Have you ever wondered if you can find mosquitoes in Iceland? Or, maybe your thirst for knowledge has made you ask why “Spam” is called “Spam”, and nobody’s been able to answer you. Well, dear friends, today we will answer those questions and more. Here at List 25, we’ve looked at thousands of amazing facts, and we still haven’t run out of fun and interesting information to share with you.
Without further ado, here are 25 Fascinating Facts That Will Keep You Hooked.
The Original Monopoly Board Was Circular
The hand-made Darrow game is the oldest version of Monopoly in the world. It was created by Charles Darrow, who made approximately 5,000 copies of the game after Parker Brothers declined to buy it from him. It eventually became so popular that the Parker Brothers changed their minds and made him an offer.
Darrow’s original game board didn’t have today’s square board but consisted of a circular piece of oilcloth with squares. It also included cards, monopoly money, and wooden game pieces.
Another interesting bonus fact is that one of the original sets recently sold for $146,500; it was bought by the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. Imagine that!
The Longest Time Between Two Twins Being Born is 87 Days
We always assume that twins were born on the same day. Unless one was born before midnight and the other one after midnight – or one happens to be born a little bit earlier than the other one. That’s the essence of being a twin, right?
Well, in 2012, Maria Jones-Elliot from Waterford, Ireland, gave birth to twins – 87 days apart.
Amy was born on June 1, at the 5-month mark. Doctors prepared the parents for the worst and she was placed in an incubator while her sister clung to life in their mother’s womb. Katie, her sister, was finally born at 36 weeks – still a month early, on August 27. Today, both girls are doing fine and celebrated their 10th birthday in 2022.
Cows Have Best Friends
If you’ve ever wondered if cows have personalities, the answer is yes. Not only do they have personalities, but they also gravitate towards cows with the same dispositions, often forming close relationships in the process.
In essence, they bond just like we do; they form relationships with like-minded cows and form lifelong friendships while they’re at it.
That steak sure looks different now…
A "Jiffy" is an Actual Unit of Time
The expression was coined in the early 1900s by Gilbert Newton Lewis – a famous man of science. So, just how long is a “jiffy”?
It is the time it takes light to travel one quadrillionth of a meter – or one femtometer. In simple terms, it’s exceptionally brief. Put another way – a single second has more than three hundred thousand billion billion jiffys.
It’s just something to consider the next time you tell someone you’ll be back in a jiffy.
A Group of Flamingos is Called a "Flamboyance"
What else would they be called? They are as flamboyant as can be
To prove my point, I will tell you how they pick their mates. During the breeding season, Groups of males will get together and perform a synchronized dance. It involves the majestic flapping of wings, craning of necks and a lot of honking. They also strut – showing off their feathers to any female willing to take a look. After a female chooses her mate, the dance continues but also includes a lot of grooming and dancing in circles.
See, I told you – flamboyant!
The World's Largest Desert Is In Antarctica
Deserts have quite a bit of a reputation to them. In fact, as some of the harshest habitable environments in the world, deserts are the backdrop to many films, books, and series, and the image is always the same. Scorching rocks, dry, coarse sand, and unbearable, deadly heat. But, as it turns out, the largest desert in the world has none of those things, nor is it located near the equator!
The largest desert in the world is Antarctica, hosting fatally cold temperatures instead of hot ones, from 14F (-10C) to -76F (60C) inland. Because of these temperatures, Antarctica has an acute lack of vegetation and very little rainfall, which is why it is considered a desert, and a big one at that, covering approximately 5.5 million square miles.
How’s that for a fun bit of trivia for the next dinner party?
There Are More Possible Iterations In Chess Than Atoms In The Observable Universe
There’s nothing like a good game of Chess. Do you play?
I’ve been playing the game for ages and always thought this fact was a myth. But there are, in fact, more permutations in a game of Chess than atoms in the visible world.
It is called the “Shannon Number” and covers every move or variation you can get in a chess game. Chess is believed to have between 10111 and 10123 positions or situations in any game.
The Longest Word Without A Vowel Is "Rhythms”
The English language often delivers fascinating linguistic oddities and eccentricities.
One case in point is the word “rhythms.”
It may have a nice swing to it, but it doesn’t look awe-inspiring at only seven letters long. But it is, in fact, the longest English word without any vowels in it. Yes, it does have a “y,” but “y’s” are nothing more than “wishy-washy” vowels that only stand in when the actual vowels are taking a break.
A Shrimp’s Heart Is In Its Head
For most living beings, the heart is located in the chest, protected by strong bones and muscles.
