Here at Mental Floss, we pride ourselves on being a home for all things curious and quirky—as evidenced by our daily lineup of stories, which might include asking pilots about whether an average passenger could be talked through how to successfully land a plane to the complicated history of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” The goal of our writers and editors has always been to uncover little-known details about subjects you thought you knew everything about and share them with you in a way that’s both entertaining and informative, and to make you want to share these stories with others.
So what did we discover in 2022? That you, our devoted readers, have a lot of questions about trucks; love finding simple recipes and tips for upping your cooking game; want to know more about your pets; and, like the rest of the world, are pretty Wordle-obsessed. Here are our 40 most popular stories of 2022, in case you missed any of them.
The curious truck accessory may have caught your eye on the road. Here’s how a tiny plastic strip keeps drivers safe.
Protect your skin all year-round with the best sunscreens recommended by experts.
You don’t need fancy equipment to make homemade ice cream—just a mason jar and some elbow grease.
If snow sports and curling up with a good book and steaming mug of tea are your favorite activities, you might want to consider moving to one of America’s chillest states.
The five-pointed star is common in the northeast and has been rumored to represent everything from the Amish to swingers.
No matter what you’re a fan of—math, music, Star Wars, you name it—there’s probably a game like Wordle out there for you.
Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest in 2022 in an oak coffin designed for her more than 30 years ago—which weighed a ton, because it was lined with lead. Here’s why.
Instructions for making biscuits can be complicated, but this three-ingredient, five-step recipe is hard to get wrong.
Think your state is wicked smart? Here are the brightest states in the U.S., according to a recent study.
Anne of Cleves escaped a joyless family, avoided an unhappy marriage, and jumped at the chance to live her best life.
The rabbits are frequently shown wielding weapons as they fight against—and sometimes kill—those who often hunted them.
If the Golden Ratio is your metric, the most beautiful city in the world is in Italy.
The plastic arrows you often see on the wheels of trucks and buses serve an important purpose.
From Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo to John McTiernan’s 2002 remake of Rollerball, these legendary cult films nearly drove their directors to the brink.
The free peanuts offered at Five Guys may double as a not-so-subtle warning sign to customers with allergies.
John Leonard’s demand was simple: All he wanted was for Pepsi to deliver the Harrier jet he believed they owed him.
The most liveable cities can be found in Europe and Canada, as well as one in Australia and one in Japan.
Though it’s impossible to predict the age your dog will reach, some breeds do typically live to be older than others.
When imitation crab appears in dishes like California rolls and crab rangoon, its true identity is rarely advertised. So, what is the product really made of?
Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman ranks No. 11, according to Rotten Tomatoes. Don’t worry, Marvel fans: Avengers: Endgame is on here, too.
You can find all sorts of things on the menu at Cracker Barrel—except for these discontinued items.
Between the Revolutionary War, the fight over the Constitution, and his infamous deadly duel with Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton also found time to father eight children with his wife, Eliza.
Some dog breeds are objectively more adorable than others—at least scientfically speaking.
The next time you see a garbage truck with a stuffed penguin strapped to its grille, know the driver has a good reason—one that may or may not involve warding off ghosts.
Each award is highly prestigious—and only a handful of titles have earned both in a single year.
“Solsbury Hill,” Peter Gabriel’s solo artist debut, peaked at No. 68 when it was originally released in 1977. Then Hollywood came calling.
Naturally, naming babies is still a deeply personal exercise, and you may disagree with linguistics on certain matters.
The image looks like a spiral pattern at first glance, but if you examine it closely you’ll find two words hiding in plain sight.
The most beautiful cat in the world is the one in your house, of course. And if it’s a Norwegian Forest cat, mathematicians might even agree.
From a diabolical Bible to a mournful Japanese war poem, here are eight texts that have been blamed for madness, misfortune, and death.
Michael was the undefeated champ of baby boy names for literal decades ... Then Jacob came along.
A number of sexist, politically incorrect, and outright bizarre Girl Scouts badges have fortunately been retired in the 110 years since the Girl Scouts of the USA was founded.
Hint: It’s in Southeast Siberia.
Despite outcry from customers, these Trader Joe’s products were pulled from shelves.
It doesn't matter what state you rent a U-Haul truck in.
From Led Zeppelin to Pink Floyd, here are classic rock’s 10 best lullabies.
If you want to act like a member of the monarchy, choose your words wisely.
Netfflix’s The Wonder—starring Florence Pugh and based on Emma Donoghue’s book of the same name—isn’t a true story. But it is rooted in real history.
The Western has been part of cinema since the very earliest days of Hollywood, and has produced some of the greatest films ever made. Here are 35 of them.
Modern guidebooks offer nearly a dozen different explanations for why Brussels’ Mannekin Pis statue is relieving himself.