In the era of the internet, we constantly come across interesting facts and trivia about our world. There are however, some random facts that can catch us off guard in the best possible way. For instance, mushrooms are more animals than plants and that New York City has its own indigenous species of ant and that it’s called the ManhattAnt. Whether you’re into weird facts that almost don’t sound true, you’re bound to find plenty of new information here. And if you’re looking for fascinating facts you’ll want to share with everyone you know, we got plenty of those, too!
1. Consuming chocolate can make us smarter.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine says that there is a powerful scientific correlation between the amount of chocolate consumed in each country and the number of Nobel laureates it produced. Studies have suggested that flavonoids may improve thinking and dark varieties might be beneficial for the brain.
2. If you fall through the Earth, it will take you about 38 minutes and 11 seconds to reach the other side.
Have you every wondered how long would it take to fall down a hole in the Earth and reach the other side of the planet? Scientists thankfully did the calculations for us. Using a more realistic model of the Earth, they were able to determine that it would take only about 38 minutes and 11 seconds for you to fall through a hole on one side of Earth and reach the other.
3. Messy handwriting means you have a brain working faster than your hands.
If someone says that your handwriting is terrible, take it as a compliment. Studies have suggested that the thought process of the minds of gifted people are too fast & it cannot match the speed of the hand when they write. In other words, their minds can think faster than their hands can write.
4. One of the main ingredients in household dust is human skin cells.
According to researchers at Imperial College London, humans shed around 200 million skin cells each hour. Of course they have to go somewhere, especially when we are indoors. It is estimated that most dust in homes is composed of about 20–50% skin cells.
5. The Philippines consists of 7,641 islands.
The Philippines is an archipelago, which means it’s made up of a group of islands—7,641 islands, to be exact. It is the world’s fifth largest island country and the figure does not include the thousands of sandbars and other landforms that emerge during low tide.
6. Only a small fraction of Earth’s water can be used by human beings.
Growing up, we were taught that most (specifically, 71 percent) of the planet’s surface is covered in water. While that’s true, there’s only a small fraction of that 71 percent we can actually use. According to National Geographic, only 0.007 percent of that water can be used for human consumption. This is because only about 2.5 percent of Earth’s water is fresh water, and only 1 percent of that is accessible; the rest makes up glaciers and snowfields.
7. You can hear a blue whale’s heartbeat from two miles away.
The largest animal on the planet is so massive that its heart is roughly the size of a small car. The blue whale’s heart weighs about 1,300 pounds and is so powerful that you can hear it from two miles away. It also only beats about eight to 10 times per minute.
8. Roosters have built-in earplugs.
A rooster’s call can reach 140 decibels or louder, which means that it has to keep its eardrums safe from the loud calls. Researchers however discovered that when a rooster opens its beak to crow, its external auditory canals close off, preventing sound from coming in and doing any damage.
9. We might have possibly made alien contact decades ago.
In 1977, a 72-second-long signal from a distant star system, 120 light years from Earth, was detected by a volunteer for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Not only was the signal loud enough to be detected from Earth, it was also believed to have originated from a place that had yet to be visited by mankind; so the man who received the signal wrote “Wow!” next to the original printout of the signal. Today, it is known as the “Wow! Signal” and some researchers believe that the noise could have been caused by a passing comet.
10. Cabbies in London have to memorize literally everything and take a series of tests known as The Knowledge to become a cabbie.
If you ever visit London and take a cab, you can expect the driver or the cabbie to know exactly where you want to go. This is because they are required to memorize 320 routes and 25,000 streets, as well as 20,000 landmarks and places of public interest and complete a series of tests known as The Knowledge to become a cabbie. It is estimated that it takes about four years to fully memorize all these details.
11. Humans are capable of smelling rain before it starts raining.
Before it starts raining, most humans are capable of predicting it. When it’s storming, lightning splits atmospheric nitrogen and oxygen molecules, which then combines into nitric oxide, which, with further reactions, forms ozone. According to scientists, ozone is said to have a sweet, pungent aroma, and is carried downwind from higher altitudes ahead of the rain. Those with sensitive noses can smell this and predict that it’s about to rain.
12. Cold water is just as cleansing as hot water when you do your laundry.
A study found that more than 60% of Americans still wash their laundry in warm water and 75% of the cost of doing laundry comes from using hot water. The perception that hot water cleans better than cold stems from the way we did laundry years and years ago. Modern detergents however, are designed to be efficient with both cold and hot water so switching to cold water will help you save some money.
13. The Aurora Borealis has a sister phenomenon in the southern hemisphere called the Aurora Australis.
We are all familiar with Aurora Borealis and in fact, millions of people travel to Alaska, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland every year to witness this miracle. Aurora Australis, however, does not receive as much hype as Aurora Borealis even though it’s a sister phenomenon that occurs in the southern hemisphere. Just like Aurora Borealis, Aurora Australis occurs when solar particles collide with gases in Earth’s atmosphere. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, the Aurora Australis can be observed from New Zealand, Tasmania, and Antarctica.
14. The average person will spend at least six months of their life waiting for red lights to turn green.
For some people, driving is a fun and liberating experience, where as it is a hassle for others. One thing however everyone hates in common is getting stuck at a red light. The National Association of City Transportation Officials reports that the average time spent waiting at a red light is 75 seconds, accounting for approximately 20% of all driving time.
15. There’s a Manhattan-specific ant.
In 2012, biologists discovered a new species of ant on Broadway medians between 63rd and 76th streets and named it ManhattAnt. “It’s a relative of the cornfield ant, and it looks like it’s from Europe, but we can’t match it up with any of the European species,” said Rob Dunn, a biology professor at North Carolina State University, whose team discovered the insect.