39 Amazing Facts That Sound Made Up

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

*

2. In a study by the Smell & Taste Research Foundation, the scent women found most arousing was Good & Plenty candy mixed with cucumber.

*

3. When Canada's Northwest Territories considered renaming itself in the 1990s, one name that gained support was "Bob."

*

4. Some cats are allergic to humans.

*

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

*

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

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

10. The Dole/Kemp website from 1996 is still up and running.

(See Also: 17 Ancient Abandoned Websites That Still Work)

*

11. Google was originally named BackRub.

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

15. Elmo is the only non-human to testify before Congress.

*

16. Mary Todd Lincoln was once asked if Abe had any hobbies. Her reply: “Cats.”

(See Also: 24 Vintage Photos of Abe Lincoln Being Awesome)

*

17. Brazil couldn't afford to send its athletes to the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. So they loaded their ship with coffee and sold it along the way.

*

18. Before Stephen Hillenburg created SpongeBob SquarePants, he taught marine biology.

*

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

*

20. Before he played Cliff Clavin on Cheers, John Ratzenberger had small roles in The Empire Strikes Back, Superman, and Gandhi.

*

21. Before choosing the name "Chiefs," ownership considered calling the team the Kansas City Mules.

(See Also: 25 Rejected Nicknames for Professional Sports Teams)

*

22. George Washington insisted his continental army be permitted a quart of beer as part of their daily rations.

*

23. The most shoplifted food item in the U.S. is candy.

*

24. In Europe, it's cheese.

*

25. In 1986, Apple launched a clothing line.

*

26. There are roughly 70 ingredients in the McRib.

(See Also: 10 Things You Might Not Know About the McRib)

*

27. President Nixon was speaking at Disney World when he famously declared, "I am not a crook."

*

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

*

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

*

30. The Pledge of Allegiance was written as part of a plan to sell flags to schools.

(See Also: Who Wrote the Pledge of Allegiance?)
*

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

*

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

*

33. Bikini designer Louis Reard said a two-piece bathing suit couldn't be called a bikini "unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring."

*

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

*

35. Alaska is so big you could fit 75 New Jerseys in it.

*

36. 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)

*

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

*

38. A baby can cost new parents 750 hours of sleep in the first year.

*

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

For more amazing facts follow @mental_floss on Twitter and Instagram. Images courtesy of Getty Images and Thinkstock.

arrow
Afternoon Map
The Most Popular Infomercial Product in Each State

You don't have to pay $19.95 plus shipping and handling to discover the most popular infomercial product in each state: AT&T retailer All Home Connections is giving that information away for free via a handy map.

The map was compiled by cross-referencing the top-grossing infomercial products of all time with Google Trends search interest from the past calendar year. So, which crazy products do people order most from their TVs?

Folks in Arizona know that it's too hot there to wear layers; that's why they invest in the Cami Secret—a clip-on, mock top that gives them the look of a camisole without all the added fabric. No-nonsense New Yorkers are protecting themselves from identity theft with the RFID-blocking Aluma wallet. Delaware's priorities are all sorted out, because tons of its residents are still riding the Snuggie wave. Meanwhile, Vermont has figured out that Pajama Jeans are the way to go—because who needs real pants?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular product in many states has to do with fitness and weight loss, because when you're watching TV late enough to start seeing infomercials, you're probably also thinking to yourself: "I need to get my life together. I should get in shape." Seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin—have invested in the P90X home fitness system, while West Virginia and Arkansas prefer the gentler workout provided by the Shake Weight. The ThighMaster is still a thing in Illinois and Washington, while Total Gym and Bowflex were favored by South Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. 

Kitchen items are clearly another category ripe for impulse-buying: Alabama and North Dakota are all over the George Forman Grill; Alaska and Rhode Island are mixing things up with the Magic Bullet; and Floridians must be using their Slice-o-matics to chop up limes for their poolside margaritas.

Cleaning products like OxiClean (D.C. and Hawaii), Sani Sticks (North Carolina), and the infamous ShamWow (which claims the loyalty of Mainers) are also popular, but it's Proactiv that turned out to be the big winner. The beloved skin care system claimed the top spot in eight states—California, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—making it the most popular item on the map.

Peep the full map above, or check out the full study from All Home Connections here.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
arrow
Design
A Florida Brewery Created Edible Six-Pack Rings to Protect Marine Animals

For tiny scraps of plastic, six-pack rings can pose a huge threat to marine life. Small enough and ubiquitous enough that they’re easy to discard and forget about, the little plastic webs all too often make their way to the ocean, where animals can ingest or become trapped in them. In order to combat that problem, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has created what they say is the world’s first fully biodegradable, compostable, edible six-pack rings.

The edible rings are made of barley and wheat and are, if not necessarily tasty, at least safe for animals and humans to ingest. Saltwater Brewery started packaging their beers with the edible six-pack rings in 2016. They charge slightly more for their brews to offset the cost of the rings' production. They hope that customers will be willing to pay a bit more for the environmentally friendly beers and are encouraging other companies to adopt the edible six-pack rings in order to lower manufacturing prices and save more animals.

As Saltwater Brewery president Chris Gove says in the video above: “We want to influence the big guys and kind of inspire them to also get on board.”

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios