Some, like mathematician Roger Antonsen, believe that numbers are the key to understanding the world. (Antonsen even gave a brilliant TED talk to explain this statement, which I highly recommend.) And there's a Reddit thread that vividly illustrates the point.

It started when platform user JustinMGH made a post, asking others to share facts and stats that sound like obvious exaggerations but actually aren't.

Immediately, people started delivering fascinating, weird, and even disturbing titbits of information, changing each other's perspective about everything around them, even if ever so slightly.

#1

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread The difference between million and billion is huge (relatively):
1 Million seconds = 11 Days
1 Billion seconds = 31 years

TheIshark , Sarah-Rose Report

MargyB
Community Member
2 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Was only quoting this today to a workmate, scary!

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#2

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread The budget to send to the Curiosity Rover to the Mars is less than the worldwide military expenditure for thirteen hours

anon , Robert Sullivan Report

#3

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread Cleopatra was alive closer to the Moon landing than she was to the construction of the great pyramids.

anon , Christopher Michel Report

Tabby_Sohee
Community Member
2 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I’ve heard this one a hundred times and it blows my mind every single time… what a history

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#4

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread USA citizens privately own more firearms than all countries combined. Even more than most militaries.

ChikNoods , Jamal Fanaian Report

#5

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread Pocahontas and William Shakespeare died less than a year apart less than 150 miles away from each other.

LibraryLass , Ann Longmore-Etheridge Report

Captain Kyra
Community Member
2 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Barbara Walters, Anne Frank, and Martin Luther King Jr were all born the same year.

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#6

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread The original height of Mount Everest was calculated to be exactly 29,000 ft high, but was publicly declared to be 29,002 ft in order to avoid the impression that an exact height of 29,000 feet was nothing more than a rounded estimate.

Chiper136 , watchsmart Report

#7

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread The typical cloud weighs 1.1 million pounds

anotherpoweruser , C Dustin Report

#8

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread 80% of Soviet males born in 1923 didn’t survive WWII.

anotherpoweruser , Signal Corps Archive Report

Nea
Community Member
2 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I so wish this was a massive exaggeration.

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#9

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread 1 in 2 Australians will get skin cancer in their lifetime

Wibbles20 , Caleb Russell Report

#10

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread Neutron stars are so dense that if you dropped a gummy bear from one meter away it would hit the surface in a microsecond with the force of 1,000 nuclear bombs.

Endless_Vanity , Kevin Gill Report

ThatG
Community Member
2 weeks ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

One teaspoonful of this matter weighs more than 3 billion tons. If we were capable of dropping a small piece of neutron star onto the ground, it would slice through Earth like a bullet through cotton and come out the other side.

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#11

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread The state of Maine has more Black Bears than black people.

The_Real_BenFranklin , Patrick Connelly Report

oktopus
Community Member
2 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This does actually appear to be more-or-less correct, depending on the estimation of the bear population and the accuracy of the first Maine demographic statistics which popped up in a quick web search. Also, with the same caveat, there seems to be approximately one black bear for every square mile of Maine.

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#12

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread Vatican city has a population of 2 popes per 1 square kilometer.

Darghy , Presidenza della Repubblica Report

#13

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread More silent films have been lost than saved

We live in an era where everything is saved, and it's hard to imagine such a massive loss of creative material. Plenty of films are lost, as late as the 1970s too.

ahhh_zombies , Richard Hsu Report

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#14

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread Monsters Inc was released closer to the fall of the Berlin wall than to the present day.

setsomethingablaze , HarshLight Report

#15

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread All the ants in the world weigh about the same as all the people in the world.

Rheul , Anton Darius Report

Headless Roach
Community Member
2 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Also, they work extremely hard and live only about 8 days, while turtles don't do shït and get to live 150 years. Let it sink in.

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#16

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread Nintendo existed at the same time as the Ottoman Empire.

roussell131 , Minh Hoang Report

#17

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread You could walk from North Korea to Norway and only pass through one other country.

Also, your feet would be a little sore.

SexAndCandiru , Samuel Rios Report

#18

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread Radio astronomer here! You exert more energy when you unfold a single piece of paper than we have collected in *all* the radio waves we have *ever* collected from outer space.

Andromeda321 , European Southern Observatory Report

Zara the squid! 🦑
Community Member
2 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Fascinating. I’d love to do research on what’s out there when I’m older

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#19

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread In a room with 23 people there is a ~50% chance that 2 people share a birthday

Phllips , CONG TY THIEN YOGA Report

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#20

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread According to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, every two days human beings create as much information as we did from the dawn of time until 2003.

mortal19 , Chatham House Report

#21

21 Facts That Seem Fake, But Are Actually Real, As Shared In This Online Thread Samsung is responsible for 25% of South Korea's GDP

klxander , DennisM2 Report

Abby
Community Member
2 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I see that. smart phones ,watches. appliances, TVs. and used by so many ppl. I hope the new fridge were getting comes with some free kimchi.

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