Curiosities 101

“Curiosity a day keeps the boredom away”

Curious Pavel

50+ of the world’s most interesting Curiosities that would make you say WOW!

alphabetically…
  1. 19th Century Medicine
  2. Alaskan flag
  3. Alcoholism vaccine
  4. American Airlines
  5. Bless you phrase
  6. Blood vessels
  7. Bugs Bunny
  8. Bulletproof Vest
  9. Cats in Egypt
  10. Cockroaches‘ brain
  11. Coffee in the morning – NO!
  12. Cow’s friend
  13. Dolphins get high
  14. Earth, town
  15. Eiffel Tower
  16. Largest Employer in the WORLD
  17. Fanta
  18. French Fries
  19. Google
  20. Great Britain, the conqueror
  21. Harrods the drug dealers
  22. Human Height (shorter in the evening, taller in the morning)
  23. Insects as a snack
  24. Jingle Bells Rock
  25. Lemons vs strawberries
  26. London Zoo
  27. Men’s nipples
  28. Morphine
  29. Music chills
  30. Nachos
  31. Nails in the human body
  32. Nepal‘s flag
  33. North Pole‘s time zone
  34. One Nose at a time!
  35. Oceans vs the Moon
  36. Olympic Flame
  37. Non-crying Onions
  38. Paper Cuts
  39. Penguins
  40. Persian decision making
  41. Planets
  42. Quarantine
  43. Queen’s titles
  44. Rational thinking
  45. Where Salary comes form
  46. Who invented the Sandwich
  47. Slippery Dick
  48. Snails
  49. Squirrels
  50. Statue of Liberty
  51. Sunlight
  52. Tea bags
  53. Telephone
  54. Unique Tongue
  55. Tour de France logo
  56. Most UNESCO heritage sites
  57. Vincent Van Gogh
  58. World Cup
  59. World populationperspective

19th century medicine

Hospitals in the 19th century were a horrific place to be at. Going to the hospital was seen as a very last resort and it is easy to see why. Statistic shows that 1 in 4 patients died if not on the operating table, then within 24 hours of their operation. Many things were not as we know them these days. For instance pus was seen as a good thing and proof that a wound was healing. When it comes to amputating, it had to be done fast as there was a risk of bleeding to death. Some surgeons could amputate an arm in under 30 sec (see Robert Liston).


The Alaskan flag

Flag of Alaska

Probably you haven’t heard of Benny Benson. Benny’s most famous achievement in his life is the creation of the Alaskan flag. When he created the flag, Benny was only 13 years old! To add a note here, the participants in the contest that was held for the flag, were all students between 7th and 12th grade. Still quite an achievement!


The Alcoholism vaccine

There is an alcoholism vaccine that gives drinkers instant hangover after just one sip. The shot is effective for about six months to a year and works by speeding up the hangover process 🥃


American Airlines cutting costs?

In 1987, American Airlines have saved $40 000 removing only one olive from each salad for their first class passengers.


Where the phrase Bless You came from?

DID YOU KNOW that the “bless you” phrase when somebody sneezes is probably coming from Rome? During the time of the Plague (a.k.a. Black Death), sneezing and coughing were symptoms of the disease. Pope Gregory I suggested saying “God bless you” after a person sneezed in hopes that this prayer would protect them from otherwise certain death.


Blood Vessels

The human body has more than 65 million blood vessels. If you pull them all together, they can go around the earth two and a half times.


Who is Bugs Bunny named after?

Bugs Bunny is without a doubt the most famous rabbit in the world. But do you know the curious story of how Bugs Bunny got its name?

In 1938, Ben “Bugs” Hardaway was redesigning a new character. The base was a nameless rabbit from earlier cartoons who was an immediate success. As the character did not have a name, a colleague of Ben had labelled his drawings “Bugs Bunny”. The name stuck ever since.

The nameless rabbit appeared in Porky’s Hare Hunt. Bugs Bunny’s first-ever official appearance was in A Wild Hare.


Modern body armour was created by a pizza delivery guy who was tired of getting shot at

After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, Richard Davis opened a pizzeria in Detroit. One night, a delivery took him through a back alley and he was held up at gunpoint.

Weeks later, another order came in for the same address (it was even the same order of two pepperoni and ham pizzas). This time, however, he came prepared with a 22 revolver hidden under the pies.

