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Junior Taamas
, Nigeria.
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The world is a crazy place. Even the
most ordinary, boring, everyday stuff
can turn out to have a weird backstory
—or do something you had no idea it

For example, did you know that worms
eat four to six times their weight each
day? Or that trained pigeons can tell
the difference between ClaudeMonet
and PabloPicasso? Who knew?

But there are dangers out there, too.
Your cell phone is infested with
bacteria (see below) and traces of the
bubonic plague have been found in the
New York City subway. It turns out,
when you dig a little deeper, things
that you’ve taken for granted or that
seem perfectly normal can surprise
you. With that in mind, here are 10
weird little facts you’ll likely be
surprised to learn.

1 Humans are the Only Animals That Enjoy Spicy Foods

It’s an evolutionary mystery that
scientists have had trouble explaining,
but humans are the only animals who
actually enjoy eating spicy food. There
does not seem to be any health benefits
to eating painful peppers (though some
research finds that it may fight off
fungus), so the best reason some have
suggested is the thrill factor—no
different than the fact that we are the
only animals that like rollercoasters
and scary movies.

2. Humans Are Also the Only Animals Whose Brains Shrink

As we get older, our brains tend to
shrink and can suffer from cognitive
dysfunction like Alzheimer’s disease
and dementia. But as best researchers
can tell, we are the only animals to
whom this shrinkage happens. Tests on
other animals have found no similar
phenomena—even close evolutionary
relatives like chimpanzees and rhesus

3. Potato Chips Cause More Weight Gain Than Any Other Food

A Harvard University study of more
than 120,000 people found that potato
chips were to blame for the gain of an
average of 1.69 pounds per person over
four years. Other fatteners: potatoes
(1.28 pounds), sugar-sweetened
beverages (1.00 pounds), and
unprocessed red meats (0.95 pounds).

4. That Fish is Probably Labeled Wrong

That salmon is probably not salmon.
Researchers estimate that about one-
third of all fish sold in restaurants and
grocery stores is mislabeled —often to
deliberately mislead consumers and get
them to buy more expensive fish
(getting tilapia while paying red
snapper prices). Snapper was found to
be mislabeled 87 percent of the time,
tuna was mislabeled 59 percent. It’s
far too common an occurrence to be a

5 Bananas Can’t Reproduce

The bananas we are all know and love,
known as Cavendish, are in fact
a hybrid of two other plant species. It
has no seeds and has only been able to
reproduce with the aid of farmers,
who remove and transplant part of the
plant’s stem in order to create our
favorite yellow fruit.

6. It’s Impossible to Hum While You Hold Your Nose

For the same reason you can’t exhale
while holding your nose and closing
your mouth—to make the humming
noise you have to pass air through
your larynx. You can’t do that when
no air can be exhaled. Still, seems
pretty weird.

7. The Least Interesting Day in History was April 11, 1954

That, according to software developers
True Knowledge. The search engine
project collects facts, and of the more
than 300 million facts it has collected,
just two occurred on this date: a soccer
player named Jack Shufflebotham died
and a Turkish academic named Abdullah Atalar was born.

8. Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis Died on the Same Day as JFK

The deaths of these venerable British
writers (who died within about 10
minutes of each other) would seem
newsworthy under most
circumstances. But it was hard for the
loss of the author of Brave New
World or the Narnia series to garner
much attention when President John F.
Kennedy was assassinated within the
hour. Conspiracy? You be the judge.

9. Bigger Forks Lead You to
Eat Less

A study in the Journal of Consumer
Research found that when diners were
given smaller forks with which to eat
their meals, they ended up eating less.
According to the researchers , this is
because the smaller forkfuls of food
lead diners to “feel they are not
making much of a dent in consuming
their food, and, hence, satisfying their

10. Cell Phones Are Full of Bacteria

While it’s unlikely that they cause
cancer or spark a fire at a gas station
as popular lore might suggest, mobile
devices have been found to be loaded
with bacteria. According to some
research by British scientists, the
average cell phone carries 18
times more potentially harmful germs
than the toilet handle in a men’s
restroom. When was the last time you
disinfected your phone?

And there they are and there is more to come. See you in another one.

With love, with love... L. O. V. E


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