7 Shocking Facts About Top Universities in the USA

The United States is renowned for its prestigious universities, but there’s more to these academic institutions than meets the eye. Dive into the lesser-known and downright shocking facts about some of the top universities in the USA.

MIT Students and the Pirate License:

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), students with an eclectic set of skills—fencing, pistol, archery, and sailing—are eligible to receive a license to become a pirate. While this license doesn’t grant them the right to commandeer ships or indulge in rum-fueled adventures, it adds a whimsical touch to MIT’s culture.

Stanford’s Olympic Medal Streak:

A remarkable feat for Stanford University is the claim that a student from the university has won a medal in the Olympics every year since 1908. While it’s not the same student achieving this incredible record, the consistent athletic success speaks volumes about Stanford’s dedication to sports excellence.

The Mysterious Statue at Harvard:

Harvard University boasts a statue of John Harvard in Harvard Yard. However, the intriguing fact is that no one truly knows what John Harvard looked like. When the statue was created, sculptor Daniel Chester French used the likeness of his friend, adding an unexpected twist to Harvard’s visual history.

Caltech’s Undefeated Football Team:

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has an undefeated football team since 1993. This seemingly impossible record is explained by the fact that Caltech did not have a football team until that year, shedding light on their unique approach to sports.

University of Chicago’s Epic Scavenger Hunt Tradition:

Since 1987, the University of Chicago has upheld a peculiar tradition—the world’s largest scavenger hunt. The annual event involves a list of tasks spanning performance, programming, eating, painting, building, writing, drawing, and more. The sheer scale and creativity involved make this scavenger hunt an epic spectacle.

Cannabis in Cornell’s Gardens:

Until the 1970s, Cornell University’s gardens were home not only to traditional plant varieties but also to cannabis. The expectation was that students would discover the cannabis content, adding an unconventional aspect to the university’s history.

Yale’s Deadly Rare Books:

Yale University’s Manuscripts and Beinecke Rare Books Library houses an extensive collection of rare books and manuscripts. In the event of a fire, the library employs a unique fire-suppression system that releases lethal gas after thirty seconds. While designed to protect the valuable collection, it also raises eyebrows about the extreme measures taken to safeguard literary treasures.


These shocking and often amusing facts unveil a different side of the top universities in the USA, showcasing the rich tapestry of traditions, quirks, and unique histories that contribute to their esteemed reputation in the academic world.

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