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Deb and Jen's Land O' Useless Facts
Useless Fact O' The Day
The Useless Fact Archives
The Sumatran tiger has the most stripes of all the tiger subspecies,
and the Siberian tiger has the fewest stripes.
The national average ACT score is 17.
All elephants walk on tip-toe, because the back portion of their foot
is made up of all fat and no bone.
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from
"Toki doki kuruma de kayotte imasu" means "Sometimes I commute by
car." in Japanese.
Giraffes have no vocal chords.
The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year
because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the
weight of all the books that would occupy the building.
A H I M O T U V W X Y are the symmetric capital letters in the Roman
Susan Sarandon's last name is from her first husband, Chris Sarandon, also known as Prince Humperdinck from The Princess Bride.
In order for a deck of cards to be mixed up enough to play with
properly, it should be shuffled at least seven times.
The Eygptian god of the moon and knowledge, Thoth, has the head of an ibis.
The Mola Mola, or Ocean Sunfish, lays up to 5,000,000 eggs at one time.
Craven Walker invented the lava lamp, and its contents are colored wax
When opossums are playing opossum, they are not "playing." They
actually pass out from sheer terror.
2 and 5 are the only primes that end in 2 or 5.
The abbrevation "PDX" (Portland International Airport) is derived from
"P" standing for Portland and "DX" meaning long distance or wide
Liquid paper was invented by Mike Nesmith (of the Monkees)'s mother, Bette
Nesmith Graham, in 1951.
A man named Ed Peterson is the inventor of the Egg McMuffin.
Stag beetles have stronger mandibles than humans.
The record for most snowfall in a day, 78 inches, was made on February
7, 1916 in Alaska.
More money is printed daily for the Monopoly game than by the
The word "girl" appears only once in the Bible.
Rhinos are in the same family as horses, and are thought to have
inspired the myth of the unicorn.
The stress in Hungarian words always falls on the first syllable.
The first Bowie knife was forged at Washington, Arkansas.
The names of the three wise monkeys are: Mizaru: See no evil, Mikazaru:
Hear no evil, and Mazaru: Speak no evil.
Santa Fe, New Mexico is the highest state capital at 7,000 feet above
Stewardesses and reverberated are the two longest words (12 letters
each) that can be typed using on the left hand.
Sam Spade's license number was 137596.
Camels have three eyelids to protect themselves from blowing sand.
The world's largest K-Mart is on the island of Guam.
There are 2,598,960 five-card hands possible in a 52-card deck of
Pecans are the only food that astranauts do not have to treat and
dehydrate when flying in space.
Ross Perot resigned from the General Motors Board of Directors because of the decision to purchase Hughes Aircraft Company.
Figlet, an ASCII font converter program, stands for Frank, Ian and Glenn's LETters.
Eggplant is a member of the thistle family.
Decatur, Illinois was the original home of what is now the Chicago
Bears (then the Stalley Bears.)
Every Swiss citizen is required by law to have a bomb shelter or access to a bomb shelter.
Brazoria County in Southeast Texas is the only county in the United
States and Canada to have every kind of poisonous snake found in those two
The United States National Anthem is the only anthem in the world that
doesn't have the name of the country in it.
In 1986 Danny Heep became the first player in a World Series to be a
designated hitter (DH) with the initials "D.H."
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the only city in the U.S. with three sports
teams that all wear the same colors.
Plaster of Paris is naturally fire retardant. At about 600 degrees
Farenheit the chemical water that is stored in it is released. This is
also why walls are often "sweaty" after a fire.
The scar on Al Capone's scar was the result a gash he received from the
brother of a girl he had insulted.
If you put a raisin in a glass of champagne, it will keep floating to
the top and sinking to the bottom.
Dwarf Woolly Mammoths survived on Wrangel Island, Alaska as late as
4000 years ago. (So the oldest organism currently alive was 1000 years
old when the last Woolly Mammoth died.)
National Pi Day is March 14, at 1:59. (3/14 1:59)
The only two people in the baseball hall of fame that had nothing to do
with baseball (i.e they did not play, coach, own a team, etc.) are
Abbott and Costello.
The saguaro cactus, found in the southwestern united states, does not grow
branches until it is about sixty to seventy-five years old.
The word "tryst," (which means an assignment between lovers to meet) is
the only five-letter english word with two of one letter, whose only
vowel is 'y.'
Kermit the Frog is left handed.
The average mousepad is eight and three quarters by seven and a half inches.
