WTF Fun Fact 13454 – Dumpling Flavored Soda

If you love dumplings, would you try a dumpling-flavored soda? We might. Or at least, we might have before reading about it.

Gyoza soda – Japan’s dumpling flavored soda monstrosity

Japan, a land of diverse flavors, occasionally throws up concoctions that can baffle even the most adventurous taste buds. And let’s just say they weren’t the only ones to “throw up” this particular culinary adventure.

One recent innovation in the Japanese beverage world was the dumpling (or gyoza)-flavored soda. This quirky drink has sparked intrigue, excitement, and disgust in equal measure.

This controversial drink was developed by Nagai Garden. And to be fair, it was marketed as “Gyoza cider.” It aimed to replicate the flavors of gyoza, a type of Japanese dumpling filled with meat and vegetables.

So it’s a carbonated, non-alcoholic beverage intended to encapsulate the salty, savory experience of a gyoza dumpling.

A flavor rollercoaster

The soda is reportedly a mix of sweet and savory tastes. First impressions are of a typical sweet soda, but the taste then turns into a confusing blend of savory gyoza flavors, ending with a garlicky aftertaste. The drink’s light yellow color gives no hint of the sensory rollercoaster it unleashes.

The reviews, to put it mildly, have been mixed. Online testimonials range from amusement to outright disgust, with some individuals expressing that the soda made them feel nauseated.

A general consensus is that the dumpling-flavored soda might be Japan’s worst-tasting soft drink. But in a world of flavor enthusiasts, the soda has its fair share of admirers, with some people appreciating its distinctiveness.

This unusual soda is a reflection of Japan’s ‘dare-to-drink’ culture. Japan’s beverage market is known for its wild array of flavors, often aiming to surprise or shock consumers. This culture has previously given us beverages such as salty watermelon Pepsi.

Novelty or Nasty?

While the drink is definitely unique, it’s up for debate whether it’s a novelty or simply nasty. For those who adore gyoza and are open to unusual flavor combinations, the dumpling soda could be an interesting exploration. However, for individuals with less adventurous palates, it’s probably a hard pass.

At the very least, the peculiar concoction has captured global attention, creating a buzz on social media and discussion forums. It’s a testament to the adage, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Dumpling-Flavored Soda – Probably Japan’s Worst-Tasting Soft Drink” — Oddity Central

WTF Fun Fact 13404 – A Bus Trip to London

Do you want to take a long bus trip to London? How does a 60-day trip sound? Adventures Overland, an Indian road trip company, has come up with a unique experience for travel enthusiasts. It’s a bus route from Iran to London. The journey winds through Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, and France before arriving in London.

Taking the long bus trip to London

The concept for this epic road trip started a few years back, and it was supposed to begin in India! Due to unforeseen circumstances such as travel restrictions in Myanmar and China and the Russia-Ukraine War, the company had to devise an alternative route. Their solution was to ship their vehicles to Iran and embark on a new journey. This one traverses diverse destinations across Eastern Europe, the Baltics, Scandinavia, and Western Europe.

The appeal of the “Road to London” trip lies partly in the landscapes encountered along the way. These include the deserts of Iran to the icy landscapes of Norway. Participants will also see historic landmarks, untamed wilderness, bustling cities, majestic peaks, and architectural masterpieces.

More than a bus ride

For those interested in joining the journey, the itinerary is packed with activities and experiences. It’s not just 60 days of sitting on a bus.

Participants can take boat rides, treks, hot air balloon rides, cruises, and immersive city tours. The trip offers something for everyone whether you’re traveling with friends, family, as a couple, or solo.

The “Road to London” expedition sets off from Bandar Abbas, Iran, a vibrant port city in the Hormozgān Province. Participants will receive their vehicles here and embark on an exploration of the ancient wonders of Persia. Highlights include visits to the city of Shiraz and the historic city of Isfahan, to see Persepolis.

