The reality is often stranger than the fiction. When we try to understand a fact that we consider fake, the universe reveals its crazy truth, and we are left gaping. Sometimes we come to know about certain facts which sound too crazy to be true. Some of these bogus sounding facts are actually completely true. Here we have compiled a list of facts which sound completely fake but are actually true.

1. Oxford University was founded before the Aztec Empire.



Oxford University is older than Aztec empire
Image sources: answersafrica.comkristeninclogland

In history, there is no proof of the foundation of Oxford University. But, the record shows that teaching in some form had begun in the university by 1096. It started developing rapidly and became popular in 1167 when Henry II restricted the entry of English students in University of Paris.
Before 1200, the Aztecs were a nomadic tribe. Hence, the foundation of Aztec civilization is dated 20 June 1325 because this is the day when the capital of Aztec Empire, Tenochtitlan, was founded. In 1521, Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro captured Tenochtitlan and brought an end to the Aztec civilization. Thus, the beginning and end of Aztec civilization were within the timeline of Oxford University.(source)

2. A woman’s uterus can fall out of her vagina if the muscles are too weak.



Uterine Prolapse
Image Source: www.webmd.com

Uterine Prolapse is a medical condition in women in which the uterus falls out of the vagina. It happens when the muscles and ligaments holding the vagina in place becomes weak. In a woman’s body, there is a small muscular band in the pelvic region which closes the opening of the vagina. The ligaments hold up the walls of vagina and uterus and also prevent their downward descent. These muscles and ligaments become weak due to various factors such as childbirth, age, chronic coughing, obesity etc. This causes damage to the pelvic floor which results in uterine prolapse.(source)

3. If you have two arms, then you have more arms than the average person.



Two arms puzzle
Image source: douloscrosswebjournal

Each year a number of people lose one or both hand in an accident or in a war. This led to the derivation of the mathematical fact that if a person has two arms then that person has more arms than the average person. Surprised? Go on.
Let’s prove it mathematically.
Imagine a town with 1000 people. Out of the 1000 people, one person has one hand. Thus, the total number of hands in town becomes 1999.
Consequently, the average number of arms per person in that town is 1999/1000 = 1.99 which is less than 2.
This proves the fact that a person with two arms has more arms than the average person.(source)

4. The driest place on Earth has seen no rain for nearly 2 million years.



Dry Valley
Image Source: thelastdegrees.wordpress.com

When people asks where the driest place on Earth is, our mind immediately starts juggling between the names of deserts. Yet, surprisingly the driest place on the Earth is in Antarctica. The place is called Dry Valleys and it hasn’t seen any rain for nearly 2 million years. The net gain of water in this region is zero. Lake Bonney in the Dry Valleys is covered with 3 to 5 meters of ice permanently and mummified bodies of seals have been found around this lake.
The Dry Valleys spreads over an area of 4800 square kilometers and there is almost no ice, water or snow. There is no precipitation and rain in Dry Valley. The reason behind the lack of rain is the Katabatic winds. The katabatic winds flow from the mountains and are laden with moisture. It becomes so heavy with moisture that it is pulled down due to gravity and hence it cannot reach the valley.(source)

5. An avocado has as twice the potassium as a banana.



Avocados and bananas
Image sources: jenknoedl.comdraxe.com

Most people know that banana is one of the richest sources of potassium. In reality, an avocado has a twice amount of potassium than that found in a banana. Avocado is also a rich source of Vitamin K. Consuming one avocado a day will fulfill one-third of our daily Vitamin K requirement. Avocado also contains Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, folic acid, and pantothenic acid.
Avocado is considered as the super-food because it helps to prevent cancer, improves eyesight, develops fertility, and aids in weight loss.(source)

6. More people are killed by cows than sharks every year.



Cows and Sharks
Image sources: pak101.comsolarseven(shutterstock.com)

Cows are known universally as a domestic animal. Hence, words like aggressive and deadly beast are used for tigers, bulls, crocodile or sharks, but almost never for cows. However, data have shown that every year people killed by cows are far more than people killed by sharks. In July 1916, sharks attacked 5 people in 12 days and four of them died. In 2009, the same number of people were killed by cows in Britain alone.
Surprisingly most cow attacks are deliberate attacks and made in groups. During group attack, cows gather in a circle facing outward. They lower their head while stamping on the ground. The leader initiates the attack and rest of the group follows. Cows often target people walking with dogs. They become agitated by the quick movement of dog and attacks them. When people are walking their dog, the cows are likely to assault them. Cows are known to attack motorist, small truck or even people passing nearby them.(source)

