Our senses are our windows to the world and you may think that they do a fair job in capturing an accurate picture of reality. But don’t fool yourself– there is more to the world than meets the eyes! There are many things about the food we eat, the cosmetics that we apply to our bodies, and the people we kiss in the morning that are so weird and even gross that we’re better off not knowing. But once we realize that every time we flush the toilet with the lid open we get covered with germs and that twenty percent of office mugs carry fecal bacteria, even the most trivial actions like having a coffee during lunch break or taking a leak can become repulsive.
You don’t have to participate in Fear Factor to experience things that can leave you nauseated, or be a part of a SWAT team to be liable to suffering horrendous deaths. Every morning you step out of your front door eager to savor the world outside, as beautiful and friendly as it seems, you instead face a world full of disturbing realities that, once acknowledged, can steal your sleep at night.
It’s time to get real, so here come 15 horrifying facts about the world we live in, and if you think you won’t be able to handle them, make sure you have anxiety meds at hand.
15. Peanut Butter Contains Rodent Parts And Bugs
Every child’s most favored ingredient in the classic PB&J sandwich is such a staple that it seems to have been around forever. However, it took quite a long time before someone got the bright idea to put the essential ingredients together, and several more decades for the sandwich to become as popular as it is today. We are all familiar with the ingredients– pre-sliced bread, peanut butter (the credit for whose invention goes to the Incas and the Aztecs!), and of course, jelly, or jam. What you may not know, though, is that for the past fifty years the peanut butter manufacturers have been “upgrading” the product’s recipe with totally unacceptable ingredients, such as rodent parts and bugs. It is true that US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows 30 insect fragments per 100 gram, but the statistical fact that there is at least one rodent hair on average in America’s much-loved peanut butter comes a little over the top.
14. What’s Really In Your Expensive Perfume?
If you think that giving a luxurious perfume as a token of your love and appreciation to your significant other (or to your mom for her anniversary!) is a brilliant idea that will buy you their approval, you are on the wrong track. You’ll be safe with your purchase unless they find out what some perfumes are really made of. As a rule, they contain fragrant essential oils, fixatives, and solvents– all of those stirred into a complex mixture for the purpose of giving the human body a pleasant scent. The precise formulae of commercial perfumes are kept secret, but nonetheless, perfume experts’ noses are so well trained that they are able to identify all the components in a particular fragrance. And I bet they can also capture the smell of ambergris. This is a solid, waxy substance of blackish color, produced in the digestive system of cachalots. In other words, it is whale faeces! Freshly produced ambergris has a distinctive fecal odor, but when processed with alcohol, it acquires a sweet earthly scent. Yes, you’ve guessed right– the next expensive perfume you give to your girlfriend could actually contain whale’s poop.
13. In Some Cultures, Mothers Suck The Snot Out Of Their Sick Babies’ Noses
It has been a common practice among Inuits for centuries to perform this, let’s call it, ‘medical intervention’ whenever their children catch a cold. Babies cannot blow their noses, and because Inuit moms don’t want to watch their child suffocate or choke, they suck out the mucus out of their noses without any hesitation. They suck and spit, and repeat that action until the nose is all clean of snot and the baby is breathing lightly again.
It is an interesting fact that not only the moms living up in the Arctic regions do this. In some parts of Africa, the mothers do the same when their children fall sick. Nigerian doctors, however, advise the mothers to stop using their mouths to suck out mucus from their children’s noses because they risk infection. The doctors further claim that sucking out the mucus is not enough to make their children better, so they should rather see a doctor.
12. Climbers Use Corpses As Landmarks On Mount Everest
Death is, of course, a sad fact of life, especially when a result of tragic circumstances, but sometimes it comes really handy. Since 1953, when Mount Everest was summited for the first time, more than four thousand people have climbed it, leaving behind a trail of garbage, human waste and… corpses! It’s been estimated that approximately 200 people died in their attempt to scale the highest mount in the world. But if you are an extreme mountaineer, flirting with mortality is part of the appeal. The Himalayas offer plenty of opportunities to part with one’s life– from slipping off a cliff and falling into the void to asphyxiation from the lack of oxygen. Due to the severe weather conditions and the inaccessibility, many of the dead bodies cannot be transported, so they stay there, close to the top or rather away, deeply frozen, unsusceptible to decomposing. The climbers imperturbably pass the well-preserved dead, most of whom have earned nicknames and now serve as trail markers.
