The world we live in is a crazy and hilarious place. As humans, we tend to come across and learn numerous things in our lifetime. Moreover, many of us have heard funny stories about bizarre things that are very common. Many of these interesting facts make the best discussion points during parties. To make your job easier, we have compiled a list of ten of the most interesting facts that you will want to tell your friends that will also double as a great party conversation.
1. A set of twins in Ireland hold the Guinness World Record for “the longest time between two twins being born” – 87 days!
A set of twins who were born 87 days apart have created a Guinness World Record for “the longest time between births.” The wife of an Irish couple, Maria Jones and her husband Elliot, gave birth to a set of healthy twins, Amy Ann and Kate Marie Elliot. The most astonishing part of their births was that the twins were born 87 days apart. Famously dubbed as “little miracles,” their mother went into labor four months early and gave birth to Amy while Kate was still in her womb.
When their mother was 23 weeks and five days along, her water broke and she was rushed to the hospital. After two days of labor, Amy was the first one to arrive and just weighed 1lb 3oz. The frail twin was placed in intensive care. Kate was born after a period of 84 days and weighed 5lbs 10oz. Finally, the couple welcomed their little bundles of joy, and now both the girls are thriving and healthy. (source)
2. The NASA Vehicle Assembly building interior volume is so vast that it has its own weather including “rain clouds forming below the ceiling on very humid days.”
NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building, commonly known as “VAB,” is a large building located at the Kennedy Space Center. The building is used for assembly of large, pre-manufactured space-vehicle components. The massive rockets and space shuttle, Saturn V and the space shuttles were assembled in this building, then stacked vertically onto the Mobile Launch Platform and crawler transport. The assembly center measures a whopping 3,664,883 cubic meters making it one of the largest buildings in the world by volume. The complex is located halfway between Jacksonville and Miami and east of Orlando on the Atlantic coast of Florida.
The capabilities of the building are numerous. It has four of the largest doors in the world. Each door is 456 feet high and is comprised of seven vertical panels and four horizontal panels. Each door takes 45 minutes to completely open or close. The building also consists of five overhead bridge cranes capable of lifting 325 tons. The building has 10,000 tons of air conditioning equipment including 125 ventilators to keep the moisture under control. The air inside the building is capable of being replaced within an hour. The interior volume of the building is so large it has its own weather. This includes rain clouds forming below the ceiling on very humid days. This phenomenon is minimized by moisture-reduction systems. (source)
3. In 1887, a Texas ranch owner discovered the largest snowflake ever recorded which reportedly measured 15 inches across. Google honored the discovery by dedicating a “Google doodle.”
We have seen Google honor legends like Bob Marley, Elvis Presley, and Albert Einstein. However, it was unexpected when Google paid homage to the “world’s largest snowflake” for the snowflake’s 125th anniversary. The largest-ever snowflake was discovered on January 28, 1887, at Fort Keogh. A Montana ranch owner, Matt Coleman, witnessed the largest-ever snowflakes and reported that one of them measured 15 inches across. He described this snowflake as “larger than milk pans.”
We know that you are wondering whether it’s even possible to witness such as a huge snowflake. According to the Chicago Weather Center, the largest snowflake was likely made up of many smaller crystals of snow clinging together into one big mass. Once the flakes fall, they stick together forming larger snowflakes. As they descend rapidly, more snowflakes stick together to form larger snowflakes. (1, 2)
4. Armadillo shells are bulletproof.
The armadillo’s shell is strong and flexible and unlike the exterior of any other animal on Earth. The animal has thousands of thin, bony plates that emerge from within the skin. These thin shells protect their bodies and, of course, they use their shells for defensive purposes.
A Texas man learned his lesson the hard way when he ended up in the hospital due to an armadillo. The man was wounded after a bullet he fired at an armadillo ricocheted off its shell. In another incident, a Georgia man injured his mother-in-law when a bullet ricocheted off an armadillo. These incidents indeed prove that the armadillo indeed possesses a bullet-proof shell. (1, 2)
5. The Dutch village of Giethoorn has no roads; its buildings are connected entirely by canals and footbridges.
Giethoorn is a car-free village that is located in the northeastern Dutch province of Overijssel. The village has no roads. It is known for its boat-filled waterways, footpaths, bicycle trails, and thatched-roof houses. The scenic village and the places surrounding it are connected by beautiful canals or can be reached by foot over its wooden-arched bridges. The locals in the village use punters to navigate around the village.
