Where Can You See 1 Billion Years of History in One Place?

where can you see 1 billion years of history in one place

A trip from the floor to the rim of the Grand Canyon will take you on a tour of one billion years of the earth’s history. The gorges, canyons, and ravines of Arizona’s natural wonder were created by the Colorado River as its rushing waters cut into the rocks. It is the largest land gorge … Read more

Why Do the Dutch Wear Wooden Shoes?

why do the dutch wear wooden shoes

For hundreds of years, wooden shoes, called klompen, were worn by most Dutch people for very practical purposes. Because much of Holland lies below sea level, there are a great many areas that are marshy and damp. It is from these areas that Holland, or its real name The Netherlands, meaning “low lands,” got its … Read more

What Is the Most Popular Board Game Played?

what is the most popular board game played

The real-estate game of Monopoly is the all-time best-seller among board games. Since it was introduced in 1935 and up through 1974, more than 80,000,000 sets have been sold! The company that manufactures the game, Parker Brothers, prints $18,500,000,000,000 (181/4 trillion dollars) worth of play money for Monopoly every year. This is more than the … Read more

Were Americans the First To Eat Hot Dogs?

were americans the first to eat hot dogs

The frankfurter, like the hamburger, had its beginnings in Germany, where as a sausage it was served on a plate with a piece of bread and a pile of sauerkraut on the side. It wasn’t until the frankfurter came to America that the hot-dog-on-a-bun was created. Sausages had been a popular dish throughout Europe for … Read more

Does a Hamburger Have Ham in It?

does a hamburger have ham in it

Absolutely not! Hamburger is made of ground-up beef. Its name came not from what’s in it, but from the place it originated Hamburg, Germany. However, the idea of ground-up meat can be traced even farther away, to the Baltic countries. There, in the Middle Ages the Tartar people scraped raw meat, seasoned it with salt, … Read more

Why Do You Hear the Ocean Roar in a Seashell?

why do you hear the ocean roar in a seashell

Have you ever picked up a large shell on the beach and held it to your ear? If so, you were probably amazed to hear sounds, like the roar of the ocean, reach your ear from inside the shell. But how could that be? Well, it can’t! This is simply an exciting idea created perhaps … Read more

What Makes a Mexican Jumping Bean Jump?

what makes a mexican jumping bean jump

First of all, the jumping bean is not actually a bean; it’s a seed. And it doesn’t actually jump; rather, it rolls and tumbles. The Mexican Jumping bean is really a three-celled bean pod that grows in Chihuahua, Mexico. It is the seed of the yerba de flecha, a Mexican rubber tree plant. The plant’s … Read more

How Did the Liberty Bell Get Its Crack?

how did the liberty bell get its crack

The bell we now call the Liberty Bell was originally ordered by the Assembly of the colony of Pennsylvania from a foundry in England. When the bell arrived from England in 1752 and was hung in the State House in Philadelphia, it was simply called the State House Bell. The first time that the new … Read more

Can a Stick of Wood Locate Water Underground?

can a stick of wood locate water underground

Many people believe that a fork-shaped twig can locate water if that twig is placed in the hands of the right person. That person is called a dowser. If, for example, a farmer wants to dig a well on his property, it would be very costly to dig just anywhere and come up with nothing. … Read more

What Do the Numbers in a Zip Code Mean?

what do the numbers in a zip code mean

Since the United States Postal Service introduced the system of zip codes, mail has been getting delivered more quickly and more efficiently. Here’s how zip codes work. The United States and its possessions are divided up into 10 large areas. Each area has a number between 0 and 9. Suppose, for example, the zip code … Read more

How Was Our Country Named America?

how was our country named america

You may have wondered why, since it was Columbus who discovered America, why wasn’t it named Columbia, after him? Historians tell us that when Columbus discovered our land, he didn’t believe that he had found a new continent; he simply believed that he had found an unexplored part of the continent of Asia. He even … Read more

What Is Spooky About Spook Hill?

what is spooky about spook hill scaled

Spook Hill is a most unusual street in Lake Wales, Florida. While there are no spooks, ghosts, or goblins living on the street, the strange and mysterious happenings there have given Spook Hill its name. If you were standing at the bottom of Spook Hill and dropped a ball, the ball would roll uphill! If … Read more

Why Did Indians Scalp People?

why did indians scalp people

Beginning in the Stone Age and up through the early 20th century, there have been tribes of head-hunters in different parts of the world. These people believed that a man’s soul was located in his head, and by capturing the heads of their enemies, they would benefit their own people, increase their cattle, and improve … Read more

Where Does the Mold on Bread Come From?

