Some of you might remember the Twitter account WTF Facts from Bored Panda's earlier post but if you aren't familiar with it yet, all you need to know is that it shares weird but interesting trivia.
From celebrity life and movies to archeological finds and history, WTF Facts covers a wide range of themes, and reassures its 130K followers that all of the information which appears on the account is fact-checked and verified.
It's been a while since our last publication about this fun online project, so we thought it's the perfect time to revisit it and help you replenish your thirst for knowledge. Enjoy!
More info: Twitter
At first, you might not know what to do with this information. But I have two words for you: trivia night. As Jaya Saxena wrote in GQ, no one can claim to have invented "knowing random stuff for fun," but the trend gained a lot of traction in the 1970s. While the original Jeopardy! daytime game show premiered back in 1964, the nighttime syndicated version started airing a decade later, around the time when pub trivia began to take off.
Of course, pub quiz nights have evolved and a lot of that change has been organic, the first formalized version came about in 1976, when Sharon Burns and Tom Porter peddled quizzes to pubs in southern England.
At first, the idea was to give bars a way to get people inside on slow nights, but the concept of pub quiz turned into a cultural phenomenon. In the U.S., groups like Pub Trivia USA and America's Pub Quiz organize city- and state-wide competitions, often with serious cash prizes.
"We don't want people to walk into a bar and feel like they can't contribute for a round," Cullen Shaw, co-founder of the NYC Trivia League, said. "If there's a really difficult 17th-century poetry question, maybe there's one person in the bar that knows that, but a sports question comes up after that and they let someone else answer. That's what's fun about team trivia."
But you don't even need a team to participate now. Hundreds of thousands of people log on every night to play HQ, and though the app can be glitchy at times, it hasn't stopped folks from trying to claim hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in prize money.
But learning obscure facts isn't just fun. It's also good for our mental health. For example, experts say that playing trivia games can provide a dopamine rush much like gambling, but without the negative effects.
"You get a rush or a neuroreward signal or a dopamine burst from winning,” John Kounios, Ph.D., professor of psychology and director of the doctoral program in applied cognitive and brain sciences at Drexel University in Pennsylvania, told Healthline. “I think whenever you’re challenged with a trivia question and you happen to know it, you get a rush. It’s sort of like gambling.”
Kounios said the benefits can also be similar to those of playing a video game. However, unlike gambling and video games, Kounios said trivia is not a problematic habit.
"I don't think there are any pitfalls," he said. "Like anything else that’s fun, it [just] takes up time."