Oddball Facts for Inquisitive Kids

If the kid in your life is anything like my younger brother, they can’t get enough of fun facts. That includes facts about hidden histories; facts about puzzling people; and, of course, facts about amazing animals. Luckily, Andy Warner is here to satisfy the most inquisitive of fact-seekers! In his new book, Andy Warner’s Oddball Histories: Pests and Pets, he covers the fascinating history of pests and pets from all over the globe. Share the oddball facts below with the curious children in your life, and then go order the book to discover even more oddities!


  1. In Ancient Greece, if a household’s cat died, all the family had to shave their eyebrows. Imagine how you’d look without eyebrows!

  3. London’s double-decker “buses” used to be pulled by horses. In 1900, there were 3,737 of them!

  5. Almost all pet hamsters descend from the same mom, who lived in Aleppo only 90 years ago. That’s one big family reunion.

  7. The Incans used to dress up guinea pigs with earrings, necklaces, and even tiny, beautiful rugs for rituals. Do you ever dress up your pet?

  9. There’s an island in Japan completely overrun by feral pet rabbits!

  11. China domesticated pigs before sheep, goats, or cows. Their written character for “home” is made up of the character for “pig” under the character for “roof.”

  13. Bees dance to communicate. One dance, called the waggle, tells other bees where to find food. I also do a waggle dance when I’ve found some tasty new food source.
  14. Thirty-two pigeons were awarded a medal of valor in World War II for carrying messages. One reason they’re so good at this is because they can sense the earth’s magnetic field and use it to navigate on cloudy days.

  16. The letter A in alphabets that evolved from Mesopotamia (including our English alphabet) is based on the shape of a cow’s head. If you turn your head and squint a bit, can you see it?

  18. Surinam cockroaches, a tropical species of the insect, are all female and reproduce by cloning themselves. Now that’s girl power!

Learn more wacky facts about your favorite (and least favorite) creatures: