There are around 2 billion species on Earth – with 6.8 million likely to be species of insects.
The old wives tale that we’re attracted to people who look like our parents has some strange ties. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex share more than just a marriage. Apparently, they share an ancestor dating 15 generations back.
The strings of string instruments were originally made from the guts of animals like sheep or lamb. Now, instrument makers have transitioned to metal wiring. But before metal, it was common for all string instruments to be made from the guts of the animals geographically available to them.
Advertising schemes have made people do wacky things – including, flipping the script on engagement culture. You know the story: the man spends a small fortune for a ring, kneels, and pops the question. Well, in 1926, jewellers paired with advertisers to sell the concept of the male-gagement ring. Jewellers may not fess up to this today, but male engagement rings had names like the Pilot, the Stag and the Master.
It’s rumoured that Queen Elizabeth II never wears the same hat twice. If she did, she waits years to wear them again, and evidently, there’s a spreadsheet recording her exact outfit per day. So, what does she do with all of those hats? A one-time-only exhibit showcased the many hats and handbags she wore during public engagements.
The ‘devil horns’ hand sign seen thrown up at rock concerts can be offensive in other countries. In European and South American countries, this hand-sign is a sign that a man’s wife has been unfaithful. The meaning dates back to the etymological meaning of ‘cuckold’ which is ‘horned’ in Italian, Spanish, and Greek.
In about 20 years, the future could look eerily similar to Wall-E. Artificial intelligence expert Kai-Fu Lee said that 40 per cent of human jobs could be replaced by equally-capable robots. And, drivers might be affected the most.
There are lots of quirky things about Disney World that some think are underground, but this fact literally is. The tunnels were built in response to characters having to run through other lands to get to their posts, which spoiled the magic. Thanks to the tunnels, Belle can run peacefully to her land.
Water is our body’s mechanical oil – without it, it can’t function. You lose about 8 per cent of your body water while on a flight. This is because the humidity in the climate-controlled environment can be as low as 10 to 15 per cent.
Here’s more information about how to have the best in-flight experience.
You’ll want your bass-heavy headphones for this one. Sensors on the NASA InSight lander on Mars picked up the first recorded sounds of Martian wind through vibrations. The wind can be heard at a decibel within human range with the help of headphones.
The current skin you’re in will be gone in a month – our skin sheds 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells each day. In fact, over 100 of those cells probably flaked off while reading this sentence. However, it rejuvenates just as quickly as it deteriorates. Regular exfoliation twice a week helps rid lingering skin cells to make room for a fresh layer.
Trees talk. Their roots are connected through an underground network of fungi, nicknamed the Wood Wide Web, that allows them to share resources with each other. They ‘talk’ by transmitting nutrients to one another through the fungi. For instance, a mother tree, or oldest and strongest tree in the forest, will share some of her sugars with smaller, nearby trees.
The secret to pain relief may be in your backyard. For centuries, willow bark has been used as an alternative to aspirin. The active ingredient in the bark, salicyl, turns to salicylic acid and is more gentle on the stomach than over-the-counter aspirin.
Why do people smile when they have their photo taken? Smiling in photos is said to have originated from a Kodak advertising scheme that focused on capturing moments of happiness with the product. Since then, it’s been the norm to grin into the camera. A study comparing yearbook photos from 1905 to 2005 showed an increase of lip curvature over time.
The longest human neck extends to 19.55 centimetres, belonging to women in the Padaung tribe in the highlands of northwestern Thailand. This is about twice the length of an average human neck. As a cultural practice, the tribe fashions heavy brass rings on a female’s neck from the ages of 5 to 9 and add more as she ages.
Before it became sushi, that tuna could sail off the plate in lightning speed. The fastest speed a tuna can swim has been recorded at over 45 km/h.
What’s widely credited as the first documentary, Nanook of the North, was not true. Most of the film was staged – including its cast and surroundings. Although it ‘blazed cinematic trails’ for its time, most of the film is full of “faking and fudging in one form or another,” as said in Criterion.
You’d think that the bigger the stomach, the more hot dogs would be able to fit, right? Not quite. Popular Science expanded on the theory that lighter contestants can out-compete their heavier eaters. The reasoning behind this is that a skinny person has room for their stomach to expand without being blocked by a ring of fat.
Instead, the ‘pioneer of rockabilly music’ Carl Perkins wrote the illustrious song that sold 2 million copies before Presley covered it, according to the LA Times. It is even said that Perkins wrote the song on an old potato sack, according to Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Wise Up!
That’s the typical amount of time it takes to watch one episode of The Office. But in 2016, professional free diver Aleix Segura Vendrell broke this world record in a breathtaking attempt.
Like humans’ fingerprints, each lion has a whisker pattern unique to their nose, according to the New York Times. Back in the late ’60s, researchers conducted a whisker hole identification method that involved overlapping photographs of lions noses with a standard grid.
Gadsby is a lipogram, or, a novel written without the letter ‘E’. The author, Ernest Vincent Wright, wrote the novel in 1939.
It sounds phony, but it’s time tested. If an egg floats when you set it in water, then it’s old; if it sinks, it’s a fresher egg and you’re good to go.