See Europe in a unique way

Turkey presents the mesmerizing landscapes of Cappadocia and the vibrant city of Istanbul. Then, the convoy crosses borders, entering Bulgaria via Greece and making its way to Sofia, Bulgaria. The road then leads to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.

The expedition continues its exploration of Eastern Europe, with captivating stops in Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. Budapest, Hungary’s capital, presents a blend of sophistication, architectural grandeur, and rejuvenating thermal springs. Krakow, Poland, offers a humbling visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, unveils its contemporary architecture and vibrant spirit.

As the journey progresses, the convoy crosses borders once again, entering Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia—the captivating Baltic trio. The expedition culminates in Tallinn, Estonia, with its exquisitely preserved examples of medieval architecture.

Northern European landscapes

The adventure takes an exciting turn as participants board a ferry, embarking on a short cruise across the Baltic Sea to Helsinki, Finland. The Nordic culture and picturesque landscapes of Finland await exploration, including the enchanting Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus. The convoy then journeys to Norway, venturing into the Arctic Circle and marveling at the awe-inspiring Nordkapp, Europe’s northernmost point accessible by road. Then it’s on to Tromsø, known for its mesmerizing Aurora Borealis displays.

Norway’s scenic beauty also includes stops in Fauske, Trondheim, and Ålesund. The adventure concludes in Bergen, where participants will immerse themselves in the beautiful fjord landscapes.

The expedition’s final leg traverses Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France before reaching the United Kingdom. Along the way, participants will explore the vibrant cities of Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Paris.

Ready for the bus trip to London?

Adventures Overland’s bus trip from Iran to London encapsulates the essence of an extraordinary road trip. As geopolitical events necessitated a change in the route, this reimagined adventure promises to be an unparalleled experience!

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Road to London” — Adventures Overland

WTF Fun Fact 13403 – The Resurgence of Cassette Tapes

The recent resurgence of cassette tapes among music fans has come as a surprise to many. In fact, sales of cassette tapes have reached a level not seen in two decades, according to research conducted by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). While cassette sales still trail behind vinyl records in overall numbers, their popularity has been steadily rising for the last decade.

Why cassette tapes?

There are a few driving forces behind this surge in cassette tape sales. Some of it can be attributed to the recent releases of notable acts like Arctic Monkeys, Harry Styles, and Florence + the Machine. These artists have embraced the format, and their latest offerings have propelled cassette sales to new heights. In fact, the BPI reports that all twenty of last year’s top-selling cassettes were released in 2022. So, music enthusiasts are not only embracing the nostalgia of vintage cassettes but also seeking out new releases in this format.

The allure of cassette tapes among younger music fans seems to lie in their appeal as collectible items. Mark Burgess, the founder of Flashback Records in north London, observed a significant uptick in cassette sales following the pandemic. He told NME (cited below) that the smaller size of cassettes makes them easier to collect. This gives enthusiasts an opportunity to curate a personal music library. And many fans appreciate the sequential nature of cassette albums, allowing them to experience the music as the artist originally intended.

Vinyl revival

The resurgence of cassettes follows a similar trajectory to the vinyl revival that took place a few years ago. In 2022, vinyl sales surpassed CD sales for the first time in 35 years. Clearly, many people prefer physical music formats (or at least want the option). Paul Williams, a spokesperson for the BPI, drew parallels between the vinyl market’s resurgence and cassette popularity.

The renewed interest in physical music formats also gives artists the opportunity to establish a deeper connection with their fans. Releasing music on cassettes allows artists to create something tangible. It gives fans a tactile connection to the music.

The contemporary fascination with nostalgia across popular culture may play a role in the cassette’s revival. People are increasingly drawn to revisiting old TV shows, films, and music, seeking comfort and familiarity in the past. The cassette tape evokes a sense of nostalgia and adds to the overall sensory experience.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Cassette tape sales at 20-year high” — NME

WTF Fun Fact 13394 – The First Ever YouTube Video

The world’s first YouTube video, titled “Me at the zoo,” was uploaded on April 23, 2005, by Jawed Karim, one of the co-founders of YouTube. It has since garnered millions of views.

