Interesting Facts You’re Too Lazy To GoogleWeird
Let's find out about the most interesting facts you’re just too lazy to Google!
The internet is packed full of information you may never have thought to ask, but that doesn’t mean we always have the time or energy to go out and find it. Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a list of some interesting facts you’re just too lazy to Google.
Why do we look better in the mirror?
The real reason why we tend to shy away from our appearance in photographs is a little more complex than just a bad hair day. Our mirror image is essentially a flipped version of our true selves, which means we’re far more used to seeing someone who doesn’t really exist. When we anticipate seeing this mirror image in a photograph we set ourselves up for instant disappointment.
At the same time, friends and family will often see nothing wrong with what we consider a ‘bad photo’ because that’s the version of us they always see. If that wasn’t trippy enough, differing photographic ‘focal lengths’ can also alter someone’s face shape entirely – so, can we ever truly know what we look like?
Why do we hate the sound of our voice on camera?
I hate to break it to you, but the jarring recordings you hear of yourself in videos are far more accurate than the speaking voice you’re so used to. The reason we’re so shocked when listening to ourselves back is because – while others only hear the soundwaves conducted by air – the voice you know is a combination of external sound alongside the internal acoustics of our bones.
Your voice reverberating around your skull produces rich, low-frequency pitches which don’t exist externally, meaning our voices are generally higher than we’d like to think.
Why don’t our eyes get cold?
It might not have crossed your mind, but – unlike other bodily extremities – our eyeballs aren’t able to determine coldness or heat, which is down to a lack of temperature receptor cells. In fact, the largest part of the human eye is nestled comfortably inside the skull, where they’re constantly pumped with a strong supply of warm blood.
As long as they’re inside a functioning body with additional bone, tissue and fat to keep them warm it’s virtually impossible for your eyeballs to freeze at sub-zero temperatures.
Why does freshly cut grass smell so good?
To put it plainly, that delightful scent wafting through the summer breeze is actually just the grass screaming in agony. When grass is cut, a greater number of organic compounds known as green leaf volatiles are released to aid the plant in closing the wounds and producing new cells.
This combination of 8 oxygenated hydrocarbons along with alcohols and aldehydes – which make up the GLVs – also happens to be pleasing to the human nose…so next time you stop to take a long sniff, just remember it’s the sweet smell of trauma.
Why does the sun make our skin darker but your hair lighter?
After a day in the sun, your skin will probably be browner – or redder if you forgot the sunblock – but your hair will probably turn a shade lighter, and this is all down to the power of sun damage.
In both cases, sunlight breaks down melanin – the pigment responsible for the colour of hair and skin – but with one key difference. When the sun bleaches and destroys melanin in your hair it becomes lighter, and since hair isn’t a living thing it’ll stay that way until new follicles grow in.
On the other hand, the skin is equipped to respond to this damage by producing more ‘melanocyte’ cells which protect us from harmful UV radiation, darkening our skin.
Why is snow so quiet?
As it turns out, there’s a scientific reason why snowy landscapes are associated with peace and quiet. As fluffy snow accumulates on the ground it acts like a sound absorber because it’s essentially a porous material like foam, and as snow doesn’t hit the ground with nearly as much force as water even the heaviest snowstorm can seem relatively silent.
Snow also stacks up with a lot of air between flakes, which means sound waves have less surface area to bounce off than raindrops, for example, making most sounds seem muffled.
Why can’t robots press the ‘I am not a robot’ box?
With modern developments in AI, it’s hard to believe that a robot couldn’t just declare itself as a human online. Fortunately, though, the anti-bot ‘CAPTCHA’ system has been specially programmed by Google to record a multitude of ‘human’ actions like the number of accidental key presses, mouse clicks, taps and scrolls made on the page.
Similarly, while an AI bot would probably move quickly in a straight line to the box, human reaction tends to be delayed and imprecise. Experts say it’s almost impossible for a bot to replicate a human, but – if you practice hard enough – you can probably trip the CAPTCHA into thinking you’re a robot.
Why do birds fly in a V-formation?
What seems like a common practice for migrating long-winged birds like Geese has actually baffled scientists for years until very recently. In 2014, a study focusing on Ibises unravelled the mystery by determining that it’s a handy energy-saving technique similar to how squadrons of planes can save fuel in a V-formation.
Each bird is perfectly positioned to time their wing beats to the bird in front so that they catch the uplifting currents ahead, which gives every member of the flock a little break in rotation. The leading member directs the flock while also providing swirls of air to those behind, and this ingenious chain of piggybacking can even use 20-30% less energy.
Why do blood tests use your ring finger?
Routine blood tests aren’t always pleasant, but it seems they could be worse if nurses didn’t always choose the ring finger. Firstly, your thumbs and pinky fingers contain tendons which communicate with the entire hand and wrist, so getting an infection here could spread to the entire arm.
Of the remaining fingers, your ring finger is used the least, meaning that the skin is more delicate and easier to puncture with less pain, and the wound will also heal much faster.
Why does time pass faster as you get older?
If you feel like the years are getting shorter with age, it might not be all in your head. Using simple philosophy, designer Maximilian Kiener has created a graph which demonstrates how the longer you live, the relative significance of each year of your life decreases.
For instance, a 2-year-old will experience a full half of their young life in a single year, while for an average 30-year-old each year is just 3.33% of their life, and in your 60s this could drop to just 1.67%.
