100 Fun and Interesting Facts about Everything Would Blow Your Mind! (Part 3)
|100 Fun and Interesting Facts about Everything Would Blow Your Mind! Photo: The Fact Sites|
Fact #67: A one-armed player scored the winning goal in the first World Cup
|Photo: A Halftime Report|
Héctor Castro played on the Uruguay soccer team during the first-ever World Cup in 1930. In the last game between Uruguay versus Argentina, Castro scored the winning goal in the last minute of the game. The final score was 4-2, making Uruguay the first country to win the World Cup title.
Fact #68: Bananas glow blue under black lights
Ripe bananas are of course yellow. However, under black light, the yellow bananas are bright blue, as discovered by scientists at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) and Columbia University (New York, USA).
According to Science Daily, the usual appearance of bananas is mainly the result of carotenoids. Under normal light, these natural pigments appear yellow. Under UV light, known to partygoers as black light, ripening bananas appear blue instead. There is no difference between naturally ripened bananas and those ripened with the use of ethylene gas. Green, unripe bananas do not fluoresce. The intensity of the luminescence correlates with the breakdown of the green pigment chlorophyll. As the ripening continues to progress, the blue glow decreases.
Fact #69: A waffle iron inspired one of the first pairs of Nikes
|Photo: Make Magazine|
Bill Bowerman was a track and field coach in the 1950s who didn’t like how running shoes were made. He first created the Cortez shoe, but still wanted to make a shoe even lighter that could be worn on various surfaces. During a waffle breakfast with his wife in 1970, the idea came to him of using the waffle texture on the sole of running shoes. The waffle sole shoe made its appearance in the 1972 U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene.
Fact #70: South American river turtles talk in their eggs
|Photo: Tech Times|
Turtles don’t have vocal cords and their ears are internal, so scientists believed that turtles were deaf and didn’t communicate through sounds. However, research has found that turtles actually communicate at an extremely low frequency that sounds like “clicks, clucks, and hoots” that can only be heard through a hydrophone (a microphone used underwater). These sounds even come from the egg before the turtle hatches. Researchers hypothesize that this helps all the turtle siblings hatch at once.
Fact #71: The first commercial passenger flight lasted only 23 minutes
While commercial flights are now a daily occurrence and nothing out of the ordinary, there was a time where this was unimaginable. The first commercial flight took place on January 1st, 1914. It flew a distance of around 23 miles and it took around 23 minutes. The plane was rarely higher than 5 feet above the water of Tampa Bay, but it was still an exciting milestone in the history of commercial aviation,.
The St. Petersburg Times had generated plenty of interest in the first commercial flight. There were around 3000 spectators at the departure point, accompanied by an Italian band. Before the flight took off, there was an auction for the first round-trip ticket; this was won by the former St. Petersburg mayor, Abram C. Pheil, for a huge $400 USD. According to Tourism Teacher, the flight was piloted by Tony Jannus.
Fact #72: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne started Apple Inc. on April Fools’ Day
The three technology innovators signed the documents to form the Apple Computer Company on April 1, 1976. However, the company was not fully incorporated until January 3, 1977. Thirty years later, the company was renamed Apple Inc. and is no joke. In 2018, Apple Inc. became the country’s first trillion-dollar company.
Fact #73: Neil Armstrong’s hair was sold in 2004 for $3,000
Apollo moon mission astronaut Neil Armstrong has threatened to sue a barbershop owner who collected Armstrong’s hair after a trim and sold it for $3,000.
Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, used to go to Marx’s Barber Shop in Lebanon about once a month for a cut. That stopped when he learned that owner Marx Sizemore had collected his hair clippings from the floor and sold them in May 2004 to a collector.
Sizemore, who said he already spent most of the $3,000 on bills, told the lawyer who sent the letter, Ross Wales of Cincinnati, that he will not pay. Wales did not return a call seeking comment. Sizemore said he sold the hair to an agent for John Reznikoff, a Westport, Conn., collector listed by Guinness World Records as having the largest collection of hair from historical celebrities. The collection, insured for $1 million, includes hair from Abraham Lincoln, Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, and Napoleon, as cited Seattle Times.
Fact #74: 170-year-old bottles of champagne were found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea
The bottles of bubbly are estimated to have been traveling from Germany to Russia during the 1800s when they sank to the bottom of the sea, says New Scientist. French scientists have conducted research on the chemistry of that 170-year-old champagne bottles.
|Photo: Ancient Origins|
The old champagne provided insight into winemaking practices used at the time as the French scientists were able to work out the detailed composition of the wines, revealing chemical characteristics in terms of small ion, sugar, and acid contents. The distinct aroma composition of these ancient champagne samples, first revealed during tasting sessions by the scientists, was later confirmed using state-of-the-art aroma analysis techniques, News Err Ee cites. Bottles were later identified as champagnes from the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin (VCP), Heidsieck, and Juglar (known as Jacquesson since 1832) champagne houses thanks to branded engravings on the surface of the cork that is in contact with the wine.
