Seven Facts That Will Make You Say, “Wait, What?”

Morgan Culton, Staff Writer

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Do you need some useless knowledge to impress your friends? Here are seven wacky facts that surely won’t disappoint.


1. On Jupiter and Saturn, it rains diamonds.

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On these large gas planets, lightning storms cause the methane in the atmosphere to turn to soot. As it falls, the soot hardens to graphite and then to diamond ( And to think, we on Earth spend hundreds or perhaps thousands for a single cut diamond.


2.You are twice as likely to be killed by a vending machine than you are to be bitten by a shark.

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In the United States, the odds of dying due to a shark attack is about 1 in 250 million, whereas death by vending machine is about 1 in 112 million ( Still, I’ll take my chances with something filled with delicious snacks over something with multiple rows of teeth.


3. Strawberries and raspberries are not berries, but bananas are.

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According to Stanford University, “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 ( I suppose simply calling them “straws” and “rasps” would make them sound a bit less appetizing.


4. The biggest individual flower in the world, the Rafflesia, is a parasite and reeks like rotting flesh.

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This stemless, leafless, and rootless flower grows to be about 3 feet in diameter and weighs more than 20 pounds. It feeds off of vines in the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra and mimics the smell of rotting flesh to attract the carrion flies that pollinate it ( As great as it would be to receive a flower marked as the biggest in the world, I’ll stick with roses on Valentine’s Day.


5. Until 2011, beer was not considered as alcohol, but rather as a soft drink in Russia.

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Pepsi or beer? Before 2011, any drink with an alcohol percentage of 10% or lower in Russia was considered a foodstuff. This enabled beer to be sold like a soft drink until Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed it into law as an alcoholic beverage (


6. Oranges were not named after the color orange. The color orange was named after the fruit.

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Which came first, the fruit’s name or the color? Huffington Post says “the first instance of the word in Anglo manuscript, ‘pume orange,’ dates back to the 13th century (and it was adapted from old French ‘pomme d’orenge’).  And the first use of the word to describe the color is first noted in the 16th century (


7. 15% of the air you breath in a metro station is human skin.

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Biologists from the University of Colorado analyzed air samples from several New York City subway stations from 2007 to 2008 and discovered that about 15% of the matter in the samples was skin ( Maybe I’ll walk next time.



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