Where Does the Mold on Bread Come From?

When bread is old, it develops a furry, green or gray coat called mold. Mold is actually a patch of tiny plants which grow more rapidly than the weeds in your garden. Since no one “plants” this mold on the bread, where then does it come from? The plant’s spores, which are its reproductive bodies, … Read more

Why Does a Doughnut Have a Hole?

why does a doughnut have a hole

The doughnut didn’t always have a hole! These round, flat, fried cakes were once filled, with soggy centers. At least, that’s the way they were eaten when early Dutch settlers brought them to Colonial America. Then in 1847, a 15-year-old boy, Hanson Crockett Gregory, was in the kitchen of his Rockport, Maine, home watching his … Read more

Is Chop Suey Really a Chinese Dish?

is chop suey really a chinese dish

One of America’s favorite Chinese dishes, Chop Suey, is not Chinese at all! Even though it is served in thousands of Chinese restaurants all over the country, this dish of meat, fish, bean sprouts, celery, onions, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms is definitely American in origin. Chop Suey is said to have been created in a … Read more

How Much Food Will You Eat in Your Lifetime?

how much food will you eat in your lifetime

It may seem difficult to believe but the average American adult eats 525 pounds of food each year of his life. Taking a life span of 70 years, that person will eat: 35 turkeys 23 hogs 14 head of cattle 2 calves 12 sheep 880 chickens 770 pounds of fish. By now, you’re probably not … Read more

How Did the Sandwich Get Its Name?

how did the sandwich get its name

You probably have been slapping a few pieces of bologna or spreading some peanut butter and jelly between two slices of bread for as long as you can remember and calling it a sandwich. But there wasn’t always a thing called a sandwich. Here’s how the sandwich was born. The sandwich began in the 1700s, … Read more

Why Are People Tracking the Abominable Snowman?

why are people tracking the abominable snowman

In the Himalaya Mountains of Tibet, local legends describe a creature who has been named the Yeti, or the Abominable Snowman. People who claim to have seen him say he is a hairy beast with a large apelike body and a near-human face. He is said to be about 8 feet tall, with long brown … Read more

Is There Really a Loch Ness Monster?

is there really a loch ness monster scaled

About 90 million years ago, huge animals roamed our land and seas. We know that dinosaurs have become extinct, but we do not know for certain what has happened to such huge sea beasts as the forty-foot-long mosasaurs. Could they have managed to survive in the deep lakes and oceans? In Loch Ness, a 750-foot … Read more

Why Are American Policemen Called Cops?

why are american policemen called cops

Although American police departments were formed after a study of the British police system, American policemen did not inherit the British nickname for their officers. Instead, American policemen became known as “cops” or “coppers.” There are two theories as to how these names came about. Some say that because New York policemen once wore an … Read more

Why Are London Policemen Called Bobbies?

why are london policemen called bobbies

Although London established its first police force of sixty-eight men in 1737, the city’s growth during the next two hundred years produced a great deal of poverty, rioting, and looting. Then in 1829, Sir Robert Peel formed the London Metropolitan Police. It was a large, well-trained force that was much more effective than any earlier … Read more

What Kind of Travel is OOBE?

what kind of travel is oobe

OOBE stands for “out of body experience,” a name given to an unusual kind of travel. Some people believe that we all really have two bodies, a physical body and a spiritual body. Furthermore, they believe that it is possible to separate the two, and to send just the spiritual body on a trip. In … Read more

Is There Any Buried Treasure in the United States?

