Human beings are curious creatures. And our curiosity has taken us from the Stone Age to exploring outer space. We sure have come far, but we still do not know everything about our planet and our existence. In a world of biased media and fake news, it’s really difficult to figure out what’s right and what’s wrong. We often build our perspectives through what’s being offered to us and completely miss the truth. So, to offer you a reality check, we’ve come up with a list of 10 amazing facts that would completely change your perspective.
1. Color changes in chameleons aren’t just for camouflage. They can change the hue of their skin depending on their mood, reserving the best color transformations for mating.
If up to now, you’ve been thinking that the chameleons’ ability to change their skin color is only for camouflaging, you are wrong. Chameleons change their hue for far more reasons than just for hiding in the wild.
Certainly one of the prominent reasons is to blend in with the surroundings to avoid danger as these animals are basically defenseless. But according to Michel M, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Geneva, even chameleons cannot transform their skin color to match every background.
Asserting dominance, change of mood, and attracting a mate are a few other reasons why a chameleon would change its color.
It has been observed that male chameleons often have a color show-off to assert dominance. Some males even use colors to impersonate females which allows them to sneak past other males. But a rather interesting feature is noticed in both male and female chameleons, and that is when they change color to attract or repel others.
Male chameleons switch their colors to attract females. Females, who are not available, turn their skin into dark and aggressive colors. while the ones available do not show much color and remain greenish-brown. (source)
2. Pineapple eats you back when you eat it. It contains an enzyme called “bromelain” which helps in breaking down proteins.
Pineapple is the only known natural source of bromelain. It is found in all parts of pineapple, but the stem is most commonly used for commercial use. Bromelain is used as an anti-browning agent for cut fruits, for manufacturing textiles and cosmetics, and also in baking. It is also used for the removal of dead tissues of severe burn wounds.
Bromelain is an enzyme that breaks down proteins. When we eat pineapple, it starts breaking down protein which is why we experience the tingling sensation in our mouths. It is this property that makes it an excellent meat tenderizer. But you need not worry, as the acid in your stomach is strong enough to destroy this enzyme. (1, 2)
3. According to NASA, the Earth is greener today than it was 20 years ago, and the credit goes to India and China.
Climate change is a real issue, and it can be easily observed in the times we live in. But NASA has some positive news to share with us. According to the data collected by its satellites, our planet is greener than it was 20 years ago, and the credit goes to India and China.
This greening phenomenon was first observed in the 1990s, but scientists were not sure whether human activity played a role in it. After a 20-year-long data collection by its satellites through an instrument called MODIS, NASA has been able to study the phenomenon with precision.
According to them, there has been an increase in the green areas equivalent to the size of all Amazon forests. Much of this can be observed in India and China.
Various tree-planting programs adopted by these two nations, along with an increase in food cultivation, has directly contributed to such statistics. (source)
4. The Mona Lisa was not heard of by people prior to its theft in 1911. The empty space on the wall after its theft attracted more eyes than the painting ever did.
The painting Mona Lisa is undoubtedly one of the most famous paintings in the world, but that wasn’t always the case. It wasn’t until 1860 that art critics claimed it to be one of the finest Renaissance paintings.
And even then, the painting was just like any other item in the Louvre Museum in Paris. According to historian and writer James Zug, “Mona Lisa wasn’t even the most famous painting in its gallery, let alone the Louvre.”
But this was about to change. On August 21, 1911, Vincent Perugia, with two others, stole the Mona Lisa and disappeared in the streets. Vincent Perugia was an Italian handyman who had helped install protective glass around paintings in Louvre.
With very little security in one of the largest buildings in the world at that time, it became easy for him to commit the heist.
Twenty-eight hours after the theft, the Louvre made a public announcement of the stolen masterpiece. This attracted eyes from all over the world making the Mona Lisa famous overnight. Everyone was speaking of the stolen painting.
The Mona Lisa was finally recovered after two years. Perugia, whose intent was to return the painting to its Italian roots, had kept it in his closet. (source)
5. Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Stalin were all nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Adding on to the list of most ironic events in history is the nomination of three, worst dictators of the 20th century, Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini, for the Nobel Peace Prize. Each of them earned a nomination, however, none of them was awarded the honor.
The Nobel Peace Prize is scheduled to be awarded every year since it was first awarded in 1901. The recipient of the award is picked by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, a five-member committee appointed by the Parliament of Norway. The Norwegian Nobel Committee invites qualified people to submit their nominations. These names are then shortlisted and eventually, a winner is named.
Benito Mussolini was the first amongst the three to receive the nomination. He was nominated in 1935 by two different people, a German law professor, and a French professor. Ironically he received the nomination in the same year Italy invaded Ethiopia.
Adolf Hitler was nominated in 1939 by EGC Brandt, a member of the Swedish Parliament. He was nominated as a protest against the nomination of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. No award was handed out that year as WWII broke out.