Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn. Despite its mythical status, the unicorn has been a Scottish heraldic symbol since the 12th century. It is often depicted as a horse-like creature with a single horn on its forehead. The unicorn was chosen for its association with purity, innocence, masculinity, and power in Celtic mythology.
The chemical nepetalactone, found in Catnip, is ten times more effective at repelling mosquitos than DEET, the chemical found in most insect repellants.
This one almost didn’t make the list.
The artificial flavor we know as banana resembles the fruit found on the Gros Michel trees. The trees were essentially wiped out in the 1960s. That’s when the Cavendish became prominent because of its tolerance to the fungal plague. These are the bananas we eat today.
In 1908, tea merchant Thomas Sullivan distributed tea samples in silk bags. Not understanding that these were samples, customers dunked the bags in water, and Thomas was suddenly swamped by orders for his “tea bags.”
This is likely due to porn websites having a vested interest in keeping their sites free of malware as they want visitors to return.
People think the world of their pets and are willing to leave them everything when they die.
You could visit a new beach every day for 27 years straight if you wanted to.
The Ludlow Amendment would have forced Congress to put any declaration of war to a vote of the citizens unless the U.S. were attacked first.
The reason for this is largely practical: Every ounce mattered on lunar missions, and bringing unnecessary waste back to Earth would have burdened the spacecraft’s limited capacity. Human waste and other items like used food containers, cameras, and tools were left behind to lighten the load for takeoff from the moon. These discarded items are often referred to as ‘lunar litter.’
The idea of human waste on the moon also raises interesting scientific questions. Some researchers have speculated that the bags could contain microbes that have survived the harsh lunar conditions for decades, which could provide valuable information about the hardiness of life in extreme environments.
Parrots are known for their loud and raucous calls, and a large group of them can create quite a din, hence the term “pandemonium.” This term reflects not only the noise they can make but also their vibrant colors and often chaotic behavior, especially in large groups.
This term is not as commonly used as “flock” or “company,” but it has been used to describe a group of these colorful birds in some literature and popular culture. It makes sense as the noise produced would easily cause pandemonium.
The secessions of the plebeians, also known as the “Conflict of the Orders,” were important political events in the early history of the Roman Republic.
These secessions were essentially labor strikes or protests. The plebeians comprised most of Rome’s population and were the backbone of its workforce and military. They grew increasingly dissatisfied with the patricians, who held all political power and often exploited the plebeians economically.
In 494 BCE, during the first recorded secession, the plebeians left Rome and encamped on a hill, later called the Sacred Mount. This was a significant crisis for Rome because without the plebeians, the city was left undefended, and its economy could grind to a halt. The plebeians demanded political reform, specifically the right to elect their own officials, known as Tribunes, who could veto the actions of the Consuls and the Senate.
These strikes were not so much about wages as they were about political representation and economic fairness. The plebeians wanted protection from the patricians’ power, particularly against debt slavery, a common practice at the time.
This first secession resulted in the creation of the office of the Tribune of the Plebs, marking a significant turning point in Roman history as it was the first official, although limited, recognition of political power for the plebeians.
Several more secessions occurred over the next two centuries, leading to further political and social reforms. These events were a critical part of Rome’s transition from a narrow oligarchy to a more inclusive political system, although the patricians continued to hold significant power.
An unusual fact about roosters is that they have a built-in “compass” that helps them to navigate. Researchers have found that roosters have a unique protein called cryptochrome in their eyes, which allows them to detect the Earth’s magnetic field. This helps them to orient themselves and navigate accurately, especially when they are far from home or in unfamiliar territory.
Studies have shown that roosters can become disoriented and confused when the magnetic field around them is disrupted or changed. For example, when researchers exposed roosters to an artificially rotated magnetic field, the birds became disoriented and started circling around as if they had lost their sense of direction.
Elephants are capable swimmers and can use their trunks like snorkels to breathe while swimming. They can also use their massive bodies and powerful legs to swim long distances if necessary.
In some cases, elephants have been observed swimming across rivers and lakes that are several miles wide. They also use their swimming abilities to cross waterways and access food and resources on islands or other aquatic environments.
Bill and Melinda Gates have been among the world’s most generous philanthropists. They have donated over $45 billion through their charitable organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, since its inception in 1994. The foundation focuses on addressing global health issues, reducing poverty, improving education, and promoting innovation, among other causes.
