Ever hear that 94% of statistics are made up on the spot? While that might seem believable, there are plenty of actually true statistics that boggle the mind. The world is a wild and funny place, and sometimes numbers are our best tool for understanding it. So with that in mind, here are 42 of the most mind-blowing tidbits of information out there in the form of statistics. We’re sure that at least 100% of these will be awesome to know!
1. Hot or Not?
In Miami, Florida, it has snowed more times than it has been 100º. The mind-blowing part is: it has only snowed once. Also, it has never been over 100 degrees in Hawaii. It has been in Alaska. Do with that information what you will…
2. So That’s What Makes the Great White North So Great
The average person in Canada has a higher net worth than the average person in the USA. The median income for Canadians is about twice the median income for Americans.
3. Clearing Up Misconceptions About Cryptocurrencies
If math makes you dizzy, you could skip this one. It has been said that it takes more energy to brute force a bitcoin private key using a perfectly efficient system, than exists in the universe. Lets math this. The private keys are 256 bits long, thus there are: 2^256 = ~1.15*10^71 different possible combinations.
4. Cool Stuff in Space is Pretty Darn Cool
The GW150914 gravitational wave event: “If we compare the masses of the pre- and post-merger black holes, we see that the coalescence converted about three times the mass of the Sun (or nearly six million trillion trillion kilograms) into gravitational-wave energy, most of it emitted in a fraction of a second […] In fact, the gravitational-wave power radiated by GW150914 was more than ten times greater than the combined luminosity (i.e. the light power) of every star and galaxy in the observable Universe.”
Also, speaking of cool stuff in space, all the planets in the solar system could fit between Earth and the moon.
5. The People Have Not Spoken
Americans who don’t bother to vote: the Bipartisan Policy Center has stated that turnout for 2012 was 57.5% of the eligible voters, which they claim was a decline from 2008. They estimate that as a percent of eligible voters, turnout was: in 2000, 54.2%; in 2004, 60.4%; in 2008, 62.3%; and in 2012, 57.5%.
6. Not by Bread Alone Does Man Live… But He Also Doesn’t Live Without It!
Only two percent of people truly enjoy their jobs. The rest are in it to eat. So the next time you hear some jerk on TEDTalk tell you to follow your dreams and your passions, remember that he is probably part of that very small percentage of people who have that luxury to fail. Although to be fair, it kind of depends on what you mean by “truly enjoy.”
I mean, if you could get paid the same to do nothing or get paid the same as now to do your job, how many of those people would take the job because they “truly enjoy it”? I won some awards at work and they asked me on stage why I work so hard to be successful, and I said: “to make more money, so that I can quit working sooner.”
They were amused and I also wasn’t fired, so count it as a win-win in my book. I mean, it is pretty much BS that anytime someone asks you that question, that you can’t just say “so I do not starve to death.” No, I am not passionate about being an assistant’s assistant, I need this job for health insurance and to eat and sleep comfortably.
Is there anything so wrong with that??
7. I Like Those Odds!
Half of the people in human history who lived to age 65 are alive today.
8. Scary Stuff
Stanley and Brodsky estimated that as many as 75% of patients with borderline personality disorder make at least one non-lethal suicide attempt, and even higher percentages of patients, especially of hospitalized patients, engage in self-injurious behavior.
9. Happy Birthday to Everyone!
Among a random group of 23 people, there’s a 50% chance that two of them share the same birthday.
10. We the North
A whopping 90% of people in the world live in the Northern hemisphere.
11. Getting All Religious
The Vatican has 2.3 popes per square mile.
12. Picking Up the Pace
It takes an individual photon several millennia to go from the center to the surface of the sun. Then it takes only eight minutes to reach Earth, and a couple of days at most to leave the solar system.
13. They Call It Space for a Reason
99.9% of the mass of the solar system is the sun. Jupiter is more than five times as far removed from the Sun as Earth on average. You can fit all planets in the solar system between the Earth and the Moon. Space is pretty darn empty when you consider that solar systems are in general the least empty places of space. It’s just unfathomable how empty space really is. In fact, if I remember correctly, there is so much room that when our galaxy merges with Andromeda, there might be very few to no actual collisions due to the amount of empty space in each of the two.
