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Facts About US Presidents

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Abraham Lincoln turned down the chance to host elephants

Slide 1 of 52: In 1861, the King of Siam offered to gift President Lincoln 'several pairs of young male and female elephants,' which were indigenous to his country (today we know it as Thailand). The elephants could be bred to multiply, the king suggested, and the herds could be used as 'beasts of burden' that could work alongside the military during the Civil War. The president politely declined the offer, opting to use steam power instead of animal labor.

In 1861, the King of Siam offered to gift President Lincoln ‘several pairs of young male and female elephants,’ which were indigenous to his country (today we know it as Thailand). The elephants could be bred to multiply, the king suggested, and the herds could be used as ‘beasts of burden’ that could work alongside the military during the Civil War. The president politely declined the offer, opting to use steam power instead of animal labor.

Gerald Ford modeled on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine

Slide 2 of 52: Before he became our nation's 38th president, Gerald Ford had a side gig as a model. In 1942, shortly after joining the Navy, he landed an uncredited spot on the cover of Cosmopolitan in his uniform. Another fun fact? It was during this time that he met and went on to marry a fellow model, Elizabeth Bloomer. She became known to Americans as First Lady Betty Ford.

Before he became our nation’s 38th president, Gerald Ford had a side gig as a model. In 1942, shortly after joining the Navy, he landed an uncredited spot on the cover of Cosmopolitan in his uniform. Another fun fact? It was during this time that he met and went on to marry a fellow model, Elizabeth Bloomer. She became known to Americans as First Lady Betty Ford.

Slide 3 of 52: Back in the 1800s, little was known about our planet. In the absence of scientific evidence, some people believed in some pretty kooky theories—like the idea that planet Earth is actually hollow. Our sixth president, John Quincy Adams, was on board with this one. The commander-in-chief even signed off on a proposed expedition by a fellow Hollow Earther and would-be explorer to the Earth's 'empty' core. But when Andrew Jackson was voted into office four years later, he put the kibosh on the journey that never was.

John Quincy Adams approved a real-life journey to the center of the Earth

Back in the 1800s, little was known about our planet. In the absence of scientific evidence, some people believed in some pretty kooky theories—like the idea that planet Earth is actually hollow. Our sixth president, John Quincy Adams, was on board with this one. The commander-in-chief even signed off on a proposed expedition by a fellow Hollow Earther and would-be explorer to the Earth’s ’empty’ core. But when Andrew Jackson was voted into office four years later, he put the kibosh on the journey that never was.4/52 SLIDES© AP/REX/Shutterstock

William Howard Taft took a custom bathtub on a trip to Panama

Slide 4 of 52: The legend goes that our 27th president once got stuck in a bathtub and had to be pulled out by six men. Although President William Taft did weigh 340 pounds at his heaviest, this story is wholly false. But it probably stemmed from Taft's (very true) affinity for baths. In fact, he ordered a 7-foot-long tub that weighed a literal ton to be built and placed aboard the USS North Carolina, so he could luxuriate in it on his way to Panama.

The legend goes that our 27th president once got stuck in a bathtub and had to be pulled out by six men. Although President William Taft did weigh 340 pounds at his heaviest, this story is wholly false. But it probably stemmed from Taft’s (very true) affinity for baths. In fact, he ordered a 7-foot-long tub that weighed a literal ton to be built and placed aboard the USS North Carolina, so he could luxuriate in it on his way to Panama. 5/52 SLIDES© Historia/REX/Shutterstock

Herbert Hoover’s White House staff hid from him

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Slide 5 of 52: In a very diva move, 31st president Herbert Hoover insisted that his staff never see him around the White House—and he didn't want to see them either. This caused quite the charade, of course, as the staff felt pressured to hide from the president whenever he was present. According to White House journalist Kenneth Walsh, staffers would 'pile into closets' and 'hide behind bushes so the president couldn't see them.'

n a very diva move, 31st president Herbert Hoover insisted that his staff never see him around the White House—and he didn’t want to see them either. This caused quite the charade, of course, as the staff felt pressured to hide from the president whenever he was present. According to White House journalist Kenneth Walsh, staffers would ‘pile into closets’ and ‘hide behind bushes so the president couldn’t see them.’6/52 SLIDES© John Knoote/Daily Mail/REX/Shutterstock

Lyndon B. Johnson proposed to Lady Bird with a $2.50 ring from Sears

Slide 6 of 52: In 1934, Lyndon B. Johnson, then 26, proposed to Claudia Alta 'Ladybird' Taylor, 22, on their first date. Though she declined his offer, Johnson continued to woo her from afar, sending his sweetheart 90 letters in the span of about 90 days. Impatient, Johnson traveled from Washington, D.C. to Texas to arrive at her door with an ultimatum—marry me now or forever hold your peace. She accepted his proposal and the $2.50 engagement ring that came with it. Find out more fascinating trivia about America's first ladies.