is there any buried treasure in the united states

Yes! There is probably more than 4 billion dollars in lost treasure scattered throughout the United States. Lost and never found. Where did it come from? Some of it is loot buried by robbers, loot that was never recovered because the men were either shot or hung before they could dig it up. Some of … Read more

How Did Wedding Cakes Begin?

how did wedding cakes begin

In Ancient Rome, rich families had a special cake which was used only in wedding ceremonies. At one point in the ceremony, the guests broke the cake over the bride’s head. This symbolized their wish for a life of wealth and happiness for the young couple. Then each guest would scramble for the crumbs of … Read more

Why Do We Tie Old Shoes to a Wedding Car?

why do we tie old shoes to a wedding car

The custom of tying old shoes to a newly married couple’s car to announce their happy news goes far back in history to a time when cars were not yet invented and probably not even thought about. During these early times, the bride’s father gave all her old shoes to her new husband. This was … Read more

Why Do We Throw Rice at Weddings?

why do we throw rice at weddings

Rice has been a part of wedding ceremonies for many centuries because throughout the ages it was a symbol for fruitfulness, a wish for the couple to have great prosperity and many children. But the rice was used in different ways by different societies. In some societies, the rice was worn or carried by the … Read more

Why Do Brides Wear Veils?

why do brides wear veils

Although a bride wears a veil today to look attractive, this was not why veils were originally worn in wedding ceremonies. In ancient societies, marriages were usually arranged by the parents of the bride and groom. And it was the custom that the groom should not see his bride until their wedding day, when part … Read more

Why Is There a Best Man at a Wedding?

why is there a best man at a wedding scaled

The custom of having a best man at a wedding goes back to earliest times, when a groom set out to simply capture his bride. Usually, several good friends including one leader accompanied him, heavily armed. These warriors defended the groom against other men who might try to capture the bride or even against the … Read more

Why Do Bridesmaids and Ushers Dress Like the Bride and Groom?

why do bridesmaids and ushers dress like the bride and groom

Old Roman law required ten witnesses at every wedding to make it legal. But because these ancient people were highly superstitious, they believed that evil spirits envied the happiness of the bride and groom. So they had several of these witnesses dress exactly like the bride and groom to confuse the evil spirits and prevent … Read more

How Did Weddings Begin?

how did weddings begin

Throughout history, there have been three types of weddings. The first type was the marriage of primitive man, who simply stole the woman he wanted for his wife and dragged her off to his cave. The second type, as man became more civilized, was marriage by contract or purchase. In this type, the groom bought … Read more

Can Anyone Be Hypnotized?

can anyone be hypnotized

When a person is hypnotized, he is usually in a kind of trance, but is wide awake and aware of everything happening around him. He is different from a sleeping person because he can walk, talk, write, and be active in any way that the hypnotist suggests. In order for a person to be hypnotized, … Read more

Are There Really UFOs?

are there really ufos

UFOs, or Unidentified Flying Objects, definitely do exist. That is, objects in the sky or objects landing from the sky have been reported by highly trustworthy people. Some of these people have even photographed them. But only some of these objects have been identified. Each year, the U.S. government receives hundreds of reports of these … Read more

What Is a Perpetual Calendar?

what is a perpetual calendar

A perpetual calendar is one that shows the day of the week for any year, past, present, or future, you might want to look up. The 14 calendars show when any date falls from the year 1776 to the year 2000. Simply look in the index for the year of your choice and find the … Read more

Did the Lost Continent of Atlantis Ever Exist?

did the lost continent of atlantis ever

In 335 B.C., the Greek philosopher and writer, Plato, wrote a tale about a splendid empire on a mythical island in ‘ the Atlantic Ocean. He called this empire Atlantis. But historians and writers down through the ages have questioned whether Plato’s tale was truth or fiction. According to Plato, Atlantis had a very advanced … Read more

Why Did People Put Gargoyles on Buildings?

why did people put gargoyles on buildings

Gargoyles are weird stone figures which are half human and half animal or half bird. They sit on edges of roofs of many old cathedrals, palaces, and other buildings. But these frightening figures are not there to frighten away passers-by; they serve a very useful purpose. Gargoyles are actually waterspouts to catch the rain as … Read more

