1. The origins of corgis
The name of the ever-smiling corgi comes from the old Welsh word cor ci (which eventually turned into cor gi) that can be translated as ‘dwarf dog.’ These sweet canines have existed in the British Isles since the 10th century, and old legends say that fairies used corgis as their battle steeds. Merely imagining this makes us go ‘aww’….
2. The Guinness Book of Records was invented to prevent bar fights
The famous Beer Company - Guinness - released the first edition of the book on August 23, 1955. The managing director of the Guinness Brewery at the time, Sir Hugh Beaver, distributed the book across pubs for free in the hopes to settle bar arguments. And the crazy part is that it worked! The book has been a global hit ever since.
3. Mathematicians used to criticize the Rubik's Cube
‘What beef can a mathematician have with a kid’s toy?’ you may ask. Well, it turns out that one mathematician criticized the Rubik’s Cube for being too difficult. According to his estimates, it would take an average human 30 years to solve it. This overestimation is especially funny knowing that the current speed record of solving the Rubik’s Cube is just 3.47 seconds!
4. Some eye drops can be deadly
Ingesting small amounts of eye drops that contain tetrahydrozoline (e.g. Visine, Murine Plus, and Clarine) can be deadly. The drops constrict the blood vessels in the eyes. Consuming them does the same to the entire cardiovascular system, restricting blood flow, slowing the heart rate, and lowering the blood pressure to extremely low levels. The drops have been known to send people into a coma or even cause death, so keep them away from kids and pets at all times.
5. Humans have a super sense of smell too...
… but only for one type of scent. This smell is called petrichor, and it’s the scent of wet earth after the rain. It is said that our perception of this smell surpasses a shark's ability to detect blood in the water.
6. Vending machines are deadlier than sharks
Did you know that 13 people die every year from being crushed by a vending machine? That sounds like a pretty terrifying way to go. But unlike sharks, we don’t see vending machines featured in horror movies a lot, despite the risk of dying of a shark attack being twice as little...
7. German chocolate cake has nothing to do with Germany
This delicious layered chocolate cake filled and topped with a coconut-pecan frosting has a very deceptive name. It was invented by a baker named Samuel German. Indeed, Samuel was an English-American and had nothing to do with Germany, the country.
8. Search for the word "askew" in Google
If you try it, you’ll notice that the entire page will shift a little - how clever!
9. Here’s a cool way to visualize the difference between a million and a billion
1 million seconds equals around 11 days, whereas a billion seconds is only a bit short of 32 years!
10. Opossums are one of the very few animals that can’t get rabies
People often mistake the opossum’s protective behavior - an open-mouth, hissing, and drooling - for rabies. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as the opossum's body temperature is too low for the virus to develop and spread.
11. Honeybees can be taught to track down land mines
A swarm of bees can be taught to hover above an area with a land mine without setting it off. Many animals track mines too. The advantage of bees, however, is that they can alert people to the presence of the land mine without getting hurt themselves.
12. Sharks are 100 million years older than trees
Scientists found that the earliest shark remains date all the way back to 450 million years. The earliest tree we’ve found so far is only 350 million years old, which means that sharks are older than trees...
13. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s dad saw both the Wright brother’s first flight and his son’s Moon landing
The man’s name was Eugene Aldrin, and we must say, witnessing both of these life-changing historic events in a lifetime is quite an accomplishment!
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