33 Interesting Facts About Charles Darwin

Last updated on November 16th, 2017

#17. Animal eater: Darwin once ate an owl. According to him, the owl’s flavor was indescribable.

#18. Book on earthworms: The book, entitled The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms, With Observations on Their Habits, was published in 1881, and sold even better than On the Origin of Species. This book was also his last.

#19. The voyage of The Beagle had a monumental effect on Darwin’s view of natural history. Darwin visited ecologically diverse regions such as Brazil, Chile, Australia, the Falkland Islands and the Galapagos Islands.

#20. The Galapagos Islands are the home to plants and animals that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. The islands helped Darwin greatly in his research and collection of specimens.

#21. Some 250 species and several higher groups bear Darwin’s name.

#22. A day for his accomplishments: On February 12, in Darwin’s honor, Darwin Day is celebrated across the world.

#23. Lifelong sickness: Darwin, apart from the gains that he made with his discoveries regarding geology and nature, also happened to become ill from sea sickness. The sickness triggered lifelong health issues that Darwin endured until the end of his life.

#24. After his return from the voyage, he formulated his theory of ‘Origin of Species’ between 1837 and 1839. However, he did not publish it immediately.

#25. His daughter dies: In 1851, Darwin’s 10-year-old daughter died of an illness. This incident had damaging consequences on Darwin’s health, as well. During the 20 years between founding his theory of ‘Origin of Species’ and its publishing, he suffered from sickness much of the time.

“On the Origin of Species”

#26. The publication trigger: Darwin might not have published his theory if he had not been triggered to publish it by his admirer Alfred Russel Wallace. Wallace also developed a theory of natural selection and wanted Darwin’s opinion regarding it and its publishing. At this time, Darwin realized the importance of publishing his theory, otherwise the credit may have gone to Alfred Wallace if he ended up publishing his theory first.

#27. Publishing the theory: Darwin published his theory on  November 24, 1859. He was once again struck by a tragedy when his 18-month-old son died of scarlet fever.

#28. Fear of society: Due to the prevailing belief regarding the evolution of humankind, Darwin was wary of losing his reputation because of his thoughts on evolution. He described his experience as “living in Hell” while he wrote the theory, which contradicted the common belief of evolution at the time. Nobody wanted to learn that they descended from apes, which worried Darwin for much of the time.

#29. The best-selling book: On the Origin of Species became a bestseller worldwide, and went into multiple editions.

#30. The famous phrase: the phrase, “survival of the fittest” comes from Herbert Spencer’s 1864 publication, “Principles of Biology.” The term is largely thought to have been coined by Darwin regarding his thoughts on evolution; however, this is a wrong assumption.

Interesting facts about Charles Darwin

#31. Connection with Abraham Lincoln: Another interesting fact about Darwin is that he was born on the same day Abraham Lincoln was born – February 12, 1809. Darwin and Lincoln both lost their mothers at a young age, and reportedly suffered from depression. And both men were equally important for changing the world with their accomplishments.

#32. Portrait on 10-pound note: A portrait of Darwin has appeared on the British 10 pound note since the year 2000. However, it will be replaced with that of the author Jane Austen in early 2017.

#33. Buried: Darwin is buried in Westminster Abbey just a few feet away from another famous scientist, Sir Isaac Newton. He earned the special privilege because of his important work on the theory of evolution. The simple inscription on Darwin’s grave reads: “CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN BORN 12 FEBRUARY 1809. DIED 19 APRIL 1882.”

Darwin’s Grandfather Erasmus Darwin, from his 1794 book Zoonomia, wrote: “Would it be too bold to imagine, that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?”

Charles Darwin, from On the Origin of Species wrote: One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.

Famous quotes by Charles Darwin

  1. “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”
  2. “To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.”
  3. “The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts.”
  4. “A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.”
  5. “I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection.”
  6. “Man tends to increase at a greater rate than his means of subsistence.”
  7. “A moral being is one who is capable of reflecting on his past actions and their motives – of approving of some and disapproving of others.”
  8. “A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, – a mere heart of stone.”
  9. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

Charles Robert Darwin – Quick facts

BornFebruary 12, 1809, The Mount, Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
DiedApril 19, 1882, Downe, United Kingdom
Languages KnownEnglish
Age At the time of death73 years
Field of WorkNatural history, Geology
BooksThe Origin of Species,
Voyage of the Beagle,
The Descent of Man,
The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809–82,
The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals,
On Natural Selection,
It was snowing butterflies.
The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals,
The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex,
The Power of Movement in Plants and
The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms.
AwardsRoyal Medal, Wollaston Medal, Copley Medal
ContributionsScience and Physics
EducationChrist's College, Cambridge (1828–1831)
ParentsRobert Darwin and Susannah Darwin.