14. Destruction in the Dark
The wars in [the Democratic Republic of Congo] have claimed nearly the same number of lives as having a 9/11 every single day for 360 days, the genocide that struck Rwanda in 1994, the ethnic cleansing that overwhelmed Bosnia in the mid-1990s, the genocide that took place in Darfur, the number of people killed in the great tsunami that struck Asia in 2004, and the number of people who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki—all combined and then doubled.
The Congo Free State—the period where what is now the DR Congo was colonized by King Leopold of Belgium—resulted in approximately 5-10 million deaths (some estimates going as high as 20 million) over about 23 years. For comparison, the Holocaust resulted approx. 17 million deaths. That’s some serious damage that too few people are even aware of…
15. Transatlantic Barrier
There is a fence in Australia that stretches the equivalent distance of London to New York.
16. We Come From Humble Beginnings
In the year 8000 BC, there were only roughly five million humans on Earth. The current global human population is 7.6 billion. The current global ant pop. is 100 trillion. The current global chicken pop. is 18.6 billion. The current global cattle pop. is 1.4 billion. The current white-tail deer pop. is 30 million. The current Giant Panda pop. is about 1,800.
The current Javan Rhino pop. is 67. Modern humans—and human domesticated animals—simply exist on a different scale than other animals. Also, the number of bananas consumed each year for scale? About 100 billion.
17. War, What is It Good For?
During the battle of the Somme in WWI, the British Army lost 20,000 men…on the first day. Whole generations and towns were wiped out in the space of hours. At the battle of Cannae during the Second Punic Wars, Rome lost 70,000+ men in a single afternoon. It is said that every single family in the city lost at least one person in the battle.
18. Polly Want a Cracker Gone Wrong
99% of the wild African grey parrot population had disappeared since 1992, solely due to the illegal trapping for the pet trade. Indian and Nepalese vulture populations have declined by 99% since 2000 due to diclofenac poisoning.
19. Earthquakes Suddenly Don’t Seem So Bad…
The kill radius of a neutron starquake. Keep in mind that the Richter scale is log-based and a neutron star quake has been recorded as high as an equivalent 34 and would cause mass extinction to a radius of 10 light-years. The distance from the Earth to the Sun is one Astronomical Unit. The distance from Earth to Pluto is about 40 AU.
Earth to the farthest object in our solar system (the edges of the Oort Cloud at 120,000 AU) is roughly 1.87 light-years. A neutron star quake would exterminate all life in all directions a little over five times the entire distance of our solar system. This all from a neutron star’s surface adjusting by a few micrometers in less than .000001 of a second.
The earthquake that leveled San Francisco and killed thousands of people in the early 20th-century was a 7.4. Cool, now imagine a quake with destructive energy about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stronger.
20. Let’s All Be Thankful for Sheer Magnetism
If the Earth was the size of a basketball, then the atmosphere would be about as thick as a coat of paint. The only thing that separates us from the cold, harsh, vacuum of space is this comparably tiny layer of gasses that are held in place by gravity.
Another interesting one is that the only thing preventing the Earth from becoming a barren rock not unlike Mars is the fact that we still have a molten core that generates a magnetic field, which shields the atmosphere from being swept away by the solar wind.
When the core eventually stops spinning, it’s game over.
21. Always Take All Precautions Possible
CPR is only effective 5-8% of the time without immediate defibrillation. So if your heart stops and there isn’t an AED within about 3-5 minutes of you, you’re probably going to die. To add on to that, it’s true that there is a chance of getting the heart pumping right again, but usually when it does your heart will be fibrillating (beating in a way that does not correctly pump blood through your body).
That is where the defibrillator is used. A defibrillator doesn’t actually start your heart again, it just stops it. But your body is smart and will usually start your heart pumping again. The point of CPR is not to restart the heart, which is the common misconception (although CPR can help restart the heart). The goal is to keep the brain alive.
