Almost everyone loves to have a good fact or two in their back pocket, ready to be busted out when the moment strikes. They can make for great conversation starters at a party, or even be handy in a game of Trivial Pursuit.
Yet, the more odd facts you hear, the more you start to wonder if some of them are works of fiction. The best facts might just be those that almost sound fake, but they are 100% accurate.
Here are some jaw-dropping pieces of trivia that fit that mold. When you hear them, you’ll be rushing to Google to find out if they’re real, but trust us—they are!
1. There is a disease, called Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, that will turn your muscles into bone over time. Removing the ossified muscle through surgery has shown to cause the body to repair the affected area with more bone.
2. Many militaries across the world, from Russia to the United States, make use of combat dolphins. They’re trained to perform dangerous missions, like locate underwater mines, as well as search for enemy vessels.
3. Some may have heard that there are more people alive today than have ever lived on Earth, but that’s not true. The number of people living today amount to about 6.5% of people to have ever lived. Even in 35 years, the statistic will only stand at about 8.6%.
4. There once was a chicken in Colorado who survived for 18 months… after his head was cut off. He was named Mike, and there’s now even a festival that takes place in his honor every year.
5. There’s a species of shark called the Greenland shark that is estimated to be able to live more than 400 years. Think about it: one that was born before the Mayflower landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts could conceivably still be alive today!
6. Through a seemingly miraculous process called parthenogenesis, turkeys have been known to impregnate themselves in rare instances. It should be noted, however, that this has only been observed as happening with domestic turkeys, not wild ones.
7. Since the current water speed record of 318 miles per hour was set in 1978, no one has been able to top it—and 85% of those who have tried have been killed doing so. Makes you wonder why anyone would try?
8. Though this is the case with most marsupials, the female kangaroo actually has three vaginas. Not only that, but they have two uteruses as well. Now, you will never be able to forget that!
9. Although they look fluffy and light, the average weight of a cumulus cloud is estimated to be a staggering 1.1 million pounds! That’s the equivalent of more than 100 elephants floating in the sky.
10. The mantis shrimp might be tiny, but he packs a punch—literally! His punch has been clocked at speeds comparable to a .22 caliber bullet, and can easily crack the shells of mollusks or crabs.
11. Neutron stars, which are the ancient remnants of stars that have all but disappeared, are small; they’re only about 12.5 miles in diameter. That said, their mass is enormous. One teaspoon of neutron star matter would weigh more than 900 Pyramids of Giza.
12. People all over the world know Nintendo as a producer of fun video games, characters, and consoles. Few, however, would guess that the company was actually founded way back in 1889!
13. Unlike us humans, or even dogs and cats, horses are almost incapable of vomiting. This is due to the powerful cut-off valve muscle in their throats, and the angle at which their esophagus meets the stomach.
14. Made famous for its efficient dispatching of King Louis XIV and his wife, Marie Antionette, people tend to think of the guillotine as an old-timey invention. But its last use in a private execution? September 10, 1977.
15. Norway and North Korea might seem a world away, but a person could theoretically travel from one to the other while only passing through one country: Russia. Who’s ready for a road trip?
16. This might seem almost illogical, but it’s always better to buy the large pizza. In fact, one 18-inch large pizza contains more actual pizza than four 8-inch small pizzas do, combined. How about that?
17. If you drop Silly Putty from high enough, it will shatter. This is because it is a dilatant compound, which means that it becomes solid under pressure. It’s actually a popular experiment in high school science classes!
Some of these really do sound too crazy to be real, and yet, here we are. Hope you’re ready to tell people all about these little factoids when the time comes!
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