There is so much knowledge out there that it is impossible to know everything. The pursuit of knowledge only reveals how little we actually know, but it also gives one the desire to search for more knowledge. Some information out there is basic for human survival, while other information will hardly apply anywhere on a normal day.
School plays a very important role in supplying us with information that we will need to get to the next level, pass exams, and possibly get a good job in our most preferred profession. However, to survive everyday life you need additional knowledge and information from books, friends, the Internet, and even from general observation of the things around us.
You need to learn as much common or general knowledge as possible in order to become street smart, and then apply your knowledge whenever a situation presents itself. With knowledge comes freedom from ignorance, confidence, and a spring in every step.
If you do not know at least half of the things in this list, then you have every reason to feel embarrassed. However, since after reading it you will know these facts, challenge yourself to learn something new every day. You never know when you will use this knowledge to save yourself, help a friend, or win a huge sum of money if you find yourself in a trivia game asking general information. Here are 20 things you should be embarrassed not to know.
20. We Can’t Smell When We Sleep
Do you think it is possible to smell something before you wake up? No, it is not possible; your sense of smell does not work when you are asleep. It is possible to smell something right before you fall asleep as well as just when you are waking up, but not when you are deep asleep.
The above is the reason why it is very important to have functioning alarms and smoke detectors as opposed to expecting the sense of smell to warn you in the event of an emergency, because sound will wake people up regardless of the stage of sleep they are in. Sound is able to disrupt sleep and cause people to wake up; smell, unfortunately, does not have that ability.
19. Cats Always Land on Their Feet
Did you know that a cat has a very good chance of surviving a fall over 30 stories high? First, a cat has a keen sense of direction, meaning that it will always land on its feet, it flexes its legs to reduce impact during a fall, and it will adopt an umbrella position to slow down its fall and reduce the impact.
Cats and other animals that love climbing trees or searching for prey in high places, have a high likelihood of falling. These animals are built in such a way that they have a large surface area in relation to how heavy they are, resulting in a reduction in the force with which they land when they hit the ground. However, please do not try this on your cat at home.
18. Chocolate is Poisonous to Dogs
Did you know that giving chocolate to your dog will kill it? True, although chocolate will not affect human beings in any way, chocolate can cause a dog to develop seizures, muscle tremors, hyperthermia, or even to die. Chocolate contains theobromine, a bitter alkaloid from the cocoa plant that can seriously harm animals like dogs that digest it slowly.
If your dog accidentally eats chocolate, make sure to call the vet as fast as possible. The vet is likely to ask you questions about the type and size of your dog, as well as the amount of chocolate the dog has ingested, so that he or she can help you handle the situation fast. The best course of action is to try as much as possible to help the dog to vomit.
17. Chocolate Can Boost Libido
Did you know that chocolate is a great way to arouse someone’s desire to have sex? Now you know, and it is important to know that the smell of pumpkin has been proven to improve the flow of blood to the male sexual organ.
Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), a compound that makes the body release endorphins that are similar to what it produces during sex, though at a much lower level, and can make someone feel more attracted to his or her partner. Besides, just eating chocolate makes people happy, a very important ingredient when it comes to bedroom matters.
16. Quicksand Isn’t That Quick
Did you know that it is possible to escape from quicksand? True, all you need to do if you ever find yourself in the above situation is to raise your legs and lie on your back, very slowly. Quicksand can actually hold an individual up just as well as or even better than water can. Only make sure not to panic and start fighting the sand, quick actions will cause you to sink faster.
Since the density of quicksand is much more than that of a human being, it is almost impossible for you to be completely submerged in it. However, if you panic and give in to the urge to kick and try to swim, you might end up submerging your head in the sand, which is in itself a death sentence.
15. Blind People Dream Too
Do you know how blind people dream? Blind people, especially those that were not born blind, dream the same way people with vision dream, seeing people, places, images, and so on. However, a person born blind will have the other senses heightened and not necessarily see anything, but they do dream.
When a person is dreaming, his or her brain is active and creating scenarios that are familiar and usually part of his or her experiences. Since the people who develop blindness along the way experience vision in their dreams, their minds will only create what is familiar to them.
14. “Paper” Money Isn’t Made of Paper
Did you know that the U.S. currency bills are not made out of paper? True, paper is conventionally made out of pressing together fibers such as wood, grass, or rug pulps into thin and flexible sheets, which is not the case with the paper that makes money. Currency, on the other hand, is 75% cotton and 25% linen.
This currency composition makes the dollar have a distinct look and feel, and to some extent, helps to make it hard for forgers to come up with counterfeit currency that will not look and feel odd. The next time you are tempted to call that cash in your wallet paper money, think again.
13. Christopher Columbus Didn’t Discover America
Do you know who discovered America? The answer is easy, right? Christopher Columbus.
If that is what you think, you could not be further from the truth. There were already millions of people living in the Americas before he got there, and he never even got to set foot in the land we know today as the United States of America.
Columbus was looking for a direct route from Europe to Asia, which he never really found. However, Columbus’s journeys were of significance because they can be given credit for the beginning of the trans-Atlantic colonization and conquest, which have played an important role in making America what it is today.
12. Blue Skies Aren’t Really Blue
Did you know that even though the sky appears blue, it is not actually blue? When you look up during a cloudless day, you will see the color blue which we all love referring to as the sky. However, that does not mean that the sky is actually blue. The color we see is actually light from the sun, which contains many colors, hitting obstacles in the atmosphere and scattering in all directions. We will see the color blue because blue has a shorter wavelength and scatters more in comparison to all the other colors of the rainbow present in the light.
