snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Trivia

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08 June 2014, 06:24 AM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,606
Jaded 35 Interesting Facts About The World You Live In That Will Surprise You

When Twister was introduced to the public in 1966 it was denounced by the media and accused of being “sex in a box.”

There are more life forms living on the human skin than there are people roaming the Earth.

Otters sleep holding hands.

OJ Simpson was originally chosen to play in the box office hit “Terminator” but the studio was afraid no one would believe him as a remorseless killer.

Leonardo Da Vinci could write with one hand while drawing with the other at the same time.

Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

There are over 200 corpses on Mount Everest and climbers use them as way points.

All the clocks in the movie “Pulp Fiction” are stuck at 4:20.

Russia didn’t acknowledge beer as alcoholic until 2011. It was previously considered a soft drink like Sprite.

If a male lion takes over a pride, he executes all the cubs.

Two thirds of the people on Earth have never seen snow.

A hummingbird weights less than a penny.

There are more vacant houses than homeless people in the U.S.

The Average American drinks 600 sodas a year.

It’s true. If you suppress a sneeze, you can rupture a vein in your brain or neck, and die.

The average person walks the equivalent of 3 times around the world in a lifetime.

A shark can smell a single drop of blood in the water over a quarter of a mile away.

A jelly fish is 95% water.

You are 1% shorter in the evening than you are in the morning.

It would take 1,000 years to watch every video on YouTube.

A man named Charles Osborne had the hiccups for 69 years.

A cockroach can live several weeks with its head cut off.

Fifteen percent of the air you breath in a metro station is human skin.

The tongue is the strongest muscle in the human body.

Men are six times more likely to be struck by lightening then women.

Frozen lobsters can come back to life when unfrozen.

Donald Duck comics were banned in Finland because he doesn’t wear pants.

Coca-Cola would be green if coloring wasn’t added to it.

French was the official language of England for 600 years.

You are more likely to die from a falling coconut than from a shark attack at the beach.

The chances of you dying on your way to pick up a lottery ticket are actually higher than winning.

Cows have best friends, and experience stress when they are removed from them.

Africa’s population will double by 2050, reaching 2.3 billion people, making it the fastest growing continent in the World.

In an average NFL game there are only 12 minutes of actual play time.

An average of 1,200 left-handed individuals die each year as a result of operating equipment designed for right-handed people.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08 June 2014, 07:21 AM
crocoduck_hunter's Avatar
crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 10,956
Default

Was this supposed to link to something?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08 June 2014, 08:08 AM
geminilee's Avatar
geminilee geminilee is offline
 
Join Date: 02 December 2005
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 11,512
Default

I have heard many of these before, and at various time have fact checked a few of them.

I do take issue with one though, even if the opbjection is a silly one. It is the 1000 years to watch all yputube videos one. I don't believe it. I think that it would take much longer, given the rate at which new videos are added. It may even result in a constant loss of ground, if more videos are added per unit of time than can be watched in that period.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08 June 2014, 12:43 PM
A Turtle Named Mack's Avatar
A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
Join Date: 21 June 2007
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 21,441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Was this supposed to link to something?
Snopes has several threads he starts like this, where either someone has e-mailed him some ULish list like this or he sees it in an article. I presume if he does not give a source, someone has e-mailed it.

I'll take issues with all of these:
Quote:
A cockroach can live several weeks with its head cut off.

Fifteen percent of the air you breath in a metro station is human skin.

The tongue is the strongest muscle in the human body.

Frozen lobsters can come back to life when unfrozen.
Cockroaches may live a while without their heads, but to make it long would take ideal conditions, particularly to prevent dessication - insests lose a lot of water in respiration, unless conditions are quite humid, and without a head it cannot be replaced.

I am sure that pretty much all current metro stations recirculate and filter air, along with adding quite a bit of fresh air, at least passively (via doors, etc.). 15% as skin should weigh more than the air it is supposedly suspended in.

Strongest muscle? I have heard it is the jaw-closing muscle or the cervix. Probably depends on how much exercise each gets.

Frozen lobsters - just not buying that - if nothing else, I have cooked a few from frozen, and they've never tried to get out of the pot.