11. Left-Handedness Is Responsible For An Average Of 2,500 Deaths Per Year
The most plausible explanation behind this disturbing fact is that the lefties get in more accidents simply because they are trying to function in, what seems to them, an upside-down world. Stationary and kitchen appliances, doors and locks, the computer mouse and much more are designed to serve the needs of the right-handed. As a result, 500 million people are forced to adapt. Using those treacherous “weapons” that need adjusting to, is the main reason why you are more likely to die before you reach the age of 60 just because you are a leftie. There have been recorded cases of left-handed people who suffered an accidental death because they used… scissors. If that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand, just remember that many famous historical figures were actually left-handed– Leonardo da Vinci, Mark Twain, Marilyn Monroe, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven… And the good news is that there are more of them who are still alive: Robert de Niro, Bill Clinton, Paul McCartney, Barack Obama…
10. Jelly Beans Are Coated In A Chemical Used For Cleaning Floors
It’s a sad day for all jelly bean lovers. This is a favorite of many and a classic in the candy department. Countless flavors exist today from the usual (but always good) apple, cherry, lemon, and orange to the oddly delicious soda-inspired flavors, toothpaste flavor, and even barf, moldy cheese, and skunk spray flavors (Jelly Belly sure is on a roll). The thing is, there is a dark side to these little bits of heaven. And here it is: all the shiny candies of this sort are coated in shellac– a chemical widely used in detergents which make floors as shiny as the candy you indulge in. Shellac itself is a type of resin derived from the faeces of the female lac bug, which lives on the trees in the forests of India and Thailand.
9. Koala Bears Can Be Disgusting And Dangerous
People are usually moved when they see this seemingly harmless and extremely cute-looking fluffy animal, hugging a tree or peacefully chewing on a eucalyptus leaf. What many do not know about these adorable marsupials is that when still babies, they feed extensively on their mothers’ excrements in their pouches. And if this fact is not enough to make you reconsider your attitude towards koalas, here is another, even more disturbing fact. About half the koala population in Australia is being slowly killed by chlamydia. Although they are infected by a different strain of the disease from the one which affects humans, it is still very likely that humans can catch the koala version if exposed to an infected animal’s urine. The sad side of the story is that koalas transmit chlamydia to each other and many can’t be healed. They are in a lot of pain and the Australian authorities are considering to start euthanizing them.
8. Disneyland Is Covered With Remains Of Dead Bodies
Although in many American states there are strict regulations concerning scattering ashes, there is no such thing as the Ash Scattering Police, so the people who want to carry out this act of memorialization follow the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Many go for water basins— the ocean, or the waterfalls are a highly favored choice. Others, however, choose to scatter the ashes of their loved ones in very unusual places.
Some years ago an epidemic of ash-scattering started in Disneyland. For many years, Disneyland has been receiving requests for ash dumping permission, but it has denied all of them. Nevertheless, people started dumping human remains (God knows if these are only ashes!) all over the park grounds. So next time you visit the amusement park, you might want to keep in mind that the Haunted House is inhabited by authentic ghosts. But as the employees do their best to keep the house clean by regularly vacuuming the place, you can imagine how angry the ghosts must be for ending up in a trash can!
7. Butterflies Are Blood-Suckers And Poop-Eaters
Butterflies are considered to be among the most spectacular creatures living on Earth. Their fragile, symmetric beauty brings a smile on our faces every time we spot one. Yet, if we only knew what was hiding behind that beauty of theirs!
For starters, they love urine. In fact, they love it so much that they will drink their own, which makes them a unique species, as they are the only animals on Earth which recycle their pee. They are also keen adherents of a balanced diet, so they’ll often vary their daily menu by sucking blood and eating animal poop. If butterflies could speak, they’d probably explain their eating habits with the fact that animal excrements are full of useful nutrients. But you know what else is full of nutrients? Decaying bodies; rotting animal flesh is actually their number one dish. Well aware of that, the cunning humans have started baiting tropical butterflies with chunks of dead animals and crustaceans.
6. Some Tumors Contain Hairs, Nails And Teeth
*They’re truly nauseating so we’ve inserted a photo of a puppy instead. You’re Welcome.
We have all heard scary stories about the unborn child who grows inside the body of his living twin-brother. This story, however, is not entirely untrue. The phenomenon exists and is called “fetus in fetu”, or fetus inside a fetus. What happens is that some of the tissue of the embryo’s body breaks away in error and becomes folded up in another part of the body that is predestined to become a brain, or stomach, or some other organ. Thus misplaced, the astray tissue puts all its efforts in becoming as human as possible by growing hair, teeth, etc.
