There are two types of big questions. There are the really big ones, the kind Plato was always fretting over: What is knowledge? What is experience? What is existence? And so on. And then there are the other ones: the smaller but somehow more insatiable curiosities—the stuff we’re driven to Google to find out.
This might sound crazy, but we keep track of the questions that keep you up at night—we look carefully at the queries that lead you to mentalfloss.com. Your concerns are not so much about the nature of existence as in its details. You’re trying to figure out how to calculate wind chill, how to “catch witches,” how to conquer Ms. Pac-Man, and how to control your libido with cornflakes. You want to know why German words are so long, how camels’ legs work, why bananas are slippery, why Y is only sometimes a vowel, and who named them “flea” markets. “Fancy ketchup, why?” you ask.
This is the stuff we really can’t live without knowing, and it’s to these kinds of inquiries that the September issue of our magazine is dedicated. Although I don’t personally have much light to shed on the mysteries of fancy ketchup, we’re about to present you with answers to many other important things you’ve always wondered—and to questions you hadn’t even thought to ask.
Plus! We reveal:
- Peanut butter’s contribution to personal hygiene
- Why we have “eel soup” to thank for Disney World
- Which First Lady fought in the Boxer Rebellion
- How to pronounce Cthulhu
- Beatrix Potter’s real name
- How many people are eating pizza right now
- Which philosopher most influenced boxing
- How to properly consume a hot dog in Denmark