Reddit’s Favorite Mindblowing Facts of All Time, Fact-Checked

Reddit’s Favorite Mindblowing Facts of All Time, Fact-Checked

The planets, very much not to scale.
Illustration: Shutterstock

Redditors love to ask each other for their favorite fun, mindblowing, counterintuitive, or disturbing facts. Every few months a new “fun fact” thread ends up on the front page of Reddit, and thousands of people pitch in with their favorites. I looked at years’ worth of threads, collected the very best facts, and verified them.

I selected only facts that were so cool and surprising that I had to check them before I’d believe them. And then I did check them, and added citations. You can confidently share these facts and know that Google will back you up.

  • “When you get a kidney transplant, they usually just leave your original kidneys in your body and put the third kidney in your pelvis.”—horse_you_rode_in_on [confirmed]
  • “There are roughly 200 corpses on Mount Everest that are used as way points for climbers.”—Scrappy_Larue [NSFW: confirmed]
  • “If you made $5,000 a day since Columbus first stepped in America, you still wouldn’t have one billion dollars today.”—heitorab [confirmed; you’d hit a billion in 2040]
  • “People in the southern hemisphere see the moon upside down compared to the north.”—Auxilae [when you look at this illustration it’s obvious]
  • “Every two minutes, we take as many photos as all of humanity took during the 1800s.”—UnraoSandhu [confirmed; in fact more photos were taken in the past seven years than all of previous history]
  • “Every day there are [82] YEARS’ worth of video being published on YouTube.”—areemkay and AvioNaught [updated, as the number is way bigger than when they posted this fact]
  • “You could fit all of the planets in our solar system between the Earth and the moon. With room to spare.”—thumper5 [confirmed]
  • “You have no muscles in your fingers (besides the tiny tiny tiny muscles around hair follicles). All muscles that control fingers are in your forearm and palm.”—Kii_and_lock [confirmed]
  • “The first professional recording Jon Bon Jovi ever released was a song called ‘R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas.’”—DIP_MY_BALLS_IN_IT [confirmed]
  • “The Mall of America doesn’t actually have heating, even though it’s located in Minnesota. During winter, the heat produced by lights in the stores and the shoppers is enough to keep it at a comfortable temperature.”—buffalo747 [confirmed]
  • “The 10th President, John Tyler, has living grandchildren.”—Poor_posture [confirmed last year and no obits since]
  • “Pyramids and wooly mammoths coexisted.”—cromwest [confirmed, though it was the tail end of the mammoth population]
  • “Sharks were on earth before trees.”—kingJoffi [confirmed]
  • “All of the solid objects around [you] are actually ‘vibrating.’”—judsonm123 [confirmed—actually all objects are vibrations]
  • “43% of all people born prior to 1800 died before the age of 5.”—abbott_costello [confirmed for 1800; roughly confirmed for before 1800]
  • “There are more molecules of air in one breath than there are breaths in the atmosphere. That means that every breath you take probably contains at least one molecule of Newton’s last breath.”—SciolistOW “And one of Hitler’s farts.”—cocothepops [confirmed]
  • “The orbit of Io around Jupiter is short enough that you can observe a solid chunk of the entire orbit in just one night (with a telescope). Like, you can sit there for a few hours and watch Io orbit around Jupiter.”—cryptoz [confirmed]
  • “George Washington never knew dinosaurs existed.”—jeff_the_nurse [confirmed]
  • “The Earl of Oxford had an audience with Queen Elizabeth I and he accidentally let out a fart. He was so embarrassed that he traveled the world for seven years.”—symbiosa [confirmed, if you trust 17th-century writer John Aubrey]
  • “Ireland’s population in [1840] was 8.2 million. Now, even including Northern Ireland, it’s just 6.6 million.”—bluetoad2105 [date corrected slightly]
  • “Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin all lived in Vienna in 1913.”—rustyhaben [confirmed—and so did Archduke Franz Ferdinand, until he was assassinated the next year, sparking WWI]
  • “Redheads typically need more anesthesia than people with different hair color.”—lookslikesausage [yep, about 20% more, as we’re more sensitive to pain. VINDICATED]
  • “Cows have best friends and get lonely if they are separated.”—ByzantineBasileus [confirmed]
  • “A bear enlisted in the Polish army made it to the rank of Corporal. He also smoked, drank and carried weapons to the front during battles. His name was Wojtek.”—snoodletuber [confirmed, though he was probably just eating the cigarettes]
  • “Shaq hit almost 12,000 baskets in his career. Exactly 1 of them was a 3-pointer.”—NoMoreMrSpiceGuy [confirmed]
  • “There are more hydrogen atoms in a teaspoon of water than there are teaspoons of water in the sea.”—unknown [confirmed, or by combining this and this]
  • “There are more trees on Earth than stars in the Milky Way.”—reissavfc [confirmed]
  • “90% of the population on Earth lives in the Northern Hemisphere.”—xLudikrous [confirmed]
  • “Kale, collard greens, Chinese broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts and broccoli are all the same plant [species]; brassica oleracea. They are just different cultivars.”—cokecakeisawesome [confirmed]
  • “There are more permutations of a standard deck of 52 cards than there are seconds since the Big Bang.”—mveinot [confirmed—over a billion times as many, in fact]
  • “The Mali Emperor Mansa Musa was so rich that while on a pilgrimage to Mecca, he gave away so much gold it caused an economic crisis.”—CoffeeBeanoMan [confirmed]
  • “The color orange was named after the fruit, not the other way around.”—Comedyfish_reddit [confirmed]
  • “Elephants can control their dick like a second trunk.”—zach84 [confirmed]
  • “14% of the population is missing a tendon in their arm.”—Swiftapple [confirmed, depending on ethnicity]
  • “The CEO of Food for the Poor, the largest international relief and development organization, is named Robin Mahfood.”—garenzy [confirmed]
  • “Nintendo was founded 34 years before the fall of the Ottoman Empire.”—unknown [confirmed, confirmed]
  • “One litter of kittens can have more than one father.”—Sammichface [confirmed]
  • “The USAF accidentally dropped 2 nuclear bombs on North Carolina in January of 1961, and neither exploded.”—rotll [confirmed]
  • The Simpsons is largely credited with coining the term ‘meh.’”—mazdak26 [confirmed, though “mneh” and “mnyeh” predate]
  • “There are [over a billion] insects for every person alive today.”—tired_commuter [corrected from their underestimation]
  • “Pepsi for a short period of time commanded the world’s 7th largest military force.”—mazdak26 [confirmed, confirmed]
  • “There are two ATMs in Antarctica and only one works.”—Hang-Out [confirmed]
  • “While children of identical twins are legally first cousins, genetically they are half siblings.”—gastropubjscript [confirmed]
  • “Entomologists who study cockroaches often become allergic to them. At the same time, they become allergic to most brands of pre-ground coffee.”—crotchblinder [confirmed, confirmed]
  • “There’s a place in the Pacific known as Point Nemo. At certain times of the day it’s closer to the ISS than to any land mass.”—PoglaTheGrate [confirmed, confirmed]
  • “The letter J wasn’t invented until 1630.”—StevesMcQueenIsHere [confirmed; before then it was a variant of I]

Some quotes have been edited for clarity.

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