50 More Awesome Facts (About Everything)

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istock

We can’t put down National Geographic Kids’ new book 5,000 Awesome Facts (About Everything) 2. Here are 50 more of our favorite awesome facts from its pages.

1. Black bears sometimes hibernate in the tops of trees.

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2. The first organized baseball game was played in Hoboken, New Jersey, U.S.A., in 1849.

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3. Tokelau, a group of remote islands in the Pacific Ocean, receives 100 percent of its electricity from solar energy.

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4. All cats were considered sacred in ancient Egypt. If you killed a cat, you could be sentenced to death.

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5. Some of the first flags on pirate ships were red, not black.

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6. The most common gift on Father's Day is a necktie.

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7. More board games are sold in Germany than anywhere else on Earth.

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8. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was the U.S. capital for the shortest period of time—1 day: September 27, 1777.

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9. Some kangaroos that lived 12,000 years ago were the size of rhinoceroses.

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10. Nightshades are often thought of as very poisonous plants, but tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes are all part of the nightshade family.

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11. Human babies cannot taste salt until they are 4 months old.

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12. You can buy jam infused with sand from the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt.

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13. Male pandas do a handstand while peeing to mark trees.

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14. There are close to 400 lakes under the ice in Antarctica, including one with an area nearly as big as North America's Lake Ontario.

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15. Giant crystals as long as a school bus can be found 1,000 feet (305 m) underground in Mexico's Cave of Crystals.

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16. There's a device that uses sound waves to put out fire.

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17. If Earth were the size of a grain of sand, the sun would be the size of an orange.

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18. Golf balls were once made out of solid wood.

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19. Frogs and salamanders can breathe through their skin.

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20. The Dead Sea is not entirely dead. Halophile microbes thrive in the salty waters.

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21. According to a 2012 survey, the second most favorite topping in the United States is a fungus: mushrooms!

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22. Flying the U.S. flag upside down signals extreme distress.

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23. The first horses were the size of Siamese cats. They were the smallest horses that ever lived.

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24. Only about 100 people speak Latin fluently.

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25. The word "brassiere" comes from the military word meaning "arm guard" in old French.

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26. A single cornflake shaped like the U.S. state of Illinois sold at an online auction for $1,350.

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27. Uranus only has 2 seasons- summer and winter. Each lasts 42 Earth years.

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28. The heart is so strong it can squirt blood up to 30 feet (9 m).

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29. It's an Italian tradition to wear red underwear for good luck on New Year's Eve. People in Latin America wear yellow to bring happiness and prosperity.

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30. Two billion people on Earth eat insects as part of their regular diet.

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31. Green eyes, found in only 2 percent of the population, are more common in females than males, and among celebrities than the general public.

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32. An 11-year-old girl from England is credited with naming Pluto in 1930.

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33. Blood makes a loop around your body more than 1,000 times a day.

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34. Slowworms look and move like snakes, but they're actually legless lizards.

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35. Barbers were also surgeons in the Middle Ages. Some say the poles outside their shops were colored red for blood, blue for veins, and white for bandages.

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36. In Ancient Greece, it was believed that a person could be transformed into a werewolf by eating human flesh.

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37. People who fear Friday the 13th suffer from friggatriskaidekephobia.

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38. Worms eat their weight in food every day.

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39. Researchers think the entire face of the Great Sphinx of Giza was once painted red.

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40. In 1963, a cat named Felix became the first feline in space.

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41. Pirates had bedtimes too! On Captain Bart Roberts' ship, "lights out" was 8 p.m.

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42. The corpse flower, named after its unfortunate smell, can take up to six years to bloom—thankfully!

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43. An elephant's skin can be an inch (2.5 cm) thick in places.

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44. All Scandinavian countries have a cross on their flags.

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45. Camels originated in North America, but became extinct on the continent 10,000 years ago.

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46. Venus spins backwards on its axis.

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47. It takes less than 1 minute for blood to travel all around your body.

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48. A man in the United Kingdom holds the world record for putting on the most pairs of underpants in 1 hour: 144!

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49. It would take a snail nearly 4,575 years to circle Earth.

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50. Your brain generates enough electricity to power a lightbulb!

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For more incredible facts like these, pick up 5,000 Awesome Facts (About Everything) 2, in bookstores now or available online here.

All images courtesy of iStock.

August 27, 2014 - 2:00pm
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