Fact #75: The world’s first novel ends mid-sentence
|Photo: The New York Times|
The Tale of Genji, written by Murasaki Shikibu in the 11th century, is considered the world’s first novel. After reading 54 intricately crafted chapters, the reader is stopped abruptly mid-sentence. One translator believes the work is complete as is, but another says we’re missing a few more pages of the story. If you’ve never read The Tale of Genji, don’t worry. Just be sure to read these 50 books before you’re 50.
Fact #76: Sloths have more neck bones than giraffes
Despite the physical length, there are more bones in the neck of a sloth than a giraffe. There are seven vertebrae in the neck of giraffes, and in most mammals, but there are ten in a sloth. Still, giraffes are among 23 of the world’s biggest living animals.
Fact #77: Paint used to be stored in pig bladders
|Photo: San Francisco Opera|
Pig bladders were used in the 19th century to store an artist’s paint. The bladder would be sealed with a string and then pricked to get the paint out. This option wasn’t the best because it would often break open. American painter John G. Rand was the innovator who made paint tubes from tin and screw cap in the 19th century.
Fact #78: An employee at Pixar accidentally deleted a sequence of Toy Story 2 during production
Ed Catmull, the co-founder of Pixar, wrote in his book Creativity Inc. that the year before the movie came out, someone entered the command, ‘/bin/rm -r -f *’ on the drive where the files were saved and scenes started to be deleted. It would have taken a year to recreate what was deleted, but luckily another employee had a backup of the entire film on her laptop at home.
Fact #79: Japan released sushi-inspired KitKats
For a limited time in 2017, Tokyo’s KitKat Chocolatory shop made three types of chocolate bar that was sushi-inspired but didn’t actually taste like raw fish. According to Eater, sushi purists in Japan may have a problem with a new novelty candy from Nestlé. Kit Kat, the chocolate-coated wafer bar with a distinct crunch, will soon be available in the form of sushi, per Kotaku. Three varieties are being produced: tuna, tamago (egg), and uni.
Fact #80: McDonald’s once made bubblegum-flavored broccoli
This interesting fact will have your taste buds crawling. Unsurprisingly, the attempt to get kids to eat healthier didn’t go over well with the child testers, who were “confused by the taste.” The chain's bright idea to create bubble gum-flavored broccoli. According to Business Insider, McDonald's CEO Don Thompson revealed during an event last night that alongside reducing french fry serving sizes and introducing milk, the chain also engineered the broccoli to make kids' meals more nutritious.
Not surprisingly, the candy-flavored cruciferous didn't exactly taste good. In the worlds of Thompson, "It wasn't all that." Turns out kids were quite "confused" by the taste resulting in the idea being a total failure. Other awful ideas McDonald's has recently had?
Fact #81: Dogs sniff good smells with their left nostril
In mammals like dogs, the right nostril connects to the right-hand side of the brain, and the left nostril with the left side. The fact that dogs smell with their right nostril first implies that the right side of the brain is involved first. This is thought to be because the right-hand side of the brain deals with novel information (in this case, a new smell), and then once the dog has become accustomed to the smell the left side of the brain takes over more, as this side handles more familiar stimuli, as cited by Scientific American.
However, for the other two smells (the vet’s sweat and adrenaline), that perhaps may not be quite as welcome to a dog, the dogs always smelled them with their right nostril.
Fact #82: There’s only one letter that doesn’t appear in any U.S. state name
The letter that doesn’t appear in any state names is Q! Good old Q. Q is a relatively rare letter of the alphabet, anyway, usually combined with U in most words, Simple Most cites.
|Photo: Yahoo Finance|
And it is, after all, one of the most valuable Scrabble letters due to that rarity. In the popular word-making board game, Q is worth a whopping 10 points. But Q isn’t the only rare letter in our state names here in the U.S. The letter Z appears only in the name of one state (Arizona) and X in just two (Texas and New Mexico). P is also fairly rare among the 50, as it appears in only three state names — Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and New Hampshire.
Fact #83: A cow-bison hybrid is called a “beefalo”
|Photo: Hartford Courant|
Beefalo is the term usually used to call cow-bison. They are supposed to make meat that is lower in cholesterol and somehow healthier (I find it dry…), but in my very considered opinion, Bison genetics are too precious to waste in cattle crosses. Indeed, the breed “Beefalo” is quite plentiful enough to continue on its own, as it is a fertile cross, and does not need crossbreeding with Bison any more, as cited by Quora.
