As the world of technology is advancing at a fast pace, we spend more time looking down at our phones than we do at each others’ faces. So, if you’re ever put in a situation where you need to come up with some conversation starting facts, then this list is for you. Whether you’re chatting with your colleagues, your friends, your date, or anyone you’re randomly meeting at a party, these surprising and interesting facts can surely help you. So read on to find out some strange, random and weird facts that are actually worth sharing with the whole world.
1. Ice cubes made of boiled water will look transparent while those made with tap water will look cloudy.
The reason why some ice cubes are clear while others are cloudy is due to the purity of water. While making ice cubes, the cubes will be clear if we use water with a very low amount of impurities in it. When water freezes, air bubbles and impurities such as dust and other minerals will be pushed into the center, giving it the cloudy appearance. In order to obtain clear ice cubes, carefully boil water to get rid of impurities and once the water cools down, boil it one more time to remove the dissolved air. Once the boiled water cools down, pour the water into an ice tray and you will get crystal clear ice cubes. Not only do clear ice cubes taste better, they also dissolve slowly; allowing you to enjoy a cold drink longer. (source 1, 2)
2. Men who are short are more competitive and aggressive in life than men who are tall.
According to a new study, published by the Association for Psychological Science, men who are short are more likely to be indirectly aggressive and competitive than those who are tall. The study also suggests that they aren’t more likely to be physically aggressive face to face but can be aggressive to succeed if their opponent is taller than them. Throughout the study that took place with 21 pairs of men, researchers also discovered that short men were more likely to secure resources when they feel physically less competitive than those who were tall. So, in conclusion, while short men don’t get physically aggressive and come face to face, they can become aggressive and find sneaky ways to get ahead in life. (source)
3. People who look young for their age live longer.
A decade old study found that those with youthful faces are more likely to live up to a ripe old age than those who look more than their years. The study conducted by Danish scientists on 387 pairs of twins explains that the facial features alone can be used to predict a person’s survival rate. The British Medical Journal also reports that those with younger-looking faces also tended to outlive their older-looking siblings. According to the researchers, this is due to pieces of DNA called telomeres, that indicate the ability of cells in the human body to replicate. The telomeres is also responsible for how young a person looks.
Throughout the study, those who looked younger than their age had longer telomeres while those who looked older than their age had shorter telomeres. So, the study concluded that the length of the telomeres signifies how fast a person ages. (source)
4. Men and women process sounds differently.
For centuries, we have known that men and women think and do things differently. A new study however, shows that men and women also process music and sounds differently. Our brains are composed of both gray matter and white matter. Gray matter is equipped with information processing centers and white matter has the task of networking those processing centers. A joined study between the University of California, Irvine and the University of New Mexico found that the brains of men had six times the gray matter than women and women had 10 times the amount of white matter than men.
During the study, participants were asked to listen to a passage. Brain scans showed that as the women participants listened to the passage, there was activity in the temporal lobe on both sides of the brain. At the same time for male participants, the activity was confined to the left side of the brain. (source)
5. Our ability to feel dehydrated is reduced as we age.
It’s a known fact that as we age, our body doesn’t function like it used to before. One of the main things that changes with age is the ability to feel thirsty or the feeling of dehydration. Up to 60% of the human adult body is water and it is a crucial part for our survival. The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are have 31% water in them.
A study conducted on adults over the age of 65 showed that when they were subjected to fluid deprivation in a warm environment, they exhibited reduced thirst sensation. The participants over the age of 65 also took less fluids during the study. This is why it is crucial for senior citizens to stay hydrated, even if they do not feel thirsty. (source)
6. Women with natural red hair require more anesthesia than women with other hair colors.
Studies show that people with red hair need larger doses of anesthesia and are also resistant to local pain blockers. This is why some red haired women are less likely to visit the dentist. According to new research published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, redheads are more sensitive to pain because of a mutation in a gene that affects hair color. In the study, scientists discovered that in people with brown, black and blond hair, a gene called the melanocortin-1 receptor produces melanin. For redheads however, a mutation in the MC1R gene produces a substance called pheomelanin; which is what gives them the red hair and fair skin. According to a study published in Anesthesiology Magazine, redheads require up to 20% more anesthesia than those with different hair colors. (source)
7. Due to a mutation in the hDEC2 gene, some people only require up to 4 hours of sleep and can function all day.
Some people pose the extraordinary ability to sleep for less than 4 hours and still be able to function all day. These “short sleepers” have a mutation on a gene known as hDEC2, that affects their sleep cycles and allows them to function with just a few hours of sleep. Prominent figures such as actor James Franco and domestic personality Martha Stewart are a few of them with this unique gene. (source)
8. Bees are capable of recognizing faces.
As surprising as it sounds, bees can in fact be trained to recognize faces. Researchers from Monash University were able to train bees to remember certain human faces and associate them with tasty sugary snacks. When a group of images were shown, the bees remembered the faces previously shown to them, and flew towards them. The study, which was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology , reports that although the bees can be trained to recognize human faces, the insects have to be tricked into thinking that the faces are oddly shaped flowers. The study also revealed that the bees use an arrangement of facial features to recognize a face, just like humans. (source)
9. Some Italian banks are giving out loans and using Parmesan cheese as collateral.
Most banks give out loans based on one’s credit scores or the amount of properties he/she possesses. Some Italian banks however, have been giving out loans since the 1950’s, with Parmesan cheese as collateral. So, why are Italian banks doing this? First of all, the loans are mainly given to cheese makers who own small businesses. Parmesan cheese takes 2-3 years to fully ripen and the more it sits, the more delicious it becomes. So, when cheese makers give out cheese as collateral, the banks place them in special vaults that control humidity and make the cheese last for years. If the loan is not paid within the 2-3 year period, then the bank simply turns around and sells the cheese for profit. A wheel of parmesan cheese can cost over $1,000 and has an average weight of 88 lbs. (source)
10. Paper bags are not as friendly to the environment as they are advertised to be.
It is important that we reduce the amount of plastic bags we produce every year. Some people imagine paper bags to be environmental friendly since they decompose and are not harmful to the environment and other living beings. While it’s true that paper bags decompose and don’t harm living beings like plastic bags, the production of paper bags releases harmful gases into the environment. Apart from that, millions of trees are cut down to produce these paper bags, which are only re-usable less than 5 times. Although they are advertised as eco-friendly, paper bags do in fact cause great harm to our environment. In order to reduce the amount of harmful gases, try using eco-friendly bags that are made of corn or jute. (source)