Show Mobile Navigation
 
Misconceptions

15 Factlets Most People Get Wrong

Jamie Frater . . . Comments

It has been a while since we had a list of factlets, so today we are presenting our latest in a long series of facts lists. Here, we look at miscellaneous subjects which are connected by the fact that they are all trivia items we often get wrong (in many cases with good reason, as you will see). Be sure to add your own erroneous facts to the comments.

1

Factlets 1 – 5

1926 Ford Model T 521275389983415

1. When a person is livid, they are ashen (pale) not red.

2. Model T Fords initially came out in a variety of colors – not just black. However, between 1914 and 1925 you could only buy one in black. It is also wrong that Ford said the buying public could have a Model T in any color as long as it were black. Pictured above is Brewster Green Model T Ford.

3. Continuing on with our color theme, even though most black bears are black, they also come in white, brown, cinnamon and blue, depending on where in the world they are found.

4. Black boxes in planes are not black – they are orange. This is to help investigators locate it by sight if necessary after a crash. The name was chosen entirely for humor reasons.

5. Pirates didn’t walk the plank nor did they make people walk the plank. Walking the plank is a myth. When a pirate wanted to dispose of someone they did the most obvious and simple thing: they tossed them overboard.

2

Factlets 6 – 10

Whistlers-Mother

6. The sound you hear when you snap your fingers is not caused by the connection of your fingers – it is the sound of your middle finger hitting the base of your thumb.

7. Covered bridges were usually built not to protect people traveling on them, but to protect the bridges themselves. This is because early bridges were usually made from wood and needed to be protected from the elements. Keeping the rain off people crossing is just a bonus.

8. Einstein was awarded the Nobel prize, not for his theory of relativity but for his less well known work on the photoelectric effect of light.

9. In the US, a person can be tried twice for the same crime if it violates both federal and state law. In these cases the fifth amendment is overridden by a 1922 US Supreme Court decision.

10. The famous painting Whistler’s Mother (above) is not actually called that. It was originally called “Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1: Portrait of the Painter’s Mother.” Whistler later changed it to Portrait of My Mother.

3

Factlets 11 – 15

Rhinoceros Whire Rhino And Baby

11. Rice paper is not made from rice – it is actually made from the pith of the plant Tetrapanax papyriferus (rice paper plant).

12. Even though there was much vocal opposition to the Vietnam war in the 1960s, a research paper done at the time discovered that 51% of young people supported it. However, 53% of those over the age of thirty thought the war was a mistake.

13. US ship captains may not perform weddings on board unless they are a priest, rabbi, minister, etc. There are even some regulations specifically prohibiting this even for those who are competent to perform the ceremony.

14. The glow surrounding the head of a saint in religious imagery is more technically known as a nimbus or gloriole. Halo is also right but it is a more generic term that applies to non-religious items.

15. The white rhinoceros is so-called not because it is white (it is actually gray-brown); in this context “white” is a corruption of the Afrikaans word “wijd” which means wide and refers to the animal’s lips.

This list is derived from the excellent book Sorry, Wrong Answer which I strongly recommend to everyone who loves lists of facts; it is an excellent book for a Christmas gift.

Jamie Frater

Jamie is the owner and chief-editor of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and collecting oddities. He is fascinated with all things historic, creepy, and bizarre.

Read More: Twitter Facebook Instagram Email



  • EliteXtasy

    I got a lot of them right.

    • Prove it :)

      • EliteXtasy

        That comment was actually a sly way of saying the infamous "FIRST!". Teehee.

  • yoyoyo

    interesting.

  • cqsteve

    Damn it Jamie, just when I thought I was getting to know all the answers, you come along and make me question all that I thought I knew.

    • That is my job.

      • SikiSewa

        Actually livid can mean either pale or flushed. The red or bruised looking flesh on a corpse showing where the blood has pooled in the body is called lividity. Dictionary.com says:
        1. having a discolored, bluish appearance caused by a bruise, congestion of blood vessels, strangulation, etc., as the face, flesh, hands, or nails.
        2. dull blue; dark, grayish-blue.
        3. enraged; furiously angry: Willful stupidity makes me absolutely livid.
        4. feeling or appearing strangulated because of strong emotion.
        5. reddish or flushed.
        6. deathly pale; pallid; ashen: Fear turned his cheeks livid for a moment.

