50 Amazing Facts You Haven’t Heard 50 Times Before
Bookmark this list of fascinating trivia facts for your next dinner party. You're guaranteed to impress all your guests.
We live on a pretty spectacular planet. Between animals, weather, different cultures, food, politics, and history, there is so much to learn, including some fascinating trivia. If you’re ever bored or want to impress someone, why not break out these 50 amazing facts that you haven’t already heard 50 times before. You’ll also want to know these 46 weird facts that most people don’t know.
Fact: It would take 1.2 million mosquitoes to drain an adult human of blood
If each mosquito only sucked once, there would have to be more than 1million of the little pests to get all of the blood out of a person. And yes: mosquitoes suck, they don’t bite. Here’s why certain people attract mosquitoes more than others.
Fact: Spain is the second most-visited country in the world
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, 86.9 million people visited France in 2017. Spain was close behind, hosting 81.8 million visitors. The United States is number three with 76.9 million guests. Another fun fact: Spaniards are some of the healthiest people on earth.
Fact: Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to the tallest people in the world
Yes, the Dutch are tall—and the Netherlands houses the second tallest people in the world. But the former Yugoslavian country beat them out by one-tenth of a millimeter.
Fact: More earthquakes have been recorded in Japan than any other country
The U.S. Geological Survey reports that Japan has more earthquakes than anywhere else on earth. China, Indonesia, Iran, and Turkey also have their fair share of the geologic events.
Fact: 7 percent of all the people who ever lived are currently alive
Wrap your head around this: of all the human beings who have ever existed, approximately 7 percent of those are alive right now. According to the Population Reference Bureau, there have been more than 108 billion members of the Homo sapiens species on this planet over the past 50,000 years. Here are 75 other mind-blowing facts you’ll think are made up (but aren’t).
Fact: South Sudan is the youngest country in the world
No, we’re not talking about the average age of the citizens—South Sudan itself is young. It has only officially been a country since 2008. Unfortunately, it’s also a country where not all of these children’s rights are universal.
Fact: September 9 is the most common birthday
In fact, nine out of ten of the most common birth dates are all in the month of September. This means that December is a popular time to conceive. Can you guess how many living people share your birthday?
Fact: China has the largest army in the world
With more than 2 million personnel, China’s army is the biggest around. The second largest is from India, while the U.S. army comes in third.
Fact: Idaho has an official state amphibian
After a five-year selection process, the Idaho giant salamander was chosen as the state’s official amphibian in 2015. These salamanders are, indeed, large, being up to 13 inches (ca. 33 cm) long. Find out the strangest animal in your state.
Fact: 59 countries have stars on their flag
Though we think of stars on a flag as being uniquely American, that’s not the case. In fact, 59 different countries have stars on their flags, including Israel, Nepal, Australia, and Aruba. But these 20 reasons our flag is so cool are uniquely American.
Fact: The city with the highest immigrant population in the United States is in Florida
We think of New York City as the city of immigrants, but when it comes to which cities have the highest percentage of residents who are immigrants, the Big Apple ranks eighth in the country. First on the list is Hialeah, Florida, where immigrants comprise about 74.4 percent of the total city population. Find out 15 more fascinating facts about America you never learned in school.
Fact: Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world
Not only is Kazakhstan the ninth-largest country in the world, but it is also the biggest that is entirely land-locked. It also has one of the lowest population densities on earth. Learn about the 20 largest cities in the world.
Fact: Tanzania is the country with the biggest teacher shortage
A teacher shortage is a serious problem for a country, and Tanzania has the biggest in the world, with a 218.78 teacher-to-student ratio. The Solomon Islands and Sierra Leone are also in need of teachers.
Fact: The tallest unfinished building in the world is in North Korea
Not only is the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea the tallest building in the country, it’s also the tallest unfinished building in the world. Construction on the hotel began in 1987 and it’s still not done. These are the 25 tallest skyscrapers in the world.
Fact: 4 new sports will be introduced in the 2020 Olympics
The summer Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 will feature four new sports: karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. Baseball and softball, which had both previously been played in earlier games, will both return.
Fact: The Gates of the Arctic is the least visited national park in the United States
Out of all the national parks in the United States, Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic is the one with the least amount of traffic. It is, however, home to the second-largest peak in the country. Here are more off-the-beaten-path national parks that are worth a detour.
