If you are in that group of people that think learning is fun, you’re right. However, if you think otherwise, today you’ll probably change your mind and join the group. A Copenhagen-based infographic agency called Ferdio launched a new project titled Factourism. Factourism was the best place to find mind-blowing facts about almost anything. Additional to the information they would share, they would also pair them with colorful illustrations. Therefore, the receiving of all information they share became more attractive.
This project turned out to be quite successful where they share facts about people, animals, science, you name it. The Instagram account they have counts around 58k followers, eager for the next fact that is going to come up. So far, they have shared nearly 400 different facts, and even published a book featuring a collection of some of the most extraordinary ones.
Accordingly, we have made a collection of some of the wildest facts we had never heard of. Scroll down below to check them out and let us know if you learned anything new from these illustrations.
1. The odds of a coin flip are actually not 50-50 but 51-49 (it will land slightly more often facing the same direction)
Professor of mathematics and statistics at Stanford University and former professional magician Persi Diaconis and his fellow researchers Susan Holmes and Richard Montgomery once published a scientific paper called “Dynamic bias in the coin toss”. In it, they explore the odds of a coin flip, using high-speed photography, a custom coin-tossing machine, and statistical methods. They arrived at the conclusion that 51% of the time, the coin lands in the same direction it was thrown.
2. There are creatures on Earth with red, blue, green, and yellow blood
Blood can have different colors depending on its components. Most vertebrates have red blood due to its content in iron. Animals that have copper in their blood for instance have theirs blue (octopuses, squids, crustaceans, spiders, smurfs probably). Vanabin gives yellow blood (beetles, sea squirts, sea cucumbers), chlorocruorin makes for green blood (worms, leeches), and hemerythrin leads to purple blood (several sorts of worms).
3. Female kangaroos have 3 vaginas
All marsupials, among others kangaroos and koalas, share the same female reproductive system: they have three vaginas, two side ones for reproduction, each leading to a separate uterus, and one middle one for giving birth.
4. One of the big life threats for baby pandas is getting crushed by their mothers
Newborn pandas are almost a thousand times smaller than their parents (1/900th of the size of their mothers), one of the largest differences in mammals, with only marsupials having an even more contrasted ratio. With mothers weighing 90 kilograms and babies so tiny, any misstep or missit from the parent can be fatal to the young one.
5. The office chair with wheels was invented by Charles Darwin
In his office in Down House, in Kent, England, Charles Darwin had laid out all the specimens he collected during his research expeditions all around the room. But getting up, moving his heavy armchair, and sitting down again and again all the time, comparing specimens from table to table, wasn’t really practical. So he fastened four swivel caster wheels to his armchair’s feet, and could then roll around the study easily, effectively creating the first known wheeled office chair.
6. The toothbrush was invented in 1498 in China
Cleaning your teeth in the paste wasn‘t so easy: chew a piece of twig, carve toothpick in a branch, wipe them with a cloth, or rub them with sodium bicarbonate. Until the very end of the 15th century, when the emperor of China patented a toothbrush made of hog hair with a handle in bone or bamboo.
This new method took on slowly, and gradually became the worldwide standard: in the 1770s, it was introduced in Europe by Addis, a company that still exists today and produces bathroom accessories. Animal hair has been replaced by nylon, and the bamboo handles are rare – plastic is a lot more common these days. Still, for a 500 years old invention, the toothbrush is still going strong.
Fashion designer Coco Chanel had long been known to have had a Nazi officer as a lover during World War 2. But over this last decade, an investigative history book, as well as declassified evidence by the French police, have revealed how far her involvement with the Nazis was. Not only was she anti-Semite and frequented the Nazis as soon as they occupied Paris, but she also operated as a secret agent for them under the codename “Westminster”. She was directly involved in a plan to take control of Madrid, and in a mission as a negotiator with Churchill. After the war, she managed to entirely escape prosecution, and her fashion empire became more successful than ever.
8. Coco Chanel was a Nazi secret agent
Cheese triggers the same part of the brain as addictive drugs
A study by the University of Michigan found that cheese and dishes containing cheese ranked high in their experiment about addictive food. One of the major components of cheese is casein, which produces casomorphins when digested. Casomorphins are opioids, and acts on the brain’s opioid receptors, the same that get activated when consuming opium or morphine for instance.
9. In the 17th century Ottoman Empire, drinking coffee was punished by death
Sultan from 1623 to 1640, Murad IV banned drugs in his empire. Alcohol: prohibited. Tobacco: forbidden. And coffee? Outlawed too. In fact, Murad IV made it personal: it is told that he would disguise himself as a layman, walk around town with his sabre, and behead any coffee drinker who would cross his way.
One of the main reasons behind his crusade against coffee was the popularity of cafés, where men would gather, chit chat, listen to poetry, play chess and backgammon… and not go to the mosque. Was death penalty enough to dissuade coffee drinkers? Absolutely not. Coffee remained very popular, and religious scholars ended up accepting the fact that people were not going to give up on it. As for Murad IV, he died of cirrhosis, possibly because of drinking too much alcohol himself.
