On the morning of September 1, 1859, amateur astronomer Richard Carrington pointed his telescope at the sun. He immediately noticed some unusual activity. A cluster of massive dark spots marred the sun’s […]
How Disney Made Us Believe Lemmings Commit Mass Suicide
In this uncertain world, there are at least three things on which all of us can be certain: Disney loves animals, nature documentaries are reliable, and lemmings commit mass suicide by throwing […]
Beware the Unintended Consequences of the Cobra Effect
Incentives. We love them. Without our parents’ offer of a cash bonus for good grades, we probably would have totally blown off Mrs. Smethels’ Home Economics class in 8th grade. The incentive […]
How the Republic of Indian Stream Became a Country Between the United States and Canada
Commonplace Fun Facts loves Canada. We have written about its enlightened policies that have created the only rat-free territory in the world, the establishment of the Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve, and […]
The Nazi Invasion of Winnipeg
If you have spent any amount of time learning about World War II, you were probably taught that the lands of North America were blessedly exempt from combat. If so, you may […]
Why Are There No Rats in Alberta, Canada?
The official editorial position of Commonplace Fun Facts takes a skeptical view toward government programs. We adhere to Ronald Reagan’s warning, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m […]
A Look at the Secret U.S. Plans to Invade Canada and Fight the U.K.
Admittedly, the United States isn’t exactly on the BFF list for too many countries. Being the leader of the Free World may garner a certain measure of respect but not necessarily a […]
Niagara Falls Was Once Shut Off, With Surprising and Grisly Results
Depending on how long it has been since you have cleaned your sofa, lifting the cushions can be both horrifying and rewarding. You may find a ghastly collection of pet hair, potato […]
Learn About the Aviation Legend Who Became the First Person to Die in a Plane Crash
One of the most promising names in the new field of aviation was Thomas E. Selfridge. The fearless young man seemed to have a natural affinity for the amazing machines that could […]
How Much Do You Know About Santa Claus?
One of the most recognized people in the world is that jolly, old elf, Santa Claus. Everything about him — his beard, hat, coat, belly, and even his distinctive laugh — immediately […]
The Jolly Old Elf With a Jolly Ol’ Address
Many people have difficulty remembering to stay on Santa’s “Nice” list throughout the year, but remembering his address is much simpler.
There are More Trees on Earth Than Stars in the Milky Way
When it comes to incredibly-large numbers, it’s hard to outdo the stars in the sky. Take anything on earth and compare its numbers to the stars in the Milky Way, and it […]
The Scam to Search for a Country that Didn’t Exist — And What Was Discovered Instead
Bob was a con man. That’s not how he would have described himself. He would have told you that he was a visionary and hero — someone who sought out new frontiers […]
The Creation and Theft of the $1 Million Coin
The island of Yap has coins that are so big that it takes 20 men to carry one. In 2004, Austria released a €100,000 coin, consisting of 31.103 kg (68.6 lbs) of […]
The Canadian Nuclear Disaster That Changed a U.S. Presidency
When Ontario’s Chalk River NRX nuclear reactor melted down in December 1952, it drew the attention of the world. It was history’s first nuclear reactor meltdown, and scientists, politicians, and people from […]