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Science is a gift that keeps on giving. It enables us to understand some of the world’s most mind-boggling phenomena and the constant discoveries mean that there’s always something new to learn.

Redditors recently shared some astonishing scientific facts with the 'Ask Reddit' community. Thanks to the user rambojambo11 who started the discussion on this topic, they compiled quite a collection of pieces of information that sound unbelievable. We have combed through it to present to you some of the most fascinating ones, so keep scrolling for your daily dose of science. Also, if you get hooked after reading this list, don’t worry, there’s more here.

Bored Panda has reached out to rambojambo11 and they were kind enough to answer a few of our questions. You will find their thoughts below.

#1

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True Infrared light was discovered all the way back in 1800. By accident. With a thermometer.

William Herschel (who also discovered Uranus) was experimenting with a prism. He wanted to see if different colors of light had different temperatures. So he had the room completely dark except a beam of light hitting a prism and casting a rainbow onto the table. He had placed thermometers in each color band to see if there was a difference. As a control, he had an additional thermometer past the ene of the light below the red band.

Except when he compared his readings he got something strange: the control thermometer was reading the highest temperature of all. This didn't make any sense. Was his thermometer faulty? He tried a few more tests with more thermometers in other places and came to an inescapable conclusion: there must be an additional invisible "color" below red that carried more heat than any of the visible colors. He named it infrared, which just literally means "below red".

sharrrper , Lemuel Francis Abbott Report

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#2

that the human brain is the only organ in the history of existence that named itself.

mack__7963 Report

#3

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True There was a period of about 50 Million years when we had trees on earth but nothing to decompose dead ones, so they just piled up, and up, deeper and deeper, they got buried and eventually we got coal!

DrTriage , Chalabala Report

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

The Carboniferous period was when trees grew tall, but had shallow roots, and fell over. Trees landed on trees. There was no microbes capable to digesting cellulous of lignin. The trees turned into peat, and then into coal. It wasn't until the lignin and cellulose microbes evolved that trees started becoming compost.

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The Reddit user really got the ball rolling when they asked the community members what is a cool scientific fact that they know that sounds unbelievable. “I am always interested in learning about cool new facts and what better place than Reddit to ask this question!” they told Bored Panda.

Their question attracted roughly 3,000 comments, which must have provided plenty of information for them to get acquainted with. The answers from other redditors covered all sorts of fields, from chemistry to geology and everything in between. The OP, who is a mechanical engineer themselves, said that they have always been fascinated by physics and the universe.

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They also revealed which scientific fact blew their mind the most: “The fact that I love the most and like sharing with people is that the human brain named itself! Given enough time, hydrogen starts to wonder where it came from!”

#4

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True 30-50% of people don’t have an internal monologue.

toasted_oatsnmore , kevin turcios Report

#5

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True The largest organism in the world is a massive underground network of mushrooms.

Easy_Cauliflower_69 , Alison Harrington Report

#6

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True Giraffes’ tongues are black and purple to prevent sunburn while they’re feeding up high.

aprilmayjunejuly21 , Slawek K Report

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

I knew if the colors but not the purpose! We can feed giraffes at our zoo and I love to watch how they curl their tongue around the food!

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#7

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True Sharks pre-date trees

Suuperdad , byrdyak Report

#8

Soap works simply because it makes water **more wet**.

Soap breaks surface tension, easing water's ability to get into cracks and crevices, to wash away dirt deposits.

Engelgrafik Report

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

For dirt, yes. But soap also kills bacteria by disrupting the lipid layer of the cell membranes. This is why you don't need to use "antibacterial soap". Soap is already antibacterial. Antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers kill bacteria with poison, which bacteria can develop resistance to. This is why it's better to use non-antibacterial soap, which bacteria cannot build up resistance to. Antibacterial soap is contributing to the development of "superbugs"--bacteria (and viruses) resistant to antibiotics. Sadface.

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#9

There's a small chance that, if you were to slap your hand on a table, all the molecules in your hand would miss the table and go right through it.

The odds are *astronomically* tiny, but not zero.

tornedron_ Report

#10

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True Magnolias predate bees and were first pollinated by beetles and earlier bug species.

TheBarenJark , Takemaru Hirai Report

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#11

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True The immune system does not encounter viruses and formulate an antibody that matches its shape. Instead, the immune system pumps out random antibodies that sometimes happen to match a virus it comes into contact with, and then begins to produce more of that specific antibody.

davilambic , Fusion Medical Animation Report

#12

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True Water IS actually blueish-greenish in color. It's just a very very weak tint, so it usually appears simply transparent (and reflecfing the color of stuff around and inside it). But when it's in very large volume, in a perfectly white room, under perfectlu white light, the water's very own teal colour becomes visible.



