* Humans have 46 chromosomes, peas have 14 and crayfish have 200.
* Without its lining of mucus your stomach would digest itself.
* There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body.
* An individual blood cell takes about 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.
* Utopia is a large, smooth lying area of Mars.
* On the day that Alexander Graham Bell was buried the entire US telephone system was shut down for 1 minute in tribute.
* The low frequency call of the humpback whale is the loudest noise made by a living creature.
* The call of the humpback whale is louder than Concorde and can be heard from 500 miles away.
* A quarter of the world's plants are threatened with extinction by the year 2010.
* Each person sheds 40lbs of skin in his or her lifetime.
* At 15 inches the eyes of giant squids are the largest on the planet.
* The largest galaxies contain a million, million stars.
* The Universe contains over 100 billion galaxies.
* Wounds infested with maggots heal quickly and without spread of gangrene or other infection.
* More germs are transferred shaking hands than kissing.
* The longest glacier in Antarctica, the Albert glacier, is 250 miles long and 40 miles wide.
* The fastest speed a falling raindrop can hit you is 18mph.
* A healthy person has 6,000 million, million, million hemoglobin molecules.
* A salmon-rich, low cholesterol diet means that Inuits rarely suffer from heart disease.
* Inbreeding causes 3 out of every 10 Dalmatian dogs to suffer from hearing disability.
* At over 2000 kilometers long The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on Earth.
* A thimbleful of a neutron star would weigh over 100 million tons.
* The risk of being struck by a falling meteorite for a human is one occurrence every 9,300 years.
* The driest inhabited place in the world is Aswan, Egypt where the annual average rainfall is .02 inches.
* The deepest part of any ocean in the world is the Mariana trench in the Pacific with a depth of 35,797 feet.
* The largest meteorite craters in the world are in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada and in Vredefort, South Africa.
* The largest desert in the world, the Sahara, is 3,500,000 square miles.
* The largest dinosaur ever discovered was Seismosaurus who was over 100 feet long and weighed up to 80 tonnes.
* The African Elephant gestates for 22 months.
* The short-nosed Bandicoot has a gestation period of only 12 days.
* The mortality rate if bitten by a Black Mamba snake is over 95%.
* In the 14th century the Black Death killed 75,000,000 people. It was carried by fleas on the black rat.
* A dog's sense of smell is 1,000 times more sensitive than a humans.
* A typical hurricane produces the energy equivalent to 8,000 one megaton bombs.
* 90% of those who die from hurricanes die from drowning.
* To escape the Earth's gravity a rocket need to travel at 7 miles a second.
* If every star in the Milky Way was a grain of salt they would fill an Olympic sized swimming pool.
* Microbial life can survive on the cooling rods of a nuclear reactor.
* Micro-organisms have been brought back to life after being frozen in permafrost for three million years.
* Our oldest radio broadcasts of the 1930s have already traveled past 100,000 stars.
* Tuberculosis is the biggest global killer of women.
* One third of Asian women are infected with TB.
* Each domestic cow emits about 105 pounds of methane a year.
* Hummingbirds consume half of their body weight in food every day.
* The larva of the polyphemus moth consumes 86,000 times its birth weight in its first 56 days.
* Blood sucking hookworms inhabit 700 million people worldwide.
* Some species of bamboo grow at a rate of 3ft per day.
* A total of 148 tornadoes swept the south and mid-west of the US in April 1974.
* A lunar eclipse of 1 hour 47 minutes occurred on the 16th July 2000.
* Saturn would float if you could find an ocean big enough.
* A pinhead-sized piece of a neutron star weighs 1 million tons.
* A neutron star is 15 miles across and weighs more than the Sun.
* The highest recorded train speed is 320.2 mph by the TGV train in France.
* The highest speed ever achieved on a bicycle is 166.94 mph by Fred Rompelburg.
* The research spacecraft Helios B came within a record 27 million miles of the Sun.
* 65 million years ago the impact of an asteroid is estimated to have had the power of 10 million H-Bombs.
* The temperature at the centre of the Earth is estimated to be 5500 degrees Celsius.
* Mount Rainier erupts around every 500 years.
* There are over 100 billion stars in our Milky Way Galaxy.
* Scientists have discovered over 20 planets outside our solar system.
* Organisms can live in temperatures up to 133 centigrade.
* There is clear geological evidence that there has been water on Mars.
* NASA missions in 2003 and 2005 will collect rocks from Mars.
* Living organisms on Earth can thrive as deep as 2 miles down.
* Jupiter's moon, Europa, is completely covered in ice.
* We can produce laser light a million times brighter than sunshine.
* The fastest spacecraft can go 40,000 mph.
* Babies conceived by IVF are more likely to die during infancy.
* The surface of Mars is the same area as the Earth's continents.
* In the US the average vehicle is 5.6 years old.
* On May 3rd 1999 an outbreak of 76 tornadoes struck Oklahoma and Kansas with wind speeds of up to 318 mph.
* Jumbo Jets have carried the equivalent of 1.6 million passengers to the Moon and back.
* Volcanoes on Io eject material at speeds of 2000 mph.
* The Sun takes about 220 million years to make one revolution of the Milky Way.
* A human heart beats 100,000 times a day.
* Every heartbeat pumps 1/15th of a pint of blood.
* The first bicycle was manufactured in 1817.
* A ****roach can live for nine days without its head.
* The biggest shark species has the smallest teeth. The 12 meter long whale shark has more than 4,000 teeth, each only 3mm long.
* The female lion is a much more efficient hunter than the male.
* We share 98.4% of our DNA with a chimp - and 70% with a slug.
* Men who ride a bike for ten hours a week are four times as likely to be impotent as non-bike riders say US scientists.
* If the neurons from a single brain were divided out equally among the US population, each American would get approximately 366 brain cells.
* The oldest known hominid skeleton from Ethiopia has been dated at 4.4 million years.
