13 Quite Interesting Things Learned From Stephen Fry’s Run On ‘QI’

Following the announcement that Stephen Fry will step down as quizmaster of QI after 13 years in the chair, here’s a look at some of the most surprising and curious things the BBC show has taught us…

You’ve been sitting incorrectly for your entire life


Every time you’ve ever been told to sit up straight at school or to stop slouching at your grandmother’s house, you’ve actually been given a reason to ring up one of those dodgy compensation companies you see on the telly. Well, not quite, but we did learn through QI that the perfect angle to sit is neither of the above but actually a very relaxed 12°, more commonly known as the angle you use when you balance your laptop on your chest in bed.

You can make a homemade bomb out of exploding custard

Fry and co taught us that you could pop a balloon with a laser pen, that diamonds can be made out of peanut butter and, as demonstrated above, that custard can explode. If you try this at home, please blame them, not us.

There’s no such thing as fish


Unlike with mammals and birds, not all of what we label fish descend from the same common ancestor. Just like Ice Cube, Ice T and Vanilla Ice, the only thing goldfish, catfish and blowfish truly have in common is their name.

There are actually two words that rhyme with ‘orange’

Despite the common idiom, things do actually rhyme with ‘orange’. ‘Blorenge’, the mountain in Wales, and ‘Gorringe’, the Anglocised version of the German name ‘Goering’. Can’t wait for Drake to use these rhymes in his next diss track.

‘Ejaculate’ used to have a whole different meaning


Rather aptly, the word originally meant “to get excited”. Sherlock Holmes writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a big fan of the verb, which may explain the masses of saucy Holmes-Watson fan-fiction found online.

If you want to get away with a crime, blame a koala bear

According to QI, koala bears have very similar fingerprints to humans.

There are many different Scottish accents and Stephen Fry can do all of them

Click below for proof.

Women can smell fear

Along with rats, deer and – weirdly enough – earthworms, women have been proved to be able to smell fear more than men can. Not the concept of some horror B-movie, but actually the truth.

Male pufferfish take nine days to get ready for a date

More than just a burst of Lynx and some combed-through wet-look gel, male pufferfish have been known to spend up to nine days building a glorified sand castle to seduce potential partners. Don’t know about you, but that’s us sold.

Stephen Fry doesn’t actually know everything

Way back during Series A, the first season of the show, the host made a rare schoolboy error of stating that there are two moons. In actual fact, the second one is simply a quasi-satellite for only a short period. Which is a good thing because we’d then have to rename the Pink Floyd album, ‘The Dark Side Of A Moon’.