We asked our regular contributors through e-mail What is a fact or statistic that seems fake but is real? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way.
1. I saw a scale model of the Earth, moon, and sun in a museum. The sun was about the size of a basketball, and the earth was on the opposite side of the room, the size of a small marble, I’d guess about 30 meters away. The moon was the size of a tiny pinhead, about 10cm away from the Earth.
On this scale, the nearest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri, wouldn’t be in the same building, or even in the same city. It would be 10,000 km away.
And that’s just one star, the nearest one to us, in a galaxy containing billions of stars, which is just one of the billions of galaxies.
The scale of the universe really is mind-bogglingly big. Far bigger than we can begin to comprehend.
2. In English, the color orange was named after the fruit. Before that, orange was just considered a shade of red. That’s why gingers are called redheads.
3. Sharks have existed longer than trees have.
4. New Delhi hired people to hunt cobra snakes which led to people having Cobra Farms to earn money then the government stopped the project which led the Cobra Farmers to release their snakes causing twice as many snakes as they first started.
5. We live closer in time to Tyrannosaurus Rex than the T Rex did to the Stegosaurus.
6. A million seconds is 12 days. A billion seconds is 31 years. A trillion seconds is 31,688 years. People have a lot of trouble comprehending numbers that big.
7. Horses kill more people every year in Australia than all the other beasties combined. Everyone thinks it’s the spiders and snakes that’ll get you, but it’s the horses you’ve really got to watch.
8. It took us more time to go from bronze swords to iron swords than it did for us to go from iron swords to nuclear weapons.
9. After the British made head protection mandatory in WWI, the number of head wounds increased.
It’s due to they were no longer KIA, but “only” a head wound.
10. If you took the populations of both China and India, then removed 1 billion people from each, they would still be the two most highly populated countries on Earth.
And you’d probably be convicted of crimes against humanity for wiping out 2 billion people.