50 Fascinating Facts People Shared on Reddit

The internet has no shortage of information. If there’s something you want to know about the most specific topic in the world, you can bet that there’s an internet forum somewhere filled with experts. One site people rely on for nuggets of knowledge in Reddit. The user u/RyanBlitzpatrick asked the kind folks of r/AskReddit for facts that blow your mind, and they delivered. Here are 50 things interesting facts about the world that Reddit users shared with the world.

Memory Recall

We’d like to start this off with something so crazy that many of us wouldn’t believe it. You’re probably already aware that flatworms can turn into two different beings if you slice them in half. But did you know flatworms can regain their memories from their past lives?

We’re not exactly sure how scientists figured this one out, but we’ll take their word for it. And if that wasn’t crazy enough, if a flatworm eats another flatworm, it’ll obtain its food’s memories. So, imagine how freaky it would be to munch on something and have the memory of being munched on.  

Father of Evolution

English naturalist, biologist, and geologist, Charles Darwin, has been credited for proposing the theory of biological evolution through the means of natural selection. Basically, animals who can adapt to their surroundings will survive while the rest are lost in time. His name certainly should ring a bell whether you believe this theory or not.

His controversial hypothesis was published in the 1859 book On the Origin of Species. While the theory of evolution was controversial from the beginning, not once did he even use the term “evolution” in his publication. However, it’s safe to infer from his findings that he totally meant evolution.

That’s Really Old

Modern science and medicine have helped extend our lifespan by quite a lot. In fact, reaching the ripe age of 60 is not a major feat, and there are even places on the planet where its people regularly reach centenarian status (100 years old). But for certain animals, 100 years is just the peak of their teenagehood.

Bowhead whales can normally reach around 200 years before succumbing to old age, whereas the Greenland Shark can live for 400 years and beyond. To think that some of the oldest Greenland Sharks were still alive when the Great Plague was claiming the lives of a quarter of the citizens in Seville, Spain, is just crazy.ADVERTISEMENT

Imaginary Magenta

Ladies and gentlemen, our entire lives have been one gigantic lie. It turns out that we can’t always believe what we see. If your favorite color is magenta, we hate to break it to you, but you’ve fallen in love with an imaginary color. Thanks, science, for ruining it for us.Editorial content

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Apparently, magenta doesn’t have its own wavelength. When our eyes perceive two equal red and violet tinges, they just average them to fabricated a color for our brains to understand. What does this mean for our magenta lipsticks and blush? Nothing. We all see the same faux red-violet. Or do we? Continue reading to find out what we mean.

And it’s Not Even the Oldest University

Lots of students from around the world aspire to attend the University of Oxford for their bachelor’s studies. However, competition is so high that even a 5.0 GPA in high school won’t guarantee you a seat. Why is this? Well, as it turns out, the University of Oxford is one of the most prestigious and oldest universities on the planet.

To put its age in perspective, the university was fully established and teaching the brightest minds of the generation during the Aztec Empire’s golden years. What’s even crazier is that the University of Oxford isn’t the oldest university in the world. The oldest is the University of al-Qarawinyyin in Morocco, which was established 237 years before Oxford (as a mosque).

Guess That Means They Can’t Smell Themselves

The fact that rats can’t vomit isn’t as mind-blowing as it is odd. Apparently, rats can neither barf nor burp, nor can they experience the burning sensation of acid indigestion. After researchers cracked open a rat carcass (for scientific purposes), they discovered a powerful lining between the esophagus and stomach.

The esophageal muscles aren’t powerful enough to reposition the barrier lining, which is essential for releasing vomit. So, how do they purge their systems of toxins if they can’t hurl chunks? First, they avoid toxins altogether, and second, they dilute any toxins they accidentally consume by eating dirt and clay.

Fingerprint-Free Fingers

Now, this “fact” isn’t technically true. Babies begin developing fingerprints in the womb long before they’re even born. At the 23rd week of pregnancy, ridges will begin to form in the hands, palms, and soles of the unborn fetus, which are the foundations for unique prints later on in life.

