• Weird History

Facts That Made Us Raise An Eyebrow Or Two When We Found Out They Were True

List RulesVote up all the facts that make your eyebrows go up.

Some history “facts” are really just fiction. A few myths that might surprise you include Edison inventing the light bulb and Napoleon being extraordinarily short (both false). Or what about some of the science facts we learned in school, such as the existence of a dark side of the moon? (Nope, that's just the name of an album.) 

And sometimes the opposite is true: What seems like fiction is verifiably correct. So don't let anyone accuse you of faking it when you pull out one of these strange but true facts.

  • 1

    Wounds That Occur During The Day Heal Faster Than Those That Happen At Night

    The next time you injure yourself, do your best to make it happen during the day. Scientists recently discovered that wounds heal noticeably faster when the injury happens during the day than at night, largely because of the circadian rhythm of fibroblasts, the skin cells that make way for new cell growth.

    The difference in healing time was noticeable to the eye, and the study found that daytime burn injuries healed 11 days sooner than those that occurred at night. 

  • Photo: Mauricio Anton / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.5

    Woolly Mammoths Were Still Living When The Great Pyramids Were Built

    The last woolly mammoths on Earth were concentrated on a remote island off Siberia called Wrangel Island. Although they were a motley crew (being stuck on an island leads to a lot of inbreeding), they survived the general demise of most mammoths that occurred more than 10,000 years ago. This band of mammoths lived on the island until about 2000 BCE.

    The Giza Pyramids were constructed approximately 4,500 years ago, meaning there were, indeed, woolly mammoths roaming (a tiny part of) the Earth during the construction of the pyramids.

  • 3

    A Strawberry Is Not A Berry, But A Banana Is

    Yes, a banana is a berry... but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are not. The reasoning lies in the scientific definition of a berry. If the fruit in question has an outer skin (exocarp), a middle that is fleshy (mesocarp), and an inner part with two or more seeds (endocarp), then it is a berry.

    Also to be considered a berry, a fruit must develop from one flower that has a single ovary, and strawberries have flowers with more than one ovary. So strawberries are not true berries, but bananas are, along with watermelons, kiwis, and eggplants (yes, eggplants are technically fruits).

  • Photo: Bluefors wiki / Wikipedia / CC BY 3.0

    The Coldest Temperatures Recorded In The Universe Occurred On Earth

    If you had to guess where the coldest temperatures in the universe were recorded, you might guess another planet, such as Neptune, or deep in the abyss of outer space. But the coldest temperatures ever recorded in the universe have actually happened right here on Earth (in science labs).

    Scientists working on a dark matter experiment in Canada, for example, installed a dilution refrigerator that reached 5.3 millikelvin (just a hair above absolute zero). To get an idea of how cold that is, Antarctica’s coldest temperature ever recorded was 184 kelvins, which equates to about -89 degrees Celsius or -128 degrees Fahrenheit.