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22 Obscure Weird Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

There are plenty of things in our lives that most of us don’t know. We’ll share with you a list of the best weird facts to blow your mind.

1. Flamingos bend their legs at the ankle, not the knee

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They essentially stand on tip-toe. Their knees are closer to the body and are covered by feathers. This is just the first of many weird facts to blow your minds!

2. Roller coasters were invented to distract Americans from sin

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In the 1880s, hosiery businessman LaMarcus Thompson hated that Americans were tempted by hedonistic places like saloons and brothels. So he set out to straighten up one of the most immoral places he could think of: Coney Island in New York. There, he built America’s first roller coaster to give New Yorkers some good, clean fun—away from seedier pastimes.

3. Ice pops were invented by an 11-year-old by accident

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In 1905, an 11-year-old boy named Frank Epperson left soda powder and water outside overnight with its wooden stirrer still in the cup. The mixture had frozen in the chilly nighttime weather, and so the Epsicle was born. He sold the treat around his neighborhood and a nearby amusement park and even patented the recipe. Years later, he changed the name to Popsicle because that’s what his kids called their pop’s concoction.

4. Sloths can hold their breath longer than dolphins can

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By slowing their heart rates, sloths can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes. Dolphins need to come up for air after about ten minutes.

5. It’s impossible to hum while holding your nose

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You just tested it, didn’t you? Normally, when you hum, the air is able to escape through your nose to create the sound, and of course, it can’t do that when you’re holding it shut. This is one of the weird facts you can test out for yourself. Go ahead, try it.

6. Octopuses have three hearts

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Squids do too. One pumps blood to their whole systems, and two are dedicated just to the gills.

7. Most wasabi paste isn’t real wasabi

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Wasabi is expensive, so most companies use horseradish instead. Real wasabi is actually milder than what you’ve been getting with your sushi.

8. People used to say “prunes” instead of “cheese” when having their pictures taken

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In the 1840s, a big—dare we say, cheesy—grin was seen as childish, so one London photographer told people to say “prunes” to keep their mouths taut. And that look predated today’s “fish face” selfie by, oh, about 180 years.

9. Dunce caps used to be signs of intelligence

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Thirteenth-century philosopher John Duns Scotus believed that a pointed cap would help spread knowledge from the tip to the brain, and his “Dunsmen” followers wore them as a badge of honor. In the 1500s, though, his ideas became less popular and the meaning of the Duns cap was turned on its head, becoming something of a joke.

10. Lobsters taste with their feet

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Tiny bristles inside a lobster’s little pincers are their equivalent to human taste buds. Meanwhile, lobsters’ teeth are in one of their three stomachs.

11. Before toilet paper was invented, Americans used to use corn cobs

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Alternatively, they’d use periodicals like the Farmers Almanac, which was designed with a hole so it could hang in outhouses. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all.

12. Blue whale tongues can weigh as much as an elephant

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Their hearts, meanwhile, can weigh almost a ton and needs to beat just once every ten seconds.

13. The world’s largest waterfall is underwater

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Yes, there are waterfalls under the ocean. At the Denmark Strait, the cold water from the Nordic Sea is denser than the Irminger Sea’s warm water, making it drop almost two miles down at 123 million cubic feet per second.

14. Shadows are darker on the Moon

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On Earth, the atmosphere scatters more sunlight, so our shadows aren’t too dark. But on the Moon, shadows are so dark that Neil Armstrong said he had trouble seeing where he was going.

15. Some sea cucumbers fight with their guts (literally)

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When threatened, they’ll shoot out their internal organs, which are poisonous to predators. They’ll sometimes get rid of their entire digestive systems—but the organs grow back.

16. Strawberries aren’t berries

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Neither are raspberries and blackberries, according to botanists. True berries stem from one single-ovary flower and have two or more seeds. Strawberries don’t fit that bill, but bananas, kiwis, and watermelon do.

17. NASA uses countdowns because of a sci-fi film

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The countdown Fritz Lang used to create suspense in the rocket launch scene of his 1929 silent film Frau im Mond didn’t just change film history—it also inspired NASA to use countdowns before its own blastoffs. It’s not exactly a race against the clock though. NASA can feel free to pause the clock to check mechanical difficulties.

18. The world’s smallest wasp is smaller than an amoeba

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The Megaphragma mymaripenne wasp has the same body parts as for any other bug (brain, wings, eyes, and more) but is a fifth of a millimeter long, making it smaller than most amoebas, which are made of just one cell.

19. “OK” most likely stands for fake words

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In the 1830s, people jokingly spelled abbreviations incorrectly. One of the most famous: “All correct” turned into “orl korrekt,” and then of course into OK. Historians think it stuck because Martin Van Buren—known as Old Kinderhook, after his hometown in New York—supporters called themselves the OK Club when he was campaigning for reelection.

20. The shortest railways in the world take less than a minute

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The shortest funicular railway is Fisherman’s Walk Cliff Railway located in Bournemouth, England, and Angels Flight, located in Los Angeles, advertises on its website that it’s the shortest railway in the world.

21. The last letter added to the alphabet was actually “J”

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You might think that the letter “Z” is the last letter added because it’s the last letter of the alphabet, but that’s incorrect. It’s actually “J.” The alphabet that we know and love today wasn’t created alphabetically, too!

22. Cucumber slices can fight bad breath

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Here’s a weird fact you might know: cucumbers can fight bad breath! If you don’t have a mint on hand, use a slice of cucumber!

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