We have 250 crazy science facts for you that will totally blow your mind. Try to impress your friends with these facts – this will blow their minds too!
1. The Romanian scientist Nicolas Minovici explored death by hanging and for his studies hanged himself from a gallows several times.
2. The urine of the Asian bearcat smells like popcorn. The reason for this is that the animal’s urine contains the same fragrance that gives popcorn its distinctive smell.
3. Einstein believed that mankind would only survive four years after the extinction of bees. Are you interested in even more amazing facts about Einstein? Just read our article about Einstein here!
4. A Pinocchio paradox arises when Pinocchio says “My nose is currently growing” and is an example of the more general liar paradox. This refers to a sentence that describes its own statement as false, such as “This sentence is false.”
5. The scientist Charles Darwin married his own cousin in 1839.
6. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis states that the language a person speaks directly influences their way of thinking. Learning a new language could therefore change the way a person thinks about a problem.
7. With over 1,200 different subspecies, bats account for about 20 percent of all known mammal species.
8. In 1973, the American David Rosenhan had eleven mentally healthy people admitted to psychiatric institutions in an experiment, without informing the treating physicians that the patients were healthy. The test subjects were held in the institutions for up to 52 days. One was diagnosed with schizophrenia and another with manic-depressive psychosis. Do you want to learn mor about this amazing science fact? We wrote a dedicated article about the Rosenhan experiment so make sure to read it here.
9. Russian scientist Anatoli Bugorski accidentally held his head into a running particle accelerator in 1978 during an inspection. The doctors assumed that he would die a few days later, but surprisingly, he survived. Only one half of his face was paralyzed, his left ear is deaf and he regularly suffers epilepsy attacks.
10. It has been scientifically proven that petting a dog can significantly reduce blood pressure in humans. Isn’t that amazing? We have even more facts like that for you. Make sure to check it out our article about pawsome fun facts about dogs here.
11. When your fingers swell from being underwater too long, it is because of an evolutionary trait of your nervous system. The fingers swell so as to provide more grip in wet conditions.
12. Hippos can sleep under water. A congenital reflex lets them drift to the surface while asleep in order to breathe and then to submerge again without waking up.
13. Philip Noel-Baker so far is the only person to have won both an Olympic medal and a Nobel Prize.
14. After blue street lighting was introduced in some areas of Scotland and Japan, the suicide and crime rate dropped dramatically.
15. It has been scientifically proven that chicken soup is effective against colds. It blocks certain white blood cells that are partly responsible for inflammatory processes and are released in large quantities during infections. In addition, the protein cysteine contained in the soup has an anti-inflammatory and decongestant effect on the mucous membranes.
16. Transplanted testicles continue to produce the donor’s sperm.
17. From 1920 onwards, Alexander Alexandrovich Bogdanov tried to discover a medical fountain of youth by performing blood transfusions on himself and injecting himself with the blood of younger people. One blood transfusion, however, was contaminated with malaria and tuberculosis, which eventually killed Bogdanov.
18. The guitarist of the rock band Queen has a doctorate in astrophysics.
19. When physicist Niels Bohr won the Nobel Prize, the Carlsberg Brewery gave him a house right next to the brewery with a beer pipe leading directly from the brewery into the house. Until the end of his life, Niels Bohr could drink as much beer as he wanted free of charge.
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20. It is possible to die even 24 hours after drowning. People who die from “dry drowning” do not tend to notice their discomfort while the water continues to spread in their lungs until they die. If you want to learn more about this science fact you can also read our article covering that topic here.
21. Uranus is 63 times larger than Earth.
22. The word “Arctic” comes from Greek and means “bear”, while “Antarctic” stands for “opposite the Arctic”. By this, the Greeks wanted to express that the star constellations of the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper, call Big Bear and Small Bear in Greek, are visible in the northern hemisphere, but cannot be seen in the southern hemisphere.
23. Rhnull (rhesus factor zero) is the rarest blood type in the world. So far, only 40 people worldwide are known to have this blood group.
24. Barry Marshall was firmly convinced that not stress but rather Helicobacter pylori bacteria are the main cause of stomach ulcers. In a self-experiment in 1984, he therefore drank a test tube of the bacteria and shortly thereafter developed severe gastritis, which he successfully cured with antibiotics. In 2005, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his research on Helicobacter pylori together with John Robin Warren.
25. According to scientists, the giant tortoise Jonathan was born around 1832 in the Seychelles and is therefore the oldest living reptile on earth. Some researchers even believe that Jonathan may be the oldest living land animal.
26. After the last Bucardo – a special type of wild goat – had died, scientists succeeded in creating a clone of the animal in 2003, making it the first species ever to be resurrected after its extinction. However, the clone died after only seven minutes, making it also the first species to go extinct twice. That’s really a fantastic story so we wrote a full article about it you can find here.
27. Scientists believe they have discovered an evolutionary jump. It was discovered that the Australian lizard stems from an egg-laying species to a viviparous one.
28. In war times significantly more boys than girls are born. This is called the “Returning Soldier Syndrome”. Looking for more background to that fact? We wrote an article covering the Returning Soldier Effect here.
29. Although Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, he never developed an antibiotic from it. It was not until decades later that Howard Florey discovered Fleming’s little-noticed scientific paper and recognized the potential of this discovery.
