Millions of viewers can call themselves smarter for having watched John Green’s awesome YouTube escapades on such shows as Vlogbrothers, Crash Course, and our own mental_floss video series. In honor of his outstanding service to trivia buffs everywhere, here are 27 of the most remarkable tidbits John has shared with us over the years.
This isn’t to be confused with the term for wild felines, as John quickly reminds us.
Apparently, not every presidential nickname has to roll off the tongue.
One mental_floss viewer wanted to know how long it would take to watch every single video that’s been posted on YouTube—a process John claimed “would take significantly longer than forever.”
To be considered a proper acronym, an abbreviation must be pronounceable as a word. Ergo, while N.A.T.O. (the “North Atlantic Treaty Organization”) is a proper acronym, whenever you text “O.M.G.” (“Oh My God”), you’re actually using something called an “initialism.”
This defense mechanism compensates for their general lack of body armor. To deter predators, the young insects cover themselves in their own toxic fecal matter.
After revealing this fun fact, John went on to explain that one of the main reasons why the Pilgrims stopped at Plymouth Rock instead of venturing further was because they’d run out of beer.
This animal purportedly “has the paws of a cheetah, the horns of a buffalo, and the face of a St. Bernard.” Its distinctive name was inspired by a pair of streets that neighbored the school’s original location.
Who says “No news is good news"? It turns out that malaria-related deaths and pet euthanasia rates have also been declining recently.
A fan of his show, the simian sign-language master immediately embraced Fred Rogers when the TV star dropped by for a visit.
Salinger would’ve been 30 at the time, far too old to play his teenage protagonist. However, because he adamantly refused to allow another actor to take on the role, the project fell through.
Despite Smith’s accomplishments, as John explains here, the fruits weren’t made commercially available until a quarter-century after her death.
Unfortunately, there’s no known cure.
The Archbishop of Canterbury was particularly outraged at this blooper and the careless printers were fined.
In the pilot episode of mental_floss on YouTube, John debunked the idea that camouflage is the main reason why these bizarre lizards alter their hues.
Like Miles “Pudge” Halter—the main character of his first novel, Looking for Alaska—John enjoys memorizing the dying utterances of famous people.
The incident caused the U.S.S.R. to shut down its space program for a year as they grappled with the phenomenon of “space sickness.”
A patron saint of science fiction, Wells also had affairs with novelist Rebecca West and birth-control activist Margaret Sanger.
Everyone knows the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. But the ability to perceive balance, time, and approximate temperature are additional functions our bodies don’t often get their due credit for sporting.
For more health and wellness insights, check out pediatrician Dr. Aaron Carroll’s show “Healthcare Triage,” on which John makes regular appearances.
“It probably goes without saying,” John states, “that the idea was eventually abandoned because the troops were like ‘Actually, we just prefer Syphilis!’”
In the wild world of giraffe copulation (a subject the Greens love revisiting), same-sex coitus is quite abundant, as is the practice of ritualized urine-drinking.
Skip to the 6:01-mark in this video for a list of other notable people who perished in the privy.
It’s for this reason that many of us wish upon these meteors to this very day.
One Megadeath is equal to 1 million casualties.
For more amazing info on Ancient Egypt, check out this early episode of Crash Course: World History.
An adjunct professor also teaches a course dedicated to Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.