Shortest Intercontinental Commercial Flight in the world is from
Gibraltar (Europe) to Tangier (Africa.) Distance 34 miles, flight time
In the game Monopoly, the most money you can lose in one travel around
the board (normal game rules, going to jail only once) is $26,040. The
most money you can lose in one turn is $5070.
The airplane Buddy Holly died in was the "American Pie." (Thus the
name of the Don McLean song.)
In ancient Egypt, the apricot was called the "egg of the sun."
The car in the foreground on the back of a $10 bill is a 1925
Tommy Lee Jones Useless Facts
A bonnet is the cap on the fire hydrant.
Only two countries border three oceans -- the United States & Canada.
Dr. Seuss and Kurt Vonnegut went to college together. They were even in
the same fraternity, where Seuss decorated the fraternity house walls
with drawings of his characters.
Drinking water after eating reduces the acid in your mouth by 61 percent.
Paris, France and Cedar Rapids, Iowa are the only cities in the world
that have their governments on an island.
Pro golfer Wayne Levi was the first PGA pro to win a tournament
using a colored (orange) ball. He did it in the Hawaiian Open in 1982.
The author of Roberts' Rules of Order, Col. Roberts of the
U. S. Corps of Engineers, is also famous as the engineer in charge of
designing the Seawall in Galveston, Texas. This Seawall was
constructed after the famous hurricane of 1900 which hit Galveston,
The bat on the Bacardi symbol is there because the soil where the sugar
cane grows is fertile from the excessive guano (bat droppings.)
A lion's roar can be heard from five miles away.
The cheetah is the only cat in the world that can't retract it's
The Toronto Maple leafs used to be called the Toronto Arenas, then the St.
Patricks and finally the Maple Leafs.
A female swine, or a sow, will always have a even number of teats or
nipples, usually twelve.
Although Sherlock Holmes above all is considered as an inhabitant of
Victorian London, not less than seven stories take place after the
death of the late queen. They are:
The Priory School (early 20th C),
The Three Garridebs (1902),
The Blanced Soldier (1903),
The Illustrious Client (1903),
The Creeping Man (1903),
The Lion's Mane (1907),
His Last Bow (1914.)
The hammer throw is illegal as a high school sport in all states except Rhode Island.
Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first city in the US to put flouride in
The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore
when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on
the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.
St. Stephen is the patron saint of bricklayers.
The first song played on Armed Forces Radio during operation Desert
Shield was Rock the Casba by the Clash.
Fabrics and their Origins
There are only 4 cities that are named exactly after the state they are
located in: Maine, ME; Minnesota, MN; New York, NY; and Wyoming, WY.
The launching mechanism of a carrier ship that helps planes to take
off, could throw a pickup truck over a mile.
If you told someone that they were one in a million, you'd be saying there
were about 1,800 of them in China.
A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.
In Psycho, the color of Mrs. Bates' dress was periwinkle blue.
The Roman numerals for 1666 are as follows: MDCLXVI
(1000+500+100+50+10+5+1.) This year is famous as being the one time
in history when the date is written with all of the Roman numerals
from highest value to the lowest value.
Until at least 1980 the country of Bhutan had no telephones.
The average sixty minute audio cassette tape has 562.5 feet of tape in it.
In the 1940s, the FCC assigned television's Channel 1 to mobile
services (two-way radios in taxicabs, for instance) but did not
re-number the other channel assignments. That is why your TV set has
channels 2 and up but no channel 1.
A group of geese on the ground is gaggle, a group of geese in the air
Napoleon Bonaparte's mother's name was Laticia.
Tirana and Dublin are the only remaining European capitals with undergrounds.
The 16th century astronomer Tycho Brahe lost his nose in a duel with
one of his students over a mathematical computation. He wore a silver
replacement nose for the rest of his life.
Prince Harry and Prince William are uncircumcised.
The placement of a donkey's eyes in its' heads enables it to see all
four feet at all times
The only word that consists of two letters, each used three times is
the word "deeded."
Walt Disney named Mickey Mouse after Mickey Rooney, whose mother he
dated for some time.
Libra, the Scales, is the only inanimate symbol in the zodiac.
The underside of a horse's hoof is called a frog. The frog peels off
several times a year with new growth.
A forfeited game is baseball is recorded as a 9-0 score. In football it is
The name of the Vulcan's heaven is Sha Ka Ree, this is a play on the
name Sean Connery who was considered for the part of Sarek, Spock's
The San Fransisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments
Both Esther and Song of Solomon do not mention the word God.
Here is every word that can be displayed by a digital clock during the day (using the numbers which look like letters, with 9 as "g.")
So be sure to shriek whenever it's 8:00!
