Petroushka\’s Miscellany



100 Things You Didn’t Know Last Year

I love the BBC. This is one of the reasons why. They have brought together a list of fun facts you should know, and probably don’t. My top 10:

  1. When faced with danger, the octopus can wrap six of its legs around its head to disguise itself as a coconut shell and walk slowly backwards to escape from danger. (Note: I didn’t know there were enough coconut shells at the bottom of the sea to make coconut shell camouflage a viable life-saving alternative. It just goes to show: you learn something new every day.)
  2. Baboons can tell the difference between English and French.
  3. Spanish flu, which killed 50 million people in 1918-1919, was called French flu by the Spanish. (Can baboons tell the difference?)
  4. Every winter, regular flu (not the bird kind) kills about 12,000 people in the UK.
  5. Rubber gloves could save you from lightning (so wear them always, just in case—don’t worry, there are stylish ones too, with red cherries on, to go with all your favourite outfits).
  6. Tactically, the best Monopoly properties to buy are the orange ones.
  7. The title of Oliver Twist in Chinese is Foggy City Orphan.
  8. 1 in 18 people has a third nipple.
  9. Putting a towel on a sun lounger at a five star hotel (for example) doesn’t give you any legal rights to the use of that sun lounger.
  10. The Japanese have a word that means “I wish there were more designer stores on this street”. In case you’re ever in Japan, the word is chokuegambo. You can use it if you don’t find any stylish rubber glove stores.

Read the rest of the list on the BBC news website.

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