You’re almost finished your third Coopers, there’s a bowl on the table with the one cold chip that everyone was too polite to eat, and the final question of your local pub quiz flicks up on the screen.
‘For how many centuries was French the official language of England?’
Don’t get caught out – read up on the following random world facts and blow everyone away with your infinite wisdom. Then eat that chip in victory.
Here are 10 random and crazy facts about the world that will at least entertain you, and at most win you the crown of pub quiz champion.
1. The official language of England was French for almost 300 years
Specifically, from 1066 until 1362. It took a while for everyone to actually adopt the new ruling when it changed officially, but with the help of a few gentlemen such as Geoffrey Chaucer, Sir John Mandevill, and John Wycliffe, English eventually became the known and accepted language of the country.
2. The deepest part of the ocean is more than 10 kilometres down
And, if you dropped something heavy over the Mariana Trench, it would take more than an hour to reach the bottom – 35,797 feet from the surface. To put that in perspective, Mt Everest comes in at just over 29,000 feet.
3. It would take just over an hour to drive to space
Sure, you’d have to have a Willy Wonka-esque vehicle to do it by driving directly up at 95km/h – but when you think about how far you can get across town in that time in 5 o’clock traffic, an adventure to space sounds much more fun.
4. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on Earth
And it’s right on our front doorstep! At about 2,300 kilometres, this colourful structure is comprised of 3,000 coral reefs, is home to 133 types of sharks and rays, and can be seen from space. It’s also bigger than the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Holland combined.
5. Earth is not a perfect sphere
We give scientists of the past a lot of flak for thinking the world was flat, but it’s not exactly round either. Due to the tilt of the earth’s axis, gravity and an imbalance around the equator, we’re more like a sphere that someone sat on a bit.
6. Humans have barely explored our planet
The dry parts, sure, but our oceans? Not so much. Earth’s oceans cover about 70 per cent of the globe, and we’ve only looked at about 5 per cent of them. Could this mean mermaids do exist, and we’re just yet to find them?
7. Finland has more than 178,947 islands
That’s just counting the ones that are at least 100m, too. If you’ve ever been island hopping in Greece, remember there are only around 1,400 to choose from there, and just 500 or so in Denmark.
8. Two-thirds of people on Earth have never seen snow
Even though there are plenty of places covered in snow and ice, they’re not generally as highly populated as those that don’t get any. Indonesia is one densely populated country that never covers in a white blanket of snow.
9. The average person will walk the equivalent of the equator in a lifetime – five times
That’s if you live to about 80 and take an average of around 7,500 steps a day, according to SnowBrains.com. You may want to invest in a sturdy pair of shoes and look into insurance options, like Virgin Money’s travel insurance – or simply to fly your way around the world instead?
10. The Concorde makes time travel possible
Kind of. Take a ride on the Concorde from London to New York, cross five time zones in the process and arrive 2 hours before you even left. You’ll cruise at Mach 2 (2,150 km/h) and arrive in the Big Apple faster than Marty McFly.
What’s your favourite crazy world fact?