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9 facts that absolutely EVERYBODY knows

You’ll come first in a table quiz with these pieces of mental floss.


There are some nuggets of information that everyone just seems to come into the world knowing.

Or perhaps we’ve just had them beaten into us from the General Knowledge rounds at table quizzes. Either way, these are the odd facts that everyone seems to know before you tell them.

1. They add that smell to gas

“You know that eggy smell of natural gas? Well, natural gas is itself colourless and odourless – they add that smell to gas for consumer safety.”


Image: via Shutterstock

2. Japan has people-pushers

During rush hours in Japanese train stations, a whole lot of people crowd from the platform to climb aboard. So many, in fact, that the transport authorities employ people who push and cram commuters onto the trains.

The more you know. All you need to do is remember “Japan/people pushers” to ace your next table quiz.

Image: via Hermit Hole

3. Tomato is a fruit

Ah, our favourite oft-quoted fact. Don’t go adding it the fruit salad, though.

Image: via Flickr/Epsos

4. Avocado is a berry

Botanically speaking, the avocado is a berry alright. Another avocado fact for you: its name originates in a South American word for “testicle”. Nice.

Image: via Flickr/Olle Svensson

5. Banana is a herb

And the weirdest fruit-related fact of all? The banana is a herb, because it grows from a herbaceous tree without any woody tissue.

Image: via Flickr/Keepon

6. Nothing rhymes with orange

We’ve been repeating this one to each other since primary school. Leonard Cohen apparently has been trying to come up with one for years – the closest he has come is “door hinge”.

Image: via Flickr/Javid Jamae

And did you know that “dreamt” is the only word in the English language that ends with a “mt”? Well, of course you did. Everyone knows that.

7. Swans mate for life

Swans are the type of animal that wouldn’t just graffiti “togetha foreva” on a school desk, but actually MEAN IT.

Image: via Flickr/Mozzercork

8. This is the young Stalin

A fast favourite of pub quiz picture rounds. Who is this man? Why, Stalin of course. Please stop putting this disturbingly attractive former tyrant on your quizzes.

Image: via Moufawad Paul

9. Eskimos have over 40 words for snow

While it’s a widely-spread fact that Inuits have over 40 words for snow, it’s in dispute with academics and linguists.

Image: via Flickr/Spiral

Ah well, never let the truth get in the way of a good fact, eh?

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About the author:

Fiona Hyde

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