Without a steady supply of oxygen to the brain, brain damage will set in within minutes. When CPR is performed, you act as the heart and lungs of the victim until paramedics arrive, or until the victim starts breathing again. The heart needs to be pumping in order for the lungs to work, to the point where first aid courses have removed the need to check for a pulse before administering CPR and to just check for breathing.
22. Writing and Cities: Nothing but The Latest Trends?
The first cities started around 12,000 years ago. The first evidence of writing started 6,000 years ago. Humanity appeared 200,000 years ago in its current form. So 94% of the time we’ve been on the planet happened before we had cities and 97% before we had writing.
23. Battle of the Sexes
More infuriating than mind-blowing, but a commonly shared “statistic” is that 80% of women who make at least six figures do so through direct sales marketing, AKA MLMs or pyramid schemes like Mary Kay, Amway, and Herbalife. But that’s misleading. The actual statistic is that 80% of people who make at least six figures through MLMs are women.
There’s only about 200 of them, and they’re all at the top of their respective pyramids, but the first statistic is commonly used to try and entice new people into the company.
24. Bringing Some Numbers Down to Earth
Here are some numbers worth being aware of. I had an economics professor blow my mind with this. Most people think of millions, billions and trillions relatively similarly. They are huge numbers and when talking about money not very many people really ever have to account with numbers that high to see the incredible difference between each.
I think this does a great job of breaking it down. If you made $1/second, you’d be really really rich. At that rate, you would make: $60 in 1 minute, $3,600 in one hour, and $86,400 in one day. That’s $1 million ($1,000,000) in 11.574 days, $1 billion ($1,000,000,000) in 31.7 years, and $1 trillion ($1,000,000,000,000) in 31,709 years.
For one person who makes a million dollars every 12 days to pay off the US National Debt (21.461 Trillion according to www.usdebtclock.org), it would take over 680,506 years.
25. Stars Shooting Some Hoops
Klay Thompson scored 60 points in an NBA game while only dribbling the basketball 11 times. Or Wilt Chamberlin averaging 48.5 minutes per game for an ENTIRE NBA season. NBA games are only 48 minutes long. That means he had to play every minute of every game plus whatever games went into overtime. Insane.
26. Well, I Guess We Now Know Where Jaws Doesn’t Take Place
Since 1874, there have been 10 recorded shark attacks in Canada.
27. Apparently Insurance Comes Before Food
There are more State Farm agencies than there are McDonald’s restaurants in the US. Learned that when I started working for them.
28. Birds, Get Out of Australia for Your Own Good!
Feral cats in Australia kill around 377 million birds per year. That’s more than one million birds per day. One million. Per day.
29. I Think I’ll Stick to Just Using Cards for Poker and Magic Tricks…
There are more possible combinations to shuffle a deck of cards than there are atoms on earth…and if you started shuffling a new combination every second starting at the Big Bang, you’d still be shuffling right now. 52 is an astronomically large number. Here’s one way to imagine 52 seconds. Start by picking your favorite spot on the equator.
You’re going to walk around the world along the equator, but take a very leisurely pace of one step every billion years. Make sure to pack a deck of playing cards, so you can get in a few trillion hands of solitaire between steps. After you complete your round the world trip, remove one drop of water from the Pacific Ocean.
Now do the same thing again: walk around the world at one billion years per step, removing one drop of water from the Pacific Ocean each time you circle the globe. Continue until the ocean is empty. When it is, take one sheet of paper and place it flat on the ground. Now, fill the ocean back up and start the entire process all over again, adding a sheet of paper to the stack each time you’ve emptied the ocean.
Do this until the stack of paper reaches from the Earth to the Sun. Take a glance at the timer, you will see that the three left-most digits haven’t even changed. You still have 8.063e67 more seconds to go. So, take the stack of papers down and do it all over again. One thousand times more. Unfortunately, that still won’t do it.
There are still more than 5.385e67 seconds remaining. You’re just about a third of the way done. To pass the remaining time, start shuffling your deck of cards. Every billion years deal yourself a five-card poker hand. Each time you get a royal flush, buy yourself a lottery ticket. If that ticket wins the jackpot, throw a grain of sand into the Grand Canyon.