It all comes down to a loss of novelty: while children are constantly taking on new information, we settle into day-to-day life as adults, and things become routine.
Why is shampoo foam always white?
With hundreds of types of shampoo on supermarket shelves, it might seem strange that the lather is always white – but it comes down to simple science. Firstly, the dyes used in shampoo are already highly diluted and only become more so as they’re mixed with air and water molecules to create bubbles – like a red balloon being inflated until its colour fades.
It also has to do with the scattering of light, as light rays striking the tiny bubbles get redirected in various directions due to vast irregularities in the foams' molecular makeup. These countless light-scattering surfaces make it almost impossible for the human eye to detect any remaining colours.
What causes motion sickness?
Motion sickness is a frustratingly common ailment, and the nauseating sensation you feel is just a result of mixed signals being sent to your brain, which causes confusion. Your inner ear has a big role to play: two sacs located in the semi-circular canals called the saccule and the utricle contain fluid which tells the brain about any imbalances, which is how we know when we’re stood up or lying down.
On a boat, for example, your inner ear can sense the rocking of the waves even though your eyes might not be able to see it – causing your brain to try and make these two conflicting feelings agree, which makes us feel queasy.
What causes brain freeze?
Brain freeze can put a real downer on cold treats like ice cream, and these short-term headaches occur when something extremely cold touches the upper palate or roof of the mouth while rapidly consuming icy food and drink.
This kind of stimulus causes vasoconstriction – or narrowing of the blood vessels – and resulting nerve pain, which is generally alleviated by rewarming the upper palate to widen the blood vessels through vasodilation. Quick fixes like drinking warm water or pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth can get the blood flowing again and stop the brain freeze.
What is the pink part of our eye?
Almost every part of the human body has its own function, but that might not be so true when it comes to the small pink corner of your inner eye. The scientific name for this fleshy substance is a caruncle, and the truth is it’s actually pretty useless.
The creepy thing is that the caruncle is basically the evolutionary remnant of a third eyelid that reptiles, fish, amphibians and birds still possess to cover their eyes in a thin film and keep out harmful bacteria.
Humans unfortunately no longer require a horizontal eyelid, so we’re left with a small portion which no longer functions – who knows, it might eventually disappear altogether!
How can you emergency call without signal?
If you find yourself in a survival situation and in need of rescuing or medical attention you’ll need to make an emergency call but being out of service isn’t always what it seems. In these situations, a ‘no network available’ message only refers to your own specific carrier network, and your mobile phone is actually equipped to piggyback on any other network in range.
This lifesaving feature has been a staple since the Global System for Mobile Communications was established in the early 1990s, and only when there is no coverage for any network in the area will you be truly stuck.
Why do we get Goosebumps?
Goosebumps are one of our bodies' many involuntary reactions, but there are actually a few explanations for the strange phenomenon. Tiny elevations are caused when miniature muscles contract and create shallow depressions and surrounding protrusions on our skin, causing our hairs to stand on end.
This is inherited from our animal ancestors whose thicker hair would create a fluffy layer of warmth and insulation in the cold – since we now have less body hair, we’re left with visible pimples which make us look like human-sized poultry.
Goosebumps can also occur in times of stress or heightened emotion due to a sudden rush of adrenaline, much like how a cat's hair stands up when threatened.
Why do we only see one side of the moon?
Believe it or not, no matter how often you gaze up at the moon you’ll have only ever seen one side. This is because the moon rotates around the earth at the exact same speed as it rotates around its own axis – which takes about 27 days – meaning that the same side is always facing us.
If the moon didn’t spin at all, then it would alternatively show its near and far sides during orbit. What is known as ‘synchronous rotation’ or ‘tidal locking’ prevents us from seeing the other hemispheres, and it’s been this way for an estimated 4 billion years now. As the Earth’s gravity gradually tugged at the moon, it deformed its shape slightly to face us and slowed its rotation, becoming tidally ‘locked’.
Where does airplane waste go?
Most people know by now that airplanes don’t just drop human excrement out of the sky at high altitudes, but the truth is far less exciting. In the 1980s, airplane toilets relied on the same blue deodorising liquid as porta-potties – known as ‘Anotec’ – to push waste from the bowl into onboard storage tanks, but this had some drawbacks.
Besides the increased fuel consumption involved in carrying the fluid, the systems were prone to leaking waste which would freeze into ‘blue ice’ capable of plummeting through the air and causing some serious damage. Nowadays, aircraft use a safer ‘Kepner system’ involving a powerful vacuum which sucks everything down within seconds.
Tanks holding up to 20 gallons of waste are then safely pumped out after landing – so no need to duck for cover.
Why do soda bottles have bumps?
The distinctly bumpy design of most popular soda bottles is probably not something you ever thought to question, but there’s a legit reason why they aren’t just flat-bottomed like water bottles. The standard 5-pointed bottom is not just a way to make them seem fancier, but a matter of stability.
Soft drinks like Coke and Sprite are served chilled, so the plastic bottle needs to withstand the change in volume that happens when the liquid increases in temperature without toppling over.
Soda is also aerated, and a flat bottom would bulge when the bottles are pressurised to fill the gas as the drinks are carbonated, so the 5 ‘feet’ are far more robust.