  • Alicia

    Livid can be indicative of bluish, reddish, or simply pale facial colors. Interpreting it to mean one of these specifically is not 'wrong', there are simply multiple meanings–English is rarely that rigid.

    • Big Papa Smurf

      I was about to say that too (I'm only three hours late). This is what my favourite dictionary of etymology says: "1620s, "of a bluish-leaden color," from M.Fr. livide, from L. lividus". Then the word just evolved and became a metaphor for anger I guess.

  • Jose

    Great list…Listverse s back on track!

    • Hear hear! My sobriety got the best of me and I am back in charge :)

      • bluesman87

        dont worry it happens to the best of us. If we all work together , then one day ….one day…. we can all end the scourge of sobriety once and for all.

      • Julius

        That new profile picture is one of the funniest things I've seen in a while, thanks Jamie!

      • Arsnl

        @Julius: stop sucking up to the system.

      • Julius

        Sucking up to ” the man” would be if I wrote “ZOMG I <3 listverse I want to bear your children JAmie"… This is just me laughing at a funny drunk picture on a stressy day :-D

  • timothyjames

    I actually said "Yes!" to myself when I read the title of today's list. These are great, even if some are more well-known than others.
    Keeping on the color theme, I would add that "black panthers" are actually jaguars or leopards that have a genetic mutation that turns all of their fur black and obscures the otherwise recognizable spots.

    Also, for #6, I am almost positive that the sound is made from the middle finger pushing the air out of the space between your fourth finger and the base of your thumb. Case in point, I cannot snap with solely my middle finger, although the motion and speed are very much the same.

    Good list though. Factlets are why I come to Listverse.

    • Megan

      You're wrong about the snapping! The list is right. Any other finger you may snap with also hits the base of your thumb, and that impact is what causes the noise to be made.

    • Coocoocuchoo

      timothyjames ! thank you! i just wrote my own comment saying the same thing about #6, i knew i wasnt talking shit!

    • I thought the same thing, that one amazed me.
      But if you try snapping and put a piece of paper where the finger hits, it doesn't make a noise.

  • Kinky

    For number 14, i thought gloriole was "gloryhole" he he he.

    • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

      Didn't we all

  • Jessica Karli

    Nice to learn a few things. :)

  • virelay

    Whistler's Mother is still referred to as "Arrangement in Gray and Black, No. 1: Portrait of the Painter's Mother" on it's frame and info box. I work at the museum where it is currently.

    • I envy you working at a museum! It is my dream job outside of running listverse.

      • I’ve worked at a museum for a little while: “no photos please… No touching please…. Yes ma’m the toilet is over there… No photos… No unfortunately I do not know why max Ernst chose this color instead of the one you’d prefer… No photos…” :-D

    • swapie

      Sorry but I can't help thinking of Mr Bean sneezing onto the painting. And then his famous old hag speech. Priceless.

  • name
    • They are wrong. We are right.

    • Hang on there mister! Wait a minute. Did you read past the first sentence? 'Walking the plank' is as much a part of pirate folklore as eye-patches, [etc Jamie Frater is always right.]"

      • name

        Just seeing if you were awake. ;) I expect a good heave-to was far more likely.

      • damyot

        Actually eye patches were worn by pirates! They wore them only on one eye for night vision. They simply changed the patch from left to right when they wanted to go below deck that way they could see better in the dark. It was an episode on Myth Busters.

    • Regardless wino

      Well known fact that indeed, pirates did not make people walk planks.

      • Julius

        Arrr what are you talkin’ about you lubber!!! My parrot and I think we should careen you!!! Afterwards we’ll make you walk the planks just to prove a point….arrr of to rum women and treasure!!

  • George_ZA

    Awesome list!
    With regard to no 15. The Afrikaans word is spelled "wyd". "wijd" is Dutch.

    • Patricia

      Yes! I was going to mention it, then thought I should check the comments to see if anyone beat me to it…

      • swapie

        Hands up all Afrikaans people?

  • Jim

    interesting NEW facts. thank you. good list

  • youhavebeenbeaned

    yes facts again, =) been looking forward to the return of facts and especially looking out for those to do with space!

    • The final frontier?

    • oliveralbq

      they don't allow astronauts to eat beans before they travel to space. farting in a spacesuit damages the integrity of the materials of the suit. the much lower air pressure in a space capsule causes intestinal gas to expand to 3 x the normal volume, insuring a major local "environmental impact".

      there — thats *kind of* about space.

