Unfun Facts That Ruined Our Day, But We Couldn't Look Away From

Over 400 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Unfun Facts That Ruined Our Day, But We Couldn't Look Away From
Voting Rules

Vote up all the facts that majorly shock you or bum you out.

The world is a fascinating place, but at times it can also be a disturbing one, and many tidbits about the material world make for some very creepy trivia. 

Some of these unfun facts are reminders of the capacity people have to inflict harm on both their fellow humans and the natural world. Others draw attention to the inevitability of Earth’s destruction. Still others show the unintended consequences that can arise from human behavior. Be sure to vote up which of these unfun facts are the most disturbing.

  • 1
    370 VOTES

    Some Survivors Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki Were Described As ‘Ant-Walking Alligator People’

    The bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was one of the most significant - and violent - events of the 20th century, ending World War II and ushering in the Atomic Age. Whatever the military advantages of this move, it resulted in a large amount of human suffering from those dwelling in the cities at the time. 

    Many residents suffered severe burns, dehydration, charred or scaly skin, shock, deafness, and blindness. Even more distressingly, they were described in bleakly animalistic terms by journalists of the time - “ant-walking alligator people" - a reference to their appearance and their wandering gait, as they struggled to survive in the ruins of their cities.

    370 votes
  • Most Plastics Don’t Actually Get Recycled
    Photo: Venkat2336 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0
    364 VOTES

    Most Plastics Don’t Actually Get Recycled

    The invention of plastic changed many things about human behavior, leading to the present day, in which many everyday items are disposable. While this is convenient, it has the makings of an environmental disaster. Unfortunately, despite the enormous amount of plastic waste Americans produce every year, only a small percentage actually gets recycled. 

    In fact, almost 91% of plastic goes unrecycled yearly, due to both a lack of investment and problems in the process. To further aggravate the problem, what plastic is recycled frequently becomes less usable with every instance. As a result, most plastic ends up in landfills, where it breaks down into microplastics.

    Plastic recycling campaigns heated up in the early 1990s, assuring consumers that plastics were a logical material to use for manufacturing as long as the onus was on them to recycle. But it turns out, many of those ads were paid for by the plastics industry, made up of companies like Exxon, Chevron, Dow, DuPont and their lobbying and trade organizations in Washington. Internal memos and speeches also revealed that the oil industry responsible for plastics was aware that recycling plastic was not a viable solution dating back to the 1970s.

    364 votes
  • 3
    338 VOTES

    The Demand For Cellphones Contributes To Gorilla Habitat Loss

    In recent decades, cellphones have become a prominent part of many people’s lives. As with so many other technological advances, the costs associated with their increased use may go unnoticed, but can be quite severe. In particular, several minerals necessary for their production - including coltan, tin, and gold - are found in Africa's Congo Basin, one of the most important habitats for gorillas. 

    Mining in these areas has cost gorillas a tremendous amount of habitat, and the destruction continues. However, several organizations and zoos are advocating for the recycling of cellular phones and batteries, in order to decrease demand for these minerals.

    338 votes
  • 4
    272 VOTES

    Microplastics Have Been Found In The Human Bloodstream

    Over the last century, plastics have become a more prominent part of human life. While some are recycled, many more are left to break down into what have been termed microplastics. The impact of this refuse on the environment is obvious, but its impact on the bodies of humans is becoming increasingly clearer. In 2022, researchers discovered microplastics in the bloodstream of almost 80% of the people they studied. 

    Although it is unclear as of yet just what impact this might have on health, scientists are concerned, as it's possible the particles could lodge in various organs, as well as have other deleterious effects, including damaging red blood cells and impeding fertility.

    272 votes
  • 5
    274 VOTES

    Cigarettes Have Killed More People Than Both World Wars Combined

    The 20th century was marred by two global conflicts; combined, they took the lives of millions of people. However, as mammoth as such a death toll is, it's been exceeded by the number of people who have perished due to smoking. 

    Most estimates place the death toll from cigarettes at around 100 million for the 20th century, due in part to the ubiquity of smoking for much of the period. While many developed countries have taken steps to curb cigarette use, including the US, it continues to expand in many parts of the world, suggesting the death toll will continue to climb.

    274 votes
  • 6
    229 VOTES

    Mirror Movement Disorder Causes One Side Of The Body To Copy The Other

    For most people, moving their bodies is something they do without thinking about it, and when they do, they usually can count on their body parts following orders. For those with mirror movement disorder, however, things are not nearly so easy, as purposeful movements of one side of the body are “mirrored” by the other involuntarily

    While the involuntary movement is often not as pronounced as the original, depending on its severity, it can still cause difficulty in performing everyday tasks. Medical researchers believe a genetic mutation may cause the disorder; as such, it is prone to being passed down through inheritance. 

    229 votes