50 Interesting Fun Facts About People Throughout The History
Life can be crazy, indeed. Every day, strange things happen to people as we make mistakes or encounter life-altering situations. Even the world we live in may surprise us with something we didn't know before or things we never thought were possible.
If you'd like to know more about the "crazy" things that have happened in the past or might be happening right now, then read on to pick up weird, interesting fun facts about people and the world we live in. Enjoy these crazy facts! For more interesting fun facts lists check our fun & educational blog.
Strange but True Fun Facts About People
1. The princess impostor
A historical account of a good con is the story of Sarah Wilson, a former maid to one of the royals who was shipped off to the New World to work as an indentured servant. Upon arrival in America, she escaped and reinvented herself as the Queen's sister, living a life of luxury as many were willing to loan her money or foot the bill as she was a "royal." The con ended when her master captured her.
2. Striking because of the mustache
In 1907, French waiters went on strike to demand better pay and the right to grow a mustache. Seeking to distinguish themselves more from the masses, the elite people required the waiters in the restaurants they patronized to shave. At the time, mustaches were viewed as an essential part of being a man.
3. Poop attendants of the king
When Henry VIII was king (1509 - 1547), he created a special position for noblemen's sons or members of the gentry: Grooms of the Stool. These grooms were tasked with taking care of the king when he had to poo. This position continued until King Edward VII, who stopped it in 1901.
4. The Church declares cats to be evil
In an attempt to battle heresy, Pope Gregory IX issued the Vox in Rama. Part of the decree connected cats to the worship of evil. Unwittingly, this spurred a hatred for felines in Europe, causing many of them to be killed.
5. Forgotten by the war
Towards the end of WW2, Japanese lieutenant Hiroo Onoda was ordered to keep up the fight, so he and three others stayed hidden in the Philippine jungles. It wasn't until three decades later that Onoda was discovered (his companions had been captured or killed). To convince him to surrender, Japan sent his brother and his former commanding officer to bring him home, where he was hailed as a patriot.
6. The bankrupt king
The castles of Bavaria, created by King Ludwig II, are a fantastic sight. But though they are great examples of architecture and luxury, the king brought Germany to bankruptcy because of the palaces and other expensive times. To save the country, his ministers had him officially declared insane.
7. Columbus thought he saw a mermaid
Explorer Christopher Columbus once recorded that he saw female forms in the water, alluding to the presence of mermaids - something that people back in the day thought existed in the sea along with other monsters. However, experts now believe that any such sightings meant they saw a manatee and that starved, sick, and lonely sailors probably saw what they wanted to see: a beautiful sight as circulated in the legends of that time.
8. President for a month
The president of the USA is usually expected to serve for at least four years, but President William Henry Harrison, the 9th president of America, only lasted 32 days. On his inauguration day, he fell ill. It is believed that pneumonia, together with the wrong types of medicine, led to his early death.
9. Contest judges aren't always right
While in Los Angeles, country star Dolly Parton once entered a celebrity impersonator contest for drag queens. Despite being the real Dolly Parton and the only woman who walked across the stage, she received the least applause from the audience, losing out to a better-looking "Dolly Parton."
10. A royal mechanic
Many expect the royal women of today to stay within their palaces. But during WW2, a teenage Princess Elizabeth (who eventually became Queen Elizabeth II) joined the military to serve her country, becoming a mechanic and truck driver.
Really Weird Facts about People Throughout The History
11. How candy saved the day
In the Korean War, a troop of American soldiers holed up in the Chosin Reservoir requested for an airdrop of ammunition using the code "Tootsie Rolls." But when the package dropped in, the soldiers were surprised to find the candy inside, not the mortar shells. Fortunately, the Tootsie Roll was something they could eat despite the freezing conditions, and it was useful as putty to patch holes in their equipment, helping the soldiers retreat to safety.
