65 Amazing Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

Getty Images/Arno Burgi
Getty Images/Arno Burgi

OK, "blow your mind" is a bit dramatic. But 65 Amazing Facts You'll Probably Enjoy and Likely Consider Mentioning to Your Friends didn't fit.

1. Google's founders were willing to sell to Excite for under $1 million in 1999—but Excite turned them down.

*

2. There was a third Apple founder. Ronald Wayne (pictured at home in 2010) sold his 10% stake for $800 in 1976.

*

3. The famous Aaron Burr “Got Milk?” ad from 1993 was directed by Michael Bay.

*

4. According to Amazon, the most highlighted Kindle books are the Bible, the Steve Jobs biography, and The Hunger Games.

*

5. A California woman once tried to sue the makers of Cap'n Crunch because Crunch Berries contained "no berries of any kind."

*

6. Wilford Brimley was Howard Hughes's bodyguard.

*

7. During WWI, German measles were called "liberty measles" and dachshunds became "liberty hounds."

*

8. In a 2008 survey, 58% of British teens thought Sherlock Holmes was a real guy, while 20% thought Winston Churchill was not.

*

9. At one point in the 1990s, 50% of all CDs produced worldwide were for AOL.

*

10. Toy companies failed to duplicate the success of Theodore Roosevelt's teddy bear with William Taft's "Billy Possum."

*

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

*

12. In response to The Lorax, the forest products industry published Truax to teach kids the importance of logging.

*

13. Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima for work when the first A-bomb hit, made it home to Nagasaki for the second, and lived to be 93.

*

14. A British man changed his name to Tim Pppppppppprice to make it harder for telemarketers to pronounce.

*

15. J.P. Morgan once offered $100,000 to anyone who could figure out why his face was so red. No one solved the mystery.

*

16. Prairie dogs say hello with kisses.

*

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

*

18. A 2009 search for the Loch Ness Monster came up empty. Scientists did find over 100,000 golf balls.

*

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

*

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

*

21. In the mid-1980s, Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas was the voice of Charlie Brown's sister Sally.

*

22. Jonas Salk declined to patent his polio vaccine. "There is no patent," he said. "Could you patent the sun?"

*

23. Only one McDonald’s in the world has turquoise arches. Sedona, AZ thought yellow clashed with the natural red rock.

*

24. The 50-star American flag was designed by an Ohio high school student for a class project. His teacher originally gave him a B–.

*

25. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the most commonly stolen vehicle in 2012 was the 1994 Honda Accord.

*

26. After leaving office, Lyndon Johnson let his hair grow out.

*

27. Crabs have their own version of the fist pump. Male crabs wave their claws in the air to attract females.

*

28. Calvin Klein's Obsession for Men is used by researchers to attract animals to cameras in the wilderness.

*

29. Sean Connery turned down the Gandalf role in Lord of the Rings. "I read the book. I read the script. I saw the movie. I still don't understand it."

*

30. E.B. White of Charlotte's Web fame is the "White" of Strunk and White, who wrote The Elements of Style.

*

31. Chock Full o' Nuts coffee does not contain nuts. It's named for a chain of nut stores that the founder converted into coffee shops.

*

32. 12+1 = 11+2, and "twelve plus one" is an anagram of "eleven plus two."

*

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

*

34. At the height of Rin Tin Tin's fame, a chef prepared him a daily steak lunch. Classical musicians played to aid his digestion.

*

35. The Arkansas School for the Deaf's nickname is the Leopards. The Deaf Leopards.

*

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

*

37. A sex pheromone found in male mouse urine was named "darcin," for Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy.

*

38. Barry Manilow did not write his hit "I Write the Songs."

*

39. He did, however, write State Farm's "Like a Good Neighbor" jingle.

*

40. And "I am stuck on Band-Aids, 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me."

*

41. Winston Churchill's mother was born in New York.

*

42. Officials in Portland, Ore., drained 8 million gallons of water from a reservoir in 2011 because a buzzed 21-year-old peed in it.

*

43. There's a basketball court above the Supreme Court. It's known as the Highest Court in the Land.

*

44. If you start counting at one and spell out the numbers as you go, you won't use the letter "A" until you reach 1,000.