30. Although 70 percent of our planet’s surface is covered with water, a sphere containing all the water in the world would only have a diameter of about 435 miles. That is less than half the diameter of the moon.
31. Sleep researchers have confirmed that women need more sleep than men and are more likely to suffer health damage if they do not get enough sleep.
32. The composition of breast milk adapts to the age and thus to the needs of a child. Do you want more facts like this? We have plenty of other facts about the human body.
33. Approximately eight percent of human DNA is from the DNA of viruses that infected humans thousands of years ago.
34. There are no mosquitoes in Iceland. Scientists are not sure why this is the case, but it is suspected that the special weather conditions of Iceland have something to do with the phenomenon.
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35. A 20 second hug increases the oxytocin level of people so much that afterwards there is a much greater trust between them.
36. The color that the human eye perceives in complete darkness is called “Eigengrau” (German for “intrinsic gray”).
37. On January 1 1985, the first phone call was made using a cellular phone.
38. Humans do not develop exclusively through the genetic mixture of mother and father. On average, every human is born with about 100 mutations.
39. Scientist Maurice R. Hilleman developed a total of 40 different vaccines during his lifetime. Among the most important ones are vaccines against measles, mumps, chickenpox, rubella, hepatitis A and B, pneumonia and meningitis.
40. If you listen to The Proclaimer’s song “I’m Gonna be (500 miles)” while on board on the international space station, you will have travelled approximately 1,000 miles or “500 miles and 500 more”.
41. A horizontal line above a mathematical expression, for example to express an infinite period, is called a “vinculum”.
42. The planet Uranus was discovered in 1781, while the Antarctic was not discovered until 1820.
43. If you were to stack all the viruses in the world on top of each other, this would result in a tower that would extend far beyond the moon, even further than our sun, further than Alpha Centauri and further than the edge of the Milky Way and into the next galaxy, with a total height of about 200 million light years.
44. The largest volcano in the world – the Tamu Massif in the Pacific – has an area roughly the size of Great Britain and Ireland combined.
45. Wombat excrements are cube-shaped. So far, we have not been able to determine the evolutionary advantage of excreta in this shape. It is assumed, however, that it allows the animals to better mark their territory.
46. When in England the packaging of the drug Tylenol was changed from a bottle to a blister pack, the suicide rate involving the drug decreased by more than 50 percent. Instead of taking several tablets out of the container at once, each tablet had to be squeezed out of the blister pack individually, giving people more time to reconsider their suicide attempt.
47. Helium is the only element that was not first discovered on Earth. Instead, it was discovered in 1868 in the form of previously unknown spectral lines in the light of the sun.
48. The longest “word” in the English language is the chemically correct designation of the protein “titin”. Titin is only the short form of the scientific name, which correctly begins with “Methionyl…” and ends with “…isoleucine”. The scientific name, however, consists of 189,819 letters and the pronunciation would take several hours, so that scientists only use the name “titin”.
49. The Russian Fyodor Vasilyev holds the record for most children fathered by a man with a woman. In the 18th century, his wife gave birth to a total of 69 children, including four sets of quadruplets, seven sets of triplets and 16 pairs of twins. Later on, he married again and fathered another 18 children with his second wife, including two sets of triplets and six pairs of twins.
50. The “Gombe Chimpanzee War” describes a four-year war between two hostile chimpanzee groups in Tanzania. During this time, there were mutual killings, violence and kidnappings. The war is considered the first known situation in which chimpanzees deliberately killed another chimpanzee.
51. The longest mathematical proof is more than 15,000 pages long and was written by more than 100 mathematicians.
52. Although apes have already been taught sign language and thus have the ability to answer a human question, no ape has ever asked a question by itself, despite having the necessary vocabulary to do so. Researchers therefore assume that the ability to ask questions requires a high cognitive level. Apes, however, do not seem to have this ability.
53. During the 1990s, software errors were the most common source of missile crashes in space travel. For example, the Ariane 5 rocket crashed in 1996 because the acceleration reading was stored as a 16-bit integer rather than a 32-bit integer.
54. From water depth of 33 feet and more there is no more red light. For this reason blood seems to be green at this depth.
55. Scientist Daniel Fahrenheit wanted to avoid negative temperature values on his temperature scale, so he defined the lowest temperature he could artificially reach as zero degrees Fahrenheit.
56. Human gastric acid is so corrosive that it could dissolve a razor blade.
57. Even during the night there are rainbows. They are called “moon bows”.
58. To protect the German soldiers from the British night vision technology, they spread the lie that eating lots of carrots helped British soldiers to increase their eyesight during night. A myth was born.
59. Historical finds prove that man sailed on ships as early as 6,000 years BC. The first traces of wheels, however, only date back to 4,000 years BC, meaning that ships seem to have been invented before the wheel.
60. “Pikachurin” is a protein that facilitates the correct transmission of electrical signals between the eye and the brain. It was discovered by Japanese scientists and named after the Pokémon Pikachu.
61. If classical music is played in wine shops, the turnover increases by 2.5 times compared to the wine shops where pop music is played.
62. The “hyoid bone”, a small bone in the oral cavity under the tongue, is the only bone in the human body that is not connected to another bone.
63. When the Big Bang theory was presented for the first time, it was rejected by many scientists because it seemed too religious.
