Trivia Pursuit


100 Facts

A lump of pure gold the size of a matchbox can be flattened into a sheet the size of a tennis court.
An ounce of gold can be stretched into a wire 50 miles long.

-The Web

How fast is the earth revolving?  If it ever suddenly stopped, how far would a 200-pound man fly?
Would I end up in Denver?

- Marilyn vos Savant
"Questions That Amaze Even Marilyn"

How Many of These Facts Did You Know?

  1. If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months, and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.
  2. If you fart consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas would be produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.
  3. A pig's orgasm lasts for 30 minutes.  (Sow or hog wasn't specified.)
  4. The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out of the body to squirt blood 10 metres.
  5. Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.
  6. A cockroach will live 9 days without its head before it starves to death.
  7. The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.
  8. Stewardesses is the longest word that is formally typed with only the left hand.
  9. Elephants are the only mammals that can't jump.
  10. The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.
  11. Some lions mate 30 or more times a day.  
  12. Los Angeles' full name is El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula.
  13. If colouring weren't added to Coca-Cola, it would be green.
  14. The US interstate highway system requires that 1 mile in every 5 be straight.  These straight sections function as airstrips in times of war and other emergencies.  (See NOTE 1 below!)
  15. Two-thirds of the world's eggplant is grown in New Jersey.
  16. Cats have over 100 vocal sounds, while dogs have only about 10.
  17. A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
  18. February 1965 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.
  19. The cruise liner, Queen Elisabeth II, moves only 6 inches for every gallon of diesel fuel burned.  (Our boat, Lady Fair, went 6 miles.)
  20. Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
  21. Isaac Asimov is the only author to have a book published in every major Dewey Decimal category.
  22. Columbia University is the 2nd largest land owner in New York City, after the Catholic Church.
  23. Cat urine glows under a black light.
  24. In the mid-80s, a computer wasn't considered 100% IBM-compatible unless it could run Microsoft's Flight Simulator.
  25. Leonardo da Vinci invented scissors.
  26. The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."  (See NOTE 2 below!)
  27. Kneecaps are not formed until a child is 2-6 years old.
  28. Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously.
  29. No word in English rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.  (See NOTE 3 below!)
  30. The most common name in the world is Mohammed.
  31. Michael Jordan makes more money from Nike annually than all Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined.
  32. No NFL team which plays its home games in a dome has ever won a Superbowl.
    *Note: Adam Spates <> wrote to say that the St Louis Rams, a dome team, won Super Bowl XXXIV.  Thanks.
  33. The first toilet ever seen on tv was on Leave it to Beaver.
    *Note: Carla <> wrote to say that the Leave it to Beaver toilet episode aired in 1971 (a question, she says, often asked on quiz shows).  
  34. In the Great Fire of London in 1666, half of the city was burned down but only 6 people were injured.
  35. One of the reasons marijuana is illegal today is because cotton growers in the 30s lobbied against hemp farmers whom they saw as competitors.
  36. Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 years old.
  37. The name Wendy was made up for the book "Peter Pan".
  38. The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life.
  39. It was discovered on a space mission that a frog can throw up: he throws up his stomach first, to dangle out of his mouth.  He then uses his forearms to dig out all the stomach contents, then swallows the stomach back down again.
  40. Armored knights raised their visors to identify themselves when they rode past their king.  This custom has become the modern military salute.
  41. Only 4 words in English end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
    *Note: I received an unsigned email pointing out that the word "heinous" is another word ending in "ous."  To whomever wrote: Thanks, but the criterion was words ending in "dous" - though I appreciate that you took the time to write.  (See NOTE 4 below!)
  42. "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt."  (If you were being pedantic there's also adreamt and undreamt.)
  43. Goethe couldn't stand the sound of barking dogs and could only write if he had an apple rotting in the drawer of his desk.
  44. There are more chickens than people in the world.
  45. The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds.
  46. To escape the jaws of a crocodile, push your thumbs into its eyes and it will release you instantly.
  47. If you toss a penny 10,000 times, it will come up heads approximately 4,950 times; the heads picture weighs slightly more than the tails side, so it ends up on the bottom slightly more often.
  48. Barbie's last name is Roberts.
  49. The giant squid has the largest eyes in the world.
  50. An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
     *Note: I received an email from Stickie with the following information: "The largest eyeball belongs to the Colossal Squid, which is a larger species than the Giant Squid." (Nice to know.)  (Seriously.)
  51. Almonds are a member of the peach family.
  52. Armadillos have 4 babies at a time; they are always the same sex.
  53. 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
  54. The Ramses brand condom is named after the great Pharaoh Ramses II, who fathered over 160 children.
  55. If NASA sent birds into space, they would soon die because birds need gravity to swallow.
  56. Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
  57. The computer term "byte" is a contraction of "by eight."
  58. The average ear of corn has 800 kernels arranged in 16 rows.
  59. The famous split-fingered Vulcan salute is actually intended to represent the first letter ("shin", pronounced "sheen") of the word "shalom".  As a boy, Leonard Nimoy observed his rabbi using it in a benediction and never forgot it; he was eventually able to add it to Star Trek lore.
  60. Our eyes stay the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
  61. Underground is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters "und."
    *Note: I received an unsigned email pointing out that the word "underfund" also qualifies.  To whomever wrote: Thanks.
  62. Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
  63. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
  64. A 3-year-old's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
  65. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a superman cape.  (It is strong enough, however, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20X20 foot room.)
  66. You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on.  When using the ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit.  A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.
  67. The glass in windows (even double pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
  68. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "Uh-oh", it's already too late.
  69. Brake fluid mixed with bleach makes smoke, and lots of it.
    *Note: According to Pete Valentine, shredded aluminum foil, when combined in a large plastic bottle with a brand of toilet bowl cleaner, will cause the bottle to explode noisily if it is capped (but suggests that neither of these should be told to kids due to the injury potential).
  70. A 6-year-old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year-old man says they can only do it in the movies.  A magnifying glass can start a fire even on an overcast day.
  71. Play Dough and Microwave should never be used in the same sentence.
  72. Super glue is forever.
  73. No matter how much gelatin you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.
  74. Pool filters do not like gelatin.
  75. VCRs do not eject peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
  76. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.
  77. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.
  78. You probably do not want to know what that odor is.
  79. Always look in the oven before you turn it on.  Plastic toys do not like ovens.
  80. The fire department in Austin has a 5 minute response time.
  81. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earth worms dizzy.  It will however make cats dizzy; cats throw up twice their body weight.
  82. No matter how hard you try, you can't baptise cats.
  83. When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your hair.
  84. If your sister hits you, don't hit her back - they always catch the 2nd person.
  85. Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
  86. You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
  87. Reading what people write on desks can teach you a lot.
  88. Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
  89. It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
  90. Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
  91. A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.  (See NOTE 5 below!)
  92. Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.
  93. On a Canadian $2 bill, the flag flying over Parliament is an American flag.
    *Note: Suzy <> says, "A friend of mine sent me a link to the trivia pursuit page - I saved a $2 bill and had to check it out - the flag is definitely Canadian...
  94. All the clocks in the movie "Pulp Fiction" are stuck on 4:20.
  95. In most advertisements, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10.
  96. All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of a US $5 bill.  (See NOTE 6 below!)
  97. Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.
  98. Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.
  99. A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
  100. The microwave was invented when a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

