Riddle me this, riddle me that!
What can travel around the world while staying in a corner?
Have you heard this famous riddle before? If so, you may have also heard variations of it, such as:
- What travels around the world but stays in a corner?
- What goes around the world and stays in a corner?
- I travel the world without leaving my corner. What am I?
- I always stay in my corner, but I get to travel the world. What am I?
- What can travel the world while staying in one spot?
- I sit in the corner while travelling the world. What am I?
Keep reading for the answer to this popular riddle, as well as some fun facts to accompany it!
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What Can Travel Around the World While Staying in a Corner?
Drum roll, please! The answer is:
A postage stamp.
Make sense, right? After all, place a stamp on a postcard or envelope and there’s no telling how far it may go. It may travel in a vehicle, on a ship, or in a plane, passing through countless post offices and mailbags along the way.
Yet because the stamp’s in one fixed position — typically the corner of the envelope or postcard — it remains “in its corner” the entire time.
What Goes Around the World and Stays in a Corner: 10 Fun Facts About Stamps
Now that you know the answer to the riddle, would you like to learn some fun trivia about postage stamps?
Here’s a list of interesting stamp facts you never knew before!
1. The First Stamp Was Invented in 1837
Almost 200 years ago, inventor Rowland Hill began working on an adhesive postal stamp. Three years later, his formula was perfected, and he was knighted for his efforts in postal and educational reform.
2. The First Stamp Was Called “The Penny Black”
On 6 May 1840, the UK rolled out Hill’s invention — the world’s first adhesive postage stamp. The Penny Black was black (as the name suggests) and featured an image of Queen Victoria’s face.
3. Recipients Used to Pay Postage
When the postal service was first invented in 1516, mail recipients used to pay postage fees. Since the introduction of Penny Black in 1840, the sender has had the ability to pre-pay the cost of postage.
4. The Penny Black Became Red
By 1841, it was obvious that the Penny Black needed to change. Why? Because no postage marks would show up on it!
To solve the problem, the stamp was switched from black to red. It remained that way until 1879, with more than 21 billion Penny Red stamps produced.
5. Early Postage Stamps Featured British Royals
For over 120 years, all postage stamps in the UK featured British royalty. Then, in 1964, William Shakespeare became the first non-royal face to appear on a postage stamp.
6. The $9.5 Million-Dollar Stamp
When it was first released in 1856, the British Guiana one-cent magenta stamp was worth — you guessed it — one cent. The only known remaining magenta stamp sold at auction in 2014 for a whopping $9.5 million (£8.1 million)!
7. Philately Is an Old Hobby
Philately (the study of postal history and the collecting of stamps) is considered the world’s oldest formal collecting hobby. It became popular in the mid-1800s, just a few years after the first stamps were produced.
8. The USA Has a National Postage Museum
If you visit the Smithsonian Institute’s National Postage Museum, you can explore the fascinating history of postage stamps in America and around the globe. Twenty different exhibits feature rare and exotic stamps, as well as tributes to mail carriers and the legacy of the Pony Express.
9. Belgium Once Printed Chocolate-Flavoured Stamps
Belgian chocolate isn’t just for sweets — in 2013, it was for stamps too! The Belgian government printed 500,000 special edition stamps on cocoa-scented paper and covered in a varnish that looked like chocolate.
10. The Infamous Inverted Jenny Stamp
In 1918, the US government accidentally misprinted a sheet of 100 airmail stamps with the image of the aeroplane upside-down. A mere 24 cents at the time of printing, today these extremely rare Inverted Jenny stamps are worth nearly $1.6 million.
What Travels Around the World But Stays in a Corner? Now You Know!
So then, what can travel around the world while staying in a corner?
Now you know, not just the answer to this famous riddle, but also some amazing facts about postage stamps!
Want to add to your knowledge of trivia? Read this post next for over 100 epic geography questions and answers.