12. The government fights back with poison
During Prohibition (the 1920s to early 1930s), the production and sale of alcoholic drinks were banned in the US. However, some enterprising groups took to stealing industrial alcohol (for wounds and such) from which drinking alcohol was made. To curb this, the government added poisonous chemicals to industrial alcohol, which ended up killing thousands who chose to drink anything made from the stuff.
13. Following holy animals to the Holy Land
During the time of the Crusades, some commoners reportedly believed that some animals had been inspired by the Holy Spirit to lead them to Jerusalem. One was a goose that "miraculously" walked together with its master, following her inside a church up to the altar, while another was a goat that people followed. Observers of this found it incredulous and idolatrous for common folk to even believe that an animal could be filled with the Spirit of God.
14. Heroin for your cough
In the early 1900s, German pharmacists marketed a new medicine called "heroin" that could be used against coughs, pneumonia, and tuberculosis. The side effect, however, was that users became addicted, requiring larger doses to feel better. By the 1910s, heroin usage became a real drug problem.
15. A very sticky disaster
In 1919, a huge container of molasses burst, sending the viscous liquid down Boston's streets like a tsunami. Buildings in Boston were destroyed, and many people were hurt. Experts say the huge tank was not fit for the amount of molasses it contained because it lacked structural strength and resistance to very cold temperatures.
16. Watch out for WW2 bombs
Despite World War 2 ending in 1945, people in Germany have still been uncovering explosives decades after the war. Some of these dangerous items include ammunition, grenades, mines, and unexploded bombs. Before any new engineering projects begin, the government checks the area to ensure nothing is hidden in the ground.
17. The safety coffin
In the 1800s, tales of people being buried alive, as well as a story written by Edgar Allen Poe, led to the creation of the safety coffin. Such coffins had emergency features to save someone who was accidentally buried alive, including a way to obtain fresh air and an alarm bell.
Mind-blowing Fun Facts about People's Beliefs
18. Purchase of magical horns
During the middle ages, royals sought to purchase "unicorn horns" as these were believed to have magical properties, including protecting a person from poison. Little did they know that these were not horns of actual unicorns but the tusks of the narwhal. It is believed that Vikings first began this lucrative trade of selling such horns as magical novelties to rich believers in Europe.
19. Not your standard wedding gift
Dental hygiene was very bad in the 1800s, which is why many people suffered from tooth decay that required a very painful removal process. Because future tooth problems were a foregone conclusion, some considered a complete tooth extraction as a wonderful gift for a bride. Once done, the beautiful bride could just wear dentures for the rest of her life without worrying about another excruciating tooth extraction.
20. There are elves out there
While most of us expect to see elves in the movies or read about them in popular fantasy books, more than half of those in Iceland believe that elves really do inhabit their country. Road construction has even been diverted because the original roadway was going to affect some elves' homes. Some say this belief persists because Iceland has been isolated from other countries for quite a long time, not receiving alternative views until the mid-1900s.
21. Binding of the feet
For nearly a thousand years, many Chinese girls bound their feet to make them smaller in size. The common notion is that it made them more "beautiful"; however, newer research says that it helped the economy. It allowed young girls to continue working at boring, sedentary work (as they probably could not walk much because of the pain). The advent of manufacturing machines and imports lessened the need for manual work, leading to the end of the foot-binding process.
22. Ancient Egyptians didn't like hair
During the Dynastic Period, the Ancient Egyptians believed bodily hair made them more animalistic. Thus, the men began shaving all of their body hair so that they were as smooth as babies. However, the beard was still considered important to royalty, which is why the pharaoh would wear a fake goatee.
23. A time when nobody wanted to be a leftie
Today, left or right-handedness is not such a big deal. But in the Middle Ages, being a leftie placed you in danger of being tried for witchcraft. At the time, the Devil was believed to be left-handed, which placed a great stigma on anyone else who favored the same hand.
24. Lobsters were once food for the poor
Ordering lobster now is considered a luxury as its price per pound can cost you a fortune. But in the past, lobster meat was considered food for the poor as it was abundant along the coastlines, and nobody liked it. During said times, the abundant lobster meat was used to feed prisoners and even one's pets.
