Humans Share 50% DNA With Bananas: The Fascinating Facts About the Scientific World Around Us


When is it least likely to rain?

Want to know about the first text message ever sent?

These are just some of the fascinating facts chosen by a group of teachers to inspire youngsters to pick a career in science and engineering.

They are launching a “guerilla science” campaign, posting up a range of amazing and amusing facts in parks, chippies and skate parks.

The project has been organised with The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair to be held at Birmingham NEC on March 13-16 next year.

Vasu Krishnaswamy from London’s Stanmore College has been involved and says: “This is a fun and different way to remind pupils that science and engineering are part of our lives – from the games they play on their iPhone, to the bus they get on each day.

“We hope to capture young people’s imaginations – the first step to really engaging in and enjoying a subject.”

For more fascinating facts about the scientific world around us, read on…


  • The first computer mouse was made of wood.
  • In 2011, a 75-year-old Georgian woman stole some fibre optic cables and cut off the internet to two entire countries.
  • The words written on Twitter every day would fill a book of 10 million pages.
  • The technology behind smartphones relies on up to 250,000 separate patents.
  • A typical microwave oven uses more electricity keeping its digital clock on standby than it does heating food.
  • The entire internet weighs about the same as one large strawberry.


  • On average, every square mile of sea on the planet contains 46,000 pieces of rubbish.
  • If humans were capable of hearing bass frequencies lower than 20 Hz, we would be able to hear our own muscles moving.
  • Humans share 50% of our DNA with a banana.
  • Twenty five per cent of all of your bones are in your feet.
  • The average person walks the equivalent of three times around the world in a lifetime.
  • The average lavatory seat is much cleaner than the aver­age toothbrush. That’s because your teeth are home to around 10,000 million bacteria per square cm.
  • The Inca measurement of time was based on how long it took to boil a potato.
  • Mosquitoes have killed more humans than all the wars in history combined.
  • Cats have more than one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs have only about 10.
  • If you drilled a tunnel straight through the Earth and jumped in, it would take you 42 minutes 12 seconds to get to the other side.
  • Light travels 18 million times faster than rain.
  • 8.95% of the underwater world remains unexplored.
  • Under extreme high pressure, diamonds can be made from peanut butter.
  • If the Sun was scaled down to the size of a white blood cell, the Milky Way galaxy would be the size of the United States.
  • There are more living organisms in a teaspoonful of soil than there are people alive on Earth.
  • Japan has a network of roads that play music as you drive over them.
  • The world’s smallest test tube has a diameter 10,000 times narrower than a human hair.
  • A single bolt of lightning contains enough energy to cook 100,000 pieces of toast.
  • The ozone layer smells faintly of geraniums.


  • The Eiffel Tower’s height varies by up to six inches with the temperature.
  • Work at the 2012 Olympic Park took 700 million hours by 30,000-plus building workers and engineers.
  • The first ever text message said “Merry Christmas”.
  • Machines as long as two football pitches moving at 76m a day took 3 years to drill the Channel Tunnel.
  • Sherman Poppen glued two skis together to make a “snurfer”, the first snowboard, in 1965.
  • Engineers have made bionic hands controllable by an iPhone app.
  • A nightingale’s song can be louder than a chainsaw.
  • Aircraft engines suck in 1.25 tons of air per second on take-off – that’s about the volume of a squash court.
  • The hollow bit in the middle of a brick is called a “frog”.



  • The average pencil writes 45,000 words or a 35-mile long line.
  • Going to work is statistically three times more dangerous than war.
  • It is most likely to be raining at 7am and least likely at 3am.
  • Google was named after “googol” (one with 100 zeros) was mistyped.
  • The “Arabic” numbering system was actually invented in India.
  • You are 1% shorter in the evening than in the morning.
  • 2,520 is the smallest number that can be exactly divided by all the numbers 1 to 10.
  • In a room of 23 people there’s a 50-50 chance of two people sharing a birthday. With a group of 75 people there’s a 99% chance.