When “fake news” is fast becoming the norm over various social media platforms, it is hard to distinguish just what is the truth. But, not all hard-to-believe things are false. Sometimes, our minds apply logic and do not let us believe something as true even if it is a fact because it sounds unusual. For example, would you believe us if we told you that the cheetah cannot roar and can only meow like cats, or that most ground coffee cannot be drunk by those who are allergic to cockroaches? What if we told you there was an art museum on the moon? There are facts in the world that sound completely made up but aren’t. Here is a list of ten facts that sound fake but are actually 100% true.
1. You can save your knocked-out tooth by putting it back into your mouth. It will reattach itself eventually.
Even if you are an adult, you can save your knocked-out tooth, and no, you will not need tooth fairy for that. Dentists refer to knocked-out teeth as “avulsed” teeth. If you take some care and act quickly when your tooth falls out, you can get it replanted and eventually it will reattach itself to the bone. First, pick up your tooth and try to place it back into the socket, applying gentle pressure. If it is dirty, clean it with milk—never use tap water. Also, it is necessary to keep the tooth moist during the time it takes you to get to a dentist (try to reach the dentist within thirty minutes as the entire process of replanting must be done within an hour). If the tooth does not fit into the socket easily, place it in a cup of milk. Avoid touching the roots of the tooth and hold it only by the crown area. The dentist or the endodontist will replant the tooth, and it will reattach itself to the bone in three to four weeks. (source)
2. Soon after Saddam Hussein became the President of Iraq in 1980, he was given the key to the city of Detroit, United States.
When Reverend Jacob Yasso of Chaldean Sacred Heart Church congratulated Saddam Hussein on becoming the President of Iraq in 1979, he had no idea that his church would receive a donation of 250,000 dollars in return. A year later, the Reverend and two dozen others traveled to Baghdad as guests of the Iraqi government when they were invited to Saddam Hussein’s palace.
That is when the Reverend, acting in accordance with the then Mayor of Detroit, Coleman Young, presented a key to the city to Hussein. In response to this gesture, Hussein donated another 200,000 dollars to the church after asking the Reverend, “I heard there is a debt on your church. How much is it?” In 2003, the same Reverend called Hussein “an American puppet.” (source)
3. Most Koreans do not produce any body odor.
Body odor is known to have a strong genetic basis, and most Koreans do not have the body-odor gene. The non-functional ABCC11 gene is predominant in most East Asians, mostly Koreans. This gene not only affects a person’s body odor but also the kind of ear wax the ear produces. While most people in the world would have a wet-type ear wax, Koreans have a dry-type ear wax. But they do sweat; they just do not produce an odor.
Many traveler accounts talk about how tough it is to find deodorants in Seoul as most Koreans do not use deodorants. When a Korean pop star admitted to using deodorant on a Korean show, the audience laughed and he was trolled over it. Yes! It is that unusual! Around 2% of Europeans also lack the gene for body odor. (1, 2)
4. A child of a Civil War veteran who is 88 today receives money every month from the government for her father’s services 153 years ago.
Irene Triplett collects $73.13 every month from the U.S. government for her father’s services in the Civil War that ended in 1865. She is the last surviving beneficiary of the Civil War who is entitled to the pension as per Title 38 of the United States Code which states that when the spouse of a Civil War veteran who has served for more than 90 days is no longer alive, their children are entitled to the benefit. Irene’s brother died, so she is lone beneficiary now.
But one must wonder how is this possible. It is because Mose Triplett, the Civil War veteran, remarried a woman named Elida Hall who was 50 years younger than him. When Irene was born in 1930, her father Mose was 83-years-old. When the Civil War ended, Mose Triplett was only 18. (source)
5. The 10th President of the United States, John Tyler, was born in 1790 but had two living grandchildren as of 2017—not great-grandchildren but grandchildren who live on for 156 years after his death.
Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. born in 1924 and Harrison Ruffin Tyler who was born in 1928 are grandchildren of John Tyler, the 10th president of United States. This is because John Tyler’s first wife passed away and he married again. When he was 63-years-old, his wife gave birth to Lyon’s and Harrison’s father. Their father, Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr. was one of the 15 children John Tyler had.