Thanks to Joe Rovang (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Atlanta, Georgia.
Paul Revere rode on a borrowed horse that belonged to Deacon Larkin.
The English word with the most consonants in a row is latchstring
Roosters can't crow if they can't fully extend their necks.
The highest scoring word in the English language game of Scrabble is
'Quartzy'. This will score 164 points if played across a red
triple-word square with the Z on a light blue double-letter square. It
will score 162 points if played across two pink double-word squares
with the Q and the Y on those squares. 'Bezique' and 'Cazique' are
next with a possible 161 points. All three words score an extra 50
points for having seven letters and therefore emptying the letter rack
in one go.
Assuming Rudolph was in front, there are 40320 ways to arrange the
other eight reindeer.
All of the officers in the Confederate army were given copies of
Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, to carry with them at all
times. Robert E. Lee, among others, believed that the book symbolized
their cause. Both revolts were defeated.
The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways. The
following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated,
dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of
Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."
Hulk Hogan's real name is Terry Bollea.
Easter is the first Sunday after the first Saturday after the first full moon after the equinox. (The equinox is quite often March 21, but can also occur on the March 20 or 22.)
The fingerprints of koala bears are virtually indistinguishable from
those of humans, so much so that they could be confused at a crime scene.
The Lightning Seeds got their name from a mistaken interpretation of a
line in the Prince song 'Raspberry Beret'. They thought the line was
"thunder only hides what the lightning seeds". The last word is
Months that begins with a Sunday will always have a "Friday the 13th."
Emus have double-plumed feathers, and they lay emerald/forest green
Robert E. Lee, of the Confederate Army, remains the only person, to
date, to have graduated from the West Point military academy without a
The verb "cleave" is the only English word with two synonyms which are
antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.
The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter
The slash character is called a virgule, or solidus. A URL uses
slash characters, not back slash characters.
"Corduroy" comes from the French, "cord du roi" or "cloth of the king."
The permanent teeth that erupt to replace their primary predecessors
(baby teeth) are called succedaneous teeth.
The abbreviation "ORD" for Chicago's O'Hare airport comes from the old name "Orchard Field."
Antonia ('Tonie') Nathan, the 1972 Vice-Presidential candidate of the
Libertarian Party, was the first woman in American history to receive
an electoral vote.
In the four major US professional sports, (Baseball, Basketball,
Football, and Hockey) there are only seven teams whose nicknames do not
end with an "S."
"Polish" is the only word in the English language that when capitalized
is changed from a noun or a verb to a nationality.
Beelzebub, another name for the devil, is Hebrew for Lord of the
Flies, and this is where the books title comes from.
Ohio is the only state not to have a rectangular flag. It's a pennant.
The shape of plant collenchyma cells and the shape of the bubbles in
beer foam are the same -- they are orthotetrachidecahedrons.
West Virginia is the only state in the Union without a natural lake.
The name of the dog from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is Max.
Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world.
October 10 is National Metric Day.
Oak trees do not have acorns until they are fifty years old or older.
South Dakota has the only state bird from Asia, the ring-necked pheasant.
Tongeren is the oldest town in Belgium.
John Augustus Sutter of Sutter's Mill and the California Gold Rush became an ardent Communist in his later years.
The original IBM punchcard is the same size as a Civil War era dollar
The concave dish shape that a liquid takes on inside a glass or tube is
called a meniscus.
If you need to remember pi, just count the letters in each word in the
sentence: "May I have a large container of coffee?" If you get the
coffee and are polite and say "Thank you," you get two more decimal
Croatia Useless Facts
A two-bit moon is in the first quarter.
The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five
must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in
times of war or other emergencies.
The Swiss flag is square.
The white part of your fingernail is called the lunula.
The name for fungal remains found in coal is sclerotinite.
Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason.
It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King
James Version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word
from the first word is shake and the 46th word from the last word
Writer Edgar Allan Poe and LSD advocate Timothy Leary were both kicked
out of West Point.
The top layer of a wedding cake, known as the groom's cake, is usually
is a fruit cake so it will last until the couple's first anniversary, when
they will eat it.
The German Kaiser Wilhelm II had a withered arm and often hid the fact
by posing with his hand resting on a sword, or by holding gloves.
The United States government keeps its supply of silver at the U.S.
Military Academy at West Point, NY
Blimp Useless Facts
Naugahyde, plastic "leather" was created in Naugatuck, Connecticut.
In every show that Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (The Fantasticks)
wrote, there is at least one song about rain.