However, after birth, these ridges are so fine and shallow that attempting to fingerprint them would result in a blurry blob of ink. Only after six months can you properly record their prints, though some babies fully develop fingerprints after 12 to 18 months. Don’t use your newborn baby as an accessory to commit a crime!

Turn Back the Clock!

No. Just… no. We hate this fact more than anything else. As of the date we wrote this piece, 1990 was 30 years, 11 months, and 21 days ago. 2050 is 30 years and 12 days from now. No. We don’t want to grow old. Someone invent a time machine and take us back to the past (not the brightest solution, as you’ll see later on in this list).

This, unfortunately, is the incredibly sad truth. The days of frosted tips, baggy jeans, and blindingly colorful clothing are long gone. However, we can only pray that our children make it to 2050 without having to inhale noxious fumes.

Sweet, Refreshing Oxygen

It’s nuts that the human mind can come up with incredible things. We’ve learned to fly, photograph distant galaxies, and create world-ending bombs. However, without the simplest things like water, food, and oxygen, we wouldn’t have made it past infancy. This just shows how powerful yet fragile the human mind and body can be.

Something everyone should memorize is the Rule of Threes. Although it varies from person to person, the rule is three minutes without oxygen, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Unless you’re an action movie star, holding your breath for longer than three minutes can lead to the beginnings of brain damage.

I Wonder Whether I Have an Inner Monologue

Never once did we think that there were some people who don’t have an internal narrative. Now, hearing voices in your head and having an inner voice are very different things, but there are actually some people who hear neither of these things. Instead, what goes on in their mind is a jumble of abstract sounds, which they have to interpret.

Well, this the truth is actually a lot more complex than this Reddit user stated. After more thorough research, scientists discovered that the thoughts in some people’s minds are a mix of words and sounds. Still, it’s pretty freaky to think that there are people out there who don’t think just using words.

Brush Your Bones Twice a Day

What would you do if you saw someone’s bones jutting out of their body? The thought of seeing exposed bone poking out of flesh isn’t a pretty one, but it’s actually a lot more common than we think. Our chompers are made of the same material as our skeletons that keep up standing upright.

Make sure you take good care of your bones by drinking plenty of milk, eating lots of vitamin-D-rich foods, and brushing them twice a day. Also, make sure you schedule an appointment with the exposed bone doctor, aka dentist, every six months or so. Your bones might need realigning if they protrude from your gummy flesh at an angle.

Ancient by Ancient Standards

Do you know when the Great Pyramids of Giza were built? According to researchers, they estimate that the pyramids have stood for roughly 4,500 years since construction. 4,500 years might not seem like a very long time, considering the age of our planet, but this fact will blow your mind.

To Cleopatra, the last ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, these pyramids were already ancient buildings while she was in power. She lived closer to the invention of the iPhone than she did the construction of these magnificent buildings in her own land. Yeah, let that sink in for a moment.

Woosh

More than 30 people committed suicide by jumping off the Empire State Building. That’s a pretty horrific way to go, and it must be traumatizing to the unsuspecting people on the ground. What there’s one case where a woman tried and failed to end her life by leaping over the edge.

This case is so crazy, we have a difficult time believing it. In December 1979, after being let go, Elvita Adams jumped out of an 86th-story window, only to land on the ledge of the 85th floor. A powerful gust of wind pushed her back toward the building, effectively ruining her suicide attempt.

Nintendo Solitaire

To most people, Nintendo is just one of those companies that have been around from before they were born. Nobody can tell when Nintendo was founded off the top of their heads, but if we had to guess, we’d say 1970s or the 1960s at the earliest. It turns out that this video game company is a lot older than that.

In fact, the story of Nintendo goes all the way back to September 23, 1889, when founder Fusajiro Yamauchi began selling handmade playing cards called hanafuda. You can still find some of these classic cards online, but we’re warning you that they can cost more than three times that of the Nintendo Switch.

