65 Amazing Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

Getty Images/Arno Burgi
Getty Images/Arno Burgi

OK, "blow your mind" is a bit dramatic. But 65 Amazing Facts You'll Probably Enjoy and Likely Consider Mentioning to Your Friends didn't fit.

1. Google's founders were willing to sell to Excite for under $1 million in 1999—but Excite turned them down.

*

2. There was a third Apple founder. Ronald Wayne (pictured at home in 2010) sold his 10% stake for $800 in 1976.

*

3. The famous Aaron Burr “Got Milk?” ad from 1993 was directed by Michael Bay.

*

4. According to Amazon, the most highlighted Kindle books are the Bible, the Steve Jobs biography, and The Hunger Games.

*

5. A California woman once tried to sue the makers of Cap'n Crunch because Crunch Berries contained "no berries of any kind."

*

6. Wilford Brimley was Howard Hughes's bodyguard.

*

7. During WWI, German measles were called "liberty measles" and dachshunds became "liberty hounds."

*

8. In a 2008 survey, 58% of British teens thought Sherlock Holmes was a real guy, while 20% thought Winston Churchill was not.

*

9. At one point in the 1990s, 50% of all CDs produced worldwide were for AOL.

*

10. Toy companies failed to duplicate the success of Theodore Roosevelt's teddy bear with William Taft's "Billy Possum."

*

11. Nutella was invented during WWII, when an Italian pastry maker mixed hazelnuts into chocolate to extend his chocolate ration.

*

12. In response to The Lorax, the forest products industry published Truax to teach kids the importance of logging.

*

13. Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima for work when the first A-bomb hit, made it home to Nagasaki for the second, and lived to be 93.

*

14. A British man changed his name to Tim Pppppppppprice to make it harder for telemarketers to pronounce.

*

15. J.P. Morgan once offered $100,000 to anyone who could figure out why his face was so red. No one solved the mystery.

*

16. Prairie dogs say hello with kisses.

*

17. In the mid-1960s, Slumber Party Barbie came with a book called "How to Lose Weight." One of the tips was "Don’t eat."

*

18. A 2009 search for the Loch Ness Monster came up empty. Scientists did find over 100,000 golf balls.

*

19. After OutKast sang “Shake it like a Polaroid picture,” Polaroid released a statement that said, “Shaking or waving can actually damage the image.”

*

20. New Mexico State's first graduating class in 1893 had only one student—and he was shot and killed before graduation.

*

21. In the mid-1980s, Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas was the voice of Charlie Brown's sister Sally.

*

22. Jonas Salk declined to patent his polio vaccine. "There is no patent," he said. "Could you patent the sun?"

*

23. Only one McDonald’s in the world has turquoise arches. Sedona, AZ thought yellow clashed with the natural red rock.

*

24. The 50-star American flag was designed by an Ohio high school student for a class project. His teacher originally gave him a B–.

*

25. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the most commonly stolen vehicle in 2012 was the 1994 Honda Accord.

*

26. After leaving office, Lyndon Johnson let his hair grow out.

*

27. Crabs have their own version of the fist pump. Male crabs wave their claws in the air to attract females.

*

28. Calvin Klein's Obsession for Men is used by researchers to attract animals to cameras in the wilderness.

*

29. Sean Connery turned down the Gandalf role in Lord of the Rings. "I read the book. I read the script. I saw the movie. I still don't understand it."

*

30. E.B. White of Charlotte's Web fame is the "White" of Strunk and White, who wrote The Elements of Style.

*

31. Chock Full o' Nuts coffee does not contain nuts. It's named for a chain of nut stores that the founder converted into coffee shops.

*

32. 12+1 = 11+2, and "twelve plus one" is an anagram of "eleven plus two."

*

33. Coach Jim Harbaugh played Screech's cousin on a 1996 episode of Saved by the Bell: The New Class.

*

34. At the height of Rin Tin Tin's fame, a chef prepared him a daily steak lunch. Classical musicians played to aid his digestion.

*

35. The Arkansas School for the Deaf's nickname is the Leopards. The Deaf Leopards.

*

36. If your dog's feet smell like corn chips, you're not alone. The term "Frito Feet" was coined to describe the scent.

*

37. A sex pheromone found in male mouse urine was named "darcin," for Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy.

*

38. Barry Manilow did not write his hit "I Write the Songs."

*

39. He did, however, write State Farm's "Like a Good Neighbor" jingle.

*

40. And "I am stuck on Band-Aids, 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me."

*

41. Winston Churchill's mother was born in New York.

*

42. Officials in Portland, Ore., drained 8 million gallons of water from a reservoir in 2011 because a buzzed 21-year-old peed in it.

*

43. There's a basketball court above the Supreme Court. It's known as the Highest Court in the Land.

*

44. If you start counting at one and spell out the numbers as you go, you won't use the letter "A" until you reach 1,000.

*

45. On a 1999 episode of The West Wing, Nick Offerman ("Ron Swanson") played a man lobbying the White House to build a $900 million wolves-only roadway.

*

46. The medical term for ice cream headaches is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.

*

47. After Leonardo da Vinci's death, King Francis I of France hung the Mona Lisa in his bathroom.

*

48. Redondo Beach, CA adopted the Goodyear Blimp as the city's official bird in 1983.

*

49. In 2001, Beaver College changed its name to Arcadia in part because anti-porn filters blocked access to the school's website.

