10 Facts So Weird You Won’t Believe They’re True

THIS WEIRD TRIVIA YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE WORLD WILL BLOW YOU AWAY.

1There’s a company that turns dead bodies into an ocean reef.

Coral reef
John A. Anderson/Shutterstock

For those who romanticize a burial at sea, the company Eternal Reefs offers an innovative solution. It mixes the cremated remains of a person with concrete to create a “pearl” onto which loved ones can etch personal messages, handprints or (environmentally friendly) mementos. The pearl is then encased in a “reef ball” that is dropped into the sea, where it provides a new habitat for fish and other sea life, helping encourage a vibrant ecosystem. The circle of life at work! For more trivia sent right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

2The name “bonobo” resulted from a misspelling.

Bonobo
Edwin Butter/Shutterstock

“Bonobo,” the common name for apes, may sound like some sort of translation of a meaningful term, but in fact, it was the result of a typo. Researchers reputedly first found the animals in the town of Bolobo, Zaire, in the ’20s, but the name of the place was misspelled “Bonobo” on the shipping crate in which the animal was placed, leading others to refer to the animal by the name, which stuck.

3There is an annual Coffee Break Festival.

Close up from above of friends clinking coffee cups together
sebra/Shutterstock

For millions of people, the coffee break is a key but often under-appreciated part of each day. To stop and give the break its proper due, the town of Stoughton, Wisconsin, hosts an annual Coffee Break Festival. The gathering includes coffee tastings, “brew-offs,” and bean-spitting contests. Why Stoughton? According to city officials, the coffee break was “born” in the city in the late 1800s, as women working at the local Gunderson Tobacco Warehouse began the ritual of pausing during the workday to brew up some coffee and have a chat.

4You can buy a flying bicycle.

Kid wearing homemade jetpack and sitting on tricycle
Sunny studio/Shutterstock

It sounds like something out of a sci-fi novel, but British inventors John Foden and Yannick Read have come up with a bicycle that actually flies. The XploreAir Paravelo is composed of a folding bicycle and a lightweight trailer that contains a biofuel-powered fan motor. The motor turns the fan, and with enough of a runway, it can reach up to 25 mph in the air and 4,000 feet in altitude. While the inventors were unable to reach their funding goal to produce enough XploreAirs for wide availability, they are offering their inventive services through “bespoke production.

5Dolphins sleep with one eye open.

Dolphin side view
Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock

Dolphins are known to be one of the smartest animals on the planet—possibly because they can conserve their brain power. Because they must be constantly on the lookout for predators, the marine mammals have developed a neat trick of maintaining partial consciousness even as part of their brain sleeps. Researchers have tested whether this “half sleep” negatively impacts the animals’ alertness during the day, but have found that even after five days of having their nocturnal alertness constantly tested, they’ve remained as alert and perceptive as ever.

6Vacuum cleaners were originally horse-drawn.

Three horses in stable
acceptphoto/Shutterstock

One of the earliest known vacuum cleaners was so large that it had to be hauled from house to house via a horse-drawn carriage. Its giant hoses were popped through the windows of customers, and a gas-powered motor generated the suction that pulled the dirt and debris into a glass container where onlookers could gawk at the volume of filth coming from their neighbors’ homes

7The largest padlock in the world weighs 916 pounds.

Gold padlock on silver chain
Nor Gal/Shutterstock

Created by a team of students and teachers at the Pavlovo Arts College in Russia, the largest padlock in the world (according to Guinness World Records) measures 56.8 inches tall, 41.3 inches wide, and 10.2 inches deep. Altogether this hefty lock, including key, weighs 916 pounds. Whatever it’s protecting presumably weighs a whole lot more!

8Pandas poop most of what they eat.

Panda eating bamboo
PHOTO BY LOLA/Shutterstock

Pandas basically only eat bamboo, which also happens to be incredibly hard to digest. That means that these adorable animals must eat about 30 pounds of the stuff each day to get enough nutrients—defecating about four-fifths of what they eat (and even what they do digest is not especially easy on their gastrointestinal system). These guys should really consider a change in diet.

9McDonald’s introduced drive-through service due to the military.

Worker handing order through window at McDonald's drive-thru
Deman/Shutterstock

The first McDonald’s Drive Thru was installed in a restaurant based in Sierra Vista, Arizona, located near the Fort Huachuca military installation. Military rules forbade the soldiers from wearing their military uniforms in public, and they weren’t about to change into civilian clothes just to grab a burger and run back to base, so restaurant manager David Rich came up with a solution: cut a hole into the wall and allow members of the military to pick up their orders without stepping out of their car. The convenience and simplicity of the idea quickly caught on.

10Alfred Hitchcock was frightened of eggs.

Eggs against yellow background
MasAnyanka/Shutterstock

The master of suspense, who terrified audiences with movies like Psycho and The Birds, considered himself an ovophobe—someone frightened of eggs. Alfred Hitchcock explained to an interviewer in 1963: “I’m frightened of eggs, worse than frightened; they revolt me. That white round thing without any holes, and when you break it, inside there’s that yellow thing, round, without any holes…Blood is jolly, red. But egg yolk is yellow, revolting. I’ve never tasted it.”

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