    • youhavebeenbeaned

      i was thinking along the lines of some more incredible stuff about our galaxy, or galaxies, chaos theories, 5 dimensions kinda thing. lol

  • Julius

    There's only one true blue bear: http://www.spiegel.de/img/0,1020,11338,00.jpg

  • stephan

    The afrikaans word for wide is “wyd” the wijd you refer to is dutch!

  • sega

    Jfrater is back on the sauce.

    • circlefan

      he was never out ;> just on vacation :D

  • Jaygatsby

    So captain morgan can't actually marry you? I suppose I should tell my wife that we're not actually married…

    • swapie

      lol

  • Arsnl

    Fact: cows arent actually purple, nor do they have milka written on them.

    Btw Jamie why did you remove intense debate from the mobile versions. It was amazing, rich content everything.

    • Julius

      Cows ARE NOT purple???? Noooooooooooooooo…. Way to ruin my childhood innocence…. Is milka actually popular outside of Europe? I didn’t even know you could get it outside of the german speaking countries….

      Ahhh intensedebate…. I’ll miss the ability to misclick everytime I try to thumb down somebody…

      • Arsnl

        Damn. Im sorry Julius
        But dont worry the marmot did pack the chocolate ;)

        Neah i liked intensedebate. I could reply to messages. Now i cant. And i could see the scores. And everything was in order. After a couple of replies the mobile version skips and u see other replies all over the comment list. BRING ID BACK.

      • Julius

        The only nice thing about intensedebate was the “last/recent activity” button… That way you didn’t have to scroll through all of the comments….

      • Arsnl

        @julius: i liked the normal replies. I miss them replies. Now i have to write to who i am replying. The good ol’days.
        Btw. Yes we do get milka in europe. Its good man. I wonder if they get it in the states.

      • Julius

        Milka is the shit :-D one thing you definitely do not get outside of europe is kinder chocolate. Whenever I visit my relatives in SA I always have to bring a boatload of that stuff with me… That’s fine though as I get biltong in exchange…
        I can see who you’re replying to even when you don’t tag the id….

      • Arsnl

        You mean to say that people outside europe wont get the pregnant woman in the canibal tribe joke??
        Thats depressing. But i used to love kinder surprise. They were so much fun when u had to build that tiny toy. But so annoying when you got some kind of plastic minitoy that was a character. Nothing to build. Nothing to play with.
        But im sure everybody gets lindt. And ferrero rocher. Those are kind of boring.

  • Xdarkhorsex

    This list is to facty.

  • AFRIKAANS

    On number 15, I am from South Africa, and my 1st language is afrikaans, “WIJD” is not an Afrikaans word, it is Dutch, “WYD” is the afrikaans word, and both mean wide ;-)

    Thanks for an awesome site!!

    • bluesman87

      OK but why do they call the other a black rhino ?

      • Arsnl

        Hmm. Maybe positive discrimination?

      • bluesman87

        insert race joke here…

    • undaunted warrior 1

      Read the comments first it has already been mentioned !

  • mrjimmyos

    Good list, although the finger snapping one is a bit obvious XD

  • retxed

    Can anyone post a link to a picture of a blue bear? I searched but couldn’t find any. Thanks

  • Crazhorsemongoos

    "Black Box" isn't a humorous term, actually it dates all the way back to Isaac Newton. In Principia he describes his theory of gravity as containing a "black box", which was, centuries later, opened by Einstein by his theory of General Relativity; this all connects to the underlying, true causes of events which effects are known.

    • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

      Ya and Einstein thought it was fucking hilarious.

    • The person who coined the phrase in relation to plan disasters said something like "we have a great black box here" and the group thought it would be amusing to call their orange colored box a black box instead – that is where the humor aspect comes in.

  • oouchan

    Great list! I only knew of 2 of these. Can't wait to use them on the people at work! :)

  • Eddy

    I just love lists like this!
    I got almost nothing right… This is the time to be ashamed, right?

  • Carra 23

    Well obviously you should have done a little more research than JUST "Sorry, Wrong Answer". The term 'Black Box' for the in flight recording system was NOT chosen for humourous reasons – the term 'Black Box' is a generic 'dumping ground' term for any electronic/computerised device for which no immediate commercial purpose has been ascertained.
    Thus when it was designed/built it was an electronic "Black Box". When it was proposed to the aircraft industry in Australia (and rejected), the inventor took it to (I believe) Boeing, who saw the immediate applicational advantages and installed it under its working title – the 'Black Box' Flight Recorder.
    The fluorexcent oirange powder-coated colouring was added after several crashes where the recorder was either unlocatable or was located by accident or with difficulty. The original ones were a dull, metallic grey.