25. Knocking-in the classroom
Students would knock on their desks in Germany if they appreciated the professor's lecture instead of clapping. One explanation for this is that clapping in the past was used for entertainers, who were not as prestigious as university lecturers. So to show appreciation to their lecturer, students knocked instead of clapped - the tradition holds true until today.
26. Eunuchs for the emperor
In Ancient China, men were castrated as a form of punishment or if they wished to serve the emperor in the Forbidden City. Eunuchs were the preferred servant within the city as they were not seen as political rivals, although some did rise to great power. Due to the fact the emperor's concubines also stayed there, eunuchs were also not seen as a threat to impregnate anyone.
27. No more eyebrows for beauty
In the time of Queen Elizabeth I, big foreheads became a symbol of beauty. Women did all they could to make their forehead as big as possible, including the removal of their eyebrows.
Crazy Fun Facts about People And Nature
28. Cobras overrun the city
During the time of Britain's rule in India, the British once offered a reward for dead cobras because of the rising number of snakes in the city of Delhi. However, the locals realized that this was a way to make money, so they began farming cobras to bring to the British. When the British officials realized their mistake and ended the reward program, the cobra farmers released their cobras, increasing the snake population even more.
29. Breathing through their rears
Turtles generally breathe through their nostrils like many animals. But when hibernating, turtles can breathe through their rear ends in a process called cloacal respiration. Oxygen consumed from the water is taken up by the blood vessels in their rear so they can stay alive while they are sleeping under the ice.
30. It rained meat
In 1876, some Bath County residents, Kentucky, experienced a rain of meat from the sky. After noting the conditions of when the meat, cartilage, and bone fell from the sky, the best reason given was that vultures must have vomited them out as they were flying. Kentucky has both turkey vultures and black vultures.
31. Snow in the Sahara
Ain Sefra, a town in Algeria, has experienced a quick snowfall three times since the late 1970s (1979, 2016, 2017), blanketing the nearby sand dunes. What makes this unusual is that the town is in the Sahara Desert, where temperatures are usually 90+ degrees Fahrenheit. Although it does get cold, there is usually not enough precipitation to allow snow to form.
32. Nearly all pandas are owned by China
The pandas you see in your local zoo are all on loan by China because of a policy enacted in 1980. After some time, these pandas are returned to China. Only the pandas in Mexico at the Chapultepec Zoo are not Chinese (although they have Chinese names) because they were born in Mexico before 1980.
33. A pepper that can kill you
There is a pepper that has been created, called Dragon's Breath, that can severely hurt or even kill the unlucky person to try it. With a Scoville heat rating of 2.48 million, the Dragon's Breath is more potent than the next spiciest pepper, the Carolina Reaper (average of 1.6 million heat rating), or your usual Mexican food ingredient, the jalapeño (8 thousand heat rating). According to the creator of Dragon's Breath, it was never intended for consumption; rather, it was meant for other medicinal uses.
34. Square melons in Japan
In Japan, square watermelons are sold that taste just like a regular watermelon, except that they are now easier to transport and keep because they can be easily stacked. Growing them, however, does not require much technical science. It turns out that a melon placed within a mold will grow to fit that mold.
35. The midnight sun
While almost everybody appreciates the sunshine, there are regions on the planet where the sun is nearly up the entire day. Because of the earth's tilt, places like Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Northern Russia, and Northern Scandinavia experience sunshine even at midnight at specific times of the year. For the remaining months, the opposite occurs on a day where they see the sun for just a few hours.
36. The lake that doesn't freeze
In Antarctica, there is a lake that is so saline that it remains liquid. Deep Lake is much saltier than the ocean, so it doesn't completely freeze despite the icy continent's very cold temperatures. Its saltiness also makes it a very harsh environment where only extremophiles (small microorganisms that live in harsh conditions) can live, although penguins have been seen to take a dip in the lake.
