Beer has been around for thousands of years, and it’s been a social lubricant for everyone from frat boys to world leaders. Weird History Food explores a few interesting facts about the bubbly brew from its origins in China and Mesopotamia through its spread around the globe to become the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage.
Have you run out of trash talk? Perhaps it’s time to dig into our past and dust off some old-timey insults like “rapscallion” and “blatherskate.” Erin from Mental Floss gives us the rundown on 16 of these classics we might be ready to bring back. Learn more about interesting words in the new book The Curious Compendium of Wonderful Words.
Are sloths lazy? Are elephants afraid of mice? Can porcupines shoot their quills? In this video from Mental Floss, host Justin Dodd explores myths, misconceptions, and inaccuracies about 64 different animals. We’re just glad we’re not actually swallowing spiders in our sleep.
They say necessity is the mother of invention. And apparently, war creates a lot of necessities. So it’s no wonder so many things get invented for the military. Mental Floss digs into nine popular items that you probably didn’t know started with a military purpose from Silly Putty to Slinkies to powdered cheese.
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.
Is Mercury the hottest planet? Is the Earth a perfect sphere? Does Uranus smell bad? Mental Floss host Justin Dodd takes us on a mission to space for a look at things you thought you knew about our solar system’s planets, and probably had wrong. The bottom line, most other planets sound like pretty miserable places to live.
Growing up, the tongue-twister that always got us was “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.” Erin McCarthy from Mental Floss explains the origins of this classic and seven other tricky sentences created by cunning linguists to trip up our tongues. We’re wondering how many takes it took for Erin to get through all of these.
If you can believe it, there was a brief moment when people thought spaghetti grew on trees. Erin from Mental Floss takes a look at this famous hoax along with a handful of others that were so well executed that the public was convinced of its truth. That lady who gave birth to bunnies, woah.
You’re Saying It Wrong podcast hosts Kathryn and Ross Petras authored this quirky book for trivia, history, and anatomy buffs. Told in chronological order, it explores milestones in history tied closely to human body parts, from Cleopatra’s nose to Ann Bolyeyn’s heart to George Washington’s fake teeth.
From the time Curb Your Enthusiasm gave a murder suspect an alibi to how Basil Fawlty was based on a real innkeeper, here are 16 facts about television shows that you probably didn’t know. Mental Floss shares a few interesting tidbits from The Curious Viewer, their new book packed with obscure TV trivia.
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.
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.
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.