Fact: Sudan has the highest number of pollution-related deaths
More people die of causes related to pollution in Sudan than anywhere else on earth. An ongoing civil war has resulted in land degradation and desertification, and high levels of gas emissions reduce air quality. These are more of the most polluted cities in the world.
Fact: Denmark is home to the oldest amusement park in the world
Dyrehavsbakken, an amusement park located in Denmark, is the oldest in the world. It opened in 1583 and is located 6.2 miles (ca. 10 km) north of Copenhagen. Here’s more on it and the 7 other oldest amusement parks in the world.
Fact: We don’t know how many stars are in the Milky Way
Scientists don’t know the exact number of stars in the galaxy. According to NASA, there are anywhere between 100 billion and 400 billion stars in the Milky Way. Find out 13 amazing facts about the women of NASA.
Fact: The world’s largest rubber band ball is the size of the average NBA player
The largest rubber band ball in the world is 6 feet and 7 inches tall. It’s made of more than 700,000 rubber bands and weighs in at 9,032 lb (ca. 4 t). Joel Waul of Lauderhill, Florida is responsible for this bouncy monstrosity. Find out the craziest world record set in every state.
Fact: The largest display of toothpick sculptures in the world is comprised of 101 structures
Stan Munro from the United States is the mastermind behind the world’s largest display of toothpick sculptures. It took Munro more than ten years, three million toothpicks and 75 gallons (283.91 l) of glue to make the 101 structures that are part of his display, featuring buildings from 37 different countries. Find out 16 world records set in 2019.
Fact: World War II had the highest total death toll of any war
Counting all battle and civilian deaths, World War II (1939 to 1945) had the most fatalities of any conflict in world history: approximately 56.4 million people. Proportionately, Poland lost the highest percentage of its population, with 6,028,000 or 17.2 percent of its population of 35,100,000 killed. Find out 10 tricky U.S. war history questions no one ever gets right.
Fact: April 17, 1907, was the busiest day at Ellis Island ever
Between 1892 and 1954, millions of immigrants were processed at Ellis Island upon arriving in the United States. But the day that holds the record for the most people is April 17, 1907. A total of 11, 747 people were processed on that day.
Fact: Fishing is the most dangerous occupation in the United States
Although fishing is a relaxing hobby for some people, for those who make a living doing it, fishing can be downright risky. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s the most dangerous occupation in the country.
Fact: More than 4 billion people use the Internet in the world
As of December 2018, there were approximately 4.1 billion people in the world who used the Internet. That number is steadily increasing; there were 3.9 billion Internet users in mid-2018.
Fact: Judge Judy is the highest-paid host in television
All rise: Judy Judy Sheindlin earned more than any TV host in 2018, including Ellen DeGeneres, Dr. Phil, and Steve Harvey, according to Forbes. She brought in a total of $147 million before taxes. Learn about 22 of the funniest court cases of all time.
Fact: There are approximately 736 grapes in a bottle of wine
Fact: Producing a $100 bill costs more than double than making a $1 bill
You’d think that paper money is paper money, regardless of the amount printed on it, but that’s not the case. According to the Federal Reserve, it costs 5.5¢ to make a $1 or $2 bill, but approximately 11¢ to make fives, tens, 20s, and 50s. But $100 bills cost 14.2¢ each to manufacture. Here are 16 other facts about money that will make your jaw drop.
Fact: Penguins used to be much bigger
Penguins are pretty cute, but would we think the same way if they were the size of humans? This is something we don’t need to worry about today, but it turns out that approximately 60 million years ago these cold-weather birds used to be much bigger. We bet they were still adorable, just like their modern-day ancestors.
Facts: Human corpses can move more than one year after death
This sounds like something out of a horror film, but it’s actually true: dead humans can move on their own more than one year after the person passes away. No, this doesn’t mean they’re zombies—scientists think it’s likely caused by the body’s ligaments drying out, shrinking, and contracting. Find out 16 crazy family secrets people learned after their loved one died.
Fact: Most dolphins are right-handed
Approximately 70 to 95 percent of humans are right-handed, but favoring this side of the body extends to the animal kingdom as well. According to a 2019 study published in the Royal Society Open Science, dolphins also tend to primarily use the right sides of their bodies when they look for food. Here’s why dolphins are the second-smartest creatures.
