8 Facts About the World That Sound Like Fiction But Are True

8 Facts About the World That Sound Like Fiction But Are True

Through reading books, watching documentaries, and with the help of the internet, we gain knowledge and learn a lot of helpful things. At the same time, there are things that seem so far fetched or even fictional, that we have a hard time wrapping our minds around them. For instance, there is a popular fact that there are so many different kinds of apples, if you eat one of each kind every day, it would take you 20 years to try them all. While it’s hard to believe, it is true. Like that, we have gathered a variety of weird and interesting facts that sound fictional, but are actually true.

1. Airplanes fly slower today than they did in the past.

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Image: Daniel De Ciantis

Flying is the fastest way to travel but it just isn’t like what it used to be. And if you have ever felt like you spend more time on your flights than you did “back in the day,” you’re probably right. According to The NY Post, flights have gotten increasingly worse over the last few decades. For instance, back in the 1970’s, a flight from New York to Houston would take about two hours and 37 minutes, but the same flight today will take three hours and 50 minutes.

According to the MIT School Of Engineering, cruising speeds for commercial planes are between 480 and 510 knots these days, while they used to be 525 knots on Boeing 707 planes in the 1960’s. The reason for this change is simple, money. Airline companies learned that the slower they go, the more fuel they save, thus squeezing out more profit. According to Business Insider, airlines can save millions of pounds of fuel every year by simply going slower. (source)

2. There are so many different kinds of apples, that if you ate one of each kind every day, it would take you approximately 20 years to try them all.

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Image: Suzy Hazelwood

While we see apples in shades of reds, greens, and yellows, there are thousands of varieties of apples throughout the world. 2,500 varieties of apples alone are grown in the United States, whereas 7,500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world. So, basically, if you want to try all of the varieties of apples and you have one type each day, it would take you approximately 7,300 days to try them all; or 20 years. (source)

3. The reason why Steve Jobs chose the name Apple for the company was because it was before Atari in the phone book.

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Image: Aleksander Vlad

When Steve Wozniak and the late Steve Jobs were trying to come up with a name for their company, Jobs had already set his mind on “Apple”. “I remember driving down Highway 85,” Wozniak says. “We’re on the freeway, and Steve mentions, ‘I’ve got a name: Apple Computer.’ We kept thinking of other alternatives to that name, and we couldn’t think of anything better”. Later Jobs said, “And also remember that I worked at Atari, and it got us ahead of Atari in the phonebook”. So, the main reason Jobs wanted the company to be named Apple was to get ahead of Atari. (source)

4. Cows that are called by name produce 258 liters more milk per year than those who don’t have names.

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Image: Lucas Allmann

While it might sound extremely unusual, new research suggests that farmers who have pet names for their cows produce up to five percent more milk. The study, which was published in the journal Anthrozoos, also found that it’s not just the name that makes cows more productive, but also the way they are treated. “If you call a cow by name, it indicates that perhaps you talk to her more, perhaps you consider her more of an individual, perhaps you have more of a one-to-one relationship,” explains, Catherine Douglas, of Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. Researchers believe that by calling them by name and interacting with them, the cows feel more relaxed, causing them to produce hormones to increase the production of milk. (source)

5. There are places in Canada that have lower gravity⁠ than the rest of the world.

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Image: Sharon McCutcheon

For more than four decades, scientists have been trying to understand the exact reason as to why some parts of Canada, mainly the Hudson Bay region and surroundings, are missing gravity. The phenomenon was first identified in the 1960’s, when the Earth’s global gravity fields were being charted. According to scientists, this is mainly because of two reasons. The first is that the regions had thick ice sheets, which disappeared between 20,000 and 10,000 years ago, leaving an empty indent on the planet. Secondly, a flowing layer of magma is dragging down the continental plates in this area, which decreases the mass of the region. (source)

6. Nike’s swoosh logo was purchased in 1971 for $35⁠.

Nike, history, shoes, brand, sports, life, facts, entertainment
Image: Unsplash

In 2019, the Nike brand was valued at approximately 32.4 billion U.S. dollars. But, did you know that the swoosh logo, which the company proudly advertises, was purchased from a graphic design student for a mere $35? Carolyn Davidson, a graphic design student at Portland State University, was approached by Nike co-founder Phil Knight in the 1970’s. Davison created five designs — including the infamous swoosh and asked for $35 for her work (adjusted for inflation, that’s roughly $220 today).  When the company gained popularity, Davidson was not forgotten. She was invited to a surprise reception by Nike in 1983, where the company served her chocolate swooshes and gifted her Nike stock and a gold swoosh ring. Davidson never sold a single stock she had received that day, which is estimated to be worth millions today. (source)

7. Self-driving cars play GTA to learn how to drive better⁠.

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Image: Roberto Nickson

Self-driving cars have to drive by themselves in order to get better at self-driving. Even if they receive training with their owner, sometimes the experience is never enough, since there are millions of possibilities and outcomes when the car is driving by itself. Developers also know that there’s not enough time for the cars to get real-life experience. So, they came up with a solution, that is to let the cars drive in one of the best simulation platforms, that is GTA. When playing online, the cars face multiple challenges, since players from all over the world are performing dangerous maneuvers to complete missions. This allows the car to analyze and react to thousands of scenarios everyday. (source)

8. You can hear the difference between hot and cold water when poured, just by the sound it makes.

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Image: Unsplash

Believe it or not, humans are capable of differentiating between hot and cold water, just by the way it sounds. This is because, when poured, the viscosity or ‘thickness’ of the two, changes the sound of the splash. So, over time, our brains are capable of learning the difference in sound and understanding whether the water is hot or cold, just by listening to the way it sounds when poured. (source)

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