Our world is full of wonders. Each day presents us with facts and information we’ve never heard of before. Almost 75 GB worth of data is downloaded into our brain every single day.
We wanted to contribute to this number, and so we collected some pictures illustrating surprising facts we had no idea about. Read to the end to discover new information about nature, culture, and humanity.
1. Prairie dogs say hello by kissing.
In greetings, prairie dogs touch their teeth together to determine whether the other animal is in their social group. Interestingly, adult dogs in a zoo appear more affectionate and kiss more when more people are watching.
2. The first authentic purple carrots
The first cultivated carrots originated either in Afghanistan or Turkey and were not orange but purple and sometimes yellow. The orange carrots we know today were bred in the Netherlands in the 17th century to show support for the Orange-Nassau dynasty.
3. A blue-skinned family from Kentucky
For many generations, a family of people with blue skin lived in Kentucky. They had a rare metabolic condition called methemoglobinemia. Due to inbreeding in the isolated community, several generations of people of both sexes had blue skin. When young people started leaving Kentucky, the disease died out.
4. Snow chimneys on Mount Erebus
Mount Erebus is the most active volcano in Antarctica and the southernmost active volcano on Earth. Escaping volcanic gases carved out ice caves and formed enormous 60-foot chimneys of ice, or “fumaroles,” with deadly volcanic gases pouring out from their tips.
5. This public library is divided between 2 countries.
Haskell Free Library and Opera House is unique as it is situated in the US and Canada at the same time. Most of the opera audience sits in the United States while the stage is, in fact, located in Canada. The international border running through the Library and the Opera House is marked by a black line on the floor.
6. This giraffe is cleaning its nose with its tongue.
The tongue of a giraffe is approximately 50 cm (20″) long, and it easily reaches the giraffe’s nose and ears. The animal has muscular control over it to grasp and pull leaves into its mouth. To make things even more interesting, the tongue is colored bluish-black to protect it from sunburn.
7. “Black sun” formed by starlings
In early November just before dusk, an unusual sight can sometimes be observed in the sky above the UK: thousands of birds swooping and diving in unison. This process is called murmuration, and its main purposes are safety, keeping warm, and exchanging information.
8. High heels for Persian soldiers
High heels originated in Persia, and soldiers wore them to easily stand in their stirrups while riding a horse. Persian-style shoes were enthusiastically adopted by aristocrats in Western Europe to gave them a masculine look.
9. Knighthood ceremony of the penguin Sir Nils Olav
Nils Olav, a penguin residing in Edinburgh Zoo, was promoted to Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian King’s Guard in 2005 and knighted in 2008. This penguin follows another penguin named Nils Olav, adopted by the Norwegian King’s Guard in 1972 as the guard’s mascot.
10. This cat was the coauthor of a physics paper.
F.D.C. Willard (an abbreviation from Felis Domesticus Chester) became the coauthor of a well-cited paper with his owner, Professor Jack H. Hetherington, an American physicist and mathematician, in 1975. The cat became so popular that the college’s chairman of physics even tried to persuade Willard to join the department on a full-time basis.
11. The world’s largest family
The head of the world’s largest family, Ziona, is also the head of a religious sect called “Chana.” He has 39 wives, 94 children, and 33 grandchildren. The whole family (181 members) lives in his 4-story 100-room house in India.
12. The Great Blue Hole: the largest of its kind
The Great Blue Hole is the largest sinkhole in the world, located just 100 kilometers off the coast of Belize. The sight was made famous by the explorer Jacques Cousteau. He declared it to be one of the top 10 best diving places in the world in 1971.
13. A child’s skull before the loss of baby teeth
Permanent teeth are located directly above and below the “milk teeth” prior to exfoliation. In the normal flow of events, when a permanent tooth finally erupts, it resorbs the root of the baby tooth, causing it to become loose and fall out.
Did any of these pictures surprise you? Were any of the facts new? Share your opinion with us in the comments!