    • Julius

      Why doesn’t it surprise me that quantas didn’t want it? ;-)

      • Arsnl

        I only fly quantas :)). Neah but still.

  • Carra 23

    Crazhorsemongoos – great rejoinder: I'd forgotten the older application as utilised by Newton; I was concentrating on the implement itself

    Well done

  • Coocoocuchoo

    Im calling Bullshit on the finger snapping thing, if your middle finger hits both your ring finger AND the base of thumb (like in the centre of the two) then the sound is much louder than if it just hits the base of your thumb.

    also, no wonder no-one called a Halo a Gloriole….sounds and looks like Glory Hole

    • Coocoocuchoo

      I forgot to say, nice list alround though!

    • Jim H

      Actually, the list is correct. The 'cup' that is made with your little finger and ring finger acts as a soundbox (like on a guitar) and amplifies the sound created by the middle finger rubbing down the thumb (like how grasshoppers chirrup).
      You can still click your fingers (as we call it in Britain!) without your little finger and ring finger :)

      • Coocoocuchoo

        im british btw! :). i know that it still clicks when you dont use your ring and little finger, but for me it only 'cracks' loudly when i have those two fingers near the base of the thumb

  • Funbacker

    There is no evidence that the 'white' in white rhino is derived from 'wijd'. Presently, how the name stuck is a total mystery:
    http://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology/2009/01/n

  • Julius

    Is it just my inability to properly hit the reload key and empty the cache of this page or is there some other reason all the comments I posted using the mobile version have disappeared? Can anybody else see them? Am I going mad? Why is there a Leprechaun on my shoulder?

  • bluesfan1875

    I do enjoy these factlet lists, but i must say I knew most of these.

    • Julius

      Why is there a bluesman87 and a bluesfan1875? random…

      • bluesfan1875

        Well I am a fan of Birmingham City Football Club aka the Blues which was founded in 1875. I'm not sure what blueman87's story is

    • swapie

      old knowitall!!!:)

  • whitedragon777

    Great list!

  • bansey

    More like this please. No more about tattoos that guys should get. I will make my own mind up, thanks.

    • lmao….

      • why everybody hate that tattoo list? hahahahaha…. its become more famous now! …. congrats to the contributor ( THE TATTOO that guys should get! ) hahaha! funny list….

  • timmar68

    Anyone else snap their fingers after reading number 6?

    • gringation

      I did! (but very softly since I'm at the office) I'll have to do a more conclusive test when I get home this evening. I'm still not convinced! It's driving me crazy

  • Daedreams

    How many of us snapped our fingers when we read #6?

  • dread

    Well you learn something everyday, dontcha?

    8. Einstein was awarded the Nobel prize, not for his theory of relativity but for his less well known work on the photoelectric effect of light.

    Funny, I always thought Einstein had gotten the Nobel Prize for his lesser known "Theory Of Negativity" . It was my belief that many close friends, family and colleagues had gone on record as saying what a bore and burden Einstein was. You could have the most glorious day in the world, but if you happened to be visiting "ole grumpy blackhole" Albert, expect your glorious day to be massacred by the dark depths of Einstein's gloom. I heard that his Theory of Negativity began to swallow up so much sunshine, they had to give him the Noble prize just to be away with it, once and for all. It took many calculations to figure that if he were awarded the prize then it would be the peak of his dark dread of power over the world and thus diffuse the effects of the theory by awarding it. A type of reversal upon the universe. Although this in turn culminated in the production of nuclear bombs, all in all, it could of been a lot worse. Destructive release was just a byproduct to vanquishing the Negative vibes began by the great Albert Einstein.

    Also,
    14. The glow surrounding the head of a saint in religious imagery is more technically known as a nimbus or gloriole. Halo is also right but it is a more generic term that applies to non-religious items.

    I may be wrong but,
    Michelangelo's horned Moses has horns because of a possible mis-translation on the words describing "radiance" or a halo.

    • Moses' horns are not a mistranslation – in Judaism (and in Ancient Egypt interestingly) horns signified the same thing as a gloriole does today – the famous statue is actually correct and is based on the Vulgate (5th century) translation. Moses is described as horned because he was in touch with God in a special way.

