Muammar Qaddafi Owns a Mansion in New Jersey
This is Qaddafi’s estate in Englewood, NJ. Here’s how he became a suburban homeowner. [Photo Credit: NorthJersey.com]
The World's Grossest Milkshake
What exactly is “sea foam”? Matt Soniak explains.
At an NOAA conference in 1972, feminist leader...
She also preferred ‘him-i-canes.’
22 Fascinating and Bizarre Classes Offered This...
From the Sociology of Lady Gaga to the Joy of Garbage, here are some of the coolest and weirdest college courses being taught this fall.
Asperger syndrome is named for Austrian...
Revolve in Peace
Five years ago today, the International Astronomical Union stripped Pluto of its planet status.
Here’s another sneak peek at the September-October issue of mental_floss magazine. Click here to get a risk-free issue!
In the Arabic version of The Simpsons, Homer’s name was Omar Shamshoon. Instead of Duff beer, he sucked down Duff juice. [Read more about <em>Al Shamshoon</em> over at Neatorama.]
At 10, Taylor Wilson built his first bomb. At 14,...
Read about our Mad Scientist of the Month in our special sneak peek of the new issue of mental_floss magazine!
In 2009, ABC News found 112 different spellings of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s name.
The highest number that can be spelled out without...
The next highest? 84.
About That "Old Law Still on the Books"
Is any house with more than six female roommates really considered a brothel?
Oldfangled is a word, too.
Back to the Future Co-Creator Bob Gale Confirms...
As surprised as I was that Back to the Future co-creator Bob Gale actually responded to our question about the origin of Marty and Doc’s friendship, I could not have imagined the splash his explanation would make. This “scoop” was covered by New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, TIME, MTV, and Slate, among others. Some people (understandably) didn’t take my word for it that we were...
On the Road Again: We're Headed to Indy!
On Thursday, September 1st, the mental_floss Trivia Show is coming to Indianapolis! If you live in the area or are up for a road trip, reserve your spot now. Join your hosts, mental_floss co-founders Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur, for a night of good times, ridiculous trivia and free stuff. (RSVP and your free mental_floss t-shirt will be there waiting for you on September 1st.) We...
Although better known for its food items, Sara Lee introduced the Wonderbra in 1994.
Clips From That Horrible Star Wars Holiday Special
Most Star Wars fans are at least peripherally aware of the Star Wars Holiday Special, but almost no one has seen it — it was never released on home video. The special aired on November 17, 1978. Ever since then, everyone involved has been trying to forget about it, destroy it, or at least deny that they did it willingly. But tonight, dear readers, Chris Higgins give you a taste of just how...
In the Peanuts comic strip, Peppermint Patty’s full name is Patricia Reichardt.
Bob Gale Explains How Marty and Doc Became Friends
We had no idea Back to the Future co-creator Bob Gale was listening when we asked if anyone knew how Marty McFly and Doc Brown became friends. It wasn’t covered in the movies, but here’s Gale’s explanation.
Who Said It: Dr. Phil or Dr. Fünke?
Dr. Tobias Fünke (from Arrested Development) and Dr. Phil McGraw (from Dr. Phil) are never at a loss for words. Can you tell which piece of advice came from which doctor? Take the Quiz: Dr. Phil or Dr. Fünke?
About one in every 4 million lobsters is born with a rare genetic defect that turns it blue. One in every 30 million is yellow. [Image courtesy of Karen George/CBC]
In a 2004 episode of Sesame Street, Cookie Monster said that before he started eating cookies, his name was Sid.
The London Riots and 7 Other Things Blamed on...
From the rise of syphilis to the decline of Spider-Man, social media is always being blamed for something.
How The Noid Led to a Hostage Situation
In 1989, Kenneth Lamar Noid interpreted the Domino’s ads as a personal assault on his character. Believing he was engaged in an ongoing battle with Domino’s head Tom Monaghan, Noid took matters into his own hands, holding up a Domino’s outlet in Georgia. Details from Time Magazine: Kenneth Noid, 22, walked into a Domino’s Pizza shop in Chamblee, Ga., with a .357 Magnum revolver and took...
The Law Won
In September 1990, a group of drug crime suspects in Corunna, Michigan, received an invitation to a wedding from a well–known drug dealer in the area. Attendees were asked to check their guns at the entrance, apparently a common occurrence at these events. As part of a five-month undercover investigation, the police staged and advertised a wedding on a Friday night, figuring it was easier to...
Ben & Jerry learned how to make ice cream by taking a $5 correspondence course offered by Penn State. (They decided to split one course.)
Even the Tooth Fairy is cutting back. On average, a tooth left under a pillow now fetches $2.60 in the US, down from $3 last year. [via The Week]
The Giant Inflatable Union Rat Has a Name
It’s Scabby. This is Scabby’s story.
16 Sequels Nobody Has Ever Heard Of
Here’s the list.
Money for Nothing
For $45, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing will sell you a 5-lb bag with $10,000 worth of shredded U.S. currency.
Until the 1930s, the Sugar Daddy caramel candy was called the Papa Sucker.
In 1907, an ad campaign for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes offered a free box of cereal to any woman who would wink at her grocer.
In an episode of Seinfeld that originally aired November 18, 1993, Elaine urged her boyfriend to change his name, which he shared with killer Joel Rifkin. Her suggestion: O.J. (Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered on June 12, 1994.)
For His Birthday, Harry Truman Got a Bowling Alley
A two-lane bowling alley was installed in the White House in 1947 as a birthday gift to President Truman. (He said he hadn’t bowled since he was 19.) Truman knocked down seven pins on the first roll at the alley, which was paid for by donors from his home state of Missouri and moved to the Old Executive Office Building in 1955. Truman didn’t use the alley much himself – he was more of a...
The Disastrous North Pole Balloon Mission of 1897...
The story and the photos here.
The Incredible Food Pyramid of Michel Lotito
You don’t get the nickname Monsieur Mangetout (“Mr. Eat Everything”) without earning it. Over the course of 40 years, Frenchman Michel Lotito ate an estimated 9 tons of metal. In his youth, Lotito suffered from pica, a mental disorder in which people compulsively eat non-food items such as dirt and plastic. (Lotito’s condition was first diagnosed around age 9, when he started munching on parts...
Just So We're Clear...
The Cookie Monster Dump Truck Driver doll does not say, “Time to f*ck.” The Potty Time with Elmo doll does not say, “Uh oh, who wants to die?” The Talking Elmo doll does not say, “Beat Up Elmo.” And the Elmo Knows Your Name doll did not threaten a young boy by saying, “Kill James.” But it sure sounded like they did. [From Joe Hennes’ “Revisiting 8 Sesame Street Rumors”]
How Do You Feel About Wednesday?
That was a University of Chicago application essay. Another question from another year: How did you get caught? (Or not caught, as the case may be.)
In 1998, a Georgia teen was suspended for one day for wearing a Pepsi t-shirt at his school’s “Coke in Education Day.”