The only city whose name can be spelled completely with vowels is Aiea,
Parthenogenesis is the term used to describe the process by which
certain animals are able to reproduce themselves in successive female
generations without intervention of a male of the species. At least
one species of lizard is known to do so.
Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat,"
which means "the king is dead".
The ship, the Queen Elizabeth 2, should always be written as QE2. QEII
is the actual queen.
The 1957 Milwaukee Braves were the first baseball team to win the World
Series after being relocated.
When a coffee seed is planted, it takes five years to yield consumable
The common goldfish is the only animal that can see both infra-red and
Linn's Stamp News is the world's largest weekly newspaper for stamp
Tennessee and Missouri are bordered by more states than any other. Tennesee is bordered by eight states are Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. Missouri is bordered by Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennesee, Kentucky and Illinois.
The westernmost point in the contiguous United States is Cape Alava, Washington.
Pinocchio is Italian for "pine head."
The geographical center of North America is near Rugby, North Dakota.
Hacky-sack was invented in Turkey.
If you stretch a standard Slinky out flat it measures 87 feet long.
There are six words in the English language with the letter combination "uu." Muumuu, vacuum, continuum, duumvirate, duumvir and residuum.
The "Calabash" pipe, most often associated with Sherlock Holmes, was
not used by him until William Gillette (an American) portrayed Holmes
onstage. Gillette needed a pipe he could keep in his mouth while he
spoke his lines.
Most Americans' car horns beep in the key of F.
The pupil of an octopus' eye is rectangular.
The shortest French word with all five vowels is "oiseau" meaning bird.
Camel's milk does not curdle.
The ball on top of a flagpole is called the truck.
A person from the country of Nauru is called a Nauruan; this is the
only palindromic nationality.
Oliver Cromwell was hanged and decapitated two years after he had died.
Iowa has more independent telephone companies than any other state.
The first prime number after 1,000,000 is 1,000,003.
Hamster Useless Facts
The first Eagle Scout west of the Mississippi is buried in San Marcos,
In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.
The Greek version of the Old Testament is called the Septuagent.
Spencer Eldon was the name of the naked baby on the cover of Nirvana's
All three major 1996 Presidential candidates, Clinton, Dole and Perot, are left-handed.
Sheriff came from Shire Reeve. During early years of feudal rule in England, each shire had a reeve who was the law for that shire. When the term was brought to the United States it was shortened to Sheriff.
An animal epidemic is called an epizootic.
Dracula is the most filmed story of all time, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is second and Oliver Twist is third.
The silhouette on the NBA logo is Jerry West.
Soweto in South Africa ws derived from SOuth WEst TOwnship.
Murphy's Oil Soap is the chemical most commonly used to clean
The Andy Griffth Show was the first spin-off in TV
history. It was a spin-off of the Danny Thomas Show.
Goat's eyes have rectangular pupils.
Walt Disney's autograph bears no resemblance to the famous Disney
Other than humans, black lemurs are the only primates that may have
The United States has never lost a war in which mules were used.
Great Britain was the first county to issue postage stamps. Hence,
the postage stamps of Britain are the only stamps in the world not to
bear the name of the country of origin. However, every stamp carries a
relief image or a silhouette of the monarch's head instead.
Artist Constantino Brumidi fell from the done of the U.S. Capitol
while painting a mural around the rim. He died four months later.
Since 1896, the beginning of the modern Olympics, only Greece and
Australia have participated in every Games.
There were no squirrels on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts until 1989.
Cathy Rigby is the only woman to pose nude for Sports
Illustrated. (August 1972)
Blueberry Jelly Bellies were created especially for Ronald Reagan.
Barbie Useless Facts
When ocean tides are at their highest, they are called "spring
tides." When they are at their lowest, they are call "neap tides."
The last NASCAR driver to serve jail time for running moonshine was
Many Japanese golfers carry "hole-in-one" insurance, because it is traditional in Japan to share one's good luck by sending gifts to all your friends when you get an "ace." The price for what the Japanese term an "albatross" can often reach $10,000.
The difference between male and female blue crabs is the design
located on their apron (belly.) The male blue crab has the Washington
Monument while the female apron is shaped like the U.S. Capitol.
The ridges on the sides of coins are called reeding or milling.
The lot numbers for the cyanide-tainted Tylenol capsules scare back
in 1982 were MC2880 and 1910MD.
Montpelier, Vermont is the only U.S. state capital without a
At latitude 60 degrees south you can sail all the way around the
A Chinese checkerboard has 121 holes.
The hyoid bone, in your throat, is the only bone in the body not
attached to another bone.
