13+ Fun Facts To Feed Your Brain

Diply 19 Jul 2018

Your brain needs more than coffee — or, you know, sleep — to stay alert. The day-to-day grind of same old, same old can make it feel sluggish and slow.

So, why not nourish it with some tasty facts? Sit back, start scrolling, and learn something new!

1. Firefighters use chemicals to make water "wetter."

Instagram | @clinenorthwest

Yes, water can actually be wetter. While plain ol' water is usually enough for most fires, sometimes "wet water" is needed for extra power. Water can't always penetrate things like mattresses quickly enough to extinguish a fire deep inside, but wet water can.

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2. Mr. Rogers didn't want kids to be afraid of Friday the 13th.

Emmy TV Legends | Emmy TV Legends

So, to counter the superstitions, he created the character of King Friday XIII. The King's birthday fell every Friday the 13th, turning it into a day for fun and games.

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3. Chicago's moniker "The Windy City" has nothing to do with weather.

Instagram | @ccshooots

Instead, it was a nickname coined by journalists in the 19th Century as a dig against the city's elites. Those people were "windbags" and "full of hot air," so the city was referred to in the same way.

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4. Cats have five toes on their front paws, but only four toes on the back. 

Reddit | eyesarered

Most animals have five digits, but scientists think that the missing toes are due to cats evolving for faster running speed.

The earliest horse ancestors had five toes too, but eventually evolved to have a single toe that then became a hoof. Who knew cats and horses had so much in common?

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5. Medical leeches seem like a thing of the past, but they're still used today.

Reddit | PanicAtTheMetro

They remain the perfect tool to prevent blood clots from forming in reattached limbs. Often, the veins need time to recover, causing blood to get trapped in the reattached area. A leech or two will happily nom away the excess blood until the vein system is reestablished.

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6. Regardless of original color, lobsters turn bright red when cooked — except for rare white lobsters.

Facebook | Maine Coast Fishermen's Association

These ghost lobsters only have a one in 100 million chance of being caught. They have leucism, which is a partial lack of pigment. Because the bright red cooked color is due to a chemical reaction specifically in pigments, the ghost lobster doesn't turn red.

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7. The Siberian unicorn was an actual animal, but had much more in common with rhinos than horses.

Reddit | Sumit316

The Elasmotherium sibiricum was basically a wooly mammoth-sized, hairy rhino with a MASSIVE horn. Like, look at that thing! These unicorns were still in the wild as recently as 29,000 years ago.

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8. Samsung has a specially made, denim-clad butt robot for testing their phones.

YouTube | 삼성전자 뉴스룸 [Samsung Newsroom]

They really think of everything, don't they? This way they know exactly how likely it is to break your phone when accidentally sitting on it.

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9. The world's oldest hotel is 1,313 years old.

SoraNews24 | SoraNews24

Established in 705 AD, Koshu Nishiyama Hot Spring Keiunkan has been owned and operated by the same Japanese family for more than 50 generations.

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10. China's Mount Hua and its five peaks are considered one of the world's most dangerous hiking trails.

Reddit | BunyipPouch

Case in point: these nearly vertical "stairs." The South peak is the tallest, famous for its paths of narrow wooden boards. Climb it for an incredible view and a drink at the tiny tea house at the top.

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11. If you find misprinted money, you could cash in.

Reddit | Reddit

When U.S. bills are made, the seals and serial numbers are added last. If you find a bill where the numbers are upside down or on the wrong side of the bill, it could be worth up to $500 to collectors.

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12. Residents of Newcastle are called "Novocastrians."

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Which, imho, gives them the coolest name. More specifically, the name is attributed to residents of Newcastle upon Tyne in England, and Newcastle, New South Wales, in Australia.

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13. American armadillos don't actually roll up into balls.

Instagram | @brownbear_creative

Only the three-banded armadillo is able to employ that specific defence mechanism. North America is home to the nine-banded armadillo, which may not roll up, be can hold its breath for six minutes and always gives birth to identical quadruplets.

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14. During the early 19th Century, surgeons would pay good money for the dead bodies required to study anatomy.

Wikipedia | Wikipedia

This led to a rise in grave robbing as a way to make a little extra cash. But William Burke and William Hare took it a step further by murdering people specifically to sell.

Before they were caught, 16 cadavers had been sold to Dr. Robert Knox of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh.

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In return for immunity, Hare ratted out Burke, who was put to trial for three of the murders. 

Reddit | NinjaNemo86

When he was found guilty, Burke's sentence was particularly apt for his crime. He was hanged, and then his body was dissected in front of crowds of medical students.

Portions of his skin were also tanned and turned into items like books or this business card case. His skeleton is still on display in the Anatomical Museum of the Edinburgh Medical School. Gruesome.

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15. The longest word in the English language contains189,819 letters and takes three and a half hours to say.

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It's the full, technical name for the protein usually referred to as titin. It's a protein that keeps muscles elastic.Due to international standards, all protein names must include the names of every amino acid inside. Titin has34,350 of those buggers.You can attempt to read the name in full here.

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16. An influential physics paper was co-authored by a cat.

Atlas Obscura | Atlas Obscura

In 1975, J.H. Hetherington authored a scientific paper about atomic behavior at different temperatures. But as he prepared to submit it for publication, he realized that he'd used "we" instead of "I" throughout the paper.

Journals prefer plural pronouns only when the paper has multiple authors, and since it was written on a typewriter, it wasn't a quick fix.

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Rather than share credit with another human, Hetherington decided to share it with his cat, Chester, under the name F.D.C. Willard.

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The initials stood forFelix Domesticus, Chester. Willard was the name of Chester's father. The ruse didn't hold up long, but most people found it hilarious. Hetherington even released a few special copies of the paper, "signed" by both authors.

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17. Weather presenters were banned from using the word "tornado" on air until 1950.

Visual Hunt | Visual Hunt

Predicting the weather is hard now, but even more so without the aid of modern technology. Tornadoes in particular were hard to predict accurately, and in an attempt to avoid panicking the general populace, meteorologists weren't allowed to say the word on air.

It wasn't until Captain Robert Miller and Major Ernest Fawbush successfully predicted one that the ban was lifted.

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18. Meat lozenges were once a thing. Ew.

Nelson's Gelatine Products | Nelson's Gelatine Products

We've always been obsessed with making food quick and easy, but these take it a step too far. Various brands marketed lozenges made of gelatine and meat "essences" as a meal substitute for travellers, soldiers, and "invalids."

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19. Kangaroos can't walk backwards.

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But they are great swimmers! It seems weird to not be able to go backwards, but when you look at those feet and how the tail sits, you can kind of see how it would be difficult.

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20. On April 18, 1930, BBC Radio reported that there was nothing to report.

American Radioworks | American Radioworks

It was Good Friday, and though the BBC Radio offices had recently installed agency tape machines for incoming stories, nothing was received. So when listeners tuned into the day's broadcast, they were simply told "There is no news," before being treated to 15 minutes of piano music.

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21. It's illegal to own a pet rabbit in Queensland, Australia.

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Rabbits were brought to Australia by Victorians who wanted to hunt, but they bred like crazy and caused as much as a billion dollars of agricultural damage annually. Queensland has successfully rid the area of wild rabbits, but to prevent resurgence, permits are only given to science labs and magicians.

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22. Back to the Future's time machine was originally a refrigerator.

IMDb | IMDb

To return to his time, Marty had to load the machine into a truck and drive directly into a Nevada test site as an atomic bomb was set off. It was producer Steven Spielberg who nixed the idea, afraid that kids would start locking themselves in fridges.

He did end up doing something similar in that fourth Indiana Jones movie, though...

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