Mental Floss

Mental Floss, Inc.
Type of business Private
Available in English
Founded 2001 (2001)
Headquarters New York City, New York, U.S.
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Area served International
Key people Will Pearson, Mangesh Hattikudur, John Green
Industry Digital and Print Media
Employees 50+
Registration Optional
Users 150 million +

Mental Floss (stylized mental_floss) is an American digital, print, and e-commerce media company focused on millennials. It is owned by Dennis Publishing and based in New York City., which presents facts, puzzles, and trivia with a humorous tone, draws 20.5 million unique users a month. Its YouTube channel produces three weekly series and has 1.3 million subscribers. The magazine mental_floss has a circulation of 160,000 and publishes six issues a year. In October 2015, Mental Floss teamed with the National Geographic Channel for its first televised special, Brain Surgery Live with mental_floss, the first brain surgery ever broadcast live.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

Launched in Birmingham, Alabama in 2001,[8][9] the company has additional offices in Midtown Manhattan. The magazine has more than 100,000 subscribers in over 17 countries.[10] The publication also has been included in Inc. magazine's list of the 5,000 fastest growing private companies.[11]

The magazine frequently publishes books and sells humorous T-shirts. It also developed a licensed trivia board game called Split Decision, similar to Trivial Pursuit. Its online store sells quirky home and office supplies, games and toys.

Dennis Publishing bought the magazine in 2011.


The magazine was co-founded by William E. Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur while they were students at Duke University. According to the Mental Floss website, the idea came from conversations in the Duke cafeteria about the need for an entertaining educational magazine.[12] According to Hattikudur, they wanted to "distill some of the best lectures from our favorite college professors. We thought if we could bottle their enthusiasm and deliver it in monthly installments, it'd be great."[10]

Later, Pearson met with president of Duke University, who loved the idea, but disliked the name. The first published issue, known as the "Campus Edition", was published in spring 2000, distributing 3,000 issues.

The founders spent much of their first year looking for investors and staff members while raising funds to publish the first issue, which was released in May 2001. Over the following summer, 8,000 copies were distributed, and 60% sold out on newsstands.[13]

Notable contributors

Magazine sections

Each issue of Mental Floss magazine is divided into the following sections:

Recurring themes

Every year, Mental Floss publishes one "Ten Issue." It usually features lists of ten things focusing on subjects like: "Ten Most Forgettable Presidents," or "Ten Famous Monkeys in Science."[21]

Initially, "Mental Floss" tried to feature self-proclaimed mascot Albert Einstein on the cover of each issue. The magazine even did a 'swimsuit issue,' which featured a topless Einstein.[22]

Recurring blog categories


Mental Floss sells merchandise through its online store and its retail store in Chesterland, Ohio.


Media coverage and awards

Mental Floss has been covered by magazines and newspapers such as Reader's Digest, Los Angeles Times,, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Dallas Morning News, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and the Washington Post.[23] Other media coverage includes:


  1. "Gone Native: The Magazine Whose Editors Write Ad Content – Digiday". Digiday. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  2. "We're Hiring Writers, Editors, and a Producer". Mental Floss. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  3. "Brain Surgery Live with Mental Floss". National Geographic. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  4. "Gone Native: The Magazine Whose Editors Write Ad Content". Digiday. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  5. "YouTube - Mental Floss". YouTube. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  6. "Quantcast - Mental Floss". Quantcast. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  7. "4 Ways Mental Floss Won Millennials". Digiday. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  8. Press Release describing magazine launch
  9. "The 20 Best Magazines of the Decade (2000–2009)". Paste Magazine. November 26, 2009. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  10. 1 2 "Ohio couple share in the fun as Mental Floss magazine executives"
  11. The News Herald "Folks behind mental_floss open retail store in Chester Township"
  12. mental_floss About page
  13. See Mental Floss Volume 5, issue 6, page 8.
  14. "The NMR Top 100 YouTube Channels: 75-51!". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  15. "Mental Floss' John Green". Webby Awards. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  16. "Ken Jennings - Dabbling". Ken Jennings. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  17. "Arika Okrent announced as winner of LSA Linguistics Journalism Award". Linguistic Society. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  18. "Watch Max Silvestri Learn to Open Champagne with a Sword". Splitsider. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  19. "Wheezy Waiter Answers Questions In New Series On Mental Floss Channel". IMDb. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  20. What is mental_floss?
  21. See Mental Floss volume 4, issue 3.
  22. "Making knowledge fun: a look inside the pages of Mental Floss magazine". Trivia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  23. Press Room
  24. Chicago Tribune "Our 50 Favorite Magazines"
  25. PC World "100 Blogs We Love"
  26. Inc. Magazine "30 Under 30: America's Coolest Young Entrepreneurs"
  27. Digiday "Our 50 Favorite Magazines"
  28. "The 140 Best Twitter Feeds Of 2013". Time. 25 March 2013.
  29. "Blog – Cultural". Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  30. "National Magazine Awards 2013 Finalists Announced". Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  31. Casserly, Meghan. "Mental Floss – In Photos: The 100 Best Websites For Women 2013". Forbes.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/14/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.