Similarily, the sun seems goldish-orange from Earth due to the atmosphere. The light of the Sun itself is mostly white. However, if we were to analise the light very accurately, it's actually a very subtle pale greenish/lime. We still see it as plain white in space, but I just think it's so cool.

DiagonallyStripedRat , Akira Hojo Report

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#13

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True GPS tracking is not the satellites tracking the object, but the object tracking the satellites.

UnethicalFood , Sandra Tan Report

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

That‘s why it is Bulls**t in Movies when they say „Their car has GPS so we can find it“. No, you can‘t. There‘s no feedback.

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#14

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True If you got sucked into a black whole, time would slow down too. Meaning while you are getting Spaghetiified, time is slowing down to the point where you will watch the universe die with you

Mysterious-Bench-527 , Greg Rakozy Report

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Stardust she/her
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Blackholes are super weird and interesting. They can literally bend spacetime and light which means that you can see every angle of the blackhole by staring at it and not moving

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#15

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True A serving of movie theater popcorn is equivalent to two Big Macs, in terms of calories, saturated fat, and sodium.

heidismiles , Corina Rainer Report

#16

Scientifically:
The odds of my girlfriend having the same key in our city (San Diego) turns out to 1:724,480 but it seems impossible.
After a year of dating, turned out we have the same key to our individual apartments. (Different lock manufacturers)

TheUpsideDownWorlds Report

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#17

There are some Ice Age animals that are so perfectly preserved in permafrost that scientists have been able to find them still with all their soft tissue, hair, and organs. They even found a couple mammoths that still had liquid blood in them and I remember one scientist even tasting the mammoth meat.


Also there was a mummy found in China that was so well preserved that she still had all her skin, hair, organs, etc. Her body was even flexible that you could bend her limbs as if she was alive. They even found her last meal still in her stomach and could perform an autopsy on her to tell you why she died. She died over 2000 years before she was found.

digitalmarketeramil Report

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

Who the **** goes “Oh, I just found this perfectly preserved, marvelous animal from the past - I’m sure I can take a bite!” Sir, respectfully, pack your own lunch.

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#18

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True "The power required to make a 1000 decibel noise for one second is equivalent to the power of the entire sun for 4 billion years"

A family member was talking about a "600 DB" car horn he bought over the holidays, and I was trying to explain to him that 600 DB is enough energy to destroy the planet and then some. Lol

Blacksixki , Daniel X. O'Neil Report

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

Logarithmic scales are a bit confusing. Like earthquakes – a 7.0 is about 32 times more powerful than a 6.0 quake.

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#19

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True The blue whale, at nearly 100 feet long and nearly 200 tons, is the largest animal known to have ever existed.

TwoTheVictor , Georg Wolf Report

#20

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True There was a scientific paper published by a physicist, backed by numerous prominent scientists, that determined that peanut butter has no appreciable effect on the rotation of the Earth...

Cranzeeman , rusvaplauke Report

#21

The key to eternal life is coded into all known DNA cells but so far proven impossible to crack. Every known living thing generates, adds, becomes bigger, better, stronger faster up to a certain point to then suddenly reverse and we don't know why.

When a baby grows it's cells form al sort of usefull things. At around 21 years old the process reverses and science can't figure out why. Technically we should be able to regenerate indefinitely.

Voorniets Report

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

It always amuses me that as a woman, I can grow an entirely new human, but I can't regrow a lost limb/organ.

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#22

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True Female ferrets die if they don't find a partner to make with. Since they don't leave "Heat" Until they're mated with, the Oestrogen overload leads to Anemia, and death.

TheEyeOfLight , zoofanatic Report

#23

A mirror is technically a time machine. When you look at your reflection, you're not looking at your ACTUAL reflection, you're perceiving photons that hit the mirror an immaterially short time before and is just now hitting your eyes. So you're actually seeing a picture of yourself from the past.

That's a vast oversimplification but, yeah.

