Facts You Probably don’t Need

  • After his trip to the Galápagos Islands, Charles Darwin brought back a five-year-old tortoise he named Harriet. She outlived her adopter by 124 years, ultimately making it to a whopping 176 years old, dying in 2006.
  • Instead of saying, "cheese," before taking a picture, Victorians said, “prunes.”
  • Researchers have found that roosters  have built-in earplugs. When a rooster opens its beak to crow, its external auditory canals close off, preventing sound from coming in and serving as earplugs.
  • The punctuation mark '?!' is called an interrobang.
  • Male students at Brigham Young University need to receive special permission to grow a beard.
  • Ioannis Ikonomou, the chief translator of the European Parliament, speaks 32 languages fluently.
  • Reno is farther west than Los Angeles.
  • The blob of toothpaste that sits on your toothbrush is called a "nurdle."
  • New Amsterdam was founded by the Dutch in 1653 and in 1664, the English renamed it New York. However, the Dutch briefly reclaimed it and re-renamed it New Orange, which is the name it held for only about a year until the British regained control under the Treaty of Westminster.


            Facts from Sean McVeigh, factologist.