At Listerious, we love interesting facts.
It’s our hobby to discover and share these facts with our readers. In this post, we are compiling the huge amount of research we constantly do into a list.
Our aim is to present you with what will become the ultimate list of interesting facts.
Want to discover more? We update this list every week, so make sure to bookmark this page as well.
Interesting Facts – The Ultimate List
26. These are the 3 most valuable paintings in Museums
According to our list with the most valuable paintings that are on display in museums at the moment, these are the top 3:
- $950 Million – Les Demoiselles d’Avignon – Pablo Picasso
- $900 Million – Starry Night – Vincent Van Gogh
- $830 Million – Mona Lisa – Leonardo Da Vinci
25. Leonardo da Vinci never finished the Mona Lisa
It’s a portrait of an Italian woman named Lisa del Giocondo, who lived in Florence at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th century.
Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian polymath that painted the portrait, never actually finished it! This was a bad habit of his as he didn’t finish a lot of his works.
It is believed, however, that he liked the painting so much that he carried it with him all the time (and he traveled a lot), never eventually delivering it to the commissioner.
He ended up bringing it on his final travel to France where he eventually died and where the Mona Lisa ended up in the collection of the French monarchy and ultimately, the Louvre.
24. The band-aid was invented because of a clumsy wife
An employee at Johnson and Johnson, a big pharmaceutical company, saw that his wife was a bit clumsy in the kitchen. She kept on cutting herself and always required assistance.
He mentioned his invention to a colleague who passed it on to the bosses and shortly after, the “band-aid” was being mass-produced and sold all over the United States and eventually, the world.
23. The Reichstag Dome has an interesting deeper meaning
The Reichstag in Berlin has a rich and dark history. Being used by the Nazis and seeing a divided Germany until the fall of the Berlin Wall to name a few.
After the German reunification on October 3, 1990, the Reichstag Building was redesigned and renovated in order to serve as the new meeting place for the parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany, known as the “Bundestag.”
The most interesting part of the Reichstag Building is the glass dome, which is remarkably open to the public and can be reached through a set of see, spiraling ramps.
On top of the dome, you can get a nice view of what’s going on below, the place where the German government holds its meetings.
The idea behind the dome is that it serves as a metaphor that emphasizes that the people of Germany are above the government, the exact opposite of what happened during Nazism.
22. This building has the biggest doors in the world
Space shuttles are big. That’s why the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida has the biggest doors in the world.
The doors are 456 feet (138 meters) high and you better have some patience because it takes about 45 minutes for the doors to open and close.
Having these big doors has the big advantage that the space rockets can be assembled inside of the building and then rolled out to the launch pad to get ready for take-off.
21. You can actually smell rain if it’s not yet raining
It’s a hot summer day. It hasn’t rained in weeks. And then it happens, you smell something that you can’t really define.
What you smell is called “petrichor” and the best way to describe is that you can actually smell the dust hanging in the air.
What’s even more remarkable is the fact that you can actually smell it just before it starts raining.
Are you smelling something funny?
Better get an umbrella or find a place to hide because it’s about to pour down from the heavens!
20. The first-ever car accident happened here
There’s a first time for everything, and the moment automobiles were invented, it was bound to happen. The first car crash ever recorded happened in Ohio City, Ohio, in 1891.
While the industry slowly moved towards Detroit, Michigan, in the 20th century, the earliest car factories were actually located in Ohio. So it’s not surprising the first crash happened here as well.
Onboard was one of the main inventors in the car industry who went on to patent over 600 inventions, John William Lambert. His car hit a tree root and started spinning out of control before crashing into a hitching post.
Lambert and his passenger got out of it unharmed.
19. The Eiffel Tower was assembled with sledgehammers
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. It’s a massive construction that stands 300 meters (984 ft) tall and 324 meters (1063 ft) to the tip.
We don’t have to explain that the construction of this massive tower wasn’t a straight forward event. It consists of 18,038 pieces of iron in total.
2/3 of these iron pieces were assembled remotely with bolts and brought to the construction site. There, the bolts were removed and 2.5 million rivets were smashed in with sledgehammers.
There were never more than 300 construction workers on-site and it took exactly 2 years, 2 months and 5 days to complete the smashing in order to finish this giant iron leg set!
18. Astronauts had to be short in 1959
What does it take to become an astronaut? We’re positive that this is something on the mind of a lot of kids out there. Unfortunately, the first time astronauts were selected, tall men and women weren’t allowed!