In shrimp, that heart can be found in the head. And that’s not the only vital organ you will find there.
The tasty crustacean’s head also accommodates several other organs, including its ventral nerve cord and stomach. The reason for this is a little complicated.
Shrimp basically have a cephalothorax instead of a “normal” thorax. That happens when the thorax and head combine to form a new region to manage and guide the animal’s life. Shrimps rely on the cephalothorax since its position and size allow the creature to keep its balance while swimming.
Iceland Has No Mosquitoes
It sounds too good to be true, right?
But it is an actual fact that even comes with its own bit of mystery… Nobody knows why.
Its weather is positively balmy compared to Antarctica, and it definitely has more than enough ponds and lakes where mosquitos usually flourish. The insects actually thrive in all its neighboring countries – Scotland, Denmark, Norway, and even Greenland – which makes it all the more mysterious.
Costa Rica Was The First Country To Abolish Their Army
There is no shortage of wars in the world; battles are fought, countries are invaded, and people lose their lives. It goes without saying that governments have to protect their citizens.
Well, Costa Rica is defying the trend. The country has had no military since 1948 as the president at the time, Jose Figueres Ferrer, decided that the funds required to run the military would be of more use in the education, culture, and health sectors.
That’s not to say Costa Rica is without issues. However, you need a certain amount of optimism to forego a military, and Costa Rica is one of more than 20 countries that do not have an official military force.
Saudi Arabia Imports Camels from Australia
Saudi Arabia, sand, and camels are practically synonymous with each other.
That’s why I was shocked to learn that Saudi Arabia actually imports their camels from Australia. Not only that, they even import some of their sand from the land down under. A sand shortage has plagued the Middle East for years, and several other countries have turned to Australia to replenish their supplies.
If you enjoyed this fact, you’ll love our final three entries. Stick around; it’s going to be worth it!
Giraffes Have The Same Number Of Neck Vertebrae As Humans
If there’s one thing we share with giraffes, it’s our necks. Well, almost.
Giraffes have seven vertebrae on their necks just like we do, but our necks usually don’t reach more than 4.3 inches in length, whereas a giraffe’s can get up to six feet long with vertebrae that are 10 inches in size.
And those adorable Valentine’s card images with two giraffes rubbing their necks together? It is actually far from intimate and sweet; it’s usually closer to a WWE title match. It’s called necking, and it’s what male giraffes do as a test of strength.
Japan Considers It Rude To Tip
To tip or not to tip, that is the age-old question. It usually depends on the level of service we receive. It has also led to confusion, failed first dates, and terribly dirty looks. Nowadays, many restaurants include a tip in their service fee to take the stress out of the meal. But Japan is light-years ahead.
The Japanese are so unfamiliar with tipping that it often causes confusion. If you give the server extra money, he or she will try to give it back. But most importantly, it can be seen as an insult or pity charity. The best way to show gratitude is with a small gift. If you prefer to give cash, it’s best to put it in an envelope first before giving it to the server.
The Town Called Hell
It’s true that Hell freezes over… In rural Norway, it happens every year.
On average, the town of Hell in Norway freezes over for 4 months every year and boasts sub-arctic temperatures as low as 25 °C (13 °F), making it one of the coldest spots to live on Earth.
Hell has a grocery store, a train station, a gas station, and a grill. It doesn’t have a church but does come with a retirement home (you know, in case you want to spend the end of your days in Hell instead of Florida). To the average Norwegian, the word Hell means “luck. ” The town’s name actually comes from the overhanging cliff caves known as “hellir” in old Norse.
Mexico City Is Sinking
Mexico City is sinking – and it’s happening too fast to stop it.
It is caused by subsidence or the sinking of the Earth’s surface. It happens when too much water is removed belowground, and the soil above starts to compact.
According to the latest figures, certain areas inside the city are sinking about 20 inches per year. Some areas of the city may drop up to 65 feet in the next 150 years, while others just outside Mexico City might sink over 100 feet. All in all, buying a house in Hell, Norway, might be a better long-term investment than property in Mexico City.
Honeybees Can Recognize Human Faces
If you’ve ever felt like bees were after you, targeting you specifically, you were probably right. It has been established that bees can recognize specific human faces. Even more impressive is that they use the same methods as we do to do it.
It’s called configural processing and basically allows bees to recognize and remember clusters of shapes and lines as a pattern.
