25 Relatively Unknown Facts That Could Change Your Worldview
It’s often said that it’s impossible to know all the facts, but there are some intriguing ones many of us have stumbled upon during trivia nights or casual conversations. We might remember them because they’re so surprising, like the fact that elephants can’t jump, tigers have striped skin, or the Spanish national anthem lacks lyrics. These tidbits are likely familiar to many of you.
Yet, there exist lesser-known facts that might not amaze us but rather offer a unique perspective on the world. A Reddit user recently initiated a thread, encouraging people to share these less-heard-of facts that reshape our view of things. Take a moment to scroll down and share your thoughts in the comments sections!
More info: Reddit
something like this is asked every once in a while.
The Pale Blue Dot quote by Carl Sagan really puts OUR lives in perspective. Helped me not take life too seriously.
Some backstory, the Voyager 1 space probe took a picture of the Earth at 6 billion km
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam”
The first time I read it, I teared up.
I still feel something every time I reread the quote or think about it.
#2 A female turkey can lay en egg that doesn’t need to be fertilised by a male turkey and the baby that hatches will always be a male
#3 It took Humans less than 66 yrs from first discovering the flight (1903) to landing a man on the moon (1969)
#4 most people value short-term “good feelings” more than “long term stability”. if you understand this, much in the world will be better understandable to you.
#5 Apollo Guidance Computer, which was the Apollo 11 (space craft that landed humans on moon) Command Module had on board, a machine that had 64 kilobytes of memory and operated at 0.043MHz.
#6 Grizzly bears in Yellowstone eat around 300,000 moths a month and it accounts for 1/3 of their calorie intake.
#7 Babies can die from lack of love (human touch, cuddles, hugs, nuzzles).
#8 Every element heavier than lithium had to be created in the core of a star. Every element heavier than iron had to be created by a supernova.
You always have more knowledge than you can put into words (Michael Polanyi). You can never *fully* articulate, for example, *all* of the knowledge that you rely on in order to ride a bicycle. There is always some remaining knowledge that you’re leaving unspoken. Polanyi’s book *Personal Knowledge* blew my mind.
Edit: *The Tacit Dimension* is a more compact book covering some of the same ideas.
#10 The use of fingerprinting can be traced back to China in the 700’s for identification. It wasn’t used for forensics until the 1800’s.
Once you know the difference between sympathy and empathy, you will notice that tons of people lack empathy.
Let me illustrate with an example:
If I told a group of people I was sad because my dog died, a decent amount of people would feel sorry for me. If I told that same group of people I was depressed because my goldfish died, less people would feel sorry for me. “It’s a f*****g goldfish, so what?”
This is the fundamental difference between sympathy and empathy. If you feel sorry for me when my dog dies, but not when my goldfish dies you are not being empathic when my dog dies, just sympathic. It’s likely you feel sorry for me because you imagine how you would feel if *your* dog died and projecting those feelings on me.
True empathy means acknowledging and valueing emotions, even when you do not understand them. People with empathy don’t compare my emotions to how theirs would be in my situation. They can acknowledge my feelings, without sharing them.
#12 Its not the climate change alone thats dangerous to humanity, climate has changed multiple times in history, even worse than its now. The issue is the pace at which it happens. if it happens within a few hundret or thousand years, ecosystems can adapt. rn we are climate changing the world at top speed and cause changes that’d usually happen over millenia.
#13 Just how capable ancient humans were. At least 50000 years ago humans crossed about 60 miles of open ocean and colonized Australia. The timeline for colonizing America has been consistently pushed back. For tens of thousands of years modern humans coexisted with other ancient hominids, essentially but not quite the same as us but close enough to breed and produce viable, nonsterile offspring. I find it absolutely mind blowing to think about
#14 Over 99 percent of all Species to ever exist on Earth are extinct.
#15 At one point the human population was between 1,000 and 10,000 we came so close to going extinct.
#16 Cheetahs aren’t big cats. They are very large small cats.
If you stand in any planet or moon of the solar system and you look up, you’ll see the same night sky as we see it from the Earth. Same constellations and all, that’s how unfathomably far away the stars are compared to the planets.
However, there’s one exception. If you stand in Pluto and look up, you’ll see that Proxima Centauri looks slightly “off” compared to its position from the terrestrial sky. That’s how unfathomably far Pluto is as well.
Experiments suggest that subconscious parts of our brain start sending signals to perform actions well before the conscious part of our brain makes the decision to do it. Sometimes it’s a few microseconds earlier, sometimes it can be minutes, depending on what’s being done and what prep is needed.
The implication is that decisions are actually made at the subconscious level, and what we think of as the conscious process of “making a decision” may actually be more like “justifying a decision.”
This is backed up by split-brain experiments, where epileptics have had the two halves of their brain severed and unable to communicate. They’d put up a partition and hold up a sign asking one half to pick up a pencil. Then they’d ask the other half (which controls speech) why they did it, and they’d quickly come up with sometimes-ludicrous rationales for why they did it. It seems our brains have built-in expert mechanisms to justify actions after the fact.
#19 The energy stored in all the oil and gas in the Earth is the equivalent of just eight and a half days worth of sunlight hitting the surface of the planet.
#20 One little nugget of info I love is that there are parts of Scotland so ancient that they predate the m***********g dinosaurs. Oh, and that we’re still rising out of the ocean after the last Ice Age (so up yours, climate change!)
#21 The difference between a million and a billion. A million seconds is about 11 days, a billion seconds is about 31.5 YEARS. Now think about the billionaires.
Not little known, but perhaps, less thought about or internalized.
Large amounts of children were born from most families in the past due to a horrible rate of infant/child mortality. Nearly everyone had outlived one or more of their children.
What we consider the most base of basic medical science, that we teach our young children, has saved countless lives and families.
Wash your hands, please.