50 Weird Fun Facts That Will Amaze Your Friends
The more we study and discover about the world around us, the more we realize that this cliché is true: Truth is stranger than fiction. From events in history to how science works, many things occur that our minds find quite challenging to believe. And yet, they are all true, not figments of the imagination.
So if you want to boggle your mind with strange but true facts or mind-blowing weird fun facts, then read on. We promise you will discover some fascinating facts. Enjoy!
Weird Interesting Facts about History
1. Just say “prunes”
In the Victorian era, photographers asked their clients to say “prunes” as the word caused the lips to close more, removing any smile. Etiquette at the time required people to look more refined, which meant no jolly looks. It was also a time when dental hygiene was terrible, so it was okay not to show their teeth.
2. Recycled attire
Life was extremely hard during the Great Depression (1929 - 1933). So for clothing, families resorted to hand-me-downs or clothes that were sewn from feed and flour sacks. Some companies took note of this and began printing patterns on their bags so that people would have a better variety of clothing.
3. Olympic medals for artists
Art was an integral part of the original Olympics, which is why the modern founder included it in competition. From 1912 to 1952, medals were awarded to artists in architecture, literature, music, and painting. Today, art is still celebrated before the summer games begin with winners receiving cash prizes, not medals.
4. Real cowboy hats versus reel cowboy hats
In today’s movies, cowboys are seen sporting a 10-gallon hat that makes them look quite rugged and heroic. But during the real Wild West, such hats were not in existence; and if they were, that hat wouldn’t be practical as it would paint a bigger target for enemies. Cowboys back then preferred the bowler hat, with some also using Mexican sombreros or flat wool caps.
5. The one-dollar bill
If you regularly travel abroad, you are probably familiar with George Washington, the first US President, as the face of the one-dollar bill. But when the dollar bill initially came into use in 1863, it was Salmon Chase, the US treasury secretary, who was on it. This was changed six years later to President Washington.
6. More on the Louisiana Purchase
President Jefferson of the US didn’t mean to purchase all of Louisiana, just New Orleans, and Florida. But Napoleon offered the entire Louisiana Territory for around $15 million as he probably needed funding for a war against the British. The price was quite steep for the US, so they ended up borrowing from two banks in Europe to foot the bill.
For more fun pieces of history information, read the most interesting 50 history fun facts.
Cool weird Facts about the Human Body
7. It’s not so funny when it’s just you
No matter how hard you try, tickling yourself just doesn’t work. This is because your brain already knows what you are about to do, so the “funny feeling” just isn’t there.
8. Big man-made disasters caused by lack of sleep
In a study from 1988, researchers concluded that the lack of sleep helped lead to major man-made disasters. These include the nuclear incident at Three Mile Island (1979), the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle (1986), the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl (1986), the Exxon Valdez oil spill (1989), and the American Airlines crash (1999). While other factors were involved in each catastrophe, it is clear that a good night’s rest may have saved a lot of lives.
9. Newborns don’t shed tears
Although newborns cry a lot, they don’t shed any tears. This is because their lacrimal glands, the ones that cause tears, are not fully developed yet. It is only when they reach their first month that you may start to see tears.
10. The heat of the sexes
Because women generally have more fat than men, women’s skin often feels cooler to the touch. The extra fat helps conserve the heat of their core, which is good, but it doesn’t keep their extremities warm. Research has also found that women usually have a lower tolerance to cold temperatures than men.
11. Fingernails grow faster on a particular hand
Our nails grow slowly but surely, with fingernails lengthening faster than toenails. For the hands, the nails on your dominant hand grow more quickly than the fingernails on the other because it receives more trauma (gets hurt more). When trauma occurs, the body naturally sends more nutrients to the affected area, stimulating nail growth.
12. Speed of internal information
Our human nervous system is a complex system that sends messages throughout the body. Information can be passed along at a rate as high as 150 meters a second (roughly 540km per hour). This is why our bodies can react so quickly when needed.
