Fact: Firefighters use wetting agents to make water wetter
The chemicals reduce the surface tension of plain water so it’s easier to spread and soak into objects, which is why it’s known as “wet water.” Find out which of your favorite science “facts” are actually false.
Fact: The longest English word is 189,819 letters long
Fact: “Running amok” is a medically recognized mental condition
Considered a culturally bound syndrome, a person “running amok” in Malaysia commits a sudden, frenzied mass attack, then begins to brood. Learn some more random facts and trivia you’ll wish you’d always known.
Fact: Octopuses lay 56,000 eggs at a time
The mother spends six months so devoted to protecting the eggs that she doesn’t eat. The babies are the size of a grain of rice when they’re born.
Fact: Cats have fewer toes on their back paws
Like most four-legged mammals, they have five toes on the front, but their back paws only have four toes. Scientists think the four-toe back paws might help them run faster. Do you know any other fun facts about cats?
Fact: Kleenex tissues were originally intended for gas masks
When there was a cotton shortage during World War I, Kimberly-Clark developed a thin, flat cotton substitute that the army tried to use as a filter in gas masks. The war ended before scientists perfected the material for gas masks, so the company redeveloped it to be smoother and softer, then marketed Kleenex as facial tissue instead.
Fact: Blue whales eat half a million calories in one mouthful
These random facts are mindblowing! Those 457,000 calories are more than 240 times the energy the whale uses to scoop those krill into its mouth.
Fact: That tiny pocket in jeans was designed to store pocket watches
The original jeans only had four pockets: that tiny one, plus two more on the front and just one in the back.
Fact: Turkeys can blush
When turkeys are scared or excited—like when the males see a female they’re interested in—the pale skin on their head and neck turns bright red, blue, or white. The flap of skin over their beaks, called a “snood,” also reddens.
Fact: Most Disney characters wear gloves to keep animation simple
Walt Disney might have been the first to put gloves on his characters, as seen in 1929’s The Opry House starring Mickey Mouse. In addition to being easier to animate, there’s another reason Disney opted for gloves: “We didn’t want him to have mouse hands because he was supposed to be more human,” Disney told his biographer in 1957.
Have a great weekend.