101 Amazing Facts Everyone Should Know

1. In 2006, an Australian man tried to sell New Zealand on eBay. The price rose to $3,000 before eBay shut it down.

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

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

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

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5. In Japan, letting a sumo wrestler make your baby cry is considered good luck.

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6. The actor who was inside R2-D2 hated the guy who played C-3PO, calling him "the rudest man I've ever met."

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

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

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

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

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

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

See Also: 10 Stories Behind Dr. Seuss Stories

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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.

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

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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.

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16. Prairie dogs say hello with kisses.

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17. Before settling on the Seven Dwarfs we know today, Disney considered Chesty, Tubby, Burpy, Deafy, Hickey, Wheezy, and Awful.

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

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

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

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

See Also: 21 Famous People Who Quietly Voiced Cartoon Characters
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22. Jonas Salk declined to patent his polio vaccine. "There is no patent," he said. "Could you patent the sun?"

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

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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–.

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

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

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

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

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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."

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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41. Winston Churchill's mother was born in Brooklyn.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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50. Peeps Lip Balm is something that exists.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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60. The Scots have a word for that panicky hesitation you get when introducing someone whose name you can't remember: tartle.

See Also: 38 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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67. Ben & Jerry originally considered getting into the bagel business, but the equipment was too expensive.

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68. The first webcam watched a coffee pot. It allowed researchers at Cambridge to monitor the coffee situation without leaving their desks.

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69. When asked if he knew the speed of sound, Einstein said he "didn't carry such information in my mind since it's readily available in books."

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70. The last time a Republican was elected president without a Nixon or Bush on the ticket was 1928.

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71. The original Space Jam website still exists.

See Also: 17 Ancient Abandoned Websites That Still Work

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72. In 1979, Japan offered new British PM Margaret Thatcher 20 "karate ladies" for protection at an economic summit. She declined.

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73. Before Google launched Gmail, "G-Mail" was the name of a free email service offered by Garfield's website.

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74. Nikola Tesla on Thomas Edison: "He had no hobby, cared for no amusement of any kind and lived in utter disregard of the most elementary rules of hygiene."

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75. Kentucky tweaked its Wildcat logo in 1994 after people complained the tongue was too phallic.

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76. The final speech by Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird was done in one take.

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77. In 1980, Detroit presented Saddam Hussein with a key to the city.

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78. The "Where's the Beef?" lady (Clara Peller) lost her job in 1985 after doing a Prego ad in which she "found the beef at somewhere other than Wendy's."

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

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80. In Super Mario Bros., the bushes are just clouds colored green.

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81. When fruit flies are infected with a parasite, they self-medicate with booze—they seek out food with higher alcohol content.

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82. Crayola means "oily chalk." The name combines "craie" (French for "chalk") and "ola" (short for "oleaginous," or "oily").

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83. The Pittsburgh Penguins made Mister Rogers an honorary captain in 1991.

See Also: 46 Things You Might Not Know About Mister Rogers

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84. In 1493, Columbus thought he saw mermaids. They were "not as pretty as they are depicted, for somehow in the face they look like men." (Probably manatees.)

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85. When the Westboro Baptist Church protested a soldier's funeral in Oklahoma, their tires were slashed. People in town refused to repair them.

CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World

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86. An early ATM was deemed a failure because its only users were "prostitutes and gamblers who didn’t want to deal with tellers face to face."

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87. Bob Ross on his Air Force career: “I was the guy who makes you scrub the latrine…who screams at you for being late to work.”

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88. Truman Show Delusion is a mental condition marked by a patient's belief that he or she is the star of an imaginary reality show.

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89. In 1973, Mao Zedong told Henry Kissinger that China had an excess of females and offered the U.S. 10 million Chinese women.

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90. Cookie Monster is not changing his name. In a 2012 episode he said, "We've got to stop this Veggie Monster rumor before me reputation ruined."

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

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

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93. Sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don't drift apart.

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94. In 1986, Apple launched a clothing line.

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95. Between 1900 and 1920, Tug of War was an Olympic event.

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96. The word "unfriend" appeared in print all the way back in 1659.

See Also: 16 Words That Are Much Older Than They Seem

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97. The Code of Hammurabi decreed that bartenders who watered down beer would be executed.

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98. Wilford Brimley was Howard Hughes's bodyguard.

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99. The American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-V handbook classifies caffeine withdrawal as a mental disorder.

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100. The SarcMark was invented by Paul Sak to emphasize a sarcastic phrase, sentence or message.

See Also: 13 Little-Known Punctuation Marks We Should Be Using

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101. The light emitted by 200,000 galaxies makes our universe a shade of beige. Scientists call the color "cosmic latte."

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

A Poop Museum Is Coming to Japan

iStock.com/Sudowoodo
iStock.com/Sudowoodo

The itinerary for your dream trip to Japan just got a little longer. A pop-up poop museum is coming to Yokohama—Japan’s second largest city by population, and an area that’s easily reached by bullet train from Tokyo.

