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31 Interesting Facts We Learned In 2020 That Will Never Leave My Brain

It's likely that more than 11 species of fish can walk on land.

1. An extinct species of monkey crossed the Atlantic on its own.

Monkey eating a banana
Georgi Fadejev / Getty Images

2. Mars constantly makes a humming noise.

A digitized Mars
Derek Berwin / Getty Images

3. When plants are under attack from insects, they let out aromas that warn other plants and entice the insects' predators.

A rainforest
Ghislain & Marie David De Lossy / Getty Images

4. It's likely that more than 11 species of fish can walk on land.

Cute fish
Pornpimon Lekudom / Getty Images

5. Over 1,000 years ago, Puebloans in modern-day New Mexico survived droughts by melting ancient ice in the depths of caves.

A rock formation in New Mexico
Cavan Images / Getty Images

6. There was a badger-like animal 66 million years ago, and scientists named it Adalatherium, which means "crazy beast."

DamianKuzdak / Getty Images

7. In the past couple decades, supermassive black holes in distant galaxies have launched jets of material.

A computer rendering of a black hole

8. Some hummingbirds use colors we can't see to find food.

A hummingbird at a flower
DansPhotoArt on flickr / Getty Images

9. There is a giant lakebed a mile under northwest Greenland.

An aerial shot of mountains in Greenland
Per Breiehagen / Getty Images

10. A 550-million-year-old fossilized digestive tract was found in Nevada, making it the oldest known digestive tract ever.

A fossil
Walter Geiersperger / Getty Images

11. On average, lightning strikes Earth 100 times each second.

Lightning over a populated area
Michael Sanders / 500px / Getty Images

12. And lightning strikes over 100 million times a year in the tropics.

One strike of lightning
Jose A. Bernat Bacete / Getty Images

13. A Cuvier’s beaked whale can stay underwater for at least 3 hours and 42 minutes.

A Cuvier's beaked whale
HeitiPaves / Getty Images

14. Babies' brains are wired to see faces and places.

A baby smiling
Tuan Tran / Getty Images

15. Through sensing electrostatic fields, bumblebees can tell if another bee has visited the flower they're at in the past couple of minutes.

A bumblebee on a flower
itsabreeze photography / Getty Images

16. There are four buried lakes on Mars.

A view of Mars from a telescope
Christophe Lehenaff / Getty Images

17. Modern humans reached westernmost Europe 38,000 to 41,000 years ago — 5,000 years earlier than we thought.

An aerial view of Sete Cidades, Portugal
Enrico Pescantini / Getty Images

18. The oldest known species of pythons were in Germany.

A python coiled around a branch
Alan Tunnicliffe Photography / Getty Images

19. A gas associated with living organisms is in Venus's atmosphere.

A computer rendering of Venus
SCIEPRO / Getty Images

20. Some bats make different kinds of sounds to talk about different subjects, like food or sleep.

A group of bats flying
Bruno Guerreiro / Getty Images

21. There's a blue fruit that gets its color from its fat.

The blue fruit
Michel VIARD / Getty Images

22. Tectonic plates became a thing over 4 billion years ago — at least a billion years earlier than we thought.


23. The New Guinea Singing Dog isn't extinct.

The New Guinea Singing Dog lying down
kwiktor / Getty Images

24. An animal in Antarctica hibernated over 250 million years ago, which is the oldest evidence of a hibernation-like state.

Northern Antartica
Ashley Cooper / Getty Images

25. There's a coral reef in the Great Barrier Reef that's taller than the Empire State Building.

A colorful area of the Great Barrier Reef
Dulyanut Swdp / Getty Images

26. Duckbilled dinosaurs were present in Africa, and they swam from Europe or Asia.

A 3D rendering of dinosaurs on a beach
Daniel Eskridge / Getty Images

27. Tropical songbirds reproduce less during droughts.

A colorful bird on a branch
Cavan Images / Getty Images

28. There were periods of extreme cold in Ancient Rome, and it was caused by a volcano eruption in Alaska.

A volcano in Alaska
Patrick J. Endres / Getty Images

29. Earth's continents were submerged 3.8 billion years ago.

North America from Space
James Cawley / Getty Images

30. After sea turtles lay eggs, they create decoy nests to fool predators.

A sea turtle swimming
M Swiet Productions / Getty Images

31. And lastly, there is water on the moon.

A full moon
Yaorusheng / Getty Images

2020 is finally (almost) over, and we’re looking back on the year. Check out even more from the year here!