One of the greatest disadvantages of being under 21 is the inability to attend bar trivia nights. As an avid viewer of Jeopardy! and a self-proclaimed nerd, I have enough random facts in my head to win a million quiz bowls, as long as they don’t involve questions about math, science, sports, or really anything besides pop culture and useless facts. Such a collection of random references can come in handy though when you’re looking to impress someone at a party or score those 3 extra points on a final exam by answering the obscure bonus question that your teacher didn’t expect anyone to get. I’ve collected some below to get you started:
1. Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie invented M&Ms. The two Ms stand for their last names.
2. Only female mosquitos bite. The males go for flower nectar instead.
3. Wayne Allwine, the voice actor for Mickey Mouse, and Russi Taylor, the voice actress for Minnie Mouse, wed in 1991.
4. American voice actor Thurl Ravenscroft was both the singer behind “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” as well as the voice for Tony the Tiger. (Heeeee’s GREAT!)
5. The Amazon Rainforest produces around one fifth of the world’s oxygen.
6. Elephants can’t jump. They’re simply too heavy. (I’ll have to return the jump rope I got my local elephant for next Christmas then…)
7. The sentence “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” uses every letter in the English language. (This is a common extra credit question on vocab tests so memorize it.)
8. Aside from John Rhys-Davies (Gimli), the members of the original Fellowship of the Ring all received tattoos reading “nine” in Elvish upon the series’ completion.
9. The current record holder for most prolific mother goes to Valentina Vassilyeva, who had 69 children over the course of her lifetime. Her husband, Feodor Vassilyeva later remarried and had 18 more children, making him father to 87 children total (though only 82 survived).
10. The popular “Keep Calm and Carry On” slogan was originally created by the British government as a form of propaganda to motivate citizens to stay strong during World War II.
11. Mr. Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister.
12. In 2008, a teenager in the UK legally changed his name to “Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine The Hulk and The Flash Combined.”
13. Aristotle had a slight stutter.
14. Bug spray doesn’t repel mosquitoes; it masks your body odor with a new scent that female mosquitoes dislike. Contrary to what you might be thinking, it’s not Axe Body Spray. That only repels female humans (or maybe just me).
15. The set used for Sherlock’s house in the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes is the same set used for Sirius’ house in Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix (2007).
16. Justin Bieber is Googled more often than Jesus. So are Lady Gaga, Paris Hilton and the Beatles. (Welcome to 2014.)
17. In a process called triboluminescence, Wint-O-Green Lifesavers give off little sparks when they are eaten in the dark.
18. Jane Jetson was a teen mom. (In the show, Jane is 32 years old while her daughter is 16. That means that Jane was 16 when she got pregnant.)
19. There is a “bootylicious” species of fly named after Beyoncé.
20. China owns every panda in the world.
21. Around 270 people die in the series Breaking Bad.
22. JFK donated his $150,000 presidential salary to charity.
23. When flipped upside-down, sharks enter a state of tonic immobility, rendering them unable to move for 15 minutes. (Jaws could have been a very different movie if the victims had just wrestled the shark over.)
24. If you leave a jellyfish in the sun for too long, it will evaporate.
25. For over a month in 1988, temperatures in NYC exceeded 90 degrees every day, increasing the murder rate by 75%.
26. Samuel L. Jackson used to be a cheerleader.
27. In 1894, a young Adolf Hitler almost drowned but was saved by a priest at the last second.
28. If Hogwarts were real, attendance would cost $43,000 a year. (Do they have wizarding loans?)
29. George Washington was a redhead. So was Lucille Ball, but you already knew that.
30. Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, also founded Chuck E. Cheese.
There’s your bar trivia starter’s kit. Any more fun facts we could add to the list?
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