10. In Wisconsin it is legal for children of any age to drink alcohol in a bar (as long as they are with their parents)
The alcohol laws in this US state are very permissive: drunken drivers are not charged until they have been arrested five times, sobriety checks by the police are not permitted, and minors can drink alcohol in bars, as long as a parent or legal guardian is with them. A coalition led by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine is now campaigning for the State to put itself together and get better regulations.
11. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes were originally thought as a product to prevent masturbation
John Harvey Kellogg, who was a doctor in the turning of the 19th and 20th centuries and a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, was also an anti-masturbation activist. He believed that the act was a vice and bad both for the soul and the body, to the point of writing books about it. He also thought that eating highly-flavored food was inciting higher sexual activity, and worked on some “healthy” diets based on bland food. One of the inventions that came out of this work was unflavored breakfast cereals, especially the Corn Flakes that he started to commercialize from 1894.
12. Some cities in the US used to have ‘ugly laws’, fining people $1 to $50 for how they looked.
Some cities in the US used to have ‘ugly laws’, fining people $1 to $50 for how they looked. And by ugly, mayors mostly meant poor or with a disability. The laws were a pretext to force beggars, people with missing limbs or visible diseases, to stay away from public space. From the 19th century, several cities of the West and Midwest had laws like this. The last one, in Chicago, was only repealed in 1974.
13. Steve Jobs chose the name Apple because it would be placed before Atari in the phone book
When Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created Apple in 1976, the first of the two Steves came up with the name Apple for two reasons: he had a nice experience working in an apple orchard a few years earlier, and the name would get them before Atari in the phone book, the company where Jobs was working previously.
14. In the age of the dinosaurs, a day lasted no more than 23 hours
The Earth has been little by little slowing down and was rotating far faster in its beginnings. The gravitational forces exerted by the Moon, however, are acting as a brake. As a consequence, the days are getting about two milliseconds longer each century. During the Mesozoic era, when dinosaurs lived, the days would have been in between 21 hours and 23 hours.
15. Christmas used to be illegal in the US
Many cultures had a pagan festival for winter, usually around the longest night of the year at the end of December. Through the centuries, many of these celebrations ended up being converted into “Christmas”, becoming a Christian holiday after the idea by Pope Gregory that people would more easily accept changing the focus of their festivals rather than banning them altogether.
However, it did not prevent Christmas to be banned for a few years in England by a very puritan parliament in the 17th century, a ban that spread to their North American colonies, sticking around when the USA became independent. And it wasn’t lifted until the 19th and 20th centuries: the first state to decriminalize Christmas was Alabama in 1836, and the last one to legalize Christmas was Oklahoma in 1907.
May 11, 1947, Le Bourget airport, Paris, France. Winston Churchill, then between his two mandates as a prime minister of the UK, smokes half a Cuban cigar and stub it out in an ashtray before embarking on his plane to Northolt, UK.
That’s when William Alan Turner, an airman working on this flight, discreetly got the cigar out of the ashtray and brought it home as a souvenir for flying the British statesman. Fast forward October 11, 2017, RR auction house, Boston, USA. The cigar resurfaces. A Floridian collector buys it for no less than $12,000.
17. Until 1948, 7-Up contained a mood stabilizer used to treat bipolar disorder
When it was created in 1929, 7-Up had a completely different name: “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime soda”. It is the “lithiated” part that interests us here: an ingredient of the drink was lithium citrate, a compound well known to people with bipolar disorder as it is one of the most established drugs to stabilise mood states. It is said that its presence in 7-Up did affect the dinker’s mood, until it was removed in 1948.
18. UPS trucks save 38 million liters of gas every year by avoiding left turns
Turning left puts drivers against the flow of vehicles coming the other way, which leads them to wait 30–45 seconds each time with the engine running. A new routing system introduced a few years ago, which calculates routes favoring right turns, saves the whole @UPS 10 million gallons (38 million liters) of fuel every year. On top of that, right turns are more safe, leading to only 1.2% of crashes instead of 22.2% for left turns
19. Each day 6,000,000 US dollars are shredded and turned into compost
Banknotes that are too old and torn or written on get removed from circulation and end up being shredded. In the US, it is $6,000,000 that is cut in pieces daily. These piles of small bits of money used to get in landfills, but are now taken to a compost facility where they are blended with other waste and turned to soil.
20. Pandas can fake pregnancies
The birth rate of pandas is really low. In the wild, after a failed pregnancy, female pandas sometimes continue to behave like they were still pregnant, a phenomenon not entirely explained. In captivity, that behavior has sometimes been interpreted as a way to access all the perks that pregnant animals get in zoos, extra comfort, and food. It estimated that 10–20% of pregnancies in pandas are make-believe.
21. The most frequently used password is 123456.
“123456” has been for several consecutive years the most widely used password, according to a list collecting all those which were hacked and leaked. The top 10 also includes the very imaginative “123456789”, “12345678”, “1234567”, and “12345”. As for the second most used password, it is “password”.
22. Wine glasses are seven times larger than they used to be.
The average wine glass from the 1700s was about 66ml, against 417ml in the 2000s. That is a finding of research conducted by scientists from the university of Cambridge. Comparing 411 glasses from the past 300 years found in museums, catalogues, and other sources, they found that their size got six to seven times larger during that time. The larger increase has been happening in the last few decades, leading to the question of what it can mean in terms of alcohol consumption.