According to a 2019 report by Mission: Readiness, a national security organization of retired military leaders, seven out of ten young adults in the United States would not qualify for military service due to various factors such as physical fitness, education, and criminal history.
The report found that many young adults in the U.S. cannot meet the minimum standards for military service, which include being in good physical shape, having a high school diploma or equivalent, and having no serious criminal history. The report also noted that many potential recruits are disqualified due to health issues such as obesity, asthma, and hearing loss.
The United States Secret Service was initially formed in 1865 as a federal law enforcement agency to combat the rampant counterfeiting of U.S. currency, which had become a significant problem during the Civil War and in the years that followed.
At the time, up to one-third of all currency in circulation was believed to be counterfeit, and the problem was undermining public confidence in the U.S. financial system. To address this issue, President Abraham Lincoln signed a law creating the Secret Service as a division of the Treasury Department to investigate and prosecute counterfeiting cases.
Over time, the Secret Service’s responsibilities expanded to include other areas of law enforcement, such as protecting the President and other high-level officials and investigating financial crimes such as credit card fraud and cybercrime. Today, the Secret Service is a multi-faceted agency with many national security, law enforcement, and criminal investigation responsibilities.
It happens when the (F)errous (Ox)ide or Iron in the paper is exposed to humidity.
“Foxing” is a term used in the world of book conservation to describe the age-related spots and browning seen on vintage paper documents, including books. The exact cause of foxing is still a topic of debate among conservators. Still, it’s likely due to a combination of factors such as humidity, age, and the presence of iron, fungal activity, or other impurities within the paper.
Foxing is more common in older books because they are often made of organic materials that are susceptible to this type of degradation. However, foxing does not necessarily indicate a poor-condition book. Some collectors and readers appreciate the presence of foxing for the sense of history and character it adds to a book.
The Treaty of Peace and Friendship lasted over 230 years, making it the oldest unbroken treaty in U.S. history. The treaty has been renewed several times, most recently in 2019. Today, the United States and Morocco maintain a strong relationship based on shared interests in security, trade, and cultural exchange.
Due to its location and limited freshwater resources, Hong Kong has long relied on seawater for various purposes, including toilet flushing. Seawater flushing systems use seawater instead of freshwater to flush toilets, which can help conserve freshwater resources and reduce water usage.
In the 19th century, when Dickens was writing, literacy rates were lower than today's, particularly among the working class. Dickens’s books were serialized in newspapers and magazines, which made them more accessible to the general public, but many people still struggled with reading and comprehension.
To address this, “readers for hire” became common in the mid-19th century. These readers would travel to different locations, such as pubs or people’s homes, and read books aloud to groups of people who had paid to hear them. Dickens’s novels were prevalent for this purpose, as they were engaging and often dealt with social issues relevant to the working class.
Some studies have suggested that couples spending more on their weddings may focus more on the wedding day than building a solid and lasting relationship. These studies have found a correlation between high wedding expenses and an increased likelihood of divorce. However, other studies have found no correlation. So take this one with a grain of salt. The relationship between wedding expenses and divorce rates is more complicated than a simple cause-and-effect relationship.
Zebras have a base coat of black skin underneath a white or cream-colored hair coat, and the pigment melanin causes their stripes.
Scientists are still studying the precise mechanisms by which zebras develop their stripes. Still, the stripes are believed to be formed through a combination of genetic factors and environmental influences. The stripes are made up of individual hairs that are pigmented differently depending on their position on the zebra’s body.
The Microraptor is a genus of small, feathered dinosaurs that lived during the early Cretaceous period, around 120 million years ago. They were approximately the size of a crow, with a length of about 2 feet from head to tail.
Microraptors were unusual among dinosaurs in that they had feathers on all four of their limbs, as well as on their tails. This suggests they could glide through the air, using their feathered wings to control their descent. They were also carnivorous and likely hunted small animals such as lizards and insects.
It is a generic term that can refer to any hat. Still, in widespread usage, the sombrero is often associated with a specific type of broad-brimmed hat commonly worn in Mexico and other parts of Central and South America.
The sombrero is typically made of straw or felt and features a wide brim that provides shade from the sun. It is often decorated with colorful embroidery or other embellishments and may be worn as part of traditional costumes for festivals and other special occasions.
According to a report by Credit Suisse, the United States had the highest number of millionaires in the world in 2021, with over 20 million individuals having a net worth of at least one million US dollars. This represents about 60% of the world’s total millionaire population.
