No one can predict with 100% certainty about what will happen the very next moment. Life often throws unexpected twists and turns in our way. But this doesn’t mean we should remain ignorant and just wait for a difficult situation to present itself. Instead, we can be prepared so that we can save our self and others even in the worst situations. So, here we have brought to you 10 trivial facts that might save your life one day.
1. Vinegar has strong antibacterial properties and can work against several foodborne pathogens. It is also effective in the treatment of skin burns.
Vinegar is an essential cooking and pickling ingredient that we can easily find in our kitchen pantry. Apart from imparting flavor to the food, vinegar has some other very useful qualities. It contains acetic acid which is formed during fermentation of ethanol. Acetic acid is helpful in inhibiting the growth of bacteria and some other pathogens in food. Mycobacterium, a pathogen responsible for causing diseases like tuberculosis and leprosy, can be killed by the acetic acid in vinegar. It is also effective against Clostridium botulinum (causes Flaccid paralysis), Salmonella (causes typhoid), Listeria (causes listeriosis), Staphylococcus (causes food poisoning), and some varieties of E. coli.
Vinegar, when diluted in cold water, can be used to treat skin burns caused by chemicals. When applied as a compress, vinegar lessens the pain and also heals the wound faster. Due to its acidic nature, white vinegar proves to be a great cleaning agent for household items. Washing fruits and vegetables in vinegar can effectively kill the bacteria and mold on them.
2. Pine resin is a natural antiseptic and can be used to treat wounds in the wild. It can also remove splinters.
If you want to know what a pine resin is, then just make a deep scratch on the bark of pine tree. The sap that comes out of the scratch is pine resin. Resins secreted by plants and trees are their own physical and chemical defensive barrier. It protects the tree from insects and pathogens which can affect the plant. What makes the pine resin special is that it is also effective on human-disease-causing-pathogens. Hence, pine resin acts as a natural antiseptic.
Pine resin, when applied on wounds, staunch the flow of blood. Its antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties can keep the germs out of the wound. Pine resin is also useful in extracting splinters. To take out a splinter, just put some pine resin on the skin and leave it for a day or two. The splinter will come out on its own.
3. If you see a photo of anyone where they only have one “red eye” from the flash, this could be a sign of retinoblastoma, a type of eye cancer.
Retinoblastoma is a rare type of eye cancer that mostly affects young children. With timely treatment, it can be cured, but there remains a chance that the child might lose vision in the affected eye(s). In a severe case, there might be a need to remove the eye completely. It is best to detect retinoblastoma as early as possible.
Retinoblastoma can be detected by noticing an abnormality in a child’s pupil. The pupil of a child suffering from retinoblastoma will appear whitish in bright light. Another way to notice it is through photographs. To detect through photographs, look at the eye of the child in the photo. If one of the eyes shows a red pigment while the other one looks normal, then the child should be taken for a medical diagnosis as soon as possible.(1,2)
4. Baking soda can be used to put out a cooking fire and other small fires.
It just takes a few minutes of inattention to start a kitchen fire. You are cooking in the kitchen, and suddenly the baby starts crying. You run to attend the baby, and it takes longer then you anticipated. Meanwhile, the unattended food on the stove catches fire. So, what should you do next? The best option would be to use a dry-chemical fire extinguisher. But in case you don’t have a fire extinguisher, then what? Water? No, definitely not! Water is ineffective against a fire caused by grease in the food. When water is thrown on a grease fire, it spreads the flames instead of controlling them.