Keep going and when you’ve filled up the canyon with sand, remove one ounce of rock from Mt. Everest. Now empty the canyon and start all over again. When you’ve leveled Mt. Everest, look at the timer, you still have 5.364e67 seconds remaining. You barely made a dent. If you were to repeat this 255 times, you would still be looking at 3.024e64 seconds.
The timer would finally reach zero sometime during your 256th attempt.
30. The Secret Road Map to Success?
In the United States if you do the following three things: graduate high school, get and keep any job, and don’t have a child out of wedlock, you have a 75% chance of being in the middle class and a 98% chance of living above the poverty line.
31. A Numbers Game
One million seconds is less than 11 days. One billion seconds is more than 31 years. That’s a pretty big difference! The human brain is really bad at fathoming big numbers.
32. World Hunger is a Serious Issue
Someone in the world dies of starvation or malnutrition every three seconds.
33. A Major Change for the Better
The percentage of the Chinese population living in extreme poverty (living below $1.90 a day) went from over 80% in the early 80s to 1.4% in 2014. In fact, it was still 23.1% just 10 years before that, in 2004. It’s the most massive lift out of extreme poverty in world history.
34. The Cold Hard Truth
One in every four children in the United States is overweight, and 70% of individuals over 21 are classified as overweight with 39% of them being obese. A lot of people don’t know what they’re supposed to weigh or can’t accept it. “Obese” doesn’t look like a massively overweight person who can’t wear normal clothes, more often than not it’s an average looking guy with a gut and love handles.
Lots of people think the weight classifications must be wrong because “How could I be obese?!” The millions of people dying of heart disease every year aren’t 600-pound shut-ins, they’re people who look just like you. It’s hard to accept that, but unfortunately, it’s true.
35. When an Emergency Happens, Will You Be Prepared?
40% of Americans cannot afford a $400 USD emergency should one arise. To add to that, 57% of people have less than $1,000 in savings. This is the saddest one, and totally believable. I got really sick once and didn’t have insurance. I couldn’t eat, lost a bunch of weight rapidly and seriously thought I might die.
An overnight stay at the hospital that didn’t help the problem past a single night was about $16,000. Another emergency room visit where they finally gave me meds was around $2,100. I was making $9 an hour working just under full time. $630 every two weeks. It boggles my mind that people can complain about funneling money into the Affordable Care Act when so many Americans will risk their health in order to eat at the end of the day.
Because that’s what it comes down to. You have to give the lion’s share of your check to pay these things off but how the hell are you supposed to pay rent and eat and clothe yourself? Sorry, random rant.
36. Legging It Out
The average number of legs for humans is less than two.
37. Mystery Lurks All Around Us…
On Earth, 95% of the ocean and 99% of the ocean’s floor remain totally unexplored.
38. Who Ever Thought Keeping Your Lawn Nice Could Be Deadly
So far, 46 people have died by lawnmowers in the US this year. Yes, 46. This is funny because once I was working on my electric mower without unplugging it and looked at it and said, “Huh, so this is how lawnmowers get you,” and went to unplug it. Also, over 800 people die from being strangled by their bed sheets.
39. Some Serious Talent
If Wayne Gretzky never scored a single goal, he would still be the NHL’s all-time point leader. Also, the most points ever scored by any two brothers who played in the NHL are by Wayne and Brent Gretzky, with about 2,861 points. Brent scored a total of 4 points…
40. This Calls for a Snack
The human death toll from everyday things is staggering. For example, something like 2-3 people die each year from vending machines. To be fair though, many people attacked the vending machine first. I think if you subtract the killings in self-defense, you’ll find that vending machines are quite peaceful.
41. A Word Game That Was Clearly Meant to Be
Gary Numan is older than Gary Oldman.
42. Some Staggeringly High Percentages
Around half of all transgender people attempt suicide at least once in their life. Also, something like one-third of women with mental disabilities are sexually assaulted. 90% of Australian women with mental disabilities have been sexually assaulted. Ninety percent! This does not imply that being trans is a mental illness, they are just two shocking and scary stats.
The most shocking part is how awful and widespread transphobia is, and what its consequences can be.