Duck quacks don't echo? and other "facts"

I got this stupid glurge type email with a bunch of little known “facts.”

One of them was:

“A duck’s quack doesn’t echo anywhere, and nobody knows why?”

Now, normally I wouldn’t give this much credence but I happen to know that some of the other facts are actually correct.

If anybody’s interested, hewre’s the full list:

So, if you want to debunk any of the others, go ahead.

I just want to know if the duck thing is true or not.

Snopes knows that it’s false.

So does Cecil

Oh and that one about spiders isn’t true either: link.

Snopes probably has answers to all of the ones on your list, but I’m not going to look for the rest.

I love you guys.

From the AHD:

and Bump:

well, duh.

North America? South America? If you say they’re one continent named “America” then we’ve got a lot of paperwork to correct…

And, as for the duck…

If Shakespeare can invent words, then I can invent words. I hereby invent the word “Ponth”. A ponth is “Any word that rhymes with the word ‘month.’”

Take THAT, list of useless facts!

Useless Fact for the day: Shakespeare coined the word “bedroom”, but when he made it up, it referred to the actual space within a bed, not a room in which a bed is placed.

I’d give you a cite, but I learned it when I wrote a paper for my Shakespeare class in Spring 1999.


Don’t know about rats, but horses can’t vomit. Neither can rabbits.

As long as the Chinese were quick about it, you would eventually reach the end of the line. As long as there was a less than 1.5 (approximately) delay between each person passing you, you’d eventually hit the end of the line. While that’s faster than a typical bride walking down the aisle, it’s not exactly jogging.

*Leonardo DiVinci [sic] invented the scissors. *

Nope. At least, not according to this site:

From A Collection of Word Oddities and Trivia

*AFTERCATARACTS (plural for a condition that sometimes follows cataract surgery), TESSERADECADES and TETRASTEARATES are the longest words which can be typed using only the fingers of the left hand.

JOHNNY-JUMP-UP (a fast-growing flower or a brand name for a type of toy) is the longest word found in abridged dictionaries that can be typed using only the fingers of the right hand.*

Discussed this before

dermatoglyphics is another

In my book, the Y is also a vowel, making this statement false.

The cruise liner, QE2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.

False. From The QE2 Homepage:

Did you know that crocodiles never outgrow the pool in which they live? That means that if you put a baby croc in an aquarium, it would be little for the rest of its life.

False. From the Crocodilian Captive Care FAQ:

From the Rat & Mouse Gazette Q&A:

Y is a vowel there, but it’s not always a vowel. I don’t think it is a vowel in yo’ mama.

The stupid thing about that one is that the actual fact is pretty amazing. “The cruise liner QE2 moves only 50 ft. for each gallon of diesel that it burns.” That’s pretty astonishing. Even the worst fuel-hog on the road looks good compared to that. (Of course, even a big-ass SUV doesn’t seat 2,915 people.)

Elbow lickers (below the double fish).

black light? Might as well say it glows when placed under a light saber

A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.

I don’t KNOW on this one, but I bet it’s true.

**A snail can sleep for three years. **

If they mean ‘hibernate’ it’s true.

**Babies are born without kneecaps. They don’t appear until the child reaches
2 to 6 years of age. **

A lot of our cartilage does turn to bone during childhood, but I’m pretty sure that we have kneecaps as infants, just not as big.

**Butterflies taste with their feet. **

Never heard this about butterflies but I know houseflies ‘taste’ with their feet.

**If the population of China walked past you in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction. **

They would have to walk very slow or be spaced out. A person walks about 6 feet per second. About one person is born every second in the whole world, and China only accounts for less than 1/4 of the world’s population.

the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

Not true. The ancient Romans domesticated the rabbit around 2000 years ago, and the Russians created a domesticated fox this century.
**Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing. **

Whoever said this never looked at a babies eyes.

**The name of all the continents end with the same letter that they start
with. **

What about North America or South America?

**If you are an average American, in your whole life, you will spend an
average of 6 months waiting at a red light. **

Calling bullshit on this one. This would mean the average American spent app. 1/150th of their time stopped at stoplights. That’s about 10 minutes a day. I probably drive more than average and live in a metropolitan area, but I seriously doubt I spend that much time at stoplights - they just feel like they take that long.
**It’s impossible to lick your elbow. **

Not impossible for everyone. If you are flexible enough or have a long enough tongue it’s possible.

**On average, a human being will have sex more than 3,000 times and spend two
weeks kissing in their lifetime. **

I doubt this one. For a person who is sexually active for 60 years (I’m being quite generous here) they would have to have sex about once a week for the whole time. I don’t buy it. As for the kissing, with a 75 year lifespan that would require an average of 45 seconds kissing every day. Decide for yourself…

**23% of all photocopier faults worldwide are caused by people sitting on them
and photocopying their buttocks. **

I seriously doubt this one. Our photocopiers at work are in a location where nobody could sit on it without being seen by about a hundred people, and they break down all the time.

**In the course of an average lifetime you will, while sleeping, eat 70
assorted insects and 10 spiders. **

No way…for one thing, how exactly would they determine this? They would have to closely observe a person sleeping for years to get these statistics.

**Most lipstick contains fish scales. **

I think this one is true.

**Cat’s urine glows under a black light. **

I know MY urine glows under a black light, why not a cats?