Sunbeams that shine down through the clouds are called crespucular
The correct response to the Irish greeting, "Top of the morning to you," is "and the rest of the day to yourself."
The straw was probably invented by Egyptian brewers to taste in-process beer without removing the fermenting ingredients which floated on the top of the container.
All porcupines float in water.
Hang On Sloopy is the official rock song of Ohio.
A-1 Steak Sauce contains both orange peel and raisins.
Pentagon Useless Facts
Residents of the island of Lesbos are Lesbosians, rather than Lesbians.
(Of course, lesbians are called lesbians because Sappho was from Lesbos.)
Double Meanings Useless
In Chinese, the words for crisis and opportunity are the same.
Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people
without killing them use to burn their houses down -- hence the expression
"to get fired."
The poisonous copperhead smells like
In Disney's "Fantasia", the Sorcerer's name
Anne Boleyn had six fingernails on one hand , but only five fingers on
that hand. She had a small extra nail on the side of her finger that she
kept hidden with long sleeves.
Mustard gas was invented in the McKinley Building on the American
University campus. Additionally, preliminary work on the Manhattan
Project was done in that building. The government used the McKinley
Building because of its unusual architecture. If there was any type of
large explosion inside the building, the building would implode onto
itself, containing any lethal gas or nuclear material. The building now
houses the Physics Department.
The cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth 2, moves only six inches for each
gallon of diesel that it burns.
The naval rank of "Admiral" is
from the Arabic phrase "amir al bahr," which means "lord of
The Les Nessman character on the TV series WKRP
Cincinnati wore a band-aid in every episode. Either on himself,
glasses, or his clothing.
A coat hanger is forty-four inches long if straightened.
The roads on the island of Guam are made with coral. Guam has no
sand. The sand on the beaches is actually ground coral. When concrete is
mixed, the coral sand is used instead of importing regular sand from
thousands of miles away.
The city of Mt. Vernon, Washington grows more tulips than the entire
country of Holland.
Jamie Farr (who played Klinger on M*A*S*H) was the only member
of the cast who actually served as a soldier in the Korean War.
Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan carries the designation M-1, named
so because it was the first paved road anywhere.
Canada is an Indian word meaning
Zaire is the world leader in cobalt mining, producing two-thirds of the
world's cobalt supply.
Little known Cathedral Caverns near Grant, Alabama has the world's
largest cave opening, the world's largest stalagmite (Goliath), and the largest
stalagmite forest in the World.
The only person ever to decline a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was
Sinclair Lewis for his book Arrowsmith.
Maine is the only state that borders on only one state.
almost twice as many people in Rhode Island
than there are
Kudzu is not indigenous to the
but in that
climate it can grow up to six inches a
Did you know that there are
Ralph Lauren's original name
Lorne Greene had one of his nipples bitten off by an alligator while he
was host of "Lorne Greene's Wild Kingdom."
Cat's urine glows under a blacklight.
The St. Louis Gateway Arch had a projected death toll while it was
being built. No one died.
The average ear of corn has eight-hundred kernels arranged in sixteen rows.
An iguana can stay under water for twenty-eight minutes.
Jelly Belly jelly beans were the first jelly beans in outer space when
they went up with astronauts in the June 21, 1983 voyage of the space
shuttle Challenger (the same voyage as the first American woman in space,
Baseballer Connie Mack's real name was Cornelius McGilicuddy.
Only thirty percent of the famous Maryland blue crabs are actually from
Maryland, the rest are from North Carolina and Virginia.
When the State of West Virginia was formed from Virginia in 1863, the
three western counties in Virginia voted to go with West Virginia, but
West Virginia didn't take them because they were poor. Instead they took
three counties that voted to stay with Virginia, because they were richer
and they had the B&O railroad. Those counties have since split and are
five: Jefferson, Hampshire, Berkley, Mineral, and Morgan.
The top three cork-producing countries are Spain, Portugal and Algeria. (Cork comes from trees.)
In the Wizard of Oz Dorothy's last name is Gail. It is
shown on the mail box.
If you bring a raccoon's head to the Henniker, New Hampshire town hall,
you are entitled to receive $.10 from the town.
The letter W is the only letter in the alphabet that doesn't have one
syllable, it has three.
All swans and all sturgeons in England are property of the Queen. Messing with them is a serious offense.
Michael Di Lorenzo, who plays Eddie Torres on New York
Undercover is one of the lead dancers in Michael Jackson's "Beat It"
Only two people, John Hancock and Charles Thomson signed the
Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Most of the rest signed on
August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until five years later.
We have lots More and Still More Useless Facts!