10 Facts About Wikipedia That You Didn’t Know


Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, was launched 20 years ago. Currently, Wikipedia is the world’s second most visited website with over 1.7 billion people visiting the site per month. It has more than 55 million articles in 313 different languages.

However, from time-to-time, this site receives criticism about not covering all subjects, regions or issues with equal depth. Wikipedia is also blamed for being Western and biased. No wonder it has a Wikipedia alternatives article of its own. Did you know about it? If not, then read along to learn more rare facts about Wikipedia.

Here are 10 rare facts about Wikipedia:

1. Wikipedia has a birthday committee

The first fact about Wikipedia is that a birthday committee exists in Wikipedia to wish birthdays to Wikipedians who list their birthdays on this site. There are a lot of banners that can be used to wish a Wikipedian a happy birthday, including one in the dreaded Comic Sans.

2. Wikipedia stats

According to Wikipedia, the website has more than 55 million articles in 313 different languages. Out of which, around 6.2 million articles are in English. English, Cebuano, Swedish, German, French, and Dutch have the most number of articles.

There are more than 280,000 editors and if we take into account the number of edits then till date there have been over two billion edits on Wikipedia, with numbers growing each day.

3. 274301 Wikipedia 

Did you know? There is a Vestian asteroid named after Wikipedia called, “274301 Wikipedia” which is orbiting  in the inner region of the asteroid belt.

It was discovered by astronomers back in August 2008 and measures 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) in diameter.

4. Wikipedia has a policy titled “No Angry Mastodons”

Wikipedia has long been known for offering and name policies under crazy and insane names. There’s “No climbing the Reichstag dressed as Spiderman”, “Jimbo’s prayer” and “No curses”, which requests that users don’t target the Wikipedia community with any malevolent hex, seal, spell, or enchantment. The most famous one in recent times has been “No Angry Mastodons”, which deals with posting under the influence of anger, and offers recommendations on how to avoid other people stomping.

5. Google gives hit to Wikipedia

Even though Wikipedia has piles of articles and readership in millions, around half of Wiki’s total traffic comes from Google’s search engine.

6. No-Follow links

Once upon a time, people used Wikipedia to get traffic to their websites by including their websites link into a Wikipedia article. So, Wikipedia made all the links ‘No follow’ links after the change in the Google search engine policy.

7. US Conservatives started Conservapedia to counter Wikipedia Liberal Views

Conservatives see Wikipedia as a source which rejects the perception of creation out of one natural power. So, if you support the scientific consensus on climate change, or you want to contradict that the Universe was created by a supernatural being, you might find US conservatives disliking you. So to adjust the level of preferences and thoughts, they have started something called Conservapedia.

Some of Conservapedia’s more notable pages include the entry on the link between atheism and obesity, listing a number of prominent overweight atheists including Christopher Hitchins and Kim Jong-il, the entry on “Hollywood values” which are “characterized by decadence, narcissism, rampant drug use, extramarital sex leading to the spread of sexually-transmitted disease, abortion, lawlessness, promotion of the homosexual agenda and death” — and best of all the list of “examples of bias in Wikipedia”, which encourages readers to email Jimmy Wales and tell him to sort it out.

8. What Will Be the Last Wikipedia Entry

There’s an ongoing debate on what will be the last entry on Wikipedia. The idea is that —

1) Either Wikipedia will fold or shut down.
2) The entire sum of human knowledge will be complete (unlikely, as new discoveries are always being made, new celebrities arise, etc).
3) Society and the Internet will collapse, and Wikipedia along with it (in which case, we’ll have bigger problems).
4) The editing process will become automated and the robot overlords will remove/exterminate human editors as Wikipedia becomes self-aware… in which case, we’ll have even bigger problems.

9. Wikipedia Blocks Edits From Certain Sources

Wikipedia has blocked edits on occasion coming from .gov IP addresses. These are largely political interests trying to alter their own entries, and politicians have been caught attempting to whitewash their own political and personal records on Wikipedia. Another similar high-profile source that Wikipedia has blocked entirely are edits coming from known IP addresses owned by the Church of Scientology, again, mostly for attempting to rewrite its own history.

10. Wikipedia’s official theme song is “Hotel Wikipedia”

A version of the Eagles’ 1976 hit Hotel California has been co-opted as the official theme song for Wikipedia. The site claims it was released as a single in the spring of 2004, but appropriately there’s no citation for that reference. Be aware of editing it, though. On the W.O.R. page the listing states: “If you edit it, you are proposing an official change! Much bureaucracy will be involved!”

Do you know some more interesting facts about Wikipedia? Tell us about them in the comments below.

Amar Shekhar

Amar Shekhar

A passionate adventure traveller over Trekkerpedia.com and Author of the book 'The Girl from the Woods'.
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