10 Mind-Boggling “Let-that-Sink-In” Facts

There are so many things across the globe that we are yet to learn. And there are things that we find hard to digest. For people out there who love such amazing hard-to-digest facts, we bring to you 10 “let-that-sink-in” facts that you probably had no knowledge of earlier.

1. The first electric car was invented as early as 1837 by a chemist. He also made the second electric locomotive that could carry six tons at four miles per hour.

Robert Davidson/ Electric car built by Thomas Parker
Robert Davidson who invented the first electric vehicle/ Electric car built by Thomas Parker, photo from 1895. Image Credit: Wikipedia, Wikipedia

In recent times, Tesla has been taking the world by storm when it comes to smart electric cars. Electric cars may feel like a modern invention but no, they existed as far back as the 19th century. The first known electric car dates as far back as 1837.  It was built by Robert Davidson, a chemist in Scotland. The car was powered with the help of galvanic cells (batteries).

"Victoria" electric cab
“Victoria” electric cab on Pennsylvania Ave., Washington City, seen from Lafayette Park in 1905. Image Credit: H.C. White via Wikipedia

Davidson also built a larger vehicle in 1841, the Galvani, which weighed seven tons (7,100 kgs). Both his vehicles were powered by batteries. The Galvani was tested on the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway in 1842 and reached four miles per hour (6.4 km/h) for a distance of 1.5 miles (2.4 km) while carrying a load of six tons (6,100 kg). Due to the limitations of the batteries used, the vehicle was not deemed practical for general use. Also, the vehicle was destroyed by railway workers who saw it as a threat to their jobs.

E.V.C. hansom cab
E.V.C. hansom cab built 1899-1906 by the Electric Vehicle Company and its successor, the Columbia Automobile Company in Hartford, CN (USA). Image Credit: Wikipedia

The first practical electric car that was mass produced was built by English inventor Thomas Parker in 1884. Parker invented high-capacity, rechargeable batteries that changed the outlook on electric cars. Parker was also responsible for making the electric cars more fuel-efficient. The first nations to support the development of electric vehicles on a large scale were France and the United Kingdom. (source)

2. We sent a man to the moon before someone thought of adding wheels to luggage. 

Men on moon before wheels on luggage
We sent men to the moon before we added wheels to the luggage. Image Credit: NASA / Harrison H. Schmitt via Wikipedia, huynhdatstc via Pixabay

Sometimes, we try so much to achieve something bigger that we forget about the little things. This is apparent when it comes to wheels on our luggage. It took longer for humanity to put wheels on their luggage than sending a man to the moon!

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were busy walking on the moon in 1969, people on Earth were still struggling to carry their heavy luggage. But this was going to change soon. Bernard Sadow, the former president and owner of the U.S. Luggage Company, was vacationing with his family. He, too, was struggling to carry the heavily packed luggage of his family. While waiting at the airport, he noticed a worker carrying a heavy piece of machinery on a wheeled platform effortlessly. This intrigued Sadow and gave him the idea to add wheels to luggage! He worked on various designs and applied for a patent in 1970. The concept became so popular that today we cannot imagine traveling with luggage without wheels.

Some people have speculated on why it took us so long to put wheels on luggage. They believe that maybe in earlier times, carrying heavy luggage was a way to measure masculinity. Moreover, women and children rarely traveled alone at that time. Maybe this is why it took us so long, agreed? (source)

3. Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto has not yet made a full orbit of the Sun.

Pluto
Since it’s discovery, in 1930, Pluto has not yet made a full orbit of the sun. Image Credit: NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute via Wikipedia

Pluto was discovered on February 18, 1930. Proved to be a dwarf planet now, Pluto takes 248.09 Earth years to make one rotation around the Sun. Since its discovery, it has only been 88 years. This means that Pluto will complete its first full orbit since its discovery on March 23, 2178.(source)

4. After the US army, Disney World is the largest buyer and importer of explosives in the USA.

Disney Fireworks
Disney world is the largest buyer and importer of explosives in the USA with regards to their fireworks. Image Credit: Anthony Quintano via Flickr

The Department of Defense of the United States is the largest buyer and importer of explosives in the world. This fact is not that surprising. But the fact that Disney World is next in line is mind-boggling! It’s true, Disney World is the second-largest buyer and importer of explosives in the United States, after the US Army.