64. The equal sign “=” was invented in 1557 by Robert Recorde.
65. The “Antarctic Treaty” signed in 1961 stipulates that no country may exploit Antarctica economically or use it militarily. Instead, Antarctica is to be made available to all countries of the world for research purposes.
66. The development of chemical drugs can be traced back to the Nazis. For example, scientists in the Third Reich discovered an active substance that helped soldiers to march 55 miles without stopping. Are you looking for more information on this incredible fact? We wrote an article only dedicated to this fact so make sure to check it out here.
67. If you tell yourself that you slept well last night even though you didn’t, you will still feel less tired. This is called placebo sleep.
68. In 1906, the physicist J. J. Thompson won the Nobel Prize for his proof that electrons are particles. 31 years later his son also received the Nobel Prize for his proof that electrons are a wave.
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69. The largest industrial accident ever happened on 16 April 1947 in Texas City. While cargo was being loaded, 2,200 tons of ammonium nitrate ignited on the ship Grandcamp in city’s port. The explosion was so massive that even at a distance of ten miles, people were knocked off their feet, and window panes burst as far as 37 miles away. 581 people died as a result of the explosion and over 8,400 people were injured.
70. A Geiger counter clicks when it is exposed to radioactivity because the radiation releases electrons from the noble gas in the counter tube. This causes a chain reaction, resulting in a brief flow of electrical current, which is made audible via a loudspeaker.
71. If you take the measure of anything, such as the height of a mountain, the length of a river or the price of a company’s share, then the probability that this number begins with a one is about 30 percent. The probability of this number beginning with a nine, on the other hand, is only five percent. This phenomenon is known as “Benford’s Law” and has frequently been used to disprove fake statistics. Isn’t that interesting? If you want to learn more about that topic you should read our article about Benford’s Law here.
72. The temperature scales Fahrenheit and Celsius meet at -40 degrees. So therefore -40° F = -40° C.
73. The FBI kept a 1,400-page file on Albert Einstein because he was suspected of being a Communist.
74. During his time in school Isaac Newton wrote an essay on how water moves from the roots to the leaves in a tree. This phenomenon could first be scientifically proven about 225 years later.
75. Without bats, there would be no tequila, as bats play a crucial role in pollinating agave plants, from which the alcohol is won.
76. In Iran 70 percent of all science students are female.
77. On 14 May 1939, Lina Medina gave birth to her first child at the age of five years and seven months. To this day, she is considered the youngest mother ever. When her parents took her to the hospital, the doctors first thought she was suffering from a tumor. The father of the baby is unknown.
78. 2,520 is the smallest number that can be divided by all numbers from 1 to 10 with the result being an integer, meaning that there is no remainder.
79. Marie Curie’s scientific notes are still so radioactive that you need to wear a protective suit to look at them safely.
80. Scientist Max Planck was advised by his professor Philipp von Jolly not to go into physics, as almost everything had already been discovered in theoretical physics. Planck replied that he only wanted to learn the basics. In 1919, Planck was awarded the Nobel Prize for his development of quantum theory.
81. The reflex that we automatically lead a small wound to our mouth is an innate protective mechanism. The saliva in our mouth helps the blood to coagulate and kills bacteria.
82. The medicine Imatinib is used to treat leukemia and costs 65,000 dollars for a year’s supply. In India the same medicine is available for 2,500 dollars a year, because the pharma company could not patent it there.
83. In 1889, the pharmaceutical company Bayer sold the drug diacetylmorphine, which was marketed as a remedy for morphine addicts. Nowadays, the drug is better known as “heroin”.
84. The International Space Station ISS is in orbit about 250 miles above the earth.
85. The minute takes its name from the Latin phrase “pars minuta”, which means “diminished part” and aims to describe the minute as being the smaller unit of time of the hour. The second was then called “pars minuta secunda”, which means “second diminished part” and thus describes the next smaller unit of time.
86. The human kidney can only produce urine up to a salt content of two percent. Salt water, however, has an average salt content of three percent, so our kidneys have to draw water from the body to lower the salt content of the water they take in. The consequence is that after drinking salt water you die of thirst, even though you have actually consumed water.
87. According to current knowledge, the Earth is the only known planet on which a fire can burn. None of the other known planets have enough oxygen for this.
88. During the 18th century, the most important first aid measure for drowned people was to blow tobacco smoke into their rectum.
89. Scientist Nikola Tesla had a strange peculiarity. He wanted all the number he encountered in everyday life to be divisible by three. For example, he would only move into a hotel room if its room number was a multiple of three.
90. In the case of “alien hand syndrome”, the affected person has no control over one of his or her hands. The hand acts completely uncontrolled and in the worst case can even try to strangle the affected person.
91. NASA has two identical satellites orbiting the Earth and repeatedly measuring the distance between each other to detect gravitational deviations. They are nicknamed “Tom” and “Jerry” because one satellite is always “chasing” the other.
92. A false pregnancy (scientific term: “pseudocyesis”) is a mental illness in which the affected person shows all the symptoms of a pregnancy without actually being pregnant. In addition to the absence of menstruation, swelling of the breasts and abdomen can also occur. The disease is an example of how great the influence of the psyche can be on a human organism.
93. During a solar eclipse, it appears to observers on earth as if the sun and moon were exactly the same size. However, this is only a huge coincidence, because the sun is 400 times as big as the moon, but also 400 times further away.
