“You don’t really start getting old until you stop learning,” software magnate and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates told Time. That’s not just true for rich tech icons. Studies have shown that learning something new every day can improve your brain health and make you happier. But most people would rather skip the studying and stick with entertainment—turns out, you can do both with some funny facts.
Studies have proven that laughter is the best medicine. If only there was a way to fill our heads with new knowledge while also appeasing our appetites for silly good fun. You’re in luck. We’ve assembled some of the best funny facts for you. In fact, some of these may be the weirdest, funniest, jaw-dropping factoids of all time. Take a break and read ’em all. It may seem like you’re wasting time online, but you’re actually making yourself smarter and healthier. And for more ways to dominate trivia night, check out the 50 Facts About Life You Won’t Believe You Didn’t Already Know.
The Supreme Court has its own private basketball court with an amazing nickname.
There’s a basketball court on the top floor of the U.S. Supreme Court Building. Its nickname? You guessed it: “the highest court in the land.” And for more trivia, here are the 100 Mind-Blowing Facts You’ve Never Heard Before.
Walmart has a lower acceptance rate than Harvard.
Harvard might be hard to get into with a 4.5 percent admittance rate, but try this on for size: only 2.6 percent of Walmart applicants are accepted. How ’bout them apples? Now, we realize that this comparison isn’t exactly flawless, but you have to admit that it’s a funny fact.
A football fan once dedicated his obit to insulting an NFL team.
True story: A lifetime Cleveland Browns fan and season ticket holder requested in his obituary for “six Cleveland Browns pallbearers” at his funeral. Why? “So the Browns can let him down one last time.” Burn! And for more witty responses, These Are the Greatest Insults in History.
There is a technical name for the “fear of long words.”
It’s called “hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.” And for more language facts, here are the 20 Words You Won’t Believe Are in the Dictionary Now.
Hunting unicorns is legal in Michigan.
Lake Superior State University in Michigan offers a unicorn hunting license. Unsurprisingly, the “chief herald of the Unicorn Hunters” was once quoted saying: “The pursuit of the unicorn is a lonely quest.” We wish them nothing but good luck!
Someone actually paid $10,000 for invisible artwork.
An art collector once paid $10,000 for a “non-visible” sculpture created by actor James Franco. The artwork was billed as an “endless tank of oxygen.” Um, yeah… it’s called air. We’re breathing some now… for free!
There is an official ruling for how many Tootsie Pop licks it takes to get to the center.
It officially takes 364 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Well, at least according to engineering students’ scientific endeavor at Purdue University, who used a proprietary “licking machine” rather than a human tongue. And for more fun facts, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Cows moo with regional accents.
“In small populations such as herds you would encounter identifiable dialectical variations which are most affected by the immediate peer group,” explains one UK professor in an article for BBC News. In other words: You can take the cow out of Jersey…
A U.S. town had a 3-year-old mayor.
In the small town of Dorset, Minnesota, where a new mayor is picked every two years by drawing names out of a hat, a 3 year old named Robert Tufts was elected mayor in 2015. His governing style: “Being nice and no poopy talk.” In 2018, I think we can all agree that the world could use more Robert Tufts in higher office. And for more great trivia, here are 20 Crazy Facts That Will Blow Your Mind.
The Cookie Monster has a real name.
It’s Sid. No, seriously.
China censored the word for “censorship.”
I guess you can’t be guilty of a crime if nobody can describe what it is! And for more fun info, don’t miss the 125 Facts That Will Make You Feel Instantly Smarter.
Barry Manilow didn’t write his hit song “I Write the Songs.”
And before he recorded it, Barry didn’t even think it was a particularly good song.
Vending machines are bigger threats to humanity than sharks.
The blob of toothpaste that sits on your toothbrush has a name.
It’s called a “nurdle.”
Americans have a troubling understanding of computer code.
According to a 2014 study conducted by VoucherCloud and published by the Los Angeles Times, one in nine Americans—exactly 11 percent of the population—think HTML is actually a disease. Oof!
The Queen is a total wedding crasher!
If you invite the Queen of England to your wedding, even if you’re not royalty, there’s a chance she might show up anyway, as she did with one unsuspecting couple in Manchester in 2012.
