28 Little-Known Facts That People Wish Others Knew About, And I've Gotta Say, I Will Never Forget Some Of These For As Long As I Live

Over on r/AskReddit, u/Just_Free_Tea recently asked, "What is a fact that you think barely anyone else knows?"

Apple Music / Via giphy.com

As someone who is obsessed with fun facts and trivia, I was all ears.

NBC / Via giphy.com

Here are 28 little-known facts, from the unexpected shape of raindrops to the serial killer who recorded popular audiobooks:

1."The nuke stockpile in Washington State is guarded by trained dolphins that seek out and clamp a balloon on unfamiliar divers." —u/Gothsalts

dolphin jumping out of the water

2."Raindrops don’t fall in the drip shape popularly conveyed. They fall in the shape of tiny parachutes or hamburger buns." —u/CBGville

Wifflegif / Via giphy.com

Raindrops form in a round shape, but as they fall, the speed causes the raindrop to morph into a hamburger shape, with a rounded top and flattened bottom.

3."American serial killer Edmund Kemper recorded over 5,000 hours of audiobook narration between 1977–87. If you're into audiobooks, you might've been read to by a 6'9" self-described 'bumblebutt' who killed eight people, including his mother." —u/SnowMiser26

Kemper in his jail uniform

4."Boanthropy is a psychological disorder in which a person believes they are a cow and try to live their life as one. Medical explanations suggest late-stage syphilis as one of the causes." —u/j451k4


5."The Dutch national color is orange, but the flag is red, white and blue striped, because the dye they used for orange faded fast at sea, while red did not." —u/3xTheSchwarm

dutch flags in the street

6."Hans Zimmer was the keyboard player on 'Video Killed The Radio Star.'" —u/Kryodamus

7."Before being born, two of the four chambers of a baby's heart are not used, they're actually bypassed! There's no need to pump deoxygenated blood to the lungs when in the womb because the lungs aren't breathing air yet, and so are not supplying oxygen." —u/whomp1970

close up of a baby's feet in the hospital

8."The sound used for a dolphin in nearly every single TV [show] and movie is actually the same Kookaburra bird recording." —u/HFXmer

Gifbay / Via giphy.com

In the 1963 movie, Flipper, which follows a young boy who befriends an injured dolphin, sound effect specialists used a sped-up kookaburra laugh to replicate a dolphin noise. It's now been used in thousands of shows and is frequently heard in SpongeBob SquarePants as a censoring effect.

9."The Jews were expelled from Spain in the 1400s. No Jewish children were born again in Spain until 1966." —u/RifleShower

In 1492, Catholic monarchs, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella expelled all Jewish people from Spain. About 300,000 Jewish people living in Spain had to convert to Catholicism, flee the country, or risk being killed in the Spanish Inquisition. In January 1966, the first Jewish child native to Spain in nearly 500 years was born.

10."Since 1969, there have been more Popes (five) than head coaches of the Pittsburgh Steelers (three)." — u/Marco_Escuandola

pope and a football couch

11."Of all the US States, Maine is the closest to Africa. Seriously look at a globe, not just that flat oval map you saw in every classroom growing up. Africa is further north than you think, and Maine is further east than you think." — u/slytherinprolly


12."The 'dog days of summer' refers to the time of the year when the dog star, Sirius, is brightest in the sky." — u/Personal_Return4940

Giphy / Via giphy.com

This term has origins in both Greek and Roman mythology. Sirius, known as the dog star, is brightest in the sky around late July in the Northern Hemisphere, rising alongside the sun. They believed that the combination of the two stars together is what made the days the hottest of the year, and called them the "dog days" to honor Sirius.

13."Acronyms are things that you can pronounce like a word, like POTUS, NASA, [and] PETA. Initialisms include things like CIA, DEA, [and] ASPCA." —u/Gavman04

FBI looking at a wall

14."1.7 billion years before modern humans evolved, a natural nuclear fission reactor was active underneath what is modern Africa." —u/ProbablyABore

nuclear plant

15."The Eiffel Tower can be 15 centimeters taller during the summer due to thermal expansion meaning the iron heats up, the particles gain kinetic energy, and take up more space." — u/_quinn_06

Eiffel Tower in the distance of the city

16."[It] takes 1,200 pounds of pressure to break a healthy femur." —u/diet_pepsi_lover

person in hospital bed with a broken leg

17."Carrots don’t improve your eyesight. That myth has its roots in a World War II propaganda campaign." —u/bookiebakermusic

someone eating a carrot

18."The original red velvet cake didn’t use food coloring. The red color was a result of a chemical reaction between vinegar and dutch cocoa powder." —u/Dense_Calligrapher36

piece of red velvet cake

19."None of the Founding Fathers of America knew what the fuck a dinosaur was." —u/AmerisaurausRex

painting of the founding fathers

20."'Third World Countries' is a term taken from Cold War propaganda. The first world is America and her allies. The second world is the Soviets and their allies. The third world is everybody else. Over time it has been appropriated to mean 'poor countries,' but that’s not its original usage." — u/wheresmychin

The WB / Via giphy.com

Historians credit French demographer, Alfred Sauvy, with coining the term "third world countries" in a 1952 article. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the first and second world terms largely disappeared, although the United States and other countries with powerful economies are occasionally still referred to as "first world." Today, academics recommend using terms like “developing countries” and “low and lower-middle-income countries” in place of "third world."

21."It actually used to be called Duck Tape because the polyurethane coating was waterproof like a duck's feathers." —u/Judoka229

Duck tape

22."The British trained seagulls to poo on the periscopes of enemy submarines." —u/swallowyoursadness

Erica Shires / Via giphy.com

The seagull plan began in 1915 when the British military tried to train seagulls to associate spotting a submarine with eating by feeding them through a fake submarine periscope. When this didn't work as intended, they tried to pivot by teaching the seagulls to poop on the periscopes, blinding the enemies. This plan was quickly abandoned as new developments in sonar research were made.

23."The chainsaw was originally invented to cut open the pelvis to assist in childbirth if there was a breech." —u/SaintCaspian

someone using a chainsaw to cut wood

24."There are more Subway restaurants than there are McDonald’s." —u/According-Pool3427

subway sign

25."Sauerkraut wasn’t invented in Germany. It was a primary source of food by the Chinese while building the Great Wall of China." — u/Dovahkiing12

someone scooping sauerkraut out of a jar

26."In Victorian England, they would clean chimneys by throwing a goose down it." —u/jordymills

someone cleaning a chimney

27."The cigarette lighter was invented before the match." — u/golu_281105

Hulu / Via giphy.com

The first lighter was invented in 1823 by German chemist Johann Dobereiner, while English chemist John Walker developed the match three years later in 1826. The match was actually invented by accident: Walker was attempting to create a paste that could be used in guns when the wooden instrument he was using to mix the materials scraped against something and caught on fire.

28."The sun is actually white. At about 5,000K, it's brilliantly white, not yellow or red. The yellow sun is a product of atmospheric diffraction of light off of oxygen molecules, which also gives us a blue sky." —u/free_from_choice

the sun against a clear sky

Do you have any little-known facts that you wish more people knew? Share them in the comments!