Popularly known as the “Venice of the Netherlands,” it is a popular tourist attraction for people who are anxious to experience its rustic charm. The village gained popularity in 1958 when it was featured in the movie Fanfare made by Dutch filmmaker Bert Haanstra. (1, 2)
6. On Saturn’s moon Titan, the gravity is low enough and the atmosphere so thick, that by attaching small wings to your arms, you could fly like a bird.
The atmosphere on Saturn’s moon Titan consists of 98.4% nitrogen in the stratosphere. The remaining 1.4% is made up mostly of methane with just 0.1%-0.2% hydrogen. As methane condenses out of Titan’s atmosphere at high altitudes, its abundance increases as it descends below its tropopause located at an altitude of 32 kilometers. It is also comprised of trace amounts of various hydrocarbons and other rare gases.
According to Robert Zubrin, author of Entering Space: Creating a Spacefaring Civilization, humans can fly on Titan. Titan’s thick atmosphere and low gravity can allow humans to fly through it by flapping wings attached to their arms, but you would also require a spacesuit to accomplish this task. (1, 2)
7. An Austrian man named Adam Rainer is the only man in history that has been classified as both a dwarf and a giant. He was measured at three feet eight inches at age 18 and then grew to seven feet two inches by age 32.
Adam Rainer was born in Graz, Austria in 1899 to parents who were of average height. He enlisted in the army during World War I and was measured at only 4 feet 6 inches tall with doctors certifying him as a dwarf. The doctors declared that he was too small and weak to be an effective soldier. However, the most quirky thing was both his hands and feet were exceptionally big for his size. At the age of 21, growth stops for a normal human being, but that didn’t stand true in Rainer’s case.
Adam started growing at an alarming rate with no signs of slowing down. A decade later, he had grown more than two feet and recorded a height of seven feet and one inch. The doctors who examined Adam concluded that he might have developed a one-of-a-kind tumor that caused an extreme case of acromegaly. This phenomenon occurs when the pituitary gland produces excessive amounts of growth hormones. Adam faced numerous complications including spine issues due to his excessive height. He is the only man in recorded history classified as both a dwarf and a giant in his lifetime. (1, 2)
8. The United States capped the Washington Monument with aluminum because at the time it was the most expensive metal and was a sign of wealth to use so much of it.
Do you know that there is an aluminum pyramid that is perched on top of the Washington Monument? The Washington Monument was constructed in the 1880s, and during this period aluminum was considered to be rare and expensive. Though it was abundantly available in the Earth’s crust, the metal was combined with other minerals and very difficult and costly to extract. In 1884, one ounce of aluminum was priced at $1, the price equivalent to silver.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who built the Washington Monument wanted to insert a lightning rod on top of the pyramid. Initially, they requested a small metal pyramid made of copper, bronze, or platinum-plated brass. However, William Frishmuth, America’s first aluminum magnate suggested using aluminum due to its conductivity, color, and anti-stain properties for a price of $75. The pyramid sitting atop of the monument weighs 100 ounces, measures nine inches, and is made of pure aluminum. (1, 2)
9. The majority of people underestimate the length of the white dashed lines on the highways to be two feet, but in reality, the white dashed lines on the highway are 10 feet long.
We have often come across white dashed lines on the highway but have you ever wondered why they are there? The length of the white dashed lines painted down the middle of the road measures 10 feet. The measurement is the federal guideline provided for every street, highway and rural road in the United States. They are drawn on highways to indicate where passing is allowed.
According to a study published in journal Perception & Psychophysics, more than 400 college students took part in three experiments. They were asked to guess the length of the lines from memory, and many students estimated the length to be two feet. The researchers were surprised to notice that people’s estimates were so far off with little variability. They consistently judged the lines and the empty spaces to be of the same size. (1, 2)
10. The Hoover dam contains enough concrete to pave a 16-foot-wide, 8-inch-thick road from San Francisco to New York City.
Hoover Dam is a concrete-arch, gravity dam located in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the period of the Great Depression. The project provided jobs to 5,000 dam workers during the time of the Great Depression. The dam covers 248 square miles and is capable of holding 28.9 million acre-feet of water.
The dam also held the record for being Earth’s tallest dam at a height of 726.4 feet but was later surpassed by Oroville Dam located in Northern California. Their dam holds enough concrete (4.5 million cubic yards) to build a two-lane road from Seattle, Washington to Miami, Florida. The base of the dam is 660 feet thick and can encompass two football fields when measured from end-to-end. (1, 2)