How Long Have People Been Eating Candy?

how long have people been eating candy

Pictures and written records show that candy was made and eaten in Ancient Egypt over 4,000 years ago. These records show that honey, figs, and dates were the chief sweetening ingredients, since sugar was not yet known. As the taste for candy spread, each tribe had its own candy-maker, who guarded his secret recipes very … Read more

Is the Potato a Root or a Stem?

is the potato a root or a stem

No. Even though the part of the potato we eat grows in the ground, it is not the root of the plant. It is the underground part of the stem that has thickened. This part of the stem is called a tuber. Tubers thicken and grow big because they store the food supply for the … Read more

Why Do Potatoes Have “Eyes” and “Eyebrows”?

why do potatoes have eyes and eyebrows

The small dents in a potato are what people have long been calling its “eyes.” But these eyes are really buds on the potato, buds that have not developed. However, these buds are important to potato farmers, for it is from them that new potato plants will grow. Each potato is cut apart, with a … Read more

What Is the Largest Office Building in the World?

what is the largest office building in the world

The Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the United States government’s Department of Defense, was the biggest office building in the world when it opened on January 15, 1943. It lies on the west bank of the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia, just across from Washington, D.C. The Pentagon was named for its shape, which … Read more

Did Anyone Ever Hit 125 Home Runs in One Hour?

did anyone ever hit 125 home runs in one hour

In 1927, the great slugger Babe Ruth did just that! Before an exhibition game at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, the Babe stood at home plate while six different pitchers took turns pitching to him. During a one-hour period, he hit 125 home runs, or about one every thirty seconds! In 1961, the record for … Read more

Did a Midget Ever Play Professional Baseball?

did a midget ever play professional baseball

Bill Veeck, one-time owner of the St. Louis Browns baseball team, was known for pulling many stunts to increase attendance at his team’s games. One of these stunts involved Edward Gaedel, a 26-year-old midget, only 43″ tall. Even though Gaedel knew nothing about baseball, Veeck trained him, figuring that it would be difficult for a … Read more

What Food Is a Prized Family Heirloom?

what food is a prized family heirloom

A West Indian stew, consisting of meat, fish, vegetables, and highly seasoned spices, is considered a family heirloom. The family stew pot, known by the natives as pepperpot, is never completely emptied. Some of this good Caribbean stew is always left in the pot as the beginning of the next stew. Mothers bequeath their stew … Read more

Why Are Ships Launched with Champagne?

why are ships launched with champagne

In ancient days, ships were christened with human blood as an offering to the sea gods, so that they would have this offering and spare the blood, actually the lives, of the men on board the ship. As men became more civilized, the blood of animals was used, and later, red wine and champagne. Even … Read more

Why Do Soldiers Salute?

why do soldiers salute

Saluting is a custom which goes back to the days of knights in armor. At that time, the knights raised their visors as a gesture of respect and friendship when greeting someone. Among soldiers, the custom of raising the right hand to the forehead continued after the helmet and visor were no longer worn. Our … Read more

Which Country Has the Longest National Anthem?

which country has the longest national anthem

Perhaps you thought that “The Star-Spangled Banner,” with its four verses, was difficult to memorize, and seemed the longest to you. But Francis Scott Key’s poem set to the music of a British drinking song would seem quite easy and short compared to the Greek National Anthem, ” Imnos pros tin Eleftherian,” or “The Hymn … Read more

Which President Slept Through His Entire Term in Office?

which president slept through his entire term in office

Why, it was David Rice Atchison, of course! What? You never heard of him? Probably not; very few people have. But Senator Atchison did serve as President and did sleep through his term in office. Here’s how it happened. James K. Polk’s term as the 11th President of the United States expired on Saturday, March … Read more

What Is the Longest Vehicle in the World?

what is the longest vehicle in the world

Perhaps you thought that some of the huge tractor trailors on the road today were the longest you’d ever seen, but even the longest of those measures only about 52 feet long. Imagine, if you can, more than eleven of those long tractor trailers, one behind the other, and you will come up with the … Read more

What Is the Most Expensive Car Ever Made?

