Want to be a more interesting person? Well, here are 18 facts that will equip you with some of the most captivating morsels from all the different corners of the world.
The origin of SPAM
Contrary to what most people think, “spam” is not an abbreviation for “shoulder of pork and ham” or “processed animal matter.” During World War II, SPAM gained popularity because of its ability to stay fresh for extended periods. This quality made it possible to ship pork products worldwide, leading to their availability in 44 countries today. Initially created as a canned food, this versatile meat block has now transcended its origins and is embraced as a delicacy in haute cuisine circles.
The gradual journey of the Mississippi River
An interesting fact to know is that it takes 90 days for a droplet of water to travel the entire 2,340-mile length of the Mississippi River. From its source at Lake Itasca to its end at the Gulf of Mexico, it is a North American river. Additionally, throughout its course, the river descends 1,475 feet.
Using arsenic for beauty
In the past, people used to consume products that contained arsenic, such as in the Victorian era of the 1930s. Dr. James P. Campbell’s Safe Arsenic Complexion Wafers were eaten by women who believed that this would improve their skin’s appearance. Besides this, they also used lead-based paint on their skin to achieve a brighter complexion and more radiant eyes. Additionally, they occasionally applied drops of belladonna to their eyes to dilate their pupils and create the illusion of eyes.
Distinguishing lemons from limes
When placed in water, lemons float while limes sink due to their difference in density. The explanation is that lemons and limes have densities that are quite similar to those of water, which would make you think they both float. However, limes are denser than lemons, making them sink when unpeeled while lemons float. Interestingly, peeling the fruit changes the density of the lemon slightly, causing it to sink a bit.
The Laughter Epidemic in Tanzania
The aptly named article in Atlas Obscura titled The 1962 Laughter Epidemic of Tanganyika Was No Joke, relays the historical story of a fascinating fact. In 1962, there was an outbreak of laughter in Tanzania (formerly Tanganyika). However, laughter outbreaks like these can happen anywhere in the world within communities that are under constant stress. There is also evidence of similar occurrences in unstable areas, such as Kosovo, Afghanistan, and South Africa.
Gelotophobia: The fear of laughter
It is estimated that up to 13% of the population may suffer from a condition known as gelotophobia, characterized by the fear that when someone hears laughter of any kind, they assume that people are laughing at them, even though that may not be the case. Psychologist Willibald Ruch, from the University of Zurich, who researched this condition, said that those with gelotophobia find it difficult to trust laughter as they tend to interpret it as them being the butt of the joke.
The full name of the Wizard of Oz character
The character known as the Wizard of Oz has a name: Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmanuel Ambroise Diggs. He was commonly referred to as the “Wizard of Oz” and is a character within the Land of Oz. L. Frank Baum, the author, brought The Wizard of Oz to life.
Boosting dating confidence with dogs
Did you know that dogs improve your confidence and attraction to strangers? In research conducted by Dognition about a project focused on studying the relationship between humans and dogs, 82% of dog owners feel more comfortable approaching someone they don’t know if they have their canine friends by their side.
The Crooked Forest of Poland
Also known as ‘Krzywy Las’ in Polish, the crooked forest is a group of trees located in the village of Nowe Czarnowo, near the town of Gryfino, in the region of West Pomerania, Poland. This fascinating collection of 400 ‘J’-shaped pine trees was planted approximately in 1930. It has now become a natural landmark that receives legal protection in Poland.
Professional athletes in vaudeville
Vaudeville is an entertainment-style event that emerged in France near the end of the century and is renowned for its range of performances. Initially, it focused on lighthearted scenarios and clever poetry incorporating elements such as songs and ballets. It also gained popularity in both the United States and Canada, and some professional athletes have entertained audiences by performing in vaudeville shows during their off-seasons.
The first immigrant at Ellis Island
In the 1800s, Europe faced challenges like instability, economic hardships, and religious persecution, which resulted in the largest migration in history. By around 1890, Castle Garden needed to be improved to handle this influx. The US government decided to construct an immigration station on Ellis Island. Once it was completed on January 1st, 1892, and it officially opened its doors, Annie Moore from Ireland created history by being the first person to be processed here, along with her two brothers.
All about the ‘queue’
Another fun fact has to do with pronouncing a word. It’s fascinating how the word “queue” maintains its sound even when you remove four letters. Some words share this characteristic. For example, both “bee” and “bees” sound alike when we remove the last letter. It’s quite coincidental how “queue” resembles the letter “Q”.
Penguins on land and in water
If you like penguins, this one’s for you. When penguins come together in the water, it’s called a ‘raft’, and when they’re on land, they’re known as a ‘waddle’! Other terms used to describe a group of penguins include rookery, colony, and huddle.
Before toilet paper was in the picture
Back in the day, before toilet paper was invented, people had different methods to keep themselves clean. Early settlers in North America frequently used corn cobs because they were readily available, soft, and easy to use. In other situations, sailors often relied on a “tow rag,” which was essentially a piece of rope that hung in the water.
A multitude of vending machines in Japan
According to Web Japan, Japan boasts a concentration of vending machines, with one for every 40 individuals. These machines offer products ranging from beverages to noodles, ice cream, and disposable cameras. Vending machines can be found across Japan, not in typical locations like town centers and train stations, but even in remote areas such as the side of roads in small rural villages.
Kuchisabishii: boredom eating
If you’ve ever eaten food only because you were bored, you may be practicing the act of kuchisabishii. This is a Japanese cultural term that refers to eating when you aren’t hungry, but because ‘one’s mouth feels lonely.’ It directly translates to ‘lonely mouth’ or ‘boredom eating’.
Google Images and Jennifer Lopez
Donatella Versace unveiled her Spring 2020 collection for women by showcasing a dress adorned by Jennifer Lopez that had leaf patterns. She wore it to the Grammys in 2000. The runway show suggested the dress inspired Google’s image search function. At the end of the show, a screen displayed a Google image search field with a prompt: “Okay Google, show me the Versace jungle dress,” followed by images of the dress. This was the start of Google’s images.
British tanks and tea
There is a belief that British tanks come equipped with facilities specifically designed for brewing tea. However, while British vehicles do have a water heating device, it is not solely intended for making tea. It is widely recognized that British soldiers consume tea in copious amounts.
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