Archive for the ‘Fun Facts’ Category

I know, that was a descriptive title. You’re welcome. Anywho, we can all agree that myself and my crack staff here at Shoe: Untied maintain an eclectic site, amirite? I mean, name another site that covers, among other things, politics, sports, humor, nature, education, and dumb people being mauled by animals. You can’t. That said, let’s take a look at some facts you may not know about Antarctica. Seriously, you’ll dig it. Trust me.

Note: Antarctica is the one on the bottom of the earth, but you knew that, right? Right?

There Are Places In Antarctica Which Haven’t Received Rain Or Snow In 2-Million Years

See? Mind already blown. Check to make sure your brain isn’t on the floor behind you. Seriously, in Antarctica around 1% of the continent is permanently ice-free. These areas are called Dry Valleys or Antarctic Oasis.

There’s A Waterfall In Antarctica Which Is Called Blood Falls

Not kidding. And you know why? Because it’s freakin’ red, man. You see, 5-million years ago, as sea levels rose, East Antarctica was flooded and a brine lake was formed there. After millions of years, glaciers formed on top of the lake. As they froze, the water below became even saltier. Still with me? Today, the subglacial lake under Blood Falls is three times saltier than seawater and, therefore, is too salty to freeze. The water beneath Taylor Glacier, which feeds the Blood Fall, contains a lot of iron, and when iron-rich water comes in contact with air, the iron oxidizes and takes on a red coloring, leaving blood-like stains on the ice. Whew. Get all that? Good. Here’s a photo for all you cynical folk.

70% Percent Of World’s Fresh Water Is In Antarctica

Yep. Around 90% of the world’s ice and 70% of the fresh water is in Antarctica. If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels in the world would rise about 200-feet and that trip to your summer beach house would be shot all to hell.

See ya Florida!

The Average Ice Sheet Thickness In Antarctica Is 1-Mile

You know, other than that 1% I told you about earlier.

Sled Dogs Have Been Banned From Antarctica Since 1994

Back in 1911 sled dogs hauled supplies for Norwegian explorers led by Roald Amundsen. It was the first expedition to reach the South Pole. Afterwards, sled dogs were kept and used in Antarctica for years. However, they were banned from the continent in 1993 due to fear that they might transmit canine distemper to the Antarctic seals or would escape and disturb the local wildlife. Good call Antarctica.

Antarctica Has No Official Time Zone

Why, you ask? Because Antarctica is mostly uninhabited. However, a number of research stations use the time zone of the country that operates or supplies them.

Antarctica Is 1.5 The Size Of USA

It’s also twice the size of Australia and 50-times the size of the United Kingdom. In yo face Brits.

See?

Antarctica Is The Only Continent Without Reptiles And Snakes

However, there is an abundance of other forms of wildlife such as whales, seals, penguins and other birds. On a related note, I may or may not have cried while watching March of the Penguins.

Winds Can Reach The Speed Of 200-Miles Per Hour

It rarely snows in Antarctica, but it looks like it because of the wind blowing it around. Illusions and whatnot.

There Are No Polar Bears In Antarctica, Only In The Arctic

True story. See, the Brown bear of North America is the ancestor of the Polar bear. Naturally, Polar bears now live in countries that surround the Arctic Circle – Alaska, Norway, Russia, Canada and Greenland. Consequently, Polar bears do not live in Antarctica, but only in the Arctic, as there was no way they could reach the South Pole. Bears could not handle the tropical temperatures on the way down there anyway, and there is no way to get there by land. Der.

Antarctica Has One ATM

The banking conglomerate Wells Fargo installed an ATM back in 1998 at McMurdo Station, the largest science hub on the continent. While it is near New Zealand territory, the ATM only dispenses US dollars. Aaaand here it is:

Does it look lonely or is it me?

Note: Most facts have been pilfered from the good folks over at Bored Panda.

Note 2: I have no idea if they’re good folks. I don’t even know them.

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Well, it can count for one damn thing. Venus Flytraps are carnivorous, so they wait for some poor unsuspecting schmuck to trigger the little hairs on its leaves and boom, you’re a goner. See, when the prey hits a hair an electric signal tells the plant something is there. If two hairs are disturbed within 20-seconds the trap snaps shut. After a third hair is touched the plant’s digestive juices start flowing an it’s a slow and agonizing death for whatever happened to mosey into its jaws of death. Diabolical.

