We can all remember random and fun facts that totally blew our minds. Some even made us second-guess everything our parents told us.
Fun facts are handy to have. They're like jokes, but better, because they don't need to be inappropriate to be worth your time. It's wise for every adult to have a handful of quotable quips at the ready for any given situation - awkward first dates, awkward work meetings, awkward family dinners, etc.
For fans of weird trivia and those looking to beef up their fun fact repertoire, this list is for you. Vote up the facts that
- 1371 VOTES
Botfly Eggs Can Get Under Human Skin - Without The Host Ever Going Near A Botfly
Botflies are possibly one of the most disturbing creatures on the planet, mainly because they are parasites whose larvae grow either in the gut or flesh of the host. Unsuspecting travelers to South and Central America often bring home a stowaway along with their souvenirs, but it isn't until the larva starts causing an infection and pain - as it continues to grow and move inside the skin - that the human host becomes aware something is up.
Adult botflies are bumblebee-sized, and hard to miss if one were laying eggs on your skin. However, they are much stealthier than that, "sticking" their eggs onto a mosquito that then carries the eggs to an unlucky victim, either animal or human.
The warmth of the host's skin, combined with the hole made by the mosquito that stopped to get a drink, creates a perfect "welcome home" situation for a larva. So yes, botfly eggs can, quite easily, get under your skin (with larvae living there for months) without you ever encountering a botfly.
- 2446 VOTES
A Stork With A Spear In Its Neck In 1822 Finally Taught Us About Bird Migration
For hundreds of years, humans wondered what happened to birds in the winter. Some assumed they flew elsewhere, but had no idea where. A Harvard professor suggested they might fly to the moon until warmer weather returned. Aristotle threw out the idea that some of them hibernated, or that others turned into different birds or animals better suited for winter until spring returned.
After millennia of wondering, scientists and laypeople alike finally got some proof of an answer in the 19th century. A white stork was found in Germany with a spear of African design through its neck. It was undeniable this bird had been speared some 2,000 miles away, before it continued its journey northward. The stork was then killed and stuffed to be shown as proof of migration.
- 3322 VOTES
A Fig Is Not A Fruit - It's A Wasp Coffin
If you're a big fan of the fruit-like fig, you may just want to skip this fun fact. Or if you insist on reading, go enjoy one last fig before you do so. So what is a fig, if it's not a fruit? The short answer is that it's an inverted flower. The long answer is that this inverted flower needs to be pollinated in a very particular way: Because it blooms internally, it must be pollinated internally.
Enter the fig wasp. The fig and the wasp have a tightly symbiotic relationship: the fig cannot be pollinated without the fig wasp, and the fig wasp cannot lay its eggs without the fig.
Wasps can only lay their eggs in male figs, and male figs are inedible - so no worries there. But wasps sometimes enter a female fig (the kind humans like to eat), and because the wasp loses its wings when it does so, it cannot escape once it's in there. This is actually part of the fig's life cycle, since the pollen on the wasp ends up pollinating the inverted flower.
Although figs have an enzyme that breaks down the dead wasp, the process isn't always complete by the time you bite into that fig. You've been warned.
- 4245 VOTES
Banana Candy Tastes Like A Banana That's No Longer Commercially Sold
We all know there's quite a difference between banana-flavored candy and the bananas you might have for breakfast. Banana-flavored treats tend to be a little sweeter, less complex in flavor, and less authentic than the yellow friend you peel. However, that could be because banana flavoring actually closely mimics an almost-extinct banana cultivar called the Gros Michel, which at one time was one of the most common bananas sold commercially.
Threatened by a fungus dubbed "Panama disease," Gros Michel became difficult to buy or grow. Consumers were introduced instead to the Cavendish variety, which is what we are most familiar with today. So instead of assuming that the banana flavoring is entirely inauthentic and artificial, find yourself a Gros Michel banana, and you might just change your mind.
- 5173 VOTES
Sloths Only Go To The Bathroom Once A Week
Sloths are known for being slow. The mellow mammals spend most of their time hanging out in the tree canopy, where they are relatively safe from predators like jaguars.
Like all of us, however, they do have to relieve themselves eventually. When the urge arises, sloths will lumber down the trees and take a bathroom break on the ground level - about once a week. Sadly, the majority of sloth deaths occur on the ground from much faster predators, so sloths (try to) do their doo-doo quickly.
- 6141 VOTES
Pineapples Were Once Rented Out As Luxury Items
The royalty and elite of Europe fell in love with the sweet, juicy pineapple in the 15th century, after Christopher Columbus brought some back to Spain. Europeans tried to grow their own pineapples, but only had mediocre success once hothouses were utilized in England and other countries. Otherwise, they had to import the fruit from thousands of miles away, which took time, money, and the risk that all the fruit would be spoiled by the time it made its journey.
Scarcity breeds luxury, and this rang true even when Europeans started to populate North America. The price of a pineapple kept the fruit out of reach for most, and it remained a symbol of luxury and wealth. Hence, the rental market was born and began to flourish. Instead of paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for one pineapple, the less-wealthy would simply rent one from a merchant, bringing it to parties or displaying it in their homes to be ogled, but not eaten.