94. Cymothoa exigua, a parasitic isopod, is the only known parasite that can replace an entire body part of its host. First, the parasite feeds on the tongue of a fish until it completely replaces it and in doing so takes over the tongue’s function.
95. On the distant planet HD 189733b it rains molten glass at wind speeds of 4,350 miles per hour.
96. When you immerse yourself in water, your breathing stops automatically, your heart rate slows down and the blood increasingly migrates from your hands and feet into your upper body. This is referred to as the diving reflex, the exact cause of which has not yet been fully determined.
97. When the moon is furthest away from Earth, both celestial bodies are so far apart that all the planets in our solar system could fit in between.
98. As the water of a coconut is isotonic and sterile, it is used as saline solution in underdeveloped countries.
99. Mental tasks that require a particularly intensive involvement of short-term memory, usually lead to an interruption of all bodily activity. For example, if you are taking a walk with a friend and ask them to multiply 73 by 28, they will, in most cases, stop suddenly to solve the problem.
100. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a tattoo ink that changes color when a person is dehydrated or when his or her blood sugar level is too high.
101. Sunsets on Mars appear in a blue tone.
102. At the geographically most northern point on earth, every line you draw points south.
103. A study conducted by Oxford University in 2009 showed that playing Tetris after a traumatic event can significantly improve trauma management.
104. The unit of one “meter” was first introduced during the French Revolution and was defined as one ten-millionth of the distance between the North Pole and the equator.
105. One pound of muscles burns 16,300 calories per year.
106. Women suffering from “hyperlactation syndrome” produce excessive amounts of breast milk – up to 1.6 gallons of milk a day. A woman’s average milk production is usually less than 0.3 gallons per day.
107. Only two people have ever visited the lowest point on earth: the Mariana Trench. It is 36,201 feet below sea level. In contrast, twelve people have already been on the moon.
108. The bone density of people with a mutated LRP5 gene is eight times higher than in normal people. For these people, it is virtually impossible to suffer a fracture in a normal way.
109. One of the founders of the DNA structure – James Watson – was forced to sell his Nobel Prize in 2014 due to financial problems. He received 4.1 million dollars and the buyer gave him the Nobel Prize back afterwards.
110. When the first railroads started to operate, doctors warned of health effects, such as in the brain. This was due to its high speeds of up to 19 miles per hour.
111. Scientists have succeeded in creating a genetic strain of manioc that contains more iron and zinc than conventional plants of this type. The crop is a widespread food source, particularly in Latin America, and with this special breeding it could reduce the problem of zinc and iron deficiency in children within the region.
112. Scientists at the Chinese University of Hong Kong have shown that the protein lectin can help prevent the development of tumor cells, prevent viruses from multiplying, and even serve as the starting material for a cure for HIV. Since lectin is found in bananas and is responsible for the brown coloring of the fruit, the darkest bananas are therefore the healthiest.
113. The Nobel Prizes were established by the Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel. He invented dynamite and went on to become very wealthy because of it. Before dying, he drew up a will stipulating that after his death the majority of his assets were to go to his foundation. The interest generated from these assets is used to award annual Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace efforts. They were first awarded in 1901.
114. If you close your eyes and try to walk straight, you are involuntarily inclined to walk in circles. There is currently no explanation found by scientists as to why this happens.
115. In 1976 the BBC made an April fools hoax, that the planets in our sun system are located in a special constellation so that the gravity is decreased. This resulted in more than one thousand calls, confirming that one actually can feel the effect.
116. The beginnings of the Internet date back to 1969, when US universities and the military networked mainframes to make more efficient use of their computing power. It was not until 1990 that the Internet was made accessible to the general public.
117. In Novosibirsk, Russia, there is a monument to all laboratory mice in the world. The statue shows a mouse wearing a lab coat knitting a DNA helix to commemorate all laboratory mice and rats that died in the name of science.
118. The human eye already reached its final size at the age of three and no longer grows afterwards.
119. On Mercury, one day – one revolution on its own axis – lasts 59 earth days.
120. In order to better investigate the effects of a black widow’s poison, the scientist Allan Walker Blair voluntarily let the dangerous spider bite him.
121. Brazilian natives used ants as wound clamps. They let the ants bite and close the wound with their pincers and then pulled off their bodies. The pincers remained wedged in the body, closing the wound.
122. A study has shown that the brain can remember things on paper more easily than their digital equivalent.
123. Scientists assume that 10,000 years ago all humans still had brown eyes. It was only around this time that the first people with blue eyes were born in the region around the Black Sea. This is seen as an indication that humans continue to develop in their evolutionary biology.
124. The “Lady Macbeth effect” is the phenomenon of wanting to wash yourself physically, even if you have only “dirtied” yourself mentally. If a person is ashamed of an event, he or she will find it liberating to take a shower.
125. There is a large dark spot at the North Pole of Pluto’s moon Charon, and scientists have no idea what it is. They therefore called it Mordor, in reference to the mysterious dark land in “The Lord of the Rings”.
126. All time zones meet in Antarctica, so it is almost impossible to attribute an exact time to the place. Instead, the time of the country owning the respective research station is often used for simplification purposes.