The same robbers tried the same stunt, but he was ready. A gunfight broke out. Davis took one round to the back of the leg and another grazed his temple. He managed to get four shots off at his attackers, leaving two of his three attackers wounded. In the weeks he spent recovering, his pizzeria was burnt to the ground.

Richard Davis then developed the bulletproof vest using Kevlar. During the testing, he shot himself in the chest 190 times.


Cats in Egypt

The ancient Egyptians held cats in the highest esteem. The penalties for injuring and killing a cat were severe. You probably already have heard about that. But did you know that when a house cat died, the whole family shaved their eyebrows off and remained in mourn until they grow back.

Also, while being on the subject of cats… If you have a cat and worry she sleeps too much… don’t. Cats spend 70% of their life sleeping. If you break it down, that makes it about 16 hours of sleep every day.


Guess where the Cockroaches have their brain…

Probably you have heard that even if you take off the head of a cockroach, it will still live. That’s true! They will live few more weeks! That’s because their brain is not located in their head but in their body. They would eventually die from being unable to eat… 🐛


Don’t drink Coffee in my in the morning

When you wake up, the body produces a hormone to wake up the body and start function. The hormone boosts you up through the day but the peak is shortly after you wake up.

This means that the caffeine you consume at that point is kinda wasted because you are at your natural alertness peak (even if you don’t always feel it 😜)

You may not need that morning coffee but your mind can still develop tolerance towards caffeine (and probably will). An afternoon coffee will be your best bit!


Cow, my dear friend

DID YOU KNOW THATcows have friends? And I mean other cows. They can even get stressed if separated. Some scientists say cows are more calm and even smarter when they are around their friends 🐄


Dolphins get high off of pufferfish

It’strue! Pufferfishes release toxins that can paralize and even kill humans. However, they have a totally different effect on dolphins which makes them feel high.


the town called Earth

Welcome to Earth Texas est 1924 welcoming sign from stone and sunflowers in Texas USA
Welcome to Earth, Texas

There is a town in Texas called Earth and it is the only place on Earth officially named Earth.


Eiffel Tower

You probably know that the Eiffel Tower was designed by Gustav Eiffel (don’t worry, I have way more interesting things to share with you 😎). Less known fact is that Monsieur Gustav wanted to place the tower not in Paris but in Barcelona. But there was a problem: the Catalan capital did not approve its construction due to lack of adaptation to local aesthetic! The tower’s design was initially criticised by some of France’s leading artists but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world!

Also, while on the subject, DID YOU KNOW THAT the Eiffel Tower does not always have the same size? In summer the tower is 18 cent​imeters taller than in winter and that is due to the thermal expansion of the metal.


The LARGEST EMPLOYER in the world

The largest employer in the world is… the Indian Railway. Check these numbers: they have registered on their payroll 1.3 million people, and that is without counting the contractual workers.


Fanta how the drink got its name

Fanta

Fanta is a German “invention”!
In 1940, during WWII, Germany got short on supplies for the infamous Coca-Cola ingredients so they came up with a substitute. The real curiosity comes with the way the Germans came up with the name. The team gathered for a Brain Storming session and the leader said: “use your imagination” (Fantasie in German), to which one of his salesmen (Joe Knipp) immediately retorted “Fanta”! After the war, Coca Cola acquired the drink.


French Fries

bowl of french fries with with two spoons french fries were not invented by the french
French Fries

DID YOU KNOW: the French fries are actually “invented” by the Belgians.
Poor villagers living in Meuse Valley often ate small fried fish they caught in the river. During the winter months the river would freeze over making fishing impossible and forcing the villagers to find other sources of food.
The villagers turned to the potatoes, slicing and frying it in the same way they prepared the fish. And just like that, the earliest French fries were born.

American soldiers who came in Belgium during the first World War were first introduced to French fries during. As the official language of the Belgian army was French, soldiers nicknamed the delicious fried potatoes “French fries”. The name stuck, and decades later we are still giving credit to the wrong country.
So next time when you eat french fries think of the Belgians, at least for a while  🍟


Google

DID YOU KNOW THAT Google was originally called BackRub? Larry and Sergey started with this name until about a year later they changed the name to Google which is a misspelling of a real-life mathematical term for the number 1, followed by 100 zeros. The term is googol.


