It’s always good to stay informed and continue to grow your branch of knowledge. But you know how they say ignorance is bliss? That might just be true about the facts you’re about to digest — they’re better left unknown. For example, if you have ever wanted to learn how to do something really important, you can find it on the Internet — especially WikiHow. Maybe you’ve seen the movie “Frozen” and have the urge to become a snowman like Olaf. No problem! They include nine easy steps, like: Be friendly, love the idea of summer, act childishly and whimsically, and be giggly and laugh more. Do you want to build a snowman?
Sticking with that whole, “I hope I’m not dead” theme, I hate to tell you this but if you go to the doctor, there’s a chance you’ll be the victim of a medical error. A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine says medical errors should rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States, with 250,000 deaths a year attributed to medical errors like a misdiagnosis or botched surgery. If you’re wondering how that breaks down, that’s about 684 per day.
Think about this the next time you’re in a pond or a river in the United States: it could contain brain-eating amoeba. The single-celled organisms go by the scientific name Naegleria folweri, and may infect people who swim in lakes or rivers. They infect people through the nose. Once they have a toehold there, they travel up to the brain, where they destroy tissue.Initial symptoms, which start within the first week of infection, include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and stiff neck. Later symptoms include confusion, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations. Death typically occurs within 12 days. Happy swimming!
Who doesn’t love cats? They’re furry little weirdos who generally command attention from their humans at their leisure. But what would they do if you passed away? Chances are, try to eat you. There was a case in which a man took his own life. When he was found three days later, his head, neck, and part of his arm were completely defleshed right down to the bone. But here’s the weird thing: He had 10 cats, and all of them had died, too. Apparently, he overdosed on prescription medicine, and when his cats feasted on his face and body, they also died of poisoning. Not so fluffy and fun now, huh?
There’s nothing like a romantic kiss to really set the mood, right? You might just want to give that a hard pass when you learn that a 10-second “intimate kiss” can transfer a whopping 80,000,000 bacteria from one mouth to another. Those who are in a long-term relationship are more likely to have the same types of microbiota present in their mouths, seeing as they’re swapping spit with each other more frequently. Pucker up!
If you’ve ever had dry skin — and who hasn’t? — you know that if can often be brushed off and crack if you don’t moisturize. But the actual lining of the skin turns over every two to four weeks, and we shed about 40 pounds of skin throughout our lifetime. To break that down a little bit more, that equates to roughly 500 million skin cells shed every day. Think about that next time you itch your arm or go to dust a table.
Jellyfish are fascinating creatures to look at, but you should never get too close, especially if you see an Irukandji jellyfish — they can kill you. According to jellyfish taxonomist Lisa Gershwin, side-effects of their sting include pain that feels like someone is drilling through your back, sweats so bad that sheets have to be wrung out every 15 minutes, difficulty breathing, constant nausea and vomiting for up to 12 hours, and muscle restlessness to name a few. Long story short, stay away.
What about an animal that shoots blood out of its eye? That’s the case for horned toads and lizards, and it’s actually quite useful for them despite being horrific for us to see. When they feel threatened by a predator, its final defense response is to shoot blood from these flooded sinuses and out its eye sockets. As a result, the predator is often frightened and flees. The lizard also uses this mechanism to remove foreign particles from the surface of its eyes.
Let’s put all the cards on the table and say that everybody pees, even though most people don’t talk about their urine a lot of the time. But your urine has about 100,000 bacteria per ml, which might sound like a lot and force you to wash your hands 43 times after peeing. However, there’s something even more germy — your mouth. Specifically, your spit, which has about 100 million bacteria per ml with between 500 to 650 different species.
Children can be wonderful and sweet and innocent, but they can also be creepy, more so when you find out that about one-fifth of them report hearing voices. That’s a whopping 20 percent. “For many children, these experiences appear to represent a ‘blip’ on the radar that does not turn out to signify any underlying or undiagnosed problem,” said Dr Ian Kelleher, from the Department of Psychiatry at the Royal College of Surgeons. “However, for the other children, these symptoms turned out to be a warning sign of serious underlying psychiatric illness, including clinical depression and behavioral disorders, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.”
Let’s go to the worst case scenario here and say that the sun blew up. Chances are we’re all going to die, but how long until we actually found out that sun burst? It takes eight minutes and twenty seconds for light to travel from the sun to the earth, so we would not know that the sun had exploded until eight minutes and twenty seconds after the explosion occurred. Most of the energy from such an explosion would be traveling at the speed of light or nearly as fast, so life on earth would end pretty much as soon as the first of sign of the explosion arrived. But don’t worry — that won’t likely happen.
Oh, great. Here’s another insect we have to worry about taking over our bodies. Yay! The human bot fly is a large, densely haired fly that looks like a bumblebee that’s native to Central and South America. The fly is not known to transmit disease-causing pathogens, but the larvae will infest in the skin of mammals — including humans — and live out the larval stage in the subcutaneous layer, causing painful pustules that secrete fluids. No thanks. Hard pass.
For example, if you’re murdered in America, there’s a one in three chance that the police won’t identify your killer. According to NPR, criminologists estimate that at least 200,000 murders have gone unsolved since the 1960s. I guess you won’t really be upset, seeing as you’re dead, but your family and friends might just want closure.
If you have a dog — first of all, they might also try to eat your corpse, but we’ll move on from that — they probably have a squeaky toy, and it’s fun watching them chase it and play around with it. But it turns out the reason they might like it so much is that they mimic the scream of their prey. There’s a theory that they rip the squeaker out of the toy because as long as it squeaks, the dog still thinks it’s alive. Then again, maybe they just like the noise. Yes, let’s go with that.
Who doesn’t love a good cup of joe? Whether you’re shelling out the big bucks at a local coffee shop or brewing the beans up at home, the taste and ritual of it all are a daily staple for most. So I’m sorry to have to tell you that more than 90 percent of coffee mugs are covered with germs. And — here’s the kicker — 20 percent of those mugs contain fecal matter. Poop. On your mug. This is more so the case in public places, like the office, so maybe just stick to brewing it up at home. And wash those hands.