Learning new things has its advantages. Not only does it keep you updated on current whereabouts, it also makes you the brightest in the group. The key to ensuring your survival is to garner as much knowledge as possible. However, at times, it’s important to take a load off by watching Netflix or spending some time on social media. Since our world is filled with amazing and interesting things, we decided to compile a list of fun facts to get rid of your boredom. These random yet interesting facts will provide you with the required dopamine and stimulation for your Amygdala.
1. UVA rays cause suntans, while UVB rays cause sunburns. UVA rays can also cause your skin cells to age at a faster than usual rate and play a role in some forms of skin cancer.
It is a known fact that prolonged exposure to UV radiation can cause skin cells to become cancer cells. However, most people don’t realize that exposure to different types of radiation such as UVA, UVB and UVC can have different effects on their bodies. Studies show that exposure to UVA rays causes genetic damage to cells, wrinkling and immune-suppression. UVB on the other hand penetrates into the epidermis (top layer of the skin) causing damage to the cells. UVB is also responsible for sunburn – a significant risk factor for skin cancer, especially melanoma.
According to several studies, while UVA and UVB cause sunburn and skin aging, UVC rays are more energetic than others. Fortunately for us, however, they react with ozone high in our atmosphere and don’t reach the ground. But, UVC rays are produced by man-made devices such as arc welding torches, mercury lamps, and UV sanitizing bulbs. (source)
2. In 2009, a British man bought 7,500 bitcoins and stored them in a hard drive. In 2013, while cleaning his apartment, he mistakenly threw it away at a local landfill, only to realize that they were worth more than $127 million.
When bitcoins were initially introduced, people were skeptical of it and were afraid of investing. A British man however, decided to push his luck and bought 7,500 bitcoins in 2009. James Howells stored the encrypted password for his small investment in a hard drive and forgot all about it for four years. By 2013, while cleaning his apartment, he accidentally threw away the hard drive in a local landfill. A few years later, it was revealed that bitcoins were widely popular and just one was worth over $17,000.
Howells started a recovery effort by going through the tons of garbage in the landfill. Although Howells wants to reopen some of the sites, the city council where he lives is strictly against him, citing environmental concerns. The landfill reportedly contains about 350,000 tons of waste and 50,000 more tons are added every year; which means that the probability of Howells finding the hard drive is likely zero. (source)
3. GTA 5 cost $265 million to make and when it was released on September 17, 2013, it was an instant hit. The open world action-adventure video game sold 11.21 million units in its first 24 hours, and generated a revenue of $1 billion in less than 3 days.
GTA is undoubtedly one of the best games to have ever been made. The open world action-adventure video game was invented by a team of over 1,000 developers, and took more than three years to be completed. In order to bring GTA 5 to life, the game’s parent company, Rockstar Games, spent $265 million; which is more than the budget of an average Hollywood movie. While critics poked fun at the company for spending such a large budget on a video game, the company proved everyone wrong in less than 24 hours after the game was released.
When it was released on September 17, 2013, GTA 5 became the best-selling action-adventure video game in 24 hours, highest grossing video game in 24 hours and highest revenue generated by an entertainment product in 24 hours. The game also produced a revenue of more than $1 billion in less than 72 hours. (source)
4. The Haskell Free Library and Opera House was deliberately built on the U.S.-Canada border. The opera stage resides in Stanstead, Quebec, Canada, but most of the opera seats are in the Derby Line, Vermont, U.S.
Established in 1904, the Haskell Free Library and Opera House is unique and interesting in its own right. The building was built as a homage to the late Carlos Haskell by his wife and son, and has an extensive collection of books within its walls. Visitors inside this humble library not only get to read, but also to stand in two places at once, at the US-Canada border. According to historians, the building was built deliberately on top of the border that separates USA and Canada. According to the Huffington Post, Martha Stewart Haskell, the brains behind the library, was a Canadian and her late husband was an American merchant. Visitors to the opera are seated in the Derby Line, Vermont, U.S., whereas the performers carry out their act from the Stanstead, Quebec, Canada, side. (source)