Disney Fireworks
Disney world is the largest buyer and importer of explosives in the USA with regards to their fireworks. Image Credit: Max Pixel

The reason lies in their bold fireworks show. Disney World goes to extreme lengths to wow their visitors. They offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience to visitors, leaving them wanting more and eager to come back. They offer one of the biggest shows in the world. Even though the immense fireworks are usually reserved for parties, celebrations, parades, and other special occasions, Disney needs to stock up on them to be ready for when they are required. (source)

5. Alaska is so big that cutting it in half would make Texas the third biggest state.

Alaska vs Texas comparison
Alaska vs Texas comparison. Image Credit: Google Maps

Alaska is the largest state in the United States. It has an area of 663,267.26 square miles. Texas is the second largest being 268,580.82 square miles in area. Now, let’s divide Alaska into two equal parts. Each part would have an area of 331633.63 square miles. Even when Alaska is divided into two, each part is still larger in area than Texas. This would make Texas the third largest state. Simple math, right? (source)

6. Fanta started as a Coca-Cola substitute in 1940s Nazi Germany.

Fanta
75th-anniversary release of Fanta in Germany/ Fanta. Image Credit: Lexlex via Wikipedia, Emilian Robert Vicol via Flickr

At the time of the World War II, a trade embargo was announced against Germany. A trade embargo is a financial penalty that is applied to countries, and Nazi Germany was the first on the list for penalties during the war. Being a German company, it became difficult for Coca-Cola Deutschland to import the required syrup for the production of their drinks. Max Keith, the head of Coca-Cola Deutschland, came up with an idea to create an alternative drink, a coke substitute that would only use the ingredients available in Germany such as whey and apple pomace. And Fanta was born!

The name for the drink was the result of a brainstorming session that Keith organized. He urged his team to “use their imagination” to think of the perfect name. “Use their imagination” translates to “fantasie” in German, and one of the sales personnel immediately picked the name, Fanta. And the rest is history!

Coal-Cola lost the plant in which they were producing Fanta during the war. As soon as the war ended, they took full control of the plant and the formula for Fanta. (source)

7. Only about 36% of people in India have Internet access. But even that 36% is more than the entire population of the US. 

Population growth in China, India, Nigeria, and the US
Population growth in China, India, Nigeria, and the US. Image Credit: WRSC

The Internet And Mobile Association Of India (IAMAI) estimated the total number of Internet users in India to be 481 million. This data was calculated in December 2017. The total population of India is 1.3 billion. The math says that the total number of Internet users in India is only about 36% of the total population.

Now, the population of US is about 326 million. It’s pretty clear how only 36% of India’s population is way more than the entire population of the US! And the population growth graph above is scary! (source)

8. Your tongue rests on the roof of your mouth rather than the bottom.

Proper tongue resting position
Proper tongue resting position. The tongue should rest on the roof of the mouth (A) and not on the bottom (B). Image Credit: Claiming Power

Most people don’t realize it, but our tongue actually rests on the roof of the mouth rather than the bottom. Reading this would surely make some of us conscious about our tongue position! It’s not just the tip of the tongue but the entire tongue that shouldn’t lie low. The correct posture of a resting tongue should be so that the back of the tongue is plastered against the back roof of the mouth. This lifts the entire tongue towards the roof of the mouth.

To have a correct posture of the tongue is really important if you wish to have attractive facial features. A correct tongue posture leads to higher cheekbones, straighter teeth, and a stronger jawline. Incorrect tongue-resting posture can lead to crowded teeth, recessed chin, a dysfunctional bite, and flatter face. Moreover, it also affects your swallowing patterns. (source)

9. The strength of human hair is comparable to that of steel. 

If someone says that the strength of human hair is comparable to that of steel, that might sound like an exaggeration. But there is a ring of truth to it when we look at it scientifically. Human hair has the ability to stretch up to 1.5 times its original length before breaking. Scientists and researchers at the University of California San Diego are studying the basic structural and behavioral properties of hair in order to develop materials with the same properties.

During the research, scientists discovered that the strength of a hair is determined by how fast or slow it was pulled. For example, if a strand of hair is stretched slowly, it breaks easily. On the other hand, if it is stretched fast, it becomes stronger and does not break off easily. The reason for this has been attributed to the cortex fibrils and matrix, the main parts of the human hair. Cortex fibrils comprise thousands of keratin proteins that wrap around each other like a chain. There are thousands of such chains that give hair its strength. In the case of an average person, the hair on their head has the ability to support a full grown woman. Furthermore, when pushed to its limits, a full head of hair can lift 12 tons, which is the same as two elephants! (source)

10. Deaf people don’t hear voices when they’re schizophrenic. They see disembodied hands signing to them.

Sign language
Deaf people see disembodied hands signing to them when they are schizophrenic. Image Credit: JBER

When it comes to schizophrenia, voice hallucinations are the first symptoms. But this is the primary symptom for people who are not deaf. Extensive research has been carried out to understand how voice hallucinations materialize in the case of a schizophrenic deaf person who has never heard speech in his life.  Around 50% of deaf schizophrenic people have confirmed having auditory hallucinations. But when asked to describe the auditory features such as tone, pitch, etc., they were unable to do so.

A study released by Dr. Joanna Atkinson of UCL in 2007 has given some new insights. The study confirmed that real auditory hallucinations (with sound) are only experienced by deaf schizophrenic people who have heard speech at some point in their life. For completely deaf people, the voices they hear are in the form of sign language or lips moving in their head. The auditory hallucinations are “soundless” in the case of completely deaf schizophrenic people. (1, 2)

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