Welcome to this installment of Random Facts! Below you will find the finest curated facts for your reading pleasure. Each week we endeavor to bring you mind blowing tidbits from around the world. Don’t forget to follow us and stay in the know!
1. Zombies Are Real!
Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis is a type of fungus that is known for its parasitic nature. But don’t worry, it doesn’t affect humans! That’s a relief. It has been known to change to behavior of ants in order to make them do its bidding so that it can reproduce and thrive. Creepy, huh? We’ll just stick to the horror movies and pretend this isn’t real.
2. The Longest English Word (Technically)
You won’t find this word in any English dictionary, and for good reason. Titin is the more palatable name for a giant protein that aids in muscle contraction. The formal name is comprised of 189,819 letters and is purported to take upwards of 3 hours to pronounce. For the sake of brevity, we will not post it here, but a simple Google search will show you this fantastic word in all its glory. If you do decide to take on that challenge, make sure it’s between meals. It’s already a word salad.
3. Pizzly Bear? Hold on
A not so beautiful name for a gorgeous animal, the Pizzly Bear is the result of a Polar Bear and a Grizzly mating. It is also known as a Grolar Bear, Grizzlar or Nanulak. I wouldn’t want to encounter one of those, considering that Polar and Grizzly are some of the fiercest protectors around. How scary would a hybrid be?
4. 20-Year-Old Pope
It’s true! The youngest Pope to ever take the throne of the Roman Catholic Church was Theophylactus of Tusculum, aka Pope Benedict IX. He ruled three different times and was universally disliked. Among other notables, he was the only Pope in history to have sold the Papacy. That makes us wonder how we was able to serve three different times.
5. National Unicorn?
Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn. Believe it or not. We know that Scotland is full of “magical” scenery and, to be fair, they have quite a few mythical legends, but how does the unicorn become the symbol of a respected country? Well, according to historians it’s because of what they represent: Independence and being difficult to conquer! Horns off to you Scotland. I’m currently looking for a Knight in Shining Armor position, you know, if you’re searching.
6. Don’t Pass Out
When you think of a sloth you usually bring to mind images of laziness and well, all around sloth like behavior; certainly not endurance. However, did you know that a sloth can hold its breath for up to 40 minutes? I can’t hold mine for 40 seconds. What do they do under water for that amount of time? Is that how they bathe and sleep simultaneously? They are also very good swimmers, owing to their long and strong arms.
7. Incredible Growing Tower
It may sound a little odd but the Eiffel Tower grows and shrinks depending on the weather. If you were to visit the monument on a hot and sunny day you could find yourself as much as 7 inches higher than someone who visited on a cold day. This of course is due to the expansion and contraction of the metal that makes up its bulk, but it’s still fun to imagine an inanimate object growing before your eyes!
8. The Empire Lives
Rome was once poised to take over the entire world and certainly it occupied much of the known world in its time. We know the Empire eventually did fall but in a small way it did actually take over the entire planet. Aside from the well-known city of today in Italy, it turns out there is a city named Rome on every single continent. It’s a small victory but a victory nonetheless.
9. Great Vision!
According to NASA, on a clear night you can see at least 20 quadrillion miles. I can’t see 2 feet in front of my face without my glasses. Just imagine the kinds of worlds you are seeing with that much space in front of you. Interestingly, NASA also says that you cannot see millions of stars no matter how dark it is because there just aren’t that many close enough to us to view.
10. The Beating of the Gigantic Heart
The heart of a blue whale is so massive that its beat can be heard up to two miles away. Wow! That’s impressive. However, because of its size it only beats around 2-37 times per minute depending on if it’s diving or surfacing. Oh, and it weighs a whopping 400 lbs!
11. Being a Good Tipper
If you have the misfortune of being bad at math and there isn’t a calculator handy, fear not! It’s actually quite simple to leave a good tip. Let’s pretend for a second that you have a bill that is $27.00. In order to calculate a 10% tip, you need only move the decimal one spot to the left for $2.70. And if you want to be a better tipper then you just double that amount for a 20% tip. Now you have $5.40 and a happier server.
12. Smile, You’ll Be Happier
Courtesy of my partner in crime Ms. Chavez, I bring you perhaps the most important random fact of all. Smiling, even when you force it, can help make you happier. Think about it, who can be angry, sad and happy at the same time? Do yourself a favor and start working those facial muscles. Your mind will thank you!
We hope you have enjoyed these random facts to brighten your day (at least a little) and stay tuned for more installments! We’re always looking for ways to make a positive impact! Let us know which facts you think are the most interesting and maybe we’ll feature them in an upcoming installment.