*

50. Peeps Lip Balm is something that exists.

*

51. Quentin Tarantino played an Elvis impersonator on The Golden Girls.

*

52. Wendy's founder Dave Thomas dropped out of high school but picked up his GED in 1993. His GED class voted him Most Likely to Succeed.

*

53. Sleeping through winter is hibernation, while sleeping through summer is estivation.

*

54. In Spain, Mr. Clean is known as Don Limpio.

*

55. In Qaddafi's compound, Libyan rebels found a photo album filled with pictures of Condoleezza Rice.

*

56. Reed Hastings said he was partially inspired to start Netflix after racking up a $40 late fee on a VHS copy of Apollo 13.

*

57. Marie Curie's notebooks are still radioactive. Researchers hoping to view them must sign a disclaimer.

*

58. Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins also wrote for Clarissa Explains It All.

*

59. When three-letter airport codes became standard, airports that had been using two letters simply added an X.

*

60. Just before the Nazis invaded Paris, H.A. and Margret Rey fled on bicycles. They were carrying the manuscript for Curious George.

*

61. William McKinley was on the $500 bill, Grover Cleveland was on the $1,000, and James Madison was on the $5,000.

*

62. In 1999, the U.S. government paid the Zapruder family $16 million for the film of JFK's assassination.

*

63. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know. But on average, a Licking Machine made at Purdue needed 364.

*

64. Janis Joplin left $2,500 in her will for her friends to "have a ball after I’m gone."

*

65. Fredric Baur invented the Pringles can. When he passed away in 2008, his ashes were buried in one.

For more amazing facts follow @mental_floss on Twitter. Images courtesy of Getty Images and iStock. Ronald Wayne image via Karen T. Borchers/MCT/Landov.

David Lynch's Amazon T-Shirt Shop is as Surreal as You'd Expect It to Be

Dominique Faget, AFP/Getty Images
Dominique Faget, AFP/Getty Images

David Lynch, the celebrated director behind baffling-but-brilliant films like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and Twin Peaks, is now selling his equally surreal T-shirts on Amazon.

Each shirt bears an image of one of Lynch’s paintings or photographs with an accompanying title. Some of his designs are more straightforward (the shirts labeled “House” and “Whale” feature drawings of a house and a whale, respectively), while others are obscure (the shirt called “Chicken Head Tears” features a disturbing sculpture of a semi-human face).

This isn’t the first time Lynch—who is celebrating his 73rd birthday today—has ventured into pursuits outside of filmmaking. Previously, he has sold coffee, designed furniture, produced music, hosted daily weather reports, and published a book about his experience with transcendental meditation. Art, in fact, falls a little closer to Lynch’s roots; the filmmaker trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts before making his mark in Hollywood.

Lynch’s Amazon store, known as Studio: David Lynch, currently sells more than 40 T-shirts and hoodies, ranging in size from small to triple XL, with prices starting at $26. As for our own feelings on the collection, we think they’re best reflected by this T-shirt named “Honestly, I’m Sort of Confused.”

Check out some of our favorites below:

T-shirt that says "Honestly, I'm Sort of Confused"
"Honestly, I'm Sort of Confused"

Buy it on Amazon

Studio: David Lynch Octopus T-shirt
Amazon

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt that says Peace on Earth over and over again. The caption is pretty on the nose.
"Peace on Earth"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an image of a screaming face made out of turkey with ants in its mouth
"Turkey Cheese Head"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an odd sculpted clay face asking if you know who it is. You get the idea.
"I Was Wondering If You Know Who I Am?"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an image of a sculpted head that is not a chicken. It is blue, though.
"Chicken Head Blue"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with a drawing of a lobster on it. Below the drawing, the lobster is labeled with the word lobster. Shocking, I know.
"Lobster"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an abstract drawing of what is by David Lynch's account, at least, a cowboy
"Cowboy"

Buy it on Amazon

Jon Snow's Game of Thrones Fate Could Have Spelled Divorce for Showrunner David Benioff

Christopher Polk, Getty Images for Turner
Christopher Polk, Getty Images for Turner

The emotional toll that Game of Thrones's twists and turns takes on its fans has been well-documented. Between the TV show's massive body count and its never-ending series of other shocking moments, the show has left viewers shaken to theirs core for the past eight years (which is part of its massive appeal). But one of Game of Thrones's most heartbreaking moments—the death of Jon Snow at the hands of Alliser Thorne and other members of the Night's Watch in the fifth season—didn't leave just fans crushed. It nearly cost showrunner David Benioff his marriage.

While being interviewed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2015, The Romanoffs star Amanda Peet, who has been married to Benioff since 2006, told Kimmel that she was close to divorcing Benioff for killing off Jon Snow.

"I made him promise me, I begged him … I said, 'I've heard all this stuff … [Kit Harington] got a haircut, I don't want to divorce you, what's happening?'" Peet recalled. Benioff assured his wife that Jon wasn't going to die, but obviously that wasn't true—or at least not at the time. "I don't love you anymore," Peet (jokingly) told her husband. "I said, 'If you kill him, that's it.'"

As we all know, the sixth season saw Jon brought back to life, but Peet likely had no idea it was going to happen due to the intense secrecy of the show. "It's a little like being married to someone in the CIA or something," the actress stated. "He's in bed and he has his earphones and we angle the computer so that I can't see the dailies."

Though Jon's resurrection may have saved their marriage, who knows how Peet will feel about how it all ends when Game of Thrones's eighth and final season premieres on April 14, 2019.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER