Fifty Flabergastic Factoids
In this article we’ve gathered together fifty falbergasting factoids from the most eminent intellectual fluff gathering team on the planet …. known as the QI Elves …
Sirs we salute you with 50 of what we regard as your most flabertastic facts (to date).
1Mice sing like birds, but humans can’t hear them.
2Britain’s share of the cost of funding the Large Hadron Collider each year is the same amount of money as Britons spend on peanuts.
3Napoleon was born with teeth.
4The Dalai Lama is frightened of caterpillars.
5Steve Jobs was scared of buttons.
6The last note of The Beatles’ ‘A Day in the Life’ is so high that only dogs can hear it.
7Bees know when it’s going to rain, so they put in extra work the day before.
8Charles Dickens’s father went into business with Butch Cassidy’s great-grandfather.
9Sand wasps fly backwards out of the nest to make sure they’ll remember what the way home looks like.
10Wrens can sing 36 notes a second.
11Over its lifetime, an Arctic tern flies the equivalent of three trips to the Moon and back.
12London gets less rain than Rome, Venice or Nice.
13French has no word for ‘shrug’.
14London has more trees than any capital city in Europe.
15Netflix has created a pair of socks that pause the show you’re watching if you fall asleep.
16Nightmares are more common if you sleep on your left-hand side.
17The Bank of England was founded by a Scotsman in 1694.
18The Bank of Scotland was founded by an Englishman in 1695.
19Every English elm is descended from a single tree imported by the Romans.
20No matter how large the tree is it will break if the wind reaches 94mph.
21Trees sleep at night to rest their branches.
22The first-ever skywriting message was an advert which said ‘DAILY MAIL’.
23Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, forgot her toothbrush and had to brush her teeth with her finger.
24The Kansas Barbed Wire Museum has 2,000 varieties of barbed wire.
25Orangutans warn off predators by making kissing noises.
26The first police-car chase in the UK had a top speed of 15 mph.
27Bolivia has had 190 coups or revolutions in its 191-year history.
30Man has probed 20bn km outwards from the Earth, but only 12km in to it.
31Sneezes can travel up to 200 feet.
32Astronauts wear belts to stop their trousers falling up.
33Until 1899, the list of official diseases of the Royal College of Physicians included nostalgia.
34There are 400,000 species of plants on Earth. 300,000 are safe to eat, but actually we only eat fewer than 200.
28In 1087, William the Conqueror got too fat to ride his horse, so he went on an alcohol-only diet and died later that year.
29In Tanzania, a roundabout is a ‘kipilefti’.
35China used more cement between 2011 and 2013 than the US did in the entire 20th century.
36On Earth, moss grows in an unruly fashion, but in space it forms spirals.
37In his lifetime, Edgar Allan Poe’s best-selling book was a textbook about seashells.
38Cauliflowers grow so fast you can hear them doing it.
39Cows produce five times as much saliva as milk.
40The first song played on the Moon was ‘Fly Me to the Moon’.
41Slugs have approximately 27,000 teeth.
42The word ‘Nile’ means ‘river’, so River Nile means ‘River River’.
43In 1787, the top of Mont Blanc was removed and is now in a museum in the Netherlands.
44The distance travelled by your blood every day is equivalent to half the Earth’s circumference.
45Meerkats have competitive eating contests to establish dominance.
46Shuttlecocks used in professional badminton are made of feathers from the left wing of a goose. Feathers from the right wing make them spin the wrong way.
47Donald Trump’s father and grandmother both had the middle name Christ.
48Fish-scaled geckos escape predators by literally jumping out of their skins.
49More Guinness is drunk in Nigeria than in Ireland.
50Woodpeckers have a third eyelid which stops their eyes popping out when drilling into wood.