5. Unlike humans and other animals, goats have rectangular pupils.
Goats’ pupils are horizontal—not circular like ours, or vertical like a cat’s. So, why did goats evolve to have such a trait? According to scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, the shape of goats’ pupils can be traced back to their place in the food chain. Like cows, goats are herbivores, which means that they require a broad line of sight while grazing. The rectangular-shaped pupils provides them with peripheral vision, which means that they are capable of seeing approaching danger from a wider perspective. Goats are also capable of rotating their eyes within their heads to maintain parallelism with the ground; which means that when goats bend their head down to graze, their eyes stay level with the horizon, allowing them an even better view of encroaching danger. (source)
6. If you’re ever lost in the wilderness or a desert with no GPS or maps, then you will keep walking in circles.
If you’re ever lost in the wilderness or a desert and you feel like you are retracing your steps, chances are that you are right. A study conducted by a group of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tubingen, Germany, found that when humans are let loose in the wilderness, they keep walking in circles until they tire themselves. The study was conducted in order to test the long anecdotal warning that hikers could circle their tracks without a map. So, researchers equipped hikers with GPS trackers and let them loose at different locations.
At the end of the study, the GPS trackers showed that most subjects basically traced their steps back and forth multiple times, while in their minds they were walking in a straight line for several hours. Two of the subjects were let loose in a desert and their tracker indicated that instead of walking in circles, they veered way out of their route. Once the moon disappeared behind the clouds, the subjects immediately turned 90 degrees. Researchers also concluded that if the sun is clearly visible throughout the day, a person might be able to keep track and follow the sun in a straight line. (source)
7. If an electric current is applied to a pickle, it will glow in the dark due to the sodium present in it.
When electric current is passed through a pickle, it doesn’t just cook, but within a short period of time, it starts to light up like a lightbulb. This is because the electricity is conducted through Na+ and the Cl– ions that are present in the pickle, causing the electrons to become excited to a higher energy state, and when they fall back to ground state, they emit a yellow/orange light. (source)
8. Marine snails, called limpets, have teeth that are the strongest natural material on earth. The tooth is stronger than Kevlar fibers and equal most high-performing carbon fiber materials.
The strongest material in the world is stronger than metals such as steel. In 2015, scientists discovered a species of marine snails called limpets, whose teeth can withstand a pressure of 4.9 gigapascals (GPa). To put that in perspective, it’s almost five times as strong as bamboo, and ten times as strong as human teeth. Limpets are very small sea snails, that have 1mm teeth made of “an almost ideal” mix of protein supported by fine mineral nanofibers called goethite, according to Professor Asa Barber, who led the study. Scientists believe that if they can uncover the molecular structure and recreate it, the principle can be applied for the development for high-performance engineering applications like Formula 1 cars, and aircraft structures. (source)
9. Storing cottage cheese and sour cream containers upside down in the fridge extends their shelf life.
Every year, million of tons of food is thrown out simply because it’s gone bad. Most people however, are not aware of the fact that there are ways to increase the shelf life and prolong the time before foods spoil. According to a recent survey by Money magazine, on average, 14 percent of the food bought in American households are tossed out; nearly double of what was being thrown out 20 years ago. If the typical family of four spends $182 a week, that’s $25 lost per week and approximately $1,325 per year. In order to increase the shelf life of cottage cheese and sour cream, simply place the containers upside down inside the fridge. What does that do? By inverting the tub it creates a vacuum effect that stifles the growth of bacteria that can cause the food to spoil. (source)
10. McDonald’s once made bubble gum flavored broccoli to try to make their menu more nutritious. It confused their little testers and never made it to the market.
In order to promote healthy and nutritious foods, McDonald’s decided to try something new called the bubble gum flavored broccoli. In 2014, the company’s CEO Donald Thompson revealed that they had tested the bubble gum-flavored broccoli to be a part of the Happy Meal. However, when the little testers were given samples of their revolutionary invention, it confused the young focus group. So, McDonald’s decided to pull the plug and put the whole ordeal behind them. (source)