What is a fact or statistic that seems fake but is real? I encountered this question in an online forum and verified the responses. Here are some of their best clarifications.
1. Oranges and Redheads
Someone volunteers, “In English, the color orange was named after the fruit. Before that, orange was just considered a shade of red. That’s why gingers are called redheads.”
2. Sharks Are Ancient
Did you know that sharks have existed longer than trees have? They are around 450 million years old, whereas trees are traced back to 350 million years. Additionally, sharks are older than Saturn’s rings! One clarifies, “We think Saturn’s rings formed within the last 100 million years, while we have fossil evidence of sharks from 450 million years ago.”
3. Perverse Incentive: The Original Cobra Effect
One person explains that the British government offered a bounty to hunt cobra snakes in New Dehli. “It led to people having Cobra Farms to earn money, then the government stopped the project, which led the Cobra Farmers to release their snakes, causing way more snakes than they first started.”
4. T-Rex Timeline
Are you aware that we live closer in time to the Tyrannosaurus Rex than the T-Rex did to the Stegosaurus? We are separated by roughly 65 million years. However, the Stegosaurus was extinct for 80-90 million years before the appearance of the Cretaceous dinosaur Tyrannosaurus.
5. Time Is Relative
Someone explains, “A million seconds is 12 days. A billion seconds is 31 years. A trillion seconds is 31,688 years. People have a lot of trouble comprehending numbers that big.”
6. Australian Horses
Wow. This one surprised me. An Aussie shares, “Horses kill more people every year in Australia than all the other beasties combined. Everyone thinks it’s the spiders and snakes that’ll get you, but it’s the horses you’ve really got to watch out for.” When I checked to ensure this fact’s legitimacy, I learned that cows are another leading cause of animal-related deaths for Australians.
7. Evolution of Weapons
“It took us more time to go from bronze swords to iron swords than it did for us to go from iron swords to nuclear weapons,” one person laments. It took roughly 2000 years, approximately four times as long as it took us, to evolve from swords to nuclear bombs.
8. Oxford University
Another person notes that it is said, “The Oxford University in England existed centuries before the rise and fall of the Aztec civilization. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation.”
9. Maine Is The Closest State To Africa
OK. This one absolutely boggled my feeble brain. Are you aware that the closest US state to Africa is Maine? A peninsula called Quoddy Head is located at the easternmost point of the United States.
The distance between Quoddy Head and El Beddouza in Morocco is estimated to be about 3154 miles. I’m glad I am not the only one in the forum who immediately thought it would be Florida.
10. Jeff Bezos’ Fortune
I found two things about this, and my soul hurts. First, if you earned $180,000 daily from the day Jesus Christ was born, you would still not be as rich as Jeff Bezos. Then another person states, “If you made $7,000 an hour every day since the birth of Jesus Christ, you’d have made less money than Jeff Bezos.” I am unsure of the precise math, but the absurdity is unreal.
11. Sugar Cube Housing the Human Population
Another forum member explains, “What happens if we remove all the empty space from atoms? If the nucleus were the size of a peanut, the atom would be about the size of a baseball stadium. If we lost all the dead space inside our atoms, we would each be able to fit into a particle of dust, and the entire human species would fit into the volume of a sugar cube.”
12. Cleopatra: Can You Hear Me Now?
Did you know that Cleopatra lived closer to the technological age and iPhone than she did to the Egyptian pyramids? The Great Pyramid of Giza was built around 2580 BC. That’s about 2510 years before Cleopatra was born. So we are roughly 465 years closer to Cleopatra than she was to the construction of the Great Pyramid.
13. Chainsaws at Birth
Finally, someone makes me squirm with the revelation, “In 1780, two Scottish doctors invented the prototype of the chainsaw. Not to cut down trees or clear debris. No, John Aitken and James Jeffray invented the hand-cranked chainsaw to cut through the pelvises of delivering mothers who were having trouble pushing their babies out.”
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This article was published and syndicated by Sober Healing.
Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.