Category Archive: Random Facts

Random Fact: US Elections

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Besides Trump and Clinton, there were 29 third-party or independent candidates on the ballot papers of at least some states. The last third-party candidate to win a state was George Wallace in 1968,… Continue reading

Random Fact: November

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The name ‘November’ comes from the Latin for nine, as it was the ninth month of the Roman calendar. The Anglo-Saxons called it Windmonath (wind month) or Blotmonath (blood or sacrifice month). November… Continue reading

Random Fact: Coffee

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According to legend, coffee was discovered by a 9th century Ethiopian goat herder when he saw the effect the beans were having on his goats. However, coffee drinking apparently originated in the Yemen… Continue reading

Random Fact: Pied Wagtails

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Pied Wagtails are almost exclusively British birds. Some, however, reside in France and Holland. On the Continent, the resident wagtail is a White Wagtail, which sometimes nests in southern Britain. Despite being British,… Continue reading

Random Fact: October

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October was known by the Anglo-Saxons as Winterfylleth, meaning the ‘fullness’ of winter. The October Revolution (Russia 1917) actually took place in November, but at that point Russia hadn’t changed from the Julian… Continue reading

Random Fact: Language

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52% of people in the world speak more than one language. However, in the UK 62% of people can only speak English. There are between 6000-7000 languages spoken in the world; the country… Continue reading

Random Fact: Macbeth

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Macbeth was a real person. His name, (MacBeatha or Mac Bethad) means ‘son of life’ in Gaelic. He ruled Scotland for 17 years, rather than the one of Shakespeare’s play, from 1040 to… Continue reading

Random Fact: Roald Dahl

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Roald Dahl’s birthday, 13 September, is also International Chocolate Day (he would have been 100 this year). It may or may not be connected, as it’s also Milton Hershey’s birthday (founder of Hershey… Continue reading

Random Fact: September

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September is the only month that has the same number of letters as the month number – nine. Initially, though, it was the seventh month of the old Roman calendar. For the Anglo-Saxons,… Continue reading

Random Fact: Dragonflies

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Dragonflies were some of the first winged insects to evolve, some 300 million years ago. Modern dragonflies have wingspans of only two to five inches, but fossil dragonflies have been found with wingspans… Continue reading

Random Fact: The Grand Canyon

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The Grand Canyon is 227 miles long, up to 1 mile deep in some parts and has a width of 18 miles. On 11 January 1908, it was designated a National Monument and then… Continue reading

Random Fact: Velodromes

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Modern velodromes are all oval and of a standard size, but the oldest one in the UK, built in 1877 in Brighton, is 1900 ft long and features four straights linked by banked… Continue reading

Random Fact: Rio de Janeiro

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The stars on Brazil’s flag depict the night sky as seen from Rio on 15 November 1889, which was the date Brazil declared itself a republic. “Rio de Janeiro” was the name given… Continue reading

Random Fact: August

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August was given its name in 8BC by the Romans, who named it after the Emperor Augustus (reigned from 27BC-14AD). Prior to that, it had been known as Sextilis, as it was the… Continue reading

Random Fact: Kenilworth Castle

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Kenilworth is one of England’s most magnificent castles. First built in the 1120s and a royal castle for most of its history, it was expanded by King John, John of Gaunt and Henry… Continue reading

Random Fact: Dance

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The first archaeological proof of dance comes from 9000 year old cave paintings in India. 2015 was the 200th anniversary of the appearance of the Waltz in England, introduced into the country by… Continue reading

Random Fact: Starfish

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Starfish (or sea stars) aren’t fish, they belong to the Phylum Echinodermata, which means they are related to sea urchins, sand dollars and sea cucumbers. There are around 2000 species of starfish, and… Continue reading

Random Fact: Pluto

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On June 22, 1978, the largest known moon of the planet Pluto was discovered by James W Christy of the US Naval Observatory in Washington DC. He named it Charon, after the boatman… Continue reading

Random Fact: July

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July is named after Julius Caesar as it was the month of his birth. Prior to 44BC, the month was known as Quintilis as it was the fifth month of the old Roman… Continue reading

Random Fact: Butterfly

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Around 5,000 internet pages claim that the original name of the butterfly was “flutterby”. That, however, is incorrect. It has been a butterfly (originally “buttor-fleoge”) since Anglo-Saxon times.

Random Fact: Easter Island

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Easter Island is one of the most remote communities in the world. It’s nearest neighbour is Pitcairn Island, a mere 1200 miles away, and the closest country is Chile, 2300 miles away. The… Continue reading

Random Fact: Tattoos

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The word “tattoo” derives from the Polynesian word “ta” (“to strike”), which describes the sound of a tattooing spike being knocked on skin. The first recorded references to the word “tattoo” is in… Continue reading

Random Fact: June

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June was apparently called ‘sera monath’ (dry month) by the Anglo-Saxons. It’s celebrated as National Smile Month and National Oceans Month. George Bush Snr is the only US President to have been born in… Continue reading

Random Fact: Royal Oak Day

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May 29th used to be celebrated in England as Oak Apple Day, or Royal Oak Day, in celebration of Charles II hiding in an oak tree at Boscobel to escape the Roundheads in… Continue reading

Random Fact: Violins

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The first violin is thought to have been made in the 16th century by lute-maker Andrea Amati. The modern violin developed from old stringed instruments such as the ravanastron, the rebec and the… Continue reading

Random Fact: May

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The month of May is the only month in which a US President hasn’t died. Nine UK Prime Ministers have been born in this month, more than in any other month of the… Continue reading

Random Fact: Sir David Attenborough

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Sir David Attenborough has a dinosaur, the Attenborosaurus, named after Sir David by the Natural History Museum. A flower in Ecuador, a species of parasitic wasp and a flesh-eating plant are also all… Continue reading

Random Fact: Dolphins

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The killer whale is the largest dolphin (true whales don’t have teeth but sift their prey through plates of baleen). The smallest dolphin is the Hector or Maui Dolphin, of which only 150… Continue reading

Random Fact: St George

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The first tale of George killing a dragon came from 11th century Cappadocia, now in Turkey. He is also patron saint of Georgia, Malta, Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia, along with England.… Continue reading

Random Fact: Drizzle

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Officially, for it to be drizzling, raindrops have to be 0.5mm or less.

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