However, for a brief moment, a YouTube glitch managed to deceive viewers into believing there was an undiscovered video predating this iconic clip.

What’s the controversy around the first-ever YouTube video?

On January 26, 2023, a video titled “Welcome to YouTube!!!” emerged. It claimed to be the true first-ever YouTube upload. The clip, uploaded on a channel called “enn,” displayed an image of the old YouTube logo on a blue background. It made references to the YouTube co-founders and had an early 2000s aesthetic, so it appeared convincing at first glance.

Luckily, eagle-eyed viewers quickly noticed inconsistencies that cast doubt on the video’s authenticity. For starters, the upload date showed as “Premiered,” which was unusual considering the video claimed to be from 2005.

Additionally, a disabled premiere video live chat was visible, a feature that didn’t exist until 2018. Further investigation revealed other features that weren’t part of the original platform.

To catch a prankster

Of course, people take their Internet history pretty seriously. Some viewers even delved into the source code of the watch page. That’s when they found that the metadata revealed the video was actually uploaded on January 23, 2023. That debunked any notion that a long-lost piece of internet history had been discovered.

Once the truth came to light, a spokesperson acknowledged the glitch that allowed the upload date to be manipulated. They also confirmed that the oldest video on YouTube would always be “Me at the Zoo.” YouTube reassured viewers that this iconic video, uploaded on April 23, 2005, by one of the platform’s co-founders, marked the true beginning of YouTube’s journey.

Despite being caught, the user behind the “enn” channel continued their antics by uploading additional videos, including one titled “premiere bug 01,” falsely claiming to have been published 53 years ago.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “YouTube glitch used to trick users into believing there was an undiscovered oldest video” — Mashable

WTF Fun Fact 13388 – Ancient Olympics vs. Modern Olympics

The ancient Olympics ran ten times longer than the modern Olympics. The Games were held at least 293 times from 776 BC to 393 AD. That means the ancient version had a consecutive run of 1,169 years vs. the modern Olympics, which began in 1896.

Olympic origins

The ancient Olympics, originating in ancient Greece, were deeply rooted in religious and cultural traditions. They were held in honor of the Greek god Zeus and took place in the sacred city of Olympia. The games were a testament to the physical prowess and competitive spirit of the ancient Greek civilization. Participants from various city-states would gather to showcase their athletic abilities and engage in friendly competition.

The ancient Olympics were much different from their modern counterpart in terms of events, rules, and significance. The ancient games featured a limited number of sports disciplines, primarily focused on athletics, combat sports, and equestrian events. The most prestigious event was the stadion race, a sprint of approximately 200 meters. Other events included wrestling, boxing, chariot racing, and the pentathlon, which consisted of running, long jump, discus throw, javelin throw, and wrestling.

The ancient Olympics held a unique place in the hearts and minds of ancient Greeks. They served as a unifying force, bringing together people from various regions and fostering a sense of shared identity.

The games were not merely a display of athletic prowess but were deeply intertwined with religious rituals and cultural celebrations. The Olympic truce, known as the ekecheiria, ensured a cessation of hostilities during the games, allowing safe passage for athletes and spectators alike.

Ancient Olympics vs. the modern Olympics

As the centuries passed, the ancient Olympics faced various challenges and disruptions. The rise of the Roman Empire and subsequent spread of Christianity gradually diminished the significance of the games. Emperor Theodosius I, in 393 AD, officially banned the Olympics, considering them a pagan practice. The ancient Olympics came to an end, leaving behind a rich legacy and a symbol of human achievement.

In contrast, the modern Olympic Games started up in the late 19th century. Organizers were driven by a vision to promote international unity through sports. The inaugural modern Olympics took place in Athens, Greece, in 1896, with athletes from 14 nations participating in nine sports disciplines.