Great Britain

text on a white background telling the Curiosity of the day about only 22 countries which were not invaded by the british

Bulgaria came into my mind straight away as it hasn’t “been part” of the British Empire. However the “title” is very tricky saying “invaded or ATTACKED”. Bulgaria was bombed by the #British during WWII.

All the Countries we’ve ever Invaded .. and the few we never got round to” is the book that inspired me to post this #Curiosity.

Here are the countries that haven’t been “honoured” by the British:
Andorra, Belarus, Bolivia, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Republic of Guatemala, Ivory Coast, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mali, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Mongolia, Paraguay, Sao Tome and Principe, Sweden, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Vatican City.


Human Height during the day/night

You are 1% shorter in the evening than in the morning. That is fascinating and also true! Here’s why. There is something called cartilage. This is a connective tissue that can be found in few places in the human body including joints like elbows, knees and ankles. Well, during your normal daily activities, the cartilage in these areas slowly compress, but when you go to sleep and rest, the cartilage goes back to normal. On average we are about 1 cm taller in the morning than in the evening. Check it for yourself! 😉


Harrods selling drugs

Harrods (London) is known for its luxury goods. But did you know that you could buy cocaine and heroin over the counter at Harrods until 1916? It may come as a surprise, but shop assistants at Harrods store would suggest pure cocaine, aka “Ryno’s Hay Fever and Catarrh Remedy” for a red and runny nose. What’s more, Harrods also provided complimentary gift packs containing morphine and cocaine to soldiers during World War I.

 
That’s one way to get repeat customers…

Insects as a snack

a guy with the nickname of curious pavel posing with chopsticks and holding a dim sum piece on a full table with dim sums and sauces
Did somebody say DIM SUM?

On average, every human eats about 430* insects every year of his life…
Me? I prefer dumplings 😋

*That happens mainly by accident


Jingle Bells Rock

Every Christmas time there are few songs that you can hear everywhere: Last Christmas & All I Want For Christmas is You are always on the top together with Jingle Bells Rock. Everybody joins in singing this classic song BUT… DID YOU KNOW that Jingle Bells Rock was created to be sung on thanksgiving? If you listen to it or read the lyrics, you will find nowhere the mentioning of Christmas. The song was first published in 1857.


Why do men have nipples

Nipples develop in the womb before embryos become distinctly male or female. So by the time a Y chromosome kicks in to distinguish a fetus as male, the nipples have already secured their place.


Lemons vs strawberries

DID YOU KNOW THAT the lemons contain more sugar than the strawberries?! While the strawberries have 40% sugar, the lemons have 70%. The reason for the sour taste of the lemons is the 3% to 6% citric acid they contain.. which is quite high. That acid dominates the sweet taste.


London Zoo

The Tower of London - Curious History Tour
The Tower of London

The Tower of London has seen a service as a royal palace, prison, armoury and even a zoo. Before the London Zoo moved to the place you find it today, the city zoo was in the Tower. Curious enough… during the 18th century, you could pay your admission ticket to the London Zoo in London by bringing a cat or a dog to feed the lions.


Morphine

Morphine was discovered by a German pharmacist in 1804 and it was named after Morpheus. No, not Morpheus from the Matrix but Morpheus, the Greek God of Dreams as this medicine has a tendency to cause sleep.


Music chills

The chills you get when you listen to music is called “musical frisson” (/ˈfrɪsən/ French for “shiver”).


Nachos cheese

a portion of Nachos in a plate with cheese, olives and jalapenos
Nachos
 
Sodium citrate is the secret ingredient that turns any cheese into a smooth, creamy nacho cheese sauce. Coincidentally, sodium citrate’s chemical formula is Na3C6H5O7 (NaCHO)
 
Brilliant!

 

 
Mind = blown 🤯
 

This curiosity was brought to you by @rosie.kerrigan

Want to add your favourite curious fact(s) to this page? Drop me a message!


Nails (human body)

Your finger nails grow 3 to 4 times faster than your toe nails. Nobody is certain why exactly. One theory states fingernails are closer to the heart so they receive more blood. Another theory says that since you use your fingers more than your toes, your body reacts to that and grows them more. You may also notice the fingernails on your dominant hand to grow faster than the other hand.