In comparison, the population of Sweden as of 2022 is approximately 10.4 million people, according to the World Bank. This means that the number of millionaires in the United States is more than twice the population of Sweden.
This is only partially accurate. While it is true that newborn babies have limited visual acuity and cannot see colors as vividly as adults, they are not actually “seeing in black and white.” Instead, newborns have immature color vision that is still developing and takes time to mature fully.
Newborns can see objects and shapes from a very early age. Still, their visual acuity is generally limited to about 8-12 inches, the distance between their eyes and their mother’s face while nursing. In addition, newborns prefer high-contrast patterns, such as black and white stripes or simple geometric shapes, which are easier to distinguish than more complex patterns.
As babies develop and their visual system matures, they perceive colors with increasing clarity and can distinguish between different hues. By around 3-4 months, most babies have fully developed color vision similar to that of adults.
According to various sources, including interviews with Lundgren, he reportedly has an IQ of around 160, considered to be in the “genius” range.
Lundgren is perhaps best known for his role as the imposing Soviet boxer Ivan Drago in the 1985 film “Rocky IV.” He has also appeared in numerous other movies and television shows and worked as a director and producer.
In addition to his work in entertainment, Lundgren has also pursued academic interests. He holds a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney in Australia and a degree in chemistry from Washington State University. He has also studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Stockholm in Sweden.
The term was used in the Appalachian region of the United States to refer to homemade, high-proof alcohol distilled in secret by local residents. The name “Mountain Dew” was said to have been inspired by the practice of distilling moonshine under the moon’s light, which cast a glow on the mountain dew as it dripped from the still.
The term “Mountain Dew” was later adopted as the name of a popular citrus-flavored soft drink first introduced in the 1940s. According to legend, the glass was created by two Tennessee beverage bottlers looking to diversify their product line. They reportedly developed the original Mountain Dew recipe as a mixer for whiskey, but the drink soon became popular and evolved into a standalone brand.
Ambergris is a substance produced by sperm whales due to the digestion of their food. It is believed to be formed in the whale’s intestines and is usually expelled from the body through the mouth or anus.
Ambergris has a unique and complex scent described as sweet, earthy, and musky. It has been highly prized for centuries as an ingredient in perfumes and fragrances and was particularly popular in the 18th and 19th centuries when it was used to scent gloves, soaps, and other luxury goods.
While the use of ambergris in perfumes is controversial due to its origins, many perfume companies continue to use it today. However, synthetic substitutes are often used instead due to natural ambergris' high cost and rarity.
Harvesting ambergris is illegal in many countries, including the United States, where the sperm whale is protected under the Endangered Species Act. As such, the use of ambergris in perfumes and other products is strictly regulated. Many companies now use synthetic alternatives to avoid contributing to the exploitation of endangered animals.
The exact origins of fortune cookies are unclear, but they are believed to have been invented in California in the early 20th century. There are several stories about how they were created. Still, one popular theory is that they were inspired by Japanese senbei crackers made and sold by Japanese immigrants in California.
The first fortune cookies were simple, flat cookies made from flour, sugar, and oil, with a slip of paper inside containing a fortune or a piece of advice. Over time, the cookies became more elaborate, taking on their familiar curved shape and often dipped in chocolate or decorated with sprinkles or other toppings.
Fortune cookies quickly became associated with Chinese restaurants in the United States, and they are now a staple of American Chinese cuisine. While not commonly found in China, they have become a famous symbol of Chinese culture and are often included in celebrations and festivals in the United States and other countries.
The Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) is one of the longest-living vertebrate species known to science. Researchers have estimated that these sharks can live for up to 400 years and possibly as long as 500 years.
Greenland sharks are slow-growing and late-maturing, with females not reaching sexual maturity until they are around 150 years old. They are found in the cold, deep waters of the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans. They are known for their scavenging behavior and ability to tolerate extreme cold and low oxygen levels.
While the exact number of female gladiators in ancient Rome is unknown, there is evidence that they existed and were often celebrated for their bravery and skill. Female gladiators fought in various styles, including armed combat with swords, spears, and unarmed combat.
The idea of female gladiators has been popularized in modern culture through movies, TV shows, and other media. Still, historians continue to debate the extent to which they were a common or accepted part of ancient Roman society. Nonetheless, “gladiatrix” is still used today to refer to female fighters in combat sports or other contexts.