13. Clearly embarrassed
Something that intrigues researchers is the fact that people are the only creatures that blush when embarrassed. Based on how blushing develops in people (usually upon entering school), many think its purpose is for social interaction to clearly show others that the person realizes they made a mistake.
14. A new organ within the year
Among the internal organs, only the liver can regrow. Thus, in liver transplants, doctors just insert a portion of a donor’s liver into the patient, and a new liver is fully formed within a year. It is believed that only the liver can do this because its cell structure is not as complex as something like the heart, kidneys, lungs, or brain.
15. The fastest muscle in the body
The eye muscles are the fastest in the body with a blink lasting 100 to 150 milliseconds. Aside from lubricating the eyes, blinking also gives your eyes some rest, which is why the eyes get tired more when reading because they blink less when they are focused on something.
Do you want to discover more about our incredible body, read the top 50 human body fun facts.
Strange Facts about Different Cultures
16. Conferring with the government about your child’s name
In Denmark, parents must consult a list of preapproved names for their children. The law began because parents of the past could choose any last name for their kids, which made record-keeping difficult for the government and bothered the aristocracy because of the possibility of “name-grabbing.” However, the law was extended to first names to avoid gender confusion and to ensure chosen names will not impair a child’s future (like naming your kid after toilet paper).
17. In France, you can marry the dead
France has beautiful things like the Eiffel tower, but also some weird things. Since Napoleon's time, there has been a law that allows a person to marry someone who has died. However, to do so, the living spouse-to-be must prove that there was an intent to marry, and permission must be obtained from the dead person’s family. Finally, the dead person’s assets do not automatically go to the spouse to prevent the law's abuse.
18. Working as an alarm clock
During the Industrial Revolution in Britain, some people were employed as “alarm clocks,” going around their assigned area to wake people up. Called knocker-uppers, they used long poles or pea shooters to tap people’s windows. The advent of cheaper alarm clocks reduced the need for the profession; however, some continued to do the job up until the 1970s.
19. The Wife-Carrying Championships
An excitingly weird sport in Finland is wife-carrying, a sport-inspired by the legend of a 19th-century robber. In it, a male contestant carries his wife, or somebody else’s wife, through various obstacles. Although it is not an Olympic or FIFA event, couples from different parts of the world do compete yearly.
20. Characters on their coins
The island nation of Niue in the South Pacific has minted coins featuring very popular cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse, Pokemon, and even Star Wars heroes. On the island, the coins aren’t worth much; but outside, they have become collector’s items.
21. Fortune cookies are not Chinese
In many Chinese restaurants in the US and other places around the world, fortune cookies are served, except in China. It seems that this dessert may not have originated from China, but in Japan, where many bakeries create it. How the jump from Japanese bakeries to Chinese bakeries in the US is still uncertain, but it is clear that it is not China's original product.
22. Tribute to the keyboard
In Yekaterinburg, Russia, one may find the biggest stone QWERTY keyboard, which was built in 2005. People regularly visit it since its creation, and strange competitions are held there, such as mouse throwing. Some claim that one can make a wish by jumping on the keys for W-I-S-H and then landing on the Enter button.
23. Train pushers in Japan
In Tokyo, rush hour in the subways is exceptionally crowded. To help people get on the trains, the stations have people employed to push people inside the trains’ doors. New York City once also had said pushers for their subways in the early 1900s; however, their pushers did a rough job, so the practice was stopped in New York.
24. Twelve Days of Valentines
In Korea, the day of the 14th of every month is a day for “love.” The most popular days, however, are February 14, March 14, and April 14. In April, those who did not receive anything in February or March gather together to celebrate their “singleness.”
25. Goat racing to celebrate Easter
In Trinidad and Tobago, goat racing is an exciting event people look forward to on Easter Tuesday, two days after Easter Sunday. Goats race forward while their “jockeys” run behind, holding onto a rope that is tethered around each goat’s neck.