* The earliest human tools have been dated at 2.7 million years old.
* Human fetuses react to loud rock music by kicking.
* At just 12 weeks the human fetus can scowl and squint.
* By 24 weeks the human fetus can suck its thumb so hard that blisters are raised.
* At 23 weeks the human fetus experiences REM (Rapid Eye Movement).
* A newborn's skin is thinner than an adult’s.
* The lightest baby to survive weighed a mere 283 grams.
* More babies are born at night than in the day.
* The average weight of the male brain is 1.4 kilos: 1.25 for females.
* Twins have a higher than usual rate of left handedness.
* 65% of those suffering autism are left handed.
* One third of all adults experience difficulty distinguishing left from right.
* Apart from humans the only land animal that cries is the elephant.
* The Dodo was first discovered in 1507 - 100 years later it was hunted to extinction.
* The fastest truck in the world, the 376 mph rocket powered Shockwave burns 400 gallons of fuel every mile.
* The Hobby Eberly Telescope (HET) can collect light 2 million times fainter than the human eye can.
* Any 1 of a 1000 viruses can cause the common cold.
* The chemical n-acetyl-cysteine found in raw eggs is proven to help hangovers.
* Macau, China has 80,000 people per square mile. Greenland has 10 square miles per person.
* The watch was invented in Nuremberg in 1510.
* On average women say 7,000 words per day. Men manage just over 2000.
* In 1522 Ferdinand Magellan's crew completed the first circumnavigation of the world.
* Health freaks beware! If you jog for 1 hour each day for fifty years you will have spent over two years jogging.
* Galileo first saw the moons of Jupiter on 7th January 1610 - but they had been discovered a few days earlier by an obscure German Astronomer, Simon Marius.
* Europeans started drinking tea from China in 1610 and they started drinking coffee in 1615.
* There are 1600 calories in a pint of Hippopotamus milk.
* In 1661 the Bank of Stockholm issued the worlds first banknote.
* Because of thermal expansion the Eiffel Tower is 15cm taller in Summer.
* Benjamin Franklin began his research into electricity in 1746.
* Isaac Newton published his 'Principia' explaining the laws of gravity in 1687.
* The combined length of the roots of a Finnish pine tree is over 30 miles.
* Gabriel Fahrenheit invented the mercury thermometer in 1714.
* 97.2% of the Earth's water is salt water.
* The oceans contain enough salt to cover all the continents to a depth of nearly 500 feet.
* Monash University has named a new species of dinosaur Qantassaurus after the Australian airline Qantas!
* Traveling at the speed of light it would take a spaceship just 1.2822 seconds to reach the Moon.
* The speed of light, Warp Factor 1 on Star Trek's Enterprise is a mind boggling 670,610,000 miles per hour.
* Each year more snow falls in Australia than in the whole of the European Alps.
* The human brain is 2% of the body's weight but uses a hungry 20% of its energy.
* Women on the pill are 30% more likely to suffer from gum disease.
* Western adults, on average, consume 10 liters of alcohol a year.
* If more than 23 people gather in a room there is a better than 1 in 2 chance that at least two of them will share the same birthday.
* The interstellar gas cloud Sagittarius B contains a billion, billion, billion liters of alcohol.
* Roy Sullivan of Virginia, USA, was struck by lightning seven times during his lifetime. Later he committed suicide.
* Alcohol lowers the level of the sex hormone testosterone in men but increases it in women.
* Polar Bears can run at 25 miles an hour and jump over 6 feet in the air.
* Ernest Rutherford discovered that the atom had a nucleus in 1911.
* The silkworm moth has eleven brains.
* There are over 25 million bubbles waiting to burst out of each bottle of Champagne.
* 70% of the molecular structure in a tree is also human.
* 60-65 million years ago dolphins and humans shared a common ancestor - the Mesonycid.
* In Winter the Antarctic Ice covers 10% of our planet.
* Parts of the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile have gone without rain for 400 years.
* It takes the Earth exactly 365.24219 days to orbit the Sun - and that is why every four years we need a leap year.
* In 1750 James Watt built the first steam powered engine.
* In 1774 Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen and described its role in combustion and respiration.
* It wasn't until 1628 that we realized that our hearts pumped blood right around our bodies.
* The only time the human population declined was in the years following 1347, the start of the epidemic of the plague 'Black Death' in Europe.
* The first spectacles were invented in 1280.
* 1000 years ago the first Icelanders discovered North America.
* Polar Bears cannot be detected by infrared cameras, due to their transparent fur.
* The longest space flight by a women lasted a total of 188 days, 4 hours and 14 seconds.
* The biggest star has a diameter of 1800 million miles, making it 2000 times bigger than the Sun.
* Deserts cover one seventh of the world. The surface of the sand can heat up to an incredible 77 degrees centigrade.
* The first alarm clock was invented 3,500 years ago by the Egyptians; and in 1955 scientists in the UK invented the first atomic clock.
* 4,800 years ago the ancient Egyptians worked out that there were 365 days in a year.
* In 1997 Britain suffered an unprecedented 35 tornados.
* Young giraffes can grow an inch a month.
* The next total eclipse visible from the UK mainland will be on the 23rd September 2090.
* Desert rats can copulate 122 times an hour.
* The average person accidentally eats 430 bugs each year of their life.
* There are more than 1000 chemicals in every cup of coffee.
* When a pickle is plugged into an electric current it turns yellow, and gives off a horrendous smell.
* By 2150 there will be 10 billion humans. In 2000 there were 6 billion.
* America produces 215 million tons of solid garbage every year.
* At present even the most powerful PCs cannot process as many instructions as the .1gm of a goldfish brain.
* 384/ A typical PC would have to be a million times more powerful to perform like the human brain.
* The first photographic negative allowing multiple prints was developed by British inventor William Henry Fox Talbot in the 1830's.
