15 Facts That Sound Fake But We Can Prove They’re True
We live in a world that is just too vast for us to know about it all, and more often than not, we learn something surprising about it every day. The good thing is that your brain has nearly unlimited storage capacity, so learning something new will not overload the 86 billion neurons research says it has. Of course, it’s always good to check the accuracy of facts as well and not just accept them at face value.
Bright Side scoured the internet for some crazy cool facts that sound like lies, but we have science behind us to prove that they are correct.
1. Having 6 fingers is actually a dominant trait, but the genes are rare.
The gene that lets you have a few extra fingers or toes is a dominant one. By that, we mean that if you get one of these genes from your parents, it will win over the other normal five-fingered gene you got from your other parent. The same happens with the blue eyes vs brown eyes gene, with brown winning.
The only reason why most of the human population does not have extra or even fewer digits as the norm is that the genes for polydactyly (extra digits) and ectrodactyly (missing digits) are very rare.
2. In the Michael Jackson song Smooth Criminal, the line “Annie are you ok?” is medically inspired.
The 1988 hit song by Michael Jackson, Smooth Criminal has the lyrics: “Annie, are you okay?” For anyone who is CPR trained, Annie, or rather Resusci Anne is the name of the CPR doll you practice on. One of the first questions the person giving the CPR asks is, “Annie, are you okay”? So Michael Jackson might just have been trained in CPR.
3. Goats have accents, just like us.
A major part of the world speaks English today. But if you hear people from different parts of the world speaking English, you’d think they were all talking in different dialects. Human beings have accents and now it seems goats have them too. So one goat’s bleat may not be the same as another goat’s bleat. Till now, such vocal flexibility has only been found in humans, bats, and dolphins.
4. An average cumulus cloud weighs 1.1 million pounds or 500,000 kilos.
Considering clouds are fluffy and float in the sky, a common assumption is to think that they are light. In fact, the common cumulus cloud, the white fluffy one, often seen on summer days, is pretty heavy. Given the density of the cloud, and the water droplets in it, science says each cumulus cloud weighs around 1.1 million pounds, or 500,000 kg, or even 100 elephants.
5. Galileo was alive when Harvard University was established.
We know that Harvard University is a storied institute and one that’s older than a whole generation of great-grandparents. Even so, one does not quite come to realize the years of the past unless a comparison is used. Harvard University was founded in 1636, and Galileo Galilei, the father of physics, was still very much around then. Galileo died in 1642.
6. Cheetahs cannot roar, they can only meow, like house cats.
When we think of big cats of the wild, there’s the lion, the tiger, the leopard, the jaguar, and finally, the cheetah. The fastest land animal on earth, watching a cheetah chase down its prey is poetry in motion. But for all its ferocity, a cheetah cannot roar like the other big cats and, in fact, can only meow, hiss, purr, and yelp.
7. Most aphids are born pregnant.
Female aphids can produce offspring without males being present in a process called parthenogenesis. In fact, most aphids are born pregnant. Embryos are present within the mother’s ovary one after another, in an assembly-line manner. In turn, these developing embryos contain developing embryos of the third generation within them, like nesting dolls.
8. Axolotls are juvenile salamanders.
There’s a reason why axolotls look so adorable, and that’s because they are a kind of salamander forever frozen in their juvenile stage in appearance. Even fully-grown axolotls look like other salamanders do in their larval stage. Unlike salamanders, which are amphibians, axolotls remain fully aquatic. They can metamorphose and “grow up” but tend to die soon after.
9. Out of 23 people, there’s a 50% chance that 2 share the same birthday.
Probability, speaking mathematically, makes some events more likely to happen than we’d believe. In a room of 23 people, there’s a 50% chance that 2 people could have the same birthday. This is known as the birthday paradox.
It happens because there are a total of 253 comparisons to make. The first of the 23 people will compare their birthday to 22 others, but the second person will to 21 others, and so on. Here’s the math behind it.
10. The ISS is closer to land on Earth than Point Nemo in the Pacific Ocean.
Point Nemo, or “the oceanic pole of inaccessibility,” is the point in the ocean farthest away from land. Its coordinates read: 48°52.6′S 123°23.6′W, and the spot is surrounded by about 1,000 nautical miles (2,688 km) of ocean in every direction.
The closest humans to Point Nemo are not on Earth but in space, given that the International Space Station (ISS) orbits at about 250 miles (402 km) above the surface of Earth.
11. The world’s 16 largest ships emit more sulfur than 800 million cars.
As of 2020, emission control for the maritime fleet has been tightened because ships usually run on the worst and cheapest possible fuel, and end up causing a lot of pollution. A study found out that 16 of the largest ships in the maritime fleet can emit as much sulfur as 800 million cars, approximately.
The nitrogen emissions of the maritime fleet are also probably higher than those of the global car fleet, although cars emit 2-4 times more carbon than the maritime fleet.
12. Moray eels have a set of inner jaws, like the Xenomorph in the movie Alien.
Most fish swallow a gulp of water to allow them to swallow the prey in it. But snowflake moray eels can reportedly come out of the water and chow down on the crabs in the shallows. What allows them to do this is a secondary set of extendable jaws. Known as pharyngeal jaws, they exist inside the throat, behind the primary set of oral jaws. Much like the Xenomorph in the Alien franchise.
13. The coldest spot known in the universe exists in a laboratory on Earth.
If you thought the North Pole was cold, meet John Teufel and his colleagues who, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, “squeezed” light to get atoms colder than any known temperature. They lowered the temperature of a small membrane to 360 microkelvins. That’s like 10,000 times colder than the vacuum of space.
14. The Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme does not mention that he’s an egg.
Nowhere in the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty is it mentioned that he is an egg. Yet every Humpty Dumpty poem shows him to be a cracked egg. In truth, Humpty Dumpty was the name of a cannon used by English Royalists from 1642 to 1649. It sat atop a wall, and an enemy shelling broke the wall. Humpty Dumpty fell, broke, and remained beyond repair.
15. Ancient Egyptian pregnancy tests worked for millennia and were mostly accurate.
Today, for a woman to know if she’s pregnant, she can simply pee on a stick for instant results. The ancient Egyptians had something similar, although not as quick. Women would urinate in 2 different bags, one filled with barley and the other with wheat. If the grain in either bag sprouted afterward, the woman was said to be expecting.
A 1963 study found that this test was fairly accurate, to the tune of 70%. The explanation lies in pregnancy hormones which can promote seed growth.
Did any of these facts take you by surprise? Do you know of any facts that sound far-fetched but that have been proven by science?