what is the most expensive car ever made

The Presidential limousine, a Lincoln Continental Executive, made for President Richard Nixon in 1968, holds the honor as the most expensive car ever made. This 21- foot-long car has two tons of armor plate covering it, bringing its weight to 12,000 pounds, or about 6,000 pounds more than a normal limousine. Its wheels and tires … Read more

Why Do We Say “A Little Bird Told Me”?

why do we say a little bird told me

Ancient people believed that birds could talk and bring information to them. Passages in the Old Testament and in the Koran, the Bible of the Mohammedans, describe birds talking to wise men. These birds were believed to be messengers of the spirits of dead people, since the birds flew up into the sky where these … Read more

Why Do People Fear Black Cats?

why do people fear black cats scaled

The ancient Egyptians believed that cats were sacred, so they worshipped them. An Egyptian goddess called Pasht was said to have had the body of a woman and the head of a cat. Since the Egyptians believed that Pasht had nine lives, they also believed that all cats did. The Egyptians were so respectful of … Read more

What Is the Tallest Monument in the World?

what is the tallest monument in the world

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, holds the record as the world’s tallest monument, having taken the title away from the 555-foot Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. The 630-foot Arch stands impressively on the west bank, or the Missouri side, of the Mississippi River on a site that in 1764 held a small trading … Read more

What Is the Tallest Building in the World Today?

what is the tallest building in the world today scaled

That title, held by the Empire State Building in New York for more than 40 years from 1931 on, was taken over by the twin towers of the World Trade Center of New York in 1972. But that record was held only two years. In 1974, the Sears Tower in Chicago, Illinois, claimed the title … Read more

Can Gemstones Really Cure Diseases?

can gemstones really cure diseases

Just as early people believed that wearing gemstones could influence their personalities and bring them luck, they also believed that these stones could prevent or cure diseases as well. They believed that: Amethysts could cure toothaches and headaches. Diamonds could cure leprosy, insanity, and prevent nightmares. Agates could reduce fever. Sapphires protected people from the … Read more

Why Do We have Birthstones?

why do we have birthstones

Many early people believed that certain gems had strange and mysterious powers, that gems could bring good luck to a person and influence his personality. Fortune-tellers in the Middle Ages, eager to strengthen their influence over superstitious people, chose a gemstone for each month of the year and told people that if they wore the … Read more

Was Uncle Sam a Real Person?

was uncle sam a real person scaled

During the War of 1812, Samuel Wilson of Troy, New York, supplied barrels of salted meat to the U.S. government for-its troops. To show that he had personally inspected the meat, Wilson stamped the letters “U.S.” on the meat, indicating that it was for the U.S. government. But Wilson’s neighbors in Troy, who fondly called … Read more

Was It Ever Illegal To Wear Make-up?

was it ever illegal to wear make up scaled

The English in the late 1700s frowned upon women wearing make-up for the effect it would have on men. And so, in 1770, a bill was introduced into Parliament stating that, “All women of any age or rank who shall lure into marriage any of His Majesty’s subjects by scents, paints, cosmetics, artificial teeth, false … Read more

How Long Have Women Been Using Make-Up?

how long have women been using make up

The use of lipstick and other cosmetics is very ancient, dating back 6,000 years ago in Egypt. The making and wearing of cosmetics, however, was popularized by Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt, who lived from 69 to 30 B.C. Following the example of Cleopatra, Egyptian women painted the under side of their eyes green, … Read more

Did the U.S. Army Ever Have a Camel Corps?

did the u s army ever have a camel corps

You’ve surely heard of the. Infantry and the Cavalry, but not many people know that the United States once had a Camel Corps. Back in 1850, before the railroad crossed the country, the U.S. Army needed a cheap, fast way of moving supplies westward. These supplies were needed by the army in their wars against … Read more

Does a Lost Balloon Go On Forever into Space?

does a lost balloon go on forever into space scaled

When a balloon is carried by the wind high into the sky, it seems as if it will go on flying forever. But it doesn’t. Even though the opening of the balloon may have been tied tightly, the gas that filled it and lifted it slowly begins to push out, bit by bit, through the … Read more

