Happy National Trivia Day!

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries cover

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries cover
It may itself be a lit­tle-known fact, but Jan­u­ary 4th is Nation­al Triv­ia Day! To cel­e­brate, I thought I’d post some triv­ia tid­bits from Two Truths and a Lie: His­to­ries and Mys­ter­ies. Remem­ber, ONE of the claims in each set of three below fol­low­ing is false. Can you fig­ure out which one in each trio is the fake triv­i­um? (Did you know triv­ia is the plur­al of trivium?)


  1. There’s an aban­doned cruise ship loaded with crazed, can­ni­bal rats drift­ing around some­where in the Atlantic Ocean. Beware!
  2. A banyan tree in Pak­istan was put under arrest by a British army offi­cer in 1898 and is still in chains today. Par­don, anyone?
  3. It’s ille­gal to chew gum in Singapore.



  1. Ben Franklin wrote a trea­tise on why sci­en­tists should try to find a way to make farts smell better.
  2. Dog Island is an island oasis ded­i­cat­ed to let­ting dogs live out their wilder natures, undis­turbed by humans. Be free, Fifi.
  3. There’s an annu­al fes­ti­val in Spain cen­tered around throw­ing toma­toes at peo­ple. Food fight!



  1. The old­est known den­tal fill­ings date back to between 12,740 and 13,000 years ago, and they were filled with, essen­tial­ly, tar. Ew.
  2. It’s ille­gal to own a pet tur­tle in Ice­land, and 1 in 10 chil­dren there grow up to become authors.
  3. I was once trapped in an ele­va­tor, alone, overnight. Scary!

If you don’t know all of the answers, go do some research and see if you can fig­ure them out! But be care­ful… things might not always be what they seem at first glance, and truth often is stranger than fiction.
For even more triv­ia fun, check out this post from Men­talFloss on Nation­al Triv­ia Day last year. I espe­cial­ly love the one about Ben & Jer­ry’s ice cream. (I’m a huge fan of their new Urban Bour­bon flavor!)
If you enjoyed these true (and not so true) triv­ia facts for Nation­al Triv­ia Day, or want to check your answers, make sure to check out the book: Two Truths and a Lie: His­to­ries and Mys­ter­ies!
Do you have any favorite triv­ia tid­bits? Please post them in the com­ments below (and be sure to warn us if they might not be 100% true)!