26 Unbelievable Things You Never Knew Existed
Truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction. Most times, straight-up reality seems like fiction. In shining armor, we're not talking about sorcery and mermaids and warriors, we're talking about the world's weirdest little-known stuff. An island full of adoptable puppies, even a printer that prints brick paths, a 1,500-year-old plant. Yeah, the universe is full of fantastic, fantastic, absolutely unbelievable stuff that you never knew existed. We have rounded up our 50 favorites here, which will make your head spin. And for even more awesome trivia, check out the bizarre laws around the world.
1. Thousands of Black Mini Holes
When you think of a black hole, you could imagine a gigantic vortex dominating the surrounding space. However, if the current 'braneworld' gravity theory of scientists is right, then in our solar system there are thousands of black holes, each about the size of an atomic nucleus. "These mini-black holes, unlike their larger brothers, are primordial leftovers from the Big Bang and have a distinct impact on space-time because of their near connection with the fifth dimension," according to Space.com.
2. Human Tail
They start out as an embryo until an individual becomes a fully formed human. And that little embryo develops a tiny tail about the six-week gestation mark, which is long enough to have many vertebrae. Those vertebrae gradually fuse together to form the tailbone.
3. Raccoon Dog
These creatures are not raccoons at all, even though it is easy to confuse a raccoon dog for masked animals that share part of their name. Instead, foxes are related to wild canines, which are native to eastern Asia (but can now also be found in Europe, as well as in U.S. zoos).
4. Human tasters of pet-food
Maybe you're willing to do a lot for your cat, but are you willing to eat their food to make sure it's up to standard? If so, as a pet food tester, you may be able to make a living. "Typically someone with a doctoral degree is testing, not sampling, the main task of a pet food taster, assessing the nutritional value of given pet food, writing papers, and determining ways to improve new pet foods currently being created," describes How Stuff Works. They also note, however, that "they have to get down to business at some point: sampling it."
5. Plants that have lips
Psychotria elata is a plant that grows in the Central and South American rainforests. And you'd certainly be puzzled if you ever saw one, as these tropical trees feature flowers that look like bright red pouty lips. That is why they are referred to as Hot Lips Plants more often.
6. A plant with the scent of rotting meat
The pelican plant resembles the beak of the bird it's named after, with large leaves that form trumpet-shaped flowers. Pelican flowers, however, smell like nasty rotting meat when they bloom.
7. A secret storage facility containing invaluable art
There are impressive art collections in galleries and museums around the world that are made up of priceless objects, but they can't even be compared to the Geneva Free Port. According to the BBC, this incredibly safe and hidden warehouse in Switzerland is home to some of the greatest works of all time, including about 1,000 pieces by Picasso.
8. A new organ for human beings
Do you think that you know what there is to know about your body? Again, remember. When it comes to our genetics, doctors and scientists continue to make remarkable discoveries, and that includes a 2016 announcement involving a' new' organ. While we were always conscious of the mesentery, it was only recently called an organ, the thing that binds your intestine to your abdomen.
9. An ice planet that is on fire too
In space, some things force us to accept facts that seem downright contradictory. Gliese 436b is, for instance, a world that is both frozen and burning. The distant exoplanet of Neptune is made of ice and still has a temperature of approximately 822 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. A term for homesickness for a place you've never been to before
For "hiraeth," there is no clear English translation, but the heartwarming and heart-wrenching Welsh word refers to a feeling of nostalgia and longing that is felt for something that you have either never been, is no longer around, or never really existed (such as a fantasy world that exists only in your favorite movie).
11. A Cascading Flowers tunnel
In Kitakyushu, Japan, the Kawachi Fuji Gardens feature a fairytale flower tunnel that is covered in cascading wisteria flowers. Wisteria is an ornamental vine that produces beautiful pastel-colored flowers, although it is technically a member of the pea family.
12. Pinocchio frogs
Although we're not sure how truthful or deceptive the Pinocchio frogs are, we know that, like the fictional character they're named after, these creatures live in the forests of New Guinea and have surprisingly long noses.
13. Professional cuddlers
There are a lot of embraces associated with mental and physical health benefits, which is why it makes sense that people are willing to pay for a cuddle at the professional level. Sessions at Cuddle Up To Me, a company in Portland, Oregon, cost as much as $80 an hour, according to CNBC, and generally lasted from 90 minutes to three hours. Full-time snugglers are professionals in providing physical contact that gives warmth while not crossing any limits.