So, now you know that the evil unborn twin brother is not an actual fetus; it is a mass of tissue only resembling a fetus. This developmental abnormality is categorized as a tumor, known as a teratoma. Surgeons have discovered teratomas containing not only teeth, nails and hairs, but even more complete body parts, such as tiny feet.
5. A Person Consumes An Average Of 500g Of Insects Per Year With Their Food
In our, as we believe it to be, highly civilized society, eating insects is considered disgusting and primitive. For two billion people living elsewhere, however, insects have been a part of the daily menu for centuries. According to a report released by the UN some couple of years ago, the benefits of consuming insects are so great for one’s health that it is high time to launch a serious campaign aiming at converting the rest of the population into avid insect-eaters. But until that happens, those five billion people still live in a blissful oblivion that they have never tasted and will never taste a single bug in their life. So wrong! Some of us may hate the thought of eating bugs on purpose, but we sure consume them by accident. And we are not talking about a harmless ant here and there; we are talking about a considerable amount of various kinds– up to 500g per year. What makes this eye-opening fact really gross is another fact: that most of these insects end up in our digestive system through the intake of processed and packaged foods, and are not a fresh-from-the-farm product.
4. Babies Can Get An Erection In Utero
Some conscientious parents prepare their young children about the changes their bodies will be going through once they enter puberty. But they unconsciously mislead the kids when having “the talk”, as very few of them are aware of the fact that some sexually related things actually happen long before puberty. And even before birth, for that matter! Many mothers feel embarrassed when their 4-year-old boys get an erection while given a bath, for example. They will be surprised though to know that, while pregnant, the little man growing inside them can get an erection. The phenomenon of fetal erection was recognized two decades ago. Advanced technology has made it possible to screen its occurrence even before the 16th week of pregnancy. Of course, this cannot be due to arousal of any kind, but who knows… The scientists are still looking for the most plausible stimulus causing it.
3. The Human Body Is A Farmhouse For Microbes
Even third-graders know that in our bodies live micro-organisms, some of which are essential for our health. What they don’t know, however, (and neither do a big percentage of the grown-ups, for that matter) is that there are as many creatures crawling all over a single body as there are people on the face of the Earth! Dust mites have quietly lived their lives on our bodies since the day we are born till the day we die. Despite the millions of years of evolution, they never grew large enough for the naked eye to see. And yet, here they are– resembling miniature dinosaurs from a long lost world, dependent on us for survival. Dust mites feed on the flakes of the dead skin our bodies constantly shed. Other shocking facts about the invisible villains is that the average bed is home to up to 10 million of them, and we inhale their droppings from the pillow as we sleep.
2. 278 Colonies Of Bacteria Are Exchanged During A Kiss
It is quite certain that if you don’t mess around and are faithful to your partner, it is very unlikely to catch a sexually transmitted infection. But are you also safe from diseases when kissing your loved one? It is proven that over five million bacteria go both ways during a typical French kiss. An additional 40,000 parasites travel from mouth to mouth, which kind of turns the whole thing into a zoological experiment rather than a moment of intimacy.
The good news is that 80 percent of the bacteria we pass to our partner in a kiss are common to most people. The other 20 percent are unique to one person, but this still is not an issue of concern, as these are usually beneficial to the other because they help his/her immune system to create antibodies to the new bacteria.
1. Fast Food Is Anything But Food
Fast food is unhealthy. Even little children know that. And yet, the fast food industry, although in decline, is very unlikely to die out soon. People will keep on buying burgers, tacos, and fries no matter if they are aware of their true content, or not. But just in case your intention is to have a quick bite to eat at the nearest fast-food place right after you’ve read this, here are some facts about the food you are about to consume:
– Most fast food places use the leftovers from the previous day;
– More than half of the drink dispersers in these places are covered in faecal bacteria;
– The meat in a chicken burger at most fast food chains contain 55 percent chicken fat, and the rest is feathers, preservatives, corn, skin, petroleum, and hydrogenated fats. You can literally fuel your car with a burger like that!
– Milkshakes contain more chemicals than some garden fertilizers;
– The meat in most fast food sandwiches is not meat at all, but a by-product containing pig innards, heart, scaled stomach, and tons of salt. The amount of those ingredients only in five such sandwiches is enough to send you to a hospital.
Oh, and let’s give our applause to bleaching agents as well, which are a much favored ingredient in the meat part of almost every sandwich or burger you order at any fast food venue.