Bad news spreads fast through the internet. The media tends to focus on negativity, since it attracts viewers and they can profit from it. With all the bad things that are happening around us, some of the best things on our planet go easily unnoticed. For that exact reason, we have decided to compile a list of real-life stories and playful pictures that will surely make your day better. From little corgi kittens to a king penguin who is the colonel-in-chief of the Norwegian King’s Guard, here are 11 uplifting facts to brighten up your day.
1. In Turkey, there are vending machines that take plastic bottles. In exchange, the machine provides food for the local stray cats and dogs.
It is estimated that in Istanbul, Turkey, there are around 150,000 stray dogs and cats that roam the streets. While it’s a normal scene for the locals, life for these animals is not easy and one company hopes to make the change. Pugedon, a Turkish company, created a vending machine that not only feeds these animals, but also promotes recycling. Locals can deposit their drinking bottles or recyclables inside the machine and in return, the machine dispenses food for the animals roaming the streets. The vending machines cost little power to operate and the plastic recyclables cover the cost of the food and water. (source)
2. There is an island that is completely covered in land mines and is used as a penguin wildlife preserve, because the penguins are too small to set off the mines, and it keeps the poachers out.
Located in the South Atlantic Ocean about 300 miles east of South America’s southern Patagonian coast, the Falkland Islands are an archipelago. Since 1833, it has been governed by the British, but Argentina also claimed to have power over the territory. The dispute escalated in 1982 when Argentina invaded the island. The British sent a regiment and thus resulted in the Falkland war. However, in a period of ten weeks, the Argentinian side lost almost all of their troops and so, the land was returned to the crown.
The real winners were the penguins who inhabited the island since the war. During the fight, the Argentinians had planted more than 20,000 mines around the island, hoping to keep the Brits away. When the war ended, the Brits tried to clean up the mines but ruled that it was too dangerous, and thus, the island was abandoned. Soon after that, penguins started migrating to the island and today, there are more than 1 million penguins who call the island home. The penguins are not heavy enough to trip the mines so they roam around the island freely. The poachers have no choice but to stay clear since it’s too dangerous for them. (source)
3. Like humans, momma dolphins sing to their babies in the womb.
Studies show that humans aren’t the only ones who talk to their babies in the womb. According to Audra Ames, a doctoral student at the University of Southern Mississippi, momma dolphins teach their signature whistle to the baby in the womb by repetitively making them right before birth. Signature whistles are sounds that are unique to each dolphin and dolphins recognize each other using them. According to researchers, although the newborn dolphin will develop its own whistle, the momma dolphin is teaching the baby to recognize her. Other studies show that momma dolphins continue this process for up to two weeks after birth, until the offspring has developed enough to recognize her by sight. (source)
4. A cat version of the Corgi exists and are just as cute. They are called munchkin cats.
Some people view the munchkin cat as the feline version of a Dachshund or corgi. The breed arose from a spontaneous genetic mutation and the short legs are caused by an autosomal dominant gene, which causes the long bones in a cat’s legs to grow shorter. This special breed descended from a short-legged pregnant stray, rescued in Rayville, Louisiana in the early 1980’s by a music teacher named Sandra Hockenedel. They come in all colors and sizes and in 2013, Guinness World Records named Lilieput, a tortoiseshell Munchkin cat from Napa, California, the world’s shortest living cat. According to their official website, Lilieput was only 5.25 inches tall from the bottom of her paws to the top of her shoulders. (source)
5. When damselflies mate, the duo form the shape of a heart.
When damselflies mate, they form the shape of a heart, which is not hard to distinguish. During the mating ritual, the male usually grabs the female from above with claspers at the end of the abdomen. They then fly around while retaining the heart shape until the process is complete. Once done, some male damselflies will follow the female around and protect them from other predators until she lays her eggs. (source)
6. Actors Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor, who lent their voices to Mickey and Minnie Mouse, were married in real life.