* In 1801 American inventor James Finley built the first modern suspension bridge over a river near Uniontown, PA.
* The first internal combustion piston engine was built by Frenchman Etienne Lenoir in 1860.
* After many aborted attempts, the first submarine telegraph cable between Europe and America was successfully laid in 1866.
* In 1894 Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi began his work on transmitting radio waves over long distances.
* Wireless' communications took a giant leap forward in 1962 with the launch of Telstar, the first satellite capable of relaying telephone and TV signals.
* When completed in 2009 the Three Gorges dam across the Yangtze River in China will be 60 stories high and 1.4 miles long.
* Windows 2000' contained 29 million lines of code.
* The Large Hadron Collider or LHC outside of Geneva in Switzerland will be the largest science experiment ever. When it opens for business in 2005 it will use a circular tunnel 17 miles in diameter.
* At 1,483 feet tall the twin Petronas tower in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is the tallest building in the world.
* A single rye plant can spread up to 400 miles of roots underground.
* If you are bitten by a mosquito, it's usually a female sucking blood from her victim to get nutrients for making her eggs.
* The largest group of insects are the beetles with over 400,000 different species.
* Dragonflies have the largest eyes and sharpest eyesight of any insect... each eye is made up of more than 30,000 separate rod-like units.
* Mayflies live for a year or more as larvae; but as adults they live for only a few hours.
* By swallowing water, the Puffer fish becomes too big for other fish to swallow.
* Although rainforests only cover 7% of the Earth's surface, at least 40% of all animal and plant species live in them.
* The coldest temperature ever recorded at minus 126.9?F was in Antarctica at Vostok in 1960.
* Dutchman Antony van Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope in 1674.
* Spider web filaments were used in gun sights as the 'cross hairs' until the early 1960's.
* 88% of all humans are right handed.
* Bill Gates is left handed.
* The Millennium Dome in London can be seen from space. The shell is 1km in circumference.
* An elephant's brain weighs about five times more than a human brain but it's body weighs 100 times more than ours.
* Every night each human sheds approximately 3 grams of skin particles.
* The sting of a Box Jelly can kill a human within three minutes.
* In 1870 in Massachusetts Bay an Arctic Lion's Mane jelly was found with tentacles of 36.5 metres in length.
* A Platypus is one of two mammals that lays eggs and nurses it's young on milk - the other is an echidna.
* The International Space Station orbits at 248 miles above the Earth.
* Up to 15,000 dust mites can live and thrive in just one gram of dust.
* The temperature on the surface of Mercury exceeds 400 degrees C during the day, and, at night, plummets to minus 200 degrees centigrade.
* Mosquitoes have been found to prefer biting people with smelly feet.
* One person in every 2 billion lives to be 116 or older.
* Tristan de Cunha, an island in the South Atlantic Ocean is populated by 296 people and most of them suffer from asthma.
* Bats always turn left when leaving a cave.
* Dart-boards are made out of horsehair.
* When a giraffe's baby is born it falls from a height of six feet, normally without being hurt.
* The pitches that Babe Ruth hit for his last-ever home run and that Joe DiMaggio hit for his first-ever home run were thrown by the same man.
* Alexander the Great was an epileptic.
* When a female horse and a male donkey mate, the offspring is called a mule, but when a male horse and a female donkey mate, the offspring is called a hinny.
* The Old English word for 'sneeze' is 'fneosan'.
* Cranberries are sorted for ripeness by bouncing them; a fully ripened cranberry can be dribbled like a basketball.
* The original fifty cent piece in Australian decimal currency had around worth of silver in it before it was replaced with a less expensive twelve sided coin.
* The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.
* If you multiply the number 21978 by 4 then you get the number in reverse ie 87912.
* A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.
* The muzzle of a lion is like a fingerprint - no two lions have the same pattern of whiskers.
* A full seven percent of the entire Irish Barley crop goes to the production of Guinness.
* If the human genome were a book. It would contain one billion words (or as long as 800 bibles); and if you were to read it out loud at the rate of one word per second for eight hours a day, it would take a century.
* Cat's urine glows under a black light.
* Mosquitoes are attracted to the color blue twice as much as to any other color.
* A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continually from the bottom of the glass to the top.
* Amongst the many words that Shakespeare invented are assassination, bump, lonely, bloodstained, leapfrog and mountaineer.
* Shrimps' hearts are in their heads.
* There is no more than one-tenth of a calorie's worth of glue on every stamp.
* The weight of air in a milk glass is about the same as the weight of one aspirin tablet.
* The first advertisement printed in English in 1477 offered a prayer book. The ad was published by William Caxton on his press in Westminster Abbey. No price was mentioned, only that the book was 'good chepe'.
* The working section of the piano is called the action. There are about 7,500 parts here, all playing a role in sending the hammers against the strings when keys are struck.
* There are 1,783 diamonds in Great Britain's Imperial State Crown. This includes the 309 carat Star of Africa.
* There are forty two dots on a pair of dice.
* There are odor technicians in the perfume trade with the olfactory skills to distinguish 19,000 different odors at twenty levels of intensity each.
* There are three sets of letters on the standard typewriter and computer keyboards which are in alphabetical order. Reading left to right they are f-g-h, j-k-l, and o-p.
* There is one mile of railroad track in Belgium for every one and a half square miles of land.
* There is one slot machine in Las Vegas for every eight inhabitants.
* A bubble is round because the air within it presses equally against all its parts, thus causing all surfaces to be equidistant from its centre.
* A conventional sign of virginity in Tudor England was a high exposed bosom and a sleeve full to the wrists.
* A diamond will not dissolve in acid. The only thing that can destroy it is intense heat.
* A female pharaoh was unknown in Egypt before Hatshepsut, who began her reign in 1502 BC. In order not to shock local convention, she had herself portrayed in male costume, with a beard, and without breasts.