Since then, the modern Olympics have grown exponentially. But the longevity of the ancient Olympics, with their uninterrupted run for over a millennium, stands as a testament to the enduring power of sports and human endeavor.

While the modern Olympics have not yet matched the remarkable duration of their ancient counterpart, they have evolved into a global celebration of athletic excellence, cultural exchange, and unity among nations.

When comparing the ancient Olympics vs. modern Olympics’ running time, the old record is going to be hard to beat.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Ancient Olympic Games” — World History Encyclopedia

WTF Fun Fact 13309 – April’s Origins

What do you know about April’s origins? We are all aware that it is the fourth month of the Gregorian calendar, but it has a fascinating past and some distinctive characteristics.

April’s origins and meaning

One of the most interesting things about April is its name. According to, April is derived from the Latin word “aperire,” which means “to open.”

Since April is typically linked to the arrival of warmer weather and the start of the growing season, it is most likely referring to the opening of buds and flowers in the spring.

April was actually the second month of the year in ancient Rome. March was the first month on the Roman calendar.

In ancient Rome, the months were closely linked to the phases of the moon. April was particularly significant because it was the month when the moon was at its fullest. This made it an important time for religious and cultural celebrations.

Spring festivals

One of the most important Roman festivals in April was the Megalesia, held in honor of the goddess Cybele. This festival was a time for music, dance, and theater performances. It was also a time to honor the goddess’s fertility and abundance.

Another significant festival in April was the Parilia, which celebrated the founding of Rome. This festival was held on April 21st and was dedicated to the god Pales, who protected flocks and herds. It was a time for purification and renewal. It included the lighting of bonfires and the offering of sacrifices.

However, others believe that the name April comes from the Etruscan word “Apru,” which means “the month of Aphrodite.” Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty, and her Roman counterpart was Venus. The Greeks considered April a favorable time for weddings and other romantic activities. They believed it to be the month when the goddess of love was most powerful.

In addition to its association with the moon, the Romans associated April with the goddess Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. They held the festival of Veneralia on April 1st. On this day, women would undertake rituals on this day to worship the goddess and ask for her blessings.

Ancient April fools

Most believe that ancient Rome was the place where the custom of April Fools’ Day (or All Fools’ Day) originated. The Romans celebrated a day of practical pranks on March 25th in honor of the holiday of Hilaria. We believe that this celebration may be where the custom of pulling pranks on people on April 1st got its start.

We now associate April with numerous other events and observances. April is National Poetry Month in the US, a time to honor poetry’s beauty and impact. Also, April is Autism Awareness Month, a time to promote acceptance and understanding of people with autism.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “The Mysterious Origins Of The Month Of April’s Name” —

WTF Fun Fact 13290 – The Spring Equinox At Chichen Itza

In March, visitors flock to Mexico to celebrate the spring equinox at Chichen Itza.

Chichen Itza is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It was once a major center of the Mayan civilization and is home to some of the most iconic Mayan ruins in the world. Among these ruins is the Kukulcan Pyramid, also known as El Castillo, which is famous for its alignment with the spring and fall equinoxes.

Celebrating the spring equinox at Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza was built by the Mayan civilization over the course of several centuries. Construction started in the 7th century CE. The site contains many impressive structures, including pyramids, temples, ball courts, and an observatory. But the most famous is the Kukulcan Pyramid.

On the day of the spring equinox each year, the pyramid is known for a visual effect known as the “serpent of light.” As the sun rises, the pyramid casts a shadow that appears to be a serpent slithering down the steps. This phenomenon is caused by the angle of the sun and the pyramid’s unique design, which incorporates 365 steps, one for each day of the year.

What’s amazing about the structure is that the architects knew astronomy so well that they could build something so large that also has such a dramatic effect at a precise moment centuries later.

