Amazing Facts - True Or False?? Part 1

Written by Jan Rosser in Socialising on 18 Jun 2020 | Views: 238

Amazing Facts - True Or False?? Part 1

I have chosen 60 'statements' from Amazing Facts, a quiz I was given last Christmas. 

The makers have given permission for me to share these statements with you. Read through each one and make a note of whether you think it is true or false. The answers are at the end of the statements. Please publish your score on FB or Disqus?

I am going to post 2 articles from this game, one per week for a bit of fun.  30 statements in each one. I shall still do the regular weekly Topical News Quiz on a Tuesday. 

Off we go then!

1. Elizabethan scientist and writer Francis Bacon died of a chill after stuffing a chicken with snow.

2. In Ancient Rome, visitors to the city were required to exchange their own clothing for a toga at the city gates.

3. Beatrix Potter, creator of Peter Rabbit and many other fictional animals, never actually kept pets and didn't particularly like animals.

4. Elton John’s hit song, ‘Candle in the Wind’ was originally written about Grace Kelly, and later adapted for the funeral of Princess Diana.

5. The phrase ‘money for old rope’ stems from the days of public hangings, when ghoulish onlookers would buy pieces of rope used for the hanging.

6. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical ‘Cats’ has been translated into over a dozen languages; it became ‘Los Gatos’ in Spain, ‘Katter’ in Norway and ‘Macskak’ in Hungary.

7. Chameleons protect themselves by changing colour to match their environment.

8. Noted spinster Jane Austin accepted a proposal of marriage when she was 21, but thought better of it overnight and was never tempted again to tie the knot.

9. A 1971 episode of the Dick Cavett talk show was never aired because one of the guests died of a heart attack during the recording.

10. Sir Alec Guiness waived a fee for his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars opting to take a 2% royalty instead.

11. Julio Iglesias, one of opera's Three Tenors, played for Real Madrid in La Liga before injury ended his football career and he took up singing.

12. When a huge earthquake hit San Francisco in 1906, it was the resulting fire that caused most damage. Much of the damage was arson, as people set fire to their own homes.

13. The world's first traffic lights were put into operation in Pennsylvania in 1895, but were removed when three people were electrocuted by the cables feeding the lights.

14. The smallest muscle in the human body is approximately 3mm long and is part of the series of muscles that work the tongue.

15. Robert Louis Stevenson took eight years to write ' Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde', It was based on a recurring nightmare. But Stevenson could only ever remember vague snatches of the dream.

16. The ‘K’ in author J K Rowling’s name was added only when the first Harry Potter book was published.

17. The usually abstemious Attila the Hun dies, aged 47, of a nosebleed after overindulging on the night of his wedding to his young bride.

18. The world’s largest frog, the goliath frog, is three feet long and can make a call louder than any human voice.

19. The Irish first name Sean is simply another variant on the name James.

20. Minnesota resident Christopher Roller believes he is God. and consequently brought a court case against two celebrity magicians for stealing his powers.

21. Allan Pinkerton, founder of Pinkerton's Detective Agency, was, by a cruel quirk of fate, killed by friendly fire during an agency investigation.

22. The Canary Islands get their name from the large numbers of birds that live on the islands---so many that fertiliser made from bird dung is a primary export of the Canaries.

23. Indiana Jones got his name from producer George Lucas' dog.

24. In 1958 Weird Tales magazine had its own weird tale when the publisher's printing press disappeared overnight and was never seen again. No one ever admitted responsibility.

25. It is possible to be swallowed whole by a whale and survive for a number of days.

26. It is impossible to belch in space.

27. Lord Byron, the romantic poet, once swam the strait between the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara, called the Hellespont.

28. Marine James Gray, who served an honourable five years in the British navy in the 1740’s, was none other than Mrs Harriet Snell.

29. Dancer Isadora Duncan died on stage. She was performing a new ballet that required she undergo a staged hanging. The hanging went horribly wrong and Duncan was strangled in front of a live audience.

30. The ‘Blue Peter’ tortoise Freda was originally called Fred until someone realised he was a she.


1. TRUEBacon was testing to see if freezing meat would preserve it. Unfortunately, he contacted a chill and died, probably of pneumonia. Science is a dangerous thing.

2. FALSEIn fact the opposite was true. Only male Roman citizens were permitted to wear the toga. Women and non-Romans wore a tunic, or a dress called a stoma. Senators wore togas edged with purple.

