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20 Startling Facts That Reveal a Lot About the World

The world likes to throw us a curve ball from time to time to make sure that we never run out of things to be fascinated by. Some of you can’t imagine a day without coffee, but you probably don’t know that caffeine doesn’t actually give you energy. Even if you think you know your body well, you sometimes wonder why only one nostril is stuffed when you get a cold. And those of you who have pets might have a couple of questions regarding your cat’s or dog’s weird behavior.

We at Bright Side have the answers to all these questions, and more. Check out all these curious facts that can show you how fascinating our world is!

1. Cats have unique noses.

Just like people have unique fingerprints, cats can be identified by the unique ridges on their noses. No 2 cats have the same nose patterns.

2. Small animals see the world in slow motion.

A 2013 study found that the smaller the animal, the faster their eyes can process sensory information. Because they are able to see more information in one second than larger animals, time seems to pass slower for them.

3. Dogs stare at their owners when they poop to feel secure.

Dogs feel vulnerable when pooping, so they gaze at their owners in order to feel more secure. They expect to be protected or at least alerted in case there’s any danger.

4. Bhutan is the only carbon negative country.

Bhutan is an exemplary country in terms of its environment. The forests there produce so much oxygen, that its amount far exceeds the amount of carbon dioxide emissions. Bhutan’s rivers also generate renewable electricity.

5. Dolphins sleep with one eye open.

When they sleep, one hemisphere of a dolphin`s brain stays active, while the other one rests. Thus one eye stays open, and the dolphin is on alert for predators. The working part of the brain also regulates breathing.

6. Bananas are curved because they grow toward the sky.

It’s called negative geotropism. Bananas grow against gravity — up, where there is more sunlight — so that’s why they become curved.

7. Cats ignore their owners on purpose.

Cats recognize their owners’ voices, but choose to ignore them. Researches think it has to do with the fact that cats “have not been domesticated to obey humans”, but rather they “domesticated themselves.”

8. Dogs sneeze to indicate they are just playing.

Dogs sneeze to show other dogs or humans that they`re just having fun, so that play doesn`t turn into a fight.

9. Paper can be made from elephant poop.

Making high-quality paper from elephant dung is possible, as it contains a lot of plant fibers, and it’s good for the environment. It helps reduce deforestation and support elephant conservation.

10. Green surroundings in childhood can positively affect mental health in adulthood.

Research has shown that growing up surrounded by a green environment is beneficial for mental health. It significantly decreases the risks of developing mental disorders.

11. Coffee doesn’t directly give you energy.

One of the reasons you get tired is adenosine molecules that special receptors register after neurons fire them. As the day goes on, more adenosine builds up in your body and you get more tired. When you drink coffee, caffeine attaches to one of those special receptors and blocks the way for adenosine to come in. With the receptors congested, other neurotransmitters, like dopamine, get an opportunity to increase in levels and give you a boost of energy. However, when all that caffeine wears off, the influx of adenosine will make you feel exhausted.

12. Cats meow to people, but not to other cats.

Meowing is not a natural cat language. It is used to communicate almost exclusively with humans. Only kittens meow to their mothers to ask for attention and care. To communicate with each other, cats use scent, body language, facial expression, and touch.

13. Blue eyes aren’t really blue.

Blue eyes don’t have any pigment on the upper layer of their irises, only brown pigment on the back layer. There is also a middle layer called the stroma. It has no pigment, but there are small particles suspended in it. These particles scatter and absorb blue light, thus making the eyes look blue.

14. White roofs can help alleviate global warming.

Painting roofs white might help reduce global warming. Buildings with white roofs will stay cooler, since they will reflect more light. Thus there will be less need for air conditioning, less heat absorbed by the building and carried into the city by air, and less energy radiated and trapped in the clouds, contributing to the greenhouse effect.

15. There is an eternal flame in Turkmenistan.

In 1971, Soviet scientists began to drill for gas in central Karakum. As a result, their drilling platform collapsed and poisonous gases were emitted into the air. The scientists decided to set the crater on fire to avoid further gas dispersion and expected it to burn out within a few days. However, the fire is still burning, and locals call it “The Door to Hell.”

16. The groove above your upper lip is called a philtrum.

20 Startling Facts That Reveal a Lot About the World

It serves no purpose in humans, but it helps other mammals carry moisture from their mouths to their nose pads in order to keep their noses wet.

17. This is what Jupiter would look like if it were as close to Earth as the moon.

Jupiter’s diameter is about 40 times bigger than that of the moon.

18. Flamingos are pink because of what they eat.

Flamingos are born with grey feathers. Then they gradually turn pink because of a special pigment that they get from eating shrimp, larvae, and blue-green algae.

19. Our nostrils take turns breathing.

When we have a nasal cycle, it means that, for a certain period of time, one nostril becomes dominant, has an increased blood flow, and the other one swells. That’s why, when you have a cold, you can only breath through one nostril.

20. Animals avoid power lines because of ultraviolet light.

Animals avoid power cables because they get scared when they see UV flashes, which are invisible to the human eye.

Which fact surprised you the most? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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