In 1934, Lyndon B. Johnson, then 26, proposed to Claudia Alta ‘Ladybird’ Taylor, 22, on their first date. Though she declined his offer, Johnson continued to woo her from afar, sending his sweetheart 90 letters in the span of about 90 days. Impatient, Johnson traveled from Washington, D.C. to Texas to arrive at her door with an ultimatum—marry me now or forever hold your peace. She accepted his proposal and the $2.50 engagement ring that came with it. Find out more fascinating trivia about America’s first ladies. 7/52 SLIDES© Charles Gorry/AP/REX/Shutterstock

John Quincy Adams loved to skinny-dip

Slide 7 of 52: While in office, sixth president John Quincy Adams often swam in the Potomac River, and he preferred to do so in the buff. Adams was an early riser, and in his diaries, he wrote of waking at about 4 a.m. and taking a morning dip—nude. Though it sounds risqué now, skinny-dipping was apparently common in the 1800s.

While in office, sixth president John Quincy Adams often swam in the Potomac River, and he preferred to do so in the buff. Adams was an early riser, and in his diaries, he wrote of waking at about 4 a.m. and taking a morning dip—nude. Though it sounds risqué now, skinny-dipping was apparently common in the 1800s.8/52 SLIDES© Philippe Hays/REX/Shutterstock

George Washington grew cannabis

Slide 8 of 52: Before you start thinking the nation's first president was a stoner, you should know that George Washington grew hemp, not marijuana (they both belong to the cannabis family). He cultivated the hemp at his estate in Mount Vernon for industrial uses, like rope- and canvas-making.

Before you start thinking the nation’s first president was a stoner, you should know that George Washington grew hemp, not marijuana (they both belong to the cannabis family). He cultivated the hemp at his estate in Mount Vernon for industrial uses, like rope- and canvas-making. 9/52 SLIDES© Kristian Dowling/AP/REX/Shutterstock

George W. Bush is cousins with Hugh Hefner

Slide 9 of 52: It turns out our 43rd president and the founder of Playboy are distant cousins. More specifically, they're ninth cousins twice removed, sharing the same pair of great-grandparents. Another cousin shared by the two is former presidential candidate John Kerry. Check out these rare, candid photos of U.S. presidents.

It turns out our 43rd president and the founder of Playboy are distant cousins. More specifically, they’re ninth cousins twice removed, sharing the same pair of great-grandparents. Another cousin shared by the two is former presidential candidate John Kerry. Check out these rare, candid photos of U.S. presidents. 10/52 SLIDES© AP/REX/Shutterstock

Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its name

Slide 10 of 52: Though the residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is painted white, it was known as The Executive Mansion and The President's Palace until October 1901, when then-president Theodore Roosevelt referred to it as The White House. The 26th president made the moniker official when he had it engraved on his stationery.

Though the residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is painted white, it was known as The Executive Mansion and The President’s Palace until October 1901, when then-president Theodore Roosevelt referred to it as The White House. The 26th president made the moniker official when he had it engraved on his stationery. 11/52 SLIDES© Chris Barham/Daily Mail/REX/Shutterstock

Warren Harding lost the White House china in a poker game

Slide 11 of 52: Warren Harding, our 29th president, loved a game of poker—and apparently, he was a high roller. During one of his bi-weekly poker games, Harding gambled away a set of china that had been in the White House since President Benjamin Harrison's tenure six terms prior. He bet it all on one ill-advised hand.

Warren Harding, our 29th president, loved a game of poker—and apparently, he was a high roller. During one of his bi-weekly poker games, Harding gambled away a set of china that had been in the White House since President Benjamin Harrison’s tenure six terms prior. He bet it all on one ill-advised hand. 12/52 SLIDES© Mike Hollist/ANL/REX/Shutterstock

Thomas Jefferson kept pet grizzly bears

Slide 12 of 52: During his tenure as our third president, Thomas Jefferson became the happy recipient of a wild gift: a pair of grizzly bear cubs. He kept them in a cage on the front lawn of the White House for a few months before deciding they were too dangerous to keep and bequeathing them to a museum. These are the 13 presidents with the highest IQ scores.

During his tenure as our third president, Thomas Jefferson became the happy recipient of a wild gift: a pair of grizzly bear cubs. He kept them in a cage on the front lawn of the White House for a few months before deciding they were too dangerous to keep and bequeathing them to a museum. These are the 13 presidents with the highest IQ scores. 13/52 SLIDES© MATHEW B. BRADY/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Ulysses S. Grant was arrested for speeding—on a horse

Slide 13 of 52: A noted equestrian, our 18th president was quite confident on a horse—perhaps too confident. While driving his horse and buggy at a furious pace during his presidential tenure, Grant was pulled over twice within the span of 24 hours. The second time, one bold police officer decided to arrest the commander-in-chief, who was ultimately given a fine. Legend has it that the officer and the president eventually became friends.