NOTE 1: (regarding fact #26 above)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Suggestions
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 01:00:01 -0500

This message was posted via the Feedback form.
Name: Nathan
Email: Nathan <>

Comments: I'd like to point out that one of the 100 facts is inaccurate.  See


There, Barbara Mikkelson, with her usual calm authority, says, "Folks who commit to believing this crazy notion of highways doubling by design as airstrips are letting the romance of a "cool fact" blind them to what their common sense should be blinking at them in bright neon letters."

I humbly accept that.

Thanks, Nathan

NOTE 2: (regarding fact #14 above)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: A correction to your list
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 17:54:53 -0600
From: Kenneth Thomas <>

Dear Ruth,

"Scratched" is just as long as "screeched."  One I didn't come up with, but was pointed out by someone else at a blackjack website I frequent, is "strengths."

Kenny Thomas

NOTE 3: (regarding fact #29 above)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Suggestions
Date: 20 Mar 2005 13:01:15 -0000

This message was posted via the Feedback form.
Name: J. W. Love
Comments: You say: "No word in English rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple."
But curple and hirple are perfect rhymes for purple.  They're in the OED.



Dear JW

The OED is not available to search online for free.  Neverthheless, I did find the following on a "Quiz" site:

Sometime around the year 1450, the Scottish poet Robert Henryson used a Scottish word meaning "to walk lamely" that OED claims is now obsolete.  That word is?


A Google search turned up the following:

curple is part of a horse's harness
sponge rhymes with orange

(Well, to some people, I suppose...)

And finally, I found this...

rhymes with purple

Monday, January 24, 2005

the english language is such a fascinating creature
sort of like my brother's uncle amanda
but that's for another blog

don't ever let someone tell you
nothing rhymes with purple


hurple rhymes with purple
curple rhymes with purple

hurple is a scottish word.
still used in scotland.
it means to hobble.
or walk with a limp.

curple is a strap under the girth
of a horses saddle
to stop the saddle kicking forward

rhymes with orange, you say?
besides door hinge?

what about silver?
kill her.

by the way, Bill Bryson
A Short History of Nearly Everything
was boring.
not like his book, Mother Tongue
which was brilliant.
brilliant, i tell you.

posted by Wttygrrl @ 7:35 PM



I appreciate your email.  You are correct.  Thanks very much.

Ruth Hatch

Orange is one of those words that famously has nothing perfectly to rhyme with it. The other one is silver. However, the Oxford Rhyming Dictionary does show both these words as having half-rhymes (such as lozenge with orange and salver with silver).