7. Stainless steel will remove the scent of onions, garlic, and fish from your skin.



Stainless steel soap
Image Source: www.aliexpress.com

Garlic, when added to recipes in a right amount can make a dish taste heavenly. But, those who use raw garlic in the kitchen know the strong odor it produces. Once you have got garlic odor on your hand, it remains there for a long time as the stench is quite strong. Those who use garlic regularly use a very simple trick to remove the odor. The trick is rubbing our hands on the surface of stainless steel.
Using this idea, some companies have started making stainless steel bar in the shape of soap. The reason why stainless steel helps in removing the garlic odor so effectively is because of the high content of sulfur in garlic. When we cut garlic, these sulfur molecules get transferred into our hands. But, when we touch the surface of stainless steel, the sulfur molecules bind with the steel molecules and get transferred on its surface along with the smell. Voila! no more sulfur, no more smell.(source)

8. Your smartphone has more germs than a toilet seat.



Phone and toilet seat
Image sources: MAXIMUMPCwww.electrodry.com.au

Remember the last time you used your smartphone? The answer is probably going to be seconds ago. Our life has become so much dependent on smartphones that we need it in every phase of our life. Routine swab tests of these smartphones have revealed that the level of germs found on smartphone surpasses that of a toilet seat. Hence, we are basically in a constant contact with an object that is a lot more unhygienic than a toilet seat.
The level of germs on our smartphone increases when we handle it with the same hand with which we have handled food. It also increases when smartphones become our companion in the toilet. Some people do not wash their hands regularly and it affects the germ count on smartphones. To prevent germs from residing on our phones, we must wipe it regularly with antibacterial wipes instead of your shirt sleeve or dry cloth. Also, if you are using a phone while eating then tip it upside down and shake it to remove food crumbs.(source)

9. You exhale most of that fat you’re losing.



Exhale
Image Source: admissions.tufts.edu

Till now you must have thought that the more you sweat, the more fat you will lose. Advertisements of weight loss products claim that the sweat coming out of your body is actually fat which broke down due to physical activities. Even doctors claim that our fat is transformed into heat or energy when we exercise. However, a research team from UNSW Sydney has proved it wrong by revealing what really happens to fat loss from the body. They revealed that we actually breathe out (exhale) our body fat.
Their study has proved that about 10 kg of fat is turned into 8.4 kg of carbon dioxide, which is released from the body in the form of exhaled air, and 1.6 kg of water, which is excreted through urine, tears or sweat. The result published claims that we need to inhale 29 kg of oxygen to breakdown 10 kg of fat in our body. It will create 28 kg of carbon dioxide and 11 kg of water which can be excreted from the body.(source)

10. In 1919, a flood of molasses killed 21 people in Boston.



Great Boston Molasses Flood
Image Source: www.bostonglobe.com

On January 15, 1919, in Boston, Massachusetts, US, a large storage tank containing molasses burst and caused a flood of molasses flowing through the streets. It moved at 35 mph and the wave was 8 m at the peak. It led to the death of 21 people and 150 more were injured. This disaster is popularly known as Great Boston Molasses Flood. It is also known as Great Molasses Flood or Boston Molasses Disaster. This Molasses flood was so disastrous that it even swept buildings off their foundations and it was waist deep for several blocks.
It was cleaned up by 300 people using salt water and sand. The molasses flood later entered into folklore and the residents of that area claim that they can still smell molasses on hot summer days.(source)

11. A dolphin once committed suicide after he fell in love with a researcher.



Peter
Image Source: thoughtcatalog.com

Peter, a bottlenose dolphin, met the research assistant Margaret Howe in 1965. It was a part of NASA experiment for which Howe had to teach Peter to speak through a blowhole. For this experiment, Howe and Peter did everything together such as eating, sleeping, playing, and bathing. Peter was 6 years old at that time and was “sexually coming of age”, so he fell in love with his teacher.
When the experiment ended, Peter was shipped to Miami, away from Howe. In Miami, Peter’s health deteriorated quickly. A few weeks later, Peter committed suicide and his veterinarian stated that the cause of his death is a heartbreak which occurred when Howe left Peter.(source)

