15 Shots of Trivia That We Downed This Week

Do not panic when you read the following sign in an elevator
15 Shots of Trivia That We Downed This Week

This week, humanity reached the Moon’s southern pole for the first time. Is this area populated by penguins? Is the entire moon made of green cheese? Those are both reasonable questions, unless you know basic facts, in which case they aren’t. The best way to avoid suggesting such theories in front of your friends, all of whom are astronauts, is to educate yourself.

So, here are some facts. Besides one bit about a famous Moon man, you’ll learn about the tigers stalking you, and also about who really owns your kidney. 

Flawless Logic

LEGO used to insist that you not refer to their toys as Legos. You should call them “LEGO bricks,” they said. They feared that if you called them “Legos,” you’d call similar competing toys “Legos” as well, and the company would lose the trademark.

Mozart’s Starling

Mozart was paranoid about someone stealing a composition he wrote in 1784, so he held on tight to it till it was going to be performed publicly. Then he visited a pet store and saw a bird that he was convinced was singing the song. He bought the bird and kept it as a pet. 

The Hidden Observatory

Michigan State University had an old photo of an astronomy building on campus, but no one knew what had happened to it. This summer, construction workers stumbled upon the observatory, which was buried underground

I Want My Kidney Back

When divorcing his wife, whom he said had cheated on him, a New York doctor in 2009 claimed he officially owned one marital asset: the kidney he had previously donated to her. A court disagreed. 

The Hidden Hand

You rarely see Bob Ross’ left hand in footage of him painting, since he’s holding his palette with it. You therefore probably don’t know that the man was missing one finger, from his time as a carpenter. 

The Law’s the Law

Langholm in Scotland had a centuries-old law stating that if an Armstrong ever showed up, the town must hang him. This law received renewed attention in 1972, when Neil Armstrong came to visit.

The Half-Blind Piglet

In 2015, New Haven posthumously pardoned a man for bestiality. George Spencer never actually committed the offense but had been executed for it anyway. He was missing one eye, so when a one-eyed pig was born, George was presumed to be the father

Dangerous to Go Alone

A scientist trekking in the Himalayas fell into a 70-foot crevasse and broke 15 bones. He hauled himself back up with one arm, crawled to his tent and eventually made it back to civilization. 

Stealthy Tigers

Tigers are bright orange and live among green leaves. But to nearly every mammal besides humans, orange and green appear the same color. And so, tigers are as camouflaged as if they had green fur (it seems actual green fur is impossible).


Some guy in Australia dumped a bunch of trash in a national park. This included a receipt from his trip to a McDonald’s — which still wouldn’t have been enough to identify him. But police cross-referenced this with CCTV footage and nabbed him. 

Wouldn’t Hit a Man in Glasses

Many lawyers employ something called “the nerd defense” to make defendants look less threatening. They give the client spectacles, often sprayed with oil to further make them look awkward. The strategy’s quite effective. 

Centenary Cups

For years, Japan would present people with commemorative silver cups when they turned 100. In time, the population became so old that this proved too expensive. The country had to switch to a cheaper silver alloy.

The Power of Lift

I fart” means “in motion” in Danish. Go to Denmark, and you’ll see elevators light up with the sign “I fart.”

Holy Water

During the Black Death, France ran out of consecrated ground to handle all those bodies. The Pope had to bless the entire Rhone river, so it would be okay to dump bodies in there.

The Saddest Christmas

The toy company behind Star Wars action figures ran out of stock in 1977. So, they sold empty boxes with IOU notes. Parents bought these and gave them to kids for Christmas. 

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