Our Planet Misses You

This fact might not seem like such a huge deal, but if you think about it, it’s quite odd. Until 20 years or so in the past, every human was safe on Earth. People dreamed of colonizing other planets or spending their lives drifting in space, but that’s exactly what it was. Just a dream.

In 1998, after a multinational collaborative effort, mankind launched the International Space Station into orbit. Just two years later, the first three-person crew made their way into the habitable satellite to do science-y stuff up there. Since then, there has always been at least Earthling inside of the ISS.

Did the Mammoths Build the Pyramids?

If you thought the fact about Cleopatra was wild, get a load of this. How long ago did wooly mammoths live? According to fossil findings, they died out after the last ice age, which took place roughly 10,000 years in the past. However, evidence shows that there were a few stragglers long after that, with their remains being dated back to about 3,500 years ago.

This means that the pyramids were already about 1,000 years old, and wooly mammoths survived while the pyramids were being built. However, no evidence shows that these mammals were in Egypt, let alone used to construct the pyramids. That would’ve been pretty wild.

Luscious, Green Sahara

When people think of Sahara, a vast desert land with minimal rainfall and all sorts of lizard critters come to mind. However, if you asked someone 6,000 years ago, they’d probably draw you an entirely different image (assuming you could speak the same language as them). You see, the Sahara Desert wasn’t always a desert.

In fact, scientists theorize that the Sahara was once a luscious marshland filled with green vegetation, freshwater fish, and amphibians. However, when the Strait of Gibraltar closed by natural means, the flow of water into the Saharan lakes eventually dried up. And over a period of thousands of years, it became the sandy landscape we currently know it as.

Not 1, Not 2, But 5!

There are lots of crazy facts about the praying mantis. For instance, it can turn its head a full 180 degrees. They also commonly host a species of horsehair worm that can grow up to 90 centimeters, roughly five times the length of the praying mantis. Also, praying mantises have five eyes.

Where are they, you ask? If you look closely, you’ll see three tiny dots in the middle of the insect’s head. The three eyes detect light while the two bulbous eyes on either side of its head detect motion and depth. Though the eyes don’t serve any crazy purposes, you’d never know they were there just by looking at a praying mantis.

The Old President’s House

We all know George Washington, the man who invented peanut butter. Oh wait, wrong George Washington. This one was the first US president who held office for two terms. Despite being one of the Founding Fathers of our great nation, his second term ended before the White House was completed.

The first president to call the White House his home was John Adams, and even then, it was only midway through his term (1800) that he moved in. A year later, he was evicted by the people of our country, and his vice president, Thomas Jefferson, the founder of mac and cheese, stepped up.

46 Times For Your Return Ticket

Our minds aren’t programmed to fully comprehend or visualize the magnificence of exponents. For instance, did you know that if you fold a piece of Bible paper 45 times and stood on top of it, it would take you to the moon? If you don’t believe u/ceph42, you should give it a try.

Here’s another example of exponents that we can’t wrap our heads around. If you place a single grain of rice on the first square of a checker board and double the number for every subsequent square, by the time you reach the 64th square, you’ll have a tower of 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 grains (264).

5,832 Hours a Day, 1.92 Days a Year

Venus doesn’t get as much love as it deserves. It’s an odd planet that’s only second closest to the sun, but it’s a wonky one that definitely requires more research. But from what scientists have gathered about this planet of love and beauty, a single day on the hottest planet in our solar system lasts 5,832 Earth hours. And you thought living in Alaska was bad.

But that’s not all! Even though the planet rotates at a slower rate than Earth, it makes its way around the sun in record time. Every Venusian year lasts 225 days or roughly 5,400 hours, making it one of the most mysterious celestial oddities in our solar system.

1/500,000,000

This fact might not seem baffling at first, but take some time to reflect just how miraculous you are. A fertile male produces roughly 5 milliliters of semen per ejaculate, and in every milliliter, there are 100 million sperm cells. So, you were competing against 499,999,999 other wiggly cells to fertilize your mother’s egg, and you won first prize. Congrats!

