Saturday, 19 September 2015

10 Real Facts That Sound Made Up

Or rather, nine real facts that sound made up (plus one which actually is made up)...

A tiger (not a real one).
Every now and then on twitter I've tweeted the occasional 'real fact that sounds made up' and so I thought I would compile a few of these facts on my blog.  To make things a bit more interesting though, I've also inserted one 'fact' which actually is made up into the following list, so see if you can guess which one is the imposter among the following 'facts'...

1) American tigers.

There are more tigers in the United States than in the rest of the world combined.

2) Exploding ant heads.

Brunei ants have ants within the colony who can explode their own heads to defend the colony by leaving a sticky glue-like secretion to slow down intruders.

3) Magnet beans.

If you leave a can of beans unmoved in your cupboard for several weeks it eventually becomes a magnet.

4) Vegetarian beef.

Chilli beef flavour Pot Noodle is suitable for vegetarians as it contains no beef.

Do some fish have anti-freeze in their blood?

5) Anti-freeze fish.

Certain breeds of fish found in the Antartic region have a form of anti-freeze in their blood which stops their blood from freezing and helps them survive in the extremely cold conditions.

6) The raisin dance.

If you drop a raisin into a glass of fizzy pop it will repeatedly sink to the bottom of the glass then rise to the surface repeatedly.

7) Pregnant males.

When seahorses mate, it is the male seahorse who gets pregnant.

8) Liquid charcoal.

By the scientific definition, charcoal is not a solid and in fact it fills all of the necessary criteria to be classified as a liquid.


9) Mice galore.

Two mice who start breeding on 1st January could theoretically have as many as 31,000 descendents by 31st December.

10) Short term space survival.

As long as you breathe out first, a human can survive for 15 to 30 seconds in space without a space suit.

Scroll down the page to discover which of the ten facts was actually a bluff, and also to discover some extra background information regarding the genuine facts...

The 'fact' which is actually made up was number 8.  Charcoal is definitely a solid.

And here's some further information about each of the above facts...

1) American tigers.

There are an estimated 5,000 tigers in the United States, and only 3,200 in the rest of the world combined.  When I first heard this statistic it seemed impausible until you discover that the 5,000 tigers in the US are all in captivity/in back yards, whereas the majority of the tigers in the rest of the world are in the wild.


2) Exploding ant heads.

When a Brunei ant commits suicide and explodes its head to defend the colony, it's sticky insides also act as a corrosive and a chemical irritant, and the process is effectively an example of chemical warfare in nature.

3) Magnet beans.

This will actually work with any can of food ... it doesn't have to be beans.

4) Vegetarian beef.

Other Pot Noodle flavours which contain no actual real meat include 'chicken and mushroon' and 'sticky rib' flavour.

5) Anti-freeze fish.

These 'anti-freeze' fish are known as the notothenioids, and their blood contains 'anti-freeze proteins' which prevent water molecules in their vicinity from freezing.

6) The raisin dance.

The 'raisin dance' takes place because the raisin is desner than the fizzy pop, and so it initially sinks.  However, the carbon dioxide bubbles in the carbonated drink then stick to the surface of the raisin, increasing its buoyancy and causing it to rise to the surface.  One at the surface the bubbles escape and so the raising then sinks, causing the process to be repeated once again.

A pregnant male.

7) Pregnant males.

The pregnant male seahorse can give birth to up to 2,000 babies at a time, and yet despite the childbirth process being extremely painful, male seahorses will still fight other males for the right to mate and get pregnant to put themselves through the extremely painful childbirth.

8) Liquid charcoal?

This 'fact' was the bluff.  Of course charcoal is actually a solid, not a liquid!

9) Mice galore.

A female mouse has a pregnancy of approximately 19 days, and can give birth to up to ten litters per year.  Each newly born female mouse is ready to mate within two months of birth.  After a relatively slow start, things therefore can quickly spiral out of control and when you do the maths it works out at a theoretical 31,000 mice produced within a year.

10) Short term space survival.

The reason you have to breathe out first is because the vacuum of space would cause the oxygen in your lungs to expand, rupturing your lungs and forcing air bubbles into your blood vessels and then into your heart and brain.  However, if you breathe out first then you wouldn't die instantaneously and could probably survive without serious injury for around 15 to 30 seconds.  After one or two minutes you would be in serious trouble, and would basically be dying.  However, all of these time limits are largely educated estimations and exact limits are not really known.

Check out the NASA website for a more detailed explanation of the effects of space on a human body.

. . . . . . . . .

You can find more facts that sound made up (and also some made up facts that sound real) in the ebook, 'True Or False: A Light-Hearted Collection Of 100 Facts And Bluffs'.

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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.