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Myth Trivia: Eleven preposterous facts so strange they must be fake news

Written By | Apr 30, 2020
Fake News, myth trivia, snails, wine, chickens

CHARLOTTE, NC:  One of President Donald Trump’s biggest complaints is something he calls “fake news.” In Trump-world the president claims that some members of the mainstream media often “create” or distort information in order to make him look bad.

With that thought in mind Myth Trivia, with help from, decided to look at some other things that appear to be so outlandish that they almost appear to have been made up.

Humans are the only animals with chins:

Chances are good you never gave this much thought, but it is a fact nevertheless according to Dr. James Pampush. As co-author of The Enduring Puzzle Of The Human Chin, Pampush states that despite the similarities humans share with other animal species, “all of the hominids, which is the family tree after the split with chimpanzees, there [aren’t] really that many traits that we can say are exclusively human. The one thing that really sticks out is the chin.” Pampush did not go on to explain the phenomenon of the double chin, however.

When taking a picture people used to say “prunes” instead of “cheese”:

Everyone knows that saying “cheese” for the photographer maximizes your smile and flashes those pearly whites for the camera. However, The Washington Post tells us that in the early 19th century, “prim and proper” was the preferred photographic standard, which meant that saying “prunes” provided the correct look for the era.

Sneezing when driving at 60 mph will close your eyes for about 50 feet:

Experts tell us that it’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open. That explains why a 2014 study by Halfords Autocentres found that drivers in England who temporarily lost their vision due to a sneeze while driving were responsible for 2,500 accidents every week. Now that’s nothing to sneeze at.

A Norwegian town wants to become the world’s first “time-free zone”:

In recent years there has been an on-going debate in the United States about whether or not to do away with Daylight Savings Time. That’s not the case in Sommarøy, Norway, however where the sun never sets from the middle of May until the end of July.

Harald Groven / CC BY-SA 3.0 NO (

Situated above the Arctic Circle, citizens of Sommarøy want to eliminate the concept of time and utilize the Midnight Sun in order to maximize their 24 hours of daylight.

As one citizen put it, “In the middle of the night, which city folk might call ‘2 a.m.,’ you can spot children playing soccer, people painting their houses or mowing their lawns, and teens going for a swim.”

Ahhh, but there’s still controversy from the opposition who logically asks “how a lack of time would change what these folks already do?”

The other side of the question is what happens in winter when there are three months of darkness and the sun never comes up?

Snails have thousands of microscopic teeth:

Yup, it’s true, some snail species possess a ribbon-like tongue and a jaw—called a radula—with thousands of tiny teeth according to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. This means that the best career in the slimy world of snaildom is probably an oral surgeon, especially if they can do 50 or 60 root canals in a single session and then go out for some escargot at lunch.

The world’s oldest unopened bottle of wine has been sealed since the 4th century:

The saying goes that fine wine improves with age but the Römerwein, or Speyer wine bottle, a 1.5-liter glass vessel found in a Roman nobleman’s tomb in what is now Germany dates back to sometime between 325 and 359 AD. However, aging for 1,650 years is a little extreme.

In fact, no one knows for sure how the wine smells or tastes because they cannot predict how it would react when exposed to the air if the bottle is opened.

Oklahoma’s state vegetable is the watermelon:

How often did your mother tell you to eat all your vegetables before you could have dessert? Well kids in Oklahoma today can thank State Senator Don Barrington for sponsoring a bill in 2007 to have watermelon declared the official state vegetable.

According to Barrington, watermelon comes from the cucumber and gourd families, which are classified as vegetables. In reality, watermelon is actually a berry. Goliath-sized yes, but a berry nevertheless.

Amazon sells chicken harnesses to help them cross the street safely:

We all know why the chicken crossed the road, but did you realize that for less than $20, you can order a safety harness from Amazon that is suitable for either a chicken or a goose.

The harnesses even feature snazzy bowties for birds that decide to run “afowl” of the law or to simply go halfway across in case they want to “lay it on the line.”

Woolly mammoths roamed the Earth when the pyramids were built:

It’s not uncommon to think of woolly mammoths as prehistoric creatures that lived on Earth long before humans arrived. The fact is, these giant beasts were still around when the Great Pyramid of Giza was built around 2580 to 2560 BC.

The last of the woolly mammoths went extinct from Wrangel Island in the Russian territory of the Arctic Ocean a mere 4,000 years ago.

A man named Ronald MacDonald once robbed a Wendy’s:

A 22-year old Manchester, NH man tried to “have it his way” in 2005 until he realized he was robbing a Wendy’s instead of Burger King. Ronald MacDonald said he was only “clowning around” when he was nabbed red-handed stealing money from the safe.

And now for the kicker.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written as a PR stunt to sell magazines:

Written as late as 1892 by Francis Bellamy, the Pledge was part of a contest designed to promote sales of the weekly children’s magazine Youth’s Companion. Over the years Bellamy’s original version has undergone some considerable changes, the most notable of which was the addition of the words “under God” in 1954.

About the Author:

Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people, and cultures around the globe.

He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (

His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.

Read more of Travels with Peabod and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.