Last edited by A Turtle Named Mack; 08 June 2014 at 12:54 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08 June 2014, 12:55 PM
Nonny Mouse's Avatar
Nonny Mouse Nonny Mouse is offline
 
Join Date: 30 April 2006
Location: Halifax, NS
Posts: 14,286
Default

The lottery ticket one: Depends on a very narrow definition of "winning the lottery." My parents won multiple thousands twice. Others I know have won hundreds. I can't think of anyone I know who died on the way to get a ticket.

I know the odds aren't good and most people spend more on tickets than they ever win, (else what would be the profit in running a lottery?) but most people who buy tickets would be happy with wins well short of the big jackpot and winners of personally significant amounts almost certainly out number ticket-buying fatalities.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08 June 2014, 01:16 PM
A Turtle Named Mack's Avatar
A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
Join Date: 21 June 2007
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 21,441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
Strongest muscle? I have heard it is the jaw-closing muscle or the cervix. Probably depends on how much exercise each gets.
The Wikipedia article provides several possibilities about the strongest human muscle, and while it notes that this UL is often repeated, there is no basis for it - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscle
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08 June 2014, 01:26 PM
Latiam's Avatar
Latiam Latiam is offline
 
Join Date: 19 June 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,461
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
Snopes has several threads he starts like this, where either someone has e-mailed him some ULish list like this or he sees it in an article. I presume if he does not give a source, someone has e-mailed it.

I'll take issues with all of these:

Cockroaches may live a while without their heads, but to make it long would take ideal conditions, particularly to prevent dessication - insests lose a lot of water in respiration, unless conditions are quite humid, and without a head it cannot be replaced.

I am sure that pretty much all current metro stations recirculate and filter air, along with adding quite a bit of fresh air, at least passively (via doors, etc.). 15% as skin should weigh more than the air it is supposedly suspended in.

Strongest muscle? I have heard it is the jaw-closing muscle or the cervix. Probably depends on how much exercise each gets.

Frozen lobsters - just not buying that - if nothing else, I have cooked a few from frozen, and they've never tried to get out of the pot.
Actually I believe the frozen lobsters is true. When I worked at Sobey's I was walking by the lobster tank and they were adding them one morning and they were moving really slowly. I asked why and they told me it was because they were still thawing out. I looked and they had frost on them. Some were still sitting on a bed of ice.
I suppose it depends on your definition of frozen. They were definitely below zero.
Any that didn't survive would just be added to the pile for steaming.

Last edited by Latiam; 08 June 2014 at 01:34 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08 June 2014, 03:57 PM
A Turtle Named Mack's Avatar
A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
Join Date: 21 June 2007
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 21,441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Latiam View Post
Actually I believe the frozen lobsters is true. When I worked at Sobey's I was walking by the lobster tank and they were adding them one morning and they were moving really slowly. I asked why and they told me it was because they were still thawing out. I looked and they had frost on them. Some were still sitting on a bed of ice.
I suppose it depends on your definition of frozen. They were definitely below zero.
Any that didn't survive would just be added to the pile for steaming.
Well, I did as we should and searched for some cites. A company called Trufresh came up with a process where lobsters were chilled to essentially hibernation, and then dunked them in -40 deg brine (I think they chose this temp so they did not have to discuss F v. C). When thawed, about 10 % actually were alive. I don't know if a comparable process is now industry standard. If reliable (could be hype, though you say otherwise) it shows they can revive from at least this particular process (I am sure the initial chill and then the very deep quick freeze are important), but that it is still only about a 10% rate, which does not quite fit with the broad statement of the claim.
http://www.sfgate.com/science/articl...fe-2807663.php
discussed here previously: http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/u...4;t=001031;p=1

This link says the revival only worked for revivals from overnight freezing, and it cites to a CNN article, which is no longer available. http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5863

I did not search beyond 3-4 pages of cites, and they all seem to reach back to the initial Trufresh article, without later verifications.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08 June 2014, 04:07 PM
Ariadne's Avatar
Ariadne Ariadne is offline
 
Join Date: 02 March 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,444
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonny Mouse View Post
The lottery ticket one: Depends on a very narrow definition of "winning the lottery." My parents won multiple thousands twice. Others I know have won hundreds. I can't think of anyone I know who died on the way to get a ticket.

