Twisted Facts That Will Have You Sleeping With The Light On

November 15, 2023 | Camila Villafane

Twisted Facts That Will Have You Sleeping With The Light On

"The dividing lines between existence and the end of living are often fuzzy and unclear. Who can determine where one phase concludes, and where the other initiates?"

- Edgar Allen Poe

The world is incredibly strange. So strange, in fact, that many of us do our best not to think about all the things that go bump in the night...

At the same time, though, there is a magnetic pull to the macabre. Like the aftermath of a car crash, or the allure of a horror movie, many of are drawn by morbid curiosity to understand the dark side of life. It seems to be human nature.

So, in service of that strange fascination, we've collected this compendium of life's darkest facets. But please remember: we do so only to help you understand the world around you. What you do with this information is entirely up to you...

1. Zombie For An Hour

In Brazil, a two-year-old boy tragically succumbed to pneumonia. His grieving family made funeral arrangements over the next few days—and then received the shock of their lives when the boy suddenly sat upright and asked his father for water. Overjoyed and astonished, the parents were soon confronted with another distressing turn of events. The boy, unfortunately, lost consciousness again and despite efforts, he couldn't be revived, resulting in the coroner confirming a second instance of his lack of life.


2. Aging Where You Really Don't Want To

Researchers have found a link between cycling and impotence.One study illustrated that a 28-year-old cyclist, who had blood circulation to his reproductive organs comparable to that of a 60-year-old man, exhibited similar performance levels. Essentially, this is caused by the pressure from sitting on the long, narrow tip of a bicycle seat too much, which can lead to permanent damage.

Twisted FactsPixabay

3. Bugs! On Your Face!

Tiny bugs reside on your face and flourish by consuming your shed skin cells. Yummy, right? These bugs are called demodex mites, and they're spread through skin-to-skin contact. Another fun fact is that you get more of these mites the older you get, so the next time your grandmother leans in for a kiss, maybe opt for a nice, firm handshake instead.

Real Life Experiences Didn’t Live Up to Disney Movies factsShutterstock


4. Strange Disappearances

Over 1,600 people have vanished in US National Parks, never to be seen or heard from ever again. After 9/11, the US government put in place an analysis and reporting system so that missing people could be found more easily. Unfortunately, this hasn't stopped people from disappearing in National Parks... and since tracking these people is often virtually impossible, many of them tend to stay missing.

Twisted FactsShutterstock

5. Poo Poo Power

Britain has a bus that operates on human waste. Yes, seriously! It's known as the Biobus and seats 40 people. It runs on biomethane gas, which is created through the treatment of sewage. The waste produced every year by five people can give one bus a full tank of gas, and it can travel up to 299 kilometers (186 miles) before needing to refuel.

Twisted FactsWikipedia

6. The Heart Attack Device

A 1975 Congressional testimony unveiled that the CIA had developed a device capable of inducing a heart attack. It shot darts that left a tiny red dot. The poison worked quickly, but most people didn't feel a thing until it was too late. The poison darts could even penetrate clothing. It was also impossible to detect during an autopsy because the poison would dissolve fairly quickly.

Memorable Patient Experiences factsPixabay

7. I Call It Mouth-Butt

Anemone, sea sponges, and jellyfish use their mouth as an anus. They only have one hole that acts as a gut opener, so they have to use it to both eat and poop. Talk about a potty mouth! Get it?!

In the immortal words of Marlin the Clownfish (that's Nemo's dad, to you non-Pixar fans): "With friends like these, who needs Anemones??"

Twisted FactsPixabay

8. Steven Spielberg's...Cows?

Despite the persistent fear people have of becoming a shark's prey and being consumed, that should really be among the least of your worries. It turns out, if you crunch the numbers, that your odds of getting trampled and losing your life to a cow are far, far higher. Cows kill about 5 times more people than sharks every year in the U.S.

Don't tell Hollywood though. The last thing we need is a big summer blockbuster featuring Bessie the Beast, a radioactive cow with a taste for man-flesh, terrorizing some small, quiet rural town.

