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In this modern world, where the amount of fake news, alternative facts, scams, and quasi-claims seem to be off the charts, it’s easy to doubt things. But despite our suspicions, many of us still enjoy and seek out good "truth is stranger than fiction" stories. Because life is weird. Science is crazy. Evolution is wild. And there are so many staggering or downright surreal things happening right under our noses we don't even notice.

Chances are, you've stumbled upon at least one piece of trivia that is so weird, it sounds totally made up. And you’re definitely not the only one. There’s an entire thread on 'Ask Reddit' where this subject matter takes center stage. "What is a true fact that sounds fake?" asked user TheMemeing and inspired hundreds of members to share their intriguing tidbits of knowledge immediately.

From snails having 14,000 teeth to Mantis shrimp generating light, just because something sounds a little bogus, it doesn’t mean it’s not real. We've gathered some of the most illuminating responses from the thread, so continue scrolling! Although remember that a little healthy skepticism goes a long way, so put your thinking caps on and take everything you read online with a pinch of salt. Then upvote the facts that surprised you most, and be sure to share your own nuggets of information with us in the comments.

Psst! When you've finished this list, take a look at our previous post filled with fake-sounding facts here.

#1

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses The oldest hotel in the world is The Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Japan and has been in business since 705AD. The crazy thing is that it’s still a family business. For 52 generations

novaorld , Boltor Report

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#2

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Female dragonflies drop out the sky and pretend to be dead to avoid unwanted male advances.

SuvenPan , Stijn Dijkstra Report

#3

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Donald Trump was actually the US President at one time.

Zinger2020 , Shealah Craighead Report

#4

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses In 1895 there were 2 cars out of the entire state of Ohio and they still managed to crash into each other

Infamous_fire94 , dan_jimeta01 Report

#5

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses There’s a penguin named Brigadier Sir Nils Olav III who is the ceremonial head of the Norwegian Royal Guard

Poorly-Drawn-Beagle , wikipedia Report

#6

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Nestle intentionally created a famine by giving put free formula in African countries and pushed a campaign that said it was healthier than breast milk. Then when most of the population had converted and dwindled the number of mothers capable of nursing, they began charging exorbitant prices for formula. this caused thousands of children to starve to death and they got away with it.

CxT_The_Plague , Raúl Hernández González Report

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#7

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses There are more slaves today than in any point in history

tranc3rooney , Rio Lecatompessy Report

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Waite Forit
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And there are still slaves in the United States. The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution allows "slavery or forced labor" as punishment for a crime. At this time, there are approximately 800,000 prisoners who are forced to work - including many who do manufacturing work for the 4,200 corporations that utilize prison labor. Source: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Captive Labor: Exploitation of Incarcerated Workers, June, 2022

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#8

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses The national animal of Scotland is the unicorn.

klakkrr , Paul Bill Report

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#9

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Oxford University predates the Aztec Empire by 3.5 centuries.

astrielx , Anna Kozlova Report

#10

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Humans can smell geosmin (the chemical released when it rains or snows) at 5 parts per trillion. Which means that humans are 200,000 times more sensitive to smelling geosmin than sharks are at smelling blood.

spookyskelley , Andriyko Podilnyk Report

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Angela B
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Isn't the smell after rain called petrichor....or something like that? Happy to be corrected if am mistaken.

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#11

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Dinosaurs were around for so long that there were already dinosaur fossils while they were still alive.

Basically, as T-Rex was munching away on Triceratop steaks, Stegosaurus had already been dead and underground for millions of years by that point.

mjohnsimon , Narciso Arellano Report

#12

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses People were on the moon before they put wheels on suitcases.

sheepywife , Pixabay Report

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Nathaniel
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I am picturing Neil Armstrong awkwardly carrying a few suitcases onto the shuttle.

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#13

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses In the Pompeii eruption, the extreme heat caused some victims' brain tissue to turn to glass.

0ddcharlie , wikipedia Report

#14

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses The Mantis shrimp punches so hard it generates light.

Angel_OfSolitude , Amber Wolfe Report

#15

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Johnny Cash was the first westerner to learn of Joseph Stalin’s death in 1953. He was a morse code operator at the time

gavh428 , CBS Television Report

#16

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses From 1912 to 1948, the Olympics awarded official medals for painting, sculpture, architecture, literature and music, alongside those for the athletic competitions.

Lone_Wolf_888 , Dave Kim Report

#17

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses The greenland shark, has a life expectancy of between 250-500 years. That means there could be a greenland shark swimming around, that swam the oceans when the Spanish conquistadors went to search Mexico for gold, which at that time, were inhabited by the Aztecs.

Eremitic23 , wikipedia Report

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XenoMurph
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I knew a guy who was bitten by a shark. He went to Oxford. So Oxford university predates the Aztecs, and a shark predates Oxford University students.

