The world is filled with so many fascinating facts that we can learn something new every day, for the rest of our lives. Not only do these facts provide us with knowledge, but they make us superior to our peers. For instance, did you know that ice at fast food restaurants are dirtier than toilet water? Or, that humans share 60% of their DNA with bananas? When someone asks you, why do you know that? You can happily explain to them that it’s because you took the time to learn a few things about things. Here, we are listing some amusing facts about everything in this world.
1. The reason why Hershey’s Kisses are named “kisses” is because when the nozzle dispenses the chocolate into its signature shape, it makes a kissing sound.
Hershey’s Kisses are one of the most popular chocolates in the United States. Every day, the company produces more than 60 million Hershey’s Kisses chocolates at its two factories and over six billion dollars in sales happen every year. Invented in 1907 by The Hershey Company, the chocolate was initially wrapped by hand. By 1921 however, automated machines were introduced and these machines would wrap the chocolate pieces faster than human beings. According to the company, the reason why the chocolate was named Hershey’s Kisses, is due to the fact that the nozzle that creates them makes a kissing sound as it dispenses the chocolate onto the belt. (source)
2. Humans are not capable of sneezing while sleeping.
It’s a question that often lingers in our head. Can we sneeze while we are asleep? When particles or allergens get into our mucus membranes, they can become irritated. So, the nerve cells in the nose send a signal to brain, which initiates a sneeze to get rid of the irritants. However, during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, our brain shuts down certain neurotransmitters and because of this, the motor neurons do not become stimulated. This means that no signal is sent to the brain, so we won’t sneeze. However, if there are enough external stimulants to trigger the sneeze, then we will wake up so that we can sneeze and get rid of the irritants. (source)
3. Ice at fast food restaurants contain more bacteria than toilet water.
Studies show that the ice from popular restaurants and food chains contain more harmful bacteria than the water in a toilet bowl. The study, conducted by researchers in the UK, tested ice from popular fast food chains. To their surprise, six out of ten ice samples taken from restaurants contained higher levels of bacteria than the toilet samples. While some of the restaurants implemented strict policies to ensure the cleanliness of their products, the study showed that the contamination was most likely caused by employees who failed to wash their hands. At fast food chains such as McDonald’s and KFC, the contamination was caused by ‘environmental issues’, such as a dirty ice machine. (source)
4. Sunsets on Mars are blue.
While the Earth is a pale blue planet, Mars is called the Red Planet because it’s basically a frigid desert. Although Mars is red, its sunsets are blue. According to experts at NASA, this is due to the same reason why our sky is blue while our sunsets are red in color. The color of a sunset is dependent on how light is scattered by particles. Since Mars’ atmosphere is very tenuous, made of carbon dioxide and filled with lots of dust, red light is scattered and causes the sky to appear reddish. At the same time, blue light passes through, which is what the rovers in Mars see. The same effect takes place on Earth, but the other way around. (source)
5. It’s impossible to burp in space.
Since space lacks gravity, the air in astronauts’ stomachs doesn’t separate from undigested food. This means that when astronauts have to burp, they have to suppress it. If not, it’s not just the gases that come out, but also the foods and liquids. This is one of the main reasons why astronauts are under a controlled diet. During their mission, astronauts avoid foods like Brussels sprouts and cabbage, so when the gas wants to come out, it won’t bring out other things with it. In 2011, Charles Bourland, a consultant for the NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center, noted, “if you burp in space, it’s usually wet because the liquid and gas doesn’t separate in your stomach like they do on Earth”. (source)
6. Recycling one aluminum beverage can save enough energy to run a 14 watt CFL bulb (60 watt incandescent equivalent) for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, or a TV for 2 hours.
Every year, about 200 billion aluminum cans are produced worldwide. More than 2% of the world’s energy use is spent on producing aluminum. It also takes more energy to mine and produce aluminum than any other metal. According to some estimates, creating just 4 aluminum cans is equivalent to filling 1 of these cans with gasoline. Of the 200 billion aluminum cans produced each year, only a small percent of them are recycled and more than 36 billion aluminum cans end up in landfills. According to the EPA, recycling a can uses less than 5% of the energy used to make the original product and by doing so, we save enough energy to run a TV for 2 hours. (source)
7. Some lipsticks contain fish scales.
In order to bring a natural glow to products such as makeup and lipstick, fish scales are commonly used by manufacturers worldwide. While not all manufacturers use fish scales to bring the shimmering effect to their products, many do. In order to check if the lipstick or makeup you use contains fish scales, check the ingredients list for guanine, the name by which this crystalline substance made from fish scales is typically listed. (source)
8. Betty White is older than sliced bread.
America’s sweetheart was born in 1922, and it wasn’t until July 7, 1928, that sliced bread was invented and sold. Born on January 17, 1922, in Oak Park, IL, Betty White is older than a trampoline, instant camera, Jukebox and many other things. In 2010, the USDA Forest Service made her an honorary forest ranger, and a 2011 poll revealed White to be the most popular and trusted celebrity among Americans. (source)
9. Humans share 60% of their DNA with bananas.
The DNA, which is present in nearly all living organisms, is the carrier of genetic information. It is unique to each individual being and with it, we can determine physical characteristics such as such as eye and hair color. Scientists studying gene sequencing discovered that we have more in common with bananas, chickens, and fruit flies than we previously imagined. For instance, we are 60% identical with chickens, more than 60% identical with bananas and 60% identical with fruit flies. (source)
10. There are actually more public libraries in the US than McDonald’s.
As of 2019, there are only about 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the US. While there’s a McDonald’s restaurant at every corner, it’s definitely not the largest food chain in the country. In fact, there are more public libraries in the US, than there are McDonald’s. There are 116,867 libraries in the US, with 9,057 of them being public libraries, 3,094 academic libraries, 98,460 school libraries, 5,150 special libraries, 239 Armed Forces libraries, and 867 government libraries. (source)
11. Adding salt to pineapple makes it sweet.
In order to make pineapples sweeter, instead of adding sugar, add some salt to it. The reason why salt makes pineapple taste sweeter is because of how our brain processes information. Bitter and sweet tastes can mutually suppress each other. The same process takes place when we add sugar to our coffee to make it less bitter. According to Dr. Russell Keast from Deakin University, “while the coffee is sweet and bitter, it tastes less sweet and less bitter to us because of the way our brain cancels out some of the sweet and bitter tastes coming from our tongue”. By adding salt to pineapples, the sodium actually reduces some of the bitterness, causing the sweetness to stand out. (source)