There are so many amazing things happening on our planet that we can never learn everything nor find the time to share the things we learned with our loved ones. For instance, did you know that the higher the altitude of an airport, the longer the runways will be? This is because atmospheric pressure at higher altitudes are relatively lower hence the air becomes thinner and is less dense. We have collected some curious and interesting facts, just like this, that can be eye-openers for some.
1. Winnie-the-Pooh is actually named after a bear called “Winnipeg”.
Winnie-the-Pooh, which was published on October 14, 1926, became world famous overnight. The author, A. A. Milne, along with illustrator Ernest H. Shepard, actually based the work on some stuffed animals owned by Milne’s son, Christopher Robin Milne. Although Milne gave his son a toy bear for his first birthday on Aug. 21, 1921, it wasn’t named Winnie, but rather Edward. The name Winnie actually came from a brown bear that was purchased by a Canadian lieutenant and veterinary surgeon.
After purchasing the cub from a hunter for $20, Harry Colebourne took care of the bear cub and later donated her to the London Zoo where she was named Winnie. In 1924, Christopher Robin, A.A. Milne’s son, saw Winnie during a visit to the zoo. He fell in love with the bear so much that he changed his beloved toy bear’s name from Edward to Winnie; which was also the inspiration for A.A. Milne to write a book about Winnie-the-Pooh. (source)
2. The International Space Station orbits Earth once about every 90 minutes, so that means that in a 24 hour day, the space station orbits approximately 16 times.
The International Space Station is one of the biggest achievements of mankind. Did you know that 16 nations were involved in the construction of the ISS; The United States, Russia, Canada, Japan, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. While 70 mph can be extremely fast for most of us, the ISS travels at a speed of 5 miles per second, which means that the station circles our planet every 90 minutes. It is the single most expensive object ever built, costing an estimated $120 billion. Another interesting fact is that when the ISS orbits the Earth every 90 minutes, it also sees a sunrise every 90 minutes. So, every day, residents of the ISS witness 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets. (source)
3. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is actually completely empty on the inside.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world, with more than 1 million people flocking to see the iconic work of art. The construction of the tower began in 1173 but due to conflicts between Italian states, the work was delayed until 1272. The construction then went on for another 12 years before another war halted the progress. Finally, during the early 14th century, the construction began once again, and the tower was finally completed in 1372.
While most people think that the tower was intentionally made to look slanted, it was in fact caused due to poor design plans. The spot where the tower stands is extremely soft and the foundation was extremely shallow; which made it unstable. The tower continued to slant until 2008 when Italian engineers finally added a second balancing foundation that halted the tipping. Scientists however, predict that the tower could start tipping again and will only remain stable for another 200 years or less. (source)
4. The kangaroo and emu are the native animals of Australia and they are chosen for the emblem. It is believed that the kangaroo and emu were chosen to symbolize a nation moving forward. This is based on the common belief that neither animal can move backwards easily.
The emu and kangaroos are two species of animals that are native to Australia. There are more than 50 million kangaroos in Australia while there are only 25 million humans in the Oceanian sub-region. It is also estimated that there are between 630,000 and 725,000 emu birds in the country. Both the emu and kangaroo cannot jump backward. For the kangaroo, the long feet and heavy tail makes walking impossible; which is why they hop around. In order to symbolize a nation moving forward, Australia decided to choose the native animals to hold the shield with pride. (source)
5. In 2011, people playing Foldit, an online puzzle game about protein folding, resolved the structure of an enzyme that causes an Aids-like disease in monkeys. Researchers had been working on the problem for 13 years. The gamers solved it in three weeks.
For more than a decade, scientists have been working on solving the structure of an enzyme that causes an Aids-like disease in monkeys. After the online puzzle game Foldit was released, users playing the game managed to solve the structure in less than 3 weeks. This is not the first time online gamers have solved important clues or discovered things previously unknown. In 2012, gamers playing an astronomy game called Planet Hunters found a curious planet with four stars in its system. According to The Guardian, they’ve discovered 40 planets that could potentially support life, all of which had been previously missed by professional astronomers. (source)
6. On May 16, 2010, the conjunction of Venus, Jupiter, and Luna formed a smiley face in the sky. The rare event was witnessed by millions around the world.
The conjunction of the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter is an extremely rare event. It occurs when planets align in the sky and they are rare, not because the planets aligned, but because of the way that they aligned. Just by looking at the picture, you can see a smiley face. The amazing event was visible from all parts of the world and it occurred once previously in 2008. (source)
7. The Krusty Krab is actually a crab trap.
Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of Spongebob Squarepants is actually a marine biologist. In fact, he used to teach Marine Biology at the Orange County Marine Institute. While working at the institute, Hillenburg, who enjoyed drawing, created a comic book called Intertidial Zone, which featured an earlier version of Spongebob. The show is extremely popular among all ages. In fact, a recent survey found that 25% of Spongebob Squarepants viewers are adults with no children. (source)
8. Liechtenstein is the safest country in the world. In fact, the small country with less than 50,000 people has virtually no crime at all, with the last known crime taking place in 2007.
According to Travel Risk Map 2018, Nordic countries are the safest countries for travelers. One such big small country is Liechtenstein, that has a population of 37,000 people in roughly 62 square miles. Liechtenstein has one of the world’s lowest crime rates with the last known major crime taking place in 1997 and a small crime that took place in 2007. In fact, the country has such a low crime rate that most residents don’t lock their front doors when they leave or sleep at night. Currently, there are only 10 prisoners in the entire prison of Liechtenstein. (source)
9. Genuine diamonds do not show up on an x-ray.
While they are advertised as extremely rare and expensive to unearth, diamonds are neither rare or expensive. Their huge price tag was in fact created as part of an advertisement strategy by De Beers. Diamonds are nearly 100% carbon. The word diamond derives from the Greek word “adamas”, which means invincible or indestructible, which is why they are often associated with weddings. They are also extremely hard and the only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond. (source)
10. John Tyler, the 10th president of the United States has grandsons who are still alive today; 175 years later.
John Tyler was born in 1790. He took office in 1841 and became the tenth president of the United States from 1841 to 1845. Surprisingly, he still has two living grandchildren. So, how is this possible? According to Mental Floss, “The Tyler men have a habit of having kids very late in life. Lyon Gardiner Tyler, one of President Tyler’s 15 kids, was born in 1853. He fathered Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. in 1924, and Harrison Ruffin Tyler in 1928”. (source)
11. Airports at higher altitudes require longer airstrips due to lower air density.
Have you ever noticed that some airports have small landing strips while others have really long ones? While it certainly depends on the types of aircrafts that arrive and take off from the airport, another factor that plays a huge role is the altitude of the airport. Air is less dense at higher altitudes (and higher temperatures as well), so there is less air to support combustion in the engines, so less performance out of the engine and less air to support the aircraft, so you need more groundspeed to generate the lift required to takeoff (consequently more runway required). So, yes, high-altitude airports require longer runways because atmospheric pressure at higher altitudes are relatively lower; hence the air becomes thinner and is less dense. (source)