*

45. On a 1999 episode of The West Wing, Nick Offerman ("Ron Swanson") played a man lobbying the White House to build a $900 million wolves-only roadway.

*

46. The medical term for ice cream headaches is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.

*

47. After Leonardo da Vinci's death, King Francis I of France hung the Mona Lisa in his bathroom.

*

48. Redondo Beach, CA adopted the Goodyear Blimp as the city's official bird in 1983.

*

49. In 2001, Beaver College changed its name to Arcadia in part because anti-porn filters blocked access to the school's website.

*

50. Peeps Lip Balm is something that exists.

*

51. Quentin Tarantino played an Elvis impersonator on The Golden Girls.

*

52. Wendy's founder Dave Thomas dropped out of high school but picked up his GED in 1993. His GED class voted him Most Likely to Succeed.

*

53. Sleeping through winter is hibernation, while sleeping through summer is estivation.

*

54. In Spain, Mr. Clean is known as Don Limpio.

*

55. In Qaddafi's compound, Libyan rebels found a photo album filled with pictures of Condoleezza Rice.

*

56. Reed Hastings said he was partially inspired to start Netflix after racking up a $40 late fee on a VHS copy of Apollo 13.

*

57. Marie Curie's notebooks are still radioactive. Researchers hoping to view them must sign a disclaimer.

*

58. Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins also wrote for Clarissa Explains It All.

*

59. When three-letter airport codes became standard, airports that had been using two letters simply added an X.

*

60. Just before the Nazis invaded Paris, H.A. and Margret Rey fled on bicycles. They were carrying the manuscript for Curious George.

*

61. William McKinley was on the $500 bill, Grover Cleveland was on the $1,000, and James Madison was on the $5,000.

*

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

*

63. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know. But on average, a Licking Machine made at Purdue needed 364.

*

64. Janis Joplin left $2,500 in her will for her friends to "have a ball after I’m gone."

*

65. Fredric Baur invented the Pringles can. When he passed away in 2008, his ashes were buried in one.

For more amazing facts follow @mental_floss on Twitter. Images courtesy of Getty Images and iStock. Ronald Wayne image via Karen T. Borchers/MCT/Landov.

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

The Psychological Tricks Disney Parks Use to Make Long Wait Times More Bearable

© Jorge Royan, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
© Jorge Royan, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

No one goes to Disneyland or Disney World to spend the day waiting in line, but when a queue is well-designed, waiting can be part of the experience. Disney knows this better than anyone, and the parks' Imagineers have developed several tricks over the years to make long wait times as painless as possible.

According to Popular Science, hacking the layout of the line itself is a simple way to influence the rider's perspective. When a queue consists of 200 people zig-zagging around ropes in a large, open room, it's easy for waiting guests to feel overwhelmed. This design allows riders to see exactly how many people are in line in front of them—which isn't necessarily a good thing when the line is long.

Imagineers prevent this by keeping riders in the dark when they enter the queue. In Space Mountain, for example, walls are built around the twisting path, so riders have no idea how much farther they have to go until they're deeper into the building. This stops people from giving up when they first get in line.

Another example of deception ride designers use is the "Machiavellian twist." If you've ever been pleasantly surprised by a line that moved faster than you expected, that was intentional. The signs listing wait times at the beginning of ride queues purposefully inflate the numbers. That way, when a wait that was supposed to be 120 minutes goes by in 90, you feel like you have more time than you did before.

The final trick is something Disney parks are famous for: By incorporating the same level of production design found on the ride into the queue, Imagineers make waiting in line an engaging experience that has entertainment value of its own. The Tower of Terror queue in Disney World, which is modeled after a decrepit 1930s hotel lobby down to the cobwebs and the abandoned coffee cups, feels like it could be a movie set. Some ride lines even use special effects. While waiting to ride Star Wars: Ride of the Resistance in Galaxy's Edge, guests get to watch holograms and animatronics that set up the story of the ride. This strategy exploits the so-called dual-task paradigm, which makes the line feel as if it's going by faster by giving riders mental stimulation as they wait.

Tricky ride design is just one of Disney's secrets. Here are more behind-the-scenes facts about the beloved theme parks.

[h/t Popular Science]