As a lover of random facts and general knowledge, I am always looking to pick up pieces of trivia which could come in useful for answering quiz questions I may be faced with in the future. Even if such facts are only needed once in my life, retaining them would have been more than worthwhile.
So as we look back on 2016, here are 10 of the most obscure facts I obtained during the previous year:
- Despite its name, the Spanish flu pandemic of 1919 did not originate in Spain. It actually started in the US state of Kansas, but due to Spain’s neutrality during the First World War, the press was free to report on the illness while it spread there.
- The inspirations behind the fairy tales Rumplestiltskin and Beauty and the Beast are at least 4,000 years old.
- The 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, was once fined for exceeding the speed limit on his horse.
- Protmusis is a type of pub quiz game which originated in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, and is popular among students.
- The first country to allow women to vote was New Zealand, in 1890.
- The term ‘Cyberspace’ was coined by the author William Gibson in his 1982 book Burning Chrome.
- Cormoran is a giant associated with the folklore of St. Michael’s Mount in the English county of Cornwall.
- In 2001, Argentina was in such political turmoil that they had five presidents in the space of two weeks.
- The longest winning run by a top-flight football club is 27, by Welsh side The New Saints. This run is still currently ongoing.
- DNA was not first discovered by Francis Crick and James Watson. It was actually discovered by Swiss biologist Johannes Friedrich Meischer in 1869
Over the next 12 months I hope to be a few steps further on the way to becoming a top quiz player.
Happy New Year!