12+ Fun Facts That Make The World Even More Interesting

Diply 9 Oct 2018

If we could use any word to describe the way the world has treated us lately, it certainly wouldn't be "boring."

With each new day, we seem to get news that makes us want to escape to that island where you can pet dogs all day, but it's still technically exciting.

But, although we don't want that much excitement, trading it for boredom doesn't sound that attractive either. Maybe we should try to hit that "interesting" sweet spot.

Fortunately, that's just where these fascinating facts are aiming.

1. Ever notice how the rougher part of town is usually on the east side? There's a reason for that.

Reddit | andrew_craft

Yanos Zylberberg at the Spatial Economics Research center said that the wind tends to blow towards the east and since cities can generate a lot of pollution, the smoke and yucky smells from that pollution then get carried towards its east side.

Naturally, the people who can afford to move aren't gonna hang around.

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2. As far as scientists can tell, urban coyotes have a 100% monogamy rate.

Reddit | B0R0D0

Most canines are monogamous in theory, but when food gets abundant, they'll start wandering around and cheating.

Yet, a team of researchers from Ohio State University found absolutely no evidence of any of the 236 coyotes in the Chicago area doing this, no matter how much food there was to go around.

They can't possibly know how much they're giving us goals.

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And true romantics can rejoice, because that monogamy does the coyote a lot of favors.

Reddit | torontomcgee

The Ohio State team found that urban coyotes both live longer and outnumber country coyotes. Why? Urban areas have more food for them, and that food means that coyotes can have way more pups in their litter.

And because the male coyote stays around to help raise them, each member of that litter is more likely to survive.

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3. If you wan to flip the table when you play Monopoly, that's probably because the game was originally about the perils of capitalism.

Reddit | paddyhill

It was created by Lizzie Magie in 1904 as a way to clue people into the idea that life under steel and oil monopolists like John. D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie was about as much fun as losing this game.

Of course, Monopoly didn't exactly catch on in the way she intended.

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4. For some reason, Florida is the world's leading site for canoe archaeology.

Reddit | sayknow

About three-quarters of the discovered canoes in the state's database are classified as "prehistoric," meaning they were built before explorer Juan Ponce de Léon traveled the area in 1513.

One of those canoes is almost 7,000-years-old.

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5. These dazzling oil patterns come in so many colors because the light reflections happening here take different paths to your eyes.

Reddit | LadyKingsella

According to Professor Dinesh O. Shah, commercial oils usually spread into a thin film when they're riding on top of flowing rainwater.

When light reflects off of this oil, it can show up as different colors that depend on whether the light bounced off the top or between the layers of oil and water.

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6. During World War II, people had to ration shoes just like they did with food.

Reddit | AnticitizenPrime

This was because both the leather and rubber used to make them were needed for the war effort. The rations allowed for three pairs of shoes per year and they couldn't be any color besides black, white, or brown.

Shoe companies also flat-out stopped making sandals and golf cleats at this time because they were "inessential."

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7. Goats in Morocco climb argan trees and pick them bare. When they're done, they spit out valuable nuts.

Reddit | trisoin

These argan nuts can be used to make argan oil, which is sold across the world for use in beauty and food products.

The goats were once widely believed to poop out these nuts, but fortunately for anyone who wants them, they usually just spit them out.

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8. The "Poison Squad" volunteered to eat food made with dangerous preservatives so the food industry would stop using them.

Flickr | The U.S. Food And Drug Administration

According to The Poison Squad author Deborah Blum, food manufacturers in 1900 could put whatever they wanted in their products, which meant that milk with embalming fluid in it or cheese tinted by red lead were common.

So, USDA chemist Harvey Washington Wiley started these "poison squad" experiments to ensure that congress and the public couldn't turn a blind eye to how sick people get when they ingest these weird additives.

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9. There's an Italian clothing company called Steve Jobs because Apple doesn't have a trademark on that name.

YouTube | Tech House

Apple did take the company to court over their logo, which they felt looked too similar because it had a bite taken out of it like Apple's logo.

However, they ended up losing because the court decided the letter J was not edible and therefore wasn't the same as the apple.

Seriously.

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10. There is only one species of cactus that naturally grows outside of North and South America.

Reddit | bigtinythinghitter

Bear in mind that the world is home to 1,750 different species of cactus, which means 1,749 of them can only be found in North and South America.

And weirder still, we're not even sure how this remaining one came to find its habitats in Sri Lanka and tropical Africa.