Nepal national flag

the national flag of nepal known as a double-pennon is the only national flag in the world that is not rectangular
the national flag of Nepal is the only national flag in the world that is not rectangular

The national flag of Nepal is the only non rectangular national flag in the world*. The two triangles symbolise the highest peaks of the Himalayan Mountains.

*OK! As I wanted to use more simple word, I picked rectangular. But the national flag of Nepal is actually the only non-quadrilateral flag in the world. Two countries in the world have flags that are square shaped: Switzerland & Vatican City.


What’s North Pole’s local time?

full built igloo with a snow hill in the background
Igloo at the North Pole

There is no permanent human presence at the North Pole and for that reason, no particular time zone has been assigned. Polar expeditions may use any time zone that is convenient, such as Greenwich Mean Time, or the time zone of the country from which they departed.

This curiosity was brought to you by @michaelgask

Want to add your favourite curious fact(s) to this page? Drop me a message!


Nasal cycle

Have you ever noticed that when your nose is stuffed, you only seem to have difficulties breathing with only one nostril? Here is why: there is something called nasal cycle. This phenomenal alternates your nostrils and every 2-3 hours, you will be breathing mainly through just one. The other one is not fully closed though. The nasal cycle appears with pigs, rabbits and other mammals, and it is easy to check this theory out: just put your finger in front of your nose and breath normally. You will notice much more air coming out from just one nostril.


Oceans vs the Moon

The world ocean covers more than 70% of the planet’s surface. Yet, we have explored approximately only 5% of it. In fact, more people have been to the moon than the bottom of the ocean!


Olympic Flame

There is a tradition before the start of Olympic games: several months before the start, a fire will be lit at Olympia, in Greece, and then will be transported by runners to the place where the Olympic games will take place. It will then be lit at the opening ceremony, the flame will continue burning during the games and it will be extinguished during the closing ceremony. It is commonly known that this tradition is Greek. That’s not true. The first country to do this was Nazi Germany in the Olympics of 1936.


No more tears when cutting ONIONS

DID YOU KNOW THAT… you can reduce crying while cutting an onion? All you have to do is to chew a chewing gum. This simple thing will prevent tears by forcing you to breathe through the mouth which means a smaller amount of that irritating smell will get to the part of your eyes that is “responsible” for crying.


Why Paper Cuts hurt so much???

You have probably experienced at least one paper cut in your life. They are so small, even insignificant, yet hurt so much!! Ever wondered why? Well, in addition to the pain is the fact that paper cuts tend to be shallow and bleed little. This means many damaged nerve endings are not covered with blood are left exposed near the surface of your skin, where they can be irritated easily, resulting in more pain signals being sent to your brain.


Penguins & romance

Male penguins offer marriage to their chosen ones by giving them small smooth stones as a gift 🐧


Persian decision making

a coloured drawing of persian people having fun in a hall listening music and drinking mainly women

Whenever Persians discussed an important matter, before they put the decision into practice, thy would discuss the same matter while they were drunk. If they have started a discussion while drinking, then they’ll discuss again on the next day when their minds are more clear. If the same decision was taken after discussing a matter in both state of mind then they would have started executing it.


The rotation of the Planets

DID YOU KNOW THAT every planet in the solar system is rotating counterclockwise with the exception of two of them: Venus and Uranus. It is most likely that they were also rotating counterclockwise until they were hit by huge asteroids which made them tilt.


Where quarantine comes from?

During the Black Death, incoming ships were forced to wait for 40 days to prevent possible infection. The Italian word for 40, “Quaranta“, is where we get the word “quarantine“.


How many titles the Queen has?

You might feel that you need to go out and buy an awful lot of food if you invited the following distinguished people to dinner on the same night:

  • the Duke of Normandy
  • the Duke of Lancaster
  • the Lord of Mann, the Paramount Chief of Fiji
  • the White Heron
  • the Mother of All the People
  • Defender of the Faith
  • the Head of the British Armed Forces
  • the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces
  • the Head of the New Zealand Defence Force
  • and Missis Queen.

But don’t worry, because only one person would turn up: Queen Elizabeth II.


Rational thinking

A study from the University of Chicago suggests that thinking in a foreign language leads to more rational decision making.


Where the word salary comes from?

Three Euro coins in Salt
SALTary?

During Roman times, salt was worth its weight in gold and soldiers were sometimes paid in salt, hence the world “salary”.