Mel Gibson factsPixabay

9. Men Expire Early

Overall, the life expectancy among Russian men is fairly low at 64 years old, but a study found that one out of four will pass away before they hit 55. However, unsurprisingly, the risk of mortality escalates even further in individuals who consume three or more half-liter bottles of this particular alcoholic beverage per week. Because where else would that be a factor?

Ruined Wedding factsShutterstock

10. Killers Everywhere

After some intense calculations, an industrious Reddit user has determined that you will likely walk past around 16 murderers at one point or another in your lifetime. Bet you can't guess who!

One hint: if you pass anyone walking around town with a mask like the one below, maybe don't spend too much time with them.

photo of white hockey ice maskmaradon 333, Shutterstock

11. Keep Your Chin Up

China trains their paramilitary force with a gruelling technique that’s a pain in the neck, literally. To get them to stand up straight they are made to wear crosses on their backs, but they are also forced to stick pins facing straight upward through their collars, so that if their posture slips, they'll be jabbed in the throat. 

Now that's one heck of an incentive not to slouch. Maybe all those articles and warnings we've heard about how texting is going to ruin teen's posture are overlooking the obvious solution. Just get H&M to start selling t-shirts with those babies sewed in, and we'll have a generation of kids standing straighter than army sergeants. 

Dark and Twisted QuizFlickr

12. If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

Humans have been practicing burial customs for their departed for eons—the earliest grave sites are believed to have been located in Pontnewydd Cave, Wales, and Atapuerca, Spain. It seems to be an activity which simply comes naturally to us. Instinctive—like laughter, or speech.

Indeed, Neanderthals—who coexisted with early Homo sapiens—probably also engaged in burial rituals for their deceased. The oldest confirmed human burial site is in Israel's Tabun Cave, where remains have been found that are 100,000 years old.

The theories behind this behaviour number in the hundreds, and range from the rational and probable, to the unbelievable and bizarre. For example, some scientists have speculated that burial is an evolved behavior, which serves as a technique for avoiding the spread of disease from rotting corpses. Meanwhile, however, some believe there might be more superstitious origins to this practice: similar to the concept that we may have started laying our departed to rest underground to eliminate the chance of them coming back...

P.S. One additional intriguing fact: while a few other species have been observed hosting something similar to funerals (elephants, for instance, sometimes stand guard over the body of a fallen comrade for days), humans are the only creatures on Earth who lay their departed to rest. Monkeys, meanwhile, despite being our biological cousins, have actually been seen to eat their departed.

That's right: cannibal chimps.

Twisted FactsWikimedia Commons, Avi1111 dr. avishai teicher

13. Blood-erfly

Butterflies occasionally exhibit a strange behaviour known as "mud-puddling". They look for moist substances such as mud, rotting plant matter, or even dung and blood, and they suck up the fluid to gain nutrients from it that aren't in their usual diet. Species like the Halpe butterflies are particularly attracted to the sweat on human skin as well as tears and blood.

Twisted FactsWikimedia Commons, Joseph Lazer

14. Hairy Protection

China has created stockings full of leg hair that young women can wear. The purpose of this hairy invention is to allow women to wear shorts and skirts without the fear of attracting men's attention, as most men typically don't really want to see bushy-haired legs on a woman. Honestly? Genius idea.

Twisted FactsShutterstock

15. The Mysteries Of Age

The reason behind why exactly we die of old age continues to elude us. One theory is that since throughout history most creatures die before they get the chance to reach old age, there was never any chance for natural selection to screen out the genes that ultimately damage and kill us when we get old.

Trashiest Holiday factsShutterstock

16. Running Around Like A... You Know...

In 1945, a farmer in Colorado cut the head off of a chicken, but left an ear, most of its brain and its jugular vein in place. The chicken lived for another 18 months and was fed milk and water through its esophagus using an eyedropper. The farmer named it "Mike the Headless Chicken" and charged guests 25 cents to meet the animal. Yeah, gross.

