Summer Fun Facts
For the majority of kids, school is out for the summer, but as we all know the learning never stops. Here are some fun and interesting facts to amaze and astound your children and friends during those otherwise hot and lazy days of summer.
~ The first Olympic Games were held in Greece more than two thousand years ago. When the Modern Games were revived in 1896, founder Pierre de Coubertin again chose Athens as the host city. In 2004, the games will return to their birthplace for a third time.
~ Sharks are one of the oldest living creatures in the sea. There is evidence that the shark species has been around for more than 400 million years. Current sharks are much smaller than those from dinosaur times. The sharks that lived in the dino-age were up to 80 feet long, where todayís largest shark, the Great White, grows to lengths of only 25 feet.
~ Mosquitoes are insects that have been around for 30 million years. They have chemical sensors that can detect mammals from 100 feet away; they have heat sensors to detect warm-blooded creatures; and they have visual sensors that detect movement and contrast in colors. The first activity of an adult mosquito is to mate. The females lay their eggs and then live from days to months afterward. The male mosquito dies within days after mating.
~ Watermelon is actually a VEGETABLE! It is from the botanical family Cucurbitaceae and is most closely related to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash. The watermelon is composed of 92% water and early explorers often used hollowed out watermelons as canteens.
~ In 1905, an 11-year-old boy named Frank Epperson invented the first Popsicle. He created it completely by accident. Frank accidentally left a mixture of powdered soda and water, with a stirring stick, on his porch. He awoke the next morning and found a frozen pop! He first named his frozen pop an "Epsicle", but when he got older his kids asked for "Popís" sicle and the new name was born. Popsicles are more popular than ever today, with Cherry being the number one favorite flavor.
~ The average American eats around 5 1/2 gallons of ice cream a year, more than any other nationality. The late President Reagan declared July National Ice Cream month. It is also the month the most ice cream is sold.
~ The first "bathing suits" for women were introduced in the early 1800ís. At that time it was still considered improper for skin to be any color but creamy white. The first "suits" were composed of long sleeved bathing dresses with woolen bloomers underneath to weight the dress down. The only "swimming" a woman did at that time was to jump waves at the edge of the water and dip her feet, and occasionally legs, into the water.
~ The Frisbee was originally designed as a tin pie plate in the 1870ís. It was a marketing scheme to encourage homemakers to see the name "Frisbee" on the pie tin and think how much easier it would be to buy a pie instead of making one. Eventually, Mr. Frisbeeís pies were sold all over Connecticut. In the 1940ís, Yale students began tossing the pie tins to one another in a game of catch. The game caught on throughout the campus. About 10 years later, the president of Wham-O saw the pie-tin tossing fun at Yale. He saw this as a toy he could easily market. There were issues with the tin, so the plastic disc was born. Because of the craze of UFOs during this time, the plastic disc quickly became known as a "flying saucer".
The age of the computer has put all of these interesting facts right at our fingertips. Print them out, read them and then store them in the recesses of your brain. You just never know when a lull in conversation or a "Mom, Iím bored!" could be easily remedied by knowing the life cycle of a buzzing insect.
Lynette is a wife and SAHM of three children from the Pacific Northwest. Her brain is constantly brimming over with otherwise useless facts that she pulls out from time to time to astound and amaze her children.