chickens eaten each year in the U.K. by 66 million people... this statistic means that should the chickens decide to take over the country, (a la Jurassic Park) we would be massively outnumbered. The threat is real, people. Come the chicken uprising don't say we didn't warn you.
26. Bears don’t poo during hibernation.
They also don't eat, drink or wee! So once they are all snug in their cave, bears form a kind of plug for their bottom made out of their bedding, which is pretty gross but seems to work!
27. Crows hold grudges.
A 2011 study revealed crows can remember the human faces of those who capture them. According to another study, ravens, including crows, jays and magpies, can 'hold grudges' for up to two years. So make sure you don't upset a crow, because they just won't let it lie!
28. The word 'hipster' goes back to the 1930s.
The earliest uses of hipster are often mixed with a very similar word, the hipster. Hipster began appearing in the late 1930s and primarily referred to a knowledgeable person or interested in jazz.
29. Water makes different pouring sounds depending on its temperature.
Hot water produces a higher-pitched sound when poured because the energised molecules are moving around more rapidly. Put another way, hot and cold water have a different ‘thickness’.
30. Thousands of rabbits once attacked Napoleon.
Eight years before Waterloo (another humiliating defeat for Napoleon), he was beaten by a barrage of bunnies. He was signing a treaty when the rabbits (who had been captured) were released to be hunted. Instead of running away, they attacked their would-be hunters, including Napoleon, who was forced to flee.
31. There is a town in Nebraska with a population of one.
According to a recent census, Monowi is the only place in the USA with just one resident. She is her own clerk, mayor, librarian, treasurer, librarian and bartender and the only person left in the USA's tiniest town.
32. ‘Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia' is a fear of long words.
Well, that's easy for you to say.
33. The 1st King of England made a law that everyone had to be in bed by 8 pm.
Alfred The Great even introduced a curfew bell rung at 8 o'clock to tell people to go to bed. They had to get their lights out and settle down and stop acting up, it's bedtime. You could be punished if you didn’t go to beddies!
34. Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
A tiger's skin still displays its stripes if you shave away the fur. Leopards are the same way with their spots. So if you shaved a tiger, it would still be a) stripey and b) miffed.
35. A group of jellyfish is called a smack.
Of course it is. There are loads of other excellent collective nouns for groups of animals, for example - a cauldron of bats, a coalition of cheetahs, and a rhumba of rattlesnakes. If you're surrounded by a rattlesnake rhumba you might say your rhumba's up. (Although you'd probably forego wordplay and just scream your head off.)
36. Beaver bum gunk is sometimes used as a vanilla flavouring.
A chemical compound used in vanilla flavouring and scents comes from the anal glands of beavers. So the vanilla scent could be due to the animal's diet of bark and leaves. Whatever the reason, chances are you've encountered said bottom debris. Enjoy.
37. You can sneeze faster than a cheetah can run.
We sneeze at around 100 miles per hour, faster than cheetahs run and four-and-a-half times faster than Usain Bolt's world record. You might think that's impressive, but it's SNOT.
38. The little plastic tube at the end of a shoelace is called an aglet.
Aglets are usually plastic or metal and they are designed to stop your shoelaces from fraying. That's all there is to tell you about that. We told you the facts were mostly pointless, don't blame us.
39. The wood frog can hold its pee for up to eight months.
They tend to do this in winter – because it’s too cold to pee? No, because they recycle the nitrogen in their own wee to keep themselves warm from the inside out!
40. Due to a genetic defect, cats can’t taste sweet things.
This is because they are missing a taste receptor gene that allows their brains to recognise sweet tastes. No wonder they're often grumpy!
41. There are only four words in the English language which end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
Those words include; tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous. There's also the specialist zoological term apodous, which means 'without feet'.
42. You can't lick your own elbow.
Okay, so there are a few people who MIGHT be able to lick their own elbows, but it's very rare, and you'd need to have short arms. So why not give it a go and see if you can do it?
43. A giraffe can go longer without water than a camel can.
Giraffes can go up to 3 weeks without a drink. When they do drink, they've been known to down 12 gallons in one sitting to keep themselves going. In comparison, a camel can go about 2 weeks.
44. Rhubarb can spring up so fast that you can actually hear it grow.
The buds of the plant cracking open make the sound, which is a sort of creaking and groaning. During the growing season, some people say it sounds a bit like the rhubarb is singing! We don't know what song the rhubarb is singing but our guess is 'Let's Get Ready to Crumble'.
45. A group of hippos is called a bloat.
The word 'hippopotamus means 'river horse' and is often shortened to 'hippo'. Even though hippos have numerous collective nouns, 'bloat' is the most common. They are also sometimes a crash, herd, pod or dale.
46. Tornadoes can make it ‘rain’ fish.
This phenomenon usually happens when swirling whirlwinds over shallow water develop into waterspouts that suck up water and the things living in it, like frogs, eels and fish. The creatures are carried long distances by clouds, and then drop to the ground like a mic.
47. The King of Hearts is the only king in a deck of cards without a moustache.
This difference wasn't a stylistic decision - he originally had one, but it got lost because of a printing error from the original design. Now it's just a thing. Check it out! The King of Hearts' top lip is always as smooth as a baby's bottom. The state of his bottom however, we can only speculate.
48. Alektorophobia is a fear of chickens.
The term comes from the Greek words ‘alektor’, which means rooster, and ‘phobos’, which means fear. It's a particular phobia and can be pretty extreme! And no wonder - we certainly won't be watching Jurassic Park in the same way again (see fact #3).
49. No word in the English language rhymes with 'month'.
Other words with no rhyme include purple, silver, pint, ninth, wolf, opus, dangerous and marathon.
50. The longest place name? A hill in New Zealand: Taumatawhakatangihangaoauauotameteaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu.
It translates into English as; 'the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as 'land eater’, played his flute to his loved one.’
Without doubt our favourite hill that's named after a man with large knees.