      • dread

        From the wikipedia entry on Moses:

        Michelangelo's statue of Moses in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome, is one of the most familiar masterpieces in the world. Horns the sculptor included on Moses' head are the result of a mistranslation of the Hebrew Bible into the Latin Vulgate Bible with which he was familiar. The Hebrew word taken from Exodus means either a "horn" or an "irradiation." Experts at the Archaeological Institute of America show that the term was used when Moses "returned to his people after seeing as much of the Glory of the Lord as human eye could stand," and his face "reflected radiance." In early Jewish art, moreover, Moses is often "shown with rays coming out of his head."

        Another author explains, "When Saint Jerome translated the Old Testament into Latin, he thought no one but Christ should glow with rays of light — so he advanced the secondary translation. However, writer J. Stephen Lang points out that Jerome's version actually described Moses as "giving off hornlike rays," and he "rather clumsily translated it to mean 'having horns.' It has also been noted that he had Moses seated on a throne, yet Moses was neither a King nor ever sat on such thrones.

      • dread

        Also,
        Check out Sir Thomas Browne's Pseudodoxia Epidemica:
        http://penelope.uchicago.edu/pseudodoxia/pseudo59

        The notes at the bottom are of great interest too.

  • David H

    The Black box was named after its inventor, not for humor reasons!

    • You mean Mr John Black Box?

  • swapie

    I am missing our residential clown. K*brick, where are you?

    • bluesfan1875

      Probably yelling obscenities on a bus somewhere to get his fix of attention.

  • mordechaimordechai

    i admit i had a giggle at the Gloriole thing even if it's a bit unrespectful.
    Why is walking the plank much more popular than the keelhaul?
    Keelhauling is much more gruesome and therefore more pirate-like. i guess.

    • Arsnl

      For me it sounds like a cleaning product: “gloriole, gets the stains” or some kind of cereal.

  • #1 is wrong. Livid is:
    Origin: Lividus (Welch lliv – color) having a discolored, bluish appearance caused by a bruise, congestion of blood vessels, strangulation, etc., as the face, flesh, hands, or nails.
    So it isn't pale or ashen. Its dark, blue or reddish or flushed.

  • Linda Kruschke

    Nice list! Regarding #9, a U.S. Supreme Court case does not "override" the U.S. Constitution. Rather, the Court would interpret the Constitution in the case. Although I didn't go look up the case (since you didn't give a cite and I don't really have time for that), I would suspect that what the Court determined is that although the activity that was the basis for the criminal trials or convictions was the same, the laws that were violated were different (one being state and the other federal) so the person was not actually convicted twice of violating the same criminal statute.

  • Dan

    You misspelled Gloriole, its spelt Glory Hole :)

  • Bill

    Great list, informitive and interesting. Two questions for JF, though,

    1) Regarding Ford, how can you know something was NOT said? Particularly when for a period of time Model-Ts were only available in black.

    2) I had thought there was one pirate that made his victims walk the plank as entertainment for his crew. If that is not true, how did that story originate?

    Looking foward to your reply and more lists like this.

  • Tribol

    in number 14 i read "glori hole" instead of gloriole xD

  • Bigpete

    Factlet #9.

    That Supreme Court decision is blatantly unconstitutional. Why do we let our courts get away with this?

    • That's what I was thinking, but I just realized, the supreme court has the final decision in cases involving the constitution.

  • Wow at #9. So much for Double Jeopardy.

    • CAP

      I thought about Jeopardy too when I read that! Somebody better tell Alex!

    • CAP

      actually I thought you were replying about #2 because one of the Jeopardy (game show) questions on 12/13 was about Henry Ford saying that about the black Model T's

  • "6. The sound you hear when you snap your fingers is not caused by the connection of your fingers – it is the sound of your middle finger hitting the base of your thumb."

    Did anyone *not* know that?

    • Asiah

      I didn’t knw, and had to try it out :(

  • deeeziner

    I thought white rhinos were white because of the mud that they roll in.

    Another cool facts lists. Thanks Jamie!

  • Here's my little factlet: Mr. Rogers was a Marine SEAL and, I believe, was awarded the purple heart. I also read that he always wore long-sleaved sweaters to hide the tattoos on his arms.