* A jet or turbo-jet powered aircraft uses more fuel flying at 25,000 feet than 30,000 feet. The higher it flies, the thinner the atmosphere and the less atmospheric resistance it must buck.
* About 24 percent of alcoholics die in accidents, falls, fires, and suicides.
* A survey revealed that 87 percent of snowmobilers in Maine are males. Snowmobiling added 6 million to the state's economy in 1996.
* About 60 percent of all American babies are named after close relatives.
* According to a 1995 poll, 1 out of every 10 people admitted that they will buy an outfit intending to wear it once and return it.
* According to a poll, 58 percent of those responding admitted that they had falsely called in sick to get a day off from work.
* 39 percent of people interviewed for a poll admitted that they snoop in their host's medicine cabinets.
* 75 percent of people who play the car radio while driving also sing along with it.
* Life expectancy in America has grown from 46.6 years for males and 48.7 years for females in 1900. To 72.7 years for males and 76.1 years for females.
* In a recent 5 year period, 24 residents of Tokyo died while bowing to other people.
* In a survey conducted by a women's magazine; 70 percent of female respondents said they would rather have chocolate than sex.
* According to hospital figures, dogs bite an average of 1 million Americans a year.
* According to one source, about 66 percent of magazines found thrown along US roadsides are pornographic.
* Americans buy about 5 million things that are shaped like Mickey Mouse, or have a picture of Mickey Mouse on them in the course of a day.
* According to suicide statistics, Monday is the favored day for self destruction.
* In England, a stone is equal to 14 pounds, a kilogram to 2.2 pounds.
* In Wales, there are more sheep than people. (In 1996, the human population for Wales was 2,921,000; with approximately 5,000,000 sheep)
* Ireland boasts the highest per capita consumption of cereal in the world - 15 pounds per person annually.
* It can cost up to million to launch a new fragrance. Saudi Arabia reportedly has the highest per capita fragrance use in the world at more than a quart a year for every man, woman and child.
* The Coast Guard Academy in July of 1976 was the first U.S service academy to admit women.
* Sweden has the most phones per capita.
* There's enough energy in ten minutes of one hurricane to match the nuclear stockpiles of the world.
* A beautiful mirage called the Fata Morgana appears in the Straits of Messina, between Sicily and Italy. It is an image of a town in the sky, but it seems more like a fairy tale landscape than a real town. It is believed to be a mirage of a fishing village situated along the coast.
* A bolt of lightning can strike the earth with a force as great as 100 million volts.
* A "cold front" travels at a speed of about 30 miles per hour - faster then the fastest person can run - and may overtake any warm front ahead of it. The resulting mix of air is called an "occluded front".
* A cumulonimbus cloud can be enormous: six miles across and eleven miles high, and twice as high as Mount Everest.
* A dripping water tap wastes an average of 40 kilowatt hours of electricity per month. This is the equivalent of running a color television 8 hours a day for about 31 days.
* A drop of water may travel thousands of miles between the time it evaporates into the atmosphere and the time it falls to the Earth again as rain, sleet, or snow.
* A green flash is sometimes seen just as the sun sets or rises. This occurs because green light is bent most strongly by the atmosphere. So the green is seen before other colors at sunrise, and after the other colors have vanished at sunset.
* Three hundred and fourteen acres of trees are used to make the newsprint for the average Sunday edition of the New York Times. There are nearly 63,000 trees in the 314 acres.
* Traces of copper give the gemstone turquoise its distinctive color.
* Use of less fertilizer at precisely the right times can cut costs by up to 17 percent for farmers in developing countries and reduce damage to the environment.
* Variations in color in pearls are still a mystery, but some experts believe that high water temperatures contribute a golden cast to some pearls.
* Waste industry experts estimate that Americans discard 250 million tires each year, and that more than 3 million are stored in landfills. Tires burning at landfills generate huge amounts of noxious air pollution.
* A hailstone weighing more than one and a half pounds once fell on Coffeyville, Kansas. No one was hit.
* A hurricane that hit Puerto Rico in 1928 dropped 30 inches of rain over the island. The deluge was estimated to weigh 2,800,000,000 tons.
* A large cumulonimbus cloud can hold enough water for 500,000 baths. Most of the water droplets in a cloud re-evaporate and never reach the ground. Only one fifth actually falls as rain.
* A polar air mass moving South from Canada may pick up from the Mississippi basin more than nine times as much water as flows out from the mouth of the river.
* At the height of the property boom in Japan during the 1980's the Emperor's 300 acre palace in central Tokyo was valued at more than all Canada.
* A Saguaro Cactus can top 60 feet, and may live 300 years.
* If you add up the numbers 1-100 consecutively (1+2+3+4+5 etc) the total is 5050.
* The maximum weight for a golf ball is 1.62oz.
* The dot over the letter 'i' is called a title.
* Mark Twain was born on a day in 1835 when Halley’s Comet came into view. When he died in 1910, Halley’s came into view again.
* Ethernet is a registered trademark of Xerox, Unix is a registered trademark of AT&T.
* Charlie Brown's father was a barber.
* Only female mosquitoes bite.
* Caesar salad has nothing to do with any of the Caesars. It was first concocted in a bar in Tijuana, Mexico, in the 1920's.
* A coat hanger is 44 inches long if straightened.
* A snail can sleep for three years.
* More people are killed by donkeys annually than are killed in plane crashes.
* Blue Whales weigh as much as 30 elephants and are as long as three greyhound buses.
* Birds do not sleep in their nests. They may occasionally nap in them, but they actually sleep in other places.
* Butterflies taste with their hind feet.
* Jellyfish have no brains, yet they can tell light from dark and sense movement.
* Pogonophobia' is the fear of beards.
* The word 'monosyllable' meaning 'one syllable' actually has five syllables in it.
* Aspirin was discovered during experimentation with a waste product.
* Budweiser beer is named after a Czech town.
* 365 different languages are spoken in Indonesia.
