There’s no doubt about it: kids are sponges when it comes to learning (and picking up on swear words, turns out). We’ve rounded up some amazing facts that will entertain and wow them. Use these to impress your kids or let your kids impress you. Either way, here are some amazing everyday facts and trivia kids of all ages will love.

8 Incredible Facts about the Weather

1. Some tornadoes can be faster than Formula One race cars!

2. There are 2,000 thunderstorms on Earth every minute.

3. The wind is silent until it blows against something. 

4. There are ice caves in Iceland that have hot springs.

5. The fastest recorded raindrop was 18 mph! 

6. The US gets over 1200 tornadoes a year.

7. Lightning can, in fact, strike twice.

8.  Clouds look white because they are reflecting sunlight from above them.

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10 Cool Facts About History

1. The Wright Brothers only flew together once (though both piloted the planes individually): on May 25, 1910 they took a six-minute flight piloted by Orville with Wilbur as his passenger.

2. Regardless of their size, naval tradition declares submarines be called “boats” rather than “ships.”

3. Hedy Lamar was a famous Hollywood film actress who also invented what became modern day Wi-Fi. 

4. Walt Disney started sketching regularly when he was just four years old.

5. Abraham Lincoln lost five separate elections before he became president of the U.S. (Never, ever, ever give up!)

6. Pablo Picasso entered art school around the age of 10. The Picasso Museum in Barcelona, Spain includes many “early works” from his childhood.

7. Frederick Douglass taught himself to read and write.

8. Before European contact (which caused populations to diminish rapidly ) California indigenous tribal groups spoke more than 200 unique dialects. 

9. Amelia Earhart first saw a plane at the age of 10, but didn't take an airplane ride until 1920 when she was 23 years old. 

10. Abe Lincoln was a professional wrestler long before he became the 16th President of the United States. 

12 Delicious Food Facts

1.The world’s longest French fry is 34-inches long.  

2. Garlic bulbs are full of Vitamin C, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and more. It also has 17 amino acids.

3. On the South Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha, potatoes were once used as currency.

4. The strawberry is the only fruit that bears seeds on the outside.

5. According to Tori Avey, coffee became a popular drink in America after the Boston Tea Party of 1773: making the switch from tea to coffee was considered patriotic duty.

6. The double coconut palm produced the biggest seed in the world: 45 pounds.

7. Ice cream was once called “cream ice.”

8. Pound cake is so called because the recipes once called for a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs and a pound of flour. 

9. Peanuts aren't nuts! (They're legumes.)

10. Carrots weren't always orange: they were once exclusively purple

11. Cherries are a member of the rose family (Rosaceae) as are quince, pears, plums, apples, peaches and raspberries! 

12. Lima beans have an amazing ability to command wasps as a defense. If insects are eating the lima bean's leaves, the plant gives off a substance that acts as a signal to parasitic wasps to swoop in and destroy their enemy (i.e. the leaf-eating insects).

photo: The Presidio SF

9 Amazing Space Facts

1. The moon is very hot (224 degrees Fahrenheit, average) during the day but very cold (-243 degrees average) at night.

2. Venus spins clockwise. It’s the only planet that does!

3. One teaspoon of a neutron star would weigh six-billion tons.

4. Sally Ride was the first American woman to fly in space, on June 18, 1983.

5. One million Earths could fit inside the sun!

6. Even in an airplane, a trip to Pluto would take about 800 years. 

7. Ham the Astrochimp was the first hominid in space, launched on Jan. 31, 1961. 

8. Neptune’s days are 16 hours long.

9. It takes eight minutes and 19 seconds for light to travel from the sun to Earth.

10 Wild Facts About Animals

1. Many people believe that early mermaid sightings can be attributed to dehydration + manatees.

2. Sloths cannot shiver to stay warm, and so have difficulty maintaining their body temperature on rainy days.

3. In the wild, some reindeer travel more than 3000 miles in a single year.

4. Only half of the dolphin’s brain goes to sleep when asleep and the other half stays awake.

5. Other than humans, emperor penguins are the only warm-blooded animal to stay on Antarctica for the winter.

6. The biggest fossil of a spider was found in China. It is one-inch long and 165 million years old.

7. The largest living animal is the blue whale, which can measure as much as 100 feet. 

8. Nearly 10 percent of all of a cat's bones are in its tail.

9. In the winter time reindeer grow their facial hair long enough to cover their mouths, which protects their muzzles when grazing in the snow. Beard-os! 

10. Dolphins have been seen wrapping sea sponge around their long snouts to protect them from cuts while foraging for food.

photo: Wikimedia Commons

10 Spectacular Sports Facts

1. In 1962, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single NBA basketball game. No one has broken this record (not even Steph Curry!).

2. Babe Ruth began his career as a pitcher: Ruth was both a left-handed pitcher and left-handed batter.

3. The record for the long jump is held by Mike Powell: 29 ft. + 4 inches. That’s like jumping the length of two minivans!

4. The most medals won for Olympic basketball (male or female) are both held by women: Teresa Edwards and Lisa Leslie with four gold medals each.

5. Wilma Rudolph (who set the world record in 1960 for 100, 200 and 4x100-meter relay) had polio, scarlet fever and pneumonia as a child, leading doctors to believe she’d never walk again.

6. NFL Super Bowl referees also get Super Bowl rings. 

7. In 1919, Cleveland Indians pitcher Ray Caldwell was struck by lightning in the middle of the 9th inning. He kept playing! 

8. The 'G' on the Green Bay Packers helmet stands for "greatness" not Green Bay! 

9. Baseballs last an average of seven pitches. 

10. Manon Rheaume is the only woman to have played in an NHL game.

—Amber Guetebier

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