14. A fuzzy plant that resembles a sheep
Vegetable sheep do not have anything to do with livestock or veggies. It is a herb instead. These strange-looking shrubs are also called Raoulia, producing an abundance of thin, white leaves that cover their surface and make them look from a distance like fluffy wool-covered sheep.
15. Trees with blood-like sap
Dragon's Blood Trees can be found on the island of Socotra in Yemen, but they sound like something straight from Game of Thrones or Harry Potter. At first, the trees look average, but from their dark red sap, which looks like blood, they get their name.
16. Spider crabs with legs that are 13 feet long
The Japanese spider crab, the largest crab on the planet, is a monstrous-looking sea creature that appears to weigh about 40 pounds and has legs reaching up to 13 feet. They can also live up to 100 years, which, according to the Smithsonian Institute, maybe the longest lifetime of any known crab.
17. A plant which has been alive for thousands of years
Contained in the Namib Desert, according to the South African National Biodiversity Institute, the Welwitschia Mirabilis consists of two leaves, a stem base, and roots. "Carbon dating tells us that welwitschias are 500 to 600 years old on average, although some of the larger specimens are estimated to be 2,000 years old," writes the Institute. "Their estimated lifespan is 400 to 1,500 years. During the summer months, development occurs annually."
18. Expert apologizers
If you have an ability to show remorse and are excellent at making people feel better about an uncomfortable or stressful situation, then you might be ideally suited to a career as a professional apologist. Companies such as Southwest Airlines recruit trained applicants to negotiate with angry customers, which means you can get paid to apologize effectively. The hiring manager told WalletPop, "You have to be able to analyze the situation, understand what the problem is, what contributed to the problem, and turn it around to a solution to which the client can relate."
Based solely on how cute they are, the world's most famous animals should be quokkas. But sadly, they are still very little-known. So what makes Quokka so amazing? It's simple: Quokkas always seem to be smiling thanks to their bone structure. These marsupials can be found on the small islands off Western Australia's coast. According to National Geographic, some people have even dubbed them the' happiest animal in the world.'
20. A cave that could match a building of 40 stories
Vietnam's Hang Son Doong Cave (that's a snapshot of it, above) is the world's largest cave, and it's got some pretty epic dimensions. At 2.5 miles long with some passages as wide as 300 feet and, in places, more than 600 feet high, the cave was recently surveyed. Amazingly, according to National Geographic, that's enough room to accommodate an entire New York City block of 40-story buildings.
21. Lickable wallpaper
You may want to try lickable wallpaper if you're considering redecorating your home and want your space to be both tasteful and tasty. Inspired by Willy Wonka&the Chocolate Factory, while it is advertised more for theme parties than for daily use, this delectable decor totally exists.
22. A bubblegum pink lake
If you've come across Lake Hillier or Hutt Lagoon in Australia without knowing anything about them, you might think you've stumbled into a dream world like Candyland. That is because bubblegum pink is both the lake and the lagoon. It is thought that the coloring is due to the high salt levels in the water.
23. A tunnel made up of leaves
The Klevan train tunnel in Klevan, Ukraine, is possibly one of the most romantic places in the world, a three-mile leafy passageway (that's a photo of it, above) that is sometimes called "The Tunnel of Love." A train that molded the trees shaped the path that follows a railroad track. Today, the train still operates, but at a much smaller frequency. That means that tourists are free to stroll and take in this incredible sight from the tunnel.
24. Shapers for fruit
In Japan, when it comes to its form, nature is given a little helping hand. There, in the form of cubes, hearts, and even humans, you will find pears, apples, watermelons, and more. Or, if you prefer vegetables, heart- and star-shaped cucumbers are also available. To grow your own unusually shaped fruit, you can purchase fruit molds or buy pre-grown fruit.
25. Trained feelers for faces
When you are a competent face sensor, you can't be afraid of getting up close and personal. Often referred to as "sensory scientists," these pros touch the faces of other people after they have used items such as razors or lotions, and then give their professional advice about how to enhance the items.
These professionals tend to work just two to three hours a day and two to three days a week, typically a part-time job for those in the business, while earning around $10 to $25 an hour, according to ABC News, for their touchy-feely know-how.
26. Fish that appear to be wearing lipstick
There are plenty of rare creatures creeping around the ocean floor, but thanks to its bright red mouth, the red-lipped batfish still manages to stand out. This deepwater fish, which can be found near the Galapagos Islands, looks like it's wearing a very striking shade of lipstick, along with being curiously shaped and about the length of a burrito.