PS- In the second video you’ll see the Venus Flytrap eat a snake, bloodworms, honeybee, spider, housefly, frog, a big bug, a finger and a goddamn cactus. Dude does not discriminate. Good God almighty.

Around 2,200 people are bitten yearly by Black Widow Spiders in the USA. Contrary to common belief, most people suffer no serious damage and don’t even require medical attention.

While researching our last story, my crack staff here at Shoe: Untied came upon the fact that the prehistoric Dunkleosteus had a staggering bite of 8,000 pounds per square inch. That inspired me to dig further, so I assigned intern Bradley Dirkens the task of finding the Top 10 current animals with the strongest bite. And by the way, our researchers found that results varied wildly. Because of this we averaged our findings. Here’s what the Dirkster found:

Human – 162 psi

On the grand scale of living creatures, this is very low. Good thing we’re smart, amirite? On a related note, I once had a 3rd grader named Jimmy Turkle who I’m pretty sure had a psi of 573.

Jack Russell – 200 psi

I chose the Jack Russell because of my beloved Sparky. He is small but mighty. What Spark lacks in bite he will make up for in attitude and spunk. I also use every excuse I can think of to post photos of my best friend.

The Spark.

Rottweiler – 325 psi

Meh. Pretty sure Spark could take him.

Cougar350 psi

The cougar is second among the big cats. You’ll see who tops this guy shortly.

Gray Wolf406 psi

Wow. Thank God there have been no recorded attacks of wolves on humans in recorded history, despite what you’ve seen in movies.

That stare though.

Giant Otter – 450 psi

Don’t let that cute face fool you, kids. This dude can rip your face off. Giant Otters, man. There are videos of them defeating alligators.

Bring it.

Mastiff – 556 psi

Factoid: The Mastiff has the strongest bite among dogs.

Lion – 691 psi

Ah. The King of the Jungle. But his bite isn’t close to the most powerful among animals, as you’re about to see.

Alligator Snapping Turtle – 1,000 psi

Wait. A Turtle? Yes, a turtle. And a badass turtle indeed. Guys, imagine swimming and this guy takes a bite out of your . . . never mind.

Cutie.

Hyena1,100 psi

This innocent looking bro sort of looks like a cute dog, but he has a bite stronger than a freakin’ lion. ‘Nuff said.

Grizzly Bear – 1,160 psi

No shocker here. Grizzlies have the rep, and it is well-deserved. Crush your skull like you read about.

Polar Bear – 1,200 psi

Don’t let those Pepsi commercials fool you, folks. The Polar Bear is a stone cold killing machine.

Silverback Gorilla – 1,300 psi

Is it me or do most people not think of gorillas as biters? I usually think of them as having brute strength. Either way a bad day for whoever is on the receiving end.

Jaguar – 1,500 psi

The Jaguar. It’s bite is stronger that that of a lion or tiger. It can also crush skulls with one snap of its jaws.

Hippo – 1,800 psi

Many people don’t realize this, but more humans die from being killed by hippos yearly than any other animal. Plus, they’re way faster than you think.

Great White Shark – 4,000 psi

This should come to the surprise of nobody. You know, Jaws and whatnot.

Nile Crocodile – 7,000 psi

Holy Mother of God that’s one helluva bite. Dude could snap a human in half in an instant, and has many times for that matter.

Rat – 7,500 psi

Rats, man. They can gnaw through wood, concrete, and even steel in some cases.

PS- The rat is not included in most of the “strongest bite” articles. Not sure why but I’m sure there’s a reason.

In Denmark studies have found that it’s okay to drink a standard serving of alcohol per day when you are pregnant. According to social norms, not only is it okay, it is expected.

In 1953 an Air Force radio squadron operator was the first American to receive word that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had died. The operator’s name? Johnny Cash.

When the late great legend Burt Reynolds passed away a couple days ago I was reminded that his college roommate was ESPN’s Lee Corso, which is almost too cool to imagine. Because of this I began wondering what other famous people roomed together, so I put my crack staff here at Shoe: Untied on the case. What they found boggled my mind, blew my gourd and made me question the existence of all that is holy.

Ok, maybe that’s a stretch, but there were some surprises. Take a gander . . .

Burt Reynolds & Lee Corso 

As I’ve already mentioned, Burt and Lee roomed together at Florida State in the late 50s when both played on the football team. Reynolds got hurt, and legend has it the Corso encouraged him to pursue his dream of becoming a movie star. The rest, as they say, is history.