I know the odds aren't good and most people spend more on tickets than they ever win, (else what would be the profit in running a lottery?) but most people who buy tickets would be happy with wins well short of the big jackpot and winners of personally significant amounts almost certainly out number ticket-buying fatalities.
I interpreted it as saying (poorly) that you are more likely to die in an auto accident (in general) than you are to win the lottery. But yeah, there are many interpretations of winning, so the whole thing is pretty vague.

Last edited by Ariadne; 08 June 2014 at 04:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08 June 2014, 04:36 PM
Latiam's Avatar
Latiam Latiam is offline
 
Join Date: 19 June 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,461
Default

I think what was occurring was the chilling into hibernation. Apparently that starts to happen at around 4 degrees Celsius. So a freezer for the lobsters that kept them below 0 Celsius (the freezing point) or even a refrigerator set on high to freeze things (keep them below 0) would freeze them, keeping them in hibernation.
Apparently a normal fridge should be set around 2 degrees Celsius. However given that the lobsters were stored on a bed of ice they would be colder even in a fridge.
But I don't think they were frozen to -40 degrees, no. That wouldn't be cost effective and they'd spend most of the day as lobstersicles thawing.

Last edited by Latiam; 08 June 2014 at 04:43 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08 June 2014, 05:00 PM
diddy's Avatar
diddy diddy is offline
 
Join Date: 07 March 2004
Location: Plymouth, MN
Posts: 10,857
Default

I noted this tidbit which apparently refuses to die.

Quote:
Donald Duck comics were banned in Finland because he doesn’t wear pants.
Which of course was debunked long ago by some guy named Snopes.

I am sure I have seen a bunch of others on various lists that have been discussed before and I am sure Snopes has addressed a few of them too.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08 June 2014, 08:42 PM
Richard W's Avatar
Richard W Richard W is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: High Wycombe, UK
Posts: 24,937
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonny Mouse View Post
The lottery ticket one: Depends on a very narrow definition of "winning the lottery."
It might be true even if you only use the jackpot (which is what I'd call "winning the lottery" - I don't think that's an unreasonably narrow definition).

In the UK, there's about a 1 in 14,000,000 chance of winning the lottery, so you'd only need 2 out of 14,000,000 jackpot winners to die on the way to collect it for it to be true. The National Lottery here started about 20 years ago, and (potentially) pays out a jackpot each week, so that's only just over a thousand jackpots in the total time it's been running. Often those jackpots are won by more than one ticket, and often nobody wins and they roll over. But it could easily be true here even if nobody at all has ever died on their way to collect the winnings.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08 June 2014, 08:53 PM
Beachlife!'s Avatar
Beachlife! Beachlife! is offline
 
Join Date: 22 June 2001
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 27,839
Default

If somebody uses the phrase 'winning the lottery', I generally assume they are talking about the big jackpot, not a $10 scratch off.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08 June 2014, 08:59 PM
diddy's Avatar
diddy diddy is offline
 
Join Date: 07 March 2004
Location: Plymouth, MN
Posts: 10,857
Default

I assume that they are either winning the whole pot or one of the bigger second tier prizes that you have to fill out the paperwork to collect.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08 June 2014, 10:11 PM
UEL's Avatar
UEL UEL is offline
 
Join Date: 01 August 2004
Location: Ottawa/Fredericton, Canada
Posts: 8,426
Baseball

Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
I assume that they are either winning the whole pot or one of the bigger second tier prizes that you have to fill out the paperwork to collect.
My Mom's aunt won a huge amount (greater than $10k but less than $100k) in the '80s when the jackpot prizes were typically in the millions. We all referred to that as "winning the lottery".**

But we didn't call it "winning the lottery" when my Mom's Mom won $1400 a few years later. She "won a prize in the lottery".

My family has since come up with "win the big one" as the reference to winning the jackpot prize.

Just a data point.

