Human beings love finding out about the world, so it should come as no surprise that most people love reading about new and interesting facts. The vast majority of this kind of information will leave you saying “wow” or nodding in appreciation at the nugget of knowledge that has just been imparted. However, there are some strange but true facts that seem so outrageous that your immediate reaction to them is that they must be fake.
These could be facts that seem completely counterintuitive to how the world seems to work. Or, maybe they are the kind of thing you would have expected the Mythbusters to have debunked a long time ago. Yet, they turn out to be true and leave you astonished that something so bizarre can be genuine. These are the mind-blowing facts – like how the T-Rex is closer to humans than it is to the stegosaurus in terms of history – that have the ability not only to entertain you but also make you doubt the world around you.
The sheer scale of the universe that encompasses the Earth often makes it seem like space must be infinite, with an uncountable number of stars surrounding it in every direction. Yet, NASA scientists have come up with very good estimates for the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. This number stands at around 400 billion. While that is certainly a lot, it is dwarfed by the number of trees that are on the planet’s surface. Recent studies have concluded that there are around 3 trillion trees on Earth, almost 10 times the amount of stars in the galaxy.
A study carried out in July 2017 revealed that Switzerland’s sewers are filled with valuable materials. The research showed that somewhere in the region of $1.8 million worth of gold and $1.7 million of silver enters the country’s sewage system every year. That is the equivalent of almost 7,000 pounds of precious metal being pumped into wastewater.
Researchers believe that the material probably comes from the extensive gold refineries and pharmaceutical industry in Switzerland, both of which play a major part in the economy of the country. Unfortunately, there is no viable way to reclaim the gold and silver that is lost into the sewers.
OMG would seem to be one of those modern terms that have become popular with the rise of the Internet and text messaging. It and other shorthand messages are one of the main ways that people communicate informally with each other. Despite this, OMG is far from a modern invention. The first recorded use of it comes from a 1917 letter between Winston Churchill and the First Sea Lord of the Admiralty. Pleasingly, Lord Fisher even explains that the acronym stands for “Oh! My God!”
Pluto has had a hard time recently. It was downgraded from its status as a planet because it was too small and hadn’t cleared out the debris in its surrounding area. To make matters worse, people have now realized that the dwarf planet is only around the same size as Russia. According to NASA’s New Horizons Mission, Pluto has a total surface area of 17,646,012 km2. As the biggest country in the world, Russia has a surface area that is roughly comparable to the former planet, with estimates putting the total at 17,125,200 km2.