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Are you ready to challenge what you think you know?
Whether you consider yourself well-informed, are just a casual reader of the news, or stay up to date with popular culture, chances are you’ll be surprised.
Get comfy and come along for a journey through these 20 facts that will not only make your head spin, but might also cause reality as we know it to unravel before our very eyes.
Fascinated yet? Keep reading and let your curiosity awaken!
#1. Trees Remained Undisturbed in the Past
Most of us have seen a dying tree. Most of us have also seen fungi eating away at said tree.
But did you know there was a time when fungi could not rot wood?
This resulted in massive pileups of trees and plant matter that were not breaking down.
The higher oxygen content during this time would spark massive fires of this material.
These conditions also led to petrified wood, slowly covered with mud.
Today, we can rest easy knowing that mushrooms are here to eliminate dead plant matter.
#2. Fitting Frisbee Memorial
We remember our loved ones in a wide variety of ways.
Some people choose to host a more traditional funeral.
Others may have a small memorial service and have their loved one cremated and put in an urn so that they can always keep them close.
Still, some unique methods come up now and again.
One excellent illustration of this fact is the man who invented the Frisbee.
He ended up becoming so tied to his creation that after he was cremated, he was turned into a Frisbee himself!
#3. Betty White and Slice Bread
Are you a fan of historical facts?
Look no further than two of your favorite creations!
Most people know the comedian Betty White and how old she was before passing.
But Betty White had the honor of saying she was older than sliced bread.
White was born way back in 1922. Sliced bread was introduced in 1928.
Even more strange is that people called sliced bread the best thing to happen since wrapped bread!
#4. Violet Jessop Survived More Than Just the Titanic
Most people know about the sinking of the Titanic.
One stewardess there who managed to survive the wreck was Violet Jessop.
But this wouldn’t be the only event she would survive throughout her lifetime.
The Titanic had two sister ships called the Olympic and the Brittanic.
The Olympic, which she was also on, ran into a warship while it was leaving the harbor.
Unlike the Titanic, it was able to make it back in time before it put anyone’s life in danger.
Unfortunately, those on the Brittanic weren’t so lucky.
Many of the lifeboats were too close to the rear as it sank, sucking the lifeboats in toward the propeller.
Jessop managed to leap to safety and only sustained a minor head injury. She went on to work on ships for another 30 years and passed away at 71.
#5. Vending Machines Are Killer
There are a lot of irrational fears that we have as a species.
Take, for example, being eaten by a shark.
Even though it does happen (we have a whole week dedicated to it), the reality is that shark attacks are exceedingly rare.
One fun fact about shark attacks is that vending machines have fatally hurt more people than shark attacks have.
It turns out that you should be more wary about getting a snack than becoming shark food.
#6. Disney and Explosives
If you’ve ever been to any of the major Disney theme parks, you’ve likely seen some spectacular fireworks displays, whether just something small for a show or even a grander display for a major event.
But did you know that, besides the U.S. Army, Disney is the largest buyer and importer of explosives here in the U.S.?
That’s a lot of firepower they use in their shows!
#7. Yellowstone Likely Won’t Erupt Anytime Soon
Many of us are naturally concerned and interested in potential disasters.
For example, people have said California will experience “the big one” for decades.
But another common belief is that the super volcano at Yellowstone could erupt at any moment.
The reality? It’s extremely unlikely that this event will occur in our lifetime.
Experts estimate that the likelihood of it happening within the next 100,000 years is very low.
It shows you that not all widespread facts and beliefs are necessarily true!
#8. Pineapples Take Forever to Grow
Gardening is an extremely popular hobby.
After all, maintenance is relatively low, and you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor if you have a successful crop.
While it may not be on everyone’s list, some might grow pineapple.
But don’t think you’ll be able to enjoy it in the same year.
One fun fact about pineapple is that it takes two years to grow, so you won’t see any results for a while.
#9. Plenty of Space in Space
We’re relatively small compared to other planets in our solar system.
Gas giants like Jupiter are planets into which we could easily fit multiples of our planet.
But while these planets are bigger, they may not be as massive as we believe.
For example, if we fit all other planets in between the Earth and the Moon, did you know there would still be some space left afterward? That’s unbelievable!
Time is all a matter of perspective.
One mind-blowing fact is that there’s a supernova at least every 50 years in the Milky Way alone.