Because postage was cheaper than a train ticket, according to Smithsonian, some frugal parents in the USA chose this option. Newspapers ran amusing headlines, such as “Baby by Parcel Post” and “Parcel Post Baby Makes Trip Along L & E Railroad.”
A survey by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi and German foundation Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung found that a high number – 84 per cent! – of Indian youth were in arranged marriages.
The intuitive reason why humans blink so much, 15 to 20 times per minute, is for eye lubrication. But, new research suggests that it’s to give our brains a break. Although these breaks only last for a few seconds, they could be giving the brain a chance to go idle and recharge.
Well, for only about 15 seconds. It takes that long for humans to lose consciousness in space due to lack of oxygen to the brain. In 1965, a technician was inside a vacuum chamber and accidentally depressurised his suit. After 12 to 15 seconds he lost consciousness, but his suit was repressurised at 27 seconds. According to Scientific American, the man recalled “the moisture on his tongue beginning to boil as well as a loss of taste sensation that lingered for four days following the accident.”
The secret is out: it’s the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, located in one of the coldest corners of the world: an island on the Svalbard archipelago, between Norway and the North Pole. This remote location allows natural permafrost cooling necessary for proper storage of the world’s largest collection of crop diversity. If the zombie apocalypse were to become a reality, or if farmers’ fields start to dry out, this seed vault would come to the rescue.
Stuxnet is the MVP of computer viruses as it’s able to “[escape] the digital realm to wreak physical destruction on equipment the computers controlled,” per WIRED. Also, according to National Geographic, it’s been able to unlock computer-controlled locks in prisons.
According to the US Food and Agriculture Organisation, these three simple, yet vital, ingredients make up the world’s staple foods and provide the majority of the world’s calorie intake.
The most popular, but likely wrong theory, is that yawning increases levels of oxygen to the brain. A more plausible theory: yawning cools the brain down. A study conducted on mice found that as mice sucked in air, their jaws stretched – this increases blood flow to the brain. This combination of cooler air intake when yawning mixed with the blood flowing to the brain is thought to eventually cool the brain down.
Viruses are not living things – they are inanimate and do not have cells. Which means that they “cannot turn food into energy, and without a host, they are just inert packets of chemicals,” according to Discover Magazine.
A man analysed 1300 songs from the top 100 charts in pursuit of patterns. As for chords, he discovered that the most common key in music is C, ranking at 26%. Popular songs in the C key include Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” and “Take Me to Church” by Hozier.
Love is what makes the world go round, after all. In a study, eight out of 10 music genres report the word ‘love’ as the most used word – excluding rap and heavy metal.
Research shows that goats are socially aware of the environment they’re in. They can “differentiate between other goats’ happiness or displeasure by listening to their voices,” according to National Geographic.
Hailing all Harry Potter fans! If Muggles came across Hogwarts, it would only appear to look like an abandoned building with a ‘Keep Out: Danger’ sign on it.
Apparently a fairly nutritious snack, jellyfish can be prey to young green sea turtles (and as plastic bags look like jellyfish in the water, turtles are susceptible to eating plastic). As they age, green sea turtles become more herbivorous and stray away from eating just anything.
After about five minutes in the bathtub, you begin to notice that tiny wrinkles are forming on your hands and feet. Why is that? Researchers speculate that it’s the body’s biological way of getting a grip when in a slippery condition. And, they found that the specific ways that human skin wrinkles are similar to river drainage systems.
This simple-looking, yet mind-boggling game is said to be the oldest strategy game that’s still played. According to the American Go Association, the game is said to have originated in China anywhere from 2,500 to 4000 years ago.
The residents of Barrow, Alaska must be the most avid consumers of vitamin D supplements, because their town sees darkness for about 65 days of the year. The 65 days of darkness, known as polar night, is due to their geographical location above the Arctic circle.
Nemo had a wild ride when he went for a cruise on Crush’s back. Sea turtles can swim as fast as 56.32 km/h.
It wasn’t until 2014 that a drought exposed an apparent circular outline of Stonehenge. Though now a semi-circle in shape, marks that may have signalled where stones might’ve been have given some credence to the idea that Stonehenge was originally a fully-formed circle in shape.
You goat-ta believe it: mountain goats are not goats, but are goat-antelopes, according to National Geographic.
Nearly 70 per cent of Earth’s freshwater is stored in the coldest spots on the globe: in glaciers and icecaps.
While Bill Gates scored 1590, his business partner, Paul Allen, seared past him at a perfect 1600.
If you need an extra boost in the morning, we suggest reaching for green tea’s mighty cousin – matcha. One cup of matcha, a type of green tea, packs in 280 mg of caffeine, while traditional green tea contains a meek 35mg. This is eight times the regular amount.
Written in 2000 BC, the world’s oldest love poem was stored unimportantly in a museum drawer in Turkey – until Sumerologist Samuel Noah Kramer saw it. The world’s oldest love poem etched into a clay tablet tells the tale of beauty and love; themes that prevail in modern poems.
Toddlers must be creating them because ‘password’ comes in at a rather high rate too, according to CNN. This data comes from a list from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre that analysed passwords worldwide.
A total of 2,200 Americans were surveyed by the National Science Foundation in 2012. The numbers were startling: 1 in 4 incorrectly answered that the sun revolves around the Earth.