Which Bounces Higher a Steel Ball or a Rubber Ball?

which bounces higher a steel ball or a rubber ball

SURPRISE! It’s a steel ball! When a steel ball hits a hard surface, like the ground, it dents just like a rubber ball. But the steel ball snaps back into shape much faster than a rubber ball. It is the snapping back into shape that makes any ball bounce, so since the steel ball snaps … Read more

Why Did the Indians Sell Manhattan Island For Only $24?

why did the indians sell manhattan island for only 24

When the Dutch settlers came to the New World in 1626, they wanted to build a town on the island called “Manna-Hattin,” at the mouth of the Hudson River. So Peter Minuit, representing the Dutch West India Company, approached a group of Indians on the island and traded the land for some beads, cloth, and … Read more

What Is the Great Mystery Surrounding Coca-Cola?

what is the great mystery surrounding coca cola

Since its invention in 1886, the secret formula for making Coca-Cola has been known to only seven men. Today, just two of these men are still alive, and they never travel together on the same airplane. The world’s most popular soft drink was the creation of a druggist named John S. Pemberton of Atlanta, Georgia. … Read more

Can You Make a Wish on a Banana?

can you make a wish on a banana scaled

Many people have been making wishes for years on four leaf clovers, chicken bones, and the first star out at night. But you can make a wish on a banana too. Before you eat it, make a wish. To learn if your wish will come true, cut a thin slice from the bottom of the … Read more

Which Artist Painted the Greatest Number of Pictures?

which artist painted the greatest number of pictures scaled

The Spanish artist Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Crispin Crispiano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso holds the honor as the most productive artist in world history. During his 78-year career, Picasso produced 13,500 paintings, 100,000 prints and engravings, 34,000 book illustrations, and 300 pieces of sculpture. These works are valued … Read more

What World Famous Painting Once Hung in a King’s Bathroom?

what world famous painting once hung in a kings bathroom

In 1507, when Leonardo da Vinci painted a portrait of Mona Lisa Gherardini for her husband, a merchant named Francesco del Giocondo, the husband did not like the finished painting and refused to pay for it. Was it because of her mysterious smile which still puzzles viewers today? No one knows. But King Francis I … Read more

How Old Are the Oldest Paintings Known?

how old are the oldest paintings known

According to stories, four boys and their dog, playing on a mountainside in Lescaux, France, near the border between France and Spain, were caught in the rain and found shelter in a cave. There, they discovered paintings on the walls. When scientists tested this cave art and similar cave art found in southern Spain, Portugal, … Read more

Where Is Spitting Considered Polite?

where is spitting considered polite

Among the Masai tribesmen of East Central Africa, spitting is considered an act of respect and friendship. A newborn Masai child is spit upon by friends and relatives wishing to give the child good luck. Masai tribesmen spit at each other when they meet, just as we say “Hello,” and spit again to say “Good-bye.” … Read more

Was There Ever a Sport Called Face Slapping?

was there ever a sport called face slapping

For a brief period in the 1930s, the Russian people in the city of Kiev came out to watch the sport of “Face-Slapping.” The two opponents did just that, slapped each other’s faces with their open hands until one bloody cornbattant gave up. An endurance record was set in 1931 when two “slappers” went at … Read more

Can Computers Make Music?

can computers make music

Since music is a name given to certain sounds produced by the voice or an instrument, the answer is yes. The idea of constructing a single machine to create and combine electronic sounds as music was developed in 1955 by the Radio Corporation of America. RCA developed an Electronic Music Synthesizer, which was able to … Read more

Who Was Johnny Appleseed?

who was johnny appleseed scaled

Johnny Appleseed was the name given to a pioneer named John Chapman. During the early 1800s, Chapman settled along the Ohio River. He was a mixture of nurseryman and herb doctor. Chapman sold apple seeds and sprouts of apple trees throughout Northern and Central Ohio. As payment, Chapman accepted any amount of money or any … Read more

Can an Apple a Day Keep the Doctor Away?

