Another Weird Fact List: How many of these are true?

The first page of my school’s student newsletter featured this story:

I recognize some of these as obviously untrue, but does anyone know the exact numbers of true and untrue statements?

People keep circulating this bollocks and no one knows why.

Butterflies taste with their feet. I’ve heard that houseflies do this. Maybe it’s a common trait among insects?

**A duck’s quack does not echo, and no one knows why. ** Yawn. Next.

In 10 minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all the world’s nuclear weapons combined. There’s a zillion variables in this, but when you consider how huge a hurricane is and how much damage it can do, this statement sounds like it might well be true.

**Elephants are the only animals that can’t jump. ** Snails can’t jump, can they? I don’t know about the “only” part, but it’s true that elephants can’t jump. Their massive bodies put enormous stress on their bones. If an elephant were able to jump even a few inches, its legs would break when it hit the ground.

**The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built engineers failed to take into account the weight of the books that would occupy the building. ** This is an old urban legend, told about a lot of places. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. Any U-IN students out there who can give us the straight dope?

No word in the English language rhymes with “MONTH”. Well, I can’t think of one…

If Barbie were life-size, her measurements would be 39-23-33. She would stand seven feet, two inches tall. You hear the 39-23-33 part all the time, but how’d they figure her height at 7’2"? Did they compare her size the size of the stuff she comes with? Does she tower over poor Ken, who must already have an inferiority complex due to a certain anatomical omission?

That’s all that I can add.

We did this one less than a month ago:

Yeah, it was surprising to see that exact wording on the duck thing, when I had just read about it at Snopes yesterday ( A big clue that the newspaper contributors don’t write their own stories…

Yeah, think about it; not having functional knee joints; we don’t know how lucky we are. :wink:

What frightens me is that according to google there are 2000 sites out there touting the “fact” that the library in Indiana is sinking, but not one real collaboration. **In fact it isn’t sinking at all **

see for details


An astonishly funny piece by the perfect master of the Quack-Echo debate

Sure there is. The word “Ponth”. A “Ponth” is defined by Merriam-SPOOFE as “Any word that rhymes with the word ‘month.’”

Wait a minute–if Barbie were lifesize, she’d be 7 foot 2? Um, no–then she wouldn’t be lifesize now, would she?

That was my reaction exactly, Opus1.

…because… there are no seven foot people in the world?

What are you two talking about??

Here’s my contribution:
Nuclear arsenal vs. 10 min. of a hurricane.
As we discussed here , the kiloton is defined to be exactly 10[sup]12[/sup] calories or 4.186x10[sup]12[/sup] joules.

According to the NOAA’s Hurricane FAQ, the output in joules of an average hurricane (I’m assuming that ‘average’ means Category 3) is approximately 5.2x10[sup]19[/sup] joules of heat energy per day from water condensation, and consumes 1.3x10[sup]17[/sup] joules per day for wind generation. That leaves a total of 5.19x10[sup]19[/sup] joules per day.

There are 1440 minutes in a day, so a 10 minute period is 1/144 of a day, and energy released by a hurricane in 10 minutes is about 3.6x10[sup]17[/sup] joules. That’s a shitload of energy, but not more than the world’s nuclear arsenal. In fact, it’s equal to 86 Megatons and some change – and keep in mind that this energy output is often spread over an area hundreds of miles in diameter.

The total output of a really big (Category 5 - Andrew was only Category 4) hurricane might be more than the total combined arsenal, but not ten minutes of an average one.

more info

According to The, the idea for the electric chair was first described in 1881 by Albert Southwick, who was a dentist.

Re: Elephants
If you change it to say they are the only MAMMALS that can’t jump, it sounds much more reasonable. But I have no clue if it’s true or not.

Still searching CDC for info on choking deaths…

I found some sites that say hippopotamii also cannot jump.

Barbie would probably be five foot, seven and a half inches tall.

She is made in 1 to 6 scale. She is usually 11 and a half inches tall (although as we all know, Barbies differ in size which is why the label on the clothing packages says “fits most Barbies”).

The “factoid” certainly follows the pattern of Urban Myths. The implied message is “this popular doll is actually a monster”. Well she aint that monstrous, fellers.

Her bust, waist and hip measurements if life-size, are harder to determine, because different dolls vary. Jewel Girl Barbie (“twist 'n bend waist”) has quite broad hips, and smaller breasts. Most PTR Barbies (that is, “Palms to Rear” with less lifelike arms), have very slender hips.

Contrary to popular belief Barbie is not entirely standardised. I’ll try taking some vital statistics measurements and get back to you.


Oh, Redboss, how sadly stereotypical. And you didn’t even sign your post “Waylon Redboss” :wink:

It is an urban myth that there is no rhyme for month, and it is time to kill it off. Here is the poem that I learned years ago - I do not know who wrote it -


And don’t forget -

In the obituary article for Barbie’s creator earlier this week, my newspaper said she’d have measurements of 39-21-33 if scaled up to 5 feet, 6 inches tall. So assuming Newsday to be more accurate than spam e-mail, this factoid is wrong on the height, slightly off on the other measurements.

butterflies taste with feet - true but so do many insects

Ninety percent of New York City cabbies are recently-arrived immigrants.

probably true - at least 60% are from asia ( and )

snails can sleep three years

its called hibernating, and snails can hibernate 6 months. Not sure bout 3 years but it may be possible

women blink twice as much as men. Don’t know, but here’s a joke

Why don’t women blink during foreplay?
A: They don’t have time