Weird Fun Facts about Geography
26. There’s only one official time in China
Despite being such a huge country, there is only one official time in China: Beijing Standard Time. In 1949, the government declared there would be only a one-time zone to promote unity. While locals may have gotten used to the odd hours, it can be quite tricky if you are new, and 6 PM looks and feels like high noon.
27. The property of two countries
A bizarre agreement is the sharing of Pheasant Island, a two-acre island in the Bidasoa River that is between France and Spain. As a symbol of peace, both nations share ownership with it officially becoming a part of France for 6 months and then Spain for 6 months.
28. Rainbow sand
A big tourist attraction for the island country of Mauritius is the Seven Coloured Earths. This sand dune area is composed of multicolored sand (blue, brown, green, red, purple, violet, and yellow) that does not wash away despite the rains. An interesting thing about the sand is that even if it is scooped together, the sand will naturally separate into its individual colors.
29. The highest peak in the world
When people think of the tallest place in the world, Mt. Everest (29,029 feet) usually comes to mind. However, because of the earth’s equatorial bulge (since the earth is not a perfect sphere), the true highest peak is Mt. Chimborazo (20,564 feet) in Ecuador as it is the farthest from the earth’s core and the highest in the sky. Its peak is 7,000 feet higher than Mt. Everest.
30. The islands of Wyoming
The state of Wyoming in the US is completely landlocked, surrounded by Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Utah. Despite this, Wyoming has 30+ islands within that are found in Wyoming’s many lakes.
31. The sheer drop of Mt. Thor
An exciting challenge for many climbers is to scale Canada’s Mt. Thor, a cliff with a four thousand-foot vertical drop. Should you fall from the top, it means you won’t hit anything for nearly a mile. While climbing is allowed, it is illegal to paraglide or base jump as it is difficult for emergency teams to reach the area.
32. A heart in the ocean
A popular tourist attraction in Australia is the Heart Reef, a part of the Great Barrier Reef, but in a heart shape. Discovered in 1975, this 17-meter reef has been attracting tourists because of its romantic look. Since the reef is a protected area, interested visitors can only view it by the air (helicopter or plane).
33. Mammoth Cave in Kentucky
When most people think of caves, they imagine a deep, dark cavern that eventually comes to an end. But at the Mammoth Cave National Park, the underground cave system stretches for more than 360 miles, and experts are still unsure how much more there is. It is a very popular tourist area that people visit every year.
34. The deepest sinkhole in the sea
The Dragon Hole in the South China Sea is the deepest known sinkhole in the world, reaching depths of nearly 1000 feet. Considered a vertical underwater cave, scientists are excited to know more about marine life living there.
Love Geography? Read the best 50 geography fun facts!
Weirdest Fun Facts about Science
35. Three billion-year-old spheres
A discovery that has many people thinking about little green men is the Klerksdorp Spheres, which were found in a mining town in South Africa. These 3 billion-year-old metallic objects have grooves in them, making them seem artificially made. However, not all researchers think such markings are unusual as similar markings have been found in stones in other parts of the world.
36. Thousand-year-old honey
When archaeologists explored some of the Egyptian tombs, among the artifacts they discovered, were sealed pots of honey that were still edible. If properly sealed, honey can last indefinitely because it does not contain enough moisture for bacteria to live in, and it is highly acidic. Because of these properties, honey was once smeared on wounds, acting as a bandage to seal off wounds and prevent bacteria growth.
37. The X-Y position indicator
When it was first created in the early 1960s, Douglas Engelbart and Bill English’s invention was named the X-Y Position Indicator for Display Systems. Thankfully, he also coined it a “mouse” because of the wire at the end, making it easier to say and market the product.
38. Studying science through glass
In the late 1800s, glassworkers Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka (father and son) created more than 10 thousand glass models depicting invertebrate sea creatures and flowers. Aside from being true works of art, they were used for teaching as they accurately displayed the shape and colors of the animals and plants while still alive.
