Mental Floss

144.7k Followers | @mental_floss | Amazing facts about history, science, and pop culture from Mental Floss magazine.

WWI Centennial: Austria-Hungary’s Last Gasp

<i>Erik Sass is covering the events of the war exactly 100 years after they happened. This is the 310th installment in the series. Read an overview of</i> …

World History

College Board Wants to Erase Thousands of Years From AP World History, and Teachers Aren't Happy

One would be forgiven for thinking that the Ides of March are upon us, because Julius Caesar is being taken out once again—this time from the …

World Peace

North America: East or West Coast?

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North America

NASA Has a Plan to Stop the Next Asteroid That Threatens Life on Earth

An asteroid colliding catastrophically with Earth within your lifetime is unlikely, but not out of the question. According to NASA, objects large …

Stephen Hawking

Do 'Close Door' Buttons in Elevators Actually Do Anything?

When you’re running late for work, one small comfort is finding an empty elevator waiting for you at your office building. You scurry inside, and …

Disability

The Hidden Benefits of Your Health Insurance Plan

When we talk about health insurance, it’s usually in the context of a complaint. While it’s true that insurance companies often fight tooth and nail …

Health Care

When the FBI Investigated the 'Murder' of Nine Inch Nails's Trent Reznor

The two people standing over the body, Michigan State Police detective Paul Wood told the <i>Hard Copy</i> cameras, “had a distinctive-type uniform on. As I …

Music Videos

Sylvia Plath's Pulitzer Prize in Poetry Is Up for Auction

A Pulitzer Prize in Poetry that was awarded posthumously to Sylvia Plath in 1982 for her book <i>The Collected Poems</i> will be auctioned on June 28. The …

Literature

This Crafty Bicycle Can Knit a Scarf in 5 Minutes

Knitting can be a time-consuming, meticulous task, but it doesn’t need to be. At least not if you’re George Barratt-Jones. As The Morning News …

MoviePass

Authorities Want This Roadside Bear Statue in Wales Removed Before It Causes More Accidents

There are no real bears in the British Isles for residents to worry about, but a statue of one in the small Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells has become …

Dinosaurs

Roadside Bear Statue in Wales is So Lifelike That Safety Officials Want It Removed

Martin Loader, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0<p>There are no real bears in the British Isles for residents to worry about, but a statue of one in the …

Dinosaurs

Roadside Bear Statue in Wales is So Lifelike That It's Causing Car Accidents, and Safety Officials Want It Removed

There are no real bears in the British Isles for residents to worry about, but a statue of one in the small Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells has become …

Jurassic Park

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Amazon

Northeastern University Is Now Handing Out Echo Dots to Its Students

Northeastern University is welcoming new students with an unusual addition to their dorm rooms this fall: an Echo Dot. According to <i>USA Today</i>, the …

College & University

West Side Story Is Returning to Theaters This Weekend

As Chris Pratt and a gang of prehistoric creatures get ready to face off against some animated superheroes for this weekend’s box office dominance, …

Entertainment

16 Prehistoric Creatures You’ll See In Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Chris Pratt meets the vicious T. rex in <i>Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom</i> (2018)<p>Chris Pratt meets the vicious T. rex in <i>Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom</i> …

Dinosaurs

Bibo Barmaid Is Like a Keurig for Cocktails—and You Can Buy It Now

To make great-tasting cocktails at home, you <i>could</i> take a bartending class, or you could just buy a fancy gadget that does all the work for you. …

Stone Age

13 Secrets of Roller Derby

When sports promoter Leo Seltzer got the idea to organize a roller skating marathon in 1935, he probably didn’t expect that his event would provide …

Washington State

The Old Toy Cars Gathering Dust in Your Attic Could Be Worth a Fortune

One person's trash is another person's retirement plan. If you've got a box of old toys stashed away in your attic, you could be sitting on a …

Jurassic Park

Birds III

1 of 5<p>Which of the following songs did Debbie Reynolds take to the top of the Billboard Pop Chart in 1957?<p>2 of 5<p>Which member of Britain's Royal …

Royal Family

How Jupiter May Have Gifted Early Earth With Water

How Jupiter May Have Gifted Early Earth With Water. Young gas giants throw debris toward inward planets, including hydrogen-rich materials.<p>*<p>Brazil's …

U.S. Postal Service

Bose's New 'Sleepbuds' Are Designed to Help You Doze Off Faster

If you’re the kind of person who can’t fall asleep without the whir of a fan or some other ambient noise in the background, then Bose has a product …

Seafloor

15 Things You Might Not Know About Who Framed Roger Rabbit

As both a groundbreaking feat for the world of animation and an enjoyable crime comedy, <i>Who Framed Roger Rabbit</i> stands in a class all its own. Here …

Animation

Authorities Have Cracked a Bizarre Cold Case That Could Have Ties to the Zodiac Killer

One of the strangest cold cases in Ohio, if not the United States, has now been solved—but pieces of the puzzle remain.<p>In 2002, a man known as Joseph …

Crime

Want to Boost Your Home's Value By More Than $6000? Paint Your Front Door Black

If you're looking to sell your home, you may want to take some advice from The Rolling Stones and paint it black. Just the front door, that is. …

Real Estate

This Scientist's Idea of the 'Perfect' Human Body Is Kind of Terrifying

The perfect human body has the legs of an ostrich, the heart of a dog, and the eyes of an octopus, according to anatomist Alice Roberts. And it’s …

Pets

These Sparrows Have Been Singing the Same Songs for 1500 Years

Swamp sparrows are creatures of habit—so much so that they’ve been chirping out the same few tunes for more than 1500 years, <i>Science</i> magazine …

Birds

18 Smart Products To Help You Kick Off Summer

Whether you’re trying to spiff up your backyard barbeque or cultivate your green thumb, these summertime gadgets will help you celebrate the season …

Shopping

When John Lennon and Yoko Ono Mailed Acorns to World Leaders

John Lennon and Yoko Ono had a big year in 1969. Following a quick wedding ceremony in Gibraltar, they hopped over to Amsterdam and used their …

World Peace

Missing Middle Names

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Foo Fighters