* The first contraceptive diaphragms, centuries ago, were citrus rinds – i.e. half an orange rind.
* The first female telephone operator was Emma M. Nutt, who started working for the Telephone Dispatch Company in Boston, on September 1st 1878. Prior to that all operators were men.
* There is no one who does not dream. Those who claim to have no dreams, laboratory tests have determined, simply forget their dreams more easily than others.
* A bushel of apples weighs about 42 pounds.
* A recent Gallup poll shows that 69 percent of Americans believe they will go somewhere after death.
* A recent survey reveals that one in four Americans 'believe in' Astrology, up from 18 percent in 1988.
* A Gallup survey showed that in the US, 8 percent of kissers kept their eyes open, but more than 20 percent confessed to an occasional peek. Forty-one percent said they experienced their first serious smooch when they were 13, 14 or 15 years old. 36 percent between the ages of 16 and 21. The most memorable kiss in a film was in Gone with the Wind, according to 25 percent of those polled.
* A survey of 1,023 children aged 10 to 13 showed the number who felt uncomfortable talking with their parents nearly doubles when they turn 13.
* Over fifty billion aspirin tablets are taken worldwide each year.
* In the US, Delaware, Virginia and Michigan rank as the top three states for Ritalin use, and most of the prescriptions are for elementary and middle school age children. Doctors in these states prescribe at least 33 grams for every 1,000 residents, 56 percent more than the national average, according to figures compiled by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency.
* The average life span of London residents in the middle of the 19th century was 27 years. For members of the working class that number dropped to 22 years.
* It is estimated that 60 percent of home smoke detectors in use do not work because they don't have a battery in them, or the battery has run out.
* It is estimated that there are 61,000 people airborne over the USA all the time.
* Artist Xavier Roberts first designed his soon-to-be-famous Cabbage Patch Dolls in 1977 to help pay his way through university. They had soft faces and were made by hand, as opposed to the hard-faced mass market dolls, and were originally called 'Little People'.
* Before the invention of mass marketed hair care products, households were pretty much of their own concocting family shampoos and conditioners.
* Four Wheel Roller Skates were invented by James L. Plimpton in 1863.
* No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.
* Winston Churchill was born in a ladies room during a dance.
* When the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers play American Football at home, the stadium becomes the state's third largest city.
* The characters Bert and Ernie on
were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's 'Its a Wonderful Life'.
* Steel drums are the only non-electric instrument invented in the 20th century.
* The longest musical piece written is Vexations by Erik Satie. It consists of a 180 note composition which must be repeated 840 times. The entire piece takes 18 hours and 40 minutes.
* 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.
* Virginia Woolf wrote all her books standing.
* Rabbits cannot vomit.
* The Giant Squid has the largest eyes in the world.
* The Grateful Dead were once called The Warlocks.
* Moon was Buzz Aldrin's mother's maiden name. (Buzz Aldrin was the second man on the moon in 1969)
* It was discovered on a space mission that a frog can throw up. The frog throws up it's stomach first, so the stomach is dangling out of it's mouth. Then the frog uses its forearms to dig out all of the stomach's contents and then swallows the stomach back down again.
* Charles de Gaulle's final words were, "It hurts".
* In the 1983 film 'Jaws 3D' the shark blows up. Some of the shark guts were stuffed ET dolls which were being sold at the time.
* Montana mountain goats will butt heads so hard their hooves fall off.
* Wilma Flintstone's maiden name was Wilma Slaghoopal, and Betty Rubble's maiden name was Betty Jean McBricker.
* Telly Savalas and Louis Armstrong died on their birthdays.
* Spot, Data's cat on Star Trek: The Next Generation, was played by six different cats.
* There are 92 known cases of nuclear bombs lost at sea.
* One in every ten people in the world live on an island.
* The petals of the world's largest flower are 1.5 feet long.
* If the Arctic ice cap were to melt, the sea level would rise by an average of 230 feet.
* The study of ants is called Myrmecology.
* Eating with a fork was once considered scandalous.
* The first US 'Labor Day' was celebrated on a Tuesday in 1882.
* Napoleon died of arsenic poisoning.
* Gore-Tex is made with Teflon.
* There are two radios for every man, woman, and child in the United States.
* In 1970 only 5% of the American population lived in cities.
* The average person receives eight birthday cards annually.
* Henri Nestle was originally a baby food manufacturer. His work and research with condensed milk aided Daniel Peter in inventing a method to successfully combine chocolate and milk in a solid form - the first milk chocolate - in 1875.
* Antarctica is 98 percent ice and 2 percent barren rock. The average thickness of the ice sheet is 7,200 feet. This amounts to 90 percent of all the ice and 70 percent of all the fresh water in the world.
* Antarctica is the only continent without reptiles or snakes.
* Finland has the greatest number of islands in the world: 179,584.
* The odd zigzag in the North Carolina/South Carolina state line, just south of Charlotte, resulted when boundary commissioners altered the line in 1772 to avoid splitting the Catawba Indians between the two British Colonies.
* A chest x-ray is comprised of 90,000 to 130,000 electron volts.
* A chip of silicon a quarter inch square has the capacity of the original 1949 ENIAC computer, which occupied a full city block.
* The word trivia comes from the Latin word trivium, a place where 3 roads meet. The perfect opportunity to exchange stories, gossip, and information.
* When Coca-Cola was first sold in China, they used characters that would sound like "Coca-Cola" when spoken. Unfortunately, what they turned out to mean was "Bite the wax tadpole". It did not sell well.
* In Japan, 20% of all publications sold are comic books.
* 50% of bank robberies take place on Friday's.
* The evaporation from a large oak or beech tree is from ten to twenty-five gallons in twenty-four hours.
* It takes 12 bees their entire lifetime to make a tablespoon of honey.
* A large swarm of locusts can eat 80,000 tons of corn in a day!
