Here are some mind-blowing facts that sound bogus but are totally legit, first compiled in these answers on Quora:
1. You get a tattoo after getting struck by lightning.
The electrical discharge of a lightning strike can leave a temporary tattoo-like marking or scar known as a Lichtenberg figure. The patterns created are known to be examples of fractals.
2. Lobsters don’t die or age.
Lobsters, of course, die due to external causes; they get fished by humans, eaten by seals or depleted by parasites, but they don’t seem to die from within. On their own, they show no loss of appetite, no change in metabolism, no loss of reproductive urge or ability, and no decline in strength or health over time.
3. Neil Armstrong went through U.S. customs in Honolulu, Hawaii, on the way back from the moon.
4. Oral sex led to pregnancy in at least two bizarre incidents.
1. In 1988, a 15-year-old girl living in the small southern African nation of Lesotho came to local doctors with all the symptoms of a woman in labor. But the doctors were quickly puzzled because, upon examination, she didn’t have a vagina due to a birth defect.
The girl had been in the same hospital 280 days (approximately nine months) earlier, after she was stabbed in the abdomen. She had practiced fellatio with her new boyfriend and was caught in the act by her former lover. A knife fight ensued. Doctors concluded that spermatozoa had gained access to the reproductive organs via her injured gastrointestinal tract.
2. In 1999, Sharon Irons, a married doctor who was having an affair, saved the semen of her lover in her mouth after an episode of fellatio and used it to inseminate herself, resulting in a pregnancy. Her paramour (a fellow doctor) sued her for fraud and emotional distress, but the court sided with Dr. Irons and ordered him to pay child support for the baby.
6. Figs have dead wasps inside them.
Figs (the fruit we all love to eat) are pollinated by wasps — that enter them, lay their eggs, and subsequently die inside. There, they’re digested by special enzymes within the fig.
7. At launch, the iPhone had the same computing power as NASA in 1969 when it launched the historical manned mission to the moon.
Also: Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have 69.63 KB of memory each. For comparison, an iPhone 5 with 16 GB of memory has about 240,000 times the memory of a Voyager spacecraft.
8. Elvis was a natural blond.
Elvis’ famous locks were blond until his early teens. By the time he had his hair cut for the army at age 22, it had turned dark chestnut.
9. The song “Happy Birthday to You” is copyrighted.
Warner/Chappell Music acquired Birch Tree Group Limited, the company that owns the copyright, in 1988 for $25 million. The company continues to insist that one cannot sing the “Happy Birthday to You” lyrics for profit without paying royalties. In 2008, Warner collected about $5,000 per day ($2 million per year) in royalties for the song.
10. There are more confirmed deaths from drowning in molasses than from coyote attacks.
11. The average chocolate bar contains eight insect parts.
This can really eff with people who have cockroach allergies, apparently.
12. Multitasking is hard: While sitting on a chair, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles. Then, while doing that, draw the number six with your right hand. The direction of your foot will change.
I just tried it. Whoa.
13. There are more synapses (nerve connections) in your brain than there are stars in the galaxy.
14. There’s a gas crater in Turkmenistan that looks like this and has been called the “Portal to Hell.”
The Darvaza gas crater measures 60 meters wide and 20 meters deep in the heart of the hot, expansive Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan. It’s been on on fire for the last 38 years as the result of a Soviet gas exploration accident that occurred in 1971.
On a dark night, the glow of the burning hole can be seen from miles away, and the smell of burning sulfur can be detected from a distance and becomes quite strong as you near the hot edge of the crater.
15. If you could fold a piece of paper 42 times, it would reach the moon.
Here’s the math behind that.
16. Cigarettes were promoted as being good for your health until the early 1950s.
17. About 50% of all U.S. presidents have been left-handed (or ambidextrous).
President James Garfield said that he could simultaneously write Latin with his right hand and Greek with his left. For more, see this Wikipedia page on “Handedness of Presidents of the United States.”
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