We call interesting information a lot of things—useless knowledge, fun facts, random facts, and, obviously, trivia. Trivia comes from trivial, as in it’s not important, but that’s dumb; the pursuit of knowledge for the sake of knowledge is noble and fun. It’s good to know things! (Plus, it can help you win free drinks on pub quiz night, or lots of money on Jeopardy!) In honor of National Trivia Day, here are some “trivial” bits of information that are actually kind of awesome.
1. In the original Snow White story recorded by the Brothers Grimm in 1812, the Seven Dwarfs didn’t have names.
2. A ship worker named Violet Jessop survived the sinking of the Titanic, as well as the sinking of another huge cruise liner called the Olympic, and a WWI hospital ship called the Britannic.
3. Julius Caesar never ate a Caesar salad, because it was invented in Mexico in the 1920s. Italian-American chef Caesar Cardini came up with while working at a restaurant in Tijuana.
4. While popularized by Beyoncé and the other members of Destiny’s Child with their 2001 hit “Bootylicious,” the word was coined by Snoop Doggy Dogg when he did a guest verse on Dr. Dre’s 1992 single “F*** Wit Dre Day.”
5. The people who live in Greenland call it Kalaallit Nunaat, which means “Land of the People.”
6. There’s no such thing as the “stomach flu.” If you caught a virus that makes you leak nasty business at both ends but without any sniffling, you don’t have influenza, you’ve likely got gastroenteritis.
7. Ever notice the letters “YKK” on a zipper? It stands for Yoshida Koguo Kabushikikaisha. It’s a family-owned, Tokyo-based company that has hundreds of factories around the world, which produce more than half of the world’s zippers.
8. Miniature golf was a huge fad in the 1920s. By the end of the decade there were more than 150 courses on top of skyscrapers in New York City. When the Great Depression hit, all but a few went out of business and were torn down.
9. Frank Mars founded the company that makes Snickers. The candy bar was named after one of his racehorses.
10. To maintain his privacy (which we’re now ruining) Tom Cruise checks into hotels under the name “Cage Hunt.” The Cage is from his character’s name in Edge of Tomorrow, and the Hunt is from the guy he plays in the Mission: Impossible films.
11. Jim Henson made his first Kermit puppet for a local, Washington, D.C. show called Sam and Friends he ran when he was only 18. The first Kermit was a lizard (not a frog), and Henson made him out of his mother’s old green coat with a table tennis ball cut in half for the eyes.
12. In 1979, Wendy’s became the first fast restaurant chain to serve salads. (The company installed salad bars in their many hundreds of locations.)
13. If the Antarctic Ice Sheet were ever to melt, the oceans around the world would rise about 200 feet (and eradicate most coastal cities).
14. Koalas have two thumbs…on each hand.
15. The oldest bookstore in the world is the Bertrand Bookshop in Lisbon, Portugal. After opening in 1732, it’s still in business.
16. Because they have rectangular pupils, goats have a 340-degree field of vision, roughly double humans’ paltry 175-degree abilities.
17. The national animal of Scotland: the unicorn.