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Fifty Amazing, (but Completely Useless), Facts

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Or, how to save a dinner party

Say you're sitting at a dinner party. Conversation has started to wane and you find yourself sweating into your shrimp cocktail because of the awkward silence. Now, imagine you have a random tidbit of useless information that you can interject, re-energizing the discussion and becoming the hero of everyone around you. This can all happen if you just read this list of 50 amazing, but completely useless, facts.

  1. In Japan, they have live lobster vending machines.
  2. Wedding rings are placed on the third finger of the left hand because ancient Egyptians believed the vein located in that area ran directly to the heart.
  3. The brightest star in the sky is called Sirius.
  4. Upon exiting a cave, a bat will always turn left.
  5. There is a small town in Kentucky called Monkey's Eyebrow.
  6. Factoring in inflation, what was worth $1.00 in 1950 is worth $0.12 today.
  7. The sentence "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" is grammatically correct. It utilizes the three meanings of the word "buffalo" - the city, the animal and the verb "to bully." In the most simplified terms, the sentence means, "New York bison whom other New York bison bully, themselves bully New York bison."
  8. Every one of the sweaters Mr. Rogers wore on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood was hand knit by his mother.
  9. One of the ingredients of dynamite is peanuts.
  10. The most money ever paid for a cow at auction was $1.3 million.
  11. On average, the human head has 120,000 hairs; however, natural blondes can have as many as 140,000 while redheads often have as few as 90,000.
  12. In Italy, police drive Lamborghinis.
  13. Beetles taste like apples, wasps taste like pine nuts and worms taste like bacon.
  14. What English-speakers call a "French kiss," French-speakers call an "English kiss."
  15. On average, right-handed people live nine years longer than left-handed people.
  16. The skeleton of Jeremy Bentham, an English jurist, philosopher and social reformer, is present at all major meetings at the University of London.
  17. A little over a century ago, the majority of the Icelandic dog population was killed by an epidemic.
  18. Honey is the only food consumed by humans that has been found to not spoil. In fact, honey found in ancient Egyptian tombs was sampled by archaeologists and deemed edible.
  19. Dolphins sleep with one eye open.
  20. Queen Elizabeth I took great pride in her cleanliness, once declaring that she bathed once every three months, whether she needed it or not.
  21. Slugs have four noses.
  22. The number "57" on a Heinz ketchup bottle refers to the number of products the company sold. Even though they sold around 60 products at the time, Henry Heinz thought 57 was a lucky number.
  23. In the film E.T., the sound of the alien walking was produced by a sound engineer squishing her hand in jelly.
  24. Lucy and Linus from the Peanuts comic strip had a little brother named Rerun who sometimes played baseball with Charlie Brown.
  25. In China, the three most well known Western names are Jesus Christ, Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley.
  26. Due to time zone shifts, if you had flown from London to New York on the Concord, you would arrive two hours before you left.
  27. You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching TV.
  28. The largest number of children born of a single woman was 69. The woman, a Russian peasant, gave birth to 16 sets of twins, 7 sets of triplets and 4 sets of quadruplets from 1725 to 1765.
  29. The word 'nerd' was first used in the Dr. Seuss book If I Ran the Zoo.
  30. In Paraguay, dueling is legal as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
  31. The United States has never lost a war - in which mules were used.
  32. Nobody knows who built the Taj Mahal.
  33. The Neanderthal's brain is believed to have been larger than the modern day human's brain.
  34. According to scientists, dolphins were once four-footed land dwellers.
  35. On average, people have four dreams per night. That's 1,460 dreams per year.
  36. The cost to run a 30-second commercial during the 2011 Super Bowl was $3 million.
  37. J.K. Rowling was the first person to earn $1 billion as an author.
  38. Fortune cookies are not Chinese; they were invented in San Francisco in 1920.
  39. According to Nielsen, Americans spend, on average, 53 billion minutes a month on Facebook. That averages out to 4 hours, 39 minutes and 33 seconds per person, per month.
  40. An octopus has three hearts.
  41. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, but could never call his mother or his wife - they were both deaf.
  42. Every human was but a single cell for approximately one half hour.
  43. The number one employer in Brazil is Walmart.
  44. Shakespeare was 46 when the King James Bible was written. In Psalm 46 of that work, the 46th word from the first word is "shake" and the 46th word from the last word is "spear."
  45. You cannot taste salt until you are four months old.
  46. More than 37 percent of Americans begin their Christmas shopping before Halloween.
  47. An Iowa man named Charles Osborne had hiccups for over 68 years. Studies claimed he likely hiccupped 430 million times.
  48. In her lifetime, the average woman will do 215 miles worth of ironing.
  49. Percy Spencer was inspired to invent the microwave oven after the chocolate bar in his pocket was melted by a vacuum tube.
  50. Two-thirds of the world's eggplant is grown in New Jersey.
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