What’s Thanksgiving without turkey?
Oh, we all know that it has a deeper meaning than having the perfect turkey. It’s more than just eating and having fun, but we also have to admit that sometimes, Thanksgiving dinner can be not-so-enjoyable an event. You know how it goes with family at times.
If you need to get the conversation going, or you sincerely want to share your knowledge with those who are not so fortunate, memorize this fun turkey trivia and be the savior – or dork – of the party.
Fun Turkey Trivia
1. The fowl turkey is named after the country Turkey.
It seems pretty straightforward, but it’s actually a little more complicated than that. Let’s cut to the chase: guinea fowl was brought by Turkish merchants from Madagascar to Europe, so they called it Turkey. The Spaniards discovered the native American turkey and brought it to Europe, where the people didn’t really make a distinction between it and the guinea fowl, so they just called the “new bird” turkey as well. After all, “it” tasted like turkey. Got it?
2. Benjamin Franklin preferred the turkey to be the United States’ national bird.
When he found out that the Bald Eagle was chosen instead, he wasn’t too happy about it and described the Eagle as one having bad moral character. The turkey, he said, is more respectable and representative of native America.
Word of caution: this turkey trivia is not as straightforward as well. While he did say he preferred the turkey over the Bald Eagle, there is a lot of doubt as to whether he was serious or not.
3. The turkey wattle does have a purpose.
You might already know that it serves as a tool to attract hens – the tom’s wattle turns red. It does turn other colors, though, depending on the circumstances: blue if the turkey is scared and very pale if it is sick.
The wattle also serves to dissipate heat.
Another piece of trivia about the wattle – President Obama asked what it is for back in 2010. So the president isn’t all-knowing after all!
4. Wild turkeys are faster than Usain Bolt.
Well, not exactly, but depending on circumstances, they can be.
Wild turkeys are powerful runners, with a top speed of 25 mph. On the other hand, Usain Bolt’s world record of 9.58 seconds for the 100m race in Berlin 2009 shows his top speed at 27.44 mph with an average speed of 23.5 mph.
In any case, the next time you encounter a turkey in the wild, you better hope you don’t irk it.
5. Turkey was one of the first food items to be eaten on the moon.
The first and final missions to land men on the moon, Apollo 11 in July 1969 and Apollo 17 in December 1972, both had “Turkey and Gravy” on their crew menus (as did the missions that came between them).