A thing to think about; Bison and cattle have been crossed so much that there are only a few “genetically pure” Bison anymore.
Fact #84: Some fungi create zombies, then control their minds
The tropical fungus Ophiocordyceps infects ants’ central nervous systems. By the time the fungi been in the insect bodies for nine days, they have complete control over the host’s movements.
When the fungus infects a carpenter ant, it grows through the insect’s body, draining it of nutrients and hijacking its mind. Over the course of a week, it compels the ant to leave the safety of its nest and ascend a nearby plant stem. It stops the ant at a height of 25 centimeters—a zone with precisely the right temperature and humidity for the fungus to grow. It forces the ant to permanently lock its mandibles around a leaf, as cited by The Atlantic.
Eventually, it sends a long stalk through the ant’s head, growing into a bulbous capsule full of spores. And because the ant typically climbs a leaf that overhangs its colony’s foraging trails, the fungal spores rain down onto its sisters below, zombifying them in turn.
Fact #85: The “Windy City” name has nothing to do with Chicago weather
The origin of the name "The Windy City" comes with much debate. Though tourists assume it's nothing more than the blustery, unpredictable weather (possibly as a result of the lake effect), residents know when you scratch the surface there's much more to it than that. The legend goes that the Windy City is actually a result of the hot air blown from the shady politicians, I Explore cites.
Others argue the nickname came with Chicago's former rivalry with Cincinnati in the mid-1800s. Competitive in both the meatpacking trade and also baseball, the Cincinnati papers named the "Windy City" as a term of derogatory bluster. Still others believe it came from when Chicago hosted their first World's Fair, sparking the jealousy of The New York Sun editor, Charles Dana, who also used in a negative connotation.
Fact #86: Armadillo shells are bulletproof
In fact, one Texas man was hospitalized when a bullet he shot at an armadillo ricocheted off the animal and hit him in the jaw.
|Phôt: National Geographic|
Despite reports of bullets ricocheting off armadillos, these creatures aren’t bulletproof. Their shells are made of bony plates called osteoderms that grow in the skin. They’re loosely connected for flexibility and are covered by a layer of keratin, the protein that makes up hair, nails, and horns, says Mariella Superina, chair of the IUCN’s anteater, sloth, and armadillo specialist group, via email, National Geographic cites.
“The shell protects the armadillos from thorny shrubs, under which they can hide from predators,” she says. But if a predator like a dog or a raptor does get to them, they can still pretty easily break the shell. Think of their armor more like a hard-shelled suitcase than a bulletproof vest.
Fact #87: Bananas grow upside-down
Or technically, we peel them upside-down. These random facts will have you eating fruit differently. Naturally, they grow outward from their stems, but that means their bottoms actually face the sky. As they get bigger, the fruits turn toward the sun, forming that distinctive curve.
Fact #88: Firefighters use wetting agents to make water wetter
The use of firefighting wetting (mid-1960s) and emulsifying (early 1990s) agents were introduced to the firefighting community claiming use on Class A and B fires, as cited by International Fire Protection. The goal of these alternative agents is similar to foam agents in that they aim to reduce the surface tension of water. However, instead of forming a “foam blanket” on a Class B fuel surface, the solution is “vigorously” mixed with the fuel to form a non-flammable emulsion.
Fact #89: The longest English word is 189,819 letters long
We won’t spell it out here (though you can read it here), but the full name for the protein nicknamed titin would take three and a half hours to say out loud.
A man has been recorded spending more than three hours to pronounce what is supposedly the longest word in the English language.
'Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylarginyl...isoleucine' is the chemical name of 'titin' (also known as 'connectin') - the largest known protein. It has 189,819 letters.
This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. However, in the past it has been disputed whether or not it is a real word - proteins are named after the chemicals involved in making them, as cited by Digital Spy.
The longest word in the Oxford English Dictionary is 'pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis' at 45 letters long.
Fact #90: “Running amok” is a medically recognized mental condition
Considered a culturally bound syndrome, a person “running amok” in Malaysia commits a sudden, frenzied mass attack, then begins to brood.
|Photo: Mental Floss|
Amok, or running amok, is derived from the Malay word mengamok, which means to make a furious and desperate charge. Captain Cook is credited with making the first outside observations and recordings of amok in the Malay tribesmen in 1770 during his around-the-world voyage.
He described the affected individuals as behaving violently without apparent cause and indiscriminately killing or maiming villagers and animals in a frenzied attack. Amok attacks involved an average of 10 victims and ended when the individual was subdued or "put down" by his fellow tribesmen, and frequently killed in the process., as cited by Gizmodo.
