Learning new things is always fun. You get to know about all kinds of strange and interesting things going on that we just don’t usually hear about. Of course, we can all agree that the world is a strange place and that things don’t often happen according to plan. In this world where weird coincidences are generally the norm, we bring you some really cool facts about all kinds of topics. From inventing the first office chair with wheels to figuring out if a diamond is real or not, here are some pretty cool facts.
1. Charles Darwin was the first person known to put wheels on an office chair because it allowed him to roll around in his office and study specimens at a faster rate.
For the modern office chairs with wheels, we have Charles Darwin to thank – sort of. Darwin was a workaholic and spent most of his life traveling around the world, studying specimens. However, he had to sit down to analyze the collected specimens. Office chairs weren’t invented yet and in order to get around his work station at a faster rate, Darwin added some wheels to his chair. Since Darwin was ahead of his time, it took a while for others to get used to the concept. Although Darwin didn’t invent the modern office chair, he did bring the concept to life. His invention was basically an armchair on wheels. (source)
2. If you want to know whether a diamond is real, breathe on it. Diamonds are very efficient heat conductors, so the fog from your breath will disappear almost immediately if it is real. If you see that the fog appears for a few seconds, then it’s probably a fake.
The piece of gem is expensive and millions around the world spend a fortune to make them a part of their wedding. Little do they know that diamonds are neither rare nor valuable. The heavy price tag comes as a part of a clever advertising campaign by De Beers, who claimed that men should spend one month’s salary on a diamond ring. Then, they raised their prices, restricted their supply, and created an illusion that generations of people still believe to be a mandatory part of the marriage process.
If you ever buy one or encounter one, there’s a simple way to find out whether it is in fact real. Breathe hot air on your diamond, the same way you would if you were cleaning your glasses. Diamonds are very efficient heat conductors, so the fog from your breath will disappear almost immediately if it is real. If the fog sticks around a few seconds before clearing up, the rock is probably a fake. (source)
3. The first item ever listed on eBay was a broken laser pointer that sold for $14.83. When the buyer, Mark Fraser, was contacted to make sure he knew it was broken, his reply was “I’m a collector of broken laser pointers”.
Founded in 1995, the multinational e-commerce website allows users from all over the world to buy and sell their products. Before Amazon cornered the market, eBay was popular, and even today, the marketing site boats an astounding 179 million active users. When the marketing website was made public in 1995, the first item to be listed was none other than a broken laser pointer. Surprisingly, there was a buyer; Mark Fraser. And when the seller contacted Fraser, wanting to know whether he was aware that the laser pointer was indeed broken, his response was, “I’m a collector of broken laser pointers”. (source)
4. Prairie dogs say hello with kisses.
Although they are called Prairie Dogs, they are not dogs at all. The reason why they are called “dogs” is because of their dog-like barks. The little critters greet each other with kisses. The highly sociable rodents “kiss and cuddle” more when they are being watched by zoo visitors, scientists have found. Their “greeting kiss” is remarkably similar to a human kiss – two rodents touch mouth to mouth and the kissing is often accompanied by other affectionate behaviors, such as playing or grooming one another. Kissing is also a way of determining whether or not the other prairie dog is in its social group. (source)
5. Tigers, leopards, and jaguars love Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men. The scent is used to attract animals to cameras in the wilderness.
Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men cologne was released in 1986. Favored by millions around the world, it’s not just humans that are attracted by its scent. Animals, especially big cats, love the scent and are attracted to the person wearing it, even if they are miles away. According to Los Angeles-based biologist Miguel Ordeñana, the civetone resembles a type of “territorial marking” that makes big cats want to rub their own scent all over it. Wildlife photographers, scientists and even conservationists are using the scent to lure these animals towards them. When a dangerous tiger was roaming the streets of India, forest rangers used the fragrance to lure it away towards the jungle. The scent is also very appealing to cheetahs. (source)
6. Vito Corleone’s cat in The Godfather was a stray that the film’s writer/director, Francis Ford Coppola, found on the Paramount lot. It purred so loudly that some of Marlon Brando’s dialogue had to be dubbed.
Every day, when the film’s writer/director, Francis Ford Coppola, walked to the set, he saw a stray cat roaming around. On the day of the shooting the scenes in Vito’s study, Coppola took the cat and told Brando to improvise with it. The cat was so calm, relaxed and loved Brando so much that it sat in his lap during the entire duration of the filming. However, the cat’s purr nearly ruined the scene, since the sound crew was unable to understand anything Brando was saying over the purring. The crew feared that they would have to use subtitles so that viewers could understand but Brando decided that he would dub the dialogues instead. (source)
7. Bananas are curved because they grow against the pull of gravity. They start off hanging downwards, but as they get bigger, they start trying to grow upwards to get more sun and end up having a curved shape.
Bananas are a very special fruit because of their unique bend. According to the Australian Banana Growers Council:
“Bananas start life very, very straight but as the bunch emerges from the top of the plant and the bracts (bracts are the leathery purple things that separate the hands of bananas) roll back and fall off, the bananas begin to spread out and turn upward. They do this because bananas are negatively geo-tropic. This means that they grow away from the pull of gravity, as opposed to turning upward toward the sun.
Because the Cavendish bunch is quite large and hangs almost straight down, the bananas generally have an even bend in them all the way around the bunch.
However, Ladyfinger bunches sit almost at right angles to the plant and the bananas on the top side of the bunch grow straight upward, while the bananas on the bottom side twist right around. Though there is no difference in the fruit, the twisted bananas from the bottom side of the bunch generally don’t make it to market, which is one reason that Ladyfinger bananas are more expensive because not all the bunch can be marketed.”
8. You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television.
Your body is at work at all hours of the day and night. According to Healthline, a person who weighs 125 pounds burns approximately 38 calories per hour sleeping. Multiplying that by the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep and that’s a total of 266 to 342 calories for snoozing. (source)
9. In 1912, Teddy Roosevelt was shot just before giving a speech. Despite this, he continued for 1.5 hours before seeking medical attention.
He began with: “Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose. Fortunately I had my manuscript – I was going to make a long speech – and there is where the bullet went through, and it probably saved me from it going into my heart. The bullet is in me now, so that I cannot make a very long speech, but I will try my best…” then kept talking for 1.5 hours before finally agreeing to seek medical attention. (source)
10. Dolphins sleep with one eye open.
Unlike humans, dolphins don’t sleep for long periods of time. When sleeping, most of us are unconscious and unaware of what’s happening around us. However, at the same time, our bodies automatically have a breathing reflex that helps us breathe, even when we are unconscious. Dolphins cannot do that and they have to remain conscious, even when they are sleeping. In dolphins, breathing is consciously controlled. To put things simple, they have to actively decide when to breath, and so they must be continually conscious in order to breath.
In order to achieve this, the dolphins have evolved in such a way that only one half of their brains sleep at any time. The other half allows the creature to continue breathing and also keep an eye out for possible predators. (source)