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25 Things That Are Not What They Seem

by The Book of Lists
fact checked by Alex Hanton

As is obvious from the fact that I write the majority of articles on this site, I love lists. Recently I was reading through a book filled with interesting facts and figures I stumbled upon this list – 25 things that are not what they seem. It seemed perfect for the site, and so I have reproduced it here for you all. Without further ado, 25 things that are not what they seem:


Items 1 – 5


1. A firefly is not a fly – it is a beetle

2. A prairie dog is not a dog – it is a rodent [image above]

3. India ink is not from India – it is from China and Egypt

4. A horned toad is not a toad – it is a lizard

5. A lead pencil does not contain lead – it contains graphite


Items 6 – 10


6. A douglas fir is not a fir – it is a pine [image above]

7. A silkworm is not a worm – it is a caterpillar

8. A peanut is not a nut – it is a legume

9. A koala bear is not a bear – it is a marsupial

10. An English horn is not English and it isn’t a horn – it is a French alto oboe


Items 11 – 15


11. A guinea pig is not from guinea and it is not a pig – it is a rodent from South America

12. Shortbread is not a bread – it is a thick cookie [image above]

13. Dresden China is not from Dresden – it is from Meissen

14. A shooting star is not a star – it is a metorite

15. A funny bone is not a bone – it is the spot where the ulnar nerve touches the humerus


Items 16 – 20


16. Chop suey is not a native Chinese dish – it was invented by Chinese immigrants in California

17. A bald eagle is not bald – it has flat white feathers on its head and neck when mature, and dark feathers when young [image above]

18. A banana tree is not a tree – it is a herb

19. A cucumber is not a vegetable – it is a fruit

20. A jackrabbit is not a rabbit – it is a hare


Items 21 – 24

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21. A piece of catgut is not from a cat – it is usually made from sheep intestines

22. A Mexican jumping bean is not a bean – it is a seed with a larva inside

23. A Turkish bath is not Turkish – it is Roman

24. A sweetbread is not a bread – it is the pancreas or thymus gland from a calf or lamb [image above]

Source: The Book of Lists, 2

fact checked by Alex Hanton