Eleven amazing facts that sound completely false

Everyone likes a good piece of trivia. Everyone.

Trivia fills awkward silences when you're meeting new colleagues socially for the first time. It lets us impress our friends when University Challenge is on. Sometimes it even wins us money in the form of pub quiz prizes.

Trivia is, by and large, our friend. So bearing that in mind, prepare to intellectually chow down on the best general knowledge tidbits you never knew you never knew, thrown up by Reddit recently and checked by the nerds of indy100:

1. The ancient Egyptians didn't see anything wrong with a bit of royal incest

Cleopatra VII's family tree was more tangled than most: three of her four grandparents were siblings, and grandfather Ptolemy IX was also her great-grandfather.

After four generations back, her family tree collapses into just a single couple.

2. 14-year-old Mozart ruined the idea of 'sacred' music

He listened to Allegri's "Miserere" once in 1770, and transcribed the entire piece perfectly. It hadn't previously existed in written form so the church could control its dissemination.

3. Female wallabies have a ruthless back up plan

If a wallaby with a joey in her pouch is being chased by a predator she can throw the joey away to distract the hunter.

Usually, wallabies produce two fertilised eggs at a time and keep one in reserve in case of this situation.

4. The Hubble Telescope found a lot more than it bargained for

The famous Hubble deep field image encompasses about 1/24 millionth of the sky. Scientists didn't expect to find anything in this patch - and they found 3,000 galaxies.

Then they looked at it again, and found another 5,500.

5. Saudi Arabia doesn't have enough sand

Despite being made up almost entirely of desert, the sand quality in Saudi Arabia is so poor it can't be used in industry, ie for making concrete and glass. Instead, the country has to import higher quality stuff from elsewhere.

6. The Japanese man who survived the Titanic disaster was not welcome when he returned home

When Masabumi Hosono made it home, he was reviled for being a 'coward' for choosing life over an honourable death - and for doing so in the glare of the world's media.

He lost his job and there were public calls for his suicide.

7. A footballer helps crime rates go down in Mexico

Every time Manchester United's Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez plays a match, murders, muggings and car jackings in the country go down.

8. A litter of kittens can have more than one father

Which might explain why they're all so adorably different.

9. The first ever Oscar for Best Actor was supposed to go to a dog

Rin Tin Tin the dog almost won the first ever Oscar for Best Actor in 1929 - but at the last minute the academy changed their minds, afraid that the awards wouldn't be taken seriously if the first one was given to a dog. Handsome devil though, wasn't he?

10. Owl's eyes are too big to roll in their sockets, which is why they turn their necks...

... and you can actually see how tightly their eyeballs fit through their ears.

11. There are more ways to arrange a deck of cards than there are atoms in the solar system

Around 84billion times more, in fact.

All images: Wikimedia Commons

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