From driving across dwarf planets to playing cards being used as currency, we count ten awesome facts that will change your life
10 – The Size of Pluto
- The last few years have shed some interesting light on the loneliest heliocentric body in our solar system, Pluto.
- Compared to the Earth, this dwarf planet is not only smaller than our moon, but it could fit inside a map of Australia. The biggest planet in our solar system gang is Jupiter, who is a whopping 69 times bigger than little old Pluto. Pluto is roughly 736 miles in diameter, which would take around 12 hours to drive across in a car. However, the car would take 6,200 years to get from Earth to Pluto at the same speed.
- Its teeny tiny size is nothing compared to Earth, it’s no wonder Pluto was kicked out of the planet club.
9 – 10% of People on Earth Can’t Read
- According to the CIA, there are a lot of human beings on earth who still haven’t learned to read or write.
- 10% of Earth’s population – which roughly equates to 713 million people – are illiterate. In places like Afghanistan, only 38% of all of its citizens can read. Printed words (or hieroglyphs if you’re an ancient Egyptian) are one of the oldest traditions of communication. Without literacy, there would be no books or blogs, and –gasp- no Google.
- Knowledge is a powerful tool. As Mark Twain once said: “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”
8 – 1 Sperm in 1.2 Billion Wins the Race
- Traditional pregnancies begin with an age old race of man sperms to a lady egg – let’s just assume we know how the sperms got there.
- When males ejaculate, they expel over 40 million sperm cells, each microscopic sperm then races around, frantically trying to be the first to conquer the female’s egg. The more sperm in the race, the higher the chance of successfully making babies. Most likely, you were the winner of this race.
- Reproduction is a fierce competition in the sperm world and you single-handedly out-swam up to 1.2 billion other competitors. Nice work!
7 – France Still Beheaded People When Star Wars Premiered
- In 1977, Star Wars premiered in cinemas around the world. At the same time, France was still executing criminals in barbaric public displays.
- The last execution by guillotine took place in beautiful Marseilles on September 11, 1977, the day before ‘Episode IV – A New Hope’ celebrated its French premiere. A young man named Hamida Djandoubi was the last to endure death by guillotine for the crime of killing his lover, Elisabeth Bousquet.
- The guillotine was put out of action by the end of 1977, and three years later a Star Wars sequel struck back into cinemas.
6 – No Food is Naturally Blue
- We might enjoy a blue-coloured cocktail or a delicious blue cupcake every now and then, but somehow this incredible blue pigment rarely occurs naturally.
- The reproduction of plants is often a chemical reaction of its environment. Some people suggest that nature advertises its food by amping up the contrasting colours of green leaves, such as bright red tomatoes, and vibrant yellow lemons. Hungry foragers are more likely to notice a bright colourful fruit, making blue a less noticeable colour.
- Blueberries seem to be the only ones who can pull off a blue look, though a lot of people argue they are mostly purple.