13+ Fun Facts That Will Bring The Brain To The Max

Diply 2 Oct 2018

It may be a myth that we only use 10% of our brains, but it's still pretty hard to use it too much. You might say that's what happens when we overthink, but that seems more like what happens when we click on 10 programs at once and our computers can't decide which one to start first.

After all, much like our computers, our brains work fine when we just let them stay on all the time. Even when we go to sleep, it's still cooking up dreams for us.

And since it does so much work for us, let's give back and let it know about these enjoyable facts.

1. It's not unusual for arctic fox dens to have flower gardens growing in them.

Reddit | karmicely

Sadly, the foxes haven't mastered agriculture so much as pooped a lot of nutrients into their winter hidey-holes. And since their prey are also their only source of water in the winter, their pee is also very high in those nutrients.

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2. The Sacred Band of Thebes was a small, but powerful army of lovers.

YouTube | GeneralSantucci1st

According to Plutarch, the military leader Gorgidas formed this 300-man band because he figured each man would fight extra hard to protect his lover and wouldn't want to embarrass them by running from the battlefield.

Since this band had a fearsome reputation, he seemed to be right.

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3. A solar eclipse once stopped a war in ancient Turkey.

Reddit | TripTripHooray

The kingdom of Lydia and the kingdom of Medes spent about 15 years at war, but the fighting started to die down after an eclipse loomed mid-battle and both sides threw down their weapons.

Since eclipses usually last less than 10 minutes, darkness wasn't the issue. They were likely too freaked out to continue.

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4. Bee stings can kill HIV and may hold the key to preventing its spread.

Reddit | King_Toad

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found that a toxin in bee venom called melittin pokes holes in the tough coating that surrounds the virus.

And since normal cells are larger than HIV, the team was even able to fine-tune the melittin delivery to ensure it only kills the virus.

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Bees can also be tricked into making their brains get younger.

Reddit | raspberriesnjune

Professor Gro Amdam at Arizona State University said bees normally age as soon as they leave the nest and take two weeks to lose brain function.

However, when his team took all the bees out of the nest except for the queen and the babies, some of the older bees were able to learn new things again after staying behind and watching the larvae.

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The honey of Himalayan giant honey bees can even cause hallucinations.

Reddit | JoslynJames

They usually make this "mad honey" in the spring, when they're able to drink nectar from the flowers of rhododendron trees. The toxins in these flowers end up in the honey, which then makes anyone who eats it start seeing things.

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5. Safety razor inventor King Camp Gillette wanted to create a city named Metropolis where almost everyone in North America would live.

Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons

He wanted it to be the only city on the continent, if not the world, and figured that it should be built near Niagara Falls because those waterfalls were considered big enough to meet absolutely all of the city's electric needs.

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6. Bend, Oregon, is the home of America's last surviving Blockbuster Video store.

Reddit | HolyMcJustice

It's obviously not owned by the now-defunct Blockbuster corporation, but its owner licensed the Blockbuster brand and it runs independently.

Two other locations survived for a while in Alaska thanks to shaky wifi reception up there, but both of them closed their doors back in August.

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7. Scientists have figured out how to store an operating system and a short film on strands of DNA.

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Computer science professor Yaniv Erlich said permanent media like CDs degrade over time and other tech becomes obsolete, but data can essentially last forever on DNA.The easiest way to explain what they did without making our heads explode was to translate the data into binary, and then into genetic material thanks to some outside help, and back to binary again when they wanted to access it.

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8. Jerry Springer was born in a London subway station during World War II.

YouTube | The Jerry Springer Show

Springer said that Londoners who reached their ninth month of pregnancy would often spend the nights at these stations because they were deep enough underground to serve as bomb shelters.

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9. Every morning, Beethoven would drink coffee with exactly 60 beans per cup in it.

Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons

And he was apparently so serious about this being the perfect amount that he would count them out one by one to make sure each cup was right.

So yeah, he was somehow that focused before he had his coffee.

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10. A fisherman in the Philippines caught a 75-pound pearl and hid it under his bed for over 10 years.

