I love a good random fact, and I know you do, too. So when redditor u/kalmilaga7 recently asked the people of Reddit to share the most random facts they're bursting at the seams to tell other people about, there were some amazing responses that came through:
1."Magnolia trees are so old that they evolved before bees and are pollinated by beetles."
2."In the early 20th century, William J. A. Bailey started producing an energy drink called Radithor. He had no medical license, and was not a chemist. To make Radithor, he dissolved radium tablets in water. Since there were no regulations against this, he broke no laws. Golfer Eben Byers was prescribed the stuff, and the radioactive poisoning gave him several types of cancer. The FDA finally stepped in and shut Bailey down, but he just relocated and started a new radioactive substance-based company. Byers died in 1928 and was buried in a lead-lined coffin. In 1965, researchers dug him up to study his remains and found him emitting ridiculous amounts of radiation. Bailey went on to write all kinds of patents, and headed up the electronics division of IBM during WWII."
3."If the Earth is a grain of sand, the Sun is a golf ball (for relative size). The grain of sand (Earth) is four meters away from the Golf ball (the Sun). The next nearest star from the golf ball (Sun) is 750 miles away. Gives you an idea of the scale of the universe."
4."There are various species of brood parasite birds. These birds lay their eggs in other birds' nests, so the victim bird has to raise the young. When the baby parasite bird hatches, it will often try killing the other young."
5."Ancient Egyptians didn't call themselves Egyptian. They called themselves Kemet, which in their tongue means 'Black land.' Black was seen as a good color in Egypt because it represents the Nile's fertile soil."
6."In the towns of Baarle-Nassau and Baarle-Hertog, you can find Dutch enclaves inside Belgian enclaves inside a Dutch village. The map looks really wild. In these two towns, the borders even go through the middle of the houses and shops. For this case, they created the 'front-door' rule, meaning your house belongs to the country your front door is in. In the cases where the border runs right through the front door, the property owners can choose which country they belong to."
7."Frogs use their eyes to push their food down their throat when they swallow."
8."Gaylord Perry was one of the best baseball pitchers ever and is in the Hall of Fame — but he was a horrible hitter. His manager Alvin Dark joked to a reporter, 'A man will land on the moon before Gaylord hits a home run!' On July 20, 1969, Gaylord hit the first home run of his career. Earlier that same day, Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong touched down on the moon!"
9."Goats' eyes swivel when they bend down to eat grass so they can keep looking for predators. Goats also have the biggest milk production-to-body weight ratio of any farm animal."
10."Honey never spoils if it's stored properly. Archaeologists have found pots of honey in ancient Egyptian tombs that are over 3,000 years old and still perfectly edible. So, the next time you're enjoying honey on your toast, you might just be savoring a taste of history!"
11."The closest US state to Africa, by a considerable margin, is…Maine."
12."We live closer in time to Cleopatra than Cleopatra lived to the finishing of the Giza Pyramids. Egypt is so old that they had people studying 'ancient Egypt' in the time of the later pharaohs."
13."The word 'helicopter' is not, as most people believe, comprised of the words 'heli" and 'copter,' but rather the words 'helico' (spiral) and 'pter' (wing). As in 'spiral wing.'"
14."A 'butt' is a unit of measurement equivalent to either 130 or 151 US gallons, depending on what you’re measuring. So if you have 151 gallons of wine, you have a buttload of wine."
15."Sharks are older than the North Star. As in, there were sharks around before the star was formed. Sharks evolved 450 million years ago, Polaris is about 70 million years old."
16."Your dog can sense when you hurt them by accident. If you accidentally step on their tails, they will yip at first, but usually, they'll come back to you while wagging their tail."
17."Cows have regional accents."
18."Most of the wasabi we eat is mainly horseradish."
19."A peregrine falcon reaches speeds of 240 miles per hour when it goes into a dive!"
20."If a bright light helps or causes you to sneeze, it is not normal, and is instead a genetic trait. It is referred to as Achoo Syndrome."
Got your own fascinating facts? See you in the comments!
These entries have been edited for length and clarity.