Facts We Can't Believe No One Told Us Before Now

List Rules
Vote up all the facts you wish you had heard sooner.

The world is way more complicated, secretive, and mysterious than we think. Just look at all the trivia about it. Even if we spent our lives studying the scrolls of the Library at Alexandria, or tried to go through each page of the internet, we would still not know it all. Every day, people unearth new facts and make new discoveries, and our life span is not enough to learn everything. 

But for those of us with a quest for knowledge, learning even a little bit of trivia each day is a big deal. Every new fact we learn - big or small - about the world of today or the historical one adds to our repertoire. When it comes to knowledge, it's the journey that's the most fun, right? On that note, here are some facts we cannot believe we didn't know before. 

  • In 1989, An Asteroid Nearly Hit Earth
    Photo: Fer31416 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0
    3,163 VOTES

    In 1989, An Asteroid Nearly Hit Earth

    March 23, 1989 is celebrated as Near Miss Day - and for a good reason. On that day, the Earth had a close call when an asteroid half a mile across whizzed by us at a distance of 400,000 miles. This does not sound close, but Earth had been in that same spot a mere six hours earlier. 

    We didn't learn of the close encounter until nine days later. The closest call since then was in January 1991, when an asteroid approximately 30 feet wide passed within 106,000 miles of Earth. 

    3,163 votes
  • Two Powerful Nuclear Bombs Accidentally Fell On North Carolina
    Photo: US Air Force / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
    2,508 VOTES

    Two Powerful Nuclear Bombs Accidentally Fell On North Carolina

    On January 24, 1961, North Carolina barely avoided tragedy. A B-52 carrying two powerful Mark 39 nuclear bombs broke up mid-flight. The two bombs fell and landed just outside of Goldsboro. Had they detonated, North Carolina would have been a tragic memory, as the bombs were 200-300 times more powerful than the ones that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

    The force of the aircraft's mid-air mishap began the fusing sequence on both bombs. The first was found with its nose embedded two feet into the ground, and only the "safe" switch prevented a detonation. 

    The second one hit the ground hard and was armed to detonate, but the impact with which crashed prevented the explosion. While the first bomb was fully retrieved, one of the second bomb's nuclear cores went deep into the Earth. It was left there, and the area around it is actively farmed.

    2,508 votes
  • 3
    1,920 VOTES

    If Marsupials Are Chased By A Predator, They Sacrifice The Joey

    There are many cases of altruism in the animal world. Sometimes, animals sacrifice themselves for the betterment of the herd. And animal mothers can fiercely defend their babies. But when it comes to marsupials - the pouch-bearing natives of Australia - the opposite can be true. 

    If chased by a predator, marsupials like kangaroos, wallabies, and even the ever-smiling quokka may let the joey fall out of the pouch. The abandoned joey makes a fuss and unwittingly distracts the predator. The mother is alive to have another baby, while the poor joey becomes the predator's meal.

    1,920 votes
  • 4
    3,492 VOTES

    The Distance Between London And Moscow Is Shorter Than Between Sydney And Perth

    London and Moscow seem to lie halfway across the world from each other. One is in the United Kingdom and the other in Russia, although both cities are located on the European continent. The distance between London and Moscow is 1,795.6 miles, or almost 2,890 km. A flight from London to Moscow takes approximately 3 hours and 50 minutes. 

    Sydney and Perth, on the other hand, are Australian cities but much further apart. The distance between the two is 2,444.5 miles, or 3,934 km. The approximate flight time between the two is a surprising 5 hours

    3,492 votes
  • Dubai is sandy. Go outside the gleaming city in the United Arab Emirates, and you'll find plenty of towering sand dunes - a hot spot for tourists. But when it comes to construction, Dubai cannot use desert sand, simply because it's too smooth.

    So it imports sand. In many countries, the demand for sand has led to illegal mining and the rise of a "sand mafia." In 2014 alone, Dubai imported $456 million worth of sand, gravel, and stone. 

    1,724 votes
  • The Only Japanese Passenger on RMS 'Titanic' Was Shamed By His Country For Being Alive
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
    1,693 VOTES

    The Only Japanese Passenger on RMS 'Titanic' Was Shamed By His Country For Being Alive

    Masabumi Hosono was an employee of the Japanese Transportation Ministry who traveled to Russia and then to England to study railway operations. He boarded the RMS Titanic at Southampton, also called "the ship of dreams," before tragedy struck. When the Titanic went down, Hosono was on deck like all the other passengers looking for a way out. Suddenly, the officers announced that one of the lifeboats had space for two more passengers. Hosono became the second to jump in. 

    Initially, when he went back to Japan, he was hailed as a survivor and became a mini celebrity. Later, he was denounced as a stowaway, first by Archibald Gracie, a first-class passenger and Titanic survivor, and then by his own countrymen.

    Hosono lost his job, and while he was eventually hired back, his career never really revived. The shame persisted until his death in 1939, and even after. 

    1,693 votes