The man who served as the voice of Walt Disney’s iconic Mickey Mouse for over 30 years, Wayne Allwine, was married to the woman who voiced Minnie Mouse, Russi Taylor. The two were married for nearly two decades until Wayne Allwine passed away in 2009 due to complications from diabetes. Until then, the world was unaware of the fact that the voice of Mickey and Minnie were in fact married in real-life. (source)
7. Every year, the Netherlands sends 20,000 tulip bulbs to Canada, to show their gratitude for the help they received during World War II.
Every year, Canada is home to a world famous tulip festival. Although these plants are expensive and take years to mature, Canada plants over one million tulips for the festival. At the same time, the Netherlands sends 20,000 tulips, completely free of charge, as a kind gesture for aiding them in World War II. The tradition started in May 1940, when Germany invaded the Netherlands. Queen Wilhelmina and the rest of the Dutch royal family were forced to flee their home country as the troops were occupying the nation.
About a month later, Princess Juliana left Europe entirely and took her two daughters, Princess Beatrix and Princess Irene, to Ottawa, Canada, to wait out the war. In January 1943, Princess Juliana was about to give birth to Princess Margriet but she had one problem – she wasn’t on Dutch soil. This was an issue since Princess Margriet wouldn’t have been considered completely Dutch and, therefore, wouldn’t have her spot in line for the throne. In order to help the Princess, the Canadian government decided to make the Ottawa Civic Hospital extraterritorial. Basically, Canada gave up a piece of land in Ottawa and made it Dutch while the child was delivered.
When the baby was born, Canadians raised the Dutch flag and played Dutch music to welcome the Princess. In 1945, most of the Netherlands was liberated and the royal family was allowed to return and start ruling. Once everything settled, Princess Juliana showed her gratitude to the Canadians by gifting them 100,000 tulip bulbs among other things. Since her reign in 1948, the Princess made it a tradition of sending 20,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa annually and the tradition has been kept alive by the Netherlands ever since. (source)
8. This is Sir Nils Olav, the only penguin to be knighted by Norway. In fact, he’s not just a Sir, he’s also an honorary Brigadier for The Norwegian King’s Guards.
The tradition of promoting a penguin is a symbolic act of friendship between Scotland and Norway but the rest of the world is often confused with the whole process. The tradition started in 1972, when the king penguin at the Edinburgh Zoo was named after two people; Major Nils Egelien, who organized his adoption, and the then-King of Norway, King Olav. Since then, Sir Nils Olav has been climbing the ranks to become the high rank of Brigadier Sir in 2016. (source)
9. Military dogs always outrank their handlers.
This is out of respect and to prevent abuse of the dogs as the handler would be subjected to severe disciplinary action for abusing a higher ranking officer. (source)
10. Humpback whales protect other animals from orcas.
Humpback whales might be giants of the sea, but they are gentle creatures. Scientists observed multiple scenarios where the giants came to the aid of helpless animals. In 2012, scientists saw a pod of orcas surrounding a gray whale and its calf in Monterey Bay, California. Soon after that, around 16 humpback whales swarmed the location and surrounded the gray whales. The humpback whales acted as a barricade until the orcas retreated. In another instance, a seal that was surrounded by orcas was rescued by humpback whales who allowed the seal to swim next to them until it was far enough away from the orcas. Although scientists have observed the loving behavior multiple times, they are still unsure as to why these giants are so gentle in nature. (source)
11. When a 4-year-old with hearing problems wouldn’t wear his hearing aids, Marvel created a superhero called “The Blue Ear”, to support him.
In 2012, a desperate mother wrote a letter to Marvel, requesting to create a superhero to support her son who had problems hearing. The Marvel team sprung into action and created “The Blue Ear”, specifically for Anthony Smith. The Blue Ear is a super hero with a special listening device that gives him super-sonic hearing. Today, the superhero is an inspiration for Smith, who proudly wears his hearing aid to school and the playground. (source)