A team I was on won a trivia contest the other week. I mean, I love the idea of trivia – my head is full of useless knowledge and trivia is a chance to bring that out. This event has inspired me to write a column about little-known facts.
The biggest thing I learned from trivia night is that you can drive into Canada from Detroit if you drive directly south. Detroit to Canada. Isn’t that mind-blowing? I’m not too bad at geography, but that’s something I did not know.
Also, I forgot that the boat in Jaws is called the Orca. That one made me mad.
So, some little-known facts. I’m thinking I’ll order them from the least to the most mind-blowing.
The superhero known as Batman appeared in March 1939, even though the cover date said May. His 80th birthday is March 30 this year.
Pittsburgh has three more bridges than Venice, Italy, at 446. Meaning that it has the most bridges in the world. Unless, of course, you’re from New York or Hamburg, Germany. In which case, they argue over what the definition of a “bridge” is and say Pittsburgh isn’t even close. Who cares? I’m an American and from Western Pennsylvania, so I’m going with 446 being top dog. This explains why no matter where you are in Pittsburgh, when you make a wrong turn, you somehow end up on a bridge.
When astronauts come back from a space walk, they report smelling seared steak coming from the exterior of their suits, according to Popular Science. Some have said it could smell like rotting meat. Apparently, the smell comes from the deaths of stars. So, yeah, space smells like death. Cheery, right?
Oh, and about those stars – some of them are ghosts. It takes so long for the light of stars to reach us that some stars have gone out since they sent that light to us. Since the speed of light is a constant, scientists can calculate how long it would take light to reach us from certain distances. So, looking through a telescope is looking into the past of a faraway solar system.
By the by, it’s more than 8,000 years. If you’re keeping score.
The Earth is not flat, either. Neither of those facts should be mind-blowing.
The study that said that vaccines cause autism was discredited years ago. This is a fact.
This last one is the most shocking fact of them all.
Did you know that when driving 55 miles an hour on 219 between Falls Creek and Brockway, you can maintain speed when the road goes from two lanes to one? It seems shocking, but it’s true. It’s a four-lane divided highway from 80 to the merge point, but the speed limit doesn’t change when you enter the regular two-lane road. You can still go 55.
More people should try that out.
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Andrew Bundy is a husband, father, teacher, writer, and frequent driver on 219. You can read his short story “The Big Bad Elephant” in Fairy Tale Riot on Amazon.com.