I’ve an inquisitive mind, one that holds a lot of knowledge thanks to my upbringing, my parentage and my education. I enjoy doing crosswords, as long as not cryptic, and enjoy many of the general knowledge programmes and quiz shows on television and often annoy my husband by frequently answer many of the questions on University Challenge. “How on earth do you know that?” he is often heard to exclaim. I just do. My brain holds tons of useful and useless knowledge. It’s a fact of life. Somehow, my brain drinks it all in, holds it storage, ready to be thrust forth when the time comes, which it did on many occasions when partaking in pub quizzes years ago. Ah, I miss those nights out. They were good fun. But, as I keep reminding him, I don’t know everything but I’m always willing to learn. Why, only this past week, I’ve gardnered several interesting facts that I didn’t realise I never knew.
1. Robert the Bruce’s grandfather was called Robert the Competitor.
2. Apples floats but pears sink in liquid.
3. A frog jumps to get where it’s going whereas a toad crawls.
4. The word “swims” looks exactly the same upside-down.
5. Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillars can be brown or green.
6. A baby hedgehog is called a hoglet.
7. No number from 1 to 999 includes the letter “a” in its word form.
8. According to the Oxford Dictionary “dreamt” (and its variations, such as “undreamt”) is the only word in the English language that ends with the letters “mt.”
9. If you open your eyes in a pitch-black room, the colour you’ll see is called eigengrau.
10. Punctuation wasn’t always a part of our written language.
11. There is a breed of dog that cannot bark – Basenji although they make a noise something between a yodel and a chortle.
12. There is an uninhabited island in the River island in the Bidasoa river, located between France and Spain, whose administration alternates between both nations, each having governance over it for 6 months of the year.
13. The letter X was first used to represent a kiss in 1763, so say in a letter written by British naturalist Gilbert White.
14. Pareidolia is the “scientific” term for seeing shapes in clouds or faces in inanimate objects such as wood grain, toast or rock formations etc.
Did you know? You do now. Or have you learnt something interesting this week. I’d love to know!