Al Gore & Tommy Lee Jones

W-h-u-u-u-u-t? Yep, these guys were roomies at Harvard in the late 1960s. Tommy Lee was, like Burt Reynolds, a football star-turned-actor and Al was, well, the future Vice President of the USA. Jones went on to make cool movies like Men in Black, The Fugitive and Space Cowboys while Gore ended up winning the Nobel Peace Prize, combating climate change and getting screwed out of the 2000 General Election. Power couple, man.

 

Stevie Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham & Warren Zevon

Oh, how I would have loved to have hung out in that apartment. Back in the early 70s, and before they all hit it big, Zevon slept on Stevie and Lindsay’s couch for a few months. Seems Warren was struggling financially and the couple invited him to crash in their NYC pad. Little did they know what lie ahead. For Nicks and Buckingham it was Fleetwood Mac, for Zevon it was Werewolves of London, Excitable Boy and the rest. Stevie even went on to cover Warren’s song “Reconsider Me” in the early 90s. Good stuff.

David Lynch & Peter Wolf

Wow. Imagine hanging with these two at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in the late 60s. Lynch would turn into an amazing director of movies like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive while Wolf would become the lead singer of the freakin’ J. Geils Band. Listen to this cool story of how they met, as recounted by Wolf:

“The first day I arrived back in Boston, I stayed at the Y.M.C.A. for one night, because that’s the most I could afford. The next night I spent sleeping on the Charles River. The third day, since it was raining, I knew I needed to find a place quick. I spent a good deal of time at the school’s hallway bulletin board looking over the “roommates wanted” list, when a voice behind me asked if I was looking to find a roommate. That person turned out to be David Lynch. So that night I moved into his one-bedroom apartment on Hemenway Street. We slept in bunk beds.”

Fate, man.

John Cusack & Jeremy Piven

Oh boy. These guys had to be trouble, amirite? Turns out they grew up in the same hometown of Evanston, Illinois and were childhood buddies. Then, they shared an apartment in the Big Apple. The story has a sad ending though, at least for now. The two had a falling out, reportedly because Cusack resented Piven’s success in the 2000s. Makes zero sense to me and I hope to God it’s wrong because I think both of them are great.

We also found a few more, not-quite-so-interesting roomies:

Tony Dungy & Flip Saunders

Yep, former head coach Dungy of the NFL Colts and Saunders of the NBA Timberwolves roomed together at the University of Minnesota. Tony had to be a boring-ass roommate, man.

Joe Montana & Charlie Weis

NFL Hall of Famer Montana and failed Notre Dame coach Weis roomed together in South Bend wile in college at ND. Weis probably ate all the food.

Ryan Gosling & Justin Timberlake

I was going to make a joke about all the ladies these two had to be pulling in, and then I learned they were both Mouseketeers at the time and were like 13-years old. Then again . . .

Christopher Reeve & Robin Williams

These guys roomed together at Julliard and stayed close. Williams even covered some of Reeves’ medical expenses after he was paralyzed. Reportedly he caused Reeve to smile for the first time after his accident. Cool.

Tom Izzo & Steve Mariucci

This pair roomed together at Northern Michigan and used to talk about becoming big-time coaches. Of course, Izzo ended up as head basketball coach at Michigan State and Mariucci coached the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions. Their dreams became reality.

Gene Hackman & Dustin Hoffman

The story is that Hoffman slept on Hackman and his wife’s floor in NYC in the 50’s for a few weeks until he wore out their patience. They kicked him out and he was replaced by another actor – Robert Duvall.

Kiefer Sutherland & Robert Downey Jr.

Robert and Kiefer shared an apartment in LA for three years in the ’80s before making it big. Robert was going through a rough patch with girlfriend Sarah Jessica Parker at the time, and Kiefer was a shoulder to cry on. True story.

Me & Jed

Back in the late 70s I shared an apartment with a guy who had several college degrees and was smarter than just about any human I’ve ever known before or since. I, on the other hand, had flunked out of OU and only cared about the Tuesday Night Drink ‘n Drown at the Serene Lounge on High Street. Talk about an odd couple. Seriously, Jed was and is a great guy and I have some great memories of the year we spent just off Ohio State campus.

Anyway, surprising roommates. This site is nothing if not eclectic.

On the day the Declaration of Independence was signed, John Adams penned a letter to his wife. It read in part:

 “This day ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.”