can an apple a day keep the doctor away

This is an old saying, and nothing more. Apples do not have any magical powers to prevent disease, but scientists have proven that apples do give the human body much of the potassium that it needs. This mineral, combined with many others, does help keep the human body strong and healthy. There are nearly 10,000 … Read more

Which Comic Strip Is the Most Popular of All Time?

which comic strip is the most popular of all time

Did you guess Superman? Or perhaps Dick Tracy? Or even Tarzan? Even though these comic strip characters have been read for many years, the most popular strip today is Peanuts. The adventures of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and Lucy are read by more people today than any other comic strip characters in history. The record for … Read more

How Much Was Columbus Paid for Discovering America?

how much was columbus paid for discovering america

At the time Columbus sailed from Spain, in August, 1492, the Spanish unit of currency was the maravedi, a small silver coin. Columbus was paid 2,000 maravedis a month, which at that time could buy a cow or five pigs. Judging Columbus’ salary in American money today, his two-month voyage to discover the New World … Read more

How Did Circus Performers Come To Wear Tights?

how did circus performers come to wear tights scaled

Quite by accident, really!, In 1828, Nelson Hower, a bareback rider in a circus, dressed as did all bareback riders in his day, in a short jacket, stockings, and knee breeches. On one particular evening, however, Hower’s costumes failed to arrive in time for his performance, and he was forced to go on with the … Read more

Can You Really Go to School To Learn To Be a Clown?

can you really go to school to learn to be a clown

Yes! The Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus has a clown training school each year in Venice, Florida, near its winter headquarters. Three hundred hopeful clowns attend the school, but only the best thirty are selected to perform in the circus. Each clown selected gets a two-year contract and earns about $200 per week to … Read more

Did Mermaids Ever Really Exist and Where Do Mermaids Come From?

did mermaids ever really exist and where do mermaids come from

The beautiful creatures with human bodies down to the waist and scaly, fish-like tails from the waist down exist ONLY in folklore and in fairy tales of many lands. In ancient Greek mythology, mermaids were beautiful sirens who lured sailors to their deaths. In German fairy tales, these maidens were said to have lived in … Read more

What Is Ant Candy?

what is ant candy

At fiesta time in certain parts of Mexico, ant candy is one of the treats that children and grownups look forward to. The special types of ants which are used for this candy are called honey ants. Honey ants gather a kind of syrup that other insects leave on oak leaves. As an ant eats … Read more

Why Do We Say God Bless You! After a Sneeze?

why do we say god bless you after a sneeze

Ancient man believed that his breath contained his spirit, or his soul, and that it lived in his head. Therefore, when he sneezed, he feared that he was losing his soul and leaving an empty place in his head for evil spirits to enter. All this would happen unless God prevented it. Thus, a wish … Read more

Can an Egg Drop 600 Feet and Not Break?

can an egg drop 600 feet and not break

On February 8, 1974, an egg was dropped 600 feet from a moving helicopter and it did not break when it hit the ground! No, it was NOT hard-boiled. It was a raw egg. Why? The forward movement of the helicopter through the air caused the egg to land very gently and not break. In … Read more

How Does Abracadabra Cure a Fever?

how does abracadabra cure a fever

ABRACADABRA ABRACADABR ABR ACADAB ABRACADA ABRACAD ABRACA ABRAC ABRA ABR AB A According to an old superstition popular during the Middle Ages, the word “Abracadabra” could cure a fever. All the sufferer had to do was write the word six times in the shape of an upside-down pyramid, by dropping one letter of the word … Read more

Why Did the Egyptians Make Mummies?

why did the egyptians make mummies

Because the ancient Egyptians believed that there was life after death, they reasoned that a person would need his body with him. They therefore developed a method of preserving, or embalming, bodies to make mummies. Ancient books describe the complete embalming process, which took 70 days. First, the embalmer made a small incision and removed … Read more

Who Were the Amazons?

who were the amazons

Ancient writings describe a bold, warlike tribe of women who came from the Caucasus Mountains of Russia and settled in Asia Minor, the peninsula between the Mediterranean and Black Seas. The Amazons were governed by a queen, and their entire state was run by women. These women fought wars and established their own cities. According … Read more