I found these facts by chance at the beginning of an undated diary. They were nestled among measurements, international paper sizes and an astrological compatibility chart – something for everyone! The very first item on the page densely packed with knowledge you didn’t think you needed to know was about the source of the facts. They have been obtained from the public domain and are to be enjoyed as a curiosity. These are the ones that caught my eye.

  1. Approximately 7.5% of all office documents get lost. Somehow I don’t doubt this, even in an aspirational ‘paperless office’ society.
  2. Pearls melt in vinegar. If you say so.
  3. You can’t kill yourself by holding your breath. As above.
  4. Months that begin on a Sunday will always have a ‘Friday the 13th’. Good to know!
  5. Earth is the only planet not named after a god. Fair point.
  6. Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite. Did not know this!
  7. Your thumb is the same length as your nose. Similar to the fact about not being able to lick one’s elbow, it was promptly checked out and found to be true, more or less.
  8. The average ear of corn has eight-hundred kernels arranged in sixteen rows. This made me think of sunflowers and their patterns that might seem random but on closer inspection seem to be a deliberate design.
  9. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the fear of long words. There truly is a word for everything!
  10. Did you know you share your birthday with at least 9 million other people in the world? Well, no, and now I feel a little less special!
  11. A sheep, a duck and a rooster were the first passengers in a hot air balloon. Imagine that!

What was the last ‘useless’ fact that tickled your fancy?

[Photo: hot air balloons on an overcast and misty morning in Canberra]