These Fascinating Facts Are Worth All The Attention

Diply 19 Sep 2018

We simply never know when the bits of knowledge we pick up will come in handy. Few things in life feel longer and more awkward than standing around at a party where you don't know anybody.

However, the more things you know, the more likely you are to have a way into a conversation that can help the time pass. Sadly, we don't live in an ideal world where regaling strangers with all you know about dinosaurs will win you friends, but you'd still be surprised to discover when these little tidbits will come in handy.

So, let's wake up our brains and arm ourselves with some fun-filled facts.

1. It's not necessarily airplane food's fault that you don't like it.

Imgur | Imgur

The higher up in the air we get, the drier it ends up feeling. Add a low-pressure environment to this dryness and it cuts our ability to taste sweet and salty foods down by about a third.

Thanks, taste buds...

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2. YouTube was born partially because its creators couldn't find footage of Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction.

YouTube | phil92150

Internet videos in general were a lot harder to reliably find back then, which gave Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim the idea to create a one-stop shop for them.

At least, that was plan B...

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3. YouTube was originally supposed to be a dating site.

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The trio had given it the name Tune In Hook Up, but it didn't attract much interest, so it didn't last long. After all, dating was already awkward enough without a comments section.

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4. The Great Wall of China wasn't actually any good at keeping invaders out.

Reddit | euXeu

This apparently had less to do with the wall itself and more to do with corruption and fighting in the Ming Empire, but that still doesn't change the fact that Tatar forces broke through it in 1550.

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5. Humans may not bleed blue, but horseshoe crabs certainly do.

Reddit | Jonp1020

The stuff apparently ends up looking like a mixture of milk and antifreeze, and it's a good thing that it's so easy to spot because humans have relied on it for decades.

Seriously.

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We act like horseshoe crab vampires because we need the blue stuff to test medical equipment.

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It's incredibly sensitive to bacteria contamination, so every vaccine, IV drip, and medical implant needs to be exposed to it before we can make sure it's safe to use.

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6. Scientists can use nuclear fallout to find out whether a classic painting is the real deal or a forgery.

Reddit | ene_due_rabe

If they find any traces of nuclear bombs from the Cold War in the canvas, that tips them off to the fact that the painting is much newer than it's supposed to be.

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7. You can finally stop wondering whether "fish" or "fishes" is the right way to talk about a bunch of the little swimmers.

Reddit | beesbuzzlots

If a group of fish come from the same species, "fish" is what you say. If members of other species have tagged along for the ride, then go with "fishes."

You're welcome.

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8. A surefire way to survive during the London cholera outbreak of 1854 was to drink beer instead of water.

Reddit | azgrunt

At least, that's what the workers of a Broad Street brewery found out when they decided to meet all their needs with the free beer they got and none of them fell ill.

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9. Every cruise ship is required to have a morgue on board.

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That might not be something you'll want to remember on your next vacation, but anything can happen at sea and they need to be ready.Hey, at least it's not found near the kitchen.

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10. A Harvard psychologist who's an expert on AI was fooled by a bot on a dating site.

YouTube | JoBlo Movie Trailers

Moreover, Dr. Robert Epstein admitted this happened to him not once, but twice. So don't feel embarrassed if one catfishes you, because it literally happens to the best of us.

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11. Sega consoles are still incredibly popular in Brazil.

YouTube | Cybershell

Despite being over three decades old, the Sega Master System sold 150,000 units per year in Brazil at least as recently as 2015. That's likely why production of the Genesis started up again back in 2016.

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12. The world is running out of sand faster than it's running out of fossil fuels.

Reddit | TeddlyBear

Not only is that not a joke, but it's actually developing into a serious problem because it turns out we really need sand for construction.

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Without it, we'd have a really hard time making glass, concrete, and roads.

Reddit | phalse_prophit

And even if you think you could live without seeing cool glass sculptures like this again, we need sand for electronics, too. Yeah, those massive iPhone lines tell us we'd really like to keep those around.

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13. The term "jaywalker" essentially means a person who walks foolishly.

Reddit | AnnaLemma

It was originally used to describe "jay-drivers" who drove their carriages on the wrong side of the road, but it wasn't hard to adapt the word "jay," an old-timey way of saying "noob," to walking.

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14. Movie trailers are called that because they originally played after the movie.

Reddit | PowerZombie5000

Since early movie theater tickets let you sit in there all day, a Broadway producer named Nils Grandlund thought it would be a good idea to promote one of his plays in between films.

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15. Your nostrils work in shifts whenever you breathe air in.

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As one takes the lion's share of the workload, the other takes a break and only accepts a little air in a process called the "nasal cycle." This is also why one seems more stuffed up than the other when you have a cold.

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16. Jack-o-lanterns were originally carved into turnips, not pumpkins.

Reddit | Reilly616

They were supposed to be a way to ward off evil spirits in Ireland, but these edible gargoyles were made from pumpkins after Irish immigrants discovered them in North America.

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17. No country is allowed to own the Moon.

YouTube | Wallace and Gromit

At least, that's what was decided in a United Nations treaty in 1967. Apparently, it doesn't say anything about individuals owning it, though.

So, you can theoretically claim some territory yourself...if you can somehow make it up there.

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18. Chinese Checkers doesn't actually have anything to do with China.

Reddit | nameless_redditor_

The game was invented in Germany in 1892, where it was called "Stern-Halma." By the 1920's, the name had somehow switched to "Hop Ching Checkers," which then became "Chinese Checkers."

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19. We're experiencing a nationwide rise in abandoned houses.

Reddit | ImaginingDragon

While this problem is hitting Flint and Detroit, Michigan and Gary, Indiana particularly hard, the total number of abandoned units has gone up by at least 2.1 million since 2005.

Urban explorers will be happy about this, but they're probably the only ones.

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20. The "corpse plant" survives by smelling like rotten meat.

Twitter | @scixpmas

While none of us may be too thrilled about the smell, it's very effective at getting flies and carrion beetles to come pollinate the flower.

Fortunately for the rest of us, these plants are pretty rare, which is likely why this one is made of Lego.

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21. Hermit crabs can change their size depending on what shells they find.

Reddit | Iamnotarobot1984

While they seem to prefer growing into larger shells, they can also shrink themselves to accommodate smaller ones. So, we're not the only ones who can get used to living in small apartments.

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22. Sharks are older than trees.

Reddit | amehk

It's hard to imagine a world before trees, but the earliest known examples of them date back to 350 million years ago. Sharks beat that by about 50 million years and survived four mass extinctions in their 400 million years on this planet.

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