But the confusing math doesn’t end there. The probability of you having your parents, being conceived on that special day, and having your unique genetic makeup is 1 in 400 trillion. Don’t for a second think that you’re wasting your time on the internet. You beat the odds! You deserve it!

Seeded in 2833 BCE

Methuselah, the oldest tree known to man, is over 4,800 years old. It’s totally crazy that this tree was but a wee sapling when the pyramids were still being built. We’re sorry for taking you back to Ancient Egypt for the third time on this list, but it really does help put thousands of years in perspective.

If you want to visit this tree, you should head on over to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in Inyo National Forest. However, the exact location of the tree is kept under tight wraps by the US government. They probably had to deal with graffiti from inebriated tourists in the past.

Life-Saving Invention

When you hear someone say that they did something out of the goodness of their heart, you aren’t necessarily going to believe them. You might also think that there is an anterior motive because no one is nice for the sake of being nice, right?

Perhaps we don’t give people enough slack, because in 1959 when Volvo invented the revolutionary three-point seatbelt, they decided to share the patent with every other car manufacturer because saving lives was more important than making a profit.

That’s a Lot of Meat

It would be hard to forget the very controversial dress Lady Gaga wore to the MTV Video Music Awards in 2010. This dress had everyone talking, regardless of whether or not you liked the dress. It was made out of raw meat for crying out loud, there was a lot to unpack.

Well, when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame came into possession of the dress, they hired a taxidermist to preserve the dress in the best possible way. Sergio Vigilato, a very famous taxidermist was chosen to preserve the raw red meat dress.

What is the Excess of That Kind of Thing?

Whether we like to believe it or not, it can feel like celebrities are more important than the average person. We are all important to our families and friends, but celebrities are important to the whole world. Now, that’s a lot of pressure for them to stay relevant, healthy, and active.

Well, just in case something was to happen to Rihanna’s legs, you don’t have to worry about them anymore, because, since 2007, her legs have been insured for $1 million. Yes, you read that correctly. We don’t have anything to insure for that kind of money…

Fool Me Once…

It is no secret that everyone needs coffee to get through the day. There is something about the extra boost of caffeine that helps people not only start their day but continue being productive throughout the day as well. But apparently coffee doesn’t give us energy in the way we thought it did…

We all seem to be under the impression that whenever you’re tired, a cup of coffee is all you need to wake yourself up. When in reality, coffee doesn’t do that at all… All the caffeine does is block certain receptors in the brain that let us know when we’re tired. Does everyone else know about this?

Titanic to Tennis

Some people might think that after going through an extremely traumatic experience, it might be difficult to move forward. But there are some people out there that somehow find it within themselves to keep going and strive for greatness.

Can you imagine surviving the Titantic and becoming a famous tennis player in the United States? Well, that’s exactly what Richard Norris Williams did. After surviving the horror that was the Titanic, doctors wanted to amputate his leg after having spent such a long time in icy Atlantic water. But Williams had other plans in mind…

Social Psychologists

There are two types of people in this world, introverts, and extroverts. Obviously one can not strictly categorize people into one of these two categories, but it is safe to say that more often than not people do tend to have stronger tendencies towards one personality type than the other.

But who knew introverts were more likely to be able to categorize someone’s personality without any formal training? I guess it makes sense considering they probably spend a lot more time observing and watching other people’s behaviors as opposed to acting them.

Happy Valentine’s Day

When it comes to Valentine’s Day you are either someone who loves it or hates it. This feeling might change as you move through life depending on whether or not you are with someone in the month of February… But it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out how these people felt about Valentine’s Day in 2014.

As far as we’re concerned, live and let live. But we have a feeling that this group of single people in Shainghai in 2014 don’t hold the same sentiment. We can imagine that this probably would have annoyed every couple that tried to book shared seating that evening…

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