Sometimes, we come across things that sound as if it was stretched to the extreme to make it sound believable. While it’s easy for misinformation to be spread widely and at a fast pace through the internet, some things that we often hear and consider to be false can actually be true. For instance, did you know that Oxford University was established around 200 years before the Aztec empire was formed? Or that it rains diamonds on Saturn and Jupiter? Like that, we have gathered some pretty interesting facts that sound false but are absolutely true.
1. Dolphins call each other by name. Scientists studying the cetaceans found that they use a unique whistle to identify each other.
In 2013, researchers from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland were studying the animals when they discovered something unique. Like humans, dolphins use names to identify each other. Dr. Vincent Janik from the university’s Sea Mammal Research Unit said, “(Dolphins) live in this three-dimensional environment, offshore without any kind of landmarks and they need to stay together as a group. These animals live in an environment where they need a very efficient system to stay in touch”. When researchers recorded the sounds and played them to individual dolphins, they responded and moved towards researchers. The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (source)
2. Giant octopuses have a donut shaped brain so their esophagus can run through the middle.
Octopuses are intelligent creatures who are capable of mimicking other animals, as well as altering their genes to get smarter. Unlike other animals and mammals, octopuses have donut shaped brains. While the brain structure is complex, it is tiny compared to its body. Strangely enough, its esophagus runs through the “donut hole” in the middle. This is one of the reasons why grinding up food into tiny bits is a priority. However, this also means that the squid can’t swallow anything too large. (source)
3. Honey has an eternal shelf-life. It has an excellent chemical composition which prevents organisms from living in it. So no matter how old the honey is, it’s probably perfectly edible.
Besides being delicious, honey is magic since it has an eternal shelf-life. Even our ancestors knew the power of honey as they utilized its medicinal properties, long before modern medicine. Due to its chemical composition and because it contains less water in its natural state, very few bacteria and microorganisms thrive in it.
Amina Harris, executive director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute at University of California, Davis says, “Honey in its natural form is very low moisture. Very few bacteria or microorganisms can survive in an environment like that. They’re smothered by it, essentially”. This means that organisms can’t survive long in honey, reducing the chances of it becoming spoiled. The oldest honey ever found was unearthed in Georgia, and dates back over 5,000 years. (source)
4. Not only do pineapples take 2 years to grow, they also grow on the ground.
Growing pineapples are easier than most people think since the tropical fruits can be grown almost anywhere in the world that is warm and sunny. Despite the popular belief that pineapples grow on trees, it is not true. Pineapples grow in the ground and the pineapple plant has deep green, strap-like leaves. The leaves also have spikes on its sides to protect its fruit from animals. Most outdoor pineapple plants produce multiple fruits, but on average, it takes two years for a single fruit to be produced. The first fruit always grows from the center of the crown, whereas, the second and third fruits grow from side shoots off the mother plant, called ratoons. (source)
5. Most Koreans don’t produce body odor due to large scale dominance of the gene ABCC11.
For millions, body odor is a huge embarrassment, but for millions in Korea, body odor is completely jarring. Due to the large scale dominance of the gene ABCC11, most Koreans do not produce body odor. This means that deodorants are rarely sold at stores. Studies on the gene ABCC11 shows that it not only affects a person’s ability to produce body odor, but also the way ear wax is produced. This however, does not mean that they don’t sweat. Their bodies do produce sweat like every other human being but unlike others, it does not produce odor. (source)
6. Every planet of the whole solar system can fit between the earth and the moon.
The moon is 238,900 miles away from the Earth. If we take a look at NASA’s Solar System Fact Sheets, the combined average diameter of the planets in our solar system is 380,008 km. The average distance from the Earth to the Moon is 384,400 kms or 238,900 miles. This means that if we align all the planets in our solar system, we still have 4,392 kms to spare. (source)
7. The lighter was invented before the matchstick.
The lighter was invented in the 16th century by the famous German chemist Johann Wolfgang Dobereiner. The lamp, which is what it was first called, was named “Döbereiner’s lamp”, since it was a reliable source to start a fire. The first lighter had a simple design and comprised of zinc metal, which reacted with sulfuric acid to produce hydrogen that burst into a flame when spark was provided. Although matches existed during the beginning of 1800’s, they were basically sticks that were coated in a flammable substance. However, they were not used to light fire but were in fact ignited by flame or sparks.
It wasn’t until 1826, when a man by the name of John Walker from England invented the first actual match. Walker’s matches however, proved to be unreliable, so it never gained the popularity he expected. It wasn’t until the 1900’s, when the U.S. government, along with European manufacturers, managed to discover a reliable product. (source)
8. 15 of the biggest ships around the world create more pollution than all of the cars in the world combined.
Every year, more than 20 million people go aboard cruises that travel around the world. While the modern cruise ships are five to eight times bigger than the Titanic, they are also producing that amount of waste. It’s not just cruise ships that are polluting our planet, though. Studies show that vessels carrying 90% of the trade produce more pollution than we can imagine. In fact, a study by the Economist found that just 15 of the biggest ships emit more of the noxious oxides of nitrogen and sulphur than all the world’s cars put together. To put things into perspective, there are more than 1 billions cars on our planet today. (source)
9. Oxford University was established around 200 years before the Aztec Empire was formed.
According to historians, there is evidence that teaching began as early as 1096 in Oxford. By 1249, the University of Oxford had grown into a full-fledged university. However, the Aztec Empire wasn’t established until 1325. While Oxford certainly is older than the Aztec Empire, it is not the oldest university. According to the Smithsonian, the oldest university is India’s Nalanda University that operated for hundreds of years before Oxford came into existence. (source)
10. The biggest tire manufacturer in the world is Lego. The company makes more than 50% more tires than other tire manufacturers such as Bridgestone or Goodyear.
With more than 1 billion cars on our planet, we would think that the biggest producer of tires would be Goodyear or Bridgestone. It turns out, however, that LEGO is officially the world’s largest tire manufacturer. Every year, more than 318 million LEGO tires are produced by the company, or over 870,000 each day! According to the company’s official website, LEGO factories produces tires 24 hours per day, 365 days per year because nearly half of all LEGO sets include a wheel of some sort. (source)