13 Pairs of Things That Are Surprisingly Related to Each Other
“Why is a raven like a writing desk,” asked Alice the Hatter. The author said there was no correct answer to this question. But our world is full of weird relations that are even more strange than this riddle. Do you know how a nuclear bomb and art are related?
Bright Side invites you to learn about the unexpected relationships between completely incompatible things.
Art and nuclear weapons
The first nuclear explosion caused small amounts of radioactive isotopes such as cesium-137 and strontium-90 to cover the earth. All paintings created after 1945 contain these radioactive particles: the isotopes contaminated the world’s soil, including flax and linseed oil, which are both used in the production of modern paint. So it’s impossible to create a perfect replica of famous works of the past (like those of Rembrandt or Leonardo da Vinci). In fact, there’s an examination that can help experts distinguish a real masterpiece from a forged copy.
Tights and speed skating
Once, a Soviet athlete, Viktor Kosichkin had to participate in a championship in Davos. Suddenly, the weather became really cold and he asked women from Germany to give him something warm to wear. They only had warm tights that the athlete had to cut from below. Surprisingly, he came in second. Kosichkin liked the effect of the item so much that he bought more tights and a tight black sweater and tried using them while preparing for the Olympics. During the Olympic games, he came in first and second place, and this interesting outfit became the official speed skating uniform.
CAPTCHA and old books
CAPTCHA isn’t just a set of letters that protects websites from spam. If a site uses a CAPTCHA system, solving these puzzles helps society. The thing is, it uses words scanned from old books and newspapers that a computer failed to recognize. Only a human being is able to read such text. The system distinguishes people from fakes, collects different variants of one and the same symbol, and inserts them in e-books. Around 200 million puzzles are solved daily!
Rats, landmines, and tuberculosis
Giant rats are among the most precious workers in Tanzania. Thanks to their intelligence and acute sense of smell, these animals are indispensable when it comes to finding mines. Rats that complete their training are referred to as “hero rats” and work in other countries (like Cambodia, for example). What’s more, is they even work in healthcare since their great sense of smell helps to diagnose early stages of tuberculosis.
A telegraph and grief
Samuel Morse was a great artist and probably would’ve devoted his life to it if it weren’t for one sad event. During a long trip, he received a letter from his father saying that his wife was recovering after a serious disease. Then, 3 days later, he received another letter saying his wife had died. Because of slow means of communication, Morse didn’t have a chance to say “goodbye” to his beloved. So in 7 years, he accidentally joined a conversation about electricity and started thinking about inventing a convenient and fast communication tool. In 12 more years, the first ever “quick message” was sent from Washington to Baltimore saying, “WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT!”
Pigeons and cancer
Scientists from the US managed to teach pigeons how to find malignant cells using histology. Comparing them to people, they have 2 advantages: enhanced color perception and the absence of imagination (birds can’t imagine things and thus, have no doubts while making a diagnosis). Each pigeon had the same training. When a bird “answered” correctly, scientists would feed it. In a month, each “student” chose a correct answer 80% of the time. The resulting group’s accuracy level reached an amazing 99%.
The color pink and masculinity
Initially, the color pink was considered to be a boys’ color and blue was thought to be a color for girls. The color white was considered to be suitable for both girls and boys. This tendency started to change in the 20th century with the help of the feminist movement and marketing. When determining the sex of an unborn baby became possible, different ads making future parents buy clothes of a certain color started to appear.
By the way, psychological studies prove that children don’t have innate color preferences. Boys’ attitudes toward pink are based on public opinion only.
Olympic medals and art
We’re used to thinking that the Olympics are only about sports and the most “artistic” thing you’ll see there is gymnastics. But in the middle of the 20th century, from 1912 to 1948, there were Olympic art competitions. It was the intention of the Olympic movement’s founder, Pierre de Coubertin, who believed sports and art both contributed to mental and physical health. Anyway, he thought that works of art should have been connected with sports. Medals were awarded for works of art inspired by sports, divided into 5 categories: architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture.
Printers and fingerprints
Most laser printers have their own fingerprints: yellow dots. These are special marks that create a unique pattern while the image is printing. Such measures are aimed at fighting against forgery. There have also been situations when this method helped to investigate information leakage cases.
Similar technology is being developed for 3D printers, and each of them is unique. When they’ll be widely used, police will have a tool to fight against counterfeit consumer goods.
The sun and sneezing
According to scientists’ data, every 4th person in the world sneezes because of bright sunlight. It’s an inherited genetic trait (the chance to inherit it is 50%). Retina irritation causes a sudden series of sneezing anywhere from 1 to 10 times, then it stops for the next 24 hours. The same reflexes are found in some people when they’re full or if a needle is placed close to their eye. So if you have any of these features, don’t get upset, you’re not alone.
Dogs and hook-and-loop fasteners
The invention was literally made thanks to a dog. After coming home from a walk with his pet, Georges de Mestral, a Swiss engineer, decided to have a closer look at burrs that covered his dog’s fur under a microscope. It turned out that the burrs’ barbed, hook-like seeds meshed with the fur. Mestral saw the possibility of binding 2 materials reversibly in an equally simple fashion. After several experiments over a course of 10 years, he got a patent and established a company.
Vikings and advertising
Eric the Red was a traveler and explorer who discovered Greenland. He was the first person who used the great marketing trick of using a cool name to attract more people. He named the land “green” even though his motherland was covered with ice and was white. Using this trick, he tried to attract as many colonists as possible. The method actually worked: in a year, lots of people moved to Greenland with Eric.
Gravity rides and purity
At the end of the 19th century, inventor LaMarcus Thompson opened the biggest amusement park in the US at Coney Island. The main purpose of this park was to attract the attention of people who were only interested in “sins” like visiting saloons and brothels. He invited guests to enjoy picturesque scenery (for example, the Alps) while riding a small wagon. This is how one of the most popular ways to get an adrenaline buzz started.
Which pairing surprised you the most? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!