The world is such an extraordinary place that even the most ordinary, boring, every day stuff will have an interesting backstory. In fact, some of the things we tend to overlook or consider to be insignificant, contain some of the most interesting facts. As we explore the contents of this planet and the universe, we uncover hidden gems that can change the way we think. Here, we are listing some assorted facts that are quite thought provoking.
1. The world’s oceans contain about 20 million tons of gold in them, which would be worth roughly $771 trillion.
According to NOAA, the world’s oceans are filled with gold; about 20 million tons of it to be exact. Unfortunately, the gold is spread throughout the trillions of gallons of water in our oceans. One study estimates that there is one gram of gold for every 100 million metric tons of ocean water. Based on today’s price of gold per gram, which is $42.66, it would be worth roughly $771 trillion. Apart from that, there is also undissolved gold lying on the seafloor. NOAA estimates that this large chunk of gold is approximately a mile or two underwater, which makes it extremely hard to be mined. (source)
2. Using a bigger fork makes you eat less.
It is a well known fact that using a smaller plate makes us feel as if we have consumed a large portion of food. Now, researchers at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, found that people who used larger forks tend to eat less than those who used smaller forks. Researchers studied participants at a local Italian restaurant for two days. Customers were randomly selected and some were given forks 20% larger than the restaurant’s normal fork while others were given 20% smaller than normal forks. The weight of the plates, as well as the meals, were also measured before it went out and after it was completed. At the end of the study, researchers found that the customers who were given the bigger forks ate less and left more on their plates at the end of their meals. (source)
3. People raised in warmer climates tend to be friendlier than those brought up in places with cold, harsh temperatures.
A 2017 study that was published in Nature, shows that those raised in warmer climates are friendlier than those raised in colder climates. Researchers studied the personality traits and how it differs among us, depending on the geographical locations based on data gathered from two distinct countries: China and the United States. Using the data, scientists compared people who were raised in families with the same socio-economic status, with the only difference between them being the climate that they grew up around. At the end of the study, scientists determined that the geographical location did have an impact on one’s personality factors related to socialization and stability. Individuals who grew up in regions with warmer climates tend to be friendlier, more outgoing and more willing to explore new things, the study suggests. (source)
4. Every year, Disney World’s lost and found collects more than 6,000 cell phones, 3,500 digital cameras, 18,000 hats and 7,500 autograph books.
Covering nearly 40 square miles, Walt Disney World Resort is about the size of San Fransisco and is one of the most popular amusement parks in the world. Every year, more than 52 million people visit the amusement park, with more than 75,000 employees. Disney World visitors often try their best to ride all 46 rides in the amusement park within the one day period but rarely do they achieve it. While trying to beat their goal, they often lose their phones, glasses, hats, and other valuables. According to Walt Disney World News, every day, employees are handed at least 200 pairs of lost sunglasses. Since 1971, an estimated 1.65 million pairs of glasses have managed to make their way into the lost and found bin. Every year, employees working at the lost and found section collect more than 6,000 cell phones, 3,500 digital cameras, 18,000 hats and 7,500 autograph books. (source)
5. LEGO is the world’s largest producer of tires.
Over 3 billion tires are manufactured annually, and almost 200 million are sold in the US alone. While these tires are used for real-life vehicles, there’s one manufacturer who focuses on little plastic wheels. LEGO, is not only the largest toy seller in the world, it is also the largest tire manufacturer per annum, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The company manufactures more than 318 million LEGO tires annually or over 870,000 each day; 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. The company also produces more than 19 billion LEGO elements every year and more than 400 billion LEGO bricks have been produced since 1949. (source)
6. Studies show that consuming too much energy drinks can make you stressed and cause you to lose sleep.
In the United States alone, more than $3 billion worth of energy drinks are consumed every year. A study published in Frontiers in Public Health, shows that too much consumption of energy drinks can have negative effects. Researchers who undertook the study found that excessive caffeine and sugar intake can cause stress and anxiety levels to skyrocket. Another study conducted in South Korea, published in the Nutrition Journal, found that energy drink intake also affects the quality of sleep. According to the NIH, there is also no conclusive evidence that energy drinks do what they’re marketed to do. (source 1, 2)
7. A study conducted by researchers at George Mason University and North Carolina State University, found that boyfriends do more housework than husbands.
Researcher Shannon Davis at George Mason University and her colleagues at North Carolina State University studied more than 17,000 individuals in 28 developed western countries and found that boyfriends do more chores than husbands. The study also showed that live-in girlfriends chose to do lesser chores than their married counterparts. Researchers believe that this is not due to laziness, but rather responsibilities and the amount of time married men and women spend at work or with their families. (source)
8. Mid-day naps can not only make you more creative, focused, and fresh, but can also reduce your risk of a heart attack.
A 2007 study conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, found that those who took regular 30 minute mid-day naps were 37% less likely to suffer a heart attack. The study was conducted on more than 23,000 individuals to understand the benefits of napping. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, concluded that mid-day naps do reduce more heart-ailments over a period of six years, than those who worked straight throughout the day. (source)
9. The woolly mammoths existed at the same time the pyramids were being built.
Although wooly mammoths were believed to have disappeared a long time ago, studies show that they were still roaming Wrangel Island hundreds of years after the monumental constructions in Giza. The ancestors of present day Asian elephants were believed to have gone extinct almost 12,000 years ago. A new study that was supported by DNA evidence shows that they could have survived as recently as 7,600 years ago. Scientists were able to recover “genetic fossils” and DNA from frozen soil in central Alaska, which provided them with the new insight. One of the core samples collected from the permafrost confirmed the presence of mammoths between 10,500 and 7,600 years ago. (source 1, 2)
10. Honey does not spoil and if stored under the right conditions and can last for decades or even centuries.
From time and time again, scientists have unearthed honey from ancient Egyptian remains, to discover that they are still consumable. Not only is it delicious, honey is pretty much the only food that does not spoil in its edible state. This is because of its high sugar and low water content, as well as its low pH value and antimicrobial properties, that allow it to stay fresh for extremely long periods of time. However, they have to be sealed and kept in a cool, dry place for the long shelf-life. (source)
11. A photon can take 40,000 years to travel from the core of the sun to the surface, but only 8 minutes to travel the rest of the way to earth.
The sun’s interior is seathing plasma with a central density of over 100 grams/cc. Since the photons cannot travel through such densely packed matter at light-speed, they keep rebounding off other particles until they reach the Sun’s considerably less dense photosphere, where they are able to travel at their natural 186,282 miles per second. Once they reach the surface of the sun, they travel at cosmic speeds to traverse 92.96 million miles between the Earth and the sun; which only takes them 8.3 minutes. (source)