**I was quite young and never did grasp the lottery until a few years later. Then never was curious as to what amount they won. I do recall they bought a new car with some of the money.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09 June 2014, 02:04 PM
Alarm's Avatar
Alarm Alarm is offline
 
Join Date: 26 May 2011
Location: Nepean, ON
Posts: 5,017
Default

Quote:
It’s true. If you suppress a sneeze, you can rupture a vein in your brain or neck, and die.
"It's true. If you suppress a sneeze, you can trip on your shoelaces, fall over in the street in front of an incoming bus, and die!"

I don't think rupturing veins are directly linked to suppressed sneezes any more than lightning is linked to souring milk.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09 June 2014, 03:13 PM
A Turtle Named Mack's Avatar
A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
Join Date: 21 June 2007
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 21,441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
"It's true. If you suppress a sneeze, you can trip on your shoelaces, fall over in the street in front of an incoming bus, and die!"

I don't think rupturing veins are directly linked to suppressed sneezes any more than lightning is linked to souring milk.
Well, in all fairness, there is at least a reasonable possibility of connection. You can feel a lot of pressure when you suppress a sneeze. It is conceivable that such pressure could rupture a weakened vein or aneurysm. OTOH, unless the pressure is focused from within the vein/artery and is more intense than in surrounding tissues, there is no pressure differential to cause the vessel wall to give way. But at least there is a pressure thing going on with the sneeze, so it is not utter woo, like the lightning thing.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09 June 2014, 05:07 PM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
Join Date: 24 November 2005
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 4,745
Default

Quote:
Leonardo Da Vinci could write with one hand while drawing with the other at the same time.
I have tried to look in to this and it sounds like a corruption of this from Discover magazine.

Quote:
An ambidextrous, paranoid dyslexic, Leonardo could draw forward with one hand while writing backward with the other, producing a mirror-image script that others found difficult to read—which was exactly the point.


I have not found any reliable reference as of yet. Though I have found that practicing writing backwards (mirror imaged) with the left while forward with the right is good exercise for the brain and with learning to be ambidextrous. Something I can easily see Leonardo Da Vinci doing.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09 June 2014, 05:43 PM
Alarm's Avatar
Alarm Alarm is offline
 
Join Date: 26 May 2011
Location: Nepean, ON
Posts: 5,017
Default

Quote:
•A hummingbird can weigh anywhere between 2 and 20 grams.
◦A penny weighs 2.5 grams
According to this page.

So no, humming birds do not weight less, on average, than a penny. Some may, but on average, no....

ETA:
Quote:
1997 - 1999
Composition: 98.4% zinc, 1.6% copper plating
Weight (g): 2.25

1908 - 1920
Composition: 95.5% copper, 3% tin, 1.5% zinc
Weight (g): 5.67
http://www.mint.ca/store/mint/learn/1-cent-5300004

The heaviest canadian penny was 5.67 grams. The lightest was 2.25 grams. So apparently lots of leeway there, but still probably less than the average weight of hummingbirds.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09 June 2014, 05:50 PM
Alarm's Avatar
Alarm Alarm is offline
 
Join Date: 26 May 2011
Location: Nepean, ON
Posts: 5,017
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
Well, in all fairness, there is at least a reasonable possibility of connection. You can feel a lot of pressure when you suppress a sneeze. It is conceivable that such pressure could rupture a weakened vein or aneurysm. OTOH, unless the pressure is focused from within the vein/artery and is more intense than in surrounding tissues, there is no pressure differential to cause the vessel wall to give way. But at least there is a pressure thing going on with the sneeze, so it is not utter woo, like the lightning thing.
But then, it's not the sneeze that caused the death, but the weakened vein. The person could have died from holding their breath, going swimming in deep water, flying in an unpressureized craft, etc...

In other words, not everyone who holds in a sneeze will die, and there is no experiment you can perform that will produce results reliably unless you add additional factors.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Interesting facts snopes Trivia 25 08 October 2013 12:34 PM
A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live A Turtle Named Mack Social Studies 16 25 May 2013 03:23 AM
Interesting Facts About Food NeeCD Food 28 12 March 2008 05:04 PM
Interesting Human Body Facts? bcwray Trivia 11 09 August 2007 05:22 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.