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Factoid Archive 4


Triskadekaphobia, fear of the number 13, dates back to Nordic mythology. But the combination of Friday and the number 13 seems to have originated with Christ, whose last supper before his arrest seated 13 and he was crucified on a Friday.
SOURCE: Dr. Thomas J. Fernsler, Mansfield University, Pennsylvania

More Gas Facts

A healthy individual releases 3.5 oz. of gas in a single flatulent emission, or about 17 oz. in a day.
SOURCE: The Story of Farts, Shinta Cho

Bat Fact

Bats are the leading cause of rabies in the US. Bat bites led to 12 of the 25 cases of rabies seen in the US since 1980. Dogs are a close second.
SOURCE: The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Shell Shock?

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History houses the world's largest shell collection, some 15 million specimens. A smaller museum in Sanibel, Florida owns a mere 2 million shells and claims to be the worlds only museum devoted solely to mollusks.
SOURCE: Smithsonian Magazine, 9/95

HIV Hot Zone

Fourteen percent of the one million citizens of Nairobi, Kenya carry the AIDS virus. Some 20% of the Kenyan military is infected.
SOURCE: Kenya's 'Daily Nation'

Help a Monarch

If you find a Monarch butterfly washed up on the shore after a storm it may still be alive. Lift it out of the damp sand and put it on your sweater, allowing it to dry off. A water color brush is useful for removing sand from its wings. When dry, it will take flight.
SOURCE: Monarch Project

Multimedia Eels

Some species of freshwater eels migrate to the Sargasso Sea in the Atlantic Ocean to mate. After laying up to 20 million eggs, the female eel dies. The baby eels hatched from the eggs then make their way back to fresh water.
SOURCE: Weird Science

Hillary's Chimney

Hillary's Chimney is nowhere near the fireplace in the White House Oval Office. The name refers to a shear 40-foot climb on the final approach to the summit of Mt. Everest.

Singing Toadfish

The underwater mating song of the toadfish is so loud that sometimes it can be heard by humans on the shore.
SOURCE: Wildlife Conservation

Baby Spiders

Australian scientists have identified some species of baby spiders that bite off the limbs of their mothers and slowly dine on them over a period of weeks. The researchers hypothesize the maternal sacrifice keeps the young from eating one another.
SOURCE: Nature


A camel can lose up to 30% of its body weight in perspiration and continue to cross the desert. A human would die of heat shock after sweating away only 12% of body weight.
SOURCE: Irish Times

Attention Omnivores!

A one hundred gram serving of termites (M. subhyanlinus) provides 613 kcal including 14.2 g protein. Similarly, 100 g of caterpillars (U. terpsichore) provides 370 kcal and 28.2 g protein, while the same quanity of weevil (R. phoenicis) will give you 562 kcal and 6.7 g protein.

Barefoot and Pregnant

In the developing world, fertility rates vary in inverse proportion with literacy rates. For example, Afghanistan, with a female literacy rate of only eight percent has a fertility rate of 6.9 per 1,000 population. Thailand, in contrast, has a literacy rate of 88% and a fertility rate of 2.6/1,000.
SOURCE: United Nations

Cola Research

Harvard researchers have concluded after careful scientific studies that Coca-Cola is not an effective spermicide.
SOURCE: "I'm A Spam Fan"

Turkey Boom

The number of wild turkeys in the US has increased from an all time low of 30,000 to more than four million today. One state park in Iowa now boasts more than 100 turkeys per square mile.
SOURCE: National Wild Turkey Federation

Trashy Facts

The U.S produces 19% of the world's trash. The annual contribution includes 20 billion disposable diapers, 2 billion razors and 1.7 billion pens.
SOURCE: E Magazine


More than 200 biotech products have now reached the advanced stages of clinical trials. This includes 52 anti-cancer drugs and 36 infection-fighting compounds.
SOURCE: BioWorld Today

Good Eyes

A Smithsonian researcher managed to remove a lens from the compound eye of a half-billion year old trilobite, attach it to a microscope and take a photograph of a building.
SOURCE: Weird Science

Fat Figures

As many as one third of Americans are overweight. The fat and the near-fat pay some $30 billion per year in the effort to lose weight.
SOURCE: Science


Ten anagrams on "Information Superhighway"

  1. Enormous, hairy pig with fan.
  2. Hey, ignoramus- win profit? ha!
  3. Oh-oh, wiring snafu: empty air.
  4. When forming, utopia's hairy.
  5. A rough wimper of insanity.
  6. Oh, wormy infuriating phase.
  7. Inspire humanity, who go far.
  8. Waiting for any promise, huh?
  9. Hi-ho! Yow! I'm surfing Arpanet!
  10. New utopia? Horrifying sham.
SOURCE: Enormous hairy pig with fan

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