About 7% of all humans who have ever lived are alive today.
About 108.2 billion people have ever been born in the history of the world, according to the Population Reference Bureau. And about 7.442 billion are alive today. Do the math, and you'll see just how crazy population growth can be.
A chicken lived without a head for 18 months.
Chicken brains are concentrated at the back of the skull, and there isn't much to begin with anyway. For that reason, a decapitated chicken can survive for quite a while, living off just its nerve endings.
Mike the Headless Chicken is perhaps the most famous example. Its owner, a farmer named Lloyd Olsen, chopped his head off in 1945, but the chicken just didn't die. So the family kept him around and dropped food and water directly into his esophagus. It finally gave out after 18 months and considerable media attention.
There's a species of shark that can live for around 500 years.
The Greenland Shark has the longest lifespan of all known vertebrates, living an average of 272 years, and some of them can live to be around 500 years old.
The Guinness Book of World Records was created to settle bar arguments.
The official origin story for the Guinness Book of World Records, the annual book that catalogs all of human achievement, is that it was used to settle an argument over whether the golden plover or the red grouse is the fastest game bird in Europe. (It's the plover). One of the people arguing, Sir Hugh Beaver, the Managing Director of the Guinness Brewery, noted that the answer was hard to find in reference books. So he started one to settle these kinds of trivial arguments and the Guinness Book of World Records was born in 1955.
Some turkeys can spontaneously impregnate themselves through a process called Parthenogenesis.
The form of asexual reproduction — where embryos can grow without fertilization — is rare among birds. It's also possible for plants, bugs, and some fish.
Human children don't get kneecap bones until they're around three years old.
As Torech noted on Reddit, it takes a while for children to get kneecaps. That part of the skeleton is called the patella. It starts out as cartilage and then ossifies into bone at around toddler age.
Aphids give birth to other pregnant aphids.
Aphids are a common garden insect. And as Reddit's littlebelugawhale notes, they're weirder than they appear. Most of them are born pregnant and don't need men.
"Most aphids are born pregnant and beget females without wastrel males," the US National Library of Medicine says. "Embryos complete development within the mother’s ovary one after another, in assembly line fashion. These developing embryos contain developing embryos of the third generation within them, like Russian dolls."
Once a year, aphids have sex. The weather induces another "form" for the animal, which produces eggs rather than embryos. Males are also produced asexually.
If you drop silly putty from a great height, it'll shatter instead of bounce.
Silly Putty, the weird bouncy rubbery thing that became a bestselling toy in the second half of the 20th century, has some weird physical properties. It's a non-Newtonian fluid, which means it sometimes acts like a liquid and sometimes like a solid.
Some YouTube experimenters showed exactly what that means, dropping 50 pounds of Silly Putty from the top of a parking garage. Instead of bouncing back up, it shatters like glass and makes a crashing noise. You can watch it at around the 40-second mark in this video.
A Mantis Shrimp can punch with the force of a 22-caliber bullet.
It's so fast that the punch can't be seen with the human eye. It can break through glass, and is used for hunting down prey.
Mantis Shrimps have other incredible properties. They see color like nothing else in the animal kingdom, with 12 different photo receptor types.
One teaspoon of a neutron star is equal to the weight of about 900 Pyramids of Giza.
Neutron stars are incredibly dense. They're very small — about 12.5 miles in diameter — but are about 1.5 times the mass of Earth's sun. "Just a sugar cube of neutron star matter would weigh about one hundred million tons on Earth," according to National Geographic. One cubic meter would be equal to the weight of the entire Atlantic Ocean, according to Futurism.
Nintendo was founded in 1889.
No, that's not a typo. The beloved Japanese gaming company is about 100 years older than you probably thought. Decades before Pokémon and Mario, Nintendo started out as a card game company. They slowly branched out into other forms of gaming over the years.
France executed the last person by guillotine as recently as the same year "Star Wars: A New Hope" came out.
The first "Star Wars" movie was released on May 25, 1977. As evilcheerio pointed out on Reddit, the last person executed by guillotine in France was Hamida Djandoubi, on September 10, 1977. He was the last person to be legally executed by beheading in the Western world and the last person to be legally executed in the European Union.
A bear that fought with Poland in World War II was promoted to the rank of a corporal.
Wojtek the Soldier Bear was released from the prison camps of Siberia only to be picked up in Iran by Allied forces. A Polish army looked after him, and he helped out with the war effort, moving ammunition during the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy.
Following the battle, he was promoted to the rank of a corporal. And after the Allies won World War II, he moved to Britain and lived in the Edinburgh Zoo until his death in 1963.
One 18-inch pizza is more pizza than two 12-inch pizzas.
Let's do some math.
If a pizza has a diameter of 18 inches, that means it has an area of 254.47 square inches.
And if a pizza has a diameter of 12 inches, then it has an area of 113.1 square inches. If you get two of them, you're at 226.2 square inches, which is still less than one 18-inch pizza.
