100 things we didn't know last year

The number 100 in fireworks

Interesting and unexpected facts can emerge from daily news stories and the Magazine picks out such snippets for its weekly feature, 10 things we didn't know last week. Here's an almanac of the best of 2013.

1. It would have taken 2.5 million seagulls to lift James's giant peach into the air, not the 501 that Roald Dahl suggested.

Find out more (Guardian)

2. Hot drinks taste different according to the cup colour.

Find out more (Discovery News)

3. It's easier to pick wet things up with wrinkled fingers - suggesting an evolutionary reason for getting "prune fingers" in the bath.

Find out more

Man playing polo. Posed photograph

4. There are two firms in the world cloning polo ponies.

Find out more (Economist)

5. Two per cent of Europeans lack the genes for smelly armpits

Find out more (Scientific American)

6. Horse-eating is called Hippophagy.

Find out more

7. "Russian flu" got its name because of the Cold War rather than because it originated in Russia.

Find out more

8. Women look their oldest every Wednesday at 3.30pm.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

9. Prince Charles did not use the London Underground between 1986 and 2013.

Find out more (Reuters)

10. The House of Lords has a rifle range.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

11. Wines with animals on the label are known as "critter wines" in the US.

Find out more (Guardian)

12. Female hawksbill turtles can store sperm for 75 days.

Find out more (Science Daily)

13. Fidgeting is good for men's concentration but bad for women's.

Find out more (Daily Mail)

14. Workers at Amazon's warehouse in Rugeley walk past a life-sized cardboard image of a blonde woman who says: "This is the best job I have ever had!"

Find out more (Financial Times)

15. William is the surname that has decreased the most since 1901.

Find out more (Daily Express)

16. 1980s pop star Glenn Medeiros is the vice principal of a high school in Hawaii.

Find out more (Daily Mail)

Haribo sweets

17. Haribos are so-named because of founder Hans Riegel and his hometown Bonn.

Find out more (Monocle)

18. Drone operators experience post-traumatic stress at the same rate as combat pilots.

Find out more (New York Times)

19. Nigel Farage writes a column for Total Sea Fishing magazine.

Find out more (The Times)

20. Monkeys avoid selfish people.

Find out more (Scientific American)

21. "Aunt" is the most popular pornographic search term in Syria.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

22. Plants lace their nectar with caffeine to keep pollinators loyal.

Find out more (New Scientist)

23. South Korean media often refer to national politicians using only their initials.

Find out more (Yonhap News Agency)

24. Sarah Greene used to bite Peter Duncan's ankles to distract him during Blue Peter cookery demos.

Find out more (Guardian)

25. South Africa was included in the BRICS as it made for a better acronym than Nigeria.

Find out more (Economist)

26. There are more deer in the UK now than at any time since the last Ice Age.

Find out more

27. Some Norwegians feel strongly about whether firewood is stacked bark up or bark down.

Find out more (New York Times)

28. Tears do not fall in space.

More details (Daily Telegraph)

29. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak belonged to a group of hackers and hobbyists called the Homebrew Computer Club.

Find out more

30. At a Swedish dinner party you should never fold your napkin and put it on the table before the hostess has done so.

Find out more (The Local)

Bill Bailey

31. Bill Bailey bought a live owl in a Chinese restaurant to take it off the menu.

Find out more (The Guardian)

32. Women really are satisfied by deep, husky voices.

Find out more (Daily Mail)

33. Midsomer Murders is massive in Denmark.

Find out more (The Guardian)

34. "Lucifer" and "." (full stop) are banned baby names in New Zealand.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

35. Birmingham City Council blocks the word "commie" from incoming email.

Find out more (Daily Mirror)

36. Using "don't" and "won't" correctly in online dating messages boosts response rates by more than a third.

Find out more

37. The French call a walkie-talkie a talkie-walkie.

Find out more

38. Philip Hammond used to be a Guardian-reading goth.

Find out more (Daily Mail)

39. 6x8 is the multiplication children get wrong most while 9x12 takes longest.

Find out more (Times)

40. Time doesn't fly when you're having fun (we just remember a lot more detail than normal after enjoying something so think it went quickly).

Find out more (Daily Mail)

41. Babies learn to grimace in the womb so they can show they are unhappy after birth.

Find out more (Daily Mirror)

42. Sleep deprived men think women are more amorous than they actually are.

Find out more (Daily Mail)

43. Until recently the US Navy had a requirement that all official messages be sent in capital letters.

Find out more

44. "God's bones" was the sweariest expression in medieval times.