The first selection happened in 1959, and if you had a background in engineering and experience flying a jet aircraft, you were allowed to apply.
There was just one extra caveat: Applicants had to be shorter than 5 feet and 11 inches, otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to fit in the Mercury spacecraft.
17. This man recorded the first-ever album in space
Chris Austin Hadfield is a retired Canadian astronaut, engineer and Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot. Apart from this impressive career, he’s also a great singer.
Perhaps he was getting a little bored floating around the earth in one of his two space shuttle missions, so he found a great way to cope with the monotony of life in space.
He recorded an album while in space called “Space Sessions: Songs From a Tin Can.” The album includes a cover version of “Space Oddity” by David Bowie
The album was released on October 9, 2015, and it’s the first-ever album to have been recorded entirely in space and all proceeds of sales of the album will be used to help music education in Canada!
16. Snow isn’t actually white
If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, then you’re not actually referring to snow because snow isn’t actually white. Snow is translucent and only appears white because it reflects light in many different directions.
Fresh-water algae, dust or pollution can actually color snow black, orange or blue. If the algae contain the same chemical that is found in carrots, it can turn snow into pink.
This phenomenon is referred to as “watermelon snow.”
15. The great Pyramids in Egypt used to be white
If we think of pyramids, we get a vision of sand-colored structures in a desolate desert somewhere in Egypt.
That’s true, but the pyramids didn’t always used to look the way they do today. Thye used to be shiny white, completely covered in limestone. They used to shine so brightly that it’s likely you could see them from the moon, shining bright like a star on earth.
It’s also believed that the tip of the pyramid was covered in gold, which made them even shinier.
14. Russia had a prohibition-era as well
6 years before the creation and selling of alcohol was prohibited in the United States, a Tsar decree did the same in Russia.
Starting July 31, 1914, to get ready for the mobilization of the army for World War I, all drunkards saw their nightmare turn into reality. The month that followed, 230 bars were smashed by angry mobs who demanded vodka.
The eventual result after those initial months of withdrawal, however, was amazing. People had more money than ever before, the nuthouses saw their customers move out and even the pets became more joyful during the 11 years that the prohibition lasted, according to contemporary statistical research.
Additional issues such as an increase in drug-use and illegal alcohol production, in combination with the government needing more money, saw the prohibition abolished in 1925.
13. Surviving on the ocean required desperate measures
If you have ever seen the movie “Alive” about the Uruguayan rugby team that is stranded in the Andes mountains after their plane crashed, then you already know what this will be about.
The 20-man crew of the “Essex,” a whaler from Massachusetts, had to make a similar choice when they were stranded on the ocean after being hit by a “sperm whale.”
Weeks of being stranded in 3 whaleboats resulted in their food running out, so they resorted to cannibalism in order to survive.
There was just one problem. While the survivors were gnawing on the bones of the deceased, nobody was dying anymore. They finally needed to decide on who they would sacrifice to be consumed.
8 men eventually survived this horrible ordeal, and this remarkable story became the inspiration for Herman Melville’s famous novel, Moby Dick.
12. You live longer in “Blue Zones”
There are certain regions in the world called “Blue Zones” and it appears that the people living there have a much higher life expectancy than everywhere else.
Blue zones include Sardinia, Italy, the islands of Okinawa, Japan, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California.
Apart from eating healthier, having better social interactions, and drinking more red wine (in moderation), these regions otherwise have few things in common.
Does this mean we need to move there to live longer?
No. According to author Dan Buettner, it appears that mimicking the 6 core habits of the people living in these regions would suffice to share the same benefits!
11. The Leaning Tower of Pisa could be turned straight
In the early 1990s, the situation of the Leaning Tower of Pisa had become critical. It was so bad that at that point, all scientific models predicted that it should have collapsed a long time ago.
While scientists were baffled that it was still standing, they scrambled to find a solution to the problem.
And they did. They carefully excavated the foundation on one end of the tower, while attaching lead counterweights on the other end, this in an effort to prevent the tower from moving further in the opposite direction.
It worked so well that chief engineer John Burland stopped the project when the tilt was reduced by 10% ensuring the tower is good for another 200 years.
So why didn’t they straighten the tower completely? Because they feared a lot of people would be angry if the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” suddenly became the “Tower of Pisa.”
10. Jupiter once had the most moons, but not anymore
It’s not that Jupiter magically saw their moons sucked into a black hole or something. The biggest planet in our solar system still has 79 moons.
It’s just that scientists discovered 20 additional moons in the orbit around Saturn, officially increasing the number of moons of Saturn to 80.
