Every decade has its ups and downs, its treasure chest of serious but also wacky moments. The 1990s are no different! They’re often remembered as a decade of relative peace and prosperity. Take a look below for 30 amazing and weird facts about the 1990s.
1. In 1990 East and West Germany were reunited after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
2. The Hubble space telescope launched in 1990.
3. The first three Harry Potter novels appeared in the ’90s.
4. Tight choker necklaces were the fashionable thing to wear.
5. Perhaps one of the most identifiable clothing fads of the 1990s was the slap bracelet that was created by a high school shop teacher Stuart Anders.
6. More than 76 million Tamagotchis (handheld digital pets) were sold around the world during the ’90s.
7. According to a national survey conducted in the 1990s, children readily identified Mario, Nintendo’s leading man, while most struggled to point out Mickey Mouse.
8. The four-door Ford Taurus was the best-selling car in the ’90s and chances are that you, or at least someone you knew, owned one of these dependable and affordable cars.
9. Baywatch’s famous slow-motion footage of scantily clad lifeguards running towards danger has become a trademark of the ‘90s.
10. Floppy disks, the colorful plastic squares were how you loaded your favourite game in computer class or how you saved your essay.
11. Before the days of lightning-speed Internet, users had to endure the painful process of connecting to the Internet through dial-up, a process that seemed to take forever.
12. During the VHS tapes’ final days of popularity, Aladdin, undoubtedly one of the most popular films of the decade, sold a staggering $1,058,376,296 worth of VHS tapes.
13. Michael Jordan won 6 NBA titles in 8 years (1991-1993, 1996-1998).
14. In 1991 the lead singer of the band Queen, Freddie Mercury, died from AIDS.
15. There were no openly gay teen characters on TV until 1992 when Ryan Phillippe played the first one on the ABC soap opera, One Life to Live.
16. “Macarena” the greatest one-hit wonder of all was released by Los Del Río in 1993.
17. Nirvana MTV Unplugged happened on the 18th of November, 1993.
18. The sounds of the super scary t-rex from Jurassic Park (1993) that had everyone on the edge of their seats, was voiced by… a Jack Russell Terrier!
19. The Alchemist by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho was translated into English and published again in the United States in 1993, when it became an instant success, appearing on the New York Times best-seller list for more than 300 weeks.
20. In 1994, pagers were the precursor to today’s smartphones. An estimated 61 million people were using the devices at one point.
21. In 1994 Nelson Mandela becomes the President of South Africa after being elected in the country’s first multi-racial elections.
22. The first at-home gaming console created by PlayStation, the Sony PlayStation (or PS1) was released in 1995 and quickly became an international obsession.
23. DOOM, released in 1993, beat out Windows 95 to become the most installed piece of software on computers in 1995.
24. Established in 1995, just a few years after the first website was created, AltaVista was the most popular search engine, with more than 83 million hits a day.
25. When the OJ Simpson trial was hot and heavy in 1995, a ginormous amount of Americans tuned in to watch the final verdict on the 3rd of October, 1995, about 95 million of them!
26. One of the best children’s movies (and the first feature film produced by Pixar), Toy Story (1995) was originally supposed to have Billy Crystal as the voice of Buzz Lightyear.
27. In 1995, Princess Diana created an “it bag” frenzy after she was gifted a Dior bag by the first lady of France, Bernadette Chirac.
28. eBay was founded in 1995 and was originally known as AuctionWeb.
29. In 1996 Princess Diana and Prince Charles got divorced.
30. The Spice Girls asked Tony Blair (just before becoming Prime Minister of the UK the following year) to be in the music video for their 1996 debut smash hit “Wannabe.” He declined the offer.