Trashiest Holiday factsShutterstock

17. Finally, A Practical Use For 3D Printing

Vincent van Gogh is one of the most famous painters of all time. Unfortunately, he also suffered from mental illness his entire life, and he cut off his own ear while in a completely erratic mental state. Over a century later, a German artist named Diemut Strebe, who lives in Boston, used the genetic material from one of Van Gogh's descendants to 3D print a replica of his ear out of living cells. It's kept alive using a nourishing liquid.

Twisted FactsShutterstock

18. You See The Departed? I AM The Departed

Cotard's Syndrome is a rare mental condition that convinces patients that they aren't actually alive. In certain instances, the individual may perceive that they've lost blood, body parts, organs, or even their soul, leading them to the conclusion that they no longer exist in the realm of the living. Most of these cases are the result of psychosis, a medical condition, or mood disorders, and Cotard's is usually treated with electroconvulsive techniques (ECT) rather than with pills.

Stupidest Things to Impress Crush factsShutterstock

19. Bat Explosives

In 1942, a dentist from Pennsylvania named Lytle S. Adams forwarded a proposal to the White House, proposing the attachment of tiny explosives to bats that would then be dispatched to obliterate Japanese cities. The bats would fly into the attics of buildings, then all the explosives could be set off simultaneously, causing widespread chaos and destruction. Adams came up with this idea after the attack on Pearl Harbor. President Roosevelt and the armed forces reportedly favored the strategy, but they instead chose nuclear weaponry.

Salvador Dali factsWikimedia Commons

20. The Twisted Truth

Just about everything you touch throughout the day contains more bacteria than the toilet bowl that you literally defecate in. Your desk, grocery cart, cell phone, restaurant menu, ATM, and even your kitchen sink are littered with bacteria that will have you wearing Kleenex boxes on your feet and designing airplanes in no time! A study conducted by and The University of Texas showed that  credit cards, tablets, and ATM keypads carry even more types of bacteria than cash and coins. Yuck!

Twisted FactsShutterstock

21. Green River Ran Red

Gary Ridgway was known as The Green River Killer and may very well have been one of the most prolific serial killers in American history. The responsibility for 49 victims has been definitively attributed to him, but he has admitted to taking the lives of over 71 women, and investigators estimate that the number could very well be closer to 90. Ridgway allegedly strangled and dumped his victims' bodies in remote areas between 1981 and 2001. He was apprehended and sentenced to a lifetime of incarceration. Phew!

Twisted FactsGetty Images

22. Louse Got Your Tongue?

There's a parasite known as Cymothoa Exigua, or the Tongue-Eating Louse, that does basically what it sounds like. It enters a fish's mouth through the gills and latches on at the base of the tongue, cutting off blood flow. Eventually, the tongue falls off completely, but amazingly, other than the initial destruction of the tongue, the parasite is basically harmless. It lives symbiotically with its host and functions the same as the original tongue did. Still, a little clingy, if you ask me!

Worst Thing a Guest did factsFlickr

23. Dance Yourself To Exhaustion

In July 1518, a dancing plague swept through Strasbourg, in the Alsace region of France. It caused about 400 people to dance like crazy for days without stopping. 

Many of those who were affected eventually succumbed to exhaustion, or suffered fatal strokes and heart attacks.One theory proposes it was triggered by a hallucinogenic compound, akin to a certain psychedelic substance, present in ergot fungi, which frequently grows in wheat.

Bradley Cooper FactsGetty Images

24. Cuppa-Poop

It turns out that 20% of coffee mugs found around the office break room contain fecal matter. A University of Arizona study conducted by Doctor Charles Gerba in 1997 revealed this horrific fact. The cause behind this was the result of communal kitchen sponges rarely being properly cleaned or replaced, which led to the passive spread of bacteria. Rinse your sponges people!

Strange Family Traditions Factsshutterstock

25. Heads Up

If you lose your head, you die. There's no way around that. However, there's a theory that suggests that the blood in your brain remains oxygenated for about 12 seconds after being severed. In theory, this could keep your brain functioning for a few more seconds. In fact, during the French Revolution, some witnesses claimed they saw severed heads looking around shortly after getting chopped off.