Find out more (The Times)

45. Qantas' Sydney to Dallas service is the world's longest commercial flight at 8,568 miles (13,790 km).

Find out more (Economist)

White Bengal tiger

46. The pigment gene SLC45A2 causes tigers to be white.

Find out more

47. It's not the "Spending Review", it's the "Spending Round".

Find out more (Gov.uk)

48. The French had no official word for French kissing… until now. It's "galocher".

Find out more (CBS)

49. The film Life of Brian remains banned in parts of Germany, but only on Good Friday.

Find out more

50. Ampersand was once an actual letter which followed the letter Z in the Latin alphabet.

Find out more (The Times)

51. There are only two escalators in the entire state of Wyoming. Elevators are more commonly used.

Find out more (The Atlantic)

52. The Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams is the most frequently misquoted song in the UK.

Find out more

53. McDonald's drive-thru staff won't serve people on horseback.

Find out more

54. You could drive on the left or right in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Find out more (Financial Times)

55. The least common PIN code is 8068.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

56. Bookshop customers are six times more likely to buy romance or cookery titles when they can smell chocolate.

Find out more (The Guardian)

Bradley Wiggins at UCI Road World Championships on September 25, 2013 in Italy

57. Scientists still don't really know how bicycles work.

Find out more (New Statesman)

58. Women who fear being forced to marry abroad are advised to hide a spoon in their underwear.

Find out more (The Guardian)

59. There's a Kenyan tradition of running naked at night.

Find out more

60. The first recorded incorrect use of the word "literally" was in 1769.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

61. Chimpanzees and orangutans swim a form of the breast stroke.

Find out more (New Scientist)

62. Polyamorous people have invented a word to indicate the opposite feeling of jealousy - compersion.

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63. Wearing camouflage clothing is an offence in Barbados.

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64. You need an 8ft-high table to ensure toast lands butter side up when dropped.

Find out more (Daily Mail)

65. Justin Bieber and Will.i.am used to live next door to each other.

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66. Glaswegians are starting to sound like Cockneys because of EastEnders.

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67. Men with wide faces make people around them more selfish.

Find out more (Science Daily)

68. Shy male birds build closer friendships than bolder birds.

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69. Bill Clinton was taught a jujitsu move by his aides to prevent Yassar Arafat hugging him for the cameras.

Find out more (Public Radio International)

70. Cuban rescue workers use sniffer rabbits to find people in collapsed buildings.

Find out more

White wine

71. People pour more white wine into a glass than red.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

72. The Soviet Union published a children's book of Stalin's five-year plan.

Find out more (Financial Times)

73. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall won't eat the brown bits in bananas.

Find out more (The Times)

74. Some species of marsupials mate with such vigour and intensity that it kills them.

Find out more

75. Medieval French cookery book Le Viandier de Taillevent contains a recipe for plucking and basting a live chicken, which is then rocked to sleep and placed on a platter beside two roasted chickens.

Find out more (Financial Times)

76. Morrissey was asked to perform Smelly Cat on Friends.

Find out more (Time Out)

77. A universal law of urination means that elephants, cows, goats and dogs all take roughly 21 seconds to empty their bladders.

Find out more (New Scientist)

78. In Scrabble, a Benjamin is a three-letter extension to the front of a five-letter word.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

79. A man's walking pace slows by 7% for wives and girlfriends but not for other women, and increases if walking with another man.

Find out more (the Times)

80. The word "get" went out of fashion in books between 1940 and the 1960s.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

81. Red underwear is popular in Wales, while those in North-West England buy a lot of thongs.

Find out more (The Economist)

82. Amazon's original name was to be Relentless - and the URL relentless.com still redirects to the company website.

Find out more (Financial Times)

83. Nervous dogs wag their tails to the left, and happy dogs to the right (from the dog's point of view) - and fellow canines pick up on this lop-sided tail language.

Find out more

84. The most effective time to drink coffee is between 09:30 and 11:30.

Find out more (The Australian)

85. Lee Harvey Oswald still has an overdue library book from Dallas public library.

Find out more (Dallas News)

86. Wayne Rooney's voicemail password was Stella Artois.

Find out more (Metro)

87. There's only one sneeze in the bible.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

88. John Wayne coined the phrase "the Big C" to avoid naming cancer.

Find out more

89. There's a twins-only military unit in Russia.

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Pope Francis

90. The pope used to work as a bouncer.

Find out more (Catholic News)

91. A hummingbird's brain accounts for 4.2% of its bodyweight, the highest of any bird.

Find out more (PBS)

92. Americans pronounce gifs as "jifs".

Find out more

93. Victorian students put crocodile skins on their walls.

More details

94. The mathematical chance of meeting your soul mate is one in 10,000.

Find out more (The Times)

95. A long-term lover is known as a "small house" in Zimbabwe.

Find out more

96. In Brazil barbecuing is a form of public protest.

Find out more (Financial Times)

97. Urban blackbirds grow up faster than their country cousins.

Find out more

98. Hemingway never used a Moleskine notebook.

Find out more (Guardian)

99. Mothers think the youngest child is shorter than they really are despite correctly estimating the height of their other children.

Find out more (New Scientist)

100. Until May 2013, "being an incorrigible rogue" was a criminal offence.

Find out more (Independent)

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