Incredibly Obscure Facts To Expand Your Brain

May 23, 2024 | Jamie Hayes

Incredibly Obscure Facts To Expand Your Brain

The More You Know!

If knowledge really is power, then this will probably be the most powerful thing you read today.


Snails are responsible for at least 100 times as many deaths each year as sharks.

Turns out being small and poisonous is WAY worse than being big and scary.

Snail Near FeetValeriia Miller, Pexels

A day on Venus is longer than a year on Venus.

The length of a day is how long it takes for a planet to rotate around its axis. For a year, how long to orbit the sun once. Venus takes 225 days to orbit the sun, but 243 day to rotate around its axis once.

A Solar System GraphicZCS, Pexels

Bluetooth is named after a Viking king named Harald Bluetooth.

Even more, the bluetooth symbol we all see every day is actually a combination of the Viking runes for Harald Bluetooth's initials, H and B.

Fresco of King Harald BluetoothAlex-David Baldi, Flickr

There are more viruses on earth than stars in the universe.

This gives me anxiety.

Viruses and bacteria.Getty Images

Humans and chimps have roughly the same number of hairs on their bodies.

We didn't lose our hair—it just got very, very light.

Portrait of man with a chimpanzee.Terese Hart, Flickr

Your screen can't make the color orange.

Virtually all modern screens can only make three kinds of light: red, green, and blue. If you zoom in on an orange screen, you'll just see red and green dots lit up. Thankfully, when you zoom out, our brain get's fully tricked into thinking it's just regular orange light.

Man Sitting in front of His ComputerMikael Blomkvist, Pexels

You can sail the entire 12,000 mile journey from Great Britain to New Zealand in a perfectly straight line.

Go try it Google Earth right now, it's true.

A Man on a Sailboatcottonbro studio, Pexels

The blob of toothpaste on a toothbrush is called a "nurdle."

Now you know!

Toothbrush with ToothpasteKsenia Chernaya, Pexels

Sharks have been on earth longer than trees.

Paleontologists estimate that trees evolved between 350 and 420 million years ago, while there is clear evidence of sharks going back 450 million years.

Photo of a Bull Shark swimming in oceanEarth Touch, Flickr

Broccoli is a flower.

Even crazier, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, and many more are all actually the same species of plant. They're just different breeds, similar to how Pugs and German Shepherds are both dogs.

People Who Were Fired On The SpotFreepik,8photo

The "Ye" in "Ye Olde Pub" is pronounced "The."

Old English had a letter called a "thorn" for the "th" sound. It was finally phased out around the time of the printing press. But printers still had to print plenty of words with the "th" sound, so they just used a letter they thought looked like a thorn: Y.

Printing press—six cylinder design - 1864N. Orr, Wikimedia Commons

Godzilla was originally an insult.

Employees at the movie studio Toho in Japan had one coworker who was so large, they made up a name for him by combining the Japanese words for "gorilla" and "whale": Gojira.

Webcam screen group facetime videocall lookChay_Tee, Shutterstock

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

The literal definition of a "bird brain".

Closeup Photo of Ostrich HeadMagda Ehlers, Pexels

Human beings nearly went extinct a million years ago.

Genetic analysis shows that at one point, the entire world's population of human beings might have fallen to as low as 1,000 individuals before rebounding.

Late Paleolithic Human, Picryl

Counting every second, it would take 12 days to count to a million and 31 YEARS to count to a billion.

Billionaires and millionaires are not even close to the same.

A Close-Up Shot of a Man Counting on His FingersKATRIN BOLOVTSOVA, Pexels

Peanuts aren't nuts.

Neither are coconuts, walnuts, pine nuts, or macadamia nuts.

Woman Holding PeanutsYaroslav Shuraev, Pexels

A square is also a rectangle, a parallelogram, a trapezoid, and a rhombus.

Don't blame me, I don't make the rules.

Crop unrecognizable woman demonstrating blank canvasAngela Roma, Pexels

The DNA in one of your cells would stretch about five feet. The DNA in ALL of your cells would stretch to Pluto and back. Eight times.

That is a lot of genes.

The human DNA model takes on a double helix shape - 2016PublicDomainPictures, Wikimedia Commons

Giraffes and humans have the same number of neck vertebrae.

It makes sense just doesn't make any sense.