Human Brain QuizShutterstock

26. The Grim Reaper Is Intoxicated Once More

In the town of Morecambe in the UK, local law enforcement officials were taken aback one morning to find the Grim Reaper himself waiting for them at the station. It turned out to be a 31-year-old man named Christopher Kelly, who wasn't from town and had overindulged the previous night.  Wandering around the town lost, he broke into the Morecambe Town Hall and preceded to soil himself. He took off his clothes, but found a Grim Reaper outfit to put on and keep warm. He wandered around some more, looking for his friends, but eventually gave up and went to the station for help.

Twisted FactsShutterstock

27. Your Life Is In Your Car's Hands

Companies like Apple and Ford have dodged the question of whether a self-driving car would kill passengers, while Mercedes-Benz stated that their self-driving cars would protect the lives of their passengers at all cost. On the other hand, Google asserted that their self-driving cars would evade colliding with a pedestrian, and if required, steer the car into a bollard, which could potentially result in severe harm to the passenger. So you might want to stick to driving your good, old and boring "human driven" car.

Twisted FactsFlickr

28. Mind Control

A parasite found in cat waste can dominate a rat's mind if they consume it. The parasite is known as Toxoplasma gondii, and it can only reproduce inside of a cat. When a rat ingests it, it is able to alters the rat's brain functions so that they're drawn to the smell of feline urine. This makes them an easier target for a cat to find and eat the rat, starting the cycle all over again.

Cats factsFlickr

29. They Took Our Jerbs!

The world's largest consulting and auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, suggests that robots will take over even more of our jobs in the near future. They suggest that in Japan, 21% of the jobs will be handled by robots, in the United Kingdom, 30% and in the US, 38 % of jobs will be done by machines by the year 2030.

Dark and Twisted QuizShutterstock

30. Possessed Set

The Exorcist wasn't just scary on the big screen, there were twisted and unexplained mishaps behind-the-scenes as well. Jack MacGowran, the actor who executed the role of Burke, succumbed to influenza, several other actors were harmed, and the set faced a destructive fire. They even had to get a priest brought in to bless the set on more than one occasion, but I guess it never took.

Scary FactsGetty Images

31. It's Naht A Toomah!

There are some tumors that are able to grow hair, teeth, and their own organs—it's like having another person growing inside of you. Talk about twisted!

In 2008, doctors in Colorado Springs in the US took out a tumor from a baby that contained a partially formed foot, a hand, and a thigh. In 2007, doctors removed a lump from a Japanese woman's right ovary that had an eye and internal organs. You may be a huge sci-fi fan, but reality is always stranger than fiction, baby!

Unromantic Moments factsShutterstock

32. I'll Take A Toothache

Ancient Egyptians used to place mouse paste, that was no longer living, into their mouths. They believed that the mashed mouse mush would ease a toothache when applied with other ingredients, because why not? Yet another reason to be thankful for Novocaine. 

Portrait Of Senior Woman Suffering With ToothacheGetty Images

33. Croc-Contraceptive

Ancient Egyptian women used crocodile dung as an early contraceptive. A pessary composed of dung, honey, and sodium carbonate was inserted inside the female reproductive organ. However, since crocodile dung is slightly alkaline, similar to modern-day spermicides, it's conceivable that it actually could have blocked or neutralized sperm. Still though...

Steve Irwin QuizWikipedia

34. Kissy Kissy

Parasitic worms and bacteria can be transmitted through saliva when we kiss. Triatoma insects, also known as "kissing bugs," can be transferred this way and, after burrowing into a person's heart, can cause something called Chagas disease, which can be potentially deadly. How about a hug instead... through a plastic bubble?

Awkward Wedding factsPxHere

35. Rat King

What's worse than a rat? Try a whole group of rats who have fused together, their tails intertwined with hair and other substances such as gum or sap. 

In ancient times, these so called "Rat Kings" were deemed an omen of misfortune. Today, though, they're so rare some people even question whether the phenomenon even exists. However, museums like the Mauritianum in Altenburg, Thuringia claim to have a mummified rat king on display.

