Here are 5 useless facts that you will only find interesting if you are a nerd or a writer on a slow news day.
“You can fit all the planets of the solar system between Earth and the moon.”
Moon has an elliptical path around Earth, so its distance varies. At apogee (when the moon is farthest from Earth), this distance is as much as 406,696 km. On the other hand, at perigee (when the moon is the closest from Earth), the distance is as little as 363,104 km. So, that’s why the average distance is considered.
“From a botanical standpoint, strawberries and raspberries aren’t berries, but bananas and avocados are.”
Strawberries and raspberries aren’t really berries in the botanical sense. They are derived from a single flower with more than one ovary, making them an aggregate fruit. True berries are simple fruits stemming from one flower with one ovary and typically have several seeds. Tomatoes fall into this group, as do pomegranates, kiwis and—believe it or not—bananas. (Their seeds are so tiny it’s easy to forget they’re there.)
“The Atlantic Ocean is saltier than the Pacific Ocean.”
The Atlantic Ocean is much saltier than the Pacific Ocean. The Atlantic is saltier than other oceans because some of the water that evaporates from the Atlantic is carried by winds into other oceans. Because of this, the Atlantic constantly loses fresh water to other oceans and becomes saltier.
“Pirates wore eye patches so one eye would always be acclimated to the darkness, allowing them to see in the darkness below decks in an instant.”
It takes an average human eye about 25 minutes to fully adapt from bright sunlight to seeing in complete darkness—if a pirate was fighting on deck in the light, then had to go under the deck to fight downstairs where it is usually pretty dark, that would be a long time to go without being able to see. The eye patch could be used to prepare one eye to see in the dark, so when they would go below deck they could swap over the eye patch from one eye to the other and see with the eye that has already adjusted to low light conditions. This would allow them to instantly in the dark.
“Penguins have glands under their eyes to extract and secrete excess salt. These are powerful enough that they allow them to drink seawater as their primary water source.”
Penguins have a very high salt load because they drink sea water to quench thirst and eat a lot of salty foods like crustaceans. Located above the nose, in between the eyes, the supraorbital gland lends a helping hand. Both the kidney and supraorbital gland filter salt from the blood in a process called counter-current exchange.