Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Did you know that Napoleon was actually not short?We are addicted to a book called: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong. It’s by a Ph.D. named Rod Evans.
It lists stuff people believe to be true about history, science, religion, and business that turns out to be wrong.
Anyway, it turns out Napoleon was actually about 5’6″ – taller than the average frenchman of the 1800s. The whole “little emperor” thing was actually just a term of endearment.
You’re also wrong about Columbus, by the way. He thought the Earth was pear-shaped, not round.
You can buy an ebook verson of Sorry, Wrong Answer here.
In the meantime, we also found a bunch of common misconceptions on Wikipedia. Obviously, we can’t vouch for them entirely because anybody can write anything they want on that site.
Still, all the facts are pretty well cited and pretty dang mind-blowing, no?
Our 10 favourites:
- JFK did not call himself a jelly doughnut in Berlin.
- George Washington didn’t have wooden teeth.
- Chainmail is actually harder to move around in than plate armour.
- Iron Maidens were not medieval torture devices.
- Marco Polo didn’t bring pasta to Italy from China. Arabs brought it from Libya in the seventh century.
- Irregardless is a word.
- 420 is not a police code.
- No one actually said “ye” instead of “the” – it’s just that the character for Th used to look like Y.
- Hair and fingernails do not keep growing after you die. Your skin shrinks and makes it look like it.
- If she said it, Marie Antoinette only said “let them eat cake” when she was 10 – long before peasants where rioting over starvation.
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