A giraffe making a funny face.SHYCITYNikon, Flickr

A single square inch of sea otter fur has 10 times as many hairs as you have on your entire head.

Lots of marine mammals use blubber to keep warm, but instead, sea otters use the thickest fur in the animal kingdom.

Sea Otter in the water.Linda Tanner, Flickr

Ants have been farming for millions of years longer than humans.

Humans learned how to farm around 12,000 years ago. Ants figured it out 60 million years ago. We were late to the party.

Ants on a Brown SurfaceNikola Sivkov, Pexels

Water is not just a good solvent, it's the BEST solvent.

Regular H20 can actually dissolve more substances than any other liquid.

Fluid Pouring in Pint GlassPixabay, Pexels

The name Pakistan is an acronym.

P for Punjab, A for Afghania, K for Kashmir, I for Indus-Sind, and stan from Balochistan, the different regions of the country.

Pakistan Monument Islamabad PkUsama Akram Photographer, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Spandex is an anagram of the word "Expands."

It makes so much sense...

Happy man in yellow shirt thinking and laughing on his desk.Michael Burrows, Pexels

Mortgage comes from the Old French for "Death Pledge."

Sounds about right to me.

Approved mortgage loan agreement application with house shaped keyringFabio Balbi, Shutterstock

Johnny Appleseed only spread crab apples.

He mostly wanted people to use his apples to make his favorite drink: Hard cider.

Red crab apples on the table.Conall, Flickr

Irregardless and Funnest are both words.

Look them up in pretty much any modern dictionary. They're there.

Woman looking at dictionary and sitting at table.ArtHouse Studio, Pexels

If a human urinated as much as a hummingbird, they'd produce 25 gallons a day.

Who's got the time?

A small hummingbird perched on a persons, Picryl

Macaulay Culkin's legal name is "Macauley Macauley Culkin Culkin."

Macauley Culkin let people vote to decide his new middle name on his website. The winner? "Macauley Culkin". His name since 2019 is legally Macauley Macauley Culkin Culkin.

Macaulay Culkin at the 2018 American Music AwardsFeatureflash Photo Agency, Shutterstock

One tablespoon of a neutron star would weigh as much as Mount Everest.

The only thing denser than a neutron star is a black hole.

Mind-Blowing Stat FactsWikimedia Commons

An elephant's trunk Has 66x as many muscles as the entire human body.

The human body? Around 600 muscles. An elephant trunk? 40,000.

A Person Feeding a Elephant.Anna Tarazevich, Pexels

According to E = mc2, a 10-pound puppy contains as much energy as 100,000,000 of TNT.

With a one-year-old puppy, I can attest to this.

German Shepherd Puppy Beside Throw PillowCynthia Vh, Pexels

7-Up's original name was "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda."

I think they made a good choice changing it to 7-Up.

7up Soda BottleLike_the_Grand_Canyon, Flickr

The First Vending Machine Was Invented 2,000 Years Ago.

It took coins and dispensed holy water.

Holy Water DispenserMcLeod, CC-BY-SA-3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The official term for what would happen to you if you fell in a black hole is "spaghettification."

Eventually, the gravity at your feet will be so much higher than the gravity at your head that your whole body will get stretched out like a big noodle.

Scared man looking at cameraAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

It would take over 400 years to spend a night in every hotel room in Las Vegas.

I can barely handle Vegas for a weekend...

Wraparound Terrace Suite View - The Cosmopolitan of Las VegasThe Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Flickr

Experts estimate that the human brain has enough memory to store between 10 and 100 terabytes of information.

And yet I can't remember what I had for breakfast.

Brain Nervous System concept.sutadimages, Shutterstock

Astronauts in zero G have to use specially made liquid salt and pepper.

It's a lot of work, but it's still better than tasteless food.

Eating food in space.NASA Johnson, Flickr

Lake Baikal in Russia contains more water than all North America's Great Lakes combined.

Though Lake Superior is far larger in terms of surface area, none of the Great Lakes are very deep. Baikal, on the other hand, sits in a rift in the earth's surface and it's over 5,000 feet deep.

Panorama of lake Baikal, RussiaSergey Pesterev, Flickr

1 out of 10 species on earth live in Brazil.

Come to Brazil!

Christ the Redeemer, Brazil4FLY RJ, Pexels

The human body has at least 50 different kinds of sphincter.

