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    21 Mind-Blowing Facts People Have Found Impossible To Forget

    Can someone explain to me how these things are true?

    We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share the most hard-to-believe, mind-blowing fact they know. And wow...did they deliver a whole lot of wild facts I will be thinking about for some time:

    1. The shortest commercial flight is only 57 seconds.

    A plane flies over a watery passage and the text "about a minute"
    Noel Phillips / Via

    Suggested by gapine

    The exact flight time can change slightly depending on wind and other conditions, but the entire flight — connecting two Orkney islands in Scotland — covers just two miles, and has been a regular, nonstop flight for around 50 years. You can watch a short video of the entire flight here.

    2. Park ranger Roy Sullivan survived getting struck by lightning not once, not twice, but seven times.

    Sullivan sits in a hospital gown in a hospital chair
    WYFF NBC / Via

    Suggested by christig2

    Sullivan worked at Shenandoah National Park and was first struck in 1942; his last lightning strike came in 1977. In interviews, he hypothesized there was something about his physical makeup that attracted lightning to him. 

    The Guinness World Records recognized him as the person struck by lightning more than any other human. According to a statistician, the odds of being struck this many times are 4.15 in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

    3. Some people have such a strong sense of smell that they can smell things like Parkinson’s disease or when someone is lying.

    A man with a long nose smells a flower
    Flashpop / Getty Images

    Suggested by sexyfart

    4. If a man pees on a pregnancy test and it comes out positive, it could mean he has testicular cancer.

    A positive pregnancy test
    Fotoduets / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Suggested by addictivesoul

    Some types of testicular cancer make the same hormone — chorionic gonadotropin — that pregnancy tests are designed to recognize. (NOTE: Men should NEVER rely on pregnancy tests to check for testicular cancer, as there are many types of testicular cancer that tests won't detect. Instead, learn how to self check and regularly visit your doctor.)

    5. In Canada, there's only four people per square kilometer!

    Five young people hold up a Canadian flag
    Kate_sept2004 / Getty Images

    Suggested by neon_dreams

    In contrast, Singapore has 8,292 people per square kilometer, Bangladesh has 1,243, and the United States has 36 (a relatively small number that's still nine times larger than Canada's).

    6. For 20 years, a cat served as mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska.

    A photo of a yellow cat with the text "the mayor"
    KTUU-TV NBC / Via

    Suggested by pplpwrawesome

    The cat — named Stubbs — was elected as a write-in candidate in 1997 when, it seems, the human candidates were lacking. Stubbs went on to serve as honorary mayor for 20 years until his death in 2017.

    7. In 2002, 51-year-old electrician Mike McDermott won the lotto TWICE in one year — and to make things even more improbable...he did it both times using the same numbers!

    A smiling man holds giant check after winning the lotto
    Chris Young - Pa Images / PA Images via Getty Images

    The Telegraph found the odds of this happening were one in 5.4 trillion!

    8. United States president John Tyler — who was born in 1790 and held the presidency from 1841 to 1845 — still has a living grandson.

    A portrait of john tyler and the text "still has a living grandson"
    Universalimagesgroup / Getty Images

    Suggested by  ashleeannes

    Tyler married his second wife later in life and was in his sixties when they had their children. One of those children, Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr. (born in 1853), had his last child when he was 75. That child, Harrison Ruffin Tyler, is now 92 years old and living in a nursing home in Virginia.

    9. A woman named Violet Jessop survived the sinking of both the RMS Titanic and its sister ship, the Britannic.

    The titanic sinking
    Paramount/20th Century Fox

    Suggested by christig2

    Jessop was a 24-year-old stewardess aboard the RMS Titanic when it hit an iceberg on April 15, 1912. She quickly got out of bed, dressed, and helped women and children into the lifeboats before she was given a baby and told to get into a lifeboat herself. 

    Four years later, after training to become a nurse with the British Red Cross, she was sent to serve on the hospital ship HMHS Britannic. On Nov. 21, 1916, the ship hit a mine. She escaped into a lifeboat which was nearly sucked into the Brittanic's propellers, but she survived and continued to serve on boats for another 34 years before retiring.

    10. Speaking of the Titanic, in 1898, 14 years before it sank, author Morgan Robertson wrote a book about a huge, supposedly unsinkable British passenger liner that hit an iceberg during an April journey across the North Atlantic and suffered mass deaths because of an insufficient amount of life boats.