    • fivestring63

      Actually there is no such thing as a Marine Seal. They are Navy Seals. He was rumored to be a Navy Seal and a Marine sniper. He was neither and never served in the military.

      • Correction: Mr. Rogers was thought to be a Navy SEAL, but in fact he was not one.

    • hunter

      Mr. Rogers never served in the military – http://www.snopes.com/radiotv/tv/mrrogers.asp

  • mrjimmyos

    I guess I do click my fingers alot… I'm real good at it :D

  • Taha_Soysal

    Never figured that walking the plank was a myth. But really, it's more interesting than just throwing them to the sharks.

  • Tryclyde

    Along similar lines to the rhino entry, bald eagles are called so because the word "bald" used to mean "white" years ago, not because they look like they're bald. Sorry if alot of you knew that already.

  • chrom3d

    STILL I CAN'T MOVE ON ABOUT THE TOP TEN TATTOOS A GUY SHOULD GET, IT ALMOST TARNISHED MY RESPECT FOR LISTVERSE..

    • 23redleader

      you can't be perfect all the time…just most of the time sir. I'm willing to turn a blind eye to that one. although it may just wind up on a list of "top ten most hated lists" :P

  • pete

    interesting

  • santa

    Nice list, I got a feeling listverse might just be gettin good again : )!!!!!!

  • justcause

    technically vietnam war is not a war but a "conflict"
    kinda dumb but it's true

    • 23redleader

      explain the difference please sir?

  • persain52

    – great Awesome List!
    – Appreciated!

  • 23redleader

    just when I think I have things figured out, my friends on Listverse come in and change my whole perspective. apparently i still have a lot to learn :)

  • Carole

    Hmm. I wonder if the 51% who approved of the Vietnam conflict, were those who avoided the draft? Being an old lady, I remember those times and toward the end I don't think anybody approved of it.

    What the heck is a factlet anyway? I mean so Whistler's Mother isn't really called that. Does it matter? That is the popular name for this painting . Same goes for "livid"; it's the popular meaning that takes hold and therefore defines the word, regardless of it's obscure roots. We all know the original meaning of the word "gay" but now it's accepted as meaning a homosexual.

    You could get a Ford in green, but I bet you had to pay lots extra, so the majority were black.

    Anyone can perform a marriage ceremony. It isn't legal unless you register with whatever government is in charge were you marry. I have been to all sorts of weddings that were presided over by a whacko, but the marriage still had to be register at city hall.

    The black box isn't meant to be funny. You are thinking of black humour, which has nothing to do with this item.

    Books like "Sorry Wrong Answer" only add to misinformation, as is clearly shown by the corrections stated in the comments. If you really are interested in facts , do your own research instead of depending on a stupid book of trivia.

  • Joseph Otieno

    gr8 stuff. I like it.

  • Lifeschool

    hi guys. [I was just thinking the other day… the thing I really miss about the new LV is that Mr Frater doesn’t get as involved as much as he used to. I think it got to a point where some folks were hammering down in his views and it seemed like JF vs the World – and I think JF got rather pissed off with that happening and gave up. Chairing a blog is not easy, but is made easier with benevolence and a little humour. JF used to be excel at that, and helped make me (and others) feel very welcome to be here.]

    Very interesting list today. It really got me thinking about #6. When I snap my fingers, it is the finger leaving the thumb that makes the noise. I can rest my finger on the thumb without striking it and I can still get it to make the noise. What I was told once, and of course I’d love this to be true, is that the noise actually comes from the fingers hitting the sound barrier as they strike, and the click is like a mini sonic boom. Just thought I’d throw that around.

    Thanks.

    • Hey :) You are right about the hammering – but it was really the hammering caused by kubrick and a sudden onslaught of trolls. It began just as I went on a 5 day holiday shortly after the release of the new version. I have been trying to be more involved in the comments of late but there are just so many and there seems to be more and more administration to take care of. What you readers don't see (thankfully) is the hours on the phone to advertising companies and the likes and the hundreds of emails every day from people trying to buy advertising, do text-link exchanges (which we don't do), and all manner of things. I love doing that stuff but it does take a lot of time.

      And now Christmas is here and I have to do my baking and shopping etc. Busy busy.

      Anyway – have a great Christmas! :)

  • Taran

    Pirates actually did make people walk the plank, it just wasn't something that was used as commonly as people originally believed. But there have been cases where pirates would actually chain weights to the person's neck so they would sink faster. It happened, but it was rare.

