We hear about statistics all our lives. Schools, politicians and even scientists use it to represent their findings. They are everywhere around us and in some cases, they can be wrong, since most of us take the information out of context. The tool is used to represent facts whether they are true or not. Today we are using the term “statistic” somewhat loosely. Here, we are listing some statistics that seem highly exaggerated but actually aren’t.
1. Not only can a woman get pregnant while already pregnant, but she can have the babies of two different men at once.
This might seem impossible but it is in fact true that a woman can get pregnant from two different men at the same time. The phenomenon called heteropaternal superfecundation, occurs when two of a woman’s eggs are fertilized at the same time by two different men. One of the famous cases took place in 2016 when a Vietnamese man had twins and he noticed that one of the twins looked completely different than the other. Believing his wife was unfaithful, the man asked to have a DNA test performed and the test showed that the twins carried the DNA of one mother but two different fathers.
Another famous case took place in 2017 when Jessica Allen, a California resident, decided to become a surrogate for a Chinese couple. After agreeing to a $30,000 payment, Allen received IVF treatment and was successfully implanted with one of the couple’s embryos. Allen hoped that the payment would help her and her husband save up for a new house. Six months into the pregnancy when the doctor was performing an ultrasound, he noticed that she was actually carrying two fetuses, not one. Although doctors believed her to be carrying twins, it was later revealed that it was another case of heteropaternal superfecundation. (source 1, 2)
2. Couples who opt for expensive weddings have a higher chance of divorce.
Weddings can be expensive. The average wedding cost in the United States for 2017 was $25,764 for 30%, which does not include honeymoon. Around 20% spent more than $35,000-$50,000, whereas 50% of middle class people spent less than $15,000 on average. In most cultures, weddings are considered one of the most important part s in a person’s life and they wish to make it as extravagant as possible. While it’s important to make your friends and family members happy, studies show that there’s a link between expensive weddings and higher divorce rates.
According to a study, the amount that couples spend on an engagement ring and the ceremony is inversely associated with marriage duration. Researchers performed the study on more than 3,000 couples in the US and discovered that the more money they spent, the more likely they were to divorce. The study also showed that couples who spent more than $2,000 to $4,000 on engagement rings had a 1.3 times greater hazard of divorce than those who spent between $500 and $2,000. One of the researchers also pointed out that during the study, they observed that couples who considered their spouses looks as a factor for their wedding had a shorter marriage duration. (source 1, 2)
3. ¾ of the cars that Rolls Royce has ever produced are still on the road.
Rolls Royce was founded on March 15, 1906 in Manchester, United Kingdom by Charles Rolls and Henry Royce. The car and airplane engine manufacturing company introduced its first car, the Silver Ghost, the same year. The Silver Ghost ran non-stop for a record-breaking 15,000 miles. Rolls-Royce Motors was acquired by the British conglomerate Vickers in 1980 and then purchased by BMW in 1998. Even though Volkswagen had a better offer than BMW, its founders chose BMW because the companies already had joint business ventures.
Since then, the company has been growing rapidly by manufacturing luxury cars. The luxury cars have always come with an expensive price tag but the company produces one of the best cars in the world which is known to last for decades. In fact, statistics show that three-quarters of the cars that Rolls Royce has ever produced are still on the road. (source)
4. 25% of the world’s prison population is incarcerated in the United States.
The United States is home to 25% of the world’s prison population. Currently, the population of US is 325.7 million, according to the US Census. If we do the math, that accounts for about 5% of the approximately 7.7 billion world population that is incarcerated. There were 2.24 million prisoners in the United States as of Dec. 31, 2011. That accounted for about 22% of the global prison population (10.2 million). The United States also has the highest prison population rate in the world, at 724 per 100,000 people. This not only hurts the prison systems since they are overloaded, it also hurts the pockets of honest taxpaying Americans. (source)
5. Lighters were invented before matches.
Yes, it is true that the lighter was invented before the first conventional, friction-based match. German chemist Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner invented the first push-button lighter in 1824 using hydrogen and platinum. The safe, practical friction matches in the form we know them today was invented in 1827 by English chemist John Walker. In 1836, Hungarian chemist Janos Irinyi improved the match by making it safer. (source)
6. The supermarket apples you eat can be anywhere around 5 – 10 months old.
In the US, apples are harvested from August to November. However, farmers or sellers are not able to sell all of their harvested product by the end of December. Apples that sell by December go into regular refrigeration in giant warehouses where they are kept at 34-38 degrees F. Those that won’t sell by December are sent to a controlled atmosphere storage that have lower temperatures and oxygen levels. These storage units have an oxygen level of around 2% (normal oxygen levels are around 21%). Although they are stored for months at a time, according to a nutrition expert, apples don’t lose their acidity or nutritional value during this period. According to Business Insider, a 5-10 month old properly stored apple is the same as a freshly picked apple. (source)
7. When innocent people are deliberately put under stress, 43% of the time, they will confess to a crime they did not commit.
Being accused of a crime you have not committed can be stressful. However, Iowa State University (ISU) researchers discovered that some are using stress as a means to obtain false confessions. In a study conducted by ISU, researchers found that when innocent people are accused of a crime, they become highly stressful. As time goes by, their stress levels, heart rate, and nervous system activity becomes lower, since they know they are innocent. However, this also means that the person is less likely to vigorously defend themselves during a real interrogation.
The study conducted on participants of all ages discovered that when put under immense pressure, 93% of the guilty students confessed and so did 43% of those who were innocent. The innocent people also showed less sympathetic nervous system activity which is associated with the fight or flight response. Authorities could use this lack of response to prove in the court of law that the accused showed no remorse during confession. (source)
8. There’s an almost 100% probability that the glass from which you drink contains at least one molecule of water that once passed through the body of a dinosaur.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American drinks four cups of water every day. Whether it is tap, filtered, bottled, sparkling or sourced from the Himalayan glaciers, the water that we all drink has passed through the body of a dinosaur; at least one molecule of the water content. Unlike humans, who have been on Earth for a tiny fraction of the 186 million years that dinosaurs ruled this planet, they were here much longer.
“Humans consume a lot of water, but our species hasn’t had the numbers or time to process a large portion of the Earth’s water. Dinosaurs on the other hand had a long time to drink water,” according to experts. “The Mesozoic era – the reign of the dinosaurs – lasted for 186 million years. That gave them time to drink a lot of water. So while most molecules in your eight-ounce glass have never been drunk by another human, almost every single molecule has been drunk by a dinosaur”. (source)
9. There are more kangaroos in Australia than humans. According to a recent report, the population of kangaroos has doubled in recent years.
In recent years, kangaroos have managed to double their population and overrun Australia. According to several reports, the marsupials outnumber humans and the government data shows that the current population exceeds 50 million. In 2010, there were only 27 million but by 2016, the kangaroos managed to multiply at a rapid pace and reach a staggering 45 million. The country has been receiving heavy rainfall in recent years, which results in more vegetation for the kangaroos. According to a report published by the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, today, kangaroos are seen as national pests. (source)
10. 0.3% of the light falling on the Sahara and Middle East deserts is enough to power entire Europe.
According to Arnulf Jaeger-Waldau of the European commission’s Institute for Energy, in order to satisfy the energy crisis and provide all of Europe with reusable energy, only 0.3% of the light falling on the Sahara and Middle East deserts are required. Scientists are working on developing huge solar farms that would utilize photovoltaic cells or the sun’s heat to boil water and drive turbines to produce reusable energy. Harnessing energy from the Sahara would be effective because the sunlight in this area is more intense and can generate up to three times the electricity compared with similar panels in northern Europe. (source)