There are some facts that just blow your mind, while there are others that are so awesome that they seem fake. They seem like they are just fake and are obvious exaggerations. But sometimes, even if they look exaggerated, these facts are actually true. We bring to you 12 such facts that seem exaggerated but are actually true!
1. 1/5 of all mammal species are bats.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) organized a five-year Global Mammal Assessment in 2008 for their IUCN Red List. They counted 5,488 species of mammals. Out of the 5,488 species, 1,240 are bats. This means that bats account for ~20%, or 1/5th, of the total number of mammal species that exist on the planet! (1,2)
2. Netflix came even before Google was born.
We all love bingeing on Netflix over the weekend. But have you ever stopped to think that the Netflix online portal that you love so much is actually older than Google? Well yes, it is. Netflix made its debut almost a year before Google was born.
Netflix was founded on August 29, 1997. It was not an online video-on-demand when it was incorporated. Back then, it was the time of DVDs, so Netflix used to send rental DVDs to people’s homes via mail – yes, real snail-mail! People would watch the movie and send back the DVD to get a new one. The classic red envelopes of Netflix are still etched in people’s minds. It was only in 2007 that Netflix expanded its business to online streaming and we got the Netflix that we are accustomed to today.
3. Lake Baikal has 22–23% of all the freshwater in the world.
When you think about all the water in the world, you would be amazed to know that 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. Out of all the water now, ~97% of it is saline and lies in the oceans, seas, and as saline groundwater. Only ~3% of all the water is actually fresh water.
Now, out of this 3% of freshwater, around 1.75 – 2% lies frozen in the form of glaciers or snow and 0.5-0.75% lies as fresh groundwater and moisture present in the soil. It is less than 0.01% of the freshwater that lies as surface water in rivers, lakes, or swamps.
Now the mind-blowing fact is that of the small amount of freshwater (relative to total water present on Earth) that is present in glacier, snow, rivers, lakes, swamps, and other places, 22-23% is present at a single location which is the Lake Baikal. (source)
4. The maximum we can dig into the Earth’s surface is only 0.5% of its radius.
The radius of the Earth is about 6,500 km. The crust is on an average around 35 km. Below the crust are layers and layers of hard rock at high temperatures which would make drilling impossible. This means that the maximum we can drill into the Earth’s surface is 35 km which is apparently only 0.5% of the Earth’s radius.
The Kola Superdeep Borehole is the deepest borehole in the world, and even then it was only about to reach 12,262 meters (12.262 km). They started drilling in 1970, and it is still the deepest, artificial hole in the world in terms of true depth. (source)
5. The American Pygmy Shrew eats three times its weight every day, or else it will die.
There are many small insects and animals that eat a lot every day. Many worms and insects eat as much as their weight every day. But the American Pygmy Shrew has taken this one step further. This small shrew is the second-smallest mammal in the world with its body just averaging 5 cm long. But, it has an unbelievable appetite.
This little animal eats three times its body weight on a daily basis. This requires them to capture prey every 15 to 30 minutes, and that too at all times during the day as well as night. They die if they go for one hour without food.
As they are in constant search for food, they never get to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time. Their diet is fully protein-based and consists of insects, worms, and insect larvae. (source)