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10 Pointless Facts You May Not Need to Know

Pointless facts

Sometimes we do things without any reason and talk about things that are completely pointless, but those moments are the ones that we end up remembering the most. These pointless facts are great to break the ice when things get awkward or to share with your friends when you hang out. Many of these will make you go, “What?” For example, did you know “Barbie” is a nickname for Barbara Millicent Roberts and Ken’s full name is Kenneth Carson? Or that since the 1300s, Scotland’s national animal has been the mythical creature, the unicorn? Read on.

1. Snails have 14,000 teeth and are almost completely blind.

Snail teeth
Image credit: nhm.org

You look at the snail in the garden and how it takes forever to crawl a foot, and then you don’t take a second look. Take one the next time because snails might be weird-looking creatures but are unique in their own way. An average garden snail has 14,000 tiny but strong teeth (thank heavens they do not have to brush or go to the dentist), and you can often hear them eating. Their teeth help them with eating things like leaves, soil, and fungi. They can also have more than 14,000 teeth arranged in 100 rows of 120 each on their radula (aka tongue). One aquatic snail’s teeth were tested for strength and it was found that their tensile strength exceeds that of Kevlar and titanium!

They are also completely blind and deaf! Probably to make up for the absence of those two senses, nature has endowed the snails have an excellent sense of smell. Despite being of such a small size. they can smell food meters away. Also, if you see a marine snail, run! They are poisonous. The sea-based cone snail is one of the most deadly creatures on the planet. Their one sting can be fatal to humans! (source)

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2. A placebo will work even when you know it is a placebo.

Placebo effect
Image credit: Pixabay

We know that placebos have worked in many cases when the patients taking them haven’t been told that they are just “sugar pills.” But a study says that even when the patient is informed about the pill being a placebo, the placebo effect happens. Dr. Ted J. Kaptchuk, director of Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter (PiPS) at Harvard and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, has been studying placebos for over two decades. In one study, he told a group of people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) that what they were taking were placebos, and he told nothing at all to another group. He observed that there was a noticeable improvement in the condition of the ones who had taken “open-label placebos.”

Dr. Kaptchuk has noted that although the “open-label placebos” will not work in conditions like cancer, it works in medical conditions that can be defined by “self-observation” symptoms like pain, nausea, and fatigue. This could help people suffering from all the conditions associated with pain and help people reduce their doses of opioid medications. (source)

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3. When the creator of the Frisbee died, he was cremated and turned into a Frisbee.

Walter Morrison
Image credit: Connecticut State Library via Wikimedia

In 1955, Walter Morrison invented a flying disc that we now know as a “Frisbee.” When Morrison invented it, it was called a “Pluto Platter.” When Wham-O acquired the toy, it was renamed to “Frisbee.” Morrison, by the way, hated the new name. When he died in February 2010, at the age of 90, his family cremated him and molded his ashes into a Frisbee. This was Morrison’s last wish.

Another man who has had a significant contribution to the toy and is known as the creator of the modern Frisbee was “Steady” Ed Headrick. He was awarded the first patent for the toy. When he died, his ashes were molded into a limited number of Frisbees and were given to his friends and family per his wishes. In an interview, while talking about death and Frisbee with the Santa Cruz Sentinel, he said: “We used to say that Frisbee is really a religion—“Frisbyterians” we’d call ourselves. When we die, we don’t go to purgatory. We just land up on the roof and lay there.” (1, 2)

4. The inventor of toilet paper had his name printed on each sheet.

Joseph Gayetty
Image credit: Wikimedia

Joseph Gayetty who is credited to be the inventor of modern toilet paper in the United States had his name printed on each sheet of the toilet paper as a watermark. He was very proud of his invention, and the success that it achieved was the reason why he had his name printed on them. First introduced in 1857, the toilet paper made out of aloe and hemp was available in the market for over 60-70 years. Known as “Gayetty’s Medicated Paper,” it was sold in packets of flat sheets. The advertisement read “The greatest necessity of the age! Gayetty’s medicated paper for the water-closet.” The first documented use of toilet paper was in the 6th century CE in China. They were the first ones to use paper instead of water. (source)

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5. The white stuff in bird poop is not their poop; it’s their pee. The brown or green thing in the middle is their poop. They excrete both together.

Bird poop
Image credit: Indi Samarajiva/Flickr

Well, eww, but true. Unlike us, birds do not do it separately, they pee and poop together. Their kidneys extract nitrogenous waste from the bloodstream, but instead of releasing it as urea in urine, they release it as uric acid. It is white because of the processes it goes through in the bird’s body so minimal water is lost when they excrete. The black, green, or brown thing that is solid in the center is actually their poop. Birds do not have different openings for different purposes. They have only one opening called the “cloaca.” It is used for intestinal, urinary, and reproductive purposes. The poop and the white pee are excreted from different body systems but do not have enough time to blend.

Did you know bird poop facials are really popular? And that guano bird poop funded Peru for a really long time and is a guarded treasure there? (1, 2)

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