Facebook | Aileen Cynthia Maggay-Amurao

Oddly enough, it wasn't because it was valuable. He just considered it a good luck charm. And it's a good thing he thought it was so lucky because it's believed to be valued at over $100 million.

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11. Giraffes only sleep for a couple of minutes at a time.

Reddit | Saso7

Moreover, the series of little power naps they take only add up to about 20 minutes of sleep per day. After all, sleep takes up valuable time that could be spent constantly watching for predators.

Yeah, giraffes aren't as chill as they look.

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12. Elevator music started being a thing because elevators used to take a lot longer to get from floor to floor.

Reddit | NerdBro1

It's commonly believed that the music was supposed to soothe early riders who were scared of the elevator, but Elevator Historial Society founder Patrick Carrajat said elevators had the opposite problem.

Namely, that they were boring and the music was supposed to distract riders from realizing that.

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13. Red Lobster founder Bill Darden refused to play along with segregation when he opened his first restaurant in 1938.

Twitter | @Darden Restaurants

Regardless of what his local politicians were saying at the time, anyone could freely come in to The Green Frog and enjoy a swamp boy breakfast, whatever that is.

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14. There's a waterfall in Antarctica that runs red.

Reddit | loki010

Fortunately, nothing is bleeding to cause this. The water that spews out of this glacier is extremely rich in iron and has never seen sunlight or been exposed to our atmosphere before coming out of the falls.

So, this all means that this spooky South Pole waterfall is just really rusty.

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15. Ruso, North Dakota only has four people living in it.

Wikimedia Commons | Andrew Filer

Ruso was actually close to losing its status as a town when it lost its long-time mayor because North Dakota law apparently states that an official city needs at least three people.

But nearby resident Greg Schmaltz saved the day when he moved in, so they elected him mayor. Seriously.

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16. When British scientists first saw the platypus, they thought it was a hoax.

Reddit | Rhadok

As Zoologist George Shaw put it in 1799, "It naturally excites the idea of some deceptive preparation by artificial means."

And let's be honest, if somebody showed you this thing before you'd heard of it, are you telling you wouldn't think someone just glued a duck's bill onto an otter?

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17. Sarcasm tends to make people mad, but it also makes them think more creatively.

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At least, that's whatAdam D. Galinsky's team at Columbia University found when the people in their study did better in creativity tests after getting stuck in sarcastic conversations.Because although they found that sarcastic insults hurt more than direct ones, the work of figuring out somebody's tone when they talk to you apparently flexes your creative muscles. That also goes for using sarcasm yourself, by the way.

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18. This hole is called a cenote, and holes like it are the only way to access natural fresh water sources in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Reddit | CrazzyLizard

That area has no lakes or rivers, so locals historically had to turn to a network of flooded, underground caves to get a drink.

And these cenotes, or water sinkholes, are how they'd get to those caves.

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19. In Switzerland, it's illegal to own a guinea pig unless you get another one.

Getty Images | Renate Siedentopf / EyeEm

This is because they're herd animals and feel incredibly lonely if there isn't another one around. And as of 2008, that loneliness violates Switzerland's animal rights laws.

Fortunately, there's an online matchmaking service available if something happens to one of them.

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20. You can sleep over at some of America's biggest museums. 

Reddit | Reddit

New York's Museum of Natural History, Boston's Museum of Science, and Chicago's Fields Museum have offered this program to kids for years, but they're starting to open up to the idea of letting adults do this, too.

So far, it's not making that much money for museums, but the real value comes in outreach and getting kids interested in science.

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21. There may actually be clouds on the moon.

Twitter | @scixpmas

NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer detected a permanent dust cloud surrounding the moon, which apparently comes from the dust that gets kicked up whenever comets or meteors pass by.

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22. Your fingers don't really have any muscles in them.

Reddit | jollytimezz

All the muscles that let them move are in the palm and the forearm and only tendons run through the fingers themselves.

Technically, the only actual muscles on our fingers are just there to make the hairs on them stand up straight.

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