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#18

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Bananas are berries and strawberries aren't.

sushandeep , alleksana Report

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blobby_grrl
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

TF... I think I've been lied to my whole life.... I think I need some time to think about this....

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#19

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Koalas are so dumb that they can't recognise a eucalyptus leaf if it isn't attached to a tree.

thedragoncompanion , Valeriia Miller Report

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Nathaniel
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That is just what they want us to think.... And when we are least expecting it, Planet Of The Koalas!

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#20

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses More people drown in the desert than die of dehydration.

mitchade , Amine M'siouri Report

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Monday
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes but heatstroke will kill you far quicker than dehydration too, which probably adds to that statistic. People who die in the desert die of heatstroke before dehydration can kill them.

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#21

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Alligators will give manatees the right of way if they are swimming near each other

Duncan970 , Lia Schmidt Report

#22

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Sharks existed before grass.

Yrrebnot , Tomáš Nožina Report

#23

Placebo medicine is more effective if patient is told it's expensive.

capable_taco Report

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Yubo
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I absolutely love the placebo effect! If it can decrease my pain, then give me another! It's a reminder that our brain is very powerful.

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#24

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses The ancient Egyptian empire lasted more than 3000 years. It has been less time since the empire fell.

librician , Alex Azabache Report

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Khara Mei
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There were Egyptologists in Ancient Egypt. Yes, really. Tey restored older monuments and stuff.

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#25

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Snails have 14,000 teeth and eat bones and meat not just vegetables.

Feathertail80 , PhotoMIX Company Report

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#26

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses A fully loaded Amazon Kindle is a billionth of a billionth of a gram heavier than an empty one.

Aggravating_Speed665 , freestocks.org Report

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sofacushionfort
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Here’s an 8-minute video on the mass of very small and very large things: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VYvM70MLiZY

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#27

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses McDonalds feeds 1% of the world’s population daily.

UniquePotato , C. Cagnin Report

#28

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Butterflies are fond of cow s**t, fresh blood, and corpses.

itsme_Imtheproblem , Pixabay Report

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Karen Grant
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have no right to judge the butterflies, but this is overwhelming. I thought they would love flowers and cotton candy.

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#29

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses There’s a type of mold that, as a single celled organism, can move around by itself, learn, recognise colours and solve mazes. there are many species of slime mold that can come in all colours such as banana yellow, hazard-jacket orange and, fittingly, slime green.

WesternApplication76 , mountainamoeba Report

#30

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Australia has the largest amount of wild camels in the world.

There are more pet tigers in Texas than there are in the wild of the entire planet.

Black---Sun , Frans van Heerden Report

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blobby_grrl
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The one about Oz is understandable: we also have more sheep than people over here (3.3 sheep to every person- weird fact, right?), but the Texas one is slightly concerning...

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#31

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is the fear of big words.

Kiabobiia , Thought Catalog Report

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#32

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses Hot water freezes faster than cold water. Mpemba effect. The guy who discovered it (in modern times, since Aristotle wrote about it) was ridiculed by everybody including his own teacher, but 6 years later the results were published and is considered fact.

BowDownToThor , Eva Bronzini Report

#33

The creation of sticky notes was a result of glue that wasn’t sticky and deemed a failure( 3M)

The formula was put in the records as a failure and later a scientist found it to be useful to stick notes to his workbench.

Then we got sticky notes

SnooRadishes3472 Report

#34

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden were turned away from a German restaurant in 2011 since there were no free tables and they didn't have a reservation.

ronin668 Report

#36

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses The chainsaw was invented to aid in childbirth. It was used and invented in the 1700s to cut through the woman's pelvic bone before C-sections became the commonplace way to deliver babies.

YourMomSmokesMeth , Karolina Grabowska Report

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Bernd Herbert
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Modern medicine is one of the most important advances in human history. (which makes it even dumber to act against it)

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#37

When Joe Biden was born, he was closer to Abraham Lincoln's presidency than his own.

JustAShi**yProducer Report

#38

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses The lighter was invented before matches.

Unhappy-Nail-9281 , Ricardo Liberato Report

#39

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses The day Michael Jackson's hair caught fire while filming a Pepsi commercial was the exact middle of his life.

Born: August 29, 1958

(9,281 days)

Pepsi incident: January 27, 1984

(9,281 days)

Died: June 25, 2009

divshappyhour Report

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Sheila Stamey
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I can hear some kid going, " he caught on fire doing a Pepsi commercial?" Yep. Thanks to fireworks plus hair products.

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#40

Someone Asked People "What Is A True Fact That Sounds Fake?" And 40 Delivered Illuminating Responses The Michelin Star system was developed by Michelin tires.

Pasghetti_Western , Ye Massa Report

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Elizabeth Elliot
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

To encourage people to drive to the south of France and wear out their tyres. Seriously!

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Note: this post originally had 77 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.