Despite their name, peanuts are not nuts but are classified as a type of legume. Specifically, they are the seeds of the peanut plant, a legume family member, along with beans, lentils, and peas.
The peanut plant produces a yellow or white flower that eventually develops into a “peg,” which grows downward and finally burrows into the ground, where the peanut pod forms and matures. The mature peanut pod contains one to four peanut seeds, which can be roasted, boiled, or otherwise prepared for consumption.
The glabella is the skin area on the forehead between the eyebrows and just above the nose. It is sometimes called the “brow ridge” or “super ciliary arch.”
The glabella is a distinctive feature of the human skull, and it is believed to have evolved due to changes in the shape and size of the brain throughout human evolution. In some cultures, the glabella is also considered an essential feature for aesthetic or spiritual reasons. It may be decorated or modified for cultural or religious purposes.
The British Empire and the Zanzibar Sultanate fought the Anglo-Zanzibar War in 1896. The British issued an ultimatum to the Sultan to step down from power, but he refused. As a result, the British launched a naval bombardment that destroyed the Sultan’s palace and killed over 500 people. The Sultan surrendered 38 minutes later, making it the shortest recorded war.
Tug of War was an Olympic sport from 1900 to 1920. During that time, the event was open to both men’s and women’s teams, and teams from various countries contested it.
The Olympic tug-of-war rules were similar to the traditional game, in which two teams of eight athletes each compete to pull a rope over a distance of 11 meters. The winning team was the one that managed to pull the rope a specified distance, or that managed to pull their opponents across a marked line on the ground.
The strongest muscle in the human body is the masseter muscle, located in the jaw and responsible for closing the jaw during chewing and biting.
The masseter muscle is one of the most powerful muscles in the body, capable of exerting tremendous force. This muscle is necessary for chewing and biting and is highly developed in many animals, including humans.
A crocodile’s tongue is attached to the bottom of its mouth by a membrane, making it impossible for them to protrude outside its mouth like most other animals. Instead, their tongues remain hidden inside their mouth and are used primarily for moving food down their throat.
Most people can’t lick their elbows due to human anatomy. The human arm isn’t long enough to reach the elbow with the tongue. However, some people with exceptionally highly flexible joints can accomplish this feat. Nevertheless, for the majority of people, it is a physical impossibility. Try it for yourself.
Although the ‘Y’ in Rhythms is considered a vowel in this sense, rhythms are still the longest word that doesn’t use the traditional ‘AEIOU’ vowels.
Honey is a natural preservative due to its low water and high sugar content, inhibiting microorganisms’ growth. While it may crystallize over time and change in texture and flavor, properly stored honey can remain edible for a very long time, possibly even decades or centuries.
However, honey can spoil if it contains too much moisture, is exposed to air or light, or is contaminated with bacteria or spores, so store it in a cool, dry, and dark place and using clean utensils when handling it. Therefore, while honey has a very long shelf life, it is inaccurate to say that it never spoils.
The longest wedding veil ever recorded was longer than 63 football fields put together. It measured 22,843 feet and was worn by a bride in Cyprus in 2018.
Wearing headphones can increase the moisture and warmth in your ear canal, creating a more favorable environment for bacteria to grow. However, the actual increase in bacteria will depend on various factors, such as the cleanliness of the headphones and the individual’s hygiene habits.
German chemist Johann Wolfgang Dobereiner invented the first cigarette lighter in 1823. He called it the Dobereiner’s Lamp and used hydrogen gas to ignite a flame. The modern cigarette lighter, which uses flint and fuel, was invented in the 1930s. English chemist John Walker created the first friction match in 1826, three years after Dobereiner’s invention.
Samuel German developed dark-baking chocolate in 1852 while working for Baker’s Chocolate Company in Massachusetts. In 1957, a homemaker created a recipe for “German Chocolate Cake” using German Chocolate and published it in a Dallas newspaper. The recipe gained popularity, and people started calling it “German Chocolate Cake,” even though it had no connection to Germany.
Other materials that contribute to household dust include fibers from clothing, bedding, carpets, and other textiles. Dust also contains microscopic life forms like dust mites, which feed on organic detritus like skin flakes and their waste products.
Dust can also contain outdoor particles that have made their way inside, such as soil, pollen, and particulate matter from air pollution. Cooking particles, insect waste, hair, and even small bits of plastic can also contribute to the composition of household dust.
That’s it for this list. Did you learn anything new?