127. When Wilhelm Röntgen discovered a new form of radiation, he could not think of a suitable name for this phenomenon, so he simply called it X-radiation. This is the reason why to this day the rays are called “X rays” in English, while in German-speaking countries they are known as “Röntgen rays”.
128. In the time since Pluto was discovered approximately 75 years ago, it has only traveled one third of its way around the sun.
129. The South African rock hyrax is only 20 inches tall, weighs about 8.8 pounds and looks like a big guinea pig. Nevertheless, its closest relative is the elephant.
130. To date, it is not clear why people and other animals need sleep. There are many theories, but even experts are uncertain about their accuracy.
131. Regions of the earth where the inhabitants clearly exceed the average life expectancy of the world population are called “Blue Zones”. Currently, only five Blue Zones are known worldwide. These are Okinawa (Japan), Sardinia (Italy), Nicola (Costa Rica), Ikaria (Greece) and Loma Linda (California). The reason why people there live so long is not clear.
132. Orthocarbonic acid is also known as “Hitler’s Acid”, as its graphic representation resembles a swastika.
133. The genetic defect “congenital analgesia” causes the affected person to feel absolutely to pain. In 2006, a 14-year-old suffering from this genetic defect jumped off a roof to show his friends that he does not feel pain. However, he died as a result of the injuries sustained during impact.
134. Scientist support that on Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, streams of water can be found.
135. The Paricutín volcano in Mexico was not there until 20 February 1943. Witnesses report having worked on a maize field that day and heard a dull “plop”. A day later, the volcano was already 33 feet high, and by the next day it had grown to 164 feet. A year later, the volcano had reached a height of 1,102 feet when it began to spew lava. Today, the volcano is 1,391 feet high and continues to be active.
136. In the past, the sickrooms of cancer patients were always round, as there was a superstition that cancer cells always gathered in the corners of rooms. To this day, you can still find many historic hospitals with round rooms.
137. The “spotlight effect” describes the phenomenon of people often imagining that other people are paying much more attention to them than they actually do.
138. If the sum of all the digits of a number is divisible by three, then the number itself can also be divided by three.
139. A hug lasting more than 20 seconds releases so much oxytocin that we begin to trust the other person more.
140. Studies show that people who live by the sea have lower levels of stress than others. Scientists suspect that the color blue may have a strong influence on stress levels.
141. Man has already left over 200 tons of garbage on the moon, including 70 spaceships, backpacks, 96 bags with urine and vomit as well as old boots.
142. Beards have a health-benefit effect. They prevent pollen from entering the mouth so that the possibility of getting hay fever is decreased.
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143. The first dinosaur bones were not discovered and scientifically described until 1824. So before that, people never knew that dinosaurs used to roam our planet.
144. At minimum, a person only needs one kidney with a capacity of at least 75 percent to survive.
145. The long drink “gin and tonic” was invented by the British in the 17th century as protection against malaria. The reason for this is that until 1940, the quinine contained in tonic water was the only substance known to be effective against malaria. However, since this also causes the tonic water to taste bitter, the drink was mixed with gin to improve its taste.
146. Around the region of the Ecuadorian city of Quito, a large number of the inhabitants suffer from a special form of dwarfism. The genetic mutation which inhibits growth also protects those affected from all forms of cancer and diabetes.
147. Studies conducted by the University of Michigan have shown a clear correlation between physical exercise and personal satisfaction. According to these studies, one training session per week is sufficient to sustainably increase the feeling of happiness. In addition, exercise is the most efficient way to reduce stress hormones.
148. If you multiply any integer by nine and then add the digits of the resulting number until there is only one digit left, you will end up with nine again.
149. The scientific name for the western lowland gorilla is “Gorilla gorilla gorilla”.
150. The more strenuous a mental task is, the larger a person’s pupils become.
151. Approximately one in 5,000 babies is born without an anus due to a deformity. Doctors then need to artificially reconstruct it after birth.
152. According to a social study conducted by Arizona State University, men think they are smarter than equally smart women. Women, on the other hand, tend to underestimate their abilities.
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153. A bird of paradise’s feathers are so black that they absorb 99.95 percent of all light. This is only 0.01 percentage points less than the blackest material ever created by humans.
154. In the 1880s, Charles Pickering, director of the Harvard Observatory, was constantly complaining about his male colleagues. One day he supposedly said that even his Scottish maid would be able to perform better. He decided to hire his housekeeper Williamina Fleming, who then went on to successfully lead a team for several decades, helping to classify thousands of stars. She even discovered a white dwarf and was the first human to find the Horsehead Nebula.
155. The mouthwash “Listerine” was originally marketed as a clinical antiseptic and later, in distilled form, as a floor cleaner.
156. Students get better test results when looking at a green landscape during the test.
157. The “Drinkable Book” contains instructions on how to filter your water properly. At the same time, it consists of separable pages with integrated silver particles that can eliminate around 99 percent of the bacteria in contaminated water. Each book has so many pages that it can supply a person with clean water for up to four years.
158. Black panthers are not an actual species. Instead, these are really leopards or jaguars that due to a genetic defect have a black coat.
159. One gram of DNA contains as much information as could be stored on 600 billion traditional CDs.
160. March 14th is the day of the number Pi. In the English notation 3/14, the date corresponds to the first three digits of the number.