A sphincter is any "ring-shaped muscle that relaxes or tightens to open or close a passage or opening in the body". You have literally millions of them in your body—but I know what one you're thinking of.

Woman is smiling and Pointing at the Camera.Wundef Media, Pexels

Mosquitos are the only animal deadlier than humans.

Sharks, bears, snakes, tigers are all waaay down the list of deadliest animals. Humans are at a comfortable number 2, but mosquitos still take the top spot.

Black Mosquito on Person's Skinicon0 com, Pexels

Platypuses don't have nipples, but they still lactate. The milk just oozes out of their skin.

If I know this, you have to know this.

Platypus Animal in Queensland AustraliaImogen Warren, Shutterstock

Harvard is so old that Galileo could have taught there.

When Harvard was founded in 1636, they could have brought ol' Galileo Galilei over from Italy to teach there. He didn't die until 1642.

Harvard University, CambridgePopular Graphic Arts, Wikimedia Commons

Paradoxically, even though all the salt in the ocean comes from rivers, the average river is 300 times less salty than the ocean.

Rivers love to give salt, hate to keep it.

Women Making SaltQuang Nguyen Vinh, Pexels

Your ancestors have survived at least five mass extinction events, each of which wiped out at least 70% of the species on earth.

The extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs was bad, but there have been four other events of that scale—some of them saw nearly 90% of all life on earth get wiped out. We're all descended from some real survivors!

Citizens of 1518 Strasbourg affected by the dancing plagueUnknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

Raindrops aren't raindrop shaped.

Small raindrops are spherical, while bigger ones look like hamburger buns.

Raindrops on a WindowMichaela St, Pexels

The word "Muscle" is derived from the Latin "musculus," which means "little mouse."

Some Romans thought that rippling muscles looked like mice scrambling under the skin. So next time you see a muscle man, say "Hi little mouse!"

muscle manmahmood sufiyan, Pexels

The Mediterranean was once separate from the Atlantic, and they joined in a catastrophic flood.

Scientists believe the flood occurred over 5 million years ago. When the dam first burst and the Atlantic rushed into the Mediterranean, it would have created a 1km high waterfall at the Strait of Gibraltar, with 100 million cubic meters of water rushing over it every second.

Mediterranean Sea From TaorminaSolomonn Levi, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Australia is wider than the moon.

Don't believe me? Get out a tape measure.

Australia MapCatarina Sousa, Pexels

252 million years ago, the Earth's temperature rose by 10 degrees in a few thousand years. It nearly wiped out life on Earth.

Hmm, maybe the earth getting hotter is a...bad thing?

Young woman feeling puzzled and confused looking to the earth.Kues, Shutterstock

American and British shoe sizes are still based off of "barleycorns."

Barleycorns—literal grains of barley—were used for measurement for years. Though we've since moved to better ways of measuring things, shoe sizes in most of the English speaking world are still derived from barleycorns.

Close-Up Shot of Size Tag of a Pink SlippersOleksandr P, Pexels

For millions of years, 95% of ALL vertebrates on land...were a single animal.

Lystrosaurus was one of the only large animals to survive the Permian-Triassic extinction event. It wasn't particularly fast, or large, or good at anything, but with all competition wiped out, it took over pretty much the entire world. Imagine an entire planet...with just one kind of animal. That was earth for a time.

LystrosaurusDmitry Bogdanov, CC-BY-SA-3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Every single "seed" on the surface of a strawberry is actually an entire fruit.

Turns out it's not so hard for me to get my "daily intake" of fruits...

Close-up of StrawberryJustus Menke, Pexels

Captcha is mostly about training AI

It's really easy to make a test to see if someone's a robot. The whole "choose every image that has a bicycle" or "type in the word that looks kinda blurry"—all of that is things that AI programs struggle with, and human responses can help train it to do better.

reCAPTCHA on windows screen. Checkmark to prove that you are not robot.Rokas Tenys, Shutterstock

When an albatross learns to fly, it might not touch land again for 10 years.

Land—who needs it!

Albatross in flight over sea.JJ Harrison, CC-BY-SA-3.0, Wikimedia Commons

There are more possible unique games of chess than there are atoms in the universe.

Numbers: they just keep getting bigger and bigger.

Shallow Focus Photography of Chess PiecesPixabay, Pexels

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