HE’s the world-famous Scottish poet we all know for poems and songs a-plenty.
And from fashion designers and fizzy drinks to space travel and Sex and the City, Robert Burns has impacted on our global culture in many diverse and surprising ways.
But while many know him for his poetic prowess and way with the Scots language, there are plenty of lesser-known aspects of the Alloway-born poet you may not have heard of.
Here are 10 fascinating facts about Scotland’s National Bard:
1. After Queen Victoria and Christopher Columbus, Robert Burns has more statues dedicated to him around the world than any other non-religious figure
2. US fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger claims direct descent from Robert Burns
3. A miniature book of his poetry was carried into orbit by astronaut Nick Patrick on a two-week space mission in 2010, completing a 5.7 million mile round trip and 217 orbits of the earth
4. Robert Burns was the first ever person to appear on a commemorative bottle of Coca-Cola in 2009
5. When his body was exhumed in 1815 to be placed in a new mausoleum in Dumfries, a plaster cast of his skull was taken for study. The skull was measured and discovered to be bigger than the average man’s