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10 Obscure but Obvious Pieces of Information that Very Few People Realize

obscure but obvious piece of information

The world has so much information that it is sometimes hard to grasp the hidden but obvious details within them. Sometimes it requires a completely new perspective to unleash these details. But as and when these details come forward, they never cease to mesmerize the human mind. Here we bring to you a few nuggets of knowledge that are an obscure but obvious piece of information that very few people realize.

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1. Ajax, the cleanser soap, is named as a reference to a character in Greek mythology commonly said to “clean up” by himself in battles.

Ajax
Left: Ajax, the cleaning product/ Right: Ajax, the Greek hero who was known to “clean up” by himself in battles. Image Credit: Flickr, MAICAR

It’s amazing how little details are hidden in things that we use every day. Certain products and services are named after mythological or historical figures, and we are not at all aware of that. One such product is the Ajax cleanser that is one of the most common, household items.

Ajax, the soap, was named after Ajax, the son of Telamon, who was the king of Salamis. Ajax was an exceptional hero who fought and shone well in the Trojan War. He was considered the next greatest Greek fighter after Achilles.  According to mythology, it was Ajax who fought Hector in single combat when Achilles initially withdrew from the fight.

Ajax, the fighter, has been called a mighty warrior who used to “clean up” in battle without any assistance from the gods. This might have been the reason why the cleanser was named after this mythological figure. It was kind of an analogy to hint that the Ajax cleanser has the potential to “clean up” without the assistance of other detergents. (source)

2. All white rice starts out as brown rice. Basically, brown rice is just white rice that is yet to be processed.

Brown rice vs White rice
Whole grain rice (brown rice) vs white grain (white rice). All the rice start as brown rice but after processing is turned into white rice. It loses most of its nutritional value during processing. Image Credit: Skinny Chef

It’s quite hard to comprehend the fact that white and brown rice are just the same and only at different stages of their timeline. Each and every rice starts out as brown rice. It is the processing done later that converts it into white rice. A brown rice grain has a husk, bran, and germ as its components. When the rice goes through processing, the grains are stripped of the three components. This makes the rice white in color.

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The processing is carried out in order to increase the shelf life of rice. During the process, most of the nutritional content of rice gets removed. This is the reason why brown rice is the preferred, healthy alternative to white rice. (source)

3. There is a common misconception that our chests expand because we inhale air. But in reality, we expand our chests to inhale air.

Breathing
We expand our chests to inhale air, not the other way around. Image Credit: MedicineEnterprises.com via TES

The mechanism of breathing air in and out is a result of changes in air pressure within the chest cavity. The muscles of the chest and the diaphragm work together to change the size of the chest cavity. This ultimately leads to changes in air pressure.

During the process of inhalation, the chest muscles between the ribs and the diaphragm contract to expand the chest cavity in size. The diaphragm flattens out increasing emptiness in the chest cavity. This decreases the air pressure. and air from the outside rushes into the lungs to fill the space. This is how we inhale. The exact opposite happens during exhalation. The chest muscles and the diaphragm expand leading to increased air pressure in the chest cavity. The air from the lungs, therefore, moves out to maintain the pressure. (source)

4. Blind people wear dark glasses not because they don’t want to make others uncomfortable with their disfigured eyes, but because even if they can’t see, their eyes can become damaged and possibly diseased.

Blind people wear dark glasses
Blind people wear dark glasses not because even if they can’t see, their eyes can become damaged and possibly diseased. Image Credit: Pixabay

There exists a common belief that people with visual impairments wear dark glasses so as to not stand out in social settings. People believe that maybe the disfigurement of their eyes might make other people uncomfortable. Because of that, they wear dark glasses. But that is not even close to the real reason.

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Visually impaired people wear dark shades to protect their eyes from the sun, just like regular people. There are certain components in the rays of the sun that are harmful to the eyes if exposed directly. Prolonged exposure to UV rays has the potential to lead to inflammation of the cornea. This can also lead to cataracts or ocular cancer. Since people with vision impairment have no means to identify if their eyes are bombarded with harmful UV rays, they wear shades all the time for protection.

Some blind people wear normal shades, while others adorn custom-designed ones. The custom-designed shades block specific colors to which the eyes are sensitive. (source)

5. S.O.S. does not stand for “Save Our Ship.” It’s not an acronym at all. In Morse code “S” “O” “S”, or •••  ‒ ‒ ‒  •••, was the quickest three letters to send with the least chance of misinterpretation.

S.O.S.
S.O.S. does not stand for “Save Our Ship.” It’s not an acronym at all. In Morse code ••• ‒ ‒ ‒ ••• is the SOS code that translates to S, O, and S. Image Credit: Flickr

The S.O.S. signal was first adopted almost 113 years ago on 1 April 1905. In popular usage, the signal has come to stand for phrases such as “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship.” But when it started, it did not stand for any of those phrases. Even today, it does not official imply any specific phrase.

Even though the S.O.S. distress signal has been replaced by the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System in 1999, it still remains the standard signal to be used in a distressed environment. The signal is a continuous sequence of three dots, three dashes, and three dots. There is no space between the characters. According to International Morse Code law, this sequence can be translated into either SOS, IWB, VZE, 3B, or V7. Out of all the combinations of letters, SOS was found to be the easiest to remember. Hence, it stuck over the century. (source)

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