A noted equestrian, our 18th president was quite confident on a horse—perhaps too confident. While driving his horse and buggy at a furious pace during his presidential tenure, Grant was pulled over twice within the span of 24 hours. The second time, one bold police officer decided to arrest the commander-in-chief, who was ultimately given a fine. Legend has it that the officer and the president eventually became friends. 14/52 SLIDES© AP/REX/Shutterstock

The first White House bowling alley was a birthday present for Harry Truman

Slide 14 of 52: In 1947, 33rd president Harry Truman became responsible for having a bowling alley installed in the West Wing in celebration of his 63rd birthday. He became the first person to ever throw a bowling ball down the White House lane, and one of the seven pins he knocked down is on display at the Smithsonian Institution.

In 1947, 33rd president Harry Truman became responsible for having a bowling alley installed in the West Wing in celebration of his 63rd birthday. He became the first person to ever throw a bowling ball down the White House lane, and one of the seven pins he knocked down is on display at the Smithsonian Institution. 15/52 SLIDES© A.Sontaya/Shutterstock

Bill Clinton is a My Little Pony Expert

Slide 15 of 52: During a segment on the NPR show 'Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!,' 42nd president Bill Clinton was quizzed about the animated movie My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. To the amazement of his hosts, he nailed all three questions and won a prize on behalf of the listener for whom he was playing.

During a segment on the NPR show ‘Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!,’ 42nd president Bill Clinton was quizzed about the animated movie My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. To the amazement of his hosts, he nailed all three questions and won a prize on behalf of the listener for whom he was playing. 16/52 SLIDES© STEWART COOK/REX/Shutterstock

Clint Eastwood was almost Vice President under George H.W. Bush

Slide 16 of 52: While running for office in 1988, then-presidential nominee George Bush was not feeling lucky, so he considered bringing on the 'Dirty Harry' actor to help breathe life into his struggling campaign. Clint Eastwood had been mayor of Carmel, California, but Bush famously chose Dan Quayle as his running mate instead. Here are more things you probably don't know about the vice presidency.

While running for office in 1988, then-presidential nominee George Bush was not feeling lucky, so he considered bringing on the ‘Dirty Harry’ actor to help breathe life into his struggling campaign. Clint Eastwood had been mayor of Carmel, California, but Bush famously chose Dan Quayle as his running mate instead. Here are more things you probably don’t know about the vice presidency. 17/52 SLIDES© Universal History Archive/REX/Shutterstock

James Garfield could write in Greek with one hand and Latin with the other

Slide 17 of 52: The ambidextrous James Garfield could write in two languages simultaneously: Latin and Greek. He taught both languages while attending the acclaimed Williams College in Massachusetts, where he was later named president before going on to be elected as the 20th president of the United States.

The ambidextrous James Garfield could write in two languages simultaneously: Latin and Greek. He taught both languages while attending the acclaimed Williams College in Massachusetts, where he was later named president before going on to be elected as the 20th president of the United States.18/52 SLIDES© Shutterstock

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to name a woman to his cabinet

Slide 18 of 52: In 1933, our 32nd president became the first one to hire a woman by naming Frances Perkins as secretary of labor in 1933. She had previously worked for him when he was governor of New York.

In 1933, our 32nd president became the first one to hire a woman by naming Frances Perkins as secretary of labor in 1933. She had previously worked for him when he was governor of New York. 19/52 SLIDES© Historia/REX/Shutterstock

Abraham Lincoln allowed seances in the White House

Slide 19 of 52: First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln reportedly invited mediums to the White House to call on departed spirits through seances during Abraham Lincoln's tenure. While there's no definitive evidence, the president was said to have attended some of the events. He was also thought to believe in the occult to an extent.

First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln reportedly invited mediums to the White House to call on departed spirits through seances during Abraham Lincoln’s tenure. While there’s no definitive evidence, the president was said to have attended some of the events. He was also thought to believe in the occult to an extent. 20/52 SLIDES© Zick Jochen/action press/REX/Shutterstock

Three presidents are Grammy winners

Slide 20 of 52: It may sound odd, but Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Jimmy Carter have each won a Grammy. No, they're not singers or songwriters, but they did nab prizes for Best Spoken Word Album for the audio versions of their biographies. Check out more impressive hidden talents of U.S. presidents.

It may sound odd, but Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Jimmy Carter have each won a Grammy. No, they’re not singers or songwriters, but they did nab prizes for Best Spoken Word Album for the audio versions of their biographies. Check out more impressive hidden talents of U.S. presidents. 21/52 SLIDES© Universal History Archive/UIG/REX/Shutterstock

George Washington’s teeth were made of something more disturbing than wood

Slide 21 of 52: It's a popular misconception that our first president's teeth were made of wood. In fact, they were made of something even more horrifying: other people's teeth—likely those of slaves or impoverished people. The dentures apparently also contained ivory.

