Liven up a conversation with these little-known, yet engaging facts.
The modern age of the internet, smartphones and handheld devices, has put all the knowledge you could ever wish to know right in the palm of your hand. The information superhighway is there at your fingertips. But however much information you consume, there is endless more knowledge to suck up. Some of it of course is more useful to know than others, and whether it’s the ridiculous, the absurd, or just the unlikely, this type of knowledge is a big hit with curious minds. Thankfully, there is no shortage of facts like this on the internet, so with that said, expand your mind with these obscure trivia tidbits. Here we go…
#1 | Chicken harnesses are available on Amazon
Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side of course. But that didn’t stop it from potentially raining feathers when the unthinkable happens. Thankfully in 2022 we have Amazon, and for $10 you can be the proud owner of a chicken harness. Yep, a chicken harness. Some even feature fancy bow ties so roosters and hens can strut their stuff (and cross the road safely) in style. We just don’t recommend serving them this way.
Okay… with our tongue-in-cheek fact out of the way, let’s get down to the slightly more serious stuff, below!
#2 | First use of OMG in communication goes back to 1917
It is often thought that texting language is a modern phenomenon that started with the mass ownership of cellphones and the texting craze that came with it. But it has now been discovered, as was reported by The Atlantic, that OMG was used in a letter by a Royal Navy Admiral sent to then member of Parliament, Winston Churchill in 1917. In it, Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher expresses his amazement that a new order of Knighthood is under consideration, and writes “O.M.G. (Oh! My God!) -- Shower it on the Admiralty”. Oh my God, indeed.
#3 | Oranges don’t occur in nature
Contrary to what you might think, oranges do not naturally exist in nature. They are in fact a hybrid of two other citrus fruits — the tangerine and pomelo, the latter of which is sometimes known as a Chinese grapefruit. Another interesting fact is that oranges aren’t always orange. They start out green, and become the more familiar color as the weather heats up.
#4 | Too much water can be fatal
In today’s health-conscious world, we are always told to drink more water, and being properly hydrated is important. But it turns out that over-consumption of anything, no matter how healthy you think it is, is probably dangerous. Most healthy foods however, would have to be consumed in epic proportions before they became unsafe. Although rare, there have been cases of people dying from overhydration, mostly in endurance events when large quantities of water are consumed and sodium is lost. There was also a fatality caused by water intoxication during a water-drinking contest held by a radio station to see how much water a person could drink without going to the bathroom. There is a reason you get the urge to pee, folks.
#5 | Hot water freezes faster
Staying with the water theme, there is a theory that hot water freezes faster than cold water, and it seems to be true. This may seem illogical and there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on the reason. It probably comes down to several different factors happening concurrently, such as the container the water is in is conducting heat more efficiently, and that evaporation is taking place at a faster rate with warm water than with cold. It had occurred to some of history’s greatest minds that hot water might freeze faster than cold water, but it wasn’t until 1963 that this was observed and noted.
#6 | Parrots are comparatively smart
African grey parrots have the reasoning power of a 47-year old man. Seriously though, in experiments by supposedly smart people, the parrots were presented with two canisters and shown that there was food in one of them. The canisters were then closed and when the parrots were given the chance to choose between them, they consistently chose the one with food in. If that’s not too hard to believe, then this supposedly gives the African grey parrot approximately the reasoning level of a 3-year old child. Although I’m left wondering what the reasoning level of the scientists involved was.
#7 | Art and sculpting used to be part of the Olympics
Believe it or not, between 1912 and 1948, medals were awarded for sculpting, painting, literature, architecture and music at the Olympic Games. In fact, a 73-year old man from Great Britain is the oldest Olympic medalist in history, thanks to his silver medal awarded for his 1948 engraving, Polo Players. The arts being part of the Olympics had not been without controversy though, and heated debates ensued in the aftermath of the 1948 Olympics, resulting in the IOC finally calling time on this event, indefinitely.
#8 | Days were 23 hours long when dinosaurs roamed the planet
“Where did you get that one from?” I hear you say. Well, according to NASA—yep, those guys that know everything there is to know about anything, but only tell us the useless stuff—Earth’s rotation is slowed down by the moon over time, very very very slowly. So slow that it adds about 1.4 milliseconds to Earth’s day, every 100 years. Of course this is insanely slow, but over hundreds of millions of years, it adds up - to about an hour. In fact, the real reason this is important is because with objects whizzing around our planet at tens of thousands of miles per hour, millisecond accuracy is crucial for preventing collisions and understanding satellite orbits. In 2016, all official clocks on Earth added a leap second to compensate for the effect.
#9 | New York was briefly named New Orange
The Big Apple was once, quite possibly, a big orange. You see, in 1673 the Dutch captured New York from the English, and they renamed it New Orange in honor of William III of Orange. The English were having none of it however, and the following year they retook control and reverted the name back to New York.
#10 | Reno is farther west than Los Angeles
Yes, surprising as it might sound, Reno, which is located in Nevada, sits further west than Los Angeles. Just check the map!
#11 | The most dangerous animal in the world to humans is the mosquito
When it comes to dangerous animals, most people might think of large attack-minded predators like sharks or lions, or perhaps extremely venomous species of snakes or spiders. In reality, animals like this seldom present a danger to people, especially on a large scale. But there is one tiny animal that is responsible for the death of millions of people each year, and that is the mosquito. Of course, it’s not actually the mosquito itself that causes harm - aside from annoyingly itchy bites. It is the diseases that mosquitoes spread when they bite that has a devastating effect. Worldwide, over one million people die each year from mosquito-borne diseases.
#12 | There is a fruit that tastes like chocolate pudding
The black sapote is a fascinating and rare fruit that has been described as “having the taste and consistency of chocolate pudding”. Now that is my kind of fruit! Be sure to eat this fruit when it’s fully ripe however, as in its unripe state, black sapote is bitter and caustic, and has even been used as fish poison in some cultures. Although native to Central America and Colombia, it is commercially grown in Australia, Florida, and the Philippines.
Thanks for reading! We hope you found it interesting and amusing.
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The Kovol Blog Team