So next time you're figuring out what size pizza to buy, use the price per square inch, not just what feels right.
There are more trees on earth than there are stars in the galaxy.
The number of trees on Earth is mind-boggling, as Allisade pointed out on Reddit.
NASA estimates that there are between 100 billion and 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
And according to a paper in Nature, there are more than 3 trillion trees on Earth.
Harvard was founded before calculus was created.
Certain types of mathematics were called "calculus" as far back as the ancient Egyptians, but calculus as we know it today was established by Gottfried Leibniz and Isaac Newton, each independently, in the late 17th century.
Harvard University was founded in 1636, first as Harvard College, to ordain ministers.
Therefore, as jeff_the_nurse said on Reddit, Harvard is older than the creation of calculus.
While Harvard is the oldest continuously operating university in the United States, it isn't even close to being the oldest one in the world. That would be the University of Al Quaraouiyine in Fez, Morocco, established in 859.
Oxford University is older than the Aztec Empire.
Speaking of how old colleges are: As symbiosa said on Reddit, it's not always easy to gauge historical timelines across different parts of the world. The Aztec Empire was founded in 1428. And the University of Oxford was founded in 1096.
More people live in Bangladesh than in Russia.
Don't let size fool you here. Although Bangladesh is smaller than Russia, its population is 163 million people. The population of Russia is 144.3 million.
In a room of 23 people, there’s a better-than-50% chance that two people have the same birthday.
It's called the Birthday Paradox. Here's an explanation from our friends at Business Insider.
"If two people are in a room together, then there's a 364/365 chance they do not have the same birthday (if we ignore leap years and assume that all birthdays are equally likely), since there are 364 days that are different from the first person's birthday that can then be the second person's birthday.
If there are three people in the room, then the probability that they all have different birthdays is 364/365 x 363/365: As above, once we know the first person's birthday, there are 364 choices of different birthday for the second person, and this leaves 363 choices for the third person's birthday that are different from those two.
Continuing in this fashion, once you hit 23 people, the probability that all 23 have different birthdays drops below 50%, and so the probability that at least two have the same birthday is better than even."
Betty White is older than sliced bread
Sliced bread hit the market on July 7, 1928. Betty White was born on January 17, 1922. Checkmate, bread.
Gary Oldman is younger than Gary Numan.
As one Reddit user mentioned, names aren't everything. Actor Gary Oldman was born on March 21, 1958. Singer Gary Numan was born a couple of weeks earlier, on March 8, 1958.
A Banyan Tree near Kolkata, India is bigger than the average Walmart
The average Walmart store covers about 104,000 square feet. The Great Banyan Tree in Kolkata, India is about the size of a forest, covering 155,000 square feet.
The US Air Force lost a nuclear bomb somewhere off the coast of Georgia.
No one knows where it is! An Air Force pilot dropped the bomb into the water outside of Savannah, Georgia, after colliding with another plane in 1958 during a training mission.
The US Navy searched for the bomb for months, but never found it.
Today, the US Military advises that it stays in its resting place. If it's undisturbed, the bomb poses no risk, the Air Force said in a 2001 report.
Cleopatra lived closer to the time Pizza Hut was founded than to when the Egyptian pyramids were built.
Here's yet another example of how our idea of history and time can get mixed up. The Egyptian Pyramids at Giza were built around 2,500 BCE. Cleopatra VII died in 30 BCE, so there's a gap of more than 2,400 years. The first Pizza Hut was founded in 1958, around 2,000 years from Cleopatra's life.
Cashews grow on the bottom of a fruit called a cashew apple.
The nuts are removed individually and the fruit is often sold in juiced form. It's not the only plant that grows weird.
"Home Alone" was released closer to the moon landing than it was to today.
"Home Alone" is really old, as BuzzFeed pointed out. It was released in 1990, 21 years from the first moon landing in 1969. It's been 27 years since the movie came out.
Honey never expires.
Honey has a perfect chemical composition that makes it never spoil. Organisms can't live inside it, meaning there's nothing that can spoil in the first place. 5,000-year-old honey has been found and, in theory, is perfectly edible.
Baby Carrots were invented in 1986.
No, baby carrots are not actually baby carrots. In case you didn't know, they're just chopped up normal carrots. Farmer Mike Yurosek invented them in 1986 as a way to use misshapen carrots that weren't sold in stores. He put them in bags, and sold them in supermarkets. By the early 1990s, they became the phenomenon they are now.
A day on Venus is longer than a year on Venus.
To puzzle this out, remember that one day is how long it takes for a planet to rotate on its own axis, and one year is how long it takes for a planet to rotate around the sun. Venus takes about 243 Earth Days to spin around just once (and in the opposite direction as the Earth, by the way) and 225 Earth Days to go around the sun. So a day is longer than a year.