* Some biblical scholars believe that Aramaic (the language of the ancient Bible) did not contain an easy way to say "many things" and used a term which has come down to us as 40. This means that when the bible - in many places - refers to "40 days," they meant many days.
* Sneezes can travel at 100mph
* A goldfish is the only animal that can see both infrared and ultraviolet light.
* If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.
* The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.
* 1 in 5,000 North Atlantic lobsters are born bright blue.
* In 1973 Bhutan issued a stamp that looked like a record. Put it on a record player and it would actually play the Bhutanese national anthem!
* Thomas Edison invented the talking doll in 1888.
* In 2000, across the global economy, travel and tourism accounted for around 11 per cent of world exports, goods and services, surpassing trade in food, textiles, and chemicals.
* Nearly 80 per cent of international tourists come from Europe and the Americas, while only 15 per cent come from East Asia and the Pacific, and five per cent from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.
* Around 3.5 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions come from air travel, a share that is expected to increase as air travel does.
* The secret to balsa wood's lightness can only be seen with a microscope. The cells are big and very thinned walled, so that the ratio of solid matter to open space is as small as possible. Only about 40% of the volume of a piece of balsa is solid substance.
* In 1870 Thomas Adams introduced Black Jack, the first manufactured flavoured gum, and one that is still sold today.
* Patagonia, in the south of Argentina and Chile, became so popular for reclusive celebrities (including George Soros, Sylvester Stallone and Ted Turner) in the 1990s that at one stage, a sixth of the region was said to be owned by 350 foreigners.
* A poll of 1,004 Americans for TIME and CNN in 1996 found that 82 percent believed in the healing power of prayer, and 64 per cent that doctors should pray with their patients.
* Contributing to about 300,000 deaths per year, obesity is only exceeded by smoking as a cause of death.
* 60.8 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease, ranging from congenital heart defects to high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries.
* Grapefruit was discovered in the West Indies in the early 1700s and first introduced to Florida in the 1820s. In the United States today, most grapefruit is still grown in Florida.
* Walter Diemer, an accountant for Fleer, invented modern bubble gum, in 1928. Pink was the only coloring nearby when he made the first batch and so the trend was set. The gum was named Dubble Bubble.
* 22% of all the plant species on the planet are in Brazil. Brazil also has the most species of mammals (524), fresh water fish, insects and parrots of anywhere.
* The UK National Lottery says that 27% of female winners keep the winning ticket in their bra.
* Kenneth Grahame, the author of the children's classic, The Wind in the Willows, was the Secretary of the Bank of England 1898 - 1908. The book was published in 1908, the year in which he retired from the Bank.
* Although platinum was used by the South American Indians before the fifteenth century. They could not melt it, but developed a technique for sintering it with gold on charcoal, to produce artifacts.
* "Coffee" comes from the Latin form of the genus Coffee, a member of the Rubiaceae family which includes more than 500 genera and 6,000 species of tropical trees and shrubs.
* The average adult male Polar Bear weighs between 850 and 900 pounds, but one was killed in 1960 that weighed 2,210 pounds. That is the weight of a small family car!
* Most neuroscientists estimate that some form of autism is found in every five or six hundred people. This means that in the UK more than a hundred thousand people have autism, and almost six hundred thousand in the US.
* Researchers at the University of Chicago investigated eighty-six children with autism and found that all of them had an abnormal version of a gene that is responsible for the transportation of serotonin around the body.
* About five percent of the fathers of non-autistic children are employed in some kind of engineering, compared with about twelve percent of the fathers of children with autism.
* It is estimated that the global damage wrought by the 1982-1983 El Nino and related climactic anomalies cost over billion. The cost of the 1997-1998 El Nino is much more.
* The storm of October 16th 1997 in Britain (the worst since 1703) toppled over 15 million trees in southeast Enland alone.
* The average human brain consumes just 12 Watts of power - one-tenth of what it takes to burn an ordinary light bulb.
* The human retina is made up of about 120 million rod cells.
* A single second of video tape contains about 22 megabytes of data, the very rough equivalent of about thirty copies of a 200 page book.
* There are roughly 3500 hair cells and 30,000 nerve fibers found in the cochlea, a bony structure shaped like a snail's shell that's located deep within the inner ear.
* Talking machines really hit the commercial mainstream in 1978, when Texas Instruments released Speak and Spell, the first device in which the human voice was electronically duplicated on a single chip.
* Of the roughly 6500 languages now spoken, up to half are already endangered or on the brink of extinction. Linguists estimate that a language dies somewhere in the world every two weeks.
* It is estimated that three-quarters of the world's mail and up to 80 percent of e-mail is currently (2002) written in English. How long this will remain true with the rise of Chinese use of the internet is open to debate.
* The average person is able to detect and distinguish between about 10,000 different smells, using approximately 400 receptors.
* Smell and taste are both intimately related. More than 90 per cent of a meal's flavor - apart from the four basic tastes of sweet, sour, bitter and salty - is actually fragrance, which rises up from food during chewing and is forced across the olfactory epithelium through the nasopharynx at the back of the throat.
* There is a medical condition called Anosmia, where the sufferers have no sense of smell at all. They can still sense sweet, sour, bitter and salty tastes; but flavor, which is virtually all smell, is totally gone. So that for example they would not be able to savor fine wine, or enjoy lemon meringue pie. Hell indeed!
* The average cup of coffee contains more than 1000 different chemical components, none of which is tasted in isolation but only as part of the overall flavor.
* About one in every 2000 people automatically sees colors when hearing words, letters or numbers The vast majority (roughly 90 per cent) are female.
* The Sound Pressure Levels typical of commonly encountered noise sources in decibels, with the threshold of hearing being zero. Rustle of leaves - 10; Soft whisper - 30; Mosquito buzzing - 40; Average townhouse - 50; Ordinary conversation - 60; Busy street - 70; Power mower - 100; Threshold of pain - 120; Loud Rock Concert - 130; Jet engine at 30m - 150; Rocket engine at 30m - 180.
