13 Surprising Facts That Are Actually True

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Whether you read books, watch educational shows or browse through the internet, it’s always fun to find weird curiosities and facts about the world we live in. In fact, there are many surprising facts that make us doubt whether they are indeed real. Take, for instance, that there is a cruise ship where people are permanent residents and travel around the world. While it sounds surreal and hard to believe, it does exist and so do the rest of the facts in this list.

1. “The World”, is the largest privately owned residential yacht on Earth. The residents permanently live in it, as it travels around the globe.

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Image: VirtualSteve

“The World” is the largest private residential ship on the planet, which is home to only 165 residences. The international community of Residents & Guests enjoy sailing to nearly every corner of the globe, while returning onboard to a lifestyle that exists nowhere else on earth. (source)

2. North Korea and Cuba are the only places you can’t buy Coca-Cola.

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Image: Taras Chernus

Despite its popularity around the world, there are just two countries in the world where Coca-Cola cannot be bought or sold – at least, not officially. Coca-Cola opened one of its first bottling plants in Cuba in 1906, but pulled production in 1962 because of a trade embargo. Since 1950, North Koreans haven’t been able to buy Coke either. (source)

3. Elephants can “hear” with their feet.

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Image: Hu Chen

Elephants have a great sense of hearing and are also capable of detecting seismic vibrations from the ground, which also helps them survive in the wild. “To detect distant noise and vocalizations, they’d freeze and lean forward to put weight on their front legs. Sometimes they’d even lift up a front foot. All of them would do this at the same time—it was too coordinated to be a coincidence” says Caitlin O’Connell, the Stanford University research associate who discovered the phenomenon. (source)

4. Cotton candy was invented by a dentist.

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Image: Elena

William Morrison, a dentist, invented cotton candy with the help of confectioner John C. Wharton. In 1897, the pair designed and patented what they called an electric candy machine. In 1904, during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, Morrison and Wharton sold 68,655 helpings of cotton candy. (source)

5. Astronauts come back to Earth taller.

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Image: NASA

Since the human body is free from Earth’s gravity, astronauts’ bodies actually lengthen slightly in zero-G conditions. As a result, they come back to Earth a few inches taller, however, the effect disappears over time. (source)

6. Dolphins are known to save people from sharks.

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Image: Tom Swinnen

Pods of dolphins have been known to surround humans in distress and lead them to safety. There have been several instances where dolphins came to the rescue of humans in need and scientists have several theories as to why they exhibit this behavior. For instance, the adult dolphins could be acting like parents defending their offspring, or perhaps the dolphins can recognize another mammal in trouble and act as they would if it were another dolphin. Regardless, countless lives have been saved by these intelligent creatures. (source)

7. Most pandas in the world are on loan from China.

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Image: Sid Balachandran

Before 1982, giant pandas were given away to other countries by the Chinese government as a token of friendship and goodwill. However, the “give-away” policy was put to an end in 1982 and the “on-loan” policy started. Today, most zoos around the world host pandas that are loaned from China, and if they’re born somewhere else, they are to be returned to a Chinese breeding program before they turn 4. (source)

8. Crows can recognize individual human faces and hold grudges.

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Image: Kevin Mueller

According to one 2008 study by wildlife researchers at the University of Washington, the highly intelligent birds are capable of remembering individual human faces. Anecdotal evidence from wildlife biologists also shows that they hold grudges against the ones they don’t like. (source)

9. Dogs really can smell your fear.

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Image: Simon Rae

Dogs have highly sensitive noses that allow them to smell things that humans are unable to smell. In fact, they are even capable of detecting your emotional state. According to Psychology Today, dogs can not only tell when you’re happy, but they can also smell human fear by picking up “chemosignals,” which are body odors produced by humans. Apart from that, they can see movements and body postures that may help them sense when a person is nervous, anxious, or afraid. (source)

10. The Eiffel Tower can grow more than six inches during the summer.

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Image: Chris Karidis

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, can “grow” over six inches taller during the sizzling season when heat makes its iron expand. Not only the Eiffel Tower, but the summer heat also causes metal in bridges to expand. This is why there are little gaps in bridges, that allows them to expand in summer without destroying the material due to the acting force. (source)

11. The entire world’s population could fit inside Los Angeles.

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Image: Henning Witzel

The world’s total population is more than 7.5 billion. While that number sounds huge, if every single one of those people stood shoulder-to-shoulder, they could all fit within the 500 square miles of Los Angeles, reports the National Geographic. (source)

12. In order to determine if a diamond is real of fake, the easiest method is to breathe on it.

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Image: Andy Holmes

Fake ones stay foggy for a while and genuine ones will clear away immediately. Diamonds are effective heat conductors and therefore will disperse heat quickly.

13. Crocodiles can climb trees.

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Image: Pixabay

Despite the fact they lack the physical adaptations of a climber, the reptiles can climb as high as six feet off the ground. A recent study discovered that adults can climb as high as six feet and juveniles can climb as high as 30 feet. (source)

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