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21 Surprising facts you didn’t know 5 minutes ago

Picture this. You need to strike up a conversation with a person you’ve never seen before at some social gathering. You desperately try and find an interesting topic to make small talk, but end up empty-handed. Hello, awkward silence. Luckily, there is a solution! You could try and impress those around you with some fascinating facts that few people know!

1. Cows suffer when they are away from their best friends.

Yeah, that’s right, these animals form powerful social bonds and make BFFs. When their close friends are away, cows actually show physical symptoms of stress and depression.

2. Sea otters have the densest fur of any mammals on this planet.

It’s hard to imagine, but these cuties have more than a million hairs on just one square inch of their bodies! And that’s not all, their fur has two layers; a short undercoat and a guard coat, which is longer. As a result, these two layers trap air and prevent water from getting onto the sea otter’s skin.

3. There is a vast cloud of alcohol floating somewhere far away in space!

Sagittarius B2 is a massive molecular cloud of dust and gas which drifts about 390 light years from the center of the Milky Way. The entire mass of this cloud is more than 3 million times bigger than the mass of the Sun. But the coolest feature of Sagittarius B2 is that it contains a variety of alcohol molecules, including methanol, ethanol, and vinyl alcohol.

4. Zombies do exist!

However, they look nothing like those creepy creatures from the last horror flick you saw. There is a species of wasp in Costa Rica that attacks spiders and takes over their minds, transforming them into literal zombies! To do this, the wasp injects a cocktail of poisons and chemicals that make spiders obey and become hosts for wasps’ larvae.

5. Arctic Reindeer can change their eye color.

The color changes from gold in the summer to blue in the winter. This change alters the sensitivity of their retinas, allowing them to see better in the constant darkness of winter. Thus, they can notice food and detect predators with ease. Well, that’s a cool superpower! I wish I could do the same!

6. While Mount Everest may be the tallest mountain in the world, it is not the tallest in our Solar System.

Olympus Mons on Mars is way bigger than any mountain in our happy little family of planets floating around the sun. This mountain is actually a huge shield volcano that’s about 16 miles high and sprawls 372 miles across. This makes the Martian mountain three times taller than Everest!

7. Your corneas have no blood vessels!

Unlike the rest of your body, your corneas don’t get any blood supply because they don’t have any blood vessels. They get oxygen straight from the air and get nutrition from special liquid and tears they produce. Maybe I should cry more?

8. Do you use your sunglasses to protect your eyes from sunlight?

Well, I guess that’s cool, but how about using them the way Chinese judges did many centuries ago? In 12th century China, judges wore glasses with dark lenses which effectively hid their emotions during legal proceedings. Talk about poker face!

9. You won’t be able to find the largest diamond on planet Earth.

Right now, it’s happily floating in space, 50 light years away from Earth in the constellation of Centaurus. This diamond, which is actually a white dwarf star, is called BPM 37093, but it’s been nicknamed Lucy, after The Beatles’ song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” This jewel puts the biggest diamonds on Earth to shame, weighing a whopping 10 billion-trillion-trillion pounds! But this chunk of crystallized carbon is only 2,500 miles across, which is less than 1/3 the size of our own planet. Still, that’s a big shiny rock!

10. Slow loris primates are undoubtedly cute.

It’s no wonder these animals have become stars all over the Internet. But despite the wide-spread myth that they make great pets, you might not survive their bite! The truth is that lorises are the only venomous primates on the planet. People that have been bitten by these creatures suffered from severe pain, and some even had a really bad allergic reaction!

11. Your stomach turns red when you blush!

When you get embarrassed, your body releases adrenaline that prepares itself for a potentially dangerous or stressful situation. Under the influence of this hormone, your blood vessels widen to increase blood flow. In case of an emergency, this will help you flee as fast as possible. That’s why the veins all over your body, and in particular on your face and in your stomach lining, contain more blood than usual and look red.

12. High heels were originally designed for men!

Women just started wearing them not that long ago. High heels first appeared in Persia, reaching Europe at the end of the 16th century. At that time, people believed that heels were very masculine, and they were definitely a great way to make a man tower over others.

13. Venus is probably the laziest planet in our Solar System!

It rotates so slowly that it takes the planet longer to finish one complete rotation than to complete its orbit. As a result, one day on Venus lasts longer than a Venetian year.

14. One of the most terrifying places on our planet is probably Lake Natron in Africa.

Its water contains so much sodium bicarbonate that animals who die in or around the lake turn into calcified mummies! Moreover, the lake looks blood-red due to its chemical content. That’s how it got the nickname “The Petrifying Lake.”

15. Scientists have recently discovered worms that can jump!

These creatures, also called Asian jumping worms, live in the Midwestern United States. Although these worms are native to Eastern Asia, they were discovered in Wisconsin in 2013. They are a significant threat to agriculture and can transform a blossoming paradise into a dry desert astonishingly fast. These worms are also known for their ability to detach their tails.

16. One of the scariest places to hike in the world is Huashan Mountain.

Just look at this death-defying path over an abyss! You can see why they call this “the world’s most dangerous hike” and “the plank walk”. The planks hang off the side of the cliff some 2,000 feet in the air. You may wonder what is so important on the other end of this trail that hundreds of people risk their lives to see? With nothing but a tea house at the other end, people choose to take this trail just for the adrenaline rush.

17. Who doesn’t remember Michael Jackson’s famous move, the forward lean?

Unlike what many people believed, that wasn’t some weird kind of magic! The truth is that the “King of Pop” invented special shoes with slotted heels. During the performances, the heels slid onto special bolts that jutted out from the floor and held the dancers in place. But if you think that was an easy thing to do, you’re wrong. A dancer had to be extremely strong to hold that posture, and the move itself demanded great effort. Interestingly enough, Michael Jackson patented these shoes in 1993, along with two other inventors.

18. Humans are not the only ones capable of raucous bouts of laughter.

Rats know how to laugh as well! While researchers aren’t sure if these creatures have a twisted sense of humor, it’s a proven fact that rats make laugh-like sounds when they are being tickled.

19. If you prefer to keep away from jellyfish, don’t ever visit Jellyfish Lake on Eil Malk Island, Palau.

It’s connected to the ocean through tunnels in a limestone reef, and, as a result, hundreds of creatures get to the lake from the nearby lagoon. But the most famous inhabitant of the lake is the golden jellyfish.

If you prefer to keep away from jellyfish, don't ever visit Jellyfish Lake on Eil Malk Island, Palau
If you prefer to keep away from jellyfish, don’t ever visit Jellyfish Lake on Eil Malk Island, Palau

Unfortunately, in 2012, the lake was closed to visitors because the jellyfish population decreased dramatically. However, it seems the population has recovered enough, and nowadays, you can enjoy underwater jellyfish parties again.

20. If you’ve never seen a spotted lake, take a trip to British Columbia, Canada.

Its unusual appearance is due to the water in the lake evaporating in the summer. All that is left is tiny mineral pools of different colors.

21. The mimic octopus seems to be the most adaptable creature on this planet.

It can change its color, which isn’t such a rarity among underwater inhabitants. But that’s not all! This creature can also change its shape, behavior, and texture! In total, the octopus can pretend to be one of 15 different marine species!

Which fact was the most shocking to you? Write about your choice in the comment section below! Remember to rate this article “21 Surprising facts you didn’t know 5 minutes ago” by Bright Side and share it with your friends!

Credit: Bright Side

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