Published: 19:19 EST, 19 September 2014 | Updated: 09:03 EST, 20 September 2014
Did you know that, 385 million years ago, fish had fingers? Or that Hitler was scared of cats?
There are 1,411 quite interesting facts along these lines in the new book published by the team behind the QI quiz programme, chaired by Stephen Fry. Here is a selection of the best.
HISTORY: KINGS, QUEENS, EMPERORS AND TYRANTS
If Prince Charles becomes king, he will be the oldest monarch ever crowned in Britain.
Napoleon, Mussolini and Hitler were all scared of cats.
Hitler, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and Napoleon were all scared of cats, according to the QI team
According to Julius Caesar, the most civilised people in Britain lived in Kent.
Queen Victoria had a novelty bustle with a music box that played 'God Save the Queen' when she sat down.
Oliver Cromwell was dug up and beheaded two years after his death.
Cleopatra wrote a book about make-up.
Louis X and Charles VIII of France both died as a result of a tennis match. Louis died of exhaustion (and possibly of a poisoned glass of chilled wine drunk after the game) and Charles hit his head on the lintel of door on his way to watch a match and later fell into a coma and died nine hours later.
After the Battle of Hastings, King Harold's body was identified by the tattoo of his wife's name over his heart.
The 'Heil Hitler' salute is legal in Switzerland as long as it's an expression of personal opinion.
Queen Cleopatra lived closer in time to the Moon landings than to the building of the Great Pyramid.
Predicting the death of Henry VIII was punishable by death.
The Queen Mother once turned up unannounced to watch a top-secret rehearsal of her own funeral.
FOOD: NEVER FEED A HORSE AN AVOCADO
Between 1908 and 1965, Winston Churchill drank an estimated 42,000 bottles of champagne.
Cheese is the most shoplifted food in the UK.
Between 1908 and 1965, Winston Churchill drank an estimated 42,000 bottles of champagne
Terry's used to make a Chocolate Lemon and a Chocolate Apple.
Wine drinkers pour 12 per cent more wine into a glass they're holding than one sitting on the table.
When having their photograph taken, Victorians said 'prunes' rather than 'cheese' to make themselves look more serious.
Nachos were invented by a man named Nacho.
Without bats there would be no tequila. It's made from the agave plant, which is pollinated by bats.
Avocados are toxic to horses.
There are more than 1,000 species of banana. We eat only one of them.
All the chickens' eggs produced in the world each year would make an omelette the size of Northern Ireland.
In spite of all the cookery shows on British television, the average Briton only knows four recipes.
Enough Polo mints are produced in one year to give everyone in the UK 114 each.
Bruce Forsyth is four months older than sliced bread.
Entertainer Bruce Forsyth, 86, who was born in February 1928, is four months older than sliced bread
The human brain has the same percentage of fat as clotted cream.
Instead of 'Snap! Crackle! Pop!', Rice Krispies in Germany go 'Knisper! Knasper! Knusper!'
ANIMALS: LOOK OUT FOR TRAINSPOTTING PIGEONS
Humans speak more languages than there are species of mammal.
A cheetah that sprints for more than 30 seconds can suffer brain damage.
Over 200 mice are reported in the Houses of Parliament each year, but the authorities won't get a cat because no one can be trusted to look after it responsibly.
At least 95 per cent of the spiders in your house have never been outside.
Around 385 million years ago, fish had fingers
When threatened, a limpet can run away at a speed of two inches an hour.
Mice can't see red light.
Hamsters can store half their own weight in food in their cheeks.
There are a billion dogs in the world.
A group of pigeons regularly boards the London Underground at Hammersmith and alights at Ladbroke Grove.
The 10-spot ladybird has between 0 and 15 spots.
Vultures can turn a dead body into a skeleton in under five hours.
Spiders seem bigger the more scared you are.
SCIENCE: THE MYSTERY OF NEIL ARMSTRONG'S MISSING MOON BOOTS
Charles Darwin let his children use the original manuscript of On the Origin of Species as drawing paper.
The soil in your back garden is two million years old.
The idea that sitting too close to the TV is bad for your eyes was started by a lamp manufacturer.
A one-year-old baby is 30 per cent fat.
The smell of freshly-cut grass is a plant distress call.
In space you can cry but your tears won't fall, they just puddle up under your eye.
The world has two earthquakes every minute.
Neil Armstrong's moon boots are still floating around in space.