* Humans generally hear sound waves whose frequencies are between 20 and 20,000 Hz. Below 20 Hz, sounds are referred to as infrasonic, and above 20,000 Hz as ultrasonic.
* The speed of sound in water is approximately 1500 m/s while the speed of sound in air is approximately 340 m/s. Therefore, a 20 Hz sound in the water is 75 m long whereas a 20 Hz sound in air is 17 m long.
* African elephants are the largest mammals living on solid ground. They reach lengths up to 7.5 m and weights up to 7500 kg.
* Research has shown that the sun impacts our productivity at work and school. Workers in offices with constant sunlight and large windows have been shown to be both more efficient with their time and more accurate in completing their tasks.
* The same is true in schools. Schools with more daylight saw their students outperform counterparts in darker schools by 5% to 15%.
* Daniel F. Kripke, a researcher with the University of California San Diego, surveyed adults in San Diego, who wore wrist meters to register the amount of sunlight they received during the day. The study found that the majority were only exposed to sunlight for less than one hour per day and some did not go outdoors at all during a 48-hour period.
* The more than 1,000 disorders of the brain and nervous system result in more hospitalizations than any other disease group, including cancer and heart disease. Neurological illnesses affect more than 50 million Americans annually at costs exceeding 0 billion.
* In 1973, scientists discovered receptors for opiates on neurons in several regions of the brain that suggested the brain must make substances very similar to opium.
* The brain reaches its maximum weight near age 20 and slowly loses about 10 percent of its weight over a lifetime.
* Each year in the US, more than 97 million Americans suffer chronic, debilitating headaches or a bout with a bad back or the pain of arthritis - all at a total cost of some 0 billion.
* Epilepsy can start at any age and can result from inheriting a mutant gene.
* Manic depression affects 1.2 percent of Americans aged 18 or older annually, or 2.2 million individuals. Approximately equal numbers of men and women suffer from the condition.
* In 1997, 1.5 million Americans were current cocaine users.
* The most common central nervous system disease of young adults after epilepsy is multiple sclerosis (MS) which affects more than 300,000 people in the US.
* Roughly one in every 500 people in America suffers from Tourettes Syndrome, a little understood genetic condition that affects males three to four times as frequently as females.
* Recycling all of your home's waste newsprint, cardboard, glass, and metal can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 850 pounds a year.
* Enough energy is saved by recycling one aluminum can to run a TV set for three hours or to light one 100 watt bulb for 20 hours.
* Annually, enough energy is saved by recycling steel to supply Los Angeles with electricity for almost 10 years.
* The Greatest mass extinction in Earth's history was at the end of the Permian age about 251 million years ago.
* Over 900 million people speak Mandarin Chinese, making it the most spoken first language on Earth. By contrast, English is spoken by over 400 million people as a first language; but has a further 1.1 billion who speak it as a second language i.e. 1.5 billion speakers in total, or approximately a quarter of all the people on Earth speak at least some English.
* The first standardized system of measurement was created around 2700BC in Mesopotamia.
* The word “Jeep” comes from “GP” which is short for General Purpose.
* In 1997, the United States emitted about one-fifth of total global greenhouse gases.
* If emissions of carbon dioxide were halted today, it would take more than a century for the atmospheric level of carbon dioxide to approach its pre-industrial level.
* By 2100, in the absence of emissions control policies, carbon dioxide concentrations are projected to be 30-150% higher than today's levels.
* The coldest known star is an unnamed star about 160 light years from Earth. Its surface temperature is only 2600F which is 7400F cooler than the Sun!
* The largest known Nebula (cloud of gas and dust) is the Tarantula Nebula, named for its shape.
* Our Galaxy's oldest stars are Red Dwarfs, which are also the smallest and most abundant, numbering 70% of the Galaxy's Stars.
* The highest point on Mars is the Olympus Mons Volcano, which has a 50-mile wide summit and rises 13? miles above a lava-strewn plain.
* The 'Red Planet' isn't really red at all, NASA photographs indicate that it is more of a tan or butterscotch color.
* A Martian day is surprisingly similar in length to one on Earth (24 hours and 37 minutes), but a Martian year is nearly twice as long (687 days).
* Laser stands for 'Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation'. A laser beam is produced when light bounces back and forth between two mirrors with a special medium (gas, liquid, or solid) between them. As it bounces, the light triggers energized atoms in the medium to release more light, some of which leaks out through one of the mirrors to produce the laser beam.
* The first laser was constructed in 1960 by Theodore H. Maiman of the United States using a rod of ruby. Ruby lasers are used to drill holes in diamonds and sapphires for watch bearings.
* Quicksand is formed when sand, clay, and water are mixed in just the right way, with a surface that seems solid until you step on it, and it suddenly becomes liquid!
* The machine to win the first flying prize in 1901 was an airship.
* The modern safety match was invented in Sweden in 1855 by J.E. Lundstrom. It works because one of the chemicals needed to start the fire is in the striking surface.
* It has been estimated that sand deposits in the Sahara Desert cover about 7,000,000 square km (2,700,000 square miles).
* Johannes Kepler used the recorded movement of Mars to formulate his three laws of planetary motion in the 17th Century, which laid the foundation for modern Astronomy.
* Dirty snow melts faster than white snow because it's darker and absorbs more heat.
* Abdul Kassem Ismael, Grand Vizier of Persia in the tenth century, carried his library with him wherever he went. The 117,000 volumes were carried by 400 camels trained to walk in alphabetical order.
* Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin ate roasted turkey from foil packets at their first meal on the moon.
* Certain frogs can be frozen solid then thawed, and continue living.
* If you take one pound of cobwebs and spread them out in one straight line, it will go around the earth 2 times.