It’s a popular misconception that our first president’s teeth were made of wood. In fact, they were made of something even more horrifying: other people’s teeth—likely those of slaves or impoverished people. The dentures apparently also contained ivory. 22/52 SLIDES© Universal History Archive/UIG/REX/Shutterstock

Two rival presidents died on the exact same day

Slide 22 of 52: Thought friendly in their personal lives, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were political competitors. On his deathbed, Adams is believed to have uttered, 'Thomas Jefferson still survives,' in a final act of rivalry. Little did he know that Jefferson had actual died hours earlier.

Thought friendly in their personal lives, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were political competitors. On his deathbed, Adams is believed to have uttered, ‘Thomas Jefferson still survives,’ in a final act of rivalry. Little did he know that Jefferson had actual died hours earlier. 23/52 SLIDES© Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/REX/Shutterstock

America’s eighth president was the first to be born stateside

Slide 23 of 52: There were seven official U.S. presidents before Martin Van Buren, the first president to actually be born in the states, took office. Van Buren was the eighth U.S. president. In fairness, the United States was not even founded until 1776, two years before George Washington took office, but facts are facts. Don't miss these presidential trivia facts that simply aren't true.

There were seven official U.S. presidents before Martin Van Buren, the first president to actually be born in the states, took office. Van Buren was the eighth U.S. president. In fairness, the United States was not even founded until 1776, two years before George Washington took office, but facts are facts. Don’t miss these presidential trivia facts that simply aren’t true. 24/52 SLIDES© Historia/REX/Shutterstock

Two of 10th President Tyler’s grandchildren are still alive

Slide 24 of 52: How is it possible that two grandchildren of our nation's 10th president, born one year after George Washington took office and elected to office himself in 1841, are still alive as of this story's publication in 2019? The president was 75 when his last child was born in 1928, and the two living grandsons are descendants of that son.

How is it possible that two grandchildren of our nation’s 10th president, born one year after George Washington took office and elected to office himself in 1841, are still alive as of this story’s publication in 2019? The president was 75 when his last child was born in 1928, and the two living grandsons are descendants of that son. 25/52 SLIDES© Nara Archives/REX/Shutterstock

No one could dance in the White House during James Polk’s tenure

Slide 25 of 52: The wife of 11th president James Polk was a strict Presbyterian and looked down upon dancing, so it was banned in the White House while her husband was in office and at the Inaugural Ball. She also disapproved of horse racing and the theater. Here are 14 of the most gorgeous inaugural gowns worn by First Ladies.

The wife of 11th president James Polk was a strict Presbyterian and looked down upon dancing, so it was banned in the White House while her husband was in office and at the Inaugural Ball. She also disapproved of horse racing and the theater. Here are 14 of the most gorgeous inaugural gowns worn by First Ladies. 26/52 SLIDES© F A Archive/REX/Shutterstock

Ulysses S. Grant’s middle initial stood for nothing

Slide 26 of 52: You might know who is buried in Grant's tomb, but do you know what his middle initial stood for? Well, neither did he. Apparently, it came from a typo on his application to West Point.

You might know who is buried in Grant’s tomb, but do you know what his middle initial stood for? Well, neither did he. Apparently, it came from a typo on his application to West Point.27/52 SLIDES© Universal History Archive/UIG/REX/Shutterstock

Rutherford B. Hayes was the first American to own a Siamese cat

Slide 27 of 52: The First Cat during Hayes's presidency was literally the first cat—as in the first Siamese cat to be owned by a U.S. citizen. She was a gift to the president and First Lady. They originally named her Miss Pussy, but eventually simplified things by calling the cat Siam. Check out these funny words that were made up by U.S. presidents.

The First Cat during Hayes’s presidency was literally the first cat—as in the first Siamese cat to be owned by a U.S. citizen. She was a gift to the president and First Lady. They originally named her Miss Pussy, but eventually simplified things by calling the cat Siam. Check out these funny words that were made up by U.S. presidents.28/52 SLIDES© Historia/REX/Shutterstock

James Garfield’s spine was on display at a museum

Slide 28 of 52: At the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington D.C., the spine of President Garfield was displayed along with other medical oddities in 2000. A bullet hole from his 1881 assassination is clearly visible.

At the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington D.C., the spine of President Garfield was displayed along with other medical oddities in 2000. A bullet hole from his 1881 assassination is clearly visible. 29/52 SLIDES© Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/REX/Shutterstock

Chester Arthur held a White House yard sale to finance a redecorating project

Slide 29 of 52: In what was probably the first White House yard sale, the 21st president sold two dozen wagon loads of presidential merchandise including a pair of Abraham Lincoln's pants and John Quincy Adams' hat. He then used the money to hire an interior decorator. Don't miss these hilarious quotes from past presidents.

