As we grow older, our curiosity to discover things slowly fades away. We become more involved with our personal life, friends and family members. While becoming an adult and being responsible is important in life, so is maintaining a sense of wonder. Learning new things and being open minded can be beneficial for you. According to several studies, those who regularly learned new things, not only felt satisfaction in life but also tended to be in better shape than others. In order to give you a new sense of wonder, we have gathered a list of astonishing facts, that will also remind you how incredible our world is.
1. Tic Tacs are named after the sound the little box makes when you open and close it.
First produced in 1969, Tic Tacs were originally called “Refreshing Mints”. The name was not catchy enough to gain popularity, so its inventor, Italian company Ferrero, rebranded the product and called it Tic Tacs. The name was given after the distinctive sound produced by the iconic little box when they are opened and closed.
2. Armadillos swallow air to become buoyant when they swim.
Armadillos are barrel-shaped animals covered with natural armor. They are the only animals capable of rolling into a ball for protection. They have powerful claws that help them dig burrows and find food. Since they have thick armored shells, one might think that armadillos can’t swim. They however, have an interesting technique. When they pass narrow streams or water-filled ditches, they simply walk across the bottom, under water. In larger bodies of water, they swallow air to inflate their stomachs to twice its normal size, thus becoming buoyant. Once across the water, it takes them hours to get rid of all that excess air in their bellies.
3. Your dog can tell when someone isn’t trustworthy.
Dogs are clever creatures, who are very socially aware, both of humans and of each other. Numerous studies show that our four legged friends are capable of detecting emotions. Not only can they differentiate happy and angry faces, but are also capable of determining whether someone is trustworthy or not. Once they determine that someone cannot be trusted, they will stop following their commands. In order to determine this, researchers from Kyoto University in Japan presented 34 dogs with three rounds of pointing.
In the first round, the experimenters accurately pointed to where food was hidden in a container. But in the second round, they pointed to an empty container. In the final round, the experiments pointed to the container with food once more. The last time however, the dogs did not respond to the experimenter’s cue. According to researchers, this suggests that the animals are utilizing experience to determine if someone is reliable or not.
4. Great white sharks are so afraid of orcas that they take extreme steps to avoid an area for up to a year after they see one.
For many, the great white shark is the undisputed ruler of the seas. However, a new study reveals that the title actually belongs to orcas. The study, which was published in Nature Scientific Reports, explains that as soon as great white sharks realize that they are within close proximity of an orca, they make a run for their life. In fact, they are so afraid of orcas that the sharks did not return to the same location, up to a year.
5. Lightning can heat the air it passes through to 50,000 degrees F.
Technically, lightning is the movement of electrical charges and does not have a temperature. However, the resistance to the movement of these electrical charges can cause the materials that the lightning is passing through to heat up. According to the National Weather Service, lightning can heat the air it passes through to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Heating up a magnet can cause it to quickly lose its magnetic properties.
When heated above 176° Fahrenheit (80° Celsius) for a certain period of time, magnets will become permanently demagnetized. It is possible to magnetize it once again but in order to do so, you will have to cool the material and apply an external magnetic field.
7. There are 293 ways to make change for a U.S. dollar.
According to the Mathematical Association of America, there are 293 ways to make change for a dollar. This means that if you are ever working in a convenience store and come face to face with a rude customer, you can make the wait process as long as you want.
8. Nearly 15 percent of Los Angeles is parking lots.
The City of Angels has a population of 4 million. While visitors feel as if there’s never anywhere to park in LA, the truth is that almost 15 percent of L.A. County’s incorporated land is tied to parking. It is estimated that about 200 square miles, or almost 15 percent of the county’s incorporated land is dedicated to automobile storage.
9. The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated the same year Nintendo was founded.
The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated in 1889, the same year that Nintendo was founded. Back then, Nintendo was producing handmade Hanafuda cards, which gained popularity at a fast pace. Fusajiro Yamauchi founded the playing card company and years later, sales began dropping, forcing the company to move on to toys. The company made their first foray into the world of video games in 1975, and the rest is history.
10. There is a reservoir of water in space that holds 140 trillion times the amount of water in Earth’s oceans.
In 2011, NASA scientists discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe. According to NASA, the water, equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the world’s ocean, surrounds a huge, feeding black hole, called a quasar, more than 12 billion light-years away.
“The environment around this quasar is very unique in that it’s producing this huge mass of water,” said Matt Bradford, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “It’s another demonstration that water is pervasive throughout the universe, even at the very earliest times.”