Sometimes, there’s no better conversation starter than a totally out-of-this-world bit of information. Such facts are not only good to keep the conversation alive, but can also allow you to share knowledge with those surrounding you. Perhaps it’s a mesmerizing bit of trivia about nature or the world at large. No matter what type of facts typically strike your fancy, make sure to read these totally random and 100% wildly weird facts that are guaranteed to earn you some new friends.
1. Momma dolphins sing to their babies while they’re in the womb.
Dolphins are one of the smartest creatures on the planet. They are known to protect humans from sharks and help Brazilian fishermen catch fish. New research shows that dolphin mommas sing their own name to their unborn calves. Each dolphin has a “signature whistle”, which is used to identify each other. Momma dolphins sing these signature whistles as part of an imprinting process. Scientists theorize that the process could be the way baby dolphins learn their mom’s name. (source)
2. Flamingos bend their legs at the ankle, not the knee.
Flamingos are magnificent birds. Their diet consists of microscopic shrimp and algae, which is also the source of their iconic pink color. The pink color also represents their health. According to the Aviary, the “pigment is deposited in their feathers as they grow and the brightness of the color indicates how well the flamingo was eating as the feathers were growing”. Also, flamingos stand on their tippy toes. Their knees are also closer to the body and are covered by feathers. (source)
3. A small percentage of the static we see on a TV is the residual effects of the Big Bang.
According to NASA, the cosmic microwave background blankets the universe and is responsible for a size-able amount of static on your television set. This means that when you turn your television to an “in between” channel or when you lose satellite connectivity, part of the static you’ll see is the afterglow of the big bang. (source)
4. The Statue of Liberty used to be a lighthouse.
The enduring symbol of freedom has been visited by millions of people from all over the world since it was opened in September of 1875. Did you know that the statue’s full name is Liberty Enlightening the World? It was a gift from France, given to America in 1886. From 1886-1902, Lady Liberty functioned as a lighthouse for 16 years, lighting a distance of up to 24 miles away. (source)
5. The U.S. treasury once printed $100,000 bills.
Between December 18, 1934, and January 9, 1935, the notes with Woodrow Wilson’s face were issued to Federal Reserve Banks. However, they never went out to the general public; which was probably for the best. Can you imagine losing such a large bill? (source)
6. ManhattAnts are an ant species, unique to New York City.
Biologists studying ants discovered a new species that live on Broadway medians at 63rd and 76th streets. “It’s a relative of the cornfield ant, and it looks like it’s from Europe, but we can’t match it up with any of the European species,” said Rob Dunn, a biology professor at North Carolina State University, whose team discovered the insect. “It’s new to North America, and we believe it’s new to the entire world,” he added. (source)
7. You can see four states from the top of Chicago’s Willis Tower.
Chicago’s Willis Tower is 1,450 feet (443 meters) high – 1,730 feet (520 meters) including twin antenna towers. It is also the one of the tallest buildings in the world and the second tallest building in Chicago. The Skydeck is 1,353 feet (412 meters) above the ground and the combined weight of the building is 222,500 tons – that’s 445,000,000 lbs., 201,849,000 kg, or almost 20,000 city buses. On a clear day, standing on top of the tower lets you see about 40 to 50 miles away—beyond Illinois and out to Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. (source)
8. Penguins are known to push other penguins into the water to ensure the area is free of predators.
When it comes to survival, only the fittest or the smartest can survive. Penguins know that all too well. In some cases, to ensure that there are no predators in the water, they push fellow penguins and wait for a few minutes. Only once they deem it safe do they jump into the water to find food or migrate. Whereas most of the time, they wait at the edge reluctantly until one or two penguins dive in and deem it safe. (source)
9. Queen Elizabeth II’s cows sleep on waterbeds.
You might already know that Queen Elizabeth II is obsessed with corgis and horses, and that she owns all of the swans in London! As it turns out, the Royal cattle are also given extra care and treatment. Not only do they wander around and graze from vast green pastures, but they also have robots that groom them, relieve stress, and clean the barn floors. The cows also sleep on waterbeds, which helps relieve pressure in their joints. (source)
10. Shadows are darker on the Moon than on Earth.
On Earth, the Earth’s atmosphere scatters more sunlight, which is why our shadows aren’t too dark. However, on the moon, the atmosphere is differed and does not scatter light, which means that shadows are darker than they are on Earth. When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, he had trouble seeing where he was going. “It’s quite dark here in the shadow [of the lunar module] and a little hard for me to see that I have good footing,” he radioed to Earth. (source)
11. Blue whale tongues can weigh as much as an elephant.
The African bush elephant is the largest living animal on land. They can weigh up to 7 tons (6,350 kg), typically grow to 35 ft (10.6 m) from trunk to tail and have a shoulder height of 13 ft (4.2 m). An average blue whale’s tongue weighs around 2.7 tons and its mouth is large enough to hold up to 90 tons of food and water. Despite the size of its mouth, the dimensions of its throat are such that a blue whale cannot swallow an object wider than a beach ball. Their hearts, meanwhile, can weigh almost a ton and needs to beat just once every ten seconds. (source)
12. When you’re shuffling a deck of cards, you are almost certainly holding an arrangement of cards that has never before existed and might not exist again.
It turns out, there are 80,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (67 zeros) ways to arrange a deck of 52 cards. So, every time you are shuffling a deck, you don’t have to try that hard to create a combination that has never existed before or will never exist in the future. (source)