The Serpent of Light

The serpent of light is a significant event for the Mayan people. They view it as a symbol of the cycle of life and death, and the renewing power of the sun. Many visitors flock to Chichen Itza on the day of the spring equinox to witness this event.

In addition to the pyramid, Chichen Itza is home to many other fascinating ruins. Among them are the Temple of the Warriors, the Great Ball Court, and the Observatory. Each of these structures has its own unique history and significance in Mayan culture.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “The descent of the serpent in the Chichen Itza Equinox” — Mayan Peninsula

WTF Fun Fact 13266 – The New York Knicks Colors

The New York Knicks’ colors are blue and orange. They were chosen because they are two of the official colors of New York City (white is the third). The Knicks adopted the colors in 1946, their inaugural season in the Basketball Association of America (BAA).

Why are the New York Knicks’ colors blue and orange?

The New York Knicks were founded on June 6, 1946 as one of the original members of the Basketball Association of America (BAA), which later merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949. The Knicks played their first game on November 1, 1946, defeating the Toronto Huskies 68-66.

According to the official NYC website, the colors were chosen to represent the city’s Dutch heritage. New York City was originally founded by the Dutch as New Amsterdam in 1625.

The blue and white colors come from the coat of arms of the Dutch West India Company, which played a major role in the early history of New York. The orange color represents the Dutch House of Orange-Nassau, which ruled the Netherlands at the time of the city’s founding.

The flag was officially adopted in 1915 and has remained unchanged since then. While the flag is not widely used in daily life, it is a symbol of the city’s history and culture, and is often flown at official events and ceremonies.

Why are they called the Knicks?

The Knickerbockers’ name also goes back to Dutch settlers. Those men rolled their pants just below the knees. This style of pants was eventually called Knickerbockers (or knickers). 

As for why the team is called the Knickerbockers instead of something else is a bit of a mystery. However, the story goes that founding father Ned Irish chose the name out of a hat.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “A History of Blue in New York City and its Sports Teams” — NYCFC

WTF Fun Fact 13228 – The Lupercalia

Each year the ancient Romans celebrated Lupercalia on February 15th. The Romans originally called the festival Februa, and it acted as a purification ritual for the city.

Why did Romans celebrate Lupercalia?

The Romans associated Lupercalia with fertility, renewal, and revelry. But they also conducted it under the eye of a group of priests called Luperci.

The origins of the Lupercalia festival aren’t entirely clear. But they may have something to do with the myth of the she-wolf that nursed the abandoned brothers Romulus and Remus (the founders of Rome). The Romans also associated the festival with the god of fertility, Faunus.

In Rome, March was the start of the New Year

According to Encyclopedia Britannica (cited below):

“Each Lupercalia began with the sacrifice by the Luperci of goats and a dog, after which two of the Luperci were led to the altar, their foreheads were touched with a bloody knife, and the blood was wiped off with wool dipped in milk; the ritual required that the two young men laugh.

The sacrificial feast followed, after which the Luperci cut thongs from the skins of the sacrificial animals and ran in two bands around the Palatine hill, striking with the thongs at any woman who came near them. A blow from the thong was supposed to render a woman fertile.”

The Romans performed the sacrifice at the cave where the she-wolf supposedly suckled the founders Romulus and Remus.

The end of the festival

In 494 CE, Pope Gelasius I banned the Lupercalia because it was a pagan festival.

Some believe he tried to replace it with the Church’s Feast of the Purification (Candlemas), on February 2nd. But that holiday was likely established earlier.

Many people try to make the connection between Lupercalia and St. Valentine’s Day on February 14th. And while the holiday may have picked up some minor influences from the Lupercalia, the creation of that holiday came much later.

Regardless, Romans likely celebrated the Lupercalia for close to 1200 years. (However, academic Agnes Kirsopp Michaels has made the case that the festival only goes back to the 5th century B.C.)  WTF fun facts

Source: “Lupercalia” — Encyclopedia Britannica