And just for a bit of trivia before we kick this list off, in Arabic cultures as in European cultures, at least in the 1300s, it was common for a person's name to include a reference to one's direct lineage. Much the way Johnson meant "John's son," ibn meant "son of." Thus, when history refers to Abu Abdallah Ibn Battuta, remember that historians are basically saying, "And then Battuta's kid when to Africa." Battuta must be so proud.
10 Unknown Facts About Abu Abdallah Ibn Battuta:
- When Ibn Battuta dropped names--and he did... a lot--he always made sure to pick them up and dust them off before using them again.
- It is rumored that Ibn Battuta was the inspiration for Henry Winkler's character Barry Zuckerkorn on Arrested Development, which may explain why Ibn Battuta was known more for traveling than lawyering.
- Ibn Battuta owned the first Model T Ford, almostl six hundred years before Henry Ford built his automobile factory. This Model T allowed Ibn Battuta to travel the 29 years and 75,000 miles of his journeys quickly and in style.
- After countless ships he travelled with (but no ships that he travelled on) sank during his travels, Ibn Battuta realized that he was the most bouyant thing in the universe.
- Ibn Battuta met so many rulers that even those he really did meet doubted his tales that they'd met.
- Ibn Battuta lived in New York before it was just regular York, and long before that uppity (newer) New York in the Americas stole its thunder. He says the coffee shops were better then, and it was easier to find a good apartment on the East side for cheap.
- Scholars say that for every three powerful families Ibn Battuta claimed to have married into, there were two more imaginary families he meant to say he'd married into but never got around to telling his stenographer.
- When travelling across the Sahara, Ibn Battuta often grew frustrated at how tired he was of the camels having to stop for water every couple of weeks, once commenting, "Why can't they suck it up and wait for water until they arrive...like I do?"
- Ibn Battuta fought the law, and the law lost.
- Ibn Battuta claimed to have the memory of an elephant, which he said bored him to no end. "Really, how many memories of walking the the savannah eating grass must I have?" he once wrote. "I would rather have had a lion's memory or perhaps a monkey's."
You have been informed.