17 Facts Your High School Books Forgot to Mention – Did You Know These?

High school textbooks can only cover so much. Sometimes, the most fascinating tidbits slip through the cracks. Here are 17 facts that might not have made it into your school curriculum but are sure to pique your interest.

Benjamin Franklin Didn’t Invent the Lightbulb

We Use Only 10% Of Our Brain
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When we think of Benjamin Franklin, inventions like bifocals or the lightning rod might come to mind. Surprisingly, the lightbulb isn’t among them. That distinction goes to pioneers like Thomas Edison and Sir Hiram Maxim.

Napoleon Wasn’t That Short

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Standing at about 5’7”, Napoleon’s height was standard, if not slightly taller than the average man during his era. The misconception could stem from the variance in French and British measurement systems or from some exaggerated tales told by his rivals.

Shakespeare Had a Tremendous Vocabulary

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Shakespeare wasn’t just a playwright; he was a linguistic virtuoso. Researchers estimate he had a vocabulary exceeding 29,000 words. In comparison, the everyday person today employs a mere 5,000 to 6,000 words in regular conversations.

Cleopatra Lived Closer to the Moon Landing than the Pyramids

Pharaoh Cleopatra
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Cleopatra’s reign is closer to the iconic moon landing in 1969 than to the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza. This tidbit showcases the vastness of human history and how modern events are just a blink in time’s vast expanse.

The Color Pink Didn’t Always Mean “For Girls”

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Fashion and societal norms evolve. In the early 20th century, pink, now often associated with femininity, was viewed as a strong, masculine hue. Blue, on the other hand, was soft and feminine. Over the decades, societal perceptions shifted, leading to today’s color conventions.

The Eiffel Tower Can Grow Taller in the Summer

Fake Selling of Eiffel Tower – Twice
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Steel structures like the Eiffel Tower aren’t as rigid as they appear. Due to a phenomenon called thermal expansion, the Eiffel Tower can stretch up to six inches during hotter months.

The Sandwich Was Named After an Actual Person

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Legend says John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, wanted a quick meal that wouldn’t disrupt his card games. Thus, the idea of meat between bread was born, and mealtime was forever changed.

The Shortest War in History Lasted 38 Minutes

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Wars often span years, but the Anglo-Zanzibar War is an exception. In 1896, this brief battle between Britain and Zanzibar concluded in just 38 minutes. That’s less time than some folks spend deciding what to have for dinner!

Humans and Giraffes Have the Same Number of Neck Vertebrae

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While giraffes are known for their long necks, they share a skeletal similarity with humans. Both species possess seven neck vertebrae. The key difference is that each giraffe vertebra is substantially longer, allowing for that signature elongated neck.

One Light Year is About 5.88 Trillion Miles

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“Light year” might sound temporal, but it’s all about distance. This term denotes how far light travels in a year, an astounding 5.88 trillion miles. Space truly is the final, and seemingly infinite, frontier.

Alaska is the Westernmost and Easternmost U.S. State

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Due to the Aleutian Islands stretching past the 180º line of Longitude, Alaska has a unique claim. It’s both the westernmost and easternmost state. A geographical marvel, indeed!

You’re Always About a Foot Away from a Spider

You Eat 8 Spiders In Your Sleep Over The Course Of A Lifetime
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For those with arachnophobia, this may not be a comforting fact. Spiders are omnipresent, playing an essential role in ecosystems by managing insect populations.

“OK” Stands for “Oll Korrect”

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The universally accepted “OK” derived from a playful misspelling of “all correct.” Its widespread adoption turned it into the affirmative staple we utter daily.

Your Taste Buds Have a Short Lifespan

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Those tiny taste receptors on our tongues work hard. But their tenure is brief, with a lifespan of just 10 to 14 days. As old ones retire, new ones emerge. It’s a perpetual cycle that ensures we savor every bite.

Honey Never Spoils

Giving Honey to an Infant
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Ancient tombs have offered up pots of honey that, despite being millennia old, remain edible. This natural sweetener’s composition prevents bacteria, granting it an eternal shelf life. So that jar in your pantry will outlast us all!

Cows Have Best Friends

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Animals have social hierarchies and bonds, with cows being no exception. They often form tight-knit bonds with specific peers and can exhibit signs of stress when separated. Just like humans, cows value friendship and camaraderie.

Carrots Were Originally Purple

Carrots Help You See In The Dark
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Centuries ago, in regions like Afghanistan, carrots showcased a deep purple or even black appearance. The orange variety we’re familiar with today resulted from selective breeding by Dutch farmers. The goal? To honor the House of Orange.

READ MORE – BOOMERS HAVE SPOKEN: 18 TRADITIONS THEY WANT TO UPHOLD BUT GEN Z SAYS “NEED TO GO”

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As boomers fondly clutch onto practices that evoke nostalgia, Gen Z is at the next counter, eagerly trading in the old for a dash of modern sparkle. From handwritten notes to digital memos, from piggy banks to digital wallets—the dance between ‘then’ and ‘now’ has never been more lively. Join us as we explore 18 traditions that boomers want to uphold but Gen Z says need to go.

BOOMERS HAVE SPOKEN: 18 TRADITIONS THEY WANT TO UPHOLD BUT GEN Z SAYS “NEED TO GO”

16 THINGS MEN KNOW (BUT WILL NEVER REVEAL TO THE LADIES)

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Have you ever wondered what men really think or do? Then look no further. A recent internet survey asked, “What are some ‘guy secrets’ girls don’t know about?” Here are the top 16 answers:

16 THINGS MEN KNOW (BUT WILL NEVER REVEAL TO THE LADIES)

18 BABY BOOMER SLANG PHRASES THAT MAKE MILLENNIALS SCRATCH THEIR HEADS

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While it’s easy for younger generations to feel like they’re steeped in slang, Boomers know that some of the best phrases have been passed down for years. Think you’re hip to all of them? Read on for 18 popular phrases of Baby Boomer slang. 

18 BABY BOOMER SLANG PHRASES THAT MAKE MILLENNIALS SCRATCH THEIR HEADS

20 THINGS OLD PEOPLE LOVE THAT THE REST OF US DON’T UNDERSTAND

Refer to Themselves as "Hip"
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Different generations enjoy different things, but have you ever seen something an old person loves and thought to yourself, why? A recent internet survey asked, “What is something that old people love that you don’t understand?” Here are the top 20 answers.

20 THINGS OLD PEOPLE LOVE THAT THE REST OF US DON’T UNDERSTAND

20 THINGS WE DID WHEN WE WERE YOUNG THAT WE REGRET NOW

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It’s easy to say hindsight is 20/20, but what advice would you really give your younger self? Here are 20 things that most people did when they were young that they regret today. 

20 THINGS WE DID WHEN WE WERE YOUNG THAT WE REGRET NOW