11. The Tallest Mountain on Earth Isn’t Mount Everest
Do you think that Mount Everest is the tallest mountain from its base to its highest peak? Yes, it is the tallest mountain only if you are considering features above the ground and not including the sea. Note that there are extremely deep canyons and tall mountains in the sea, most of which are more magnificent than what we see here on the surface. A volcano by the name Mauna Kea stands at 10,210m in the ocean, 1,360m taller than Mt. Everest, making it the tallest mountain from the base to the peak. So now, you can swim to the highest peak, which sounds a bit easier than climbing, right?
10. Crocodiles Eat Stones
Did you know crocodiles swallow stones? Yes, they do. If you ever witness this fact, do not be alarmed. Crocodiles do not swallow stones because they have not had a meal for a long time and need something to fill their stomach, it is because they need the weight to help them dive deeper in search of food. The stones also help the crocodile’s digestive system to work better. Crocodiles are wiser than you probably thought. Do not think that this trick will work on you, it will give you a serious stomachache, and the last thing you need is to dive deeper in a river or the swimming pool.
9. Music Affects the Heart
Do you know that music is so powerful it can alter your heartbeat and many other things in your body? True. Music has the ability to change the listener’s mood, his or her brainwaves, as well as his or her blood pressure, heartbeat, muscle tension, and pulse rate.
Techno and hard rock music will cause your heart to beat faster involuntarily, while a cool instrumental will relax you and cause your heart to beat slower. The next time you need to relax after an exhausting day at work, just switch on some cool music, and let it do its magic.
8. Hitler Was Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize
Do you know that Adolf Hitler was a Nobel Peace Prize nominee 1939? As ridiculous as this might sound, it is true. You do remember that World War 2 broke out in 1939, and the Nazi dictator had a huge part to play in making the war the global disaster that it was. Hitler’s nomination by a Swedish parliamentarian was apparently supposed to be sarcastic and not to be taken seriously. Other members of the Swedish parliament did not take this nomination well which led to its withdrawal on February 1, 1939. Do you think the withdrawal of Hitler’s nomination made him so angry that there was no going back with regard to the war?
7. We Have More Than Five Senses
You, of course, know that human beings have five senses; sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smelling, right? Wrong. Although we learn in school that we only have five senses, the truth is that we have more than five. We can perceive changes in pressure, heat, balance, hunger, thirst, position of our body parts, time, and several other senses. Although we might not be able to give an accurate reading of the above changes, the truth is that we can detect change in all of these senses and more. The above do not fall into any of the five senses we learned in school.
6. Multitasking: Men vs. Women
Do you think women are better at multitasking than men? Although most people think that women are actually better at multitasking compared to men, the truth is that it is impossible for the human brains to multitask. Doing two things at the same time is technically not multitasking when it applies to the brain because for you to achieve this ‘multitasking’, your brain is actually switching its attention from one task to another repeatedly. Therefore, we can arguably claim that women are better or faster when it comes to switching their attention from one task to another than men.
5. Camels’ Humps Don’t Hold Water
Do you know where the camel stores water? If you said it stores water in its hump, you should be ashamed of yourself. Although many people claim that, the camel stores water in its hump and they have stories about it passed from one generation to the next, the truth is that the camel only stores fat in the hump. The hump can shrink or even disappear if the camel stays for a long period without eating. Experts believe that the camel stores water in its stomach and after 24 hours of drinking the water, it moves to the bloodstream.
4. Ducks’ Quacks Do Echo
Did you know that duck’s quacks have no echo? Well if that is what you know, you had better change what you think you know because it is not true. A duck’s quack is hard to hear but you will hear it if you listen carefully. The echo of the duck’s quack is masked by the fading quack under random environments, since it is not scientifically possible for sound waves to change its bouncing ability just because it is coming from a duck. Furthermore, when you adjust the distance of the surface reflecting the duck’s quack, you will eventually hear its echo clearly.
3. The Reason For Seasons
Do you know what causes seasons? Geography has taught us that the rotation of the earth causes day and night and that the revolution of the earth causes seasons, right. The truth is that the tilting of the earth on its axis as it goes round the sun is what causes summer, winter, spring and autumn, not just its revolution. The revolution of the earth is simply the process of going round the sun in 365 and ¼ days making up one year. However, the revolution of the earth as well as its tilting have a close relationship.
2. Adam And Eve’s Apple
Did you know that Adam and Eve did not necessarily eat an apple while at the Garden of Eden? Everyone, regardless of what religion he or she ascribes to, has an idea of the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible. God instructed the first man and woman to keep off from the fruits of the tree in the middle of the garden, which they failed to do. The truth is that the Bible makes no mention of the particular fruit that they ate. People trying to depict this event just assume it was an apple; this assumption has been around for years.
1. Not All National Flags Are Rectangular
It’s a common misconception that all countries in the world have a rectangular shaped flag. This is not the case because countries such as Switzerland, Vatican City, and Nepal have flags that do not fall in the category of ‘rectangles’. Switzerland and Vatican City are the only countries in the world with square flags, meaning that the length and width of the flag have equal dimensions. On the other hand, Nepal is the only country in the world with a flag so unique that it resembles two triangles one on top of the other. It seems like Nepal is full of outside-the-box thinkers.