As we grow older, we understand and learn things that were once a mystery. Understanding things around us and how everything works has its advantages. Not only does it help us make better decisions in real-life, but it also keeps our brains sharp. No matter how much we think we know, there’s always new things you’ve just never thought about. For that purpose, we have gathered some random, yet surprising facts that will amaze even the most intelligent person.
1. Nails grow faster in summer, while winter and a cold environments tend to slow nail growth.
Fingernails play an important role in our lives. While the rate of growth differs from person to person, the average fingernail grows out to about a tenth of a millimeter a day. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that fingernails grow an average 2 or 3 millimeters per month, while toenails grow about 1 millimeter per month. Studies show that people who use their hands a lot on a daily basis tend to have faster nail growth than people who don’t use their hands much. According to Lawrence A. Norton, M.D., clinical professor of dermatology at the Boston University School of Medicine, the rate of growth of our nails is also dependent on the season. In an interview with The New York Times, he explained that ”Nails grow faster in summer, while winter and a cold environments tend to slow nail growth”. (source)
2. Animals tend to avoid power lines because they look like terrifying bursts of light, which are invisible to the human eyes.
To humans, power lines don’t look like anything other than metal tower poles that extend the cables for miles and miles. Animals however, see them differently, which is also a reason why they choose to stay away from them. For animals, these towering poles appear as lines of bursting, popping lights. A study conducted by scientists in the United Kingdom and Norway determined that high-voltage lines have more potential to disrupt wildlife behavior than previously thought. According to NOVA, the bursts of light visible on the image above are called corona discharge; which occur when the power lines aren’t well-shielded.
In such cases, the concentration of electrons rushing through the line causes the nearby air particles to ionize; giving the appearance of the glowing plasma. These lights are not visible to humans but the retinas of animals have an extra type of cone cell that allows them to view light in such wavelengths. (source)
3. The Spanish word “esposas” means both “handcuffs” and “wives”.
For many bachelors, marriage is the opposite of freedom. Coincidence or not, the Spanish word “esposas”, pronounced (ehs-poh-sahs) means both “handcuffs” and “wives”. Also in Spanish, the word “casado” means married, change the s for a z and you got “cazado”, which means hunted. (source)
4. If you fully drained and recharged your phone everyday, then over the course of a year, it would only cost you $0.25 a year.
If you ever worry that you consume too much electricity every year because of your phone habits, then it’s time to stop worrying. To be specific, if your iPhone battery holds a charge of 1,440 mAh, or about 5.45 watt hours, and if you fully drained and recharged your phone every day for a whole year, then you would be feeding you phone about 2,000 watt hours, or 2kWh. At an average of 12 cents, this means that you would be spending about one quarter’s worth of electricity per year on your precious phone. At the same time, an iPad will only consume about $1.36 worth of electricity per year, according to the Electric Power Research Institute. The EPRI also estimates that an average laptop only uses about 72 kWh, costing some $8 a year. (source)
5. Taking a hot bath burns the same amount of calories as a 30-minute walk.
Taking a hot bath can not only be relaxing, but studies show that they also burn the same amount of calories as a 30-minute walk; according to researchers at Loughborough University. The researchers studied 14 individuals, who rode bikes for one hour and also took a hot 104F bath for one hour. During the study, researchers did find that riding bikes did burn more calories than other activities included in the test but hot baths however, burned a whooping 130 calories — the same as a 30-minute walk. According to the researchers, this could be because a rise in core temperature resulting in more calories being burnt. The blood sugar levels of participants were also monitored, which showed that it was 10 percent lower after the one hour hot bath. (source)
6. The blue bird from the Twitter logo has a name: Larry, named after former NBA player, Larry Bird.
With an average of 126 million users every day, Twitter is among the top social media platforms to exist today. The little blue bird might be familiar to everyone since it’s associated with the social media giant, but it actually has a name: Larry. According to Huffpost, it might have been named after former NBA player, Larry Bird, who played for Twitter co-founder Biz Stone’s home-state team, the Boston Celtics. Twitter also released a shortcut to quickly close all expanded Tweets by pressing ‘L’ (as in Larry) on your keyboard. Although the world is now aware of the bird’s name, its species remains a mystery. (source)
7. In order to determine if a diamond is real of fake, the easiest method is to breathe on it. Fake ones stay foggy for a while and genuine ones will clear away immediately.
Although not that rare, diamonds are hailed as precious stones and often associated with weddings. In order to determine if a diamond is genuine or fake, the easiest test is to breathe on it until light fog appears. If the fog dissipates within seconds, then the diamond is genuine. If the fog stays for a while, then the diamond is not genuine. Diamonds are effective heat conductors and therefore will disperse heat quickly. (source)
8. People spend more time sitting on the toilet each week than exercising.
According to a poll conducted by UKactive, most Brits spend three hours and nine minutes sitting on their loo every week, but just 90 minutes exercising. The poll conducted on 2,000 adults also found that 26% of people are only active for 30 minutes or less every seven days and 64% spend at least six hours a day sitting down. Steven Ward, chief executive of UKactive, said: “Humans are made to move, but modern living has stripped physical activity out of our lives to the point where we pass more time spending a penny than we do getting sweaty. The major health concern here is our lack of exercise, but things like poor diet, lack of exertion and our tendency to play on smartphones in the bathroom are all other factors that are driving this inbalance”. (source)
9. In the high forests of the Himalayas, there’s a certain kind of bee that make their nests on rocks or cliff faces. These nests can contain about 60 kg (132 lbs.) of honey that is hallucinogenic.
In the peaks of the Himalayan forest lives the world’s largest honey bee – The Giant Bee of Himalayas – which can grow up to 3 cm in length. These bees build gigantic nests at cliff faces that hold up to 132 lbs. of honey. Although the nests are made at such heights to keep humans away, a special team of Nepalese men rappel down the cliffs to collect this honey. The reason why these men risk their lives to collect the honey is because the bees gather nectar from poisonous flowers and turn them into hallucinogenic honey. (source)
10. More than 99% of the microbes inside us are unknown to science.
A Stanford study found that the microbes within our bodies are more diverse than previously thought. In fact, 99% of the DNA has never been seen before. The report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explains that more than 99% of the microbes failed to match anything in existing genetic databases the researchers examined. (source)