Facts

More People Should Know These Fascinating Facts

Facts and random information are both fun and interesting, and they easily make you the center of any get-together. People love cool facts, and your collection of unexpected facts about wild animals or the human body will definitely give you the chance to have some good laughs with your friends and family. So, check out some cool facts to keep talking about below!

#1 The Chemical Signals That Acacia Trees Send To Other Trees When Overgrazed Turn Them Lethal

Wouter Van Hoven is a zoologist from Pretoria University. In 1990, he conducted an investigation on 3,000 antelope that died on a game ranch in South Africa. He experimented on both giraffes and antelope, called Kudu. According to his observations, giraffes only consumed several acacia leaves from a single tree. On the other hand, the Kudu ate everything they found. Eventually, he discovered that other trees were getting a signal from acacia trees. This was none other than ethylene, which travels up to 150 feet, warning other acacia trees. The levels of tannin in the “warned” tress increased within 5-10 minutes. This made the leaves in those trees poisonous.

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Photo: Güldem Üstün / Flickr / CC-BY 2.0

#2 Humans Are Capable Of Smelling Fresh Rain Better Than Sharks Smell Blood

The smell of fresh rain is called “petrichor” and many people love this. This smell results from a chemical released by bacteria called geosmin, which belongs to the genus Streptomyces. Small arthropods get attracted to this smell, eating the bacteria and spreading the pores. Ultimately, this process aids in reproduction.

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Photo: Santosh Kumar / Flickr / CC-BY-SA 2.0

Although humans do not have strong olfactory powers, they can smell geosmin really well. In fact, humans are capable of smelling geosmin concentrations as low as 100 parts per trillion. To compare this with the ability of sharks to smell blood in seawater, they can only smell blood in one part per trillion.

#3 Even Before Saturn Got Its Rings, Sharks Existed

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Photo: Bernard DUPONT / Flickr / CC-BY-SA 2.0

Although Saturn is around 4.5 billion years old, its rings were formed just 10 million to 100 million years ago. However, sharks started evolving over 400 million years ago, making prehistoric sharks way older than Saturn’s rings.

#4 Trees Did Not Decompose In The The First 60 Million Years They Existed

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Photo: Charlie Brenner / Flickr / CC-BY-SA 2.0

During the initial years of earth, trees were tall with a poor root system. Therefore, they mostly just toppled over, piling up wood in forests. However, bacteria and fungi that carry out the process of decomposition evolved 60 million years later. Till that point, the weight of piled up wood turned the bottom layers into peat and into coal respectively.

#5 Australia Is Wider Than The Moon

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Photo: Google Earth

The diameter of the moon is estimated to be 2,237 miles and the diameter of Australia is around 2,486 miles. This means that the island is wider than the moon. However, the moon has a larger surface area than Australia. The surface of the moon and Australia are 37.94 million square kilometers and 7.69 million square kilometers respectively.

#6 Butterflies Suck Nutrients From Decomposing Matter, Blood, And Dung

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Photo: Franzi takes photos / Flickr / CC-BY 2.0

Butterflies are surely not the soft, delicate creatures that you believe them to be. They too have a dark side. In order to meet their nutritional requirements that aren’t fulfilled by flowers, they may such nutrients from less savory stuff including blood, sweat, tears, blood, and even dung. This behavior is known as mud puddling. They use this technique to gain nutrients like sodium and amino acids that are absent in their plant-based diets.

#7 Largest Vertebrates That Reproduce Asexually Are Komodo Dragons

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Photo: zoofanatic / Flickr / CC-BY 2.0

In 2006, at a European Zoo, two female Komodo dragons laid eggs without having any physical contact with a male, shocking the staff. Most vertebrates reproduce sexually. Asexual reproduction or parthenogenesis is rare among them.

Half the chromosomes of the mother are present in the egg. This doubles during parthenogenesis, forming a complete set. While male Komodo dragons have a matched ZZ pair, females have an unmatched WZ pair. Only a ZZ pairing occurs during parthenogenesis as WW is unviable and WZ never happens.

#8 Despite Having 300-Degree Vision, The Depth Perception Of Cows Is Very Poor

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Photo: angela n. / Flickr / CC-BY 2.0

This might come as a shock to you, but cows really do have 300-degree vision. This means that cows can see anywhere except directly behind them without turning their heads. This is why it’s not a good idea to sneak up on cows from behind. On the other hand, their depth perception is quite poor, which is why it’s nearly impossible to get them to walk downstairs.

#9 The Original Patent Of The Fire Hydrant Was Lost In A Fire

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Photo: mrpolyonymous / Flickr / CC-BY 2.0

The US Patent Office was burned down in 1836. Thousands of records became ashes by the fire. This included the patent for the fire hydrant as well. Frederick Graff, who’s the chief engineer of Philadelphia Water Works is believed to be the inventor of the fire hydrant by many people. How, since the documents were burned down, this is just an assumption. In 1838, an improved hydrant was presented by John Jorden. Therefore, a new patent was issued to him.

#10 Some Components Of Wright Brothers’ Flyer Reached The Moon

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Photo: Gary Todd / Flickr / Public domain

In July 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step on the moon. As part of the mission, Armstrong and his team took small bags of belongings onto the moon. These are called personal preference kits. Armstrong’s bag carried some truly memorable. These were none other than souvenirs from the Wright Flyer. The Wright Flyer was flown by Wilbur and Orville Wright on December 17, 1903. The souvenirs included some parts of the fabric and propeller from the Wright Flyer.

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