In an abundantly rich world as ours, there are so many incredible things to discover and cherish.
The history of human kind always tells the same old tale of people discovering the world that surrounds them. No matter what culture or what language they speak, the quest for knowledge has always been a universal one. Though so many centuries have passed, we still have a long way to go before we can claim to know everything about our planet. Truly understanding our universe, however is a daunting task and may take a few thousand years. Since we can’t wait for that to happen, here are some of the amazing facts we do know about this world.
1) A Single Day in Mercury Can Last 1408 Hours or More
Mercury is definitely one of the most unique planets in our solar system. Though it is the closest planet to the Sun, it isn’t the hottest as that title belongs to Venus. What really makes Mercury so special is its diurnal cycle that determines the length of days and nights. One single year lasts for only 88 days on Mercury but due to its very slow rotation, it takes about 176 Earth days for the Sun to complete one cycle. From recent radar measurements, it was found out that Mercury completes 3 rotations on its axis every time it finishes two orbits around the Sun. Therefore by taking into account the rotational velocity, it can be calculated that it takes about 58 days for a single rotation. Here’s the real kicker. This might make some assume that every day in Mercury lasts for 58 Earth days but that is not the case. Due to the fast orbital velocity and slow sidereal rotational aspects, one day in Mercury is actually equal to 176 Earth days.
2) Walt Disney Was Terrified of Mice
If irony had an award system like the Oscars, Walt Disney would win it forever. The name “Disney” is synonymous with clean, wholesome content for children. As an adult, you may love or hate Disney but you cannot deny the significance it had for children all over the world. The beautiful stories and the mesmerizing animations present in their cartoons are for sure a product of the hard work and sheer talent of the animators. But for the company to be a global phenomenon it needed a man with a vision and that man was Walt Disney. The entire story began with a single character called Mickey Mouse whom he thought off while he was travelling in a train. From that moment on, his dream of creating lovable and wholesome animations for children and adults slowly started manifesting. You cannot think of Disney without imagining the big mouse ears but in reality, Walt was terrified of mice. He utilized his fears by channeling it into something positive. Though he didn’t like mice, he envisioned them as sympathetic creatures and that led to the famous personality Mickey is known for today.
3) Some Owls Keep Little Snakes as Their Pets
You might think that snakes and owls are mortal enemies but the Eastern Screech Owl is known for keeping Texas blind snakes as their pets. The snakes actually help to reduce the abundance of parasites in their nests. This discovery was first made in 1975 when two biologists observed that the owl was actually sharing their nests with Texas blind snakes. What makes their relationship so remarkable is that the snakes are actually the only living prey you will ever see in the nests. Every other prey is almost always killed before they are brought there.
4) The Era of Cleopatra was closer to the Invention of the iPhone Than the Building of the Great Pyramids
When you think about Cleopatra, you might think about the fascinating Egyptian culture and the Great Pyramids but the reality is quite shocking. Cleopatra actually lived in an era that is way closer to the unveiling of the iPhone than the creation of the Great Pyramids. In fact, she probably wondered about the construction of the pyramids the same way we do. The Egyptian Empire didn’t last just for a few centuries. The civilization went through nearly 3 stages of rising up and then falling only to rise again and fall and so on. The Great Pyramids were built during the first stage which took place at around 2686 BC to 2181 BC. The era of Cleopatra however took place nearly 2500 years after the pyramids were built.
5) Honey Never Goes Bad
Most of the people around the world love honey. But did you know that honey never gets spoiled. You can easily eat a century old honey and live to tell the tale. This amazing quality of honey has been studied by numerous researchers all over the world and they all came to the same conclusion. The reason for this is that it contains very little water in its natural state. Therefore bacteria and other microorganisms are unable to thrive in such a low moisture environment. Even if any bacteria are there, they die before they get a chance to spoil it. Another reason for this incredible characteristic is its acidity levels.
6) The Hilarious Graffiti on the Walls of Pompeii
The city of Pompeii was once upon a time a thriving bustling city. The city along with Herculaneum got destroyed when Mount Vesuvius erupted nearly 1700 years ago. Today only the ruins of both cities remain. But even though the eruption was catastrophic, both ruins are relatively well preserved which allowed scholars to get a better glimpse of our collective world history. If history doesn’t excite you that much, do not worry because the walls of Pompeii will surely entertain you. All along several walls are hilarious inscriptions made by random people who used to live in the city. Some of the insane quotes scribbled on the walls are given below.
i) Bar of Athictus – “I screwed the barmaid”.
ii) House of Pascius Hermes – “Watch it, you that shits in this place! May you have Jove’s anger if you ignore this”.
iii) Vicolo del Panattiere, House of the Vibii Merchants – “Atimetus got me pregnant”.
iv) The Lupinare – “I screwed a lot of girls here”
v) In the basilica – “Epaphra, you are bald!”
It feels good to know that people will always be people no matter what era we live in.