22 Interesting Facts So You'll Learn Something New Today

Diply 14 Jun 2018

I love learning new things, even if there isn't really a practical use for all that trivia. The world is just full of cool events and ideas and facts. I can't get enough of them.

Plus, they say you should learn something new every day, so this list of neat facts should have everyone covered for the next week or so, right?

And it'll come in handy at the next pub quiz.

1. When there's a double rainbow, the second arc's colors are always inverted. 

Instagram | @all_foiled_up_salon

Rainbows form when light is refracted through raindrops. Since light always splits in the same spectrum, a single rainbow is always the classic ROYGBIV.

A double rainbow happens when the light is refracted through the raindrops twice, flipping the spectrum on the second bounce.

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2. It's not called a piggy bank because it's shaped like a pig; it's shaped like a pig because it's called a piggy bank.

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In the Middle Ages, people would keep spare change in pots made of an orange clay called "pygg." Over time, as English spelling evolved, the word became "pig." Eventually, in the 19th Century, potters began making them in the shape we all know today.

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3. The strongest material in nature is snail teeth. 

Reddit | Pandi8587

Spider silk was thought to be the strongest, but when tested, the teeth of our favorite slimy slowpokes were found to be five times stronger. The teeth are found on the snail's tongue, and are used to grind rocks as they eat.

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4. Hippos "sweat" their own pink sunscreen.

Instagram | @cincinnatizoo

What the Roman's called "blood sweat" is actually a natural sunscreen that hippos secrete. The substance starts clear, but turns red before hardening into a brown protective layer. It protects them from the sun even underwater, and also has antibiotic properties.

Hippos continue to be both cute and terrifying.

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5. Hashtags went mainstream during a San Diego wildfire in October 2007.

99% Invisible | 99% Invisible

A man named Nate Ritter was keeping people up to date on the fire, but it was hard to find his tweets. The original creator of the hashtag, Chris Messina, suggested he try adding #sandiegofire to the tweets for easy searching and it took off.

Before then, the hashtag had been a shorthand to collect grouped tweets, but after, it became the standard.

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6. The hashtag symbol has many names, but began as the symbol for libra pondo or "pound weight."

Wikipedia | Wikipedia

The symbol is made up of the familiar "lb" for pound, with a horizontal line through the top. Eventually, speedy writers began to merge it all together and the symbol became the one we know today.

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7. The idea of Casual Fridays started in Hawaii — because of course it did.

Instagram | @dougthepug

The Hawaiian garment industry wanted to sell more shirts, so they invented "Aloha Friday" and encouraged businesses to allow employees to wear Hawaiian shirts once a week.

Needless to say, it caught on and eventually made it to the mainland in the form of Casual Fridays.

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8. But it was the brand Dockers that really got the ball rolling all the way to business casual dress codes.

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Levi's, who owns Dockers, was in a sales slump and realized that guys were having trouble knowing how to look professional without the suit and tie.They sent "A Guide to Casual Businesswear" brochures to HR departments around the country, with a focus on Dockers' khaki slacks. The rest is history.

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9. "My eye grade is 75 on the left, 450 on the right." —botlkek

Reddit | botlkek

Our vision is all about how light enters our eye and reaches the retina. Corrective lenses use the curves of the glass to redirect the light when our eyes can't do the job themselves.

Because the light is being redirected, this can result is strange shadows at higher strengths. Like this pirate shadow.

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10. Manufacturers knew leaded gas was dangerous before putting it on the market.

Imgur | Imgur

But GM was in a hurry to stop engines from knocking and were unwilling to use the best option: ethanol.

Why? Because as a natural product, GM couldn't patent it, and thus couldn't make money off it. So instead, they went with leaded gas, which solved all their problems with only the single downside of it being highly toxic.

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11. The guy who invented leaded gas is widely considered one of the most disastrous inventors in history.

Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons

Thomas Midgley Jr. was fresh out of university when he joined General Motors in 1911, and was tasked will solving the engine knocking problem.

Later, he invented Freon, which revolutionized home refrigeration, but also contributed massively to the hole in the ozone layer.

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12. McDonald's tried to get kids to eat healthy by inventing bubble gum-flavored broccoli.

Flickr | sousvideguy

Apparently, they actually managed the creation part, but when they got to testing it, the kids who tried it were just plain confused, so the idea was scrapped.

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13. Pool halls spurred the invention of plastics and probably helped save elephants.

Reddit | FLORI_DUH

The best billiard balls were made of ivory, with the perfect density and bounce. But when the sport gained popularity, ivory was too rare and expensive to mass-produce balls. The call went out for someone to invent an alternative.

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John Wesley Hyatt, a printer and tinkerer, took the chemical used to protect his hands and melted it down.

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Spread out and pressed, the syrupy liquid became the first plastic: celluloid. In the end, it didn't work for pool balls, but it did revolutionize manufacturing and lead to the invention of more kinds of plastic.It's probably for the bestsince celluloid is extremely flammable.

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14. The plastic boom did eventually solve the billiards problem, though. 

Reddit | Nexusjockey

In the early 20th century, the first fully synthetic plastic was invented by Leo Baekeland. He called it Bakelite and it was wildly popular.

Turns out, it is also the perfect alternative to ivory pool balls.

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15. The webcam was inspired by The Trojan Room Coffee Pot.

Ripley's Believe It Or Not | Ripley's Believe It Or Not

The famous coffee machine was located near the old computer lab in Cambridge University back in 1991. In order to avoid the disappointment that would occur if someone found the coffee pot empty, a camera was set up and a live feed could be accessed on every desktop that used the office network.

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16. A man named Archibald Miles tried selling ketchup as medicine in the 1830s. 

Twitter | @FoodEmbassy_

Even though ketchup would have been completely organic back then and not filled with a ridiculous amount of sugar, "Dr. Miles’ Compound Extract of Tomato" was eventually dismissed as a hoax.

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17. The man who created the packaging for Pringles had some of his ashes buried in one of his cans.

Gizmodo | Gizmodo

Fredric J. Baur was an organic chemist and food storage technician who worked for Procter & Gamble. He was granted a patent for his tube-shaped design in 1970, and made it clear to his children that he wanted a portion of his remains to be buried in a Pringles can.

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18. Blue whales take in nearly half a million calories in a single mouthful.

Pixabay | janeb13

A study found that these massive creatures can consume 457,000 calories in one go — or 240 times as much energy that gets burned when they grab that mouthful.

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19. Before being acquired by The Hershey Company, Jolly Ranchers were produced by The Jolly Rancher Company, which was founded by Bill Harmsen.

Candy Favorites | Candy Favorites

The Jolly Rancher Company made ice cream, chocolate, and candy, and its name was meant to suggest a hospitable, western company.

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20. Pineapple containsan enzyme called bromelain, which breaks down meat and tissue.

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So the next time you eat a bunch of pineapple and notice that your tongue hurts, it's basically because the fruit's bromelain is eating away at it. Hooray!

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21. When Sweden and Denmark play each other in the World Cup, the letters that are used for each team are SWE and DEN, which spell Sweden.

Me.me | Me.me

The remaining letters are DEN and MARK, which spell Denmark!

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22. May 29 is Put A Pillow On Your Fridge Day.

Instagram | @hyrule_starlight

Officially the most random holiday ever.

It goes back to the 1900s, when people would place a piece of cloth torn from something in their bedroom in the larder. This was believed to bring prosperity. Eventually, fridges replaced larders and, for some reason, pillows replaced the cloth.

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Did you learn something new today?

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Tell us in the COMMENTS which fact surprised you the most, and then SHARE this collection of random trivia with others!

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