1 | Human beings can use only a small fraction of Earth’s water
We were taught in school that most (in particular, 71 percent) of the planet’s surface is covered with water. While this is true, according to National Geographic, humans can only use 0.007 percent of this water. This is because only about 2.5% of the water on Earth is freshwater, and only 1% of that is available. The rest is made up of glaciers and snowfields.
2 | It takes 90 days for a drop of water to cross the entire Mississippi River
The Mississippi River, stretching for 2,340 miles, is the third largest watershed in the world. This is one long stretch of water. So long that one drop of water takes about 90 days to overcome its entire length.
3 | People once ate arsenic to improve their skin
You’ve probably heard that many of the Victorians’ favorite beauty products were laced with arsenic, but things can get worse. In the late 19th century, there were also products on the market, such as Dr. James P. Campbell’s safe arsenic face wafers, which were intended for human consumption. They claimed to get rid of freckles, blackheads, and other “facial deformities.” Admit it: this is one of the most interesting facts you’ve learned lately.
4 | In Japan, there is one vending machine for every 40 people
Japan is believed to have one of the highest densities of vending machines in the world, with one for every 40 people in the country. While most of them sell various types of drinks, others have ice cream, noodles, and disposable cameras.
5 | Lemons float, but limes sink
Because limes are denser than lemons, they fall to the bottom of the glass while the lemons float to the top. Of all these random fun facts, this one has been in front of our eyes (in our glasses, to be exact) all along!
6 | Professional athletes performed in vaudeville during the off-season
Prior to today’s major league salaries, professional baseball and football players often had to take jobs during the off-season, according to The Atlantic. Some of them took advantage of the recognition of their name and got into vaudeville circles, doing everything from comedy numbers to poetry recitation. Babe Ruth even sang if you can call it that. Frankly, many athletes were not allowed to perform on stage, but not that it was against the rules, unlike these oddities that are forbidden in sports.
7 | The first time the word “period” was used on TV in reference to menstruation was in 1985
It came from a Tampax commercial: “Feeling cleaner means feeling more comfortable. It can really change how you feel about the period.” And the actor who made history in pop culture was Courteney Cox from Friends.
8 | McDonald’s used to make broccoli flavored with bubble gum
This crazy McDonald’s fact will make your taste buds crawl. Not surprisingly, the attempt to get children to eat healthier food was not successful in child testers, who were “confused by the taste.”
9 | Some mushrooms create zombies and then mind control them
The tropical fungus Ophiocordyceps infects the central nervous system of ants. After staying in the body of an insect for nine days, he gains complete control over the movements of the owner. According to National Geographic, this causes the ant to climb trees and then fall into the cool, moist soil below where fungi thrive. Once there, the fungus waits for exactly solar noon to force the ant to bite off the leaf and await death.
10 | There’s only one letter that doesn’t appear in any U.S. state name
Can you guess the answer to this random fun fact? You’ll find a Z (Arizona), a J (New Jersey), and even two X’s (New Mexico and Texas), but not a single Q.