Sometimes reality can be rather boring compared to stories that we read in books or see on the big screen. What girl out there hasn’t, at one time or another, dumped the bowl of popcorn over their boyfriend’s head after realizing that he’s never held a boombox, blasting Peter Gabriel outside of their bedroom windows? But sometimes, reality makes a complete 180 and becomes something entirely different, something rather bizarre. Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”
The following 15 facts throughout modern history are just that: facts. They’re not made up or exaggerated. But they can be so bizarre at times, you will undoubtedly find yourself asking “is this for real?” But, if Arnold Schwarzenegger can become the governor of California twice while barely being able to be verbally understood, then we think that certainly anything seems possible.
13. Betty White Is Literally Older Than Sliced Bread
Few actresses can say that they’ve had a career, or even a life for that matter, like Betty White has. Everybody’s favorite Golden Girl was born in 1922, in a small town in Illinois, yes, making her older than sliced bread. Bread had long since been around, mind you, but it wasn’t until 1928 that Otto Frederick Rohwedder from Davenport, Iowa was able to successfully create the very first bread slicing machine. So does that mean that sliced bread is the best thing since our lovable Betty White?
12. Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue” Was Written By Shel Silverstein
Johnny Cash has a reputation for being one dark and mysterious guy. Perhaps one of the most surprising things you’ll learn about him is that one of his biggest hits was written by a children’s poet. Famed author Shel Silverstein is best known for his poetry books like, Where The Sidewalk Ends, but he was also a pretty accomplished songwriter. It’s hard to imagine anyone but Johnny Cash tied to one of his biggest hits, but with lyrics like “Some gal would giggle and I’d get red /And some guy’d laugh and I’d bust his head / I tell ya, life ain’t easy for a boy named “Sue,” it actually fits just right with Silverstein.
11. Over Ten Percent Of Photos Ever Taken Have Been Taken In The Past Year
The art of picture-taking has skyrocketed with the advent of digital cameras and camera phones. The first camera, a Kodak Brownie, was created over 100 years ago, in 1901. Since then, the 1000 Memories blog estimates that an approximate 3.5 trillion photos have been taken. Digital photos have increased the number of photos taken so much, that just since its inception in 2004, Facebook’s servers have collected and stored an astonishing 140 billion photos. For anyone keeping track, that’s over 10,000 times larger than the Library of Congress.
10. A Modern Day Wonder Years Would Cover The Late 90s
In case you haven’t been feeling old enough lately, just let this one sink in for a minute. The hit show The Wonder Years, aired from the year 1988 to the year 1993, and depicted the life of a boy during the years 1968-1973. Seems like a really long time ago, Doesn’t it? Well in that case, let’s take a minute to think of this: If a show were made today using the same timeline to scale as The Wonder Years, it would basically cover the years 1994-1999. So, The Spice Girls or Backstreet Boys would also be popular?
9. You’re Probably Sharing Germs With Dinosaurs
As we all know, dinosaurs ruled the Earth for over 260 million years, but haven’t roamed the Earth for over 65 million years. Alternately, it has been estimated that the total water on Earth is about 326 million trillion gallons. Based on the hypothesis that it would take 100 million years for photosynthesis to chemically break down all elements contained in water, the chances that the glass of water that you’re drinking contains at least one tiny molecule that was shared with a dinosaur, is almost 100 percent certain.
8. If You’re Over The Age Of 45, The Population Has Doubled In Your Lifetime
In 1968, the world population was approximately 3,554,000,000. Today, the world population is approximately 7.125 billion as of 2013, which means that there are almost twice as many people on this planet today, than there were if you were born in the 60s. Everyday, the population continues to grow by an estimated 200,000 people. But with the population increase slowing down in recent decades, the population estimate won’t increase by even half. By 2100, the UN estimates the world will be populated by approximately 10.9 billion people.
7. Detroit Gave Saddam Hussein A Key To The City
If you didn’t already think that U.S. politics are a strange phenomenon of WTF and How On Earth? Then you might want to stop and rethink everything all over again. In the year 1980, Saddam Hussein donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a church in the city of Detroit, around the same period of time that he became the president of Iraq. To show their gratitude for the act of generosity, the city awarded him with something quite prestigious and thoughtful; his very own key to the city.
6. Nintendo Was Founded In 1889
The company that brought the world hours and hours of entertainment, with everything from the Gameboy to the Nintendo DS, to the WiiU, is officially 115 years old today. Nintendo started off as something completely different; a playing card company, and later dabbled in various other small ventures, before finally finding its niche market in electronics and gaming systems. It was actually the success of the popular Donkey Kong game that launched them into the gaming world and also introduced the world to Mario, then known only as Jumpman.
5. Out Of 57 People In A Room, At Least 2 Probably Share A Birthday
There are 365 days in a year, with an added day thrown in the loop every four years, just to mix it up a bit. With that finite number of possible birthdays, you can calculate the probability of sharing a birthday with someone. If you fill an entire room with 57 people, there is a 99 percent chance that at least two people in there share the same birthday. And if you increase that number to 70 people in the room, the probability increases to a close 99.999 percent, which, as we all know, is higher than the effectiveness of birth control.
4. Antarctica Is A Desert
When we think of the dessert, most of us are probably thinking of endless miles of golden sand, cacti and a beaming hot sun. The last thing we would probably envision when we think of a desert is a cold and white place, like Antarctica. But, in fact, Antarctica is actually much more of a desert than the Sahara is. Antarctica sees less than two inches of rain and snow every year, while the Sahara gets up to four. We bet you never thought of being stranded on the desert and not dying of thirst, but rather, freezing your butt off.
3. Immortality Does Exist
You’ve probably gone your whole life thinking that immortality is only the stuff you read about in books or the legends you watch in movies. But, that’s not exactly the case. There actually exists a real species of jellyfish called the Turritopsis dohrnii, that can be found in the Mediterranean Sea and in the waters of Japan, which displays characteristics of immortality. If the jellyfish becomes sick or injured, it is able to revert to its original polyp form, creating a new polyp colony, almost like regenerating itself. Talk about mind-blown.
2. Mount Everest Would Be Submerged By The Deepest Part Of The Ocean
You know that scary feeling when you get in the ocean and can’t see your feet anymore? Well, as you might assume, the ocean is infinitely more terrifying than that. In fact, we have better maps of the surface of Mars than we do of the bottom of the deepest parts of the sea. Til this very day, no one has been able to venture that far due to the immense pressure. It is so deep down there, that if Mount Everest were placed at the very bottom, the peak would still be submerged by more than a mile of water.
1. Humans Only Make Up .oo4% Of Earth’s History
Does it sometimes feel like the older you get, the more life seems to be on the fast forward setting? It might be something a little more than a feeling. You see, the Earth has existed for over 4.5 billion years. Homo sapiens are thought to have surfaced around only 100,000 years ago. When put to scale, consider the history of Earth a clock. If Earth formed at midnight and the present moment is the next midnight, then modern humans only enter in the equation around 11:59:59 – that’s one second. And if human history were to be put to a 24 hour clock, then only the last 14 minutes of the cycle would represent the time since Christ, or the past 2014 years. In other words, perspective is everything. It may often feel like pressing issues are of the utmost urgency, but in the grand scheme, they’re really all trivial. There was much more that came before and still so much more to come. So, relax.