Fact #91: Cats have fewer toes on their back paws
The question is not why they have only 4 toes on their hind feet, but why they have 5 on their front feet. 4 toes is extremely common in the animal kingdom. 5 toes is a phenomenon seen mostly in primates and humans. The extra toe helps walk erect, mainly improving balance. Having 5 toes on the front is much more uncommon. According to My Smelly, the reason is the extra digit vastly improves their climbing abilities, which is common to all members of the cat family, except for the cheetah. (Some cats such as lions generally choose not to climb, but are more than capable).
Fact #92: Blue whales eat half a million calories in one mouthful
These random facts are mindblowing! Those 457,000 calories are more than 240 times the energy the whale uses to scoop those krill into its mouth.
If a big whale attacks a particularly dense swarm, it can swallow up to 500 kilograms of krill, eating 457,000 calories in a single monster mouthful and getting back almost 200 times the amount it burned in the attempt. A smaller whale lunging at a sparse collection of krill would only get around 8,000 calories, but that’s still 8 times more than what it burned. Even when Goldbogen accounted for the energy needed to dive in search of prey, the whales still regained 3 to 90 times as much energy as they spent.
Fact #93: The current American flag was designed by a high school student
|Photo: Aviation Attitudes|
It started as a school project for Bob Heft’s junior-year history class, and it only earned a B- in 1958. His design had 50 stars even though Alaska and Hawaii weren’t states yet. Heft figured the two would earn statehood soon and showed the government his design. After President Dwight D. Eisenhower called to say his design was approved, Heft’s teacher changed his grade to an A.
Fact #94: There were active volcanoes on the moon when dinosaurs were alive
Most of the volcanoes probably stopped one billion years ago, but new NASA findings suggest there might still have been active lava flow 100 million years ago, when dinosaurs were still roaming.
|Photo: Daily Mail|
Called Maskelyne, this feature is one of many newly discovered young volcanic rock deposits on the moon, Space cites. These deposits are known as irregular mare patches and they are thought to be remnants of small basaltic eruptions.
If only dinosaurs had invented telescopes, they might have seen lava occasionally oozing from the surface of the moon. Scientists previously thought that the moon's volcanic activity died down a billion years ago. But new data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, hints that lunar lava flowed much more recently, perhaps less than 100 million years ago.
Fact #95: No number before 1,000 contains the letter A
It is a matter of language and regional tendencies. The first number with an A in it, is 101: one hundred and one. Language purists might say that this is not correct as the word and is not a number, and therefore the first number is actually 1000: one thousand.
Mathematical purists would say that the language given for that number (101) requires the word and and therefore it must form part of the solutions.
Fact #96: The # symbol isn’t officially called hashtag or pound
|Photo: Mental Floss|
Its technical name is octothorpe. The “octo-” means “eight” to refer to its points, though reports disagree on where “-thorpe” came from. Some claim it was named after Olympian Jim Thorpe, while others argue it was just a nonsense suffix.
Fact #97: The U.S. government saved every public tweet from 2006 through 2017
Starting in 2018, the Library of Congress decided to only keep tweets on “a very selective basis,” including elections and those dealing with something of national interest, like public policy.
Since 2010, the Library of Congress has been archiving every single public tweet: Yours, ours, the president's, as cited by NPR.
But the institution announced it will no longer archive every one of our status updates, opinion threads, and "big if true"s. As of Jan. 1, 2017 the library will only acquire tweets "on a very selective basis."
Fact #98: Theodore Roosevelt had a pet hyena
Theodore Roosevelt and family had many pets during their lifetimes and were well known to be great animal lovers. Snakes, guinea pigs, and the more traditional dog and cat could be seen at any time during the Roosevelts’ tenure in the White House, Presidential Pet Museum cites.
As the world learned about the family’s love of animals, diplomatic leaders began to send exotic animals as gifts. Among them was a hyena named Bill.
Fact #99: The CIA headquarters has its own Starbucks, but baristas don’t write names on the cups
Its receipts say “Store Number 1” instead of “Starbucks,” and its workers need an escort to leave their work posts.
Fact #100: Europeans were scared of eating tomatoes when they were introduced
Scholars think Hernán Cortés brought the seeds in 1519 with the intent of the fruits being used ornamentally in gardens. By the 1700s, aristocrats started eating tomatoes, but they were convinced the fruits were poison because people would die after eating them.
In reality, the acidity from the tomatoes brought out lead in their pewter plates, so they’d died of lead poisoning. These facts about our world are so surprising, they’re hard to believe.
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