The next best option would be your humble kitchen ingredient, baking soda. Pour lots of baking soda over the fire if it is just in its initial stage. But baking soda can only put off small kitchen fires. So, if the flames of your kitchen fire really get high, it’s best to call 911.(source)
5. A gray ring around the edge of cornea is an indication of high level of cholesterol in the blood.
Next time you are looking in the eyes of your loved ones, look closely. Is there a gray ring surrounding the edge of the cornea? If yes, then the person might be suffering from high cholesterol and triglycerides. Both these conditions increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
In medical terms, the gray ring around cornea is known as “arcus senilis.” It begins as an arc and soon develops into a full ring. It is common in people above the age of 60, but might also happen to younger people. In older people, i.e. people above the age of 60, it is natural to have the grey ring and it does not affect vision. But if it occurs in a younger person, it is a sign of disturbance in lipid metabolism. It may indicate conditions such as hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipoproteinemia, or hyperlipidemia which can be life threatening if left untreated.(1,2,3)
6. Keeping transparent water bottles in your car can cause fire if sunlight passes through them.
Its a very basic thing to keep water bottles in car. But this normal act can potentially burn down your car, especially if your car is parked in direct sunlight. When sunlight passes through a transparent water bottle, the water, along with the shape of the bottle, acts as convex lens. It concentrates the energy of the sunlight and focuses it onto a single point. When the point where sunlight is concentrated gets hot enough, it can start a fire.
This phenomenon works on the same principle as passing sunlight through a magnifying glass. In our childhood, all of us have tried at least once to catch dry leaves or paper on fire by concentrating sunlight on them through a magnifying glass. The same principle works with transparent water bottles kept in your car.(1,2)
7. If someone is holding you hostage and there is a police officer present on the scene, try to keep yourself away from the assailant’s head.
Being held hostage is an extremely terrifying feeling, especially if the person is pointing a gun at your head. If police officers are also are present, try to keep calm and do not scream or talk with the assailant. This will help you and the assailant in listening and following the orders of the police officers.
The next thing you should do is to keep yourself as far away as possible from the assailant’s head. This is because, during an encounter, the police usually target a triangular portion of the criminal’s face. The triangle runs from the outside corners of both eyes down to the bottom of their nasal septum. When a bullet is fired at this area, it has a better chance of killing the person immediately without even a finch reflex. If the police are forced to use firearms, the officers would prioritize this triangular area as their target. So, if you don’t want to be the accidental target of the bullets, keep yourself away from the assailant’s head.(source)
8. After saving someone from drowning, take them to a hospital as the bacteria in their lungs can kill them.
What do you usually do after saving someone from drowning? Feel relieved and then get busy with your own work? Well, you shouldn’t. That’s because there is a chance that even after being saved from drowning, a person might die. This kind of death is called “secondary drowning” or “dry drowning.” It can occur even 48 – 72 hours after exposure to water.
Secondary drowning occurs when a drowning person inhales water. According to medical science, if a person inhales about six tablespoon of water, it can cause secondary drowning. So, even if you have saved someone from the water, it’s best to seek immediate medical help.(source)
9. If you’re in a situation where you have no water source, try your best not to eat food as it increases thirst.
Salt is an integral part of our food. When the food reaches the digestive system, the salt in the food is absorbed into the bloodstream present in the walls of the small intestine, making the blood saltier than before. This salty blood then gets circulated through our body, and soon the fluids outside the body cells becomes saltier than the fluids inside the cells. The salty fluid outside the cell tries to extract the water inside the cell so that it can maintain the balance. But at the same time, the cells try to withhold water. As a result, our cells send a chemical signal to the brain asking for more water, and we began feeling thirsty. So, in case you want to avoid getting thirsty, try to control your hunger.(source)
10. You should never put your feet up on a car’s dashboard. Airbags go off like small bombs, and they can break both of your legs.
While on a long drive we often prefer relaxing with our feet on the dashboard. This seemingly innocent act may cost you your legs. This situation can be best explained by an incident that occurred in 2017.
In August 2017, Audra Tatum, her husband, and her daughter were travelling in a car. Audra’s husband was driving and she was sitting in the passenger seat next to him. Their daughter was sitting in the back seat. Audra was sitting with her legs crossed and had put them on the dashboard. Suddenly a car came and crashed into their car. The airbags deployed and in a moment Audra’s foot was thrown up breaking her nose. The impact left her right leg broken. Her femur was broken into four pieces, and even her arm broke as she tried to stop the impact.(1,2)