* As women age, there is a general thinning of head hair. But many older women experience an increase in hair elsewhere: an estimated 40 percent of women over the age of 80 are likely to be troubled by excessive facial hair.
* As many as 80 percent of men experience enlargement of the prostate, a gland at the base of the bladder that produces fluid needed to transport and nourish sperm. While the problem does not generally affect sexual capacity or enjoyment, it causes more frequent or difficult urination.
* Iceland consumes more Coca-Cola per capita than any other nation
* In ancient China doctors would only receive fees if the patient stayed in good health. Sometimes if the patient’s health became too bad, the doctor had to pay them.
* In Sweden in the Middle Ages, a mayor was once elected by a louse. The candidates rested their beards on a table and the louse was placed in the middle. The louse's chosen host was elected mayor.
* In China, the bride wears red.
* More types of fish swim in Brazil's Amazon River than in the entire Atlantic Ocean.
* On male shirts the buttons are on the right side, on female shirts the left side. This is because in Victorian times, the men were right handed and buttoned their own shirts, but women had a maid to dress them and the buttons were on the correct side for the maids to do up.
* Police in Hong Kong stopped a man because he seemed to be 'oddly shaped'. He was found to be wearing 18 bras and 45 pairs of ladies' panties.
* Tabasco sauce is made by fermenting vinegar and hot peppers in a French oak barrel which has three inches of salt on top and is aged for three years until all the salt is diffused through the barrel.
* It typically takes twelve years and close to billion dollars to develop a new medicine.
* The Boomtown Rats, whose lead singer was Bob Geldof, biggest hit was inspired by a female random killer whose excuse was 'I don't like Mondays'.
* In 1935 Jesse Owens broke 4 world records in 45 minutes.
* In 1963, as part of a National Cancer Institute Program to screen plant species for anticancer activity, the US Forest Service collected Pacific Yew tree bark and shipped it to the NCI for study. It was subsequently discovered that an extract (taxol) of the bark has anti-tumor activity.
* Cystallite is the material snooker balls are made from.
* Duplication in the human genome is more extensive then it is in other primates. About 5% of the human genome consists of copies longer than 1,000 bases.
* Some duplications cause disease. A type of Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, for example, arises from a duplication of 1.5 million bases in a gene on chromosome 17. The disease causes numb hands and feet.
* The genome of flowering plants doubled twice, an estimated 180 and 112 million years ago, and rice did it again 45 million years ago.
* In February 2001 it was announced that the human genome contains not 100,000 genes as originally expected, but only 30,000.
* Allied bombers were issued with Biro pens as fountain pens leaked at high altitude.
* A study of more than half a million children in Denmark has concluded that the triple vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella (mmr) does not cause autism.
* Two of the greatest writers who ever lived, William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes (who wrote Don Quixote), both died on 23rd April 1616.
* In 2000, the last year for available statistics, the pharmaceutical industry in the US employed 57,488 technicians and scientists, 339 more than in 1999. Nevertheless, the industry has lost jobs, mainly among clinical researchers, whose numbers fell from 14,402 in 1999 to 11,999 in 2000.
* Research and development investment by pharmaceutical companies has gone from billion (US) a year in 1980 to .3 billion in 2001; and is expected to have increased by another to billion in 2002 when figures are finally released.
* Until 1936 in New York, it was against the law to wear topless bathing suits, for women and men.
* One study has found that children whose mothers were treated with anti-epilepsy drugs designed to calm brain activity were more likely to have developmental problems and lower IQ.
* Simply making a basic memory chip and running it for the typical lifespan of a computer eats up 800 times the chip's own weight in fossil fuel.
* The 180m sprint of the 776 BC Olympics (the earliest recorded) was won by Coroebus.
* An estimated 10 million to 30 million Americans were given a polio vaccine between 1955 and 1963 which was contaminated with the simian virus SV40, according to an Institute of Medicine report issued 22nd Oct 2002.
* In 1990, there were 239 near misses, or 'air proximity incidents', reported in European Airspace. By 1999 this had risen to 499.
* Global Air Traffic is rising at a rate of 7% per annum.
* There are approximately 300 boats reported stolen each year in Wisconsin and over 27,000 boats stolen each year in the United States.
* The course record for the Oxford v Cambridge University Boat Race is 16 mins 19 secs - set by Cambridge in 1998.
* SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. This number is a multiplier that tells you how much longer you can remain in the sun without burning when wearing a sun block. For instance, if you can usually tolerate the sun for 10 minutes without a burn, an SPF 15 will provide you with 15 times that, or 150 minutes of protection without burning.
* Rice plants may have up to 55,000 genes.
* The average American will eat a half-ton of cheese in his/her lifetime. The main source of which will come from pizza, where in America there are 4.2 billion pizza purchases made every year, which equates to 11.5 million purchases every day, half of which are on Friday and Saturday.
* Cheddar is the best-selling cheese in the U.S. with mozzarella a close second. 1 oz. of cheese contains the same protein as 8 oz. of milk.
* There are more than 1,000 varieties of cherries in the United States, but fewer than 10 are produced commercially.
* Over 70% of the UK population eats fish and chips more than once every six months and just under 50% eat it once a month. 14% of all adults enjoy fish and chips once or twice a week. Fish and chips was the only take-away food not to be rationed during the Second World War. Frederick Lord Woolton, Minister of Food at the time, even allowed mobile frying vans to carry fish and chips to evacuees around the country!
* The word perfume comes from the Latin per fumum, which means "through smoke" (per means through, fumum means smoke). Eau de cologne - contains about 3-5% perfume oil. Used by men. Aftershave lotions & splash colognes - contains about 0.5-2% perfume oil. Used by men. Eau de parfum - contains about 15-18% perfume oil. Used by women. Eau de toilette - contains about 4-8% perfume oil. Used by women.
* Since perfume scent retains longer on oily skin, apply a layer of petroleum jelly (eg, Vaseline) onto your skin before putting on perfume.