Ignorance is bliss. You think you would want to know about all the sad realities of the world, until you actually know. Whether the problem is humanitarian, environmental, or otherwise, it creates a hopeless feeling when you realize there is not much you can do to help and, in some cases, there is nothing. Here are a list of sad but true facts to make you think.
Sad But True Facts
41. Extinct Languages
There are over 2,500 ancient languages that are either already extinct, or in danger of being forgotten forever.
40. One is the Loneliest Number
In 1992, scientists discovered the loneliest creature on Earth. It is a whale that has been calling for a mate for two decades. The whale communicates at a frequency not used by any other whales, and so far, has not received a response.
39. Happy Birthday To Me
The two Mars exploration robots, Curiosity and Opportunity are both on Mars right now. However, they live on opposite sides of the planet, so they will never run into one another. On its one year anniversary, Curiosity was programmed to sing “Happy Birthday” to itself.
38. Existential Crisis
“Steve”, the K5 Security Robot, roamed the Georgetown waterfront in Washington DC. In July of 2017, it “committed suicide” by rolling itself into the water. Fans made a small memorial for “Steve” with selfies they took with the robot, and flowers. Steve may be put back in action in weeks to come.
37. Clammed Up
In 2006, a team of scientific researchers in Iceland were gathering clams in order to study the effects of climate change. They froze the clams, which ended up killing them. They ended up killing the oldest known clam still left alive, nicknamed, “Ming”, which was 507 years old.
36. Deadly Weapons
When someone has a gun in their home, it is 22 times more likely for that the weapon to be used in a suicide or accidental shooting, rather than defense from invaders.
35. Major Moochers
Cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other species. This tricks mother birds into feeding the cuckoo chicks, which grow large and fat very quickly. Soon enough, they get so big that it forces the real chicks out of the nest.
Research from the Netherlands shows that people who are addicted to shopping are in a “loop of loneliness”. They shop because they’re trying to fill a void of loneliness, but the shopping only causes them to feel more lonely.
Billions (with a “b”) of people either live in areas without access to any water, or live in areas where others can buy water, but they just can’t afford it.
32. Lonely Cubs
If a grizzly bear has a single cub, the mother will sometimes abandon the baby. They would prefer to have multiple cubs in a litter, and try again to mate the following year.
31. Pick a Panda
Panda bears have the opposite problem as grizzlies. If a panda has more than one cub, she often cannot care for both of the babies, and must choose one to survive.
The University of Kent did a study that revealed that most people only donate to charity because it makes them feel like they’re a good person.
29. Family First
You cannot expect people to help one another out of the goodness of their hearts. Studies show people are more likely to help a family member compared to a friend or a stranger because a family member is more likely to return the favor.
28. Homeless Kittens
In the United States, there are so many homeless dogs and cats that cannot find homes, that 2.7 million of them are euthanized every year in order to make space in animal shelters. While it’s impossible to know the exact number, there is an estimated 70 million stray cats in the US alone.
27. Worst Mom Ever
Mother hamsters will sometimes eat their newborn babies. This can be for a variety of reasons, but one of the major problems is that a mother hamster will get stressed out and assume that she does not have enough food or space for all of the babies to survive inside of their tiny cage.
26. It’s Dark in Here
While much of the civilized world feels like they can’t “live” without WiFi, 25% of people in the world do not even have electricity.
In 2006, a sloth bear named Khali gave birth to a tiny cub…and immediately ate it. While everyone was horrified, the employees of the Smithsonian Zoo assumed that maybe the first baby was a stillbirth. However, the second and third cubs were healthy. A few days later, Khali ate another one. They rushed to save the last surviving baby of the litter, and separated her from her mother. It turns out that all of the sloth bears had the flu, and that was enough to make Khali kill her babies in order to save herself.
24. Floating Dump
Every single year, cruise ships dump 14 billion pounds of garbage into the oceans.
23. A Matter of Pride
In a pride of lions, there can only be one alpha male. If a new lion becomes alpha, and there are little lion cubs left over from the previous alpha, he will kill them. Afterwards, he will father new children with the females.
22. Take it easy Flipper
When a male bottlenose dolphin is looking for a female to mate with, they might find a random “single mother” who already has a calf. In this case, they will kill the child, so that they can get together with the mom. The reason for this is because once a dolphin gives birth, she is not willing to mate for up to three years. Additionally, they don’t want to waste resources on taking care of a child that isn’t their own.
21. Get to Work, Kids.
Across the world, there are 250 million children forced into hard labor.
In Japan, there is a huge population of young men called “Hikikomori” who never leave their bedrooms. They refuse to interact with the rest of society, and rely on others to take care of them.
19. “Yup, Yup, Yup!”
Judith Barsi, the much-beloved voice actress of the character “Ducky” in The Land Before Time was murdered by her father when she was only 10 years old.
18. Lack of Donations
70% of people who are diagnosed with a blood disease need to rely on the kindness of a stranger to get a bone marrow transplant. Only 2% of Americans are on the donor list and at least 3000 Americans die every year because they could not find a donor.
After 9/11, search and rescue dogs were tasked to find survivors. They found so many dead bodies, that all of them developed severe depression. The last known 9/11 rescue dog died in 2016.
NASA did an experiment that revealed that out of every 1,000 cars on a highway, 60 people will intentionally go out of their way to run over animals they see on the side of the road. Out of those 60 vehicles, 98% of them were trucks or SUV’s.
The UN reported that it would cost $30 billion to solve world hunger. President Trump’s 2018 military budget is $469 billion. However, a portion of military spending does go to humanitarian efforts.
During World War II, it is believed that 50% to 75% of the people who died were civilians. More civilians died than military personnel.
People who are very religious are more statistically likely to have depression and other mental illnesses.
12. False Assumptions
Research shows that if someone hears the same opinion enough times, they will actually begin to believe it, even if the information is completely false. This is basically what leads to racism, ignorance, and bigotry.
11. Special Needs
Students are 2-3 times more likely to get bullied in school when they have some sort of disability.
10. Sex Slaves
Annually, more than 20 million people are sold as slaves in forms of modern-day human trafficking. This includes both sex slaves and indentured factory workers who are paying off debt in exchange for their freedom.
9. At what cost?
To provide footballs for one NFL season, it requires the hides of over 3,000 cows.
8. Staying Cool
The air conditioning budget for US soldiers in Afghanistan was $20.2 billion. This is more than NASA’s entire budget.
7. Poverty Kills
Every year, 2 million children living in poverty die of illnesses that are common and totally treatable, like dehydration caused by diarrhea, or pneumonia.
6. The American Dream
In the United States, 34% of homeless people are under 24 years old.
29.1 million adults in the United States have diabetes, and many of them have it because they cannot afford to buy healthier food.
4. The show
College students who participate in sports are far more likely to have depression when they graduate compared to students who retired their athletic career in High School.
3. Shear me
If a sheep is not sheared, the weight of its wool will cause the sheep to fall over and starve to death.
2. Dear Santa…
Every year thousands of children write to Santa Clause. One of the most requested things children ask for on their Christmas lists is a dad.
1. The Digital World
While social media is supposed to bring people together, studies have shown that going on Facebook too much makes people depressed. People become attached to the validation that comes with being popular on social media.