You can hire scary clowns to terrify children.
You can hire a clown in Switzerland to stalk your kid and creepily smash a cake into their face on their birthday. Seriously. As if “nice” clowns weren’t terrifying enough!
Flowers like Viagra.
Here’s a funny fact: If you put some Viagra in a vase, it will make flowers stand up straight for a week beyond when they would normally wilt, according to one study conducted by Israeli and Australian researchers.
Terrorist instructions were once replaced with cupcakes.
Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service once hacked an Al-Qaeda website and replaced the bomb instructions with a cupcake recipe.
There’s an American town with a population of one.
Monowi, Nebraska, is the only town in the United States with an official population of one person. Yes, she owes taxes… To herself! She’s in her 80s, and she’s employed as the village’s mayor, librarian, and bartender.
President Coolidge had a childish sense of humor.
Believe it or not, the 30th U.S. president thought it was hilarious to push the emergency buzzer on his desk and then hide when the Secret Service came running.
Some passengers go to insane lengths to avoid baggage fees.
In 2012, a man wore 60 shirts and nine pairs of jeans on an 11-and-a-half hour flight from China to Africa because he didn’t want to pay the extra baggage fee. Though hilarious, we don’t recommend it.
A bridge for squirrels exists.
A town in Washington has a treetop bridge over a busy road that’s just big enough for squirrels. It’s called the “Nutty Narrows Bridge.” Admit it. That’s undeniably funny.
One brogrammer had an unusual way of weaning himself off Facebook.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s surprising other career path isn’t what you’d guess.
While he was in graduate school, astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson considered becoming a stripper to earn extra money, according to an interview with The University of North-South Whales. He visited a club and watched dancers perform to the song Great Balls of Fire. Tyson left immediately and became a math tutor instead. We’re thrilled, of course.
One Norwegian town has a super ironic name.
There’s a village in southern Norway actually named “Hell.” And get this: every winter it freezes over!
Some silly constitutional amendments never happened.
A U.S. constitutional amendment was proposed in 1893 suggesting that the country be renamed “The United States of Earth.” There was another failed amendment, a few years prior, that wanted to abolish the presidency and install a “Roman-style triumvirate.” As if the United States needed any more comparisons to the doomed Roman Empire!
People aren’t always praying for what you’d expect.
We have musical roads.
There’s a highway in Lancaster, California, that plays the “William Tell Overture“—or the theme from “The Lone Ranger”—whenever cars drive over it at 55 mph. Yes, roads that sing!
We’re more prepped for a zombie invasion than you probably knew.
The actual U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a real website devoted to “zombie preparedness.”
The brooding silence in the Twilight movies surprisingly adds up.
If you spliced them all together, there are exactly 26 minutes of quiet staring.
Lobsters communicate with their bladders.
Lobsters have bladders on either side of their heads, so they communicate by urinating at each other. If they want another lobster to know that they’re happy or sad or angry or interested in a relationship, they say it with pee!
Dolly Parton lost a look-alike contest.
Dolly Parton once entered a celebrity look-alike contest, without revealing her true identity, at a club in San Francisco. She lost to a drag queen.
A man actually changed his name because he lost a bet.
After losing a drunken poker bet in 2009, a New Zealand man had his name legally changed to “Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova.” It took five years, but the name was finally approved by the government. All 99 characters of his new name are on his passport.
Carrots just might turn you orange.
Want another funny fact? If you eat enough carrots—about three large carrots a day for several weeks—it increases the beta-carotene in your blood and could turn your skin orange.
People hate privacy policies (and reading the fine print in general).
Nabokov may be the real inventor of emojis.
Russian author Vladimir Nabokov came up with the idea for smiley emoticons in 1969.
High heels were originally for men.
When high-heel shoes first came into fashion in the 10th century, they were intended for men. It wasn’t until the 18th century that more women wore high heels than men.
Latin America has flowers that look like lips.
There’s a flower in the rainforests of Central and South America that resembles a puckering mouth covered in lipstick. It is called Psychotria Elata.
Cows don’t like Willie Nelson.
Here’s a funny fact for you: A dairy cow will produce up to 3 percent more milk when listening to music. But they don’t like country music, especially Willie Nelson. They need something with a good beat.