Maintaining a healthy dose of curiosity about the world around you will help sharpen your mind, make you happier, strengthen your relationships, and even improve your productivity. In fact, Albert Einstein once remarked, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” And that could be you!
If you want to set yourself on a path to reaping those incredible benefits, just like Einstein, read the 125 facts we’ve compiled here. They’re fun, they’re interesting, and they’re guaranteed to pique your curiosity. It’s time to arm yourself with all sorts of fascinating facts and trivia that will make you feel like a total genius, boosting your confidence in a flash!
Monkeys shouldn’t eat bananas.
If you happen to be around a monkey, you might be inclined to feed it a banana. But the fact is, bananas contain far too much sugar for monkeys to handle. “Giving this fruit to animals is equivalent to giving them cake and chocolate,” according to Amy Plowman, head of conservation and advocacy at the Paignton Zoo in Devon, U.K. “Compared to the food they would eat in the wild, bananas … have lots of calories and contain much more sugar that’s bad for their teeth and can lead to diabetes and similar conditions. It can also cause gastrointestinal problems as their stomachs are mostly adapted to eating fibrous foods with very low digestibility.” The more you know!
There are more card deck combinations than there are atoms on Earth.
Don’t blame your bad hand at the poker table on a stroke of bad luck; it’s really just a matter of math, seeing as there are more ways to arrange a deck of cards than there are total atoms on Earth! If a card deck is shuffled properly, there’s a pretty high chance that it comes out in an arrangement that has never existed before, because a deck of 52 cards has an astronomically large number of permutations. (Put simply: It’s a 69-digit number!)
More than half of Shakespeare’s characters die in the same way.
William Shakespeare had a flair for the dramatic, but he also relied on some tried and true tropes, including the ways he killed off his characters. When The Guardian broke down data from Open Source Shakespeare in 2016, they found that the majority of fatalities (54 out of the 100 deaths in all of his plays) were due to stabbings. The second most common cause of death was being poisoned, although just four characters met their maker this way.
All of the water on Earth would form a ball that’s 860 miles wide.
About 71 percent of the surface of the Earth is covered with water. However, it’s hard to fully grasp just how much water that actually is. Thankfully, NASA put it in perspective. They explain that if we were somehow able to take all of the water on the planet and bring it together, it would form a massive 860-mile wide ball. For comparison, the Earth itself is 7,917.5 miles in diameter.
The New York Times ran a typo every day for more than 100 years.
Everyone makes mistakes. But you wouldn’t think that one of the largest newspapers in the United States would run a typo on its front page every day for more than 100 years. However, that’s exactly what occurred when an employee of The New York Times accidentally entered the wrong serial number of an edition that went out back in 1898. Seeing that they were at issue 14,499, the editor on duty kicked it up by what they thought was one number for the next day. But instead of deeming it issue 14,500, they went up 500 editions into the future to 15,000. As a result, each issue was misnumbered from 1898 until 1999 when a news assistant finally caught the mistake!
Two asteroids orbit the Earth just like the moon.
When you look at the night sky and see the moon shining down, you might not have realized that it’s not alone up there. Other than the lunar body, there are two asteroids that orbit close to our planet. One asteroid, Cruithne, follows the Earth’s orbit, while Asteroid 2002 AA29 travels along a path that is shaped like a horseshoe. Because of this, it only swings by us every 95 years.
There are polka-dotted zebras.
Zebras are known for their striking black and white stripes, but it turns out that not all of the creatures are born with a lovely lined pattern. In fact, some rare zebras are born with spots, such as the polka-dotted baby zebra (seen above) that was spotted in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve in 2019. Named Tira, the foal has a coat that is primarily dark but has white dots, a coloring thought to be due to a genetic mutation called pseudomelanism. Although the little one looks quite a bit different from the rest of his family, he seems to be fitting in just fine.
Babies don’t blink nearly as much as adults.
Humans blink in order to keep our eyes clean and moisturized. However, it turns out that some of us blink much more than others. Specifically, adults tend to blink around 15 times per minute while babies only blink an average of two or three times in the same time span.
There’s a bird that has “evolved” back into existence twice.
The Aldabra white-throated rail may not be a very well known bird, but it’s certainly a remarkable one. The flightless creature first found itself in trouble around 136,000 years ago when it went extinct—something it’s done twice. However, a 2019 study published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society explained that “the rail is an example of a rarely observed phenomenon called iterative evolution, in which the same ancestral lineage produces parallel offshoot species at different points in time.” Because of this, it’s been able to rally and “evolve” back into existence both times it was essentially wiped out.
There’s only one continent without grasslands.
Antarctica is an amazing place that boasts incredible frosty landscapes, unbelievably low temperatures, and volcanic activity. It’s also the “windiest, driest, and iciest place on Earth,” according to National Geographic. Another thing that sets it apart? It’s the only continent on Earth that can’t naturally support grasslands. And for more information about the world around you, check out these 100 Mind-Blowing Facts You’ve Never Heard Before.
The oldest surviving banknotes are from 1375.
Trading goods and services for currency is a system that has existed around the world for thousands of years. However, the oldest surviving banknotes are the Da Ming Tongxing Baochao (Great Ming Circulating Treasure Note) from China, which was initially printed between 1368 and 1398. When the value of the money crashed, the banknotes were simply stashed away and forgotten, which is how some managed to survive, according to Guinness World Records.
Human corpses can continue to move for more than a year after death.
The thought of a body moving after a person has died sounds like something out of a horror movie, but it may just be a natural phenomenon. According to a 2019 study published in the journal Forensic Science International: Synergy and led by Australian researcher Alyson Wilson, corpses can continue to move for more than a year after death.
“What we found was that the arms were significantly moving, so that arms that started off down beside the body ended up out to the side of the body,” she told ABC News. “One arm went out and then came back in to nearly touching the side of the body again.” The movement is believed to be the result of the decomposition process which causes the corpses’ ligaments to dry out and contract, pulling the limbs as they do.
Eggshells are being used to grow new human bones.
Chicken eggshells are mostly made up of calcium carbonate, a substance that also exists in human bones. That’s why researchers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) believe that eggs are ideal for growing new bone for humans who have suffered injuries to their own skeleton. “There is a great need for developing new and functional materials to repair and regenerate damaged bone,” Gulden Camci-Unal, a professor of chemical engineering at UML who led the research, told Smithsonian magazine in 2019. “At our lab, we like to take unconventional approaches; we look at nature and try to see what we can use that already exists.”
The furry tufts of hair inside a cat’s ear are called ear furnishings.
The next time you’re playing with an adorably fuzzy feline, you might want to notice those fluffy bits of fur that stick out of the cat’s ears, which have a super cute name: ear furnishings.
A wind storm in Australia nearly interrupted the moon landing broadcast.
When NASA’s Apollo 11 landed on the moon, it was a historic moment for all of humanity, broadcast internationally. But it was also nearly interrupted by a wind storm that blew through Australia. That’s where the Parkes dish, which would receive the broadcast signals from the moon, was located. When a wind storm with 60 mph winds slammed right into the dish, the crew on the ground kept their cool and a delay meant that the storm had time to pass over before the critical signals were finally sent around the world. According to Smithsonian magazine, “Those TV images would never have reached the world’s living rooms without the help of a crack team of Australian scientists and engineers, working in the bush a few hundred miles west of Sydney.” #24x7newsalert