Did you know that the sunlight you’re looking at now is 8-minutes old? Or that the most common maps completely distort the relative size of countries? Mental Floss Editor-in-Chief Erin McCarthy digs into these and plethora of other facts about our planet in this extensive trivia video.
Let’s kick things off with a brief language lesson. An acronym is made up of parts of the phrase it stands for and pronounced as a word, while an initialism is a kind of acronym pronounced as its individual letters. With that cleared up, Mental Floss is here with 25 of the abbreviated phrases from “CAPTCHA” to “WD-40.”
Modern cars are made up of thousands of individual parts, and the result of millions of hours of engineering and design. While there are lots of checks and balances to ensure safety and reliability, sometimes mistakes slip through. Donut Media looks at nine automotive engineering mistakes, from the ridiculous to downright deadly.
From Elton John’s Rocket Man to Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart, many popular songs found their inspirations in unexpected places. Mental Floss Editor-in-Chief Erin McCarthy digs into a dozen tunes which didn’t just pop into songwriter’s heads, but came from unusual sources.
Did you know that killer whales have been known to eat deer, or that fluffy white clouds can weigh a million pounds? Author Shane Carley’s offbeat trivia book is filled with 500 strange things that sound like they were totally made up, but are factually correct.
From the vault that holds Coca-Cola’s secret recipe to the Brazilian island covered with venomous snakes, there are some places where humans just aren’t supposed to go. In this episode of Mental Floss‘ List Show, editor Erin McCarthy explores through some of these unusual places that you can never visit.
Rolling Stone’s party game isn’t a traditional music trivia game. Instead, it just requires basic memory of popular music. After a rapid-fire advantage round, players try to figure out a band or musician based on a single word, a lyrical quote, or by humming a tune.
The core of the Scientific Method is the experiment. But not every hypothesis pans out, and failure is always an option. The Mental Floss List Show looks back at 14 times when tests failed spectacularly, including McDonald’s bubble gum flavored broccoli, which surprisingly isn’t the grossest thing on the list.
In his latest book, author Cody Cassidy (And Then You’re Dead) offers up the origin stories of everyday stuff. From the first time anyone ever used soap, to the first time someone drank beer, it’s packed with fascinating stories about ubiquitous things, told in a fun and illuminating way.
Why check the temperature with an ordinary thermometer, when you can check it with bonus trivia? Fred’s all-season thermometer includes facts from -40ºF to 140ºF and from -40ºC to 60ºC, so you can compare your current climate to other notable moments in time. Made from durable enameled steel.
From the Cornflake Wars of 1906 to the Toilet Paper Panic of 1973, author Gabe Henry’s and illustrator Dave Hopkins’ compact almanac is filled with one strange historical fact for each day of the year. Makes a great gift for trivia buffs or a bedside reader for your guest room.
Real Life Lore bombards our minds with some of the most unlikely things that could happen to us. That includes becoming a professional athlete, getting killed by a bee sting and dating a supermodel. The most unlikely thing? You may have already tried going for it.
From iconic museums to a bed and breakfast shaped like a dog, Mental Floss trivia master John Green welcomes us to the salon to school us on some truly strange and wonderful structures worth visiting around the globe. Also, we just love to say the word “googie.”
Volcanoes and lightning working together? No thanks. Mental Floss‘ John Green returns to the salon to share some interesting and unusual tidbits about the fury and mystery of nature’s fiery earthmaking engines. Also, they really should think about renaming Iceland “Fire and Iceland.”
Wendover Productions runs us through an extensive list of lesser known and downright unusual facts about every state in the US. We learned lots of stuff, including the truth about the original Burger King, and that there’s not just enclaves, but there are exclaves too.
Did you know that Space Jam is still the highest grossing basketball movie of all time? Or that Warner Bros. moved an entire indoor basketball court to its studio so Jordan could keep practicing while making the movie? Learn all that in more in The Film Theorists’ feature.