Biologists played around with food sources and placed them on pictures of human faces and quickly discovered that the bees would go to pictures of the same faces if they wanted to eat again. Over time, the bees could even recognize the same face whether it was simple dot and slash images or intricate photographic images.
The Narwhal's "Horn" is Actually a Tooth That Can Grow Up to 10 Feet Long
The narwhal is a small to medium-sized toothed whale found throughout Greenland, Canada, and Russia’s Arctic region. It’s known as the unicorn of the ocean due to its long, spiral tusk, which is actually an adapted tooth that can grow up to 10ft or 3m long.
The tusk is used for fishing, attracting mates (nothing as flamboyant as our flamingo friends), as well as certain social displays. The narwhal’s tusk can also be used to assess the environment as it comes wiith a fine selection of nerve endings that can pick up the slightest fluctuations in water temperature, salinity, and pressure.
Karaoke Originated In Japan
Have you ever been to a Karaoke? Let me tell you, if you haven’t belted out a few terribly false tunes at a Karaoke bar, you haven’t lived. Everybody needs to do it at least once in their lives. And don’t worry if you can’t sing – most people can’t.
While karaoke is nothing new nowadays, it had to start somewhere, and that somewhere was Kobe, Japan, around 1971. Bars would lease the machines, and patrons would give it their all until the early morning hours.
Karaoke is a massive business in Japan. In fact, the industry’s global market size is valued at $4986.88 million. It is Japan’s most lucrative leisure activity, and because there is no patent on the sing-a-long concept, any company can get involved.
Insects Outnumber Humans By An Estimated 1.4 Billion to 1
Let that sink in. It means that there are 1,4 billion insects for every one of us.
The total weight of all the insects combined is about 70 times more than that of all the people. According to scientists, insects account for 90% of all animal species and more than half of all living things on the planet. And these bugs mean business. Lest you forget, some of them can recognize you and will actively seek you out if need be!
The First Animated Film Was Made In Argentina
We usually associate Walt Disney with older animated films, but Walt was inspired by Quirino Cristiani, who pioneered the cardboard cutouts animation technique. Cutout animation uses cutouts of figures instead of individual drawings.
Christiani and producer Frederico Valle combined their creative talents to create the first feature-length animated film. It came out on November 9, 1917, to rave reviews. Unfortunately, all copies of the film were destroyed in a fire 9 years later.
Christiani was a pioneer in more ways than one, as he also proceeded to create the very first animated film with sound. Released in 1031, Peludópolis was also made using Cristiani’s trademark cardboard cutout method.
The Brand Name Spam Is A Combination Of “Spice” And “Ham”
Are you a big fan of Spam? A lot of people can’t stand the taste.
According to Jay Hormel, who stood at the helm of the company between 1929 and 1954, the name Spam came about after they combined “spice” and “ham.”
While that’s the one we’re going with, others believe Spam stands for “Shoulder of Pork and Ham” or “Specially Processed American Meat.”
What do you think?
McDonald’s Once Made Bubblegum-Flavored Broccoli
What were they thinking?
Luckily for us (and the rest of the world), the candy-flavoured greens we all love to hate never made it to the restaurant’s menu. In fact, the project was ultimately shelved. Whether it was due to unconquerable flavor challenges or the betrayal on little children’s faces remains an open question.
A Cow-Bison Hybrid Is Called A Beefalo
Isn’t that just the cutest name? A beefalo. It sounds a bit like a Gruffalo, doesn’t it? That must be why it puts such a smile on my face. However, don’t mistake this animal for a character from a children’s book.
When you cross domestic cattle (of any breed) with a Bison (buffalo), you end up with a beefalo. The cross was devised to blend the best characteristics of each species and ultimately have a more robust, hardier, yet tasty animal.
Scotland Has 421 Words For Snow
According to legend, the Eskimo and Inuit have dozens of words for snow, but the Scots take the cake. They have 421 ways to describe the white stuff, and I get to tell you bout them just before winter really gets here.
“Snaw-pouther” refers to fine, moving snow, whereas “spitters” refer to tiny flakes or drops of wind-driven snow and rain. A “skelf” is a giant snowflake, and “sneesl” means that rain or snow is beginning. When snow swirls around a corner, it’s called “Feefle”. While “feuchter” means it is falling lightly. My absolute favorite, “flindrikin,” refers to a light snow shower.
The weather has made and broken fortunes in Scotland for centuries. Just looking at the number and assortment of words shows how vital it was for the Scots of the past to clearly articulate everything about the weather, which could so effortlessly destroy their livelihoods.