The world is an amazing, yet crazy place. With information available with just a few clicks, we can learn about our weird planet and its inhabitants without much effort. For instance, did you know that your cell phone is infested with bacteria or that traces of the bubonic plague have been found in the New York City subway? No matter how much we think we know, there’s always things that we will find to be new and interesting. Here, we have collected 10 random facts that are capable of stopping you in your tracks.
1. Elephants can die from a broken heart.
When elephants lose a mate, they can die from a broken heart. They are the only animals that die as a result of heartbreak. The big magnificent creatures can fight off some of the fiercest predators but when it comes to losing their loved ones, their beating heart can be their own enemy. Elephants are always aware when their mates are nearby and if their mates have disappeared due to poachers, or were separated, they can becomes extremely distressed.
They are also one of the only animals other than humans that can cry real tears. Scientists have observed brokenhearted elephants determined to give up on life. Upon losing their loved ones, the elephants would lay on the ground and stop eating until they perished. There are sanctuaries around the world that were established to minimize the impact of a mate’s loss. The elephants are taken to the rehabilitation centers, where they meet new mates and find happiness again, because their lives depend on it. (source)
2. The Michelin Star restaurant rating system was created to promote people to drive more often so that the company could sell more tires.
When a restaurant is awarded a Michelin Star, it is a sign that they’ve succeeded at the highest level. Whereas four Stars means the restaurant is excellent and three Stars means that the restaurant is worth traveling to. The Michelin brothers Ándre and Édouard started the Michelin Guide in 1900 and understood that a ratings guide for hotels and restaurants would promote more people to drive and use up their tires. Thus, they would be able to double their sales. (source)
3. Breathing Mumbai’s air for one day is the same as smoking 100 cigarettes in a day.
Mumbai, one of the fastest growing states in India, has a population of 18.41 million. On average, breathing the air in Mumbai for one day is equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes a day; reports India Times. The pollution is a direct result of industries in the eastern suburbs and New Bombay, burning garbage and plastic by the residents and factories, and insufficient control over emission levels from vehicles. During the festival of Diwali, the pollution levels worsen, according to the India Times. Mumbai has a very high incidence of chronic respiratory problems, arising from extreme air pollution. (source)
4. Actor J.K. Simmons has been the voice of Yellow in M&M adverts and merchandise since 1996.
The 64-year-old Oscar Award winner has been a familiar face in movies and on TV for years. Not only has he been successful as an actor, but he found success in another field since the 90’s. J.K. Simmons has provided the voice of Yellow in M&M adverts and merchandise since 1996. To honor him for being a part of the company for over two decades, in 2015, M&M commissioned a portrait of Simmons, made from M&Ms. (source)
5. Buzz Aldrin’s mother’s maiden name was Moon.
Born January 20, 1930 in Montclair, New Jersey, Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr. was an aviation pioneer and oil executive. In 1969, Aldrin, along with Neil Armstrong, made history when they walked on the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission. The nickname “Buzz” came from the way his sister said the word buzzer instead of brother. Another fun fact is that Buzz Aldrin’s mother’s maiden name was Marion Moon. (source)
6. Cell phones are full of bacteria.
Mobile devices have been found to be loaded with bacteria. According to some research by British scientists, the average cell phone carries 18 times more potentially harmful germs than the toilet handle in a men’s restroom. When was the last time you disinfected your phone? (source)
7. A 2013 study found that fast-food restaurant ice may be dirtier than toilet water.
The study also found that the ice in six out of ten restaurants have more bacteria than water from toilets. Scientific tests conducted on popular restaurants, such as branches of McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, and Starbucks, found that the ice had higher levels of bacteria than samples of water taken from their lavatory bowls. Experts suggest that this is due to the fact that toilet bowls are cleaned more often than the ice machines. Although none of the samples found presented an immediate health danger, four contained such high levels of microbes that the restaurants could be considered a ‘hygiene risk’. (source)
8. People in the UK drive on the left side of the road, since during the early ages, that was the most sensible option for feudal, violent societies.
Since most people are right-handed, swordsmen preferred to keep to the left in order to have their right arm nearer to an opponent. Furthermore, a right-handed person finds it easier to mount a horse from the left side of the horse. It is safer to mount and dismount towards the side of the road, rather than in the middle of traffic. While traffic in almost all of the world passes on the right side, cars in Britain and many of its former colonies drive on the left because they stuck to the practice of the olden ages. (source)
9. Naps could save your life.
Research has found that a mid-day nap can make you more creative, focused, and fresh for the rest of the day. However, another study found that they can also reduce your risk of heart attack. Specifically, those who regularly take mid-day naps were found to be 37% less likely to die from a heart attack or other coronary ailment than those who worked straight through the day. (source)
10. If you make more than $32,000 a year, you’re part of the 1% wealthiest people in the world.
According to the World Bank, in order to be part of the global “one percent”, you need an income of about $32,000 annually. So, if you can earn that much, you are richer than 99% of the people in the world. (source)