 

Who invented the Sandwich

massive salt beef sandwich hold by a girl with no face sandwich on a plate with a pickle
Salt Beef Sandwich (photo by @catch52)

The modern sandwich is named after John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.

The story goes as Lord Sandwich was a gambler and he did not take the time to have a meal during his long hours of playing at the card table. Consequently, he would ask his servants to bring him slices of meat between two slices of bread, a habit well known among his gambling friends. Other people, according to this account, began to order “the same as Sandwich!”, and thus the “sandwich” was born.

The Wall Street Journal has described the sandwich as Britain’s “biggest contribution to gastronomy“.


How many teeth does a snail have?

The number of teeth a snail has depends on its type, but the average snail has more than 1,000 teeth used for scraping or cutting food. Some species may have more than 20,000 teeth held in rows.

This curiosity was brought to you by Layla Romic. Want to add your favourite curious fact(s) to this page? Drop me a message!


Who’s the Slippery Dick

No, Slippery Dick is not a pub. It is not probably whatever it is you have imagined 😉There is a fish called Slippery Dick. It can be found in the tropical waters of the western Atlantic Ocean and its name has probably been given because of its ability to slip out of nets and hands of people 🐟


Squirrels

A squirrel on a road climbing up a man's grey trousers
The squirrel whisperer

DID YOU KNOW THAT… squirrels are one of the most important animals for helping oaks spread. They plant hundreds, maybe even thousands, of new trees every year by simply forgetting where they hid their acorns. They are constantly hiding food in order to be ready for cold temperatures when there is not so much food but sadly, often forget. Their memory is not developed but compensated with a strong sense of smell. Squirrels can smell food under 30 cm of snow 🐿️


Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty was made in France and was given to the USA in 1886 as a gift. The occasion… 100 years of the States being independent.


Sunlight Power

Ever noticed that subjects left in the sun for a long period will fade color? That is because their molecules are being ripped apart by sunlight’s high-energy UV light.


Tea Bags

3 tea bags one next to each other
Tea bags

While China was using tea bags since the 8th century, they were introduced to the western world much later. In 1904 Thomas Sullivan, a tea and coffee importer from New York, decided it will be much cheaper if he sends little samples to his potential clients in small silk bags instead of putting the samples in boxes. The people on the other end thought they need to dip those bags in hot water. Thomas quickly started receiving orders for his tea bags.


The Human Tongue

DID YOU KNOW THAT... the tongue of each person is unique, just like his fingerprints 🕵️


Telephones

an old black phone with a ring dial
Old Telephone

Think about this for a second… Before the invention of the telephone probably nobody asked the question “Where are you” 😬


Tour de France logoCuriosity of the day: logo of tour de france written in black letters on white background with an orange circle and a hidden cyclist

Did you know that the logo of Tour de France has a hidden cyclist? Can you find him?


Most UNESCO heritage sites in the world

Did you know that India has 38 UNESCO heritage sites. That is quite a number! However, the country is not quite at the top of that rank. Third place with most UNESCO heritage sites in the world goes to Spain with 48! First place is shared by two countris, both having 55 registered UNESCO sites and these are Italy and China.


Vincent van Gogh

colored painting by vincent van goch of people in a vineyard collecting grapes on sunset near a river
Red Vineyards

The talented painter managed to sell only one painting in his lifetime. It is called “The Red Vineyard” or “The Red Vines” (1888), and it sold in Brussels in early 1890 for 400 Belgian francs.


World Cup Winners*

DID YOU KNOW THAT… the First World Cup Finals took place in 1930. For all these years, all these finals, there are only 8 countries that have won the title. Those are the all time leader Brazil (5), followed by Italy and Germany (4), Argentina, France and Uruguay (2), and Spain and England (1).


World populationperspective thinking

World’s total population is more than 7.5 billion people. This number is huge but imagine this… if each and every person on the planet stood shoulder-to-shoulder, we could all fit in Los Angeles.

That fact is stunning and just shows the power of perspective!

4 thoughts on “Curiosities 101

  1. BTW, you are still correct to say that Nepal is the only non-rectangular flag in the world. A square is a kind of rectangle, that just so happens to have sides of equal length. So even though the flags of Switzerland and Vatican City are square, they are still rectangular. 😍 #flagfun

Your thoughts?