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random facts

The Hindenburg disaster, a slice of pizza and a squirrel.

How is it that some people seem to know a lot of random facts and are great at trivia, while others can’t get a question right while watching “Jeopardy!”? A big reason is curiosity. People interested in many different subjects have a more significant knowledge base than those who do not.

Further, when people are genuinely interested in a subject, they retain knowledge much better than if they heard the information in passing. So, while two students may learn the same thing in class, the genuinely interested one will remember the information, while the other will quickly forget it.

Studies show that curiosity is one of the most significant predictors of having a high IQ.


A Redditor named TechSavvy_Ryan asked the curious folks on the platform to share the facts that “most people don’t know.” The post went viral, inspiring over 8,000 responses in just two days. So, we cobbled together a list of the 15 most intriguing facts so you can wow people at your next trivia night or cocktail party.

Here are 15 facts that “most people don’t know."

1. Hindenburg survivors

"Most the people involved in the Hindenburg disaster lived." — CaligulaMonkey

"It was said 62 of the 97 people survived. You can see them running away in the nick of time as they touched the ground." — Rook2Pawn

2. Freaky fish

"Irukandji jellyfish grow only to about 1 cubic cm in size, but have an incredibly painful sting. One symptom of the sting is a strong impending sense of doom. Victims have begged their doctor to be killed as they were certain they would die anyways." — NikkiRex

3. Dangerous laughter

"You can collapse your lungs from laughing." — ContentTask2032

"So you can technically die from laughing?" -PaptaLopikju-

4. Dark side of cruises

"The amount of murder, rape and suicide that happens on cruise ships. Most of them unresolved, too." — PeacefulKillah

"Most newer cruise ships also operate an onboard morgue, as they are now considered cheaper options to retirement homes. Last time I was on a cruise, a crew member let slip that there were 2 deaths from natural causes." — Kegman83

5. Happy birthday

"A company called Warner Chappell Music collected licensing fees for use of the song 'Happy Birthday to You' all the way until 2015. That’s why characters in movies often sing other songs like 'For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”'and restaurant chains often have their own birthday songs they sing to customers." — ItsMeCourtney

6. Burial facts

"A burial plot is called a graveyard if it's part of a church lot. It's called a cemetery if separate." — Missusmidas

"The backyard is only a graveyard if they can find the body." — Diels_Alder

7. Spanish Africa

"The only Spanish-speaking country in Africa is Equatorial Guinea. Its capital, Malabo, is on an island slightly northwest of the country’s mainland." — Dre_Lake

8. A case of bad nerves

"If your nerve is broken in the wrong way, the nerve will send a pain signal to the brain and it won't stop." — RhiannonCrystalLady

9. Pizza truth

"An 18-inch pizza is more than two 12-inch pizzas. To do the math, the surface area of a circle is pi x r squared. Pi is the constant. 18 in pizza has a 9 in radius, or r. 12 inch has 6. 9 squared is 81, 6 squared is 36. 36 x 2 is 72. 81 is greater than 72." — Who_Else_But_Macho

"Not only that but if you assume that each pizza has a 1" wide crust all the way around, the 18-inch pizza is 79% toppings and 21% crust, while the two 12-inch pizzas are only 70% toppings and 30% crust. So not only do you get MORE pizza, you get a more efficient pizza with a greater toppings-to-crust ratio." — Tajwriggly

10. Declare your pacemaker

"When a body is to be cremated, the funeral director will first ensure that any rubber sole shoes, watches, phones, glasses, and sealed glass/metal containers are removed. Any sealed container becomes a pressure vessel when exposed to temperatures exceeding 1000°c. These will explode and do significant damage to the crematorium. This is the same reason why any electrical devices or items with batteries are removed, including most watches, and also pacemakers. When an undertaker asks whether your loved on had any medical implants or pacemakers, this is the reason why.
Glasses often tend to leave a silica residue on the bottom of the cremator which is just awkward to clean up and can build over time. Rubber soles are just incredibly polluting and are often not caught by the many filtration systems. This usually results in a black plume of smoke coming from the chimneys. Also, all metal residues and materials which are collected after the cremation is completed are gathered up and can either be returned to the family (upon request) or else treated and recycled, with proceeds from the recycling going towards a worthy charity."
— Flaky_Tumbleweed

11. Scuba or S.C.U.B.A.?

"Scuba is an acronym, standing for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus." — JackCooper_7274

12. Squirrel speed

"Squirrels run faster up trees than on flat surfaces." — sstebbinss

13. Battleships

"Battleships in museums/ on display that are WW2 and later cannot start their engines because they have preservative grease inside in case the Navy has to bring the ship back into service." — Stravata

14. Sharkgevity

"Sharks predate trees." — External_Crazy_6568

"Well duh, they're predators." — Flowcahrt83

15. Code-shifting cells

"Your immune system has at least 1 cell to combat every single infection that could ever exist. Your T-cells are cells that, when created, go through a sort of training phase in the thymus where they are allowed to change their genetic code at random, in order to be able to battle 1 random very specific disease. During this, the body also kills any T-cells that are accidentally adapted to kill human cells. Then the T-cells are sent to lymph nodes, to be found later by presenting an antigen (a part of a pathogen) to it. Basically, you have something for everything in your body, the problem is just finding it, as it takes a good few days for your body to locate the specific one." — Chipperland4471