10 Interesting Facts That You Can Use to Start Casual Conversations

10 Interesting Facts That You Can Use to Start Casual Conversations

They say you learn something new every day. With the help of the internet, learning something new has never been easier. However, most people use it to watch adorable cat videos. Of course, cute little kitties might not be everyone’s cup of tea but not to worry, there are so many other kinds of things to cheer anyone up. When you are casually chatting with your friends or family members and have trouble keeping the conversations alive, use these 10 interesting facts.

1. Your lungs are filled with tiny sacs called alveoli that draw oxygen from the air you breathe. The average adult has around 600 million of these alveoli, and their combined surface area is roughly the size of a tennis court.

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Image: Raj

Our lungs are filled with tiny sacs called alveoli, whose job is to draw oxygen from the air we breathe. Although they are microscopic, they are what keeps our respiratory system functional. When we breathe in, the alveoli expand to take in oxygen and when we breathe out, the alveoli shrink to expel carbon dioxide. It is estimated that there are around 600 million alveoli in your lungs and if you stretched them out, they would cover an entire tennis court.

2. The F-35 advanced fighter jet is one of the most high-tech, sophisticated airplanes ever built. It is also one of the most expensive military projects of all time, costing around $1.5 trillion, by the time the project is finished.

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Image: U.S. Air Force

The F-35 has a top speed of 1.60 Mach or 1227.63 miles per hour. The advanced fighter jet has state-of-the-art stealth and connected radar technology, making it nearly invisible to air defense systems. Even while traveling at supersonic speeds, its networking technology allows pilots to share real-time information with other pilots and with commanders on the ground. While the F-35 costs between $94 million and $122 million, by the time the project is finished, it is expected to cost around $1.5 trillion over its 55-year lifespan. The F-35 helmets also cost an astounding $400,000, that includes heads-up display, helmet-mounted display and visor-projected night vision that allows pilots to see in the dark without separate night-vision goggles.

3. Cats don’t think of us as humans. Instead, they see us as equals, just like other cats.

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Image: Ramiz Dedaković

While we can’t find out exactly what goes on inside a cat’s mind, scientists observing and studying cats know that cats show us a level of respect and affection that is very similar to the way they treat their momma cat. They are also bad at reading our facial cues but are capable of understanding our moods based on cues, like our scent, the way we feel, or the change in our voices.

4. The average human being spends an average of 2-3 days a year waiting at red lights, which adds up to about 4 months over the course of a lifetime of driving, if you live to be 75.

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Image: Pexels

If you’re one of the 115 million Americans who heads to work in a vehicle on a daily basis, odds are that you have to stop at an average of two red lights every single day. While it might not seem like a lot of time, it can add up over the years. According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, red lights can last between 60 and 90 seconds. This means that an urban driver would spend an average of 75 seconds waiting at each red light.

According to AAA, the average American spends 17,600 minutes driving each year, which means that you spend an average of 3,520 minutes, or 58.6 hours waiting at red lights every 365 days. When you turn 65, and if you are still working, it means that you’ll have spent 2,930 hours sitting at red lights. So in simple terms, that accounts to 122 days—or about 4 months of your life of staring at those lights; waiting for them to turn green.

5. When a baby elephant is born, other mothers in the social group will trumpet to celebrate or announce the arrival.

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Image: Hu Chen

Elephants are one of the most interesting creatures on this planet. When a baby elephant is born, other members of the herd display an unusual behavior. The protective group will circle the mother and utilize their bodies and feet to create a perimeter. This prevents other animals from approaching the calf. Once the calf is up and walking, they will trumpet to celebrate or announce the arrival.

6. Your dog likely dreams about you.

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Image: Chris Leipelt

According to Dr. Deirdre Barrett, a clinical and evolutionary psychologist at Harvard Medical School, dogs are likely to dream about what happened to them during the day – much like humans. ‘Since dogs are generally extremely attached to their human owners, it’s likely your dog is dreaming of your face, your smell and of pleasing or annoying you,’ she said. Dr. Barrett also added that cats are more likely to dream of catching mice.

7. Cows take turns in babysitting their young ones. One mom will stay with the calves while other moms graze further away.

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Image: Leon Ephraïm

Like elephants, cows are extremely intelligent creatures. According to experts, every herd has a ‘boss’ cow that makes rules and decides which way to graze. They also have designated baby sitters to look after the calves. Every day, as the cows graze and move around, the babysitter makes sure that the calves are safe. Every momma cow in the herd will take a turn at being the babysitter. Like humans, some are good at babysitting and others get bored easily.

8. In 1887, inhabitants of Fort Keogh, Montana found snowflakes that were more than a foot across during a snowstorm. Some of the flakes were 15 inches wide, the biggest ever recorded.

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Image: Aaron Burden

In 1887, Fort Keogh, Montana saw a snowstorm unlike any other. According to the Guinness World Records, a snowflake 15 inches in diameter and 8 inches thick was measured that year, as the largest ever snowflake in the world. The large snowflake could have been “packets” of many smaller snow crystals loosely clinging together. As they fall towards the ground, individual snow crystals brush past each other, forming larger flakes and becoming heavier. This means that their fall speeds increase, causing them to accumulate more along the way.

9. The biggest traffic jam of all time happened in 2010 in China, lasting for more than 10 days.

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Image: Koushik Pal

In 2010, China saw one of the biggest traffic jams of all time. As many as 10,000 vehicles, mostly trucks, were crammed for 74.5 miles (120 km) along the north-south Beijing-Tibet expressway. The traffic was caused by roadwork, which was intended to alleviate the congestion. According to ABC news, the traffic lasted for more than 10 days with some people being stuck in their cars for as long as 5 days. Local vendors utilized the opportunity and started going car by car to sell food, gas and other necessities.

10. Green Eggs and Ham, one of the most popular books of all time, uses exactly 50 different words. That’s because Dr. Seuss wrote it on a bet. His publisher bet Seuss $50 that he couldn’t write an entire book with 50 or fewer words.

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Image: Wikimedia

In 1960, Bennett Cerf, the co-founder of Random House, made a bet with Dr. Seuss for $50 (about $382 today) that he couldn’t write a book containing 50 words or less. Theodore Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, took it as a challenge and went on to write one of his most popular works, Green Eggs and Ham using exactly 50 unique words. Cerf however, never paid up. Cat in the Hat was also the result of a challenge to write a book in under a certain number of words.

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