Did you know that there is a flight that lasts only for one and a half minute? There are many weird things that have been happening around us and we have no idea about them. For example, octopuses are given puzzles in captivity so they don’t get bored because they are incredibly smart. Here is a list of weird facts that are fun to know and will come handy when you run out of topics to talk about the next time.
1. Time travel TV shows are banned in China because they disrespect history.
In March 2011, China’s Administration for Radio, Film, and Television issued a ban on time travel dramas on TV. In the ruling, the organization said, that such dramas, “casually make up myths, has monstrous and weird plots, uses absurd tactics, and even promotes feudalism, superstition, fatalism, and reincarnation.” At that time, film critic Raymond Zhou Liming told The Hollywood Reporter that most time travel content he had seen was less science and more of an excuse to comment on the current affairs of the country. The ruling also stated that producers and writers were treating the country’s history in a “frivolous way,” and the government did not want to encourage such a practice. Out of the other things that are banned on Chinese TV are shows that promote western lifestyles. (1, 2)
2. Astronauts sometimes attach velcro to their helmets so they can scratch their noses in space, without removing the helmet.
When astronauts are in their extravehicular mobility units or what we better know them as “space suits,” they have certain tricks that help them be more comfortable. When they have a nose-itch in space and they cannot remove their helmets to scratch themselves, small velcro patches inside their helmet can help. They just have to rub their nose on this velcro patch and scratch. Other techniques are also employed to help astronauts perform actions inside the spacesuits that would otherwise need the touch of their hands. A device known as the “Valsalva device” is used in spacesuits to block the nose when the pressure needs to be readjusted inside the spacesuits. This device was used by an astronaut in 2011 to clear tears from his eyes with the Valsalva device working as a sponge. (source)
3. If you tease a llama, it might spit on you. It is the only animal to do so.
Native to South America, the llamas are unique animals because they express their displeasure by spitting. Usually, they don’t spit at humans but if you tease or mistreat them, they might spit at you. Those that do so are generally the ones who have not spent much time around humans and are not trained. They usually spit on each other when they are annoyed. Llamas are otherwise known as friendly animals who have been domesticated, are great as working animals, and for transporting goods in rough terrains. (source)
4. There is a tree in Pakistan that has remained “under arrest” for over 120 years.
In 1898, a drunk British army officer, James Squid, arrested a banyan tree in a town in Pakistan. Now a tourist attraction, the tree can be seen in shackles and has remained “under arrest” even after the British colonial rule ended in the country. The board on the tree states that the British officer was drunk one night and thought that the tree was moving from its original location, so he ordered his sergeant to arrest the tree. The tree now stands as a symbol of what the people of the country endured during the British rule. It is located on the land of Pakistan Army’s Landi Kotal cantonment. (source)
5. The country of Ethiopia follows a calendar that is seven to eight years behind the rest of the world.
The Ethiopian calendar runs seven to eight years behind the Gregorian calendar that is followed by the rest of the world. The Gregorian calendar which replaced the Julian calendar is named after Pope Gregory XIII of the Roman Catholic Church and was introduced in 1582. Ethiopia has been free of influences from the Roman church and so has been able to retain its original calendar. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church believes that Adam and Eve lived for seven years in the Garden of Eden before being expelled for the sins they committed and that God agreed to save them after 5,500 years. They also believe that Jesus Christ was born in 7 BCE, 5,500 years after Adam and Eve were expelled. The country started counting days from 7 BCE which is why they are seven to eight years behind. Their years consists of 13 months out of which 12 months have 30 days. As of March 2019, Ethiopia is in in the year 2011. (source)
6. If released in space, astronaut poop burns up in the atmosphere and looks like shooting stars.
Astronaut Scott Kelly went on a mission for about a year for NASA to conduct 383 experiments in space out of which a few were created by Noble laureates. One of these experiments was to jettison about 180 pounds of poop from space that was produced by Kelly in a year. This poop burned up in the atmosphere and looked like shooting stars. So some of the shooting stars you saw from March 27, 2015, to March 2, 2016, could have been “poop stars!” In 2009, the space shuttle Discovery dumped its liquid waste of about 150 pounds in preparation for landing. A number of people in North America saw a mysterious glow in the sky as a result of this dump which was later revealed to be astronaut urine and water waste from space. (1, 2)
7. There are websites that allow you to ship actual animal poop to anyone you want. A woman once faced time in jail for doing so.
Kimberly Capdevila’s neighbors complained about her barking dog. In 2015, she decided to give a response by sending them cow poop. She thought that the website, poopsenders.com would keep her identity hidden, but that did not happen. Her neighbors found out and sued her. She was facing up to 30 days in jail and a fine of 635 US dollars for it. There are many websites that let you send actual animal poop to people like shitexpress.com, ipoopyou.com, etc. One can send the poop of cows, horses, chickens, gorillas, elephants, goats, reindeers, etc. as a gift to an address and remain anonymous. (source)