In what was probably the first White House yard sale, the 21st president sold two dozen wagon loads of presidential merchandise including a pair of Abraham Lincoln’s pants and John Quincy Adams’ hat. He then used the money to hire an interior decorator. Don’t miss these hilarious quotes from past presidents. 30/52 SLIDES© Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/REX/Shutterstock

William McKinley’s red carnation might have saved his life

Slide 30 of 52: The 25th president was known for wearing a red carnation on his lapel for good luck. The boutonniere probably was a good luck charm after all. While greeting a little girl at an event in 1901, he decided to give his lucky flower to her. Moments later, he was assassinated.

The 25th president was known for wearing a red carnation on his lapel for good luck. The boutonniere probably was a good luck charm after all. While greeting a little girl at an event in 1901, he decided to give his lucky flower to her. Moments later, he was assassinated. 31/52 SLIDES© Nara Archives/REX/Shutterstock

Herbert Hoover had his own sport

Slide 31 of 52: To keep our 31st president fit, his physician invented a sport that was later called Hoover-ball while Herbert Hoover was in office. It's a combination of tennis and volleyball and uses a medicine ball. The sport is still played competitively in Hoover's hometown of West Branch, Iowa.

To keep our 31st president fit, his physician invented a sport that was later called Hoover-ball while Herbert Hoover was in office. It’s a combination of tennis and volleyball and uses a medicine ball. The sport is still played competitively in Hoover’s hometown of West Branch, Iowa. 32/52 SLIDES© James Gray/ANL/REX/Shutterstock

Dwight Eisenhower ordered the assassination of squirrels

Slide 32 of 52: Our 34th president, an avid golfer, got sick and tired of squirrels messing up his game by digging up the green to bury their acorns. He ordered his valet to shoot the rodents, but the Secret Service forbade the use of guns on the White House grounds, so groundkeepers trapped and released the animals instead. Check out these other things presidents have tried to have banned from the White House.

Our 34th president, an avid golfer, got sick and tired of squirrels messing up his game by digging up the green to bury their acorns. He ordered his valet to shoot the rodents, but the Secret Service forbade the use of guns on the White House grounds, so groundkeepers trapped and released the animals instead. Check out these other things presidents have tried to have banned from the White House. 33/52 SLIDES© REX/Shutterstock

Four presidents were cheerleaders

Slide 33 of 52: What did Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, Franklin Roosevelt, and George W. Bush have in common? They all served as cheerleaders either in high school or college. Talk about squad goals!

What did Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, Franklin Roosevelt, and George W. Bush have in common? They all served as cheerleaders either in high school or college. Talk about squad goals! 34/52 SLIDES© Historia/REX/Shutterstock

Ronald Reagan did standup comedy

Franklin Roosevelt wore dresses as a child

Jimmy Carter believed in UFOs

Abraham Lincoln was a licensed bartender

John Adams named his dog ‘Satan’

We had a 24-hour president

Ever hear of President David Rice Atchison? If the answer is no, that’s probably because he was only ‘president’ for a day. In 1849, the inauguration of Zachary Taylor landed on a Sunday, and the religious incumbent refused to be sworn in on a holy day. He had Atchison stand in for him.

Presidents’ Day is technically called Washington’s Birthday

Presidents’ Day has a more complex history than one would think. After George Washington died in 1799, his supporters recognized his birthday as a day of remembrance. In 1885, his birthday became a federal holiday for the whole country. Later, in 1968, a new bill made certain federal holidays on Mondays and combined birthday celebrations for Washington and Lincoln for a ‘Presidents’ Day.’ According to the United States Code, however, that holiday is technically still called Washington’s Birthday and never officially changed to Presidents’ Day. Federal code permits local governments and private businesses to name federal holidays whatever they want, so most states call it Presidents’ Day.

Facts that will make you feel smarter~ MSN News

After all, tons of experts say that maintaining a healthy dose of curiosity about the world around you will help sharpen your mind, make you happier, strengthen your relationships, and even improve your productivity.https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/did-you-know/40-facts-that-will-make-you-feel-instantly-smarter/ss-BBTvcno?ocid=spartanntp&fullscreen=true#image=2

1. There Are More Card Combinations Than There Are Atoms on Earth

Maybe don’t blame your bad luck at the poker table on your gambling abilities; there are more ways to arrange a deck of cards than there are total atoms on the earth!

If a card deck is shuffled properly, there’s a pretty high change that it comes out in an arrangement that has never existed before, because a deck of 52 cards has an astronomical large number of permutations. (Put simply: It’s a 69-digit number that begins with 80.)

2. That Dimple In Your Wine Bottle Serves a Purpose

Also referred to as a “kick-up” or a “punt,” the dimple in the bottom of the wine bottle is a remnant from the past, when the bottles were made of handblown glass. If the glassblower didn’t push the seam of the bottom of the wine bottle up, it would not stand up straight (because there would be a lump).

