17 Debbie Downer Facts To Whip Out At The Next Party You Go To
The world is awful and it's time to acknowledge that.
1. Milk doesn’t build strong bones. If you’re a woman, it actually weakens them.
A Swedish study found that women who regularly drank three glasses of milk a day were more likely to break their bones than women who drank less. Public health campaigns educating the masses on the benefits of dairy were launched after World War II, when Americans had a surplus of dairy product left over from the war. Fucks given about women’s health: 0.
2. Two dogs were killed during the Salem witch trials along with all of the humans.
It's sad enough that actual humans were targeted and murdered during this wave of hysteria, but our Puritan forefathers didn’t stop there. In October 1692, a girl accused a dog of trying to bewitch her. It was shot and proclaimed innocent after death, as a bedeviled dog probably wouldn’t have died. In the second case, a different dog was shot after its owner was accused of torturing it with magic.
3. Rectal feeding was once a valid medical practice and not just, uh, torture.
NBC / Via giphy.com
For the pure of heart, this is the process of forcing liquid food up the rectum in the hopes nourishing the body, which is not how our digestive system works at all. At one point we even tested it out on dogs. When doctors were treating President James Garfield after he was shot, they decided what he needed was rectal feeding, stat. Some people believe this to be the cause of his death.
4. The Curiosity Rover sings happy birthday to itself every year it's on Mars.
Every (earth) year on August 8th, Curiosity is programmed to mimic the song, which eerily ringing out over the vast, desolate surface of Mars.
5. Native Americans have only been American citizens for 93 years.
The United States, fyi, just turned 241 and Native Americans have lived in America for thousands of years. Even after Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act in 1924, some states found ways to disenfranchise Native Americans well into the 1960s.
6. “Penis fencing” exists and it is as unsexy as it sounds.
Flatworms are a type of hermaphroditic worm and they penis fence to determine who will bear offspring. The first one to stab the other wins fatherhood, freedom, and bragging rights.
7. If you're a cow in the European Union, you might be making more bank than actual humans.
The beef trade is so heavily subsidized in the EU that Mark Vaille, Australian trade minister in 2005, pointed out that the average cow makes $2.20 per day. He calculated that this was more than what 1.2 billion people from the poorest parts of the world survive on daily. Today, about 767 million people survive on less than $1.90 per day.
8. The lake from that iconic Dirty Dancing scene no longer exists.
The lake experiences a rare phenomenon where it dries up every so often as part of a purification system. It dried up in 2008 and has yet to refill itself.
9. Baby tiger sharks eat their siblings in utero.
Some scientists believe this happens because tiger shark mating rituals involve the hot practice of males aggressively biting the female. If a female carries babies from multiple male sharks around and lets them fight it out in utero, then she doesn’t have to spend a bunch of energy searching for the most dominant partner to reproduce with.
10. Dr. Seuss' wife killed herself because he cheated on her while she had cancer.
The man we all associate with fun, goofy children's books had a dark personal life. His first wife Helen, a fellow children’s book author, had many health problems, and was illl with cancer when she found out he was having an affair with a younger woman named Audrey Stone Dimond. Helen overdosed on barbiturates, leaving behind a note that said, "I am too old and enmeshed in everything you do and are that I cannot conceive of life without you. My going will leave quite a rumor, but you can say I was overworked and overwrought. Your reputation with your friends will not be harmed."
11. There is a whale called "the loneliest whale in the world" because it sings in a different frequency than other whales, meaning it can hear them, but they can't hear it.
It's been called the 52-hertz whale because that frequency is so much higher than any other whale species that it basically talks to itself as it circles the ocean alone. Poor baby!
12. Bees can get depressed.
Researchers have found that when honeybees get stressed, not only do they become pessimists, they also display altered levels of dopamine, serotonin, and octopamine, which are associated with depression. What a bzzz kill.
13. That fresh-cut grass smell is actually a distress signal because the grass is going through trauma.
Plants have feelings, too! Grass and other plants release chemical compounds when they're attacked that sure smell nice, but are actually a cry for help to create more cells ASAP.
14. When you put dirty underwear in the laundry, the rest of your clothes get contaminated with fecal matter.
Apparently, trying to make your clothes cleaner can actually just cover them in disgusting bacteria. "If you wash a load of just underwear, there will be about 100 million E. coli in the wash water, and they can be transmitted to the next load of laundry," Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, told ABC News. "There's about a tenth of a gram of poop in the average pair of underwear."
15. The corpses of about 200 failed climbers on Mount Everest are used as guide points for climbers on their way up.
The freezing cold air near the summit of Everest has eerily preserved all those dead bodies, making them helpful, if ominous, landmarks.
16. Pluto didn't get to make one whole orbit of the sun in the time between its discovery in 1930 and its demotion in 2006.
It takes 248 years for Pluto to complete an orbit! It won't complete its first one since its discovery until 2178.
17. Scientists accidentally killed the world's oldest animal when they discovered it in 2006.
Ming the clam was discovered off the coast of Iceland by accident when it was 507 years old, but it was killed by that act of discovery — scientist dredged it up and froze it, which killed it, before they realized how old it was.