Twisted FactsFlickr


36. How Could a Giant Hornet Get Worse? Acid Venom.

Grab some bug spray the next time you visit Japan. The Japanese giant hornet's venom is so strong that it can even dissolve the flesh of a human. It's also said that one hornet alone has the power to wipe out 40 European honeybees per minute. An Entomologist from Tamagawa University in Japan described her encounter with one of this hornets as a "hot nail through my leg".

Scary FactsFlickr

37. Spiders Pouring From The Walls

Susan and Brian Trost from Missouri bought a home for $450,000, but little did they know that it was swimming with Brown Recluse spiders. Sadly, they didn't know about the spiders until they started coming out of the walls. Pest control experts claimed that there were close to 5,000 of these spiders in the house. Just one bite can lead to pain, nausea, swelling, itching, and potentially organ failure. Naturally, the couple sued the original homeowners.

Twisted FactsPixabay

38. Bugs For Lunch

Get a hold of this: FDA regulations allow for a certain amount of insects to be present in the food you eat. In fact, 10 insects and 35 fruit fly eggs per 8 ounces of raisins is perfectly acceptable. The FDA is also cool with 5 rodent hairs and 150 bug fragments to remain present in one pound of peanut butter. This completely satisfied my craving for some Raisin Bran with my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Ugh, who am I kidding? Pass the peanut butter, please...

Twisted FactsMax Pixel


39. Subaqueous Detention Center

A Nigerian man named Harrison Okene was onboard a tug boat named "Jascon-4" when the boat sank and landed upside down on the bottom of the sea. Fortunately, Harrison was in an air pocket, which allowed him to survive.He spent 60 hours in his small underwater confinement.

Twisted FactsShutterstock

40. Killer's Crib

Catrina McGhaw signed a lease on her North County ranch house in 2014. Not long after that, the St. Louis woman was contacted by a family member who told her to check out a documentary on serial killers on A&E. That's when McGhaw discovered that the house she was in had once been owned by Maury Travis, a killer who utilized the property as a chamber for his gruesome acts. Some of the victims had been tied to a pole in the basement. So much for a home sweet home!

Twisted FactsShutterstock

41. The Buzzer

UVB-76 is a shortwave radio station that is also known as "The Buzzer". The station has been broadcasting a low, monotonous buzzing sound since 1982. Freakishly enough, you can sometimes hear Russian voices in the transmission too. The thing is, no one really knows where the transmission is coming from, but of course many people believe it is of Russian origin, only adding to the mystery.

Twisted FactsFlickr


42. Relatively Straight

Straight men might not have interest in other men, but they show fascination towards their own anatomy. In a book titled "A Billion Wicked Thoughts", by Sai Gaddam and Ogi Ogas, it mentions that these men often search for close-up images of male attributes, particularly the more well-endowed. One theory suggests that men's fascination with their own anatomy stems from our primate roots. For many other male primates, the phallus is an important tool for numerous social activities, not just for reproductive purposes.

Question Reality FactsShutterstock

43. Creature Comforts

Alcatraz, one of America's most notorious and impenetrable correctional facilities, was once the only confinement center in the United States to provide inmates with hot showers. Alcatraz is on an island in San Francisco Bay, and the hot showers were thought to hinder escape, by making sure inmates didn’t get acclimatized to the freezing cold Bay water and swimming to shore.

Twisted Facts #4Getty Images

44. Twisted Birth

On rare occasions, women who are no longer alive can give birth to lifeless fetuses. This phenomenon is known as coffin birth, and it occurs when a deceased pregnant woman expels gas while in a state of decomposition. This flushes the expired fetus out. The condition usually occurs anywhere between 48 and 72 hours after the mother's demise. Now that's an interesting fact that you probably never wanted to know about and now can never forget.

Russian Empire factsShutterstock


45. Drinking And Doctoring

During the period of internal conflict, patients consumed spirits to alleviate the pain of surgical operations—often, the surgeon himself would partake to steady his nerves. Or two. Or more... A Confederate hospital matron named Phoebe Yates Pember alleges that one doctor was so impaired that, when attempting to set a patient's broken ankle, he mistakenly set the uninjured one. Subsequently, a fever set in and the patient succumbed to his injuries.

Twisted FactsShutterstock


Sources: 1, 2, , 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.