161. Katherine Johnson, an African American born in 1918, was an incredible mathematician. Due to her special abilities, she attended high school at the age of ten and completed her studies when she was only 18. When she later worked for NASA, her talent for math was soon recognized and it became her job to verify the accuracy of computer-calculated orbits for planets.
162. Today, the Earth is surrounded by so much space debris that in the near future it may even be dangerous to leave the Earth in a spaceship. This phenomenon is also known as the Kessler syndrome.
163. Asia has a larger surface area than the moon. While the surface of the moon measures only 14,645,698 square miles, Asia covers a total of 17,212,368 square miles.
164. Valentina Tereshkova, sent into space in 1963, was the first woman in space. To this day, she remains the only woman to have been on a space mission alone. She was alone in space for a total of three days and orbited the Earth a total of 48 times.
165. With one “bite”, blue whales consume up to 1,100 pounds of food or almost half a million calories. Opening the mouth and eating food alone can burn up to 2,000 calories.
166. Regardless of body size, all mammals take an average of about 21 seconds to empty their bladders. Scientists refer to this as the “law of urination”.
167. In the early 20th century the Irish woman Mary Mallon, known as “Typhoid Mary”, became infected with typhoid fever and became the first person in the US to be infected with the bacterium, but not to fall ill with it. Due to her ignorance, she infected more than 100 people with the deadly disease and caused the death of several friends and acquaintances.
168. Stephen Hawking’s tombstone bears the formula he developed to calculate the entropy of black holes. He had requested this long before his death. Hawking was also buried near the graves of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.
169. The continent with the highest average education level is Antarctica.
170. NASA has special wristwatches produced for some of its employees that show the time of day on Mars.
171. There is a disease in which boys are born with testicles, but these remain inside the body after birth. The child’s penis is also so underdeveloped that the genitals resemble a vagina. Regular male genitals do not develop until puberty. 90 percent of all those affected live in the Dominican Republic, where the disease is also known as “Guevedoces”, which roughly translates as “balls at twelve”.
172. In a kidney transplant, the non-functional kidney is usually not removed from the body. Instead, the new donor kidney is inserted into the groin, meaning that after a kidney transplant, the patient has three kidneys.
173. It has been scientifically proven that yawning is more contagious in winter than in summer.
174. Goosebumps are a reflex from the times when man had much more hair. When our hair stands up, we appeared bigger and more menacing to enemies.
175. In New Zealand, there is a lake, which on average has a temperature of 147 degrees Fahrenheit due to geothermal processes.
176. The Arabic number system used around the globe today was originally developed in India and was only disseminated throughout the world by Arabic researchers.
177. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a method that uses laser to transmit voice messages directly into the recipient’s ear. So far, transmissions over a distance of 8.2 feet are reportedly possible.
178. Scientist Nikola Tesla once paid a hotel bill with the first functional model of his “death ray”. Management was advised not to open the box unless complying with strict safety precautions. After his death, the box was opened, and it turned out to contain nothing but old laboratory utensils.
179. The record for the longest time between the birth of twins is 87 days. One of the children was premature, while the other remained in the mother’s womb until the regular birth.
180. Since 1987, the Chinese government has been sending plant seeds into space on a regular basis in order to deliberately cause mutations in the plants due to the increased radiation in space. The objective is to create improved and more productive plants. This project has already yielded giant eggplants, a 1.6 feet long cucumber and higher yielding pepper plants.
181. All of our school textbooks show the solar system with the planets close enough to fit on one page. In actuality if you were to draw the solar system to scale and the earth was the size of a pea on paper Jupiter would be over 984 feet away and Pluto would be one and a half mile away. The nearest star would be 9,940 miles away on paper.
182. Thioacetone is considered the world’s worst smelling chemical. According to reports, when parts of the substance were released from a production site in Freiburg in 1889, it was reported that within a radius of 2,460 feet passers-by suddenly had to vomit because of the unbearable smell.
183. In 2016, in an experiment, a monkey succeeded in moving a wheelchair in which it was sitting through its thoughts alone.
184. There is a low probability that women can become pregnant a second time during pregnancy. This so-called phenomenon of “superfetation” is highly unlikely, but nevertheless possible. The last known case of a woman who was pregnant twice at the same time occurred in 2009.
185. The fuel of a Nazi V2 rocket was produced from 33 tons of potatoes – so-called potato schnapps.
186. The Indonesian chicken species “Ayam Cemani” has a genetic peculiarity that results in the animals being completely black. Not only is the plumage of the animals black, but also their eyes, skin, flesh, bones, claws and blood. The dark coloration is due to a natural genetic disposition of the chicken, which results in the animal forming more color pigments than other species.
187. Scientists of Stanford University observed that a walk can increase people’s creativity by up to 60 percent.
188. The largest ant colony in the world was discovered in 2002 and contains several billion animals. The superstate has many millions of nests and stretches over 3,580 miles from the Italian Riviera to the northwest of Spain.
189. 66 million years ago, an asteroid with a diameter of 6.2 to 9.3 miles hit the Yucatan peninsula – at the time still a shallow sea. The Chicxulub impact had a force of at least 200 million Hiroshima bombs and directly and indirectly caused the extinction of up to 75 percent of all plant and animal species living at that time.
