World’s Strangest

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11 More Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent

Last summer Bill DeMain shared 15 nuanced words and expressions that simply can’t be said in English. Haley Sweetland Edwards gave you 14 more last fall. It seems no matter how great the English language is, there are plenty of mots justes missing from its lexicon. Here, indulge in a third and final volume of [...]

The Fattest Country on Earth

Suprise! It’s not the United States – although one third of Americans are overweight, we look downright svelte compared to Qatar: Qatar is a tiny country with a big problem. This Connecticut-sized nation, sticking out like a loose tooth [...]

19 Outstanding Words You Should Be Working Into Conversation

There are some of our favorite words that appeared in mental_floss stories in 2011. Some are foreign words. Others come from medical dictionaries. And there’s a surprising amount of hobo slang. Have fun working these into conversation this holiday season! Gene Lee / Shutterstock.com 1. Kummerspeck (German): Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon. 2. [...]

How to Sneak a Cobra Past Customs

It’s time to unlock your body’s full potential. 1. Friends in High Places In 2003, a 28-year-old Swedish man named Johan Adolfsson took a nine-hour flight from Thailand to Australia with eight extremely lethal snakes -four king cobras and four emerald tree boas- strapped to his inner thighs. His plan to cash in on the $3,500 booty [...]

The World’s Response to 9/11

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, people in countries all over the world showed sympathy, solidarity, and support for the US as we mourned those we lost. Mental_floss has a roundup of the international reactions to the events. Here’s a small sample: In London, the Star Spangled Banner played during the Changing of the [...]