A similar fate repeated with Tyler Sr. His first wife passed away too, and he married again. When he was 71 years old, his wife gave birth to Lyon Jr. and four years later to Harrison. It was not uncommon for men to get married to women who very much younger than them in the time John Tyler lived. He passed away in 1862. (source)
6. You are wealthier than 15% of the Americans put together if you have $10 in your pocket and no debts.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York put forth a report which stated that 15.1% of the households in the United States have a net wealth that is less than or equal to zero in 2015. The percentage of households with “non-positive wealth” were 3-4% more than in previous years, as computed by various organizations. The report further stated that the heads of these households (of an average age from 43-51) had incurred debts in the form of student loans or credits when they were young. There were some households that had a negative net wealth as well. So, be it $10 or $5, if you have that much in your pocket right now, you might technically be richer than the 15% of the population of United States which will be around 50 million people. (source)
7. Fungi breathe in oxygen and carbon dioxide which makes them more closely related to animals than plants.
Through molecular phylogenetic analysis, it has been determined that fungi are more closely related to animals unlike how they are popularly believed to be like plants. Fungi do not have stems, vascular systems, roots, leaves and do not perform photosynthesis. Their cell walls contain polysaccharide chitin which is a major constituent in the exoskeleton of arthropods. The components of fungi, like Mushroom, contain the same as those present in the human cells like nucleotides, amino acids, niacin, vitamins etc. Like humans, they breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
Did you know some fungi are bioluminescent? And, some of the fungi form loops and snares to trap nematode worms with their hyphae. When a nematode passes through these snares, they tighten and trap the worm. They are also known to perform symbiosis with many plants and animals. (1, 2)
8. Our fingers can feel objects as small as 13 nanometers, which means that if our finger was as big as the Earth, we could feel the buildings and the cars.
We have seen how important the power of touch is for the blind to read through the Braille script. Often, they can figure out who a person is by touching them on the face. We all have that power. In a ground-breaking study, Swedish scientists have found out that human fingers can feel nano-scale wrinkles as small as 13 nanometers while running them over a smooth surface.
The researchers say that when a finger touches a surface vibrations occur. We feel these vibrations differently on different structures. The higher the friction property of a surface, the softer is our touch. This research could go a long way in improving products for the visually impaired and in the fields of robotics and virtual reality. Touch therapy has been a popular form of treatment in various regions across the world. There might be a lot more to it than we know. The science of touch might be completely unexplored. (source)
9. The 15-20 biggest ships in the world create more pollution than all of the cars in the world combined.
While all of us keep talking about the toxic car emissions and come up with measures to combat it, ships need some attention. Only 15-20 of the biggest ships in the world create more pollution than all of the world’s cars due to the heavy fuel oil they burn. These ships emit noxious oxides of nitrogen and sulfur, and not much is being done about it. It is estimated that there are 1.2 billion cars on the road today and compared to the emissions by ships, the cars have a far lesser share.
The United Nations’ regulatory agency, the International Maritime Organization, has agreed to cap the sulfur emissions beginning in 2020, and the European Parliament agreed to include shipping in the European Union’s emissions-trading scheme beginning in 2021. But the ship owners, who are already in debt, do not have enough funds to modify their vessels which may lead to many companies going out of business. The banks across the world have approximately 400 billion dollars invested in these ships, and if they do not function, all that money might go down the drain. (source)
10. The world’s largest ocean, the Pacific Ocean, is so huge that there is a point where you could tunnel straight through the Earth and come out on the other end and still be in the Pacific Ocean.
When we look at the map, we cannot even imagine how large the Pacific Ocean really is because it occupies the area between the United States and Australia which is shown on two different corners of the map. We know that it has an area of 165,250,000 square kilometers, but how big is that really? The ocean that is often called “The Big, Blue Eye” from space because of an astronaut being able to see a full 360 degrees of its expanse, can stretch from one side of the Earth to the other. It stretches halfway across the world. All the seven continents could fit into the Pacific and there would still be space!
To understand how large the ocean is, let’s first understand what the term “antipodes” means. Antipodes are two points on the surface of the Earth that are diametrically opposite to each other. So, Spain’s antipode is New Zealand and the United States’ antipode would be somewhere in the Indian Ocean. But the Pacific Ocean has its own antipode where both the points lie in the same ocean! That is how massive it is. If you burrow through the Earth from the Gulf of Tonkin and when you come out on the other end, you would still be in the Pacific. (1, 2)