ThatGamingAsshole Report

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

Hyjacking this fact to say that, because of the same reason as the mirror looking at the past, If an alien race the same distance away as one of the Nebulas Hubble observed were to look at Earth through a telescope, they’d see the dinosaurs

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#24

In the entire records of human history, there are only 16 instances of recorded hammerhead shark bites on humans, and not a single fatality.

siouxsclues Report

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

If you think about it, their mouths aren't really well positioned to bite something as large as a person; it's not what they're evolved for. Hammerheads are generally bottom feeders, sweeping the sand for invertebrates and small buried fish and rays. When Great Whites attack, they can kill because they're evolved to eat large marine mammals like seals, and I know it's not remotely a new idea to point out that a human swimmer or surfer looks a lot like a seal from below, but if you look at it beyond silhouette, it's really not a big jump at all from the size and basic body plan of a seal to a person.

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#25

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True 1.3 million earths can fit inside the sun. 5 BILLION suns can fit inside the largest star ever observed, UY Scuti.

marcw14 , nineplanets.org Report

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Stardust she/her
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

We’re actually really tiny when it comes to the universe. The planets and stars are so far apart that it takes years to get there. If the Milky way was the size of the United States, the sun would be the size of a white blood cell

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#26

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True a photon of light doesnt experience any time from the time it is emitted to the time it is absorbed. It was born, it died, all in one instant.

bonjelascott , Sigmund Report

#27

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True Apart from hosting life, the rarest thing about earth may be its eclipses. It is a complete coincidence that the moon is the same size, and orbits in the path of, our sun.

Wazula23 , Karl Magnuson Report

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

Wow, talk about oversimplyfying... the moon is in no way the same size as the sun.

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#28

Lake Superior can hold all of the water from the rest of the Great Lakes combined with room to spare.


This is more geography, but it always blows my mind when looking at a map that the continent of South America is almost entirely east of the United States.

Marty_Eastwood Report

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

Also if you could empty the Great Lakes and cover the holes, it would fill the continental US with four or five feet of water. Living in Michigan we were taught all these weird and random facts about Michigan. Also also, you can be anywhere in the lower peninsula (the mitten) and have some sort of water source within 1 mile (river, lake, stream, aqua fir(sp), etc)

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#29

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True In Newtonian physics it was generally accepted that a planet call Vulcan was closer to the sun than Mercury. The math needed some kind of extra planet to explain Mercury's weird orbit. Astronomers around the world for a couple hundred years would confirm a sighting, but it would never be there when you tried to use physics to predict where it would be. Even the famous french scientist that found Neptune with math predicted Vulcan using the same formulas. The idea didn't die until Albert Einstein changes physics with special relativity. Suddenly all the orbits of our planets make sense and Mercury has a weird orbit because it is so close to the sun.

Basically, smart dudes figured a planet existed when it didn't because their system didn't work out. It took changing the system to meet reality. Confirmation bias is a scary thing.

Edit: General Relativity not Special.

GoodRighter , claudioventrella Report

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Donkeywheel
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

« smart dudes figured a planet existed when it didn't because their system didn't work out » No, they made an hypothesis to explain the observations, and that’s exactly how science works. One of the other hypothesis was an incomplete model and that led to the relativity theory. There is no « confirmation bias », op does not know what he’s talking about.

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#30

Not super scientific but an animal fact TONS of people refuse to believe. Monkeys are omnivores and they love to eat meat, more so than fruits and vegetables. I mean Monkeys, not apes lots of people group them in the same category

Maximan402 Report

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Liz Clarke
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Chimps have known to hunt for meat too, and they also eat insects. I think only gorillas and orangutans are herbivores- they don't hunt but I'm not sure about insects

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#31

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True Some people have extra spleen or liver that are pea sized.

iremovebrains , Kevin Kandlbinder Report

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DuchessDegu
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My spleen is twisted, doctor found out when I had xrays for a stomach issue. I was a bit worried and asked what does it mean and his answer was "well if it was your nose I'd suggest plastic surgery, but since it's inside just leave it!"

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#32

It's almost 20 kilometres from the top of Everest to Challanger Deep at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Scaled down to size of a billiard ball, the earth would be smoother than any billiard ball ever manufactured.

hackyslashy Report

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#33

The sound of a crack of a whip breaks the sound barrier.

Jccckkk Report

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gerry.garh
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1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The tip of a cracking whip breaks the sound barrier, generating a perceptible sound to humans, not the other way around.

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#34

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True On average Mercury is the closest planet to Earth by a considerable margin.

Fracture_98 , Carlos Kenobi Report

#35

“Confirmation Bias Is A Scary Thing”: People Online Share 35 Scientific Facts That Sound Unbelievable But Are Actually True if someone were to scream nonstop for a year it would generate enough energy to heat up a cup of coffe

GBgabe13 , Usman Yousaf Report

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