Also, here’s a handy tip for burgeoning oenophiles: many experts say that if you’re shopping for affordable wines today, a deeper punt means it’s a nicer, tastier bottle of wine. So always be sure to run your hand underneath it before purchasing.

3. Polar Bears Run Faster Than Professional Football Players

Polar bears can run at 25 mph, jump over six feet in the air, and are nearly undetectable by infrared cameras due to transparent fur. (For reference, known that the fastest NFL player in 2018 was a running back who ran just over 22mph.) But don’t let this terrifying set of skills scare you. Polars, unlike most other bears, are not territorial or confrontational—unless provoked.

4. You Can Never Recall a Single Memory All By Itself

When you’re trying to recall a single memory, such as a smell or the look on a person’s face, that memory can’t be recalled in isolation. That was among the findings by a team of neuroscientists at the University College London, who found that when we try to remember one detail (for example, the color of shoes a friend was wearing last week), we bring with it a slew of other details (such as the place where we saw said friend wearing the shoes, their other clothing, et cetera.).

According to the researchers, this is because the brain’s hippocampus packages memories together and stores them, as if in some Amazon warehouse. And when we retrieve one memory, it brings along a whole range of other components. And for more mind-blowing trivia about your mind,

5. Hotter Temperatures Are Turning Mummies into Black Goo

No, this isn’t some kind of ancient curse. Mummies preserved for more 7,000 years in Peru have been turning to black goo thanks to a major increase in humidity.

When Harvard scientists tested why, they discovered it’s because the microbes in the skin activate in high humidity, which is something that the people in ancient Peru never had to worry about, because of the dry desert atmosphere. However, recent changes in climate have brought fog to the region, thereby increasing the moisture in the air, thereby melting mummified human remains

6. Alcohol Makes Your Body Think It’s Being Burned

Ethanol (alcohol) activates the vanilloid receptor-1 (VR1 for short), which is what your body activates at high temperatures (107 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, usually) to let you know that you’re getting burned. Alcohol lowers the temperature at which your VR1 receptors activate, so instead of alerting you when your temperature rises above 107 degrees, it does so when it hits 93 degrees. In other words, your receptors are telling you that your normal body temperature (98.6 degrees) feels like burning. It’s also why open wounds sting when you pour alcohol over them—and it’s why you get a burning in your throat when you pound a particularly potent shot. Break out the chasers,

7. People With Fatal Hypothermia Think They’re Overheating

This “paradoxical undressing” occurs in nearly half of all hypothermal deaths. It hasn’t been fully studied because it would be pretty unethical to do so, but there are two theories at this point:

  1. The nerves in blood vessel walls are paralyzed due to the cold, which leads to vasodilation (where blood flows more freely to the surface of the skin) giving the illusion of warmth.
  2. The vasoconstriction experienced in the first stage of hypothermia actually paralyzes the vasomotor center—which is what controls the sensations of body temperature in the whole body

It gets even weirder after that. Once undressed, the person will attempt to burrow into very small spaces. Finding bodies in states like this is why hypothermia deaths are commonly misconstrued as acts of violence. Yikes.

8. Espresso Isn’t Technically Coffee

We usually think of espresso simply as concentrated coffee, but it’s more complex than that. To officially be “espresso,” the drink must be made in a particular way—produced by pressurizing near-boiling water through finely ground coffee beans packed into cakes. If the drink is made any other way (in a stovetop pot or fancy pour-over method), it’s coffee. Even if it were to taste exactly like a shot of espresso, you can’t call it that unless it’s made through the pressurized method. In other words, espresso isn’t coffee.

9. You Exhale Fat When You Lose It

Breathe in, breathe out. While a few deep breaths don’t burn too many calories, this is how most burned-off fat exits our body. You may have thought it was through sweat, urine, or some other excretion, but the truth is, as we exercise or go about our day, most of the fat (84 percent according to some researchers) is converted into carbon dioxide and leaves our body through our lungs. The remaining 16 percent of the fat is converted to water, which leave through urine or sweat.

10. Bruises Change Color Because They’re Losing Oxygen

A bruise is caused by bleeding under the skin; tiny capillaries (blood vessels) are crushed, which expel blood that’s trapped under the skin. Initially, the bruise will just look red because the blood is still oxygen-rich. Within one to two days, the blood begins to lose its oxygen, turning purple.

Then, after three or more days, bruises will start to turn green, yellow, or grey thanks to compounds called biliverdin and bilirubin that break down the hemoglobin to absorb the “good stuff” (such as iron) for the body to use. The rest of the waste is eventually purged from or absorbed by the body.

11. Women Have Adam’s Apples

The Adam’s Apple is the thyroid cartilage that surrounds the larynx. Contrary to popular belief, both women and men have it. It’s just more prominent in males because the larynx (voice box) is far larger in men (hence the deeper voices).

