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14 Astonishing Facts That Seem Fake at First Glance

Being a scientist is fun, conducting new experiments every day, some of them totally crazy — like counting all the ants on Earth, asking a dolphin to speak on the phone, or watching butterflies in an earthquake.

We at Bright Side know that such experiments can prove incredible facts, so we chose those we considered the best to share with you.

Oxford University is older than the Aztec Empire.

The first students came to Oxford in 1096, while the Aztec city-state of Tenochtitlán was founded in 1325. That means the university is 229 years older.

Jupiter and Saturn have diamond rains.

These 2 gas giants have real skies of diamonds. Scientists say the pressure on the giant planets can easily turn carbon into diamonds. First, lightning transforms methane into carbon, which hardens as it falls down, turning into chunks of graphite, and then finally into diamonds.

There are about 1M ants per person on Earth.

Myrmecologists worldwide made an estimate that there are about 100 trillion-10 thousand trillion ants living on Earth now. That means there are about 1 million of these insects for each human.

The strawberry is not a berry.

As a matter of fact, the “berry” of the strawberry isn’t at all its fruit. It’s just an overgrown receptacle that carries the true fruit on it — that’s right, the green and white seeds. You’ll probably need some time to really let this sink in.

Bananas, though, are berries.

The world has done a barrel roll now. The banana plant is, in fact, giant grass, and bananas are its berries. According to the definition, a berry is a “soft and juicy fruit containing several seeds.” Well, bananas are just that.

Pyrosome — a hollow 100-foot worm living in the ocean

This creature is so rare that they’ve only been seen a few times. A pyrosome looks like a giant transparent and hollow worm, but it actually consists of thousands of organisms that glow in the dark and replicate themselves.

Mithridates VI couldn’t poison himself because he was immune to poisons.

Mithridates VI of Pontus had been taking small doses of various poisons since childhood to work up an immunity to them. During the riot, the Romans wanted to take him hostage, and Mithridates tried to poison himself but couldn’t because of his training. Oh, the irony!

If we lived in complete darkness, we would be able to stay up for 36 hours and would need 12 hours to get rested.

How many hours would a day last for a person who can’t tell the time of day by external signs?

French speleologist, Michel Siffre, carried out several experiments on the matter from 1962 to 1972. He placed himself in a specially equipped bunker with no light, a constant temperature and humidity, and absolute silence. He spent several months like this.

The results showed that his inner clock altered: he needed 30 minutes more to complete his sleep/wake cycle. Later, he conducted similar experiments with other volunteers in a cave — but they’d spend 36 hours awake and 12-14 hours asleep.

Our foot is as long as our forearm.

You just checked this, didn’t you? This is a standard and appropriate proportion of a human foot, used by artists to paint people. It was identified by Leonardo da Vinci in his famous Vitruvian Man.

Neil Armstrong’s space suit was made at a bra factory.

Few know that the space suit of the first man on the Moon was made at a factory which produced bras and lingerie in Dover, DE. We just hope Neil felt comfortable in it.

Ann Hodges is the only person to survive a meteorite strike.

American Ann Elizabeth Hodges was the first ever woman on Earth to survive an impact of an extraterrestrial object (November 30, 1954, near Sylacauga, AL). A meteorite fragment crashed through the roof of her house and hit her while she was sleeping on a couch. Soon, Ann became quite the celebrity.

Koalas are the only animals with a unique fingerprint pattern, like humans.

Professor Macie Hennenberg from Adelaide University proved there are no differences between the fingerprints of koalas and humans. Even a microscope scanner can’t find them. So it turns out koalas are the only animal, apart from humans, that have unique fingerprint patterns.

The first thing every monkey does if it recognizes itself in the mirror is check its crotch.

Shanghai-based neurobiologists conducted an experiment where they seated dozens of primates before a mirror and watched their reactions to their “double.” Nothing happened for a time, but when the monkeys realized they were seeing their own reflection, the first thing they did was check their crotch.

You can survive a shark attack by staying still.

Trying to swim away won’t help in this situation. The correct behavior here is to slowly move away from the shark’s path and stay calm. Keep an eye on the shark. When it has passed by you, try to find a way out of the water. However, if you can’t and have to defend yourself, hit it in its gills, eyes, or the tip of its nose.

Please note: This article was updated in August 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
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