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16 Facts That Don't Sound Right But Are Actually True

Don't you dare tell me that the furthest point away from Earth’s center isn't Mount Everest.

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1. The furthest point away from Earth’s center is NOT Mount Everest.

The Earth is actually kinda oval-shaped, and it is wider at the equator. That means that the point furthest away from the center of Earth is actually the Chimborazo Volcano in Ecuador, which stands 20,564 ft above sea level.

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3. Time passes faster for your face than your feet.

Thinkstock / Alex Kasprak / BuzzFeed

This is a consequence of Einstein's relativity, which states that time moves slower for objects experiencing higher gravity relative to those experiencing less gravity. Because your feet are closer to the center of Earth, they are experiencing a tiny bit more gravity than your head (if you are standing). It sounds crazy, but scientists have actually tested it with super accurate clocks.

4. There were still some woolly mammoths chilling up north when Babylonian civilization began.

Flying Puffin - Mammut / Via en.wikipedia.org

The youngest known mammoth fossil is about 4000 years old and comes from Russia's Wrangell Island. This is around the time of the Old Babylonian period.

5. The most distant observed object in our solar system is way further away than Pluto is.

Szczureq/kheider/NASA / Via commons.wikimedia.org

It's a dwarf planet-sized object with a beautiful name—V774104—and orbits, on average, 2-3 times further away than Pluto.

6. Nearly ALL life on Earth went extinct around 250 million years ago.

NASA / Alex Kasprak / BuzzFeed / Via nasa.gov

The end-Permian mass extinction, given the name "The Great Dying" by some scientists, occurred 250 million years ago and killed off around 90% of all species on Earth. Less than 5% of the ocean animal species survived and less than a third of large land animal species made it.

7. We can't see more than 95% of the stuff in the universe.

NASA / Alex Kasprak / BuzzFeed / Via map.gsfc.nasa.gov

Dark energy (forces we cannot see) and dark matter (particles that do not interact with light) make up a vast majority of the stuff in space.

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8. Harvard University was founded before calculus was a thing.

Alex Kasprak / BuzzFeed / Via en.wikipedia.org

Harvard was founded in 1636. Calculus didn't make it onto the scene until Gottfried Leibniz's 1684 Nova Methodus and Isaac Newton's 1687 Principia.

9. There was a time in 1991 when there were 60,000 jellyfish orbiting Earth.

Alex Kasprak / BuzzFeed / NASA / Hans Hillewaert / Via en.wikipedia.org

During NASA's 1991 Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS-1) mission, jellyfish were placed in vials and bags of seawater, rocketed up to space, and chemically induced to breed while in orbit. This was all for science, of course. Turns out the space baby jellyfish looked pretty similar, but pretty much had jellyfish vertigo once back on Earth.

12. The oldest rock on Earth is not actually from Earth.

NASA / Via hq.nasa.gov

It's from the moon! A rock sample from the Apollo 16 mission designated 67215c has been dated to be 4.46 billion years old. In contrast, the oldest bit of rock on Earth that we know of is a single crystal from Australia dated to be 4.374 billion years old, and thats not even a full blown rock.

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13. The summit of Mount Everest contains a whole bunch of marine fossils.

Sandra Leduc (Everest) / Moussa Direct Ltd. (Trilobite) / Alex Kasprak / BuzzFeed / Via en.wikipedia.org

The summit rocks of Everest are part of the Qomolangma Formation and are full marine fossils like trilobites. The rocks formed around 30 million years ago on the bottom of an ancient seafloor.

14. A medium-sized cumulus cloud weighs about the same as 70 elephants.

ByeByeSweat / Via youtube.com

According to the BBC, an average-sized cumulus cloud could contain as much as 200 tonnes (440925 pounds) of water. Assuming 6000 pounds per elephant, that means one cloud is about the same as 73 elephants, mass wise.

15. Every person alive today with any European ancestry is a descendant of King Charlemagne.

Public Domain / Via commons.wikimedia.org

The basic gist is that the further back in your family tree you go, the fewer people there are to be related to, so more and more people begin sharing multiple ancestors. This is according to statistics and genetics. The ultimate conclusion is that everyone who was alive around thousand years ago (like Charlemagne) who has any descendants today (like Charlemagne) is an ancestor of every European.

16. If you could fold a piece of paper 42 times, it would reach the moon.

NASA

Every time you fold your piece of paper, it doubles in thickness. Assuming a sheet of paper is 0.01cm thick, by the time you've folded it 20 times, it's 1048576 sheets of paper thick, or just over 100m. Fold it 42 times, and it's 4.4 x 1012 sheets of paper thick, or 440,000 km – well over the (average) 384,000 km distance to the Moon.

Science Writer, Fossil Beastmaster

Contact Alex Kasprak at alex.kasprak@buzzfeed.com.

Kelly Oakes is science editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Kelly Oakes at kelly.oakes@buzzfeed.com.

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