The moons were discovered with the Subaru telescope on Maunakea, Hawaii, by a team of US researchers.
9. The median age in the United States has almost doubled since 1860
The life expectancy of the population is constantly going up. Better medical care and a higher quality of life are the main reasons for this.
The median age of a population means the exact number at which half the population is younger, and half the population is older.
In 1860, the median age in the United States was just 19.4 years, while today, the median age is 38.2 years, which means the median age nearly doubled since then.
8. If pirates raised a red flag, you were in serious trouble
Pirate ships have always been associated with a black flag depicting a skull and two swords or bones below it. This flag wasn’t always flying though.
A black flag usually meant that some of the crew were infected with the plague. Black is associated with death, so it was a warning sign of a “death ship” that was best avoided.
Most of the time, however, pirates were using regular, friendly flags of countries, this for the simple reason that this allowed them to get close enough to a ship they wanted to attack.
At the last moment, they either raised a black or a red pirate flag. The black flag meant that anybody who surrendered without a fight would live. The red flag, on the other hand, meant “no quarter was given,” which meant no life would be spared.
Seeing that red flag going up must have terrified the crew of just about any ship, knowing that a fight to the death was about to start!
7. Perhaps it’s better to start school a little later?
According to a study, if the school would start at 10 am instead of at 8 am in most places, it would enhance both physical and mental health and improve overall academic performances for students.
This study was carried out over a long period of time in England and clearly underlines the health impact that sleep deprivation can have on teenagers.
Perhaps we should reconsider the way we go about our day?
6. Where does the word “turquoise” come from?
Turquoise is not just a blue-green color, but it’s also a gemstone. The word turquoise which describes both the gemstone and it dates back to the 17th century.
It comes from the French word “Turquois” which means “Turkish.” The reason for this is that the gemstones were initially imported to Europe through Turkey from mines in the Persian region, which is modern-day Iran.
5. The original Kermit the Frog was made out of a turquoise coat
We all know Kermit the Frog as the green frog from the Muppet Show and Sesame Street. But his original appearance was way earlier in the premiere of WRC-TV’s show called “Sam and Friends.”
The show aired for the first time on May 9, 1955, and Kermit was initially a lizard-like creature. it wasn’t until several television performances that his status as a frog was established.
The creator of the character, Jim Henson, had used an old turquoise-colored coat of his mother to put together the original Kermit and used a couple of ping-pong balls for his eyes.
Who would have thought that Kermit would become so popular that he even earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame eventually!
4. The famous Tower Bridge in London is a steel construction
One of the most iconic landmarks in all of London is the famous Tower Bridge. The towers were constructed in such a way that they complement the architectural style of the Tower of London, which is located just next to the bridge.
What appears to be solid towers made of stone is actually a steel framework with decorative stones attached to it to give the towers of the bridge its impressive Victorian gothic-style appearance.
3. Having children makes you happier, but not initially
Having a child is the most wonderful experience there is for most people. A study conducted at the University of Heidelberg in Germany has uncovered that it also makes people happier.
But not from the start!
The effects only become apparent when the children have moved out of the house, according to the study performed on 55,000 people in 16 different countries.
The main reason is that it increases social interaction, and since human beings are very social creatures by nature, it increases our sense of well-being.
2. In Rome, you can buy subway tickets with trash
Rome is one of the most visited cities on the planet. It’s full of historical buildings and monuments that naturally attracts tourists from all over the world.
This causes certain problems as well as the city is literally littered with trash, and to make things worse, there isn’t an effective trash collecting system.
Creative minds believe they have found the solution, as Romans and tourists alike can exchange empty plastic bottles for tickets on the subway and buses in the Italian capital.
Every little bit of effort to make the world a cleaner and environment friendlier place is more definitely applauded!
1. This man won the lottery 14 times, and he used math to do it
Ever been jealous of people winning the big lottery?
Stefan Mandel, a Romanian-Australian economist thought he could come up with a way to eat the system, and he did, 14 times!
He came up with a 6-step formula that allowed him to guarantee to win the jackpot which would ensure he made a profit.
The crucial part of his scheme?
You need to buy tickets for all combinations!
To give an example, if you play on a lottery with 40 numbers and you need to guess 6 numbers to win, you’d have to buy 3,838,380 tickets!
He did and now spends his retirement on a tropical island named Vanuatu in the South-Pacific, enjoying the good life.
This concludes the ultimate list of interesting facts, a constantly updated list on the number 1 fact site Listerious!