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11. Giraffes have high blood pressure because if they didn't, they'd basically faint every time they looked up.

Reddit | WhiteeBoy

To get from ground level to some yummy treetops, giraffes have to let the blood rush out of their head in about two seconds. They can do this because their blood vessels only direct it to the brain and miss other parts of their heads entirely.

They also have a muscle in the jugular vein (where muscles don't normally go) for additional pressure.

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12. Apollo astronauts have left 96 bags of excrement on the moon over the years.

Reddit | bluered

This wasn't because they saw the moon as their dump, but because they had to drop a lot of weight off their lunar landers so they could be light enough to carry moon rocks. So, that couldn't have worked out any better.

Besides, dropping it there means scientists can one day find out if the moon mutates our poop, so that's...fun?

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13. Lego employees get to use little Lego people as business cards.

Reddit | primal-chaos

Not only are they a handy way to keep someone in your contacts, but Wired reported that they're even made to match the employee's features.

Well, about as well as anyone can with plastic hair and no noses or ears, anyway.

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14. Small cuttlefish beat out the big boys for a mate by pretending to be female.

Reddit | pingutraveller

Big cuttlefish win mates by fending every other rival off, but the sneaky little ones camouflage themselves and change their colors back when they're alone with the female fish.

Not only does this keep the big ones off their backs, but scientist Roger Hanlon said female cuttlefish are actually more likely to mate with the ones that do this.

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15. Doctors used to think that having something smelly nearby could prevent the spread of the Bubonic plague.

GIPHY

That's because they believed the plague was spread by a deadly air vapor and only the smelliest things were powerful enough to dilute it.And that's why people in the 1600s used to jar their farts. Nope, I'm not kidding.

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16. This ghostly image looks so weird because it was taken next to a radioactive "elephant's foot" in Chernobyl.

Reddit | King_Toad

That elephant's foot is actually a pile of toxic material called corium, and when it was fresh, it would be pretty much impossible to survive if you were standing next to it after two minutes.

And yet, the man in this photo is reportedly still alive. Even though this was taken a decade after the disaster, this was still a big risk.

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17. Male cicadas have such a loud, obnoxious mating song that female cicadas will sometimes mistake power tools for them.

Reddit | Pufferchung

So yes, that technically means that lawnmowers, weed whackers, and chainsaws could potentially attract a swarm of cicadas if you use them on the right day.

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18. It's surprisingly hard for scientists to agree on whether a virus is technically "alive."

Reddit | _LagrangeCalvert

This is because to meet the definition of "alive," something needs an independent process to produce its own molecules and energy, and thus, go on living. Viruses delegate this to whatever host is unlucky enough to have it, so it might just be a non-living parasite on a living system.

But it also might not be, and that's where we get all the confusion.

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19. Calvin Klein's "Obsession" cologne couldn't possibly hope to attract as many humans as it does jaguars.

Getty Images | Jesus Guzman / EyeEm

Not only does it draw the big cats closer, but once they find whatever was sprayed with the cologne, they start pawing it and rubbing it against themselves.

According to perfumer Ann Gottlieb, this might be because Obsession smells a little like the musk of the civet cat. It was supposed to make humans curious, but this works too.

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20. This is what the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket looked like as it took off.

Reddit | EviscerationNation

But it wasn't just launched to create a dazzling light show. Its mission was to take an Argentine satellite into orbit, where it will monitor natural disasters, crop growth, and the moisture levels in soil.

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21. Researchers in Antarctica sometimes need to make eggs last for months at a time. 

Twitter | @scixpmas

When extreme weather looms, as it often does down there, planes can only deliver supplies during the summer. So, they make the eggs in that delivery last by applying a layer of cooking oil to the shell.

And since we're dealing with over a thousand eggs at once, they hold parties where everyone oils a few hundred each.

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People who work in Antarctica also have to be careful not to disturb the wildlife, even when they wildlife disturbs them.

YouTube | bracken10011

This means that when this penguin-harassing bird called a Skua shows up, they're not allowed to shoo it away. In fact, if they do anything besides put their arms over their heads to cover themselves, they get fired and receive a fine.

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22. Pigeon breeders in Spain color their birds for the pigeon races, which are races that have nothing to do with speed.

Reddit | onlyouwillgethis

Instead, a pigeon "wins" this race by spending the most time with the lone female pigeon involved.

As author Ricardo Cases put it on his website, "The winner is not the most athletic, the toughest or the purest in breed but the more courteous, the one showing more constancy and having the strongest reproductive instinct."

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