  • Blue4

    Couldn't the author of this list just use the word factoid. "factlet" isn't a real word..

  • our jo

    I have finger-ache now from trying to click my fingers :(

    Still barely make a noise.. I think I'm the most unsuccessful finger-clicker in the world.

  • ZooLife

    Who snaps with their middle finger??

  • someone

    Some of these were stupid. The one about the black box is only a myth to 5 year olds and the one about snapping your fingers is not even a myth lol. Who didn't think it was the sound of your fingers hitting the base of your thumb!?!? That is so obvious. No offense most of the other facts on this list were kind of boring.

  • LochGates44

    13. US ship captains may not perform weddings on board unless they are a priest, rabbi, minister, etc. There are even some regulations specifically prohibiting this even for those who are competent to perform the ceremony.

    Does this mean Mr. and Mrs. Howell were never married?

  • boseph

    Number 6 is wrong.

  • Eddie

    On point 15, I think you mean the Dutch word and not the Afrikaans word. The Afrikaans work for wide is "Breedt" there is also "Wyd" which I think is considered slang and not proper. The Afrikaans word for white is "Wit" and this is were the confusion may exist. I scraped Afrikaans at school but I am sure I am right here.

    • Forbidden

      "Wyd" is just as propper as Breedt. Breedt is a bit outdated actually… But thanks for the correction!

  • YogiBarrister

    #12 shouldn’t be included on this list. A single poll taken at an undisclosed time doesn’t mean that young Americans supported the war in Vietnam. The majority most certainly DID NOT, being of draft age at the time, I’m grateful.

  • freckledsmile99

    I love a factoid list! Thanks, Jamie! Now, blue bears? Do blue bears get blue balls?And I have been sitting here snapping my fingers to "see" if I can hear when the sound occurs from a snap. Harder than I thought.

  • JoeC

    The sound from snapping your fingers comes from cavitations within the joint. small cavities of partial vacuum form in the fluid and then rapidly collapse, producing a sharp sound

  • sofkes

    FACT: Chuck Norris does not hunt because the word hunting infers the probability of failure. Chuck Norris goes killing.

  • expert

    Fact #15:
    "Wijd" is actually a Dutch word. The Afrikaans name for a white rhino is "wit renoster", which means "white rhino"

  • Thisisdumb

    #6 is wrong. You can test and prove this yourself by inserting a soft or muffling piece of fabric over the flesh of the thumb and then proceed to snap as normal. Only a minor amount of sound is lost, the majority still remains.

  • Name

    From Henry Ford's autobiography, available at http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/7213/pg7213.h

    "Therefore in 1909 I announced one morning, without any previous warning, that in the future we were going to build only one model, that the model was going to be 'Model T,' and that the chassis would be exactly the same for all cars, and I remarked:

    "'Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.'"

  • zackapalooza

    Ugh, the snapping factlet is completely wrong. The noise doesn't come from your finger hitting the base of your thumb–it comes from your middle finger hitting the nail of your ring finger. (Try moving your ring finger so that the fingernail is more in the path of your middle finger when you snap and you'll find that it's louder.)

    • Actually the sound originates when the finger hits both the nail and the base of the thumb; it has something to do with the space in between.

  • Evert

    Hey, great “facts”, but “wijd” is not Afrikaans, it’s Dutch (the mother language of Afrikaans). The correct word is “wyd”, which obiously means the same. But an interesting fact, seeing that I am incidentally Afrikaans.

  • After reading number six I spent about ten minutes trying to snap my fingers without touching the base of my thumb. I conclude it to be true.

  • Hagar

    Henry Ford did say that the public can have any color as long as it was black. at least thats what ford said in his autobiography.

  • lol

    Sorry, but this list is mostly bullshit and wrong.

    Irony, it’s what’s for breakfast.

  • Jemsta

    @Julius – we actually have kinder chocolate in australia, well at least down here in tasmania. its amazing!!

  • Gilbo

    While it is true that a person can be tried both by the federal government as well as a state government for a single act, the Supreme Court case that held that is called “Blockburger”, and it was decided in 1932, not 1922. Also, it is not accurate to say that this case “overrides” the Fifth Amendmet. Nothing overrides an amendment to the Constitution. It is more accurate to say that the case “defines” the double jeopardy clause in order to allow prosecutions for a single act by different sovereigns (states and Feds.)