3. FALSE. She kept loads of pets, including a house-trained rabbit called Peter and a hedgehog called Mrs Tiggywinkle. (And no, Mrs T didn’t do the laundry.)

4. FALSE. But close. Elton did adapt the song later, along with his usual lyricist, Bernie Taupin, but the original version was about Marilyn Monroe. The opening ‘Goodbye Norma Jean (sic)’ is a reference to Monroe’s real name.

5. TRUE. It was regarded as a perk of the job for the hangman; he would cut up the rope and sell pieces as souvenirs.

6. FALSE. It did play in a number of languages, but all kept the English title of ‘Cats’.

7. FALSE. Chameleons do change colour, but as a result of changes in their emotional state, not their environment. They will change when frightened or trying to show off to a potential mate, but not to match the foliage.

8. TRUE. A Certain Mr Harris-Bigg-Wither (honestly!) offered his hand to the future novelist, but a good night’s sleep disillusioned her of his charms.

9. TRUE. Jerome Rodale, ironically, was on the show to talk about how healthy living could prolong life. At first producers thought he was asleep but he never woke up.

10. TRUEIt was a wise move, the role subsequently netted him millions, although Guiness grew tired of association with the movies,believing( probably rightly) that better work of his had earned far less attention.

11. FALSE, but only just. Iglesias was a goalkeeper and part of Real's youth system before a car crash ended his footballing ambitions. He needed a wheelchair for over two years.

12. TRUE. An earthquake was an act of God, so insurance claims would not be valid, whereas a fire was an ' accident ' and, consequently, the claim would have to be recognised. Sadly the fire vastly increased the death toll.

13. FALSE. The first traffic light experiment was outside the Houses of Parliament in the 1860s and consisted of two manually operated gas lamps, one red and one green. They were removed when an explosion nearly killed the operator.

14. FALSE. Although there are a number of muscles in the tongue, all doing different jobs, none of them are as small as one of the ones in the ear, which normally measures only 1mm.

15. FALSE. In fact the opposite, the nightmare was so vivid that it presented the author with the entire plot, and he duly dashed off the book in three days.

16. TRUE.  It stands for Kathleen, the name of the author’s paternal grandmother. Her publisher believed that books by ‘J K Rowling’ would be more likely to be read by boys than ones written by ‘Joanne Rowling’.

17. TRUE. After conquering most of Asia, the great warlord succumbed to a mundane nosebleed. Unused to drink he didn’t notice his nose was bleeding; the story has it that he drowned in his own blood. Yuck.

18. FALSE. And it was going so well until the voice thing. The goliath frog is three feet long but is also entirely mute.

19. FALSEIt is a variant of John. All such variants are derived from the Hebrew term meaning ‘God is great’. They include Ian, hans, Juanito and Shane.

20. TRUE. Roller claimed that David Blaine and David Copperfield used godly powers in their acts, and were thus infringing on his territory. He claimed 10% of their income in a $2m lawsuit.

21. FALSE. But Pinkerton's death was bizarre, he stumbled and bit his tongue and died of the subsequent infection.

22. FALSE. The name comes from Insula Canaria ( Island of Dogs ), the Roman name for Gran Canaria. The canary gets it's name from the islands, not vice versa. It is native to the Canaries, Azores and Madeira.

23. TRUE. In the movie, young Henry Jones Jr decides to call himself Indiana after his dog--- a reflection of Lucas's use of his own dog's name.The surname was changed from Smith to Jones at the last minute.

24. FALSESorry, but this one is no more true than most of the stories which appear in the magazine.

25. FALSE. The story of Jonah is certainly untrue--- a blue whale has a throat only large enough for a large orange. A sperm whale could possibly swallow a man, but it's stomach contents would be fatally acidic.

26. TRUEJust as gravity dictates that heavier items fall to earth,it also determines that light gases in the stomach rise to the surface and cause belching. No gravity means no wind, so no cola for the astronauts!

27. TRUEBut it cost him, as it was during this escapade that he first developed the chill that eventually finished him off.

28. TRUEHarriet joined the navy to search for her missing husband. She served well, and on one occasion dug a bullet out of her own groin to avoid close scrutiny by the naval surgeon.

29. FALSE. Although it is true that Isadora Duncan was strangled in bizarre circumstances. Her long, trailing scarf caught in the wheel of the car she was driving and she was pulled from the vehicle and throttled.

30. TRUE.  Fred went in for a health check and the vet announced that the cute (but slow-moving) pet was actually a lady tortoise.

Part 2 is now published so 30 more statements can be found here.

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