Human beings have an inherent quality which makes us attracted towards everything that is unique and new. That’s the reason why the Internet is full of so much information and facts. Not all of them seem believable at first glance, and some may even make us gasp in wonder. Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the truth that we become fascinated whenever presented with any impossible-sounding information. One might think that they know many weird facts, but we bet none of them are as strange as the ones in this article. So, to surprise and amaze you, we have brought here 12 true facts that sound completely false.
1. Crocodiles can climb trees.
In 2014, a study published in Herpetology Notes documented a surprising behavior in crocodiles – tree climbing. A team of researchers led by Vladimir Dinets, a research assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, observed four different species of crocodiles on three continents – Africa, North America, and Australia. They noticed that crocodiles do not possess any obvious morphological adaptations required to climb a tree, yet they are quite adept climbers.
Researchers also realized that locals who live near crocodile territories are well aware of the crocodile’s tree-climbing ability. The study reveals that adults can climb about six feet off the ground, while juveniles can scale as high as 30 feet. Large crocodiles usually lounge on angled branches. The smaller ones can be observed on branches near the treetops. According to the researchers, crocodiles climb trees to bask in the sun and to keep a tab on their surrounding. (1, 2)
2. Ikea’s catalog is one of the most published books in the world and as widely circulated as the Bible and the Quran.
Some of the world’s most widely circulated books are the religious texts – the Bible and the Quran. Joining this list is the Harry Potter series, and surprisingly, the Swedish furniture retailers catalog, Ikea. In 2016-17, Ikea sold 203 million copies of their catalog throughout the globe which made it one of the world’s most distributed books.
Ikea’s catalog is extremely well received throughout the world because they make a huge effort to know their customers. Instead of catering to a particular region or class of people, Ikea conducts research in 72 different regions where its book is distributed. They go the extra mile by collecting information about the cultural attitudes, housing sizes, religion, and even personal preferences of people of each region. All this information helps shape the book. The production of Ikea’s catalog is such a Herculean task that about 70% of the company’s annual budget goes into it. (source)
3. There exists an extremely rare but serious eye condition in which when one eye is injured and loses vision, the other eye will go blind as well for no reason. It can happen months or years after the original injury.
Sympathetic ophthalmia (SO) is a bilateral granulomatous inflammation, a serious but rare eye condition. It occurs after an accident or trauma to the uvea of one eye. The affected eye soon starts to lose vision. Surprisingly, the other eye which was otherwise in perfect condition starts to lose vision too after some time. The eye which is originally injured is known as the “exciting eye” and the other eye is known as the “contralateral eye” or “sympathizing eye.”
Cases of sympathetic ophthalmia had been mentioned in history. More than two millennia ago, Hippocrates cited instances of this disease. Even though this disease had been present intermittently throughout history, it was not fully defined until the nineteenth century. In the nineteenth century, Scottish ophthalmologist William Mackenzie documented a full clinical description of the disease and named it “sympathetic ophthalmia.” In recent times and after an injury to one eye, only 0.2% to 0.5% cases result in this disease. (1, 2)
4. Chemically, rhinoceros horn is identical to human fingernails. So, powdered rhinoceros horn gives as much health benefit as biting our nails.
Rhinoceros is one of the most majestic species of animal on this Earth. The horn on their face is a part of their identity. But now, it is becoming the reason of their endangered status and even extinction. People in some parts of the world believe that rhino horns have medical benefits. Some even believe it to be an aphrodisiac. Human greed for their horn has driven Javan rhinos and Western Black rhinos into extinction, while other subspecies are on the endangered list of IUCN.
Scientific studies have revealed that rhino horns are composed of keratin. Keratin is the same substance that forms human nails and hair. In reality, rhino horns provide as much health benefit to a human as chewing one’s own fingernails. Awareness about the rhino horn and its fake health benefits are very important to save this beautiful species from extinction. (source)
5. The UK government had paid millions to Microsoft to keep Windows XP running because the government failed to upgrade Windows XP in 2014.
Microsoft released Windows XP for retail sale in October 2001. After 12 years, Windows XP was retired on April 8, 2014. Customers of Microsoft were constantly warned about this change since September 2007. Yet many organizations, including the UK and Dutch governments, failed to upgrade before 2014. As a result, they asked for an extension. Microsoft offered custom support deals at a price that doubles every year. In 2014, the UK government paid 5.5 million pounds as extension cost. In the same year, the Dutch government too spent millions for the extension of Windows XP and even extended the deal into 2015. The New Zealand government have also paid Microsoft for similar extended support.
In 2015m the US Navy revealed that they have paid millions for the extension support of Windows XP. Australian government agencies such as Queensland Health and air navigation service provider Airservices Australia have also opted for the Windows XP extension plan. Many other government organizations and agencies from all over the world failed to make the transition in 2014 and had since paid millions to Microsoft for extended support. (1, 2)
6. In US, installing traffic lights cost cities $250,000 – $500,000 per intersection.
A traffic signal is a very important device for road safety, especially at intersections. In the US, the purchase and installation of traffic lights can cost from as little as $80,000 to more than $500,000. The routine maintenance and electric bills add to it an extra amount of $5,000 to $10,000 per year.
The cost of installing a modern traffic signal depends on many factors like the complexity of the location and the density and type of traffic in the area. On the basis of these factors, the installation of a traffic signal in Arizona can cost around $80,000 to $100,000. In the city of Woodbury, Minnesota, the cost of a complete traffic signal for a standard, four-way intersection is around $250,000 to $300,000. (1, 2)