Best Fun Facts about People And Technology
37. When memory weighed a ton
Today, gadgets are lightweight: a laptop with 8 gigabytes (GB) of RAM and a one terabyte hard drive can easily fit in your backpack. But back in the day, when IBM introduced its RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control) in 1956, five megabytes of data weighed 907kg (1 ton) as it was all stored in huge aluminum disks.
38. Post-mortem photography
When photography became more affordable in the mid-1800s, people began taking pictures of their recently departed relatives. Family members gathered together around the deceased loved one to take one final picture for remembrance. Because it took a few minutes before the picture was captured, the dead often looked clearer than the living because of movement.
39. Dentures were once from dead people's teeth
In the late 1700s and early 1800s, rich people's teeth in Europe were horrible. To remedy this, some tried ivory dentures, while others opted for dentures that used human teeth. War provided a rich surplus of such teeth, with scavengers often going about the battlefield to obtain teeth from a dead human body needed by the wealthy.
40. The silver surfers
As new things are introduced to society, new words also enter our dictionaries. Because it was once uncommon to find someone who was 50 years old or above regularly using the internet, a term was made to describe them: silver surfers.
41. The stress of the first escalator
When the first escalator was installed in Harrods of London, not everyone was thrilled to ride it. Some thought the machine would hurt them somehow. The traumatized clientele had to be given cognac and smelling salts for them to recover from the "arduous journey."
42. Always 9:41
Since the launch of the iPad in 2010, Apple has been using the timestamp of 9:41 AM in all its products' print, TV, and internet ads. Before that, it was 9:42 AM, which is when Steve Jobs finished his presentation for the first iPhone.
Cool Fun Facts about People And Games
43. Playing Monopoly to escape
During WW2, allied intelligence thought up ingenious ways to free prisoners of war. Monopoly was once such a game where a compass, hacksaw, and a map were covertly placed within the game so prisoners could free themselves.
44. Tug-of-war was an Olympic event
When we think of tug-of-war, games played at school come to mind. But in the early 1900s, this game was an Olympic sport. Competing countries fielded an 8-man team that had to pull their competitors 6 feet to prevail.
45. Cleaning the home with Play-Doh
When we think of Play-Doh, the malleable and colorful clay that kids love comes to mind. But before Play-Doh was found at home and in preschools, it was initially sold as a non-toxic product to clean soot from one's wallpaper. However, after WW2, lesser people used coal at home, so the company owners shifted tactics to market it as a children's toy instead.
46. The best-selling car in the USA
In 1991, Little Tikes Cozy Coupe was recognized as the top-selling car in the US, with an average of 500 thousand units sold every year. In 2009, an original 1979 version of the Cozy Coupe was added to the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, where important vehicles in history are featured. Not bad for a "car" meant for toddlers.
47. Origin of the teddy bear
Children and even romantic loved ones often receive teddy bears as a special gift. The bear toy was named after President Theodore Roosevelt, an avid hunter, who refused to shoot a bear that was tied up because it was unsportsmanlike. News of this spread until one toymaker made a stuffed bear in his honor and then asked permission to retain the use of "teddy bear" as the name of his new product.
48. Meant for the real vegetable
Today, Mr. Potato Head's popularity has been revived by a series of animated movies, causing kids to want their own plastic toy. But when it came out in the 1950s, the plastic face accessories were meant to be used with real vegetables and fruits, which is why its pieces were so pointy. It was in the 1970s that the spiky parts were removed to ensure child safety.
49. The same toy for the ages
While many toys become fragile or outdated after a decade or so, Lego bricks were made to last and even fit together with the newer pieces. So a set purchased today can fit with a set made in 1949.
50. A month for the creator to figure it out
Nowadays, many Rubik's cube fans can solve the puzzle in mere minutes, while some can amazingly do it in seconds. When its creator, Erno Rubik, first came up with it, it took him a whole month to place the colors together again. Well, that's still better than the rest of us who haven't been able to solve it at all.
So those were 50 crazy fun facts about the world we live in. We hope that you discovered something strange or wacky to share with your friends. Thank you for reading!