12. There is a planet “Gliese 436b”, which is covered in burning ice.



Gliese 436b
Note: Image is just for representation purpose only. Image source

In 2007 an exoplanet named Gliese 436b was discovered. It orbits the red dwarf Gliese 436 and its size is the same as planet Neptune. The temperature of this planet is 712 K (439 degrees C) which indicates that this planet is very close to its star. This high temperature indicates that water in any form could not exist on its surface. But, this planet breaks all rules by being covered in ice, solid ice. This exotic form of water ice is known as “Ice-x” which covers a rocky core. This ice is unlike any other as it can remain solid even during the super hot temperature of 439 degrees. The immense gravity of this planet compresses the water molecules and turns it into ice. Its extreme gravity also prevents the ice from  turning back into liquid form. (1,2)

13. Can openers weren’t invented until 48 years after the invention of cans.



Can openers
Image Source: www.wisegeek.org

Up till the 1800s, Canned foods didn’t exist. In 1795, Napoleon Bonaparte was having problems with food preservation due to which his troops were not getting adequate food. Consequently, he offered a prize for anyone who could bring forward a method of preserving food during long journeys. Nicholas Appert won this prize in 1810 by sterilizing food in a glass jar container. Later in the same year, Peter Durand made the world’s first iron and tin can.
Combining the sterilization process and the iron and tin can, the food was kept fresh for a long time. However, there was no can opener available. Hence, troops used to smash the tin can with a hammer and chisel. Almost half a century later, in 1858, Ezra Warner invented and patented the world’s first can opener.(source)

14. Sharks were on earth before trees.



Sharks-Tree
Image Source: 1,2

Hard to imagine, isn’t it? But it’s true. Sharks are older than trees. The earliest known species of tree is Archaeopteris. It was a tree like a plant and its leaves were like a fern. It is extinct now. Fossil index has revealed that it used to exist on Earth about 350 million years ago in a forest in the area where Sahara desert is located at present. Amazingly, the fossil index of sharks has revealed that it was present on even 400 million years ago proving the fact that sharks are older than trees.(source)

15. Tomatoes didn’t exist in Italy until 1548.



Tomatoes
Image Source: www.kamdora.com

Tomatoes are such an integral part of every Italian recipe that in a way Italy and tomatoes are synonymous. But, until 1548, there had been no tomato in Italy. Not only in Italy, but they were unknown for the whole Europe. It came to Italy through explorers who brought tomatoes with them from the New World. The color of tomatoes which they brought was not bright red like the one we have today. They were yellow and their size was similar to cherry tomatoes.
If you are wondering what the tomato loving Italians had used to eat before 1548, well they consumed olives, pasta, polenta, anchovies, beans, pork, and basically everything they consume now. The only difference is that none of them were served with a rich tomato sauce as the base.(1,2)

16. Polar bear fur is actually transparent and their skin is black.



Polar bear body
Image sources: Sue Flood / naturepl.comimgur

Ask anyone what is the color of Polar bears and you will receive the answer “white”. But, the truth is Polar bears are not white. They have transparent fur and underneath the fur, their skin is black in color. Their white color is actually an optical illusion going on within their fur/hair.
A Polar bear’s coat is actually made of two layers of hair. One is guard hair which is 5-15 cm in length and the other is a thick undercoat of shorter hair. The guard hair is transparent. When sunlight falls on the guard hair, some light energy gets trapped in it and bounces within the hollow hair. This causes emission of white light and the process is known as luminescence. The luminescence helps Polar bear in blending with the white snow.(source)

17. There are more trees on Earth than there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy.



Trees and the Milky Way
Image sources: Edwin van BuuringenSerge Brunier NASA

Most people would dismiss this fact as false because most people consider that total number of stars is not countable and incomparable. According to Maggie Masetti, who is an education and outreach specialist in NASA, there are 100 billion to 400 billion stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. In the September 2015 issue of scientific journal Nature, a paper titled “Mapping tree density at the global scale” was published. It provided an estimate of a total number of trees on the Earth. According to this paper, there are approximately 3.04 trillion trees on Earth. Even though both these studies provided approximate numbers, it shows that the number of trees on Earth is more than the stars present in Milky Way Galaxy. Therefore, until the time someone comes up with a way to calculate the exact number of stars and trees, it seems that trees will be more in number.(source)

18. The train was invented before the bicycle.



Train and bicycle
Image sources: www.victorianweb.orgwww.theapricity.com

When you look at the history of the bicycle, the first two-wheeler used by humans was the Draisine which was invented and patented in February 1818 by Karl Drais of Germany. On the other hand, rail transport might date back to the ancient Greeks. The first mechanized railroad system, i.e the steam engine, was started in England in the 1820s. Before the steam engines, wagonways were used in mining. Thus, surprisingly men knew how to drive a rail engine before being able to balance himself on two wheeler.(1,2)

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