190. Scientists believe that it is possible to exterminate all mosquitoes, without impacting on our global ecosystem.
191. An interesting new pattern of behavior was observed in Japanese crows. Nuts, which the animals are not able to crack on their own, are increasingly thrown onto roads by the crows so that cars drive over them and crack them. Afterwards, the crow flies back to the open nut and collects the contents.
192. “Semantic saturation” describes the psychological phenomenon that a word temporarily seems to lose or change its meaning if you say or write it down too many times in a row.
193. The “Deep Lake” in Antarctica is so salty that even at a temperature of -20°C it does not freeze.
194. The Flynn effect describes the fact that the average IQ increases with each generation. However, it is not clear why we humans are becoming more and more intelligent.
195. The American pygmy shrew has to eat three times its own body weight every day. For this, the animal has to go hunting again every 15 to 30 minutes, as even an hour without food would lead to its death.
196. The phenomenon of having to sneeze when suddenly exposed to bright light is called the photic sneeze reflex.
197. According to current scientific knowledge, it is assumed that about 8,000 years ago all people in Europe were dark skinned, and that a light skin color only developed recently over the course of the past millennia.
198. The molecule Penguinone got its name because of its chemical structure which resembles a penguin.
199. At least 50 percent of the oxygen in our atmosphere is produced by phytoplankton in the oceans and not by land plants. Due to the rising sea temperatures, however, the phytoplankton population continues to decline.
200. John Paul Stapp was a Brazilian researcher who investigated the effects of speed and acceleration on the human body. During an experiment carried out in 1954, he accelerated to 632 miles per hour before braking completely in 1.4 seconds. During this experiment, he was subject to 46.2 times the force of gravity. To this date, this is the highest acceleration a person has ever voluntarily withstood.
201. A few hours after an infection with HIV, post-exposure prophylaxis which can significantly reduce the risk of contracting the virus is possible.
202. “Point Nemo” is the place on the earth’s surface that is furthest away from any mainland or island. It is located in the southern Pacific Ocean, 1,670 miles from the nearest mainland. Even the astronauts on the ISS space station are closer to this point than any other person on the mainland anywhere.
203. No mammal can dive deeper than Cuvier’s beaked whale. A dive into the depth of the oceans can last up to 140 minutes and, according to measurements, reach a depth of 9,816 feet.
204. Werner Forßmann performed the world’s first cardiac catheterization. Since he was not allowed to carry out such a risky experiment on patients, he tested the method on himself. With the tube reaching through his arm into his heart, he then went to the hospital’s X-ray department and proved with the resulting evidence that heart catheters are possible on humans. Due to the high risk he had taken with this procedure, he was fired from the hospital. 27 years later, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine.
205. The word “idiot” is a psychology term that describes people with an IQ between 0 and 25.
206. In 2013, scientists added human brain cells to a mouse, and it actually went on to demonstrate improved cognitive abilities.
207. The Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral is located at exactly 28 degrees north latitude, as the moon’s orbit is also rotated by 28 degrees relative to the equator. When flying to the moon, you therefore receive maximum momentum from the earth’s rotation.
208. Malaria was once used to treat syphilis. As early as 1917, the Austrian physician Julius Wagner-Jauregg injected syphilis patients with the malaria pathogen in order for the resulting fever to kill the syphilis pathogens. The method of treatment was so successful that Julius Wagner-Jauregg was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1927. Since the discovery of penicillin, however, this method of treatment has been abandoned.
209. The largest bomb ever detonated was tested by the United States in 1954 and had an explosive power equivalent to a thousand times that of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb. After the test, the scientists found that the bomb had almost twice the explosive force they had previously calculated. The flash was seen 250 miles away, and radiation injuries occurred within a radius of more than 87 miles.
210. It has been scientifically proven that your nose actually grows when you lie. Scientists refer to this as the “Pinocchio effect”.
211. Venus rotates around its own axis at only four miles per hour. So you could walk around Venus faster than it can turn itself.
212. Okinawa Island in Japan is the safest place in the world. More than 450 people, who are more than 100 years old, live there.
213. When the height of Mount Everest was first determined in the 19th century, researchers calculated a total height of exactly 29,000 feet. The height they published, however, was 29,002 feet, as the researchers feared that a figure as even as 29,000 feet might be interpreted as a rough estimate.
214. The place with the lowest gravitational pull is in Canada.
215. The parrot “Alex” remains the only animal to ever have asked a question. When he was shown a mirror, he asked, “What color?”
216. The urine and sweat of people suffering from “leucinosis” smells of maple syrup. Those affected lack an enzyme needed to break down certain protein elements. For this reason, their bodies increasingly contain the degradation product “sotolone”, which smells strongly of maple syrup.
217. It is impossible to move your eyes smoothly from left to right or vice versa without interruption, unless you are following a moving object. The reason for this is that the eye always jumps from focus point to focus point with every movement.
218. In addition to the known blood types of the AB0 system, there is a fourth, very rare variant. It is colloquially called the Bombay blood group, since only about 20,000 people worldwide have this blood group, almost all of whom come from India.
219. It has been known since 1971 that the Olympus Mons volcano on Mars is the largest known volcano in our solar system. By comparison, it was not until 2013 that the largest volcano on Earth was discovered: the Tamu Massif in the Pacific.