Neil Armstrong's moon boots are still floating around in space from the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969
Human beings had been keeping sheep for 7,000 years before it occurred to anyone to use their wool.
On June 28, 2009, Stephen Hawking hosted a party for time travellers from the future. Nobody showed up.
Black holes are not black.
Wherever a leaf is in the world, its internal temperature is always 21 degrees C.
BRITAIN: THE WORD NO ONE CAN SPELL
The name sign of the town of 'Lost' in Aberdeenshire is the only one in Britain that is welded to its pole.
The first motor insurance policy issued by Lloyd's of London described the car as a 'ship navigating on land'.
Girls in the UK have been getting higher grades than boys at school and university for nearly a century.
Every Christmas Day, 400,000 Britons go out to a shop to buy batteries.
Rock band Oasis are named after a leisure centre in Swindon.
Noel Gallagher visited Swindon and came up with the name Oasis for his band after visiting a leisure centre
The most difficult tongue-twister in English is 'pad kid poured curd pulled cod'.
Around 56 per cent of British airline pilots admit to having fallen asleep on the job, and 29 per cent say they've woken up to find their co-pilot asleep.
Our Royal Navy uses blasts of Britney Spears's 'Oops! . . . I Did It Again' to scare off Somali pirates.
For 500 years from the 13th century, 70 per cent of Englishmen were called Robert, John, Thomas, Richard or William.
In 2009, a search of Loch Ness for the Loch Ness monster located 100,000 golf balls.
Charlotte Brontë was the first person to use the terms 'cottage-garden', 'raised eyebrow', 'Now, now!', 'kitchen chair' and 'Wild West'.
When he enlisted in the army, J. R. R. Tolkien's son Michael put down his father's profession as 'Wizard'.
A third of British office workers have the same thing for lunch every day.
British feet have grown by two shoe sizes in the past 40 years.
Accents in Britain change noticeably every 25 miles.
On average, Britons will eat 1,126 chickens in their lifetime.
There are more stretch limos in Glasgow than in Los Angeles.
'Misspell' is one of the most commonly misspelled words in the English language.
The clown Joseph Grimaldi was seen by one in eight people in Victorian London.
Tipping the hat comes from the military salute, which in turn comes from men in armour lifting the visor to show their faces.
One-third of babies born in Britain in 2013 are expected to live for a century.
Chat show presenter Jerry Springer was born in Highgate Tube station in London.
There are more Catholics in Scotland than in Northern Ireland.
In the UK in 2013, more than 4,000 people were buried in paupers' graves.
The population of Ireland is still smaller than it was before the Great Famine of 1845.
TRIVIA: IS YOUR PIN NUMBER THE RAREST IN THE WORLD?
By 2019, there will be more Lego figures on Earth than people.
In 1976, Ron Wayne, co-founder of Apple, sold his shares for $800; today they would be worth $35 billion.
The least common PIN number is 8068.
The lawnmower is the most dangerous item in the garden. The second most dangerous is the flowerpot.
There's one stop sign in the whole of Paris.
The Greek for 'left-handed' also means 'better'.
You're 20 times more likely to die in an accident at home than you are to win the National Lottery.
Around 71 per cent of Oscar-winners' tears have been shed since 1995, before that they were much more restrained.
Alternative names proposed for Canada in 1867 were Tuponia, Borealia, Cabotia, Transatlantica, Victorialand and Superior.
November 25, 2012 was the first day since 1960 that there was no reported murder or manslaughter in New York City.
By the age of eight, children have forgotten 60 per cent of what happened before they were three.
People can recognise each other 90pc of the time just from the way they walk.
Prisoners on Alcatraz always had hot showers so they didn't get acclimatised to cold water and try to escape by swimming.
'The Just Missed It Club' was for people who almost sailed on the Titanic. Two weeks after it sank, it had 118,337 members.
Babies can hear dog whistles.
In 1941, there were only 11 democracies in the world.
There is a 12 per cent chance that a game of Monopoly will go on indefinitely.
A Spartan only got his name on his tombstone if he died in battle.
Borrowing £400 from Wonga at its standard rate for seven years would leave you owing more than Britain's national debt.
The Daleks were based on the Nazis.
The last words of actor John Le Mesurier were, 'It's all been rather lovely.'
■ 1,411 QI Facts to Knock You Sideways, by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson and James Harkin is published by Faber at £9.99 on October 2. To order a copy go to mailbookshop.co.uk or call 0808 272 0808, p&p is free for a limited time only.