    The book's cover
    Hesperus Press

    11. The Appalachian mountain range is older than people, land animals, and even trees.

    The sun setting over the mountain range
    Kencanning / Getty Images

    Suggested by sondere

    Its oldest rocks were formed between about 1.1 billion and 541 million years ago. By comparison, trees are around 350 million years old, land animals are about 500 million years old, and humans (or at least our ape-like ancestors who first began to walk on two legs) arrived about 6 million years ago.

    12. Sharks are older than trees too!

    A scary looking great white shark
    National Geographic / Via

    Suggested by crizzy444

    The earliest fossil record of sharks is from 450 million B.C., about a hundred million years before trees. So the baddies from Jaws have been swimming about the oceans for a long, long time. 

    13. Former Oakland A's slugger Khris Davis hit exactly .247 every year for four consecutive seasons (2015–18).

    Davis hitting a homer in an A's jersey
    Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

    There have been 20,000 major leaguers in history, but he is the only player ever to have the same average four years in a row. Oh, and the year before he started doing this? He hit .244.

    14. Pigeons can be trained to tell the difference between paintings by Picasso and Monet, and — once trained — even correctly recognize works by those artists they'd never seen before.

    Suggested by icecreamlover23

    The study was done by psychologist Shigeru Watanabe and his colleagues at Keio University in Tokyo, and found that these smarty-pants pigeons were 90% accurate with their picks. 

    15. Cleopatra was alive closer to the invention of the iPhone than the building of the Great Pyramids.

    Adrian Dennis / AFP via Getty Images

    Suggested by rileyrockett

    The Great Pyramids of Giza were built around 2,500 B.C. Cleopatra lived from 69 B.C. to 30 B.C. The iPhone, meanwhile, was announced in 2007, so Cleopatra lived well over 300 years closer to the creation of the iPhone than the building of the Great Pyramids! 

    16. Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970.

    David Mcnew / Getty Images

    Suggested by crizzy444

    A 2018 report by the World Wildlife Federation involving 59 scientists from across the globe laid the blame on the world population's growing consumption of food and resources.

    17. Harriet Tubman was alive during both the lifetimes of Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan.

    Images of Jefferson, Tubman, and Reagan
    Smith Collection/Gado / Getty Images

    Suggested by dominicc4588ae33d

    The abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy Harriet Tubman was 4 years old when Thomas Jefferson, the United States' third president, died on July 4, 1826. She was a few weeks shy of 89 when Ronald Reagan, the 40th president, was born. She died at 91 on March 10, 1913.

    18. Two NFL quarterbacks playing for the same team suffered the same injury under nearly identical circumstances on the same date exactly 33 years apart:

    Side-by-side images of Joe Theismann and Alex Smith both injured on the field
    George Gojkovich / Getty Images and John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

    Suggested by tickle_bomb

    On Nov. 18, 1985, Washington quarterback Joe Theismann broke his right tibia and fibula in a home game that ended 23-21. Three-time Defensive Player of the Year Lawrence Taylor was involved in the injury, which occurred around the 40-yard line. Theismann’s Pro Bowl left tackle, Joe Jacoby, wasn’t on the field due to injury. 

    On Nov. 18, 2018, Washington quarterback Alex Smith broke his right tibia and fibula in a home game that ended 23-21. The only other three-time Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt, was involved in the injury, which occurred around the 40-yard line. Smith’s Pro Bowl left tackle, Trent Williams, wasn’t on the field due to injury.

    19. There are a bunch of fruit that are part of the rose family, like apples, pears, cherries, and plums!

    Olga Nikiforova / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Suggested by jamesarthurwrites

    20. George H.W. Bush hated broccoli so much that when he was president, he created a mini-scandal by banning it from the White House and Air Force One.

    First lady barbara bush holds broccoli at a press conference trying to fix her husband's faux paus
    Diana Walker / Getty Images

    Suggested by queenryan

    Bush told the press, “I do not like broccoli and I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m president of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!”

    First lady Barbara Bush had to do cleanup, saying, “I love broccoli. We’re going to have broccoli soup, broccoli main dish, broccoli salad, and broccoli ice cream.”

    21. Michigan couple Jay and Kateri Schwandt had 14 sons in a row before they finally had a daughter. Back when they only had 12 sons, one expert put the odds of having 12 consecutive sons at one in a million.

    Do you have a favorite hard-to-believe, against-all-odds fact of your own? Let us know in the comments, and it could be featured in a future BuzzFeed Community post!

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