19+ Fascinating Facts To Hoard Like They Might Be Useful One Day

Diply 16 Oct 2018

The more you know, the more tools you have in your toolbox when the unexpected comes up, in theory. But life isn't always like that, and instead, we often end up with wads of useless knowledge crowding birthdays and anniversaries out of our heads, like a hoarder's house eventually splitting its walls.

What can you do? Just because tidbits are useless doesn't mean they're not interesting. Heck, they can be downright fascinating.

So you keep plugging away, because you never know, these kinds of things might end up being useful one day. Hoard away! They're only facts.

1. Researchers have found that one of the most effective ways of keeping raptors at bay is googly eyes.

CNRS | Anthony Boigné

According to researchers at the French National Center for Scientific Research, the wide-eyed glare from googly eyes scares raptors and predatory birds, which gives airports another tool to use to keep the large birds out of danger.

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2. This spike-covered tree is just as nasty as it appears to be.

Reddit | Chingrininja

The sandbox tree's fruit explodes when it ripens, sending seeds out at up to 150 miles per hour, and its sap is poisonous, occasionally used by South American natives to stun large animals.

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3. Urban planning has seldom seen such amazing symmetry and clean lines as in La Plata, Argentina.

Reddit | TheDarkitect

Modeled after Washington, D.C., La Plata was briefly renamed Eva Perón, after the wife of dictator Juan Perón.

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4. Teasing Venus fly traps by causing them to close without a fly inside shortens their life spans.

Reddit | JMuXing

They're only able to close up to 10 times during their lifetimes, so there had better be a good reason for it.

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5. The geniuses who make Ben & Jerry's ice cream have a cemetery dedicated to all their discontinued flavors.

Reddit | busterbrown78

But if one of your favorites ends up here, you can request that they resurrect it.

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6. Pac-Man was originally planned out on graph paper.

Reddit | hootersbutwithcats

Which makes sense when you realize that the squares on graph paper are basically pixels, and it's not like there were a lot of game engines to plan on back in the early days of gaming.

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7. On early Earth, plants might have been purple instead of green.

Reddit | YouKnowMeBro

Chlorophyll, the substance that makes plants green and allows them to photosynthesize energy from the sun, came along after a similar substance called retinal, which absorbs the green wavelength of light and reflects red and violet light, which would make plants appear purple.

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8. How the heck is this giant cactus turning into a tree?

Reddit | loki0203

It's a process called "corking," and it's just something that happens to a cactus as it gets older, starting from the bottom first.

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9. When you see snow accumulating only on leaves and melting on the sidewalk around them, you know something interesting is going on.

Reddit | IAmA_Risky_Click_AMA

The leaves act as an insulating layer, preventing the snow from melting at the same rate as it does on the sidewalk.

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10. You can grow copper "crystals" from a penny.

Treehouse Silver Inc. | Treehouse Silver Inc.

It's a pretty intricate process involving high-tech electroplating equipment, so not exactly something you can do in your home, but it can be done.

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11. In the Falkland Islands, there's a minefield that has become home to a thriving penguin sanctuary.

GIPHY

The landmines were laid during the Falklands War in 1982 and remain there today, with penguins all around because they're not heavy enough to set the mines off.

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12. You'll see the marks of Freemasonry on buildings, but have you ever seen one stamped into a penny?

Reddit | lukainingangin

Apparently it's a symbolic gift to new Masons to remind them of the virtue of charity.

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13. At the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, there's a spiral staircase made with hand tools and seemingly without supports.

Reddit | Engl123345

However, it's not as miraculous as it seems, with an inner coil that acts like a central post and an iron brace connecting it to a support column.

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14. This looks like a hornet, but it's actually a moth.

Reddit | sdblro

Yep, there's a species of moth — the hornet moth — that evolved to exactly resemble a hornet as what has to be a pretty effective method of self-preservation.

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15. This, in intimate detail, is an actual hornet and very obviously not a moth.

Reddit | opioen

More specifically, it's the hornet's stinger, with a single drop of venom right on the tip.

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16. This spiny, spiky, curly thing isn't a tail or a stinger — it's a tongue.

Reddit | EventHorizonSurfer

A moth's tongue, to be exact, perfect for scooping delicious nectar out of an orchid.

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17. The Murchison meteorite, which slammed into Australia in 1969, is one of the oldest rocks on Earth, having formed around the same time as the early solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

Reddit | bpoag

It also contains evidence of amino acids, pointing to a possible origin of life on Earth.

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18. This happy little critter is a velella, also known as a By-the-Wind Sailor.

Reddit | limestruct

Although they greatly resemble the Portuguese Man o' War and float on water like them, they won't deliver stings.

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19. Once upon a time, clocks used the slow movement of water to tell the time.

Reddit | kymray

And this is an example of a water clock, also known as a clepsydra. You can see the tubes on the right marking the minutes, and baubles on the left marking hours.

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20. On those days when you can literally see a big weather change like this cold front moving in, it's occasionally led by a roll cloud.

Reddit | Floss_ordie

Not to be confused with a shelf cloud, which leads a thunderstorm — although that certainly qualifies as a big weather change.

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21. It's not uncommon to cut into a tree and find a bullet lodged inside.

Reddit | danieldrew

It's far less common to cut the bullet so cleanly in two and leave the hollow of the scar open. That's a lucky cut!

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22. The second-largest intact gold nugget in the world, the "Hand of Faith," was discovered by a man trying out a new metal detector.

Reddit | King_Toad

Kevin Hillier of Wedderburn, Australia, found this 61-pound nugget just six inches beneath the ground.

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23. In the Soviet era, music lovers created their own bootlegs of popular banned Western music on X-Rays.

Reddit | Swales92

The recordings were not entirely faithful, with some referring to listening to a "bone record" as "listening through the noise."

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24. This incredible image shows what the sun looks like through a UV lens, with three different wavelengths of light colorized as red, green, and blue.

NASA | Alzate/SDO

It was created as part of a study of solar eruptions.

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