19+ Facts That Are Exactly As Cool As They Look

Diply 22 Oct 2018

Nobody likes to be let down, but unfortunately, a lot of the cool things we come across seem to do just that. Just when someone gets our hopes up with a picture of a winged lizard that looks like an actual dragon, it turns out to be Photoshop.

But the facts behind some eye-catching images still have a way of turning that first "oh?" into an "oh!" instead of an "oh..."

And if these fine facts have done their job, that's exactly what will happen.

1. We're actually closer to the year The Jetsons was set than the year it first aired.

YouTube | CartoonsIntros

Well, they don't really say what year it is in the show. But press materials at the time said 2062, which is a nice, round 100 years from the first episode's airing in 1962.

We passed the halfway point between those years back in 2012, so the world is running out of time to give us sassy robot maids.

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2. The province of Konya in Turkey is home to about 200 sinkholes.

Reddit | MrPotato9512

The problem once got so out of control in the town of Karapinar that nine of these massive pits appeared there within three months.

As far as anyone can tell, they're caused by underground limestone dissolving, and geology professor Fethullah Arik said heavy rainfall is likely to blame for these rapid-fire sinkholes.

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3. We may hate wasps, but just about every pest on earth hates them even more.

Reddit | etymologynerd

Some wasps hunt them for food and some just want a buggy surrogate for their babies, but they're so effective at pest control that they're now being used in farming to protect crops.

We don't have to like them, but we can't help but respect them.

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4. The Scottish government actually has a contingency plan in case they ever find the Loch Ness Monster.

YouTube | MR ToonMonster

Nick Halfhide from Scottish National Heritage said it's more of a joke at this point since they'll likely never need it, but they've decided to restrict all research of the hypothetical monster to catch-and-release projects that only take DNA samples.

Oddly enough, the government actually received serious warnings back in 2001 that this plan would only make "Nessie hunters" more secretive about their harmful plans.

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5. For hundreds of years, European courts would put animals on trial.

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Not only could a pig that attacked someone be legally punished for it, but the ones that watched it happen and didn't do anything about it could be too.And we're talking about all kinds of animals, so lawyers at the time would seriously need to think of defenses for rats and insects.

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6. Simeon Sakskoburggotski ruled Bulgaria at nine years old and was elected Prime Minister 55 years later.

Wikimedia Commons | Bulgarian Archives State Agency

The big gap between his turns at running the country happened because the monarchy collapsed and he was exiled in 1946.

Normally, that would be it, but Bulgaria's president asked him to help form a government decades later and he got enough popular support to get his chair back. It's just not a throne this time.

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7. Float copper is some of the purest metal there is, and it was packed together in glaciers during the ice age.

Reddit | Prufrock451

According to Theodore J. Bornhorst, these glaciers hit Michigan so often that it produced the largest sheet of float copper on record weighing in at 50,000 pounds.

Because being moved and shaped by a glacier involves a lot of abrasion, float copper usually ends up looking shiny.

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8. Sorry, but woolly bear caterpillars can't actually predict how harsh a winter it's going to be.

Reddit | thekevo1297

Some folks believe that the longer the black bands on this caterpillar get, the more severe winter is going to be.

But according to the National Weather Service, these bands only tell us how good of a growing season the caterpillar experiences before the winter comes. If they're large, the growing season was good and it lived its best life.

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9. When Steven Spielberg went back to school, he received extra credit in paleontology for making Jurassic Park.

YouTube | Movieclips

He said he dropped out after he was offered a position at Universal Studios, but when he decided to get his degree at Cal State in Long Beach, he discovered that his work on the movie was apparently worth three credits.

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10. Japan is home to about a dozen "cat islands," where there are more cats than people.

Reddit | facedawg

One of these islands, Aoshima, has the cats outnumbering its human residents by about six-to-one. And since those cats number just over 100, we're talking about a very small human population.

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11. When China's one-child policy was in place, about 25 million "missing" girls were simply unreported.

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The Chinese government expected "family officials" in local areas to enforce this policy, but that didn't often happen in smaller villages because those officials often felt asmuch a part of the community as anybody else.So, when villagers had more than one child, these officials would essentially pretend these kids didn't exist and let their families be.

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In other facts about China, Chinese city walls were so good at resisting cannon fire during the Middle Ages that European designers started copying them. 

Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons

According to author Tonio Andrade, this was not only because the walls were famously thick and sturdy, but because their sloped designs made artillery shells bounce off them before they could do much damage.

So, it's no surprise that by the 1400s, castle walls in France and the southern Netherlands started to sport slopes of their own.

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12. Oscar winners aren't usually allowed to sell the statuettes, and they wouldn't necessarily be worth that much if they did.

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Although individual Oscars tied to classic movies have sold for tens or even hundreds of thousands at auction, the actual gold in one of them is only worth about $650.But if a winner or even the child of a winner wants to sell it off anyway, they're required to first offer it back to the Academy for a dollar.

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13. Over the last 10 years, the fingerboard community has grown into a smaller version of the pro-skater scene. 

Reddit | Areyouagod7

Much like with full-sized skateboards, there's an international competitive scene where skillful fingerboarders can potentially get full brand sponsorships.

So far, the world's biggest tournament only nets the winner about $1,500, but that's still not bad for something you could once get as a Happy Meal toy.

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14. The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis once published a blank scientific article as a joke.

YouTube | Movieclips

The article was "written" in 1973 by Dennis Upper, who gave it the title "The Unsuccessful Self-Treatment Of A Case Of Writer's Block."

Like the best scientific work, it was peer-reviewed and the reviewer could not find "a single flaw in either design or writing style." Glowing praise, indeed.

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15. A New Hampshire court decided that a local Powerball winner could legally remain anonymous.

GIPHY

Lottery commissions usually don't allow this so that everyone can know the winner isn't related to one of their employees.But since the New Hampshire commission doesn't have a history of corruption, the winner's lawyers successfully argued that likely invasions of her privacy and dangers to her safety thanks to her $560 million winnings outweighed that concern.

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16. Some wealthy citizens of Moscow have been caught hiring fake ambulances to get them past traffic jams.

Reddit | Rmacnet

These "ambulance-taxis" looked the part from the outside and had sirens, but their drivers didn't look like EMTs and the vehicles had plush, comfortable interiors like you'd see in a limousine.

Apparently, a ride in one of these things could cost the equivalent of $150 USD per hour.

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17. A doctor told a Titanic survivor they'd have to amputate his legs, but after refusing, he ended up becoming a tennis champion.

Wikimedia Commons | George Grantham Bain

Richard Norris Williams' legs had been damaged by the extremely cold waters after he swam for his life, but by 1913, he was already a finalist in the U.S. Open singles. The year after, he would win it.

And by 1924, he could add a victory in men's doubles at Wimbledon and an Olympic gold medal to his list of achievements.

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18. Trees can link up their roots and exchange carbon through the "wood wide web."

YouTube | Alex Thebold

According to Franciska de Vries from the University of Manchester, this means that trees could potentially help each other survive during a drought by passing carbon around, which is needed for them to convert sunlight into energy.

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19. The inventor of the Pringles can was so proud of his creation that he wanted his ashes buried in one.

Reddit | getoffmypropartay

Sure enough, when Fredric J. Baur died at age 89, his family honored his wishes. Some were buried in an urn and some were given to his grandson, but some were buried next to the urn in a Pringles can.

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20. If you see a clear, skeletal leaf like this, it probably means that sawflies have been munching on it.

Reddit | Ge0Dad

If that wasn't enough of a clue, they usually leave their larvae along the edges of the leaves they visit. If these larvae curl into an S-shape when disturbed, then they'll probably grow into sawflies.

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21. The satanic leaf-tailed gecko looks so unusual that people have mistaken them for dragons. 

Twitter | @scixpmas

To be fair, many of those people were looking at a Photoshopped version with wings added, but the lizard's name should tell you all about its oddly mythical reputation.

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Want another fun gecko fact? Most Gecko's eyelids don't open and close, which explains why so many of them lick their eyeballs.

Getty Images | Alan Tunnicliffe Photography

According to author Aaron M. Bauer, a gecko's eyelids fuse together into a transparent layer called a spectacle. So when dirt or other debris gets on these eyelids, the only way they can clear their vision is to lick it off.

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22. The colorful Opah fish are the first warm-blooded fish scientists have ever discovered.

Reddit | Ert69

While most fish require heat from their surroundings, the opah generates heat by constantly flapping its fins. This allows it to dive down about 1,300 feet where it gets too cold for most other creatures to survive.

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