The principle of a half-rhyme in these cases is quite simple. Whereas a full and stressed rhyme (e.g. hand / stand) or even an unstressed rhyme (such as handing / standing) contain vowels that are common to both words, a half-rhyme like orange / lozenge or silver / salver (technically speaking, pararhymes) has obvious differences between vowels in certain syllables.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Suggestions
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2006 19:17:11 -0500

This message was posted via the Feedback form.
Name: ~zaxy :)

Comments: \"pilfer\" rhymes with \"silver\"


Your standards for rhymes are looser than mine.  And please see excerpt immediately above.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Suggestions
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2006 13:00:34 -0500

This message was posted via the Feedback form.
Name: Robbie Cook

Comments: Contrary to popular belief, there are words in the English language which do rhyme with purple, silver, orange and month.  Purple has curple and hirple (as others have emailed to tell you about, so I won't explain what they mean).  Silver has chilver, which is another word for an ewe lamb.  Orange has Blorenge, which is a town in Wales, and also Gorringe, which is a surname.  Month has the surname Grunth.  Those are all words which are used in the English language, so to claim there aren't any is simply incorrect.


I could find no word "chilver" in the dictionary.  And I don't feel proper names count, though obviously you would disagree...

This message was posted via the Feedback form.
Name: Koda
Comments: i would like to point out that blorenge does not rhyme with orange, only if you pronounce it wrong.  The correct pronunciation for Blorenge is Blor-en-za.  Or Blor-enz.


NOTE 4: (regarding fact #41 above)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Please select one...
Date: 4 Sep 2005 20:05:24 -0000

This message was posted via the Feedback form.
Name: Steve Hartman

Comments: Trivia Pursuit item 41 - words ending in dous.  Actually, 90 English words end in dous, although admittedly they aren't all that common.  To see them:


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Suggestions
Date: 28 Sep 2005 02:05:47 -0000

This message was posted via the Feedback form.
Name: Daniel

Comments: There are more than 4 English words that end in "dous" but they are extremely obscure. 

bulletNodous - Having many nodes; nodose.
bulletVedous - What does this mean?
nbsp;   Colchicine, one of its active components, and its derivatives exert an inhibiting effect on vedous kinds of sarcoma and parenchymatous liver cancer in experimental animals.


NOTE 5: (regarding fact #9` above)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Suggestions
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 11:30:12 -0500

This message was posted via the Feedback form.
Name: Pete Valentine

Comments: Hi-

In your trivia pursuit, fact #91 says the life span of a drangonfly is 24 hours.  In fact, results from various websites state that when a dragonfly emerges as an adult after 1 to 3 yrs as a larva, it may live many months in the Northern states before frost kills it off (assuming it is not killed by predators or accident).  I don't know if any survive longer in warm climates.

There was some interesting insect "fact" I was trying to remember: It was something like: Cicadas do not eat and their mouthparts are only for calling mates.  They may be an insect that only lives for a short period of time like a week or 24 hrs or less.  Mayflies and others may be among many short lived adult insects.

NOTE 6: (regarding fact #96 above)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Suggestions
Date: 30 Jul 2005 22:16:34 -0000

This message was posted via the Feedback form.
Name: ScoTT SenaTe
Phone: 315-426-9071

Comments: Your 100 facts lists that all 50 states are listed on the $5 depicting the Lincoln Memorial.  Is this really true?  The memorial was dedicated in 1922, over 30 years before Alaska and Hawaii were states.



I searched online and found the following.  Thanks for the tip!


Vignette on the Reverse of the $5 Note

The vignette on the reverse of the $5 note depicts a likeness of the face of the Lincoln Memorial as it appeared in 1922 when it was first dedicated.  At that time, there were only 48 states that made up the United States of America.  The names of 26 states were engraved on the front of the Memorial.  This is why only the names of 26 states appear in the vignette on the reverse of the $5 note.  In the upper frieze of the fa├žade in the vignette the states are from left to right: Arkansas, Michigan, Florida, Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin, California, Minnesota, Oregon, Kansas, West Virginia, Nevada, Nebraska, Colorado, and North Dakota.  In the lower frieze from left to right the names of the states are: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia and New York.



A pangram is what you call a sentence that contains all 26 letters of the alphabet.  The most famous is The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.  Another is Brick quiz whangs jumpy veldt fox.  (Frankly, I prefer the first example because it an least makes some sense.)


Also see:

bulletBrain Games - requires a fast connection and Flash
bulletAnswer Me! - 4-question Mensa quiz (also contained in Brain Games, above).
bulletIQ Test - for an example of the cultural assumptions involved in assessing someone else.
bulletCan This Be True? - short visual test of an area problem (also contained in Brain Games, above).
bulletAre You a Professional? - test of creative thinking.
bulletPassing the 8th Grade, 1895 - also includes history and world affairs questions drawn from The Economist (the latter are also included in Brain Games, above).
bulletThanks, Mom, for the Brains - articles which discuss the genetic basis for IQ.

For more on the unusual: events, abilities, means of self-expression, houses, conditions, people, luck, narrow escapes, resemblances, facts, diversions, heroism and more - click the "Up" button below to take you to the Index page for this Odds and Oddities section.

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