23 Facts No One Knows What to Do With

7 months ago

Apples you usually grab in the supermarket seem super fresh, but they can be up to a year old. It’s all about how they’re stored: first, they’re covered with wax. Next, the wax is dried with hot air, and finally, the apples go into cold storage.

Sloths are better at breath-holding than dolphins. Those lazy buddies can slow their heart rate and hold their breath this way for up to 40 minutes. If they watched any breathtaking series, they’d literally breathe once per episode.

If you look at any old photograph, you’ll see that people didn’t have those big smiles we love to have in the photos today. First, photographers preferred to keep things serious, so instead of “cheese”, people would say “prunes” to keep their lips tight. And other things.

Earth is not the only planet with water. Scientists from NASA strongly believe one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa, has an ocean with twice as much water as we have on our planet. It’s hidden under a thick layer of ice. Even Mars has some liquid water flowing.

Cicadas are some of the biggest flying insects you can find out there. Most species are not that impressive, only about 1–2 inches long. Only. But the largest one, known as the empress cicada, has a body length of about 3 inches. In comparison, its wingspan reaches whopping 8 inches. That’s a really big bug.

Not all goats peacefully munch on meadow grass. Some of them prefer climbing trees for food. Meet Moroccan goats — a natural phenomenon unique to North Africa. The thing is, they’re way more attracted to argan tree fruits than to the regular grass. That’s quite understandable — those fruits look just like golden apples. These goats are quite agile, so they easily climb up the trees to get the juicy treats. And they rarely need help from their nanny.

There’s a creature that can technically live forever. There’s a species of jellyfish known as Turritopsis dohrnii. Welp, those guys have a superpower of respawning. So, whenever they get any sort of physical damage or something, those jellyfish reset themselves back to the polyp stage and start all over again.

Now let’s test you: are there more trees on Earth or stars in the Milky Way? If your answer is “stars”, sorry, but you’re wrong! According to scientists’ estimations, there are up to 100 billion stars in our galaxy and about 3 trillion trees on Earth. Now that’s impressive.

Pluto still hasn’t yet made a complete orbit since it was discovered. And now imagine that it was found back in 1930. It takes about 248 years for Pluto to make a full orbit around the Sun. By the way, Mercury is the fastest: it takes only about 88 days for this planet to make a full orbit. However, Pluto will complete its first full orbit since its discovery in 2178. I can’t wait.

One more fun fact about planets: the dwarf planet Haumea has a very peculiar shape — it looks exactly like a potato. It is about the same size as Pluto and has rings similar to those Saturn has. If you ever want to find it, it is located beyond the orbit of Neptune.

Nachos aren’t some ancient Mexican food. They were invented less than 100 years ago! Ignacio Anaya, nicknamed Nacho, is said to have created this dish in the 1940s. There’s a nice story behind nachos. A regular customer got really hungry and asked if Ignacio could bring her and her three friends something different that day.
He saw how hungry the ladies were and decided to cook something quick for them. He had to improvise using available ingredients. So he put some tortillas, grated loads of cheese on top of them, and heated the dish from above. To make the dish more savory, he added some jalapeño peppers on top. Mamie Finan, that very regular customer asked what the name of the unusual snack was. Ignacio didn’t think long and said the name was “Nacho’s special”.

Oranges aren’t necessarily orange. If grown in subtropical regions, the climate isn’t cold enough to break down the chlorophyll, so the fruit peel stays yellow or greenish. Such oranges usually get treated with ethylene gas that can help turn the oranges orange. Orange you impressed with that?

Okay, it’s time for a little riddle for you: what’s common between peanut butter and an engagement ring? Both of them contain diamonds. Scientists have learned how to turn peanut butter into diamonds. They extracted the oxygen from CO2. They got the carbon and then put it under intense pressure. In the end, they got diamonds! In a Jif, I suppose.

Pufferfish, aka blowfish, is famous for two things: it’s clumsy, and it can literally turn into a sort of a balloon. Blowing themselves helps them survive in the wild — they are inedible when swollen. Well, they’re not entirely edible even when they’re deflated. Their poison is over 1,000 times more toxic than cyanide. Don’t count on antidotes — they just don’t exist. Or probably we need more time to find one.

Not only can people become knights, but penguins can do that too. There’s one living in Edinburgh, and it was granted knighthood back in 2008. Meet Nils Olav III — the mascot and colonel-in-chief of the Norwegian King’s Guard.

What size of shoes do you wear? I bet it’s way smaller than the size the Statue of Liberty wears! No statue needs shoes, but if the Statue of Liberty wanted to grab a pair of new sneakers, she’d need to look for a size 879. No surprise here. She’s 151 feet tall.

These are our muscles that cause goosebumps. Those tiny fan-shaped muscles are called Arrector pili, and we have them at the base of every hair follicle. Whenever it’s cold, they get contracted, which makes our hairs literally “stand up”, creating goosebumps.

You may think you’re not an athlete, but if you’ve ironed your clothes in very uncomfortable locations at least once, you already are. Sort of. Extreme ironing is an extreme sport where people take ironing boards to very unexpected places, such as forests, canoes, or mountains, and iron the clothes there. Some do that even on top of bronze statues or underwater. And yep, there are even official championships. Haven’t these people heard of the permanent press?

Rap battles aren’t something that appeared recently. In medieval England, there was something called “flyting”, which was very much like contemporary rap battles. It was quite popular in the 15th and 16th centuries when two opponents mocked each other in an improvised battle.

’Tongue map’ says we have different parts for different tastes... Not really. There are individual taste buds that sense certain flavors more than they do with some others, but it doesn’t mean one area can taste sweet better than the other. Studies showed that all mouth areas have taste buds sensitive to all tastes.

Chameleons don’t change colors because they want to match their surroundings. That would probably be a very tiring thing to do. In reality, some other things like mood, temperature, or the amount of light they get, affect their color. When chameleons relax and stretch cells, crystals that are inside of them are affected by the light. These reptiles use crystals to communicate with each other, so, for example, darker shades show they’re not in such a good mood. It’s more that they kinda feel grumpy. Beware the grumpy chameleon.

Turkeys can blush just like people do. It works the same way: they blush when angry, excited, or even feel bad. You can see the skin on their necks and heads turn red.

Opossums don’t really sleep while hanging by their tails — you can see that in cartoons and some photos, but in general, they don’t. Their tails are strong, so these animals can grip branches and hold their weight, but only for shorter periods. Adults are really too heavy to stay in this position for too long, so they wouldn’t get too much rest. You could say hanging by their tail overnight is sort of im-possum-ble.


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