220. The Tetris effect, or Tetris syndrome, is the phenomenon that occurs when a person spends so much time on an activity that it affects all of their thinking, visual perception and even their dreams. So people who have played too much Tetris often dream of falling blocks or try to bring more order into all areas of their lives.
221. If you keep on walking north long enough, you will eventually be walking south. If, however, you keep on walking east, you will never be moving west.
222. Joy Milne from Britain has the ability to recognize whether somebody is suffering from Parkinson’s by smell. In a scientific test, she identified the six people among the twelve test subjects who suffered from Parkinson’s disease based only on their smell. However, she also claimed that a seventh person who was actually part of the control group had the disease. Later on, this person was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s, so that Joy ultimately passed the test without a single error. To this day, scientists do not know how Joy Milne’s ability works, but they hope to use this knowledge to find new ways to detect Parkinson’s disease.
223. While the mortality rate for cancer ten years ago was 215 deaths per 100,000 people, it has subsequently decreased to 172.
224. In 1967 a solar storm almost caused a nuclear war. The charged solar particles caused the US early rocket warning system to fail, so that the Americans first assumed that the Soviet Union had launched a targeted interference attack in order to be able to carry out a nuclear strike on the USA.
225. Even blind people have optical hallucinations after taking LSD. However, this only occurs in those who have lost their vision during their lifetime.
226. In 1960, Frances Kelsey, an executive at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), refused to approve thalidomide as a painkiller for pregnant women, even though the drug had already been approved in more than 20 other Western countries. Later on, it was discovered that the drug, marketed under the name “Contergan”, caused severe disabilities in children. So Frances Kelsey’s decision saved countless children in the United States.
227. The oxygen levels of a fetus in the womb are almost as low as on Mount Everest. The low oxygen level helps the fetus to sleep most of its time in the womb.
228. “Trimethylaminuria” is a metabolic disease that causes the patient to smell strongly of old fish.
229. During the first days in space, astronauts often suffer from space sickness. Since all bodily fluids are redistributed in weightlessness and the sense of balance is impaired, important tasks such as outboard work are not carried out in the first days of a space mission. There would be an acute risk of the astronauts throwing up in their suits.
230. “Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva” (abbreviated “FOP”) is a rare disease in which the affected person slowly petrifies while still alive. The disease converts healthy muscle, connective and supporting tissue into bone material.
231. The deepest species ever found is the devil worm (Halicephalobus mephisto). It was discovered in a cave in South Africa 2.2 miles underground.
232. Throughout its career, the British rock band Pink Floyd has released so many songs with astronomical allusions that scientists have named an asteroid after the band. “19367 Pink Floyd” was discovered in 1997 and has a diameter of over 4,100 miles.
233. The astronomer Eugene Shoemaker is the only human whose ash was transported to the moon after his death.
234. An adult oyster can clean and filter up to 190 liters of water per day.
235. Due to strong solar storms in 1859, the earth experienced the strongest geomagnetic storm ever recorded. The storm was so strong that you could see auroras even in Rome and some telegraphs could be operated for more than two hours without being connected to the power grid, using only the energy produced by the geomagnetic storm.
236. In 1994 the iPad would have been the fastest computer on earth.
237. Papua New Guinea is the country with the greatest variety of languages spoken in a single country. Although the country has only about eight million inhabitants, more than 700 different languages are spoken.
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238. Lynlee Hope Boemer was born twice. In the 23rd week of pregnancy, the girl was taken out of her mother’s womb by doctors to remove a tumor. After the successful operation, the girl was placed back into the womb, and twelve weeks later the healthy baby was born.
239. Leonid Rogozovy is the only human to do an appendectomy with local anaesthesia on himself.
240. Physicist Nikola Tesla is said to have had an eidetic (photographic) memory and spoke eight different languages fluently: Serbo-Croatian, Czech, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian and Latin. Even Albert Einstein was convinced that Tesla was more intelligent than he was.
241. Researchers believe that only ten percent of our seas are explored. This means we know less about our oceans than about the moon.
242. In 2017, researchers discovered the largest dinosaur footprint to date in Western Australia. The footprint is over 5 feet long and is said to be over 130 million years old.
243. Anna Bågenholm survived the second lowest body temperature ever recorded in humans. Due to a skiing accident, she was trapped in water under a layer of ice for 80 minutes. Her body temperature dropped to 56.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Although doctors believed her to be clinically dead, she survived the incident without further damage.
244. At the beginning of the 20th century, radium was often used as an ingredient in facial cream.
245. The Small World Phenomenon states that every person on the planet is connected to every other person through a short chain of only six acquaintances
246. The Scully effect is the term used to describe the fact that after the TV series “The X-Files” was broadcast, women became increasingly interested in scientific professions. The reason for this was the female protagonist Dana Scully, who solved curious cases for the FBI thanks to her medical studies.
247. With an IQ of approximately 230, the Australian mathematician Terence Tao is the most intelligent person in the world.
248. In the 19th and 20th centuries, a family clan with predominantly bluish skin lived in the Appalachian Mountains in the USA. This was due to a disease called methemoglobinemia, which was repeatedly passed on within the Fugate family due to the isolated living conditions in the mountains.
249. In 2018, a message in a bottle was found in Australia which had been dropped into the Indian Ocean by a German research vessel in 1886.
250. Because of a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases, scientists predict that the ozone hole will close in 2075.
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