12. Family Members Share a Smell

The natural smells of any two family members are similar, which is why the average person doesn’t find family members attractive. Research out of the University of Utah even showed that subjects are more averse to family members’ scents than to strangers’ scents. Basically, this is Mother Nature’s way of decreasing genetic mutations caused by inbreeding

13. Archaeologists Have Tracked Lewis and Clark by Their Bodily Waste

Every school kid has heard of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Throughout the early 19th century, the explorers trekked across the U.S. from the East Coast to the Pacific Ocean. But while the explorers kept diligent journals, modern historians and archaeologists had for years struggled to piece together the precise locations their expedition encamped—information that would help future generations understand this historically crucial journey.

Then researchers came upon an idea for tracking their exact movements: analyzing toilet mercury.

As it happens, mercury-laced laxatives were a popular solution for treating constipation during the Lewis and Clark era, and traces of mercury can be detected centuries after they are deposited. So by testing old latrine sites along the route for mercury, researchers could determine which ones were, ahem, patronized by the famous adventurers, and which were the work of later (less laxative-happy) visitors. Altogether, some 600 sites have been connected back to the famed pair.

14. Dry Cleaning Isn’t Technically “Dry”

Your dry-cleaned garments are thrown into a giant front-loading washers with a liquid detergent. Yes, your clothes are completely immersed with a liquid solvent; it’s only called “dry” because there’s no water in it. Dry cleaning was originally discovered by someone who accidentally spilled petroleum all over his clothes—only to find out that it removed stains he couldn’t previously get out! Because petroleum is harmful to the environment with the amount of dry cleaning the world does, new solvents have been created over time.

15. Brain-Eating Monsters Exist

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living excavate form of protist typically found in warm bodies of fresh water. The amoeba in the water is entered through the nose, then travels from the nose to the brain where it destroys the brain tissue, invading the nervous system and consuming the brain. It has only been found in warm freshwater: lakes, rivers, and hot springs. Yeah… We’ll stick to the ocean for swimming.

16. Sound Travels Four Times Faster in Water Than in Air

Sound is a wave of alternating compression and expansion, so the speed of it depends on how fast it bounces back from each compression; the less compressible the medium it’s traveling through, the faster it bounces back. Water is about 800 times more dense than air, so there are way more particles for waves to bounce off. Thus, sound is faster in water.

However, the density has the opposite effect on physical bodies (such as, say, a bullet). Physical matter encounters drag when in the water due to its density, as laid out by the drag equation, in the seminal An Introduction to Fluid Dynamics. It’s been proven that jumping into the water and swimming within three to eight feet of its surface will literally save you from catching a bullet (all those movies and crime shows you see people jumping into the harbor on the run have a scientific basis after all!).

17. Red-Eye in Photos is a Reflection of Your Blood

When the flash of a camera goes off, the eye isn’t prepared for the sudden influx of light, and the pupil doesn’t have time to restrict. You’re likely using flash in dark lighting, so your eyes have dilated to adjust to the dark room. When the flash goes off and the photo is taken, your eyes are still dilated, so the light reflect off of the red blood vessels of the choroid, which is the layer of connective tissue in the back of the eye that nourished the retina.

18. There’s a Meaner Plant than the Venus Flytrap

Carnivorous, bog-dwelling plants called bladderworts can snap their traps shut in less than a millisecond, 100 times faster than a Venus flytrap. They’re rootless floating plants that have a yellow flower at the top and an insect-digesting bladder sac. They range in size from a few inches to a few feet long. And for more mean green.

19. The Tiny Holes on Padlocks Are to Make Sure They Don’t Get Jammed

The tiny holes in padlocks serve a dual purpose: they allow any moisture that builds up inside to escape, and they allow you to add oil to the inner mechanisms to prevent rust and breakdown. Because padlocks are usually used outdoors, allowing the water to run out keeps the locks from rusting, and in colder climates keeps the lock from being literally frozen shut. If you’re ever having issues opening a padlock (with the legitimate key, of course—no break-ins!), stick some WD40 into the tiny holes and you should be able to open it without a problem.

20. Stars Are Made of Matter

You might imagine that a star—a giant ball of light and heat—contains zero matter and is made up entirely of energy. Almost! Stars don’t contain matter—gas, liquid, or solid—as we know it. Instead, they’re made up of plasma, a super-heated state of matter that humans can’t handle. (Lightning is also made up of plasma.) And for some major surprises from the great beyond.

21. You Probably Dream in Color

You’ve probably heard that “we only dream in black and white.” But new research have shown that monochromatic dreams were only the case because of black-and-white screen time. Nowadays, with the amount of time we all spend watching color videos—whether on TV or mobile devices—our brains tend to keep all colors in dreaming. Only about 25 percent of people in one study reported dreaming in black-and-white

To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to follow us on Instagram!“I have no special talent,” Albert Einstein once remarked. “I am only passionately curious.” And here’s the thing: You should be, too.
After all, tons of experts say that maintaining a healthy dose of curiosity about the world around you will help sharpen your mind, make you happier, strengthen your relationships, and even improve your productivity.
So, if you want to set yourself on a path to reaping those benefits—and, in the process, arm yourself with all sorts of fascinating facts and trivia that will make you feel like a total genius and boost your confidence—read the 40 facts we’ve compiled right here. They’re fun, they’re interesting, and they’re guaranteed to fan the flames of your curiosity.