  • Forbidden

    I live in South Africa and my home language is Afrikaans. There is no such word as "wijd" in my language, but the Afrikaans word for wide is "wyd". The word "wijd" was originally Dutch for wide and has not been used in the Afrikaans language in about 60-80 years.

  • Terabyte

    The word for wide in Afrikaans isn’t “wijd” it is “wyd” the word “wijd” is dutch.

  • memento

    most of these i knew except for no.6 and no.9 which i couldnt care -less about it
    i wonder when listverse gonna make great list inform me if they did

  • teenspirit014

    Hi there. This list is wonderful and its probably too late to change this, but as an Afrikaans speaking South African I think I can correct number 15. The Afrikaans word for “wide” is not “wijd,” rather it is “wyd,” pronounced “vaydt.” Keep up the good work!

  • Skeermes

    The ‘wijd’ in the white rhino factlet is not Afrikaans, it is in fact Dutch. The Afrikaans word for wide is ‘wyd’.

  • Skeermes

    Why didn’t I read the comments first. In hindsight though the white rhino was named so a long time ago, and it could therefore be correct to say that ‘wijd’ was an Afrikaans word. Since at that time the language was neither completely Dutch nor Afrikaan, but rather a ‘middle-point’ between the two languages.

  • Adele

    The Afrikaans word for wide is “Wyd”

  • Adele

    The Afrikaans word for wide is “wyd” not “wijt”

  • Yolandi

    There is no such Afrikaans word as ‘wijd’ – I think that is Dutch. The Afrikaans word for wide is ‘wyd’ – obviously derived from Dutch. Which is quite close to the Afrikaans word for white, which is ‘wit’. And if I am correct, the wide refers to the rhino’s (renoster in Afrikaans) mouth/lip, which is wider than that of the Black Rhino.

  • Ellie

    Another fact (though a very sad one), the white rhino was declared “possibly extinct” as of November 10, 2011. The black rhino is officially extinct (not just “possibly” this time) as of November 10 as well.

  • j

    The black box originally was black, then they realised it was almost impossible to find amongst wreckage and changed the colour. That’s why it’s called a black box, not for humour.

  • Name

    on number 15, Afrikaans for ‘wide’ is ‘wye’ not “wijd”

  • Name

    sorry ‘wyd’ – and ok i just saw others already pointed that out…

  • Asiah

    The thumb click I just had to try, and it is indeed true. It’s strange how we just accept information that isn’t necessarily correct like committing suicide by slitting your wrists. For the record; you can’t.

  • #6. NEAT!

    #8. No kidding?!

    #13. Wha–?

  • asjas

    Great Facts, but no.15 is wrong. I’m an Afrikaans speaking person living in South Africa and the word “wijd” is not Afrikaans. The right Afrikaans word that the rhino is names after is “wyd” wich means wide.

  • Kia

    Not to be mean or anything, great list, but the word “wijd” does not exist in afrikaans! However “wyd” does exist and it means wide. I think you mixed up your dutch and afrikaans ;)

  • helmar

    Hey there I am actually afrikaans speaking and just want to correct you on number 15. Wijd is actually a dutch word. Wyd is afrikaans. Altough the afrikaans language comes from dutch and many other languages, we do not use the old dutch spellings any more.

  • Jonah

    6. The sound you hear when you snap your fingers is not caused by the connection of your fingers – it is the sound of your middle finger hitting the base of your thumb.

    Isn’t the base of your thumb still your thumb? and isn’t hitting the same as connecting? and isn’t your thumb a finger?

    Good one.

  • Gillmather

    Why dont mules sink in quicksand

  • 13. US ship captains may not perform weddings on board unless they are a priest, rabbi, minister, etc. There are even some regulations specifically prohibiting this even for those who are competent to perform the ceremony.

    WRONG

  • legendkiller07

    Can’t Believe Einstein was rewarded the Nobel Prize NOT for the ‘Theory Of Relativity’! :D

    Thanks For The Info and Stuff :)

  • everybodytalks

    Nr 15. With the rhino… There’s no word “wijd” in Afrikaans. Maybe in Dutch, but even phonetically it does not exist in Afrikaans. The word is “wyd” pronounced – with the “w” sound from ‘wade’ and the “t” sound from ‘cat’.

    But awesome list :)

  • Ulda Bester

    Hi all,
    Just a correction to fact 15 on this list. The Afrikaans word is “wyd” not “wijd” which is Dutch