21+ Fun Facts To Make A Brand New Day More Fascinating

Diply 17 Oct 2018

Our parents may not have liked it when we came home from school and said that "nothing" happened, but other than an exhaustive list of the homework we had to do, a lot of days didn't really give us much to talk about.

After all, we all knew that what we went through that day would be about as interesting to hear about as it was to experience.

But every now and then, a couple of interesting facts would get sprinkled in among all the drudgery.

I'd ask you to imagine what it would be like if you got just those parts without the math homework, but it's much easier just to show you.

1. Bats can swim. They usually just prefer not to.

YouTube | Aditya Mitra

Zoologist Anne Dagg described their swimming style as a "cumbersome stroke with its wings that resembled a human breaststroke." It's slow, but apparently steady enough to do the job.

Look, they're doing their best, okay?

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2. The only apple that's native to North America is the crab apple.

Reddit | LemonadoAvocado

In fact, the reason why we have so many apple trees here now is that early settlers thought crab apples weren't a satisfying substitute for the type we're used to and brought apple tree cuttings and seeds over from Europe.

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3. The Joker was originally supposed to die all the way back in 1940.

YouTube | Rilintar-Live

Batman #1 had two stories about him, and the second one, "The Joker Returns," ends with The Joker getting stabbed by his own knife.

According to author Mark S. Reinhart, this was supposed to kill him, but one of the editors at DC Comics recognized how great of a character he is and asked for a slight rewrite.

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4. No swimming trunks that cover more than a Speedo are allowed in public swimming pools in France.

Reddit | Panda_911

According to Emmanuel Dormois, a head pool attendant in Paris, this is because tight swimwear is only be used in the pool.

Larger shorts, however, can be worn all day, which means that swimmers wearing those could mess up a pool's water quality by bringing in outside dust and dirt.

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5. Teddy Roosevelt was the first American to get a brown belt in Judo.

Wikimedia Commons | American Press Association

Roosevelt apparently loved the sport so much that he lined the White House basement with training mats and livened up a state lunch by throwing a minister from Switzerland to the ground and showing off a hold.

Reportedly, this impressed his lunch guests instead of horrifying them. He knew how to get the party started.

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6. It's possible to have a snow storm and a thunderstorm at the same time. 

Reddit | XxDEWY18xX

This phenomenon is called "thundersnow" and it usually happens when warm air quickly rises through the cool air above it, which is called convection.

Since Lake Ontario and Lake Erie have the right combination of a warm body of water and bitterly cold air to make this happen, they're both relatively common places to experience thundersnow.

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7. The Canadian lynx love eating snowshoe hares so much that their numbers actually change at the same time.

Reddit | Captivating_Crow

Every 10 years, the snowshoe hare experiences a dip in population and the lynx numbers end up following suit. The lynx can also eat mice, squirrels, and birds, but that doesn't change how dependent they are on those bunnies.

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8. Pretty much every satisfying sound a car makes was designed by sound technicians.

Reddit | Tdrovla

Modern, fuel-efficient cars actually run fairly quiet, but manufacturers figure customers want to hear the engine growl, so some sound technicians will subtly pipe an amplified version of that purr through the car's speakers.

Even the satisfying "clunk" of a car door would normally sound tinny thanks to added safety features, but certain dampeners were added to the doors to get the old sound back.

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9. In special circumstances, it is actually possible for fire to cast a shadow.

Reddit | j_curic_5

According to Dr. Christopher S. Baird at West Texas A&M, a fire is capable of blocking and reflecting light, but it has to be brighter or just as bright as the fire itself to be noticeable. Sunlight will do it, but a flashlight won't.

Also, the soot in a fire absorbs light, which means it helps create that subtle shadow.

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10. When Richard the Lionheart was captured by Henry VI of what is now Austria, Prince John tried to pay Henry to keep him.

YouTube | Susie Harrison

Henry demanded a ransom of 150,000 marks, but author Abigail Archer wrote that John and King Philip of France offered him 80,000 to imprison him for longer.

However, Henry held out for his original demand and released Richard once he got it.

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11. Lake Superior State University can give you a license to hunt unicorns.

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Sadly, the school administration doesn't actually believe in unicorns. This was just a way that PR director Bill Rabe chose to promote the university back in 1971.Still, it was apparently a popular idea, since sending these licenses out pretty much described his son James' summer job.

