6. Insects like wasps, crickets, bees, and ants contain twice the protein as meat does. One-third of the world’s population already consumes them regularly.
Different groups of insects have a different proportion of proteins in them. For insects such as wasps, bees, and ants, the lowest bar is 13 grams of protein per 100 grams, whereas the highest can go up to 77grams per 100.
Bugs like aphids and pond-skaters contain protein between 48 and 74 grams per 100, and crickets have 23 to 65 grams of protein per 100 grams. Precisely, the amount of protein that you intake while eating the insects really depends on the species that you eat and at what stage of life the insects are, like whether pupae or larvae.
There are remarkable differences if we compare the amount of protein that meat contains to what these creepy insects do. Mackerel has 16 to 28 grams per 100 grams. Beef has lower than that, 19 to 26 grams per 100. Pork 20 grams per hundred, and chicken, with only 23 grams per 100, is the lowest and about what crickets have.
The nutritional values are not the only benefits of including insects in your diet. Experts have speculated that in the mid-century, or after 40 years, the population of Earth is expected to rise by 30% to about nine billion.
In such circumstances, it is very likely that we are going to face a global food shortage, and scientists believe that edible insects can be the go-to thing for such a problem. Almost 88% of all insects are edible. (source)
7. There is a fungus that looks like a brain and is yellow in color. It is commonly known as “golden jelly fungus,” and it is said to have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties.
Scientifically named Tremella mesenterica, the fungus is very smooth in structure and has an irregular, brain-like shape. It is woodland fungi but barely looks like one. When it is wet, its pores are greasy and slimy, whereas when it dries up, the lobes harden. The color of the golden jelly fungus varies. Sometimes it is pale yellow or bright orange, but when it is dried up, it generally becomes rusty orange.
It is most likely to be found on fallen branches of trees, gorse, and dead woods. One may easily find the fungus in the UK and Ireland. They are in abundance at these places, but they can also be found in temperate regions of America, Asia, and Australia.
The golden jelly fungus is nearly flavorless and has very little substance in it. Still, it has some uses. In China, it is used to add a signature texture to soups. Researchers have found that it produces biological compounds that can be medicinally beneficial. The biological compound it produces has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties. (1, 2)
8. The poisonous hemlock water drop-wort plant can not only kill someone but will also leave an evil smile on the dead person. It produces a neurotoxin that makes the facial muscles contract and leaves a frozen grin on the corpse’s face.
A distant relative of parsnips and carrots, the entire plant of hemlock tastes pleasant but is extremely intoxicating and leads to death.
The plant grows wild on the island of Sardinia and was used by ancient Sardinians in their death rituals in pre-Roman times. The ritual involved killing old-aged people unable to function and expected to become burdens to society. They were killed by ruthless methods, and one method was intoxicating them using the hemlock herb.
After killing the person, the plant also contracts the muscles on the deceased’s face and leaves an eerie, frozen smile.
The use of the word “sardonic” finds its origin from here and was first used by a Greek poet Homer referring to a bitter and cynical smile.
Researchers mentioned that the chemicals released by the plant may have some medical uses. They can be used to cure people with facial paralysis if the properties of the chemical could be adapted causing muscles to relax instead of contracting.
This can be achieved by the pharmaceutical companies by retooling the molecules of the chemicals to cause opposite effects. (source)
9. A syphilis experiment was carried out between 1946 to 1948 in the US where 1,380 people between the ages of ten to 72 of Guatemala were purposely infected with STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chancroid without their consent. Only 678 of them survived. The rest suffered, and 83 died.
The intent of the project was to test different medications like antibiotic penicillin and the arsenical agent orvus-mapharsen against the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases.
The entire non-ethical experiment was led by physician John Charles Cutler, and he was the one who infected all the subjects including prisoners, prostitutes, kids, patients, and soldiers. Cutler was also involved in the Tuskegee syphilis experiment conducted earlier.
Nearly 83 people died in this experiment, and on 1 October 2010, the US President along with the Secretary of State and Secretary of Health and Human Services formally apologized to the Guatemalan population and officials for the ethical violation that was carried out.
10. The Okinawa prefecture of Japan is struggling to prevent people from falling asleep in the middle of the road after getting intoxicated. There are more than 7,000 such cases, some of them leading to fatal accidents and deaths. They call the cases “rojo-ne” which means “sleeping on the road.”
The southern island of Okinawa in Japan is in the middle of this weird crisis where people drink too much alcohol and sleep in the middle of the road.
Police have reported more than 7,000 cases of rojo-ne, and some of the intoxicated sleepers have even died because of this.
The warm weather in the area and awamori beverages which are made from rice are the contributing factors for such a bizarre trend.
Most of the time, the drunkards are rescued, but up to now, 13 accidents have been reported with three dead.
Some sleepers were so out of their senses that they thought they were already home, and so they used the curb as a pillow to sleep and stripped down to their underwear.
The fine charged to the person who is involved in rojo-ne is 50,000 yen or $5,000. The head traffic police officer of the local division has asked the residents to restrict their awamori consumption. (1, 2)