Quite Interesting Facts
Here is a list of little known facts from the BBC show “Q.i.” These are much more interesting than your typical “factoid” lists.
-The largest mountain in the world is Mauna Loa. Mount Kilimanjaro is higher than Mount Everest because it raises straight out of the African plain, whereas Everest is just one mountain on top of lots in the Himalayas. Also, as Kilimanjaro is on the Equator, it is further away from the centre of the Earth as it is an oblate spheroid. (Forfeit: Mount Everest)
-The steam engine was invented by Hero of Alexandria, and was named the aeolipile. The railway was invented seven hundred years earlier by Periander of Corinth. The modern steam engine was invented by Richard Trevithick. When Stephenson’s Rocket was introduced, people were concerned that travelling at such high speeds could cause irreparable
brain damage, so fences were erected so people wouldn’t hallucinate at the “terrible sight”.
- The colour of the Universe is beige. In 2002, after observing the light from over 200,000 galaxies, American scientists described the colour as pale green, rather than black with white bits, as we’d see it. Using the Dulux paint range, the colour was a mixture of Mexican Mint, Jade Cluster and Shangri-La Silk. They then had to admit that they got it wrong and the colour was a taupe-beige colour.
-Krung Thep is the proper name for the capital of Thailand. Krung Thep is an abbreviation of the real name which is the longest place name in the world. Only ignorant foreigners call Krung Thep, “Bangkok”, a name that hasn’t been used in Thailand for 200 years.
- In Greek mythology, Atlas was punished by Zeus and was forced to carry the sky. He is often pictured carrying the globe in atlases made by the Flemish cartographer Mercator, that became known as “Mercator’s Atlas” and the name stuck along with the image.
-The driest place on Earth is the Dry Valleys Region of Antarctica. Even though Antarctica is virtually all ice and snow, the Dry Valleys Region has no ice or snow and hasn’t seen any rain for 2 million years. The second driest place is the Atacama Desert in Chile, which hasn’t seen rain in 400 years
-Over fifty percent of the world’s oxygen is provided by algae. It’s believed that up to ninety percent might be supplied by it. Mature trees actually give off less oxygen then they produce. (Forfeit: Trees)
-Purple rhymes with ‘hirple’ and ‘curple’.
Hirple: To walk with a limp, Curple: the hind-quarters or rump of a horse
The Goliath frog of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea (the largest frog in the world) is mute. Out of the 4,360 known species of frog, the only frog to go “ribbit” is the Pacific Tree Frog, the species native to Hollywood and thus sampled for use on hundreds of movie soundtracks
-Australia was discovered by the Chinese. When Cook arrived in 1770, he wasn’t a captain, he was Lieutenant Cook. He wasn’t the first European, as the Dutch had reached it 150 years earlier and he wasn’t even the first Englishman, that was William Dampier in 1688.
-The helicopter was invented by the Chinese in the 4th century, more than a 1,000 years before Leonardo da Vinci. It was called the “Bamboo Dragonfly” and could fly 25 feet up and down. The first modern helicopter was invented by the French