As Time Out Tokyo reports, the Unko Museum (Poop Museum) is slated to open March 15, around the same time that international tourists will start flocking to Japan to take part in sakura season, which marks the annual blooming of the country’s pretty pink cherry blossoms.

Turd-themed installations seem to be the antithesis of fresh, delicate flowers, but this museum won’t be obscene or crass. Like most things in Japan, this poop will be kawaii, which is Japanese for all things adorable. The Instagram-friendly museum will be championed by its resident mascot, Unberuto, who happens to be a literal walking pile of poo who carries a toilet around on his shoulder as if it were a boombox. Poop-Boy, another anthropomorphic feces figure from the 1984 manga series Dr. Slump, is said to have inspired much of Japan's poop kawaii culture.

According to WIRED, Japan launched its first poop emoji in 2000—a decade before the Unicode Consortium adopted the smiling “Pile of Poo emoji that we all know and love today. It goes without saying that this quirky museum will not feel out of place in Japan, which is also home to a museum of parasites and a love doll museum.

Believe it or not, the Unko Museum won't be the world’s first poop museum, either. That dubious honor goes to the Museo Della Merda (Sh*t Museum) in Italy, which covers the history of poop as well as innovative uses for manure. There’s also a National Poo Museum on England’s Isle of Wight, where you can find displays of different types of feces, as well as fossilized dung from 140 million years ago.

However, if you have dreams of snapping selfies in front of a steaming pile of pink doo-doo in Japan, you’d better book your trip fast: This exhibit closes July 15, 2019.

[h/t Time Out Tokyo]

Are You Smart Enough to Pass Thomas Edison's Impossible Employment Test?

 Keystone/Getty Images
Keystone/Getty Images

If you thought Elon Musk's favorite question to ask job applicants was tough, you should see the employment test devised by Thomas Edison. When he wasn't busy inventing the light bulb or phonograph, or feuding with Nikola Tesla, Edison was apparently devising a trivia test of nearly impossible proportions.

As Smithsonian reports, the 146-question quiz was designed to weed out the candidates who would be ill-suited to work at his plant, which was a desirable place to get a job in 1921. College degrees didn't impress him much—"Men who have gone to college I find to be amazingly ignorant," he once remarked—so he needed to find a more effective method of determining prospective employees' knowledge.

The test may have been too effective, though. Of the 718 applicants who took the test, only 57 achieved a passing score of 70 percent, and only 32 scored Edison's desired result of 90 percent or higher. This was certainly frustrating to applicants who considered themselves to be pretty well-educated. An unsuccessful applicant named Charles Hansen, who shared all of the questions he remembered with The New York Times in 1921, called the test a "silly examination." Another applicant said it was "not a Tom Edison but a Tom Foolery test" [PDF].

After the test questions became public knowledge, reporters went out and started polling people to see how well they'd do on Edison's test. Albert Einstein reportedly failed (he didn't know the speed of sound offhand), as did Edison's youngest son, who was a student at MIT at the time.

If you want to challenge yourself, check out a few of the questions below, then scroll down to see the answers that appeared in The New York Times. (Note: The answers given were the correct answers in 1921, but some may have changed since then. Some questions and answers have been edited lightly for clarity.)

1. What city in the United States is noted for making laundry machines?

2. In what country other than Australia are kangaroos found?

3. What region do we get prunes from?

4. Name a large inland body of water that has no outlet.

5. What state is the largest? The next?

6. What is the name of a famous violin maker?

7. What ingredients are in the best white paint?

8. What causes the tides?

9. To what is the change of seasons due?

10. Who discovered the South Pole?

11. How fast does light travel per foot per second?

12. Of what kind of wood are axe handles made?

13. What cereal is used all over the world?

14. Name three powerful poisons.

15. Why is a Fahrenheit thermometer called Fahrenheit?

Feeling stumped? Scroll down to see the answers.

1. Chicago

2. New Guinea

3. Prunes are grown in the Santa Clara Valley and elsewhere.

4. The Great Salt Lake, for example

5. Texas, then California (Note: Today it's Alaska, then Texas)

6. Stradivarius

7. Linseed oil, with a small percentage of turpentine and liquid dryer, together with a mixture of white lead and zinc oxide

8. The gravitational pull of the moon exerted powerfully on the ocean because of its fluidity, and weakly on the Earth because of its comparative rigidity.

9. To the inclination of the Earth to the plane of the ecliptic. In the Earth's revolution around the Sun, this causes the Sun's rays to be received at varying inclinations, with consequent variations of temperature.

10. Roald Amundsen, and then Robert Falcon Scott

11. Approximately 186,700 miles a second in a vacuum and slightly less through atmosphere.

12. Ash is generally used in the East and hickory in the West.

13. No cereal is used in all parts of the world. Wheat is used most extensively, with rice and corn next.

14. Cyanide of potassium, strychnine, and arsenic are all acceptable answers.

15. It is named after Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, the German physicist who invented it.

For the full list of questions and answers, check out Paleofuture's article about the test on Gizmodo.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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