39. Nearly undetectable by infrared
As a means of survival in the Arctic, polar bears can conserve their body heat, making them nearly undetectable to infrared scanners. Their layer of blubber and dense underfur conserve most of their body heat. However, research has found that even their guard hair (the outermost layer) is capable of absorbing their body’s infrared radiation, further retaining body heat and avoiding scanner detection.
40. Guiding “lights” in the dark
The Gouldian finch is a cute-looking bird that inhabits the grasslands of northern Australia. Interestingly, their chicks are that they are born with luminous, blue nodules around their mouths (which doesn’t make them look so cute) that guide the parents as they feed their chicks in the dark. As the chicks grow old enough to feed themselves, the eerie-looking nodules disappear.
41. The largest man-made drain
Dubbed “The Glory Hole,” the drain hole at Monticello Dam, California, is the biggest in the world, with a diameter of 72 feet. Its purpose is to drain away excess water to prevent flooding. Those who commissioned its construction in the 1950s believed it would only be needed every 50 years or so; however, the 2010s have seen much more usage due to heavier rainfall.
42. Changes to the new mandrill alpha
It is often said that people change when good things happen to them. For mandrills (the biggest monkeys in the world), literal changes occur when a beta becomes the horde's new alpha. The new alpha’s reddish skin becomes even redder, the genitals and the rear grow in size, and the alpha becomes more sociable than before.
43. The contents of a camel’s hump
Many people think that a camel stores gallons of water in its hump for future use in the desert. Although a camel can indeed drink a lot if given a chance (up to 30 gallons of fluid), the water is stored in its blood. Fat is what kept in its hump as emergency fuel for when food is scarce.
Animals are wonderful and super interesting, right? Read the most incredible 50 fun facts about animals.
Weird Fun Facts about Literature
44. Green Eggs and Ham was made on a dare
It turns out that one of Dr. Seuss’s best-selling books was made on a dare. His editor challenged him to create a book with just 50 different words, possibly making it easier for younger learners to read and enjoy. It worked as Green Eggs, and Ham became Dr. Seuss’s biggest hit among kids worldwide.
45. Popular stories not part of the original book
When people think of the Arabian Nights, a series of tales told by a clever woman in danger from her murderous husband, the stories of Aladdin, Sinbad, and Ali Baba often come to mind. But based on the original manuscript, these stories are not truly there as they are add-ons by the French translator in the 1700s. If the “real” story of Aladdin were told, Aladdin would be Chinese, not Arabian.
46. The meaning behind Oz
The Wizard of Oz is a fantastic story that kids love to hear, read, and watch. Apparently, the name of the magical land came to L. Frank Baum (The author) from a filing cabinet that he glanced at. The cabinet drawer “O-Z” seemed to be an interesting name for this imaginary place.
47. Spending a lot on a book
In 1994, Bill Gates shelled out $30.8 million to purchase the Codex of Leicester, Leonardo da Vinci’s journal containing his theories and thoughts. Gates had the book scanned. Some of the scanned pages are found in Windows 98 Plus as wallpapers and screen savers.
48. Staying true to one language
As far as literature is concerned, only one language has generally remained consistent for thousands of years: Chinese. Since the 14th century BC, the Chinese language (written and spoken) has been maintained despite the existence of other dialects and the influence of outsiders (such as the Mongols who conquered the country).
49. Serialization of Charles Dickens
When the works of Charles Dickens were first made public, they were not as the finished novels that students today read for school. Rather, a chapter was released each month in a magazine called serialization, which made it cheaper for readers to access a story than a completed book. Dickens first serialized story, The Pickwick Papers, was so successful that he continued the process for the rest of his novels.
50. The author’s true gender
George Eliot, an important novelist of the Victorian era, was actually a woman named Marian Evans. At a time when women did not have the full rights of men, she opted for a pseudonym so her books could be taken seriously. Despite the revelation of her true identity, her many writings are still considered to be the works of “George Eliot,” a name many students have come to know.
So those were 50 weird fun facts about the world we live in. We hope you uncovered something fascinating and even shocking that you didn’t know before. Thank you for reading!