31 Weird Science Facts


  1. The moon is moving away from the Earth at a tiny, although measurable, rate every year. 85 million years ago it was orbiting the Earth about 35 feet from the planet’s surface.The star Antares is 60,000 times larger than our sun. If our sun were the size of a softball, the star Antares would be as large as a house. In Calamba, a town in the Atacama Desert of Chile, it has never rained. At any given time, there are 1,800 thunderstorms in progress over the earth’s atmosphere. Erosion at the base of Niagara Falls has caused the falls to recede approximately seven miles over the past 10,000 years.
  2. A ten-year-old mattress weighs double what it did when it was new due to debris that it absorbs over time. That debris includes dust mites (their droppings and decaying bodies), mold, millions of dead skin cells, dandruff, animal and human hair, secretions, excretions, lint, pollen, dust, soil, sand, and a lot of perspiration, which the average person loses at a rate of a quart a day. Good night!
  3. Every year 16 million gallons of oil runs off pavement into streams, rivers, and eventually, oceans in the United States. This is more oil than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez.
  4. In space, astronauts cannot cry because there is no gravity and tears can’t flow.
  5. Most lipstick contains fish scales.
  6. A “jiffy” is an actual unit of time: 1/100th of a second.
  7. If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies you have $1.19. you also have the largest possible amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar.
  8. Leonardo Da Vinci invented scissors.
  9. Recycling one glass jar saves enough energy to operate a television for three hours.
  10. The cigarette lighter was invented before the match.
  11. The main library at Indiana University sinks over an inch a year. When it was designed engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.
  12. A category three hurricane releases more energy in ten minutes that all the world’s nuclear weapons combined.
  13. There is enough fuel in full jumbo jet tank to drive an average car four times around the world.
  14. An average of 100 people choke to death on ballpoint pens every year.
  15. Antarctica is the only continent without reptiles or snakes.
  16. The cruise liner Queen Elizabeth 2 moves only six inches for each gallon of fuel it burns.
  17. San Francisco cable cars are the only National Monuments that can move.
  18. February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.
  19. Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously.
  20. A rainbow can be seen only in the morning or late afternoon. It can occur only when the sun is 40 degrees or less above the horizon.
  21. Lightning strikes the Earth 100 times every second.
  22. La Paz, Bolivia has an average annual temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it has never recorded a zero-degree temperature. Same for Stanley, the Falkland Islands, and Punta Arenas, Chile.
  23. There are over 87,000 Americans on waiting lists for organ transplants.
  24. Catsup leaves the bottle at a rate of 25 miles per year.
  25. Toxic house plants poison more children than household chemicals do.
  26. You are more likely to be infected by flesh-eating bacteria than you are to be struck by lightning.
  27. According to Genesis 1:20-22, the chicken came before the egg.

https://owlcation.com/misc/Over-200-Odd-Facts-Did-You-Know-Them

Facts About Your Body

21 Odd Facts About Your Body

  1. It is physically impossible for you to lick your elbow.
  2. Like fingerprints, everyone’s tongue print is different.
  3. Your heart beats over 100,000 times a day.
  4. It takes approximately 12 hours for food to entirely digest.
  5. A sneeze travels out your mouth at over 100 m.p.h.
  6. Women blink nearly twice as often as men.
  7. Most of the dust particles in your house are dead skin.
  8. There is a company that will (for $14,000) take your ashes and compress them into a synthetic diamond to be set in jewelry for a loved one.
  9. There are more living organisms on the skin of a single human being than there are human beings on the surface of the earth.
  10. The longest bout of hiccups lasted nearly 69 years.
  11. Babies is born without kneecaps. They appear between the ages of 2 and 6.
  12. Men can read smaller print than women. Women can hear better.
  13. Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times.
  14. If you sneeze too hard you can fracture a rib. If you try to suppress a sneeze you can rupture a blood vessel in your head or neck and die. If you keep your eyes open by force they can pop out.
  15. A kiss stimulates 29 muscles and chemicals that cause relaxation. Women seem to like light and frequent kisses while men like them more strenuous.
  16. Every time you lick a stamp, you’re consuming 1/10 of a calorie.
  17. Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
  18. The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.
  19. Almost everyone who reads this will try to lick their elbow.
  20. According to Chinese acupuncture, there is a point on the head that you can press to control your appetite. It is located in the hollow just in front of the flap of the ear.
  21. In a recent survey, Americans revealed that banana was their favorite smell.

https://owlcation.com/misc/Over-200-Odd-Facts-Did-You-Know-Them

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