50 Ridiculous Facts You Didn't Know Were True

Ancient Romans whitened their teeth with what?!
50 Ridiculous Facts You Didn't Know Were True

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Sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction! For example, did you know that 2 to 3 pounds of your body weight is made up of microorganisms? We’ve assembled 50 mind-blowing facts that we bet you had no idea were true. Some of these facts might even leave you squirming in your seat or looking at food in an entirely different way. Read on, and your view of the world just might change a bit.

1. A single sneeze travels 100 miles per hour and shoots 100,000 germs into the air.

2. You’re born with just 1 pint of blood, but by the time you’re an adult you have 4 to 5 quarts.

3. The human body contains enough fat to make seven bars of soap.

4. Humans are capable of echolocation, just like a bat or a whale.

5. It’s impossible to hum while holding your nose. Go ahead, try it!

6. All humans have an automatic dive reflex. When your face is submerged in cold water or when you hold your breath, your heart slows and your blood vessels narrow to conserve oxygen.

7. Newborn babies can’t drown because their windpipes close in response to being submerged. However, that reflex disappears at six months (but we do NOT recommend testing this odd fact at home).

8. Your stomach acid is strong enough to dissolve metal.

9. The silhouette on the NBA Logo is of Hall of Fame Los Angeles Laker Jerry West.

10. The average lifespan of an MLB baseball is just 7 pitches.

11. Golf is the only sport to have been played on the moon. In 1971, Alan Shepard hit two golf balls on the lunar surface with a makeshift 6-iron.

12. The term “winning something hands down” came from horse racing. A jockey who is far enough ahead can slacken the reins and keep his hands down.

13. Wild dolphins call each other by name.

14. Sperm whales are the loudest animal on Earth at 230 decibels. (By comparison, an airplane is 150 decibels at takeoff.)

15. Polar bears have been mating with grizzlies in the Arctic, making a new animal called the pizzly!

16. To prevent themselves from drifting apart, sea otters hold hands while they sleep.

17. Blue whale hearts weigh almost a ton and beat once every 10 seconds.

18. A dog’s sense of smell is so good that it can detect a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water, or two Olympic-sized pools.

19. That apple you buy in the grocery store could be over a year old.

20. Most wasabi paste you get in a sushi restaurant isn’t wasabi at all, but horseradish.

21. The term “OK” probably comes from a misspelling of the phrase “all correct.”

22. Under certain conditions, hot water actually freezes faster than cold water.

23. Lobsters used to be so cheap that they were frequently used to feed prisoners.

24. Tomatoes are native to the Americas, so there was no such thing as tomato sauce in Italy until at least the 16th century.

25. Dentures were once routinely made out of actual human or animal teeth.

26. Ancient Romans used urine to whiten their teeth.

27. Most store-bought orange juice is artificially-flavored.

28. Cochineal “beetles” — actually a species of scale insect that parasitizes cactuses — are a major source of red food coloring.

29. The Food and Drug Administration has a handbook detailing the levels of “insect fragments” and other icky-sounding contaminants that are safe for humans to consume in specific foods.

30. The “bloody mary” cocktail may be named after England’s Queen Mary, who had hundreds of people burned at the stake.

31. In the 16th and 17th centuries, wealthy Europeans ate remedies containing human body parts to cure disease.

32. The tiny polyps that make up coral spawn by releasing eggs and sperm into the water. An entire reef typically releases all at once over about 20 minutes, usually under a full moon.

33. The Pacific Ocean is larger than all land masses on Earth combined.

34. The pressure in the deepest part of the ocean is over 8 tons per square inch, which is equivalent to having 50 jumbo jets piled on top of you.

35. Pez candy was invented to help people quit smoking cigarettes; the original Pez dispensers were shaped similarly to a cigarette lighter.

36. Babies are born without “kneecaps,” as we know them. Babies have cartilaginous structures in their knees which turn to bone by the age of 4.

37. Cheese is the most shoplifted food in the world.

38. You can’t visit the world’s biggest waterfall, because it’s actually deep underwater in the ocean, between Iceland and Greenland. The flow of the Denmark Strait cataract is 2,000 times more powerful than Niagara Falls.

39. The YKK on your zipper? It stands for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha, which roughly translates to Yoshida Company Limited. It’s estimated that this company makes half the zippers in the world.

40. Beer was legally classified as a soft drink in Russia until 2011.

41. A hummingbird’s heart can beat up to 1,260 times per minute (in one species, at least).

42. Toilet seats are cleaner than your cell phone.

43. Chewing gum can’t be digested.

44. The longest hiccupping attack lasted 68 years.

45. Octopuses are considered the most intelligent invertebrate; they’ve even been observed using tools.

46. More people have been to the moon than the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean.

47. Tsunamis can move at speeds over 500 miles per hour!

48. Twister was considered a risqué game when it came out in the 1960s.

49. Flamingos turn pink due to the sheer amount of shrimp they consume.

50. It may be surprising, but a whole lemon actually contains more sugar than a single strawberry! That’s partly because of the size difference, however — a cup of strawberry slices has more sugar than a cup of lemon slices. For more wacky bits of information, check out the strangest little-known fact about every state.