Fact: Texas has the highest average number of tornadoes in the United States
Though we may associate Kansas with tornadoes thanks to the Wizard of Oz, Texas actually has more of these destructive cyclones on average each year: 155. Kansas does, however, come in second with an average of 96 tornadoes each year.
Fact: The Atacama desert is the driest place on earth (not counting the poles)
Fact: Octopuses have 9 brains
If you guessed that an octopus has one main brain in their head and eight mini-brains in each of their arms, you’d be correct. They also have three hearts and are able to camouflage both their color and texture to blend in with their environment. Find out 27 more facts about animals you never knew.
Fact: Tigers have striped skin
According to National Geographic, each tiger’s stripes are unique—kind of like humans’ fingerprints. And in addition to having striped fur, their skin is also striped. Here are 11 majestic tigers found in nature, in captivity, and in memories.
Fact: Cats can recognize their own name—and also ignore you
If you’ve ever felt as though your cat is ignoring you, you may be right. A 2019 study published in Scientific Reports found that domesticated cats do recognize their own name when called, but may or may not take the time to respond or acknowledge you. Here are 17 other things you never knew about your cat.
Fact: Butterflies don’t eat—they only drink
Though caterpillars constantly eat, once they turn into butterflies they only drink. Not only that, but butterflies taste with their legs. They have receptors on their legs similar to humans’ taste buds.
Fact: A fruit fly’s sperm is longer than a human’s
We know that sperm is tiny, but so are fruit flies. But as it turns out, a fruit fly, which is approximately three millimeters (0.11 inch) long, produces sperm measuring about 58 millimeters, or 2.2 inches, long. Human sperm, on the other hand, is significantly shorter: about 0.06 millimeters long, or 0.002 inch. Find out how some bugs are able to make really loud noises.
Fact: Snowflakes aren’t all unique
Yes, the idea that every snowflake is different is a nice example of the infinite possibilities of nature, but it’s not exactly true. In fact, there is at least one recorded case of two identical snow crystals in 1988 at the National Center for Atmosphere Research in Boulder, Colorado.
Fact: Extreme weather caused around $160 billion worth of damage in 2018
Climate change isn’t just dangerous because it threatens the very planet we inhabit—it’s also bad for business. After causing approximately $160 billion in damage in 2018, experts predict the figures for 2019 will be even worse. Find out 7 times the weather changed the course of history.
Fact: We know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop
Unlike the owl on the TV commercial, researchers at Purdue University took the time to figure out precisely how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Officially, it’s 364 licks.
Fact: Cows moo in different accents
Just like humans, who may have a different accent of dialect depending on where they live, cows experience the same phenomenon with their moos, with different regional accents. The same is true for some birds. Here’s why Americans and Brits don’t have the same accent.
Fact: Dolly Parton has donated more than 100 million books
Aside from being a country singer-songwriter, actor, and all-around legend, Dolly Parton has donated more than 100 million books through her nonprofit organization, Imagination Library since it started in 1995. Here are thoughtful ways you can donate your old books.
Fact: The most expensive painting of all time sold for $450.3 million
In 2017, a painting called “Salvator Mundi” attributed to Leonardo da Vinci sold for $450.3 million at auction. It has been dated to approximately 1500. Learn about the most valuable finds from Antique Roadshow.
Fact: Texas has the most colleges of any state
When it comes to institutes of higher education, Texas has the rest of the states beat. The Lone Star State is home to 299 universities. California is next with 225 universities total. Learn the difference between a college and a university.
Fact: The saltiest body of water on earth is in Antarctica
Located in Antarctica, Don Juan Pond has the highest salinity of any body of water on the planet—40 percent. In fact, despite the fact that surrounding temperatures can get as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit (-5.56 °C), it never freezes. In addition to salty bodies of water, the earth is also home to naturally beautiful pink lakes.
Fact: There are six official languages of the United Nations
Despite having 193 member countries, the United Nations only has six official languages. These are Chinese, Spanish, English, Russian, and French, which also happen to be the languages spoken in the founding members of the organization. The sixth language, Arabic, was added in 1974 by popular demand. Here’s the secret to learning a new language.
Fact: The oldest functional grapevine in the world is almost 500 years old
Located in Maribor, Slovenia, the oldest grapevine in the world that still produces grapes—and in turn, wine—has been around since the 1500s. Each year approximately 100 small, 250-milliliter bottles are made from the fruits produced from the vine. Next, read on for 100 fun and interesting facts about basically everything.