There are so many challenges going around at the moment; the song challenge, “Run 5- Donate 5- Nominate 5”, find your first photo with your partner and various workout challenges. Stay with me though. A few weeks ago, my friend challenged us to exchange a fun fact every day and I thought I would post them for you to pass on to your friends or incorporate into a virtual pub quiz (are they still a thing?) Enjoy!
- Greenland Sharks are known to be some of the oldest living animals in our world. Researchers did carbon dating on a Greenland Shark that was caught in 2014 and found it to be around 392 years old. Further testing revealed that these sharks could be up to 500 years old. That would mean they would have been alive when Leonardo Da Vinci painted the “Mona Lisa.”
- Clocking in at 100 mph, we can sneeze faster than cheetahs run! We also sneeze four-and-a-half times faster than Usain Bolt’s record, and 20 times faster than swimmer, Michael Phelps. (Unfortunately, we also expel about 100,000 microbes when we sneeze.)
- It would take 1,200,000 mosquitoes, each sucking once, to completely drain the average human of blood.
- Honey does not go out of date. You could feasibly eat 3000 year old honey.
- You can hear a blue whale’s heartbeat from more than 2 miles away. This mammal’s heart weighs about 180kg which is approximately the same as two baby elephants.
- 2000 years ago, the total weight of all the ants on the Earth was the same as the total weight of all the humans on Earth.
- The Giant Weta of New Zealand is the heaviest recorded adult insect at 71g (the same as one and a half golf balls).
- Female brown trout sometimes fake orgasms.
- Sea cucumbers explode their insides and squirt it at their predators!
- Caterpillars have bright markings and strange structures that signal how poisonous they are to predators. (This fact was accompanied by 19 stunning photos of caterpillars and the butterflies/ moths they transform into.)
Some of these clearly need a bit more of an explanation, for example, trout orgasms and exploding sea cucumbers:
I was a bit worried about typing brown trout fake orgasms into Google, but thankfully the results were all scientific!
Brown trout do not mate in the way we are used to seeing mammals and birds mate. The trout will essentially flirt with each other and then both fish “quiver violently with their mouths open“. This promps the fish to release eggs and sperm into the water. The sperm will come into contact with the eggs and fertilise them so that they can grow fry (the term for a baby fish).
There were some instances when scientists noticed that the female fish quivered but didn’t release any eggs into the water while the males did. They concluded that this benefits the female by either attracting lots of mates to fertilise eggs or avoid having their eggs fertilised by an undesirable male.
Exploding Sea Cucumbers
Exploding your insides sounds like quite a drastic way of fending off your ememies, but sea cucumbers are pretty benign creatures which their predators might see as an easy meal.
The process, known as evisceration, is quite dramatic; they turn their bottom to their enemy, tighten muscles in their body and propell their intestines out of their anus. The respiratory and reproductive system are left in place and their intestines quickly regenerate. Some types of sea cucumber eviscerate more of their internal organs and sometimes parts of their repiratory system.
A bonus fact that I found while researching this is that Starfish push their stomachs out of their mouths to eat their prey before sucking it back in again. I think this gives a whole new meaning to “sucking in my stomach”.
I hope you enjoyed these facts and my brief expansion on the more outlandish ones. I haven’t been able to cite all the facts, but I’m sure you can find more about them in search engines.
What is your favourite fun fact that you’ve come across?