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20 Facts That Should Be Common Knowledge But Aren't

The more you know. Inspired by this Reddit thread.

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1. Goldfish bowls are really bad places to keep goldfish.

They're too small to allow for adequate filtration and don't provide enough oxygen. "Goldfish bowls," writes, "are the equivalent to putting your goldfish in the toilet and expecting him to show you his best colors, grow to the size of a softball, and never get sick." (Same rule applies to betta fish.)

2. For an aspirin to save your life during a heart attack, you need to chew it.

Aspirin, which inhibits platelets that speed blood clots, works fastest if chewed. A small amount is all you need, and since time is of the essence, chewing delivers the antiplatelet effects through the blood vessels in your mouth instead of the digestive process.


6. If everyone puts the lid down in a porta-potty, the smell will vent out the pipe that leads to the top.

Getty Images/iStockphoto paul hill

And not stink up the porta-potty itself. When the wind blows over the top of the porta-potty, it creates a suction effect that drags the smell out.


9. Daddy longlegs spiders aren't really the most venomous spiders in the world.


Daddy longlegs spiders, or pholcids, have fangs similar to a brown recluse, which might be why the myth has spread that their venom is fatal to humans. The spiders don't naturally bite humans, but Adam Savage from Mythbusters was able to get a daddy longlegs to penetrate his skin with a bite. The bite didn't do anything beyond cause him to feel a "burning sensation."

12. In the Bible, the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden wasn't an apple.

Genesis describes the forbidden object with the Hebrew word peri, which is a generic term for "fruit." Scholars have speculated that the fruit may have been a fig, a grape, a pomegranate, or even a nut. The apple misconception may have germinated after the Bible was translated into Latin, because the Latin word for "evil," malum, is similar to mālum, which is the Latin word for "apple."


13. Claudette Colvin refused to give up her bus seat to a white person nine months before Rosa Parks did.

Nine months before Parks refused to move to the back of the bus, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused a bus driver's orders to relinquish her seat. Two police officers arrested her. Colvin says that civil rights leaders didn't think a teen, especially one with a very dark complexion, would be a good poster child for their movement. Read more of her story here.


18. "Under God" was a later addition to the Pledge of Allegiance.

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The pledge to the American flag was written in 1892 by the Baptist minister Francis Bellamy. In its original form, it read: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

In 1923, the words "my Flag" were changed to "the flag of the United States of America." In 1954, President Eisenhower approved the addition of the words "under God" in light of pressure from clergy and from Eisenhower's own recent Presbyterian baptism.

19. Feeding bread to ducks is dangerous.

Any artificial feeding of waterfowl leads to a surplus of fecal bacteria and poor animal nutrition, and it even affects migration patterns. White bread in particular distracts ducks from their natural healthy diets and can lead to unhealthy diseases. Learn more here.