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to wait five decades to see one.
In reality, we can see one every 30 seconds in the observable universe.
The sheer size of our universe compared to the galaxy we share with neighboring planets and star systems can be insane.
Don’t put that telescope away just yet if you’ve been on the hunt for a supernova. Just look a bit further!
#11. The Rapid Development of Weapons
It took humanity approximately four times longer to use steel for swords instead of copper than it took us to develop the nuclear bomb and switch over to that.
The progression of weaponry and technology took decades to advance substantially in recent years.
Those who were merely using a copper sword (or even a more developed steel sword) in the past would be astonished by the types of weapons that they have today.
#12. The Voyager Mission
Celestial events range from common to relatively uncommon, with some happening hundreds or thousands of years apart.
Some of the events here on Earth center around these occurrences.
Take, for example, the Voyager 2 Mission.
When the Voyager 2 Mission was proposed to Nixon, the only time it was possible to take the path the Voyager 2 took was 176 years prior, back when Jefferson was in office.
#13. Sizing Down the Milky Way
Speaking of space, learning how massive the observable universe is can truly be mind-blowing.
Let’s imagine that you shrunk the sun down to the size of a white blood cell.
That’s very small. Now, let’s consider what that would look like in comparison to the size of the Milky Way.
At this scale, the Milky Way would still be the size of the continental United States. That’s massive!
#14. Lighters and Matches
We tend to think of technology in terms of progression.
We first had sticks, then we had bows and arrows, and today we have guns.
It only makes sense that we continue advancing rather than going backward.
But this isn’t the case for everything.
Did you know that we invented the lighter before we invented the match?
Both of them have their uses, so it’s good that someone decided to make the match a thing rather than just sticking with the lighter.
#15. Slipping and Falling Are Common
The human body is an extremely fragile thing.
We see all kinds of action movies that depict how much the human body can take, but it doesn’t take that much to put us out of commission.
As it stands, dozens of people every day in the U.S. slip and fall in the shower and never get back up after they hit their heads on something on the way down.
Always be careful about your movements and aware of what’s going on around you no matter what you’re doing. You never know if that move might be your last.
#16. The Concept of Time Can Be Easily Broken
No one wants to think about time that deeply, especially as it passes and we get older.
However, some fun facts can remind us it indeed does pass.
Take, for example, the fact that we are currently closer to the year 2040 than the year 1994.
Even though it might seem like 1994 was just yesterday, the reality is that we’re only 17 years away from a very futuristic-sounding date.
#17. Anne Frank and Martin Luther King
History can be confusing, especially because most of us are taught many events in a relatively short period.
We’re also taught about history in such a way that it may not be linear, but we may instead look back at it based on different movements in the past.
Many of us learned about World War II and the Civil Rights Movement.
But did you know that two crucial figures, Anne Frank and Martin Luther King, were both born in the same year?
Even if we think about some people being in a completely different time, many people are fairly close in age than we may initially believe.
#18. The Titanic Took a While to Sink
The Titanic was a massive ship, and this size is why it took so long for it to sink.
In fact, it took a whole 2 hours and 4 minutes for it to be fully submerged in the water.
So, what gives? Why wasn’t everyone able to make it off of the ship?
Apparently, people didn’t believe the Titanic was sinking until at least an hour passed.
Even so, they believed they were safer on the ship than on the lifeboats accompanying it.
This has led to the many deaths we associate with the tragedy today.
#19. Neutron Stars
Here is a real “let that sink in” fact about neutron stars.
Neutron stars have powerful gravity.
This means that even the smallest, lightest object here on Earth would do some real damage if we had the same gravity on our planet.
For example, dropping a marshmallow into a neuron star would have the same impact as dropping a 3-megaton nuclear warhead here on our planet.
That’s a lot of damage for something we could easily drop on the floor without thinking twice about it.
#20. The Seemingly Safe Sites Aren’t the Best
Many of us know that we have to be safe when browsing the internet.
But the least safe spaces aren’t the ones you might believe.
For example, many people are careful when browsing adult material because they believe they’ll get a virus.
But it turns out that church sites are much less safe.
That’s because these sites are often run by volunteers with little idea of defending the site and visitors rather than sites with professional staff.
Always be careful when browsing the web, even if you feel safe!
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This thread inspired this article.
I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
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