In an effort to help you to add to your collection of largely useless knowledge that you might not find out about via conventional sources, here is another set of randomly organized bits of information.

•Spider webs were used as bandages in ancient times.

•There is a McDonald’s restaurant on every continent except Antarctica.

There are more than 36,000 McDonald’s spread out across the Earth.

•The Hasbro Company’s Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on TV. In a classic cancel-culture move in February 2021, the company announced it was dropping the “Mr.” and rebranding the toy as simply “Potato Head” in order to be “more inclusive” and “better reflect the full line.”

•One-quarter of all your bones are located in your feet.

•Sunglasses were originally designed for Chinese judges to hide their facial expressions in court.

•Every year in June, a bizarre festival known as El Colacho takes place Castrillo de Murcia, Spain, during which men dress up like the devil and jump over babies born during the previous 12 months of the year.

•“Astronaut” is a compound word derived from two Ancient Greek words: “Astro,” meaning “star,” and “naut,” meaning “sailor.” So astronaut literally means, “star sailor.”

•In South Korea, 113 is an emergency phone number used to report spies.

•Warner Bros. canceled “Home Alone” because the company didn’t want to spend $14 million on it. 21st Century Fox continued the production, and the now iconic 1990 film grossed $476 million worldwide.

•A cloud can weigh more than a million pounds.

•The television was invented only two years after the invention of sliced bread.

•There is an uninhabited island in the Bahamas known as Pig Beach, which is populated entirely by swimming pigs.

•To all “Lord of the Rings” fans: The dark region on the north pole of Pluto’s moon, Charon, is called Mordor (the name of the realm and base of the evil Dark Lord, Sauron). 

•There are twice as many pyramids in Sudan then there are in Egypt.

Sudan has about 250 pyramids, while Egypt is home to only about 125 of them. From 3,000 BC, Egypt’s armies were sent south to conquer whoever they found, reaching as far as modern-day Sudan. Close to 300 years later, the new rulers of this region, the Kush, still believed in the Egyptian gods and constructed lots of pyramids.

•If you translate “Jesus” from Hebrew to English, the correct translation is “Joshua.” The name “Jesus” comes from translating the name from Hebrew, to Greek, to Latin, to English.

•German Chocolate Cake has no affiliation with Germany and is named after an American baker by the name of Samuel German.

•The real name of famous comedian Larry the Cable Guy is Daniel Lawrence Whitney. His notable Southern accent is fake, as he was born in Nebraska and raised on a pig farm in the Cornhusker State.

•There is a town in Nebraska called Monowi that has a population of one. The only resident is a woman who is the mayor, bartender and librarian.

•Johnny Cash took only three voice lessons before his teacher advised him to stop taking lessons and to never deviate from his natural voice.

•“Almost” is the longest word in the English language to have all of its letters in alphabetical order.

•In 2007, Scotland spent 125,000 Pounds devising a new national slogan. The winning entry was “Welcome to Scotland.”

•In the early 1900’s, lobster was considered the “cockroach of the ocean” and was synonymous with poor people. It wasn’t until after World War II that lobster became considered a delicacy and a food associated with the rich and elite.

•The word “oxymoron” is itself an oxymoron. That’s because it is derived from the Ancient Greek words “oxy,” meaning “sharp,” and “moros,” meaning “stupid.”

•A human could swim through a blue whale’s veins.

If you’re like me, you love this kind of stuff. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of it.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email: ddavison@houstonherald.com.

Doug Davison

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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