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12. The former planet Pluto was named by an 11-year-old girl.

YouTube | Ginita Jimenez

She said her grandfather was reading the news in 1930 about a new planet and she figured it would make sense to follow the Roman mythology theme of the other planets and call it Pluto.

That grandfather was friends with an astronomer, who then passed the name on to the Royal Astronomical Society, who all seemed to love it.

Technically, this means she also named Mickey Mouse's dog.

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13. Not only does wifi not stand for "wireless fidelity," but it doesn't actually mean anything.

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Author Alex Hills said the name started in 1999 to describe wireless products that met certain technical specifications called "IEEE 802.11."They needed a catchy name that sounded less like a cat jumping on a keyboard, so they landed on "wifi" and the industry has used it ever since.

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14. The moon is actually a little more egg shaped than it seems.

Reddit | TheLofty1

Apparently, this shape would be a little more noticeable if we were closer to the moon. However, our tides would also be a lot more intense, so maybe that's for the best.

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15. Horses help mounted cops do their jobs in more ways than you might expect. 

Reddit | I_Bought_A_PC

An Oxford University report said that police horses help cops manage large crowds of people because they not only make the officer easier to spot, but apparently also make people more likely to talk to them.

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16. The word "Floccinaucinihilipilification" describes the process of deciding that something is worthless.

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It's one of the longest words in the English language, but it's pretty unclear why somebody would give such a relatable thing such a difficult name to remember.Maybe we're supposed to think that memorizing that word is an example of its own definition?

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17. The story of Cinderella didn't include a pumpkin for hundreds of years, and that word wasn't even used when it was added.

Reddit | remembersarah18

The pumpkin carriage first appeared in a French version of the story from 1697 and when this version was translated into English, people were still calling pumpkins "pompions."

So yeah, Cinderella is older than the word "pumpkin."

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18. Sycamore trees are one of the best friends a city dweller can have.

Reddit | foreverwasted

Not only do they grow quickly, but they're able to withstand both air pollution and soil compaction, which is what happens when soil gets squished together and water can't get in as well.

They're good for keeping the wind from getting too harsh, too.

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19. Freemasons will give each other special pennies as a mark of membership.

Reddit | lukainingangin

Although they're handed out for essentially the same reason, what they look like will vary between chapters of the organization. There are thousands of different coins made of different metals, but they usually include the letters "HTWSSTKS" to symbolize an "ancient grandmaster."

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20. A newborn giant panda is about the size of a stick of butter.

Reddit | SicilianDynamite

They may end up giant, but the reason why they start so small is because they have to exit their mothers quickly. Mama's low metabolism thanks to her bamboo diet means she has lower blood oxygen levels, so the baby needs the open air.

Plus, there are fatty acids in the mother's milk that the baby can't get anywhere else.

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21. There is no such thing as a mini-pig.

Getty Images | Slobodan Stojkovic

There's a cottage industry of sellers trying to fool people with terms like "teacup pig" or "pocket pig," but the fact is that most of these pigs will eventually get very large. For instance, 500 pounds will not be an unusual weight.

So, it's wonderful if you want to love and care for a piggy, but do so with enough space and food for a large creature.

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22. Ancient Egyptian tombs held large caches of food that Pharaohs would supposedly need in the afterlife.

Reddit | Chick-A-Dee914

This included meat and poultry, but a tomb's preparers would try to keep them from going bad by drying them with salt, wrapping them with bandages, and covering them with resin made from pistachio tree sap.

So, yes, they essentially mummified food.

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23. Some bacteria can reproduce in less than a half hour. 

Twitter | @scixpmas

Most E. coli strains can multiply in about 16 to 17 minutes, but the current record goes to the P. natriegens, which can produce some new friends in 9.8 minutes.

So, it may take a long time to make them form Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night," but it wouldn't take that long to make all the bacteria they used as "paint."

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24. When ducks change their plumage in the summer, they temporarily lose the ability to fly.

Reddit | King_Toad

According to ornithologist Witmer Stone, this costume change doesn't have anything to do with their mating season, especially since it leaves them with much duller colors during this molting period.

And although ducks can't fly during this period, the duller colors help them blend into the scenery and protect them from predators.

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