His wife didn’t know it at the time, but her husband John Adams had just predicted Independence Day, often called the 4th of July, in the United States of America.

John Adams had been calling for independence for years, long before most of the delegates. Bad. Ass.

And nobody wants their gourd blown, amirite? Wait. Maybe they do. Anyway, there are certain historical facts, usually involving when events occurred, that are a tad mind-blowing and really mess with your perception of time. Check ’em out:

John Tyler, America’s 10th president, was born in 1790. He has 2 living grandchildren.

John Tyler was 63 when his son Lyon was born in 1853. Lyon was 71 when Lyon Jr. was born in 1924, and 75 when son Harrison was born in 1928. Both sons are still alive. Incredible.

Wooly Mammoths were still alive when the Egyptians built the pyramids.

Yep. From 2630 BC–2611 BC.

Oxford University in England existed hundreds of years before the Aztec Empire existed in what is now Mexico.

The Aztec Empire existed from 1428 to 1521, when Cortez showed up to ruin the party. There was evidence of teaching at Oxford University in freakin’ 1096.

George Washington died in 1799. The first dinosaur fossil was found in 1824. George Washington never knew dinosaurs existed.

*Not an actual photo.

Anne Frank, Martin Luther King and Barbara Walters were all born in 1929.

When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, the Spanish had already been living in what is now New Mexico for 100-years. 

They began building the Palace of the Governors in 1610 and it was a thriving settlement by 1620, when the pilgrims sailed in. You might mention that the next time you hear somebody say “Speak English!”

The first McDonald’s was founded 3-years before the first prisoners were brought to Auschwitz.

Yep. The McDonald brothers opened their first restaurant adjacent to the Monrovia Airport in California in 1937. Auschwitz admitted its first prisoners in 1940.

Adolf Hitler and Charlie Chaplin were born the same year, and Charlie had the mustache first.

Charlie also played Hitler in a movie called “The Great Dictator” in 1940.

The Colosseum in Rome was built in 80 AD, the same time the Gospel of Luke and the Acts Of The Apostles were written.

We’re not 100% certain of when those gospels were written, but it’s very close.

The Brooklyn Bridge was being built during the Battle of Little Big Horn.

And the bridge is still in use today. More than 125,000 vehicles, 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 cyclists cross the Brooklyn Bridge every single day. And to think that workers were building it the same day as Custer’s Last Stand.

So, gourd blown? No? Damn it. Mine was. Of course, I’m a little weird when it comes to history. Seriously man, John Tyler has two living grandchildren? That’s just cray-cray.

Have a great rest of the weekend.

The perfect length of a vacation is 8-days. Longer vacations have little benefit. Experts say more vacations are better than long vacations.

A suicide bomber had planned on detonating in Moscow on New Year’s Eve in 2011, using her cell phone as the trigger. On her way to the city her mother called her to tell her to have a safe New Year’s Eve. The bomb detonated, killing her and only her instantly.

1990 is closer to the JFK Assassination than it is to today.

According to studies, 84% of vegetarians eventually go back to eating meat.

30% of Americans don’t drink alcohol. 60% have less than one drink per week. The top 10% have 74 drinks a week.

According to the American Temperament Test Society, 804 American Pit Bull Terriers were tested and 695 passed. This means that 86.4% of Pit Bulls tested by the ATTS had a good temperament. The Pit Bull’s pass rating was above 121 other breeds of dogs, including Golden Retrievers. Pit Bulls have an inclination towards being protective of their owners and property but not to the extent some may think. They are unequivocally not naturally aggressive.

Lightning Bugs fo sho.

Of the 30,000 types of edible plants thought to exist on Earth, just eleven – corn, rice, wheat, potatoes, cassava, sorghum, millet, beans, barley, rye and oats – account for 93% of all that humans eat.

 

 

George Washington died in 1799. The first dinosaur fossil was discovered in 1824. George Washington never knew dinosaurs existed.

12 of the 24 2017 NBA All-Stars are now on different teams.

 

An Amur Tiger can leap 25-feet and can easily jump over a 15-foot wall.

 

‘Tis true.*

*Karl Malone played there very briefly at the end of his career, but still.

Dogs can smell their owners from up to 11-miles away.

 

An adult gray whale in the summer eats approximately 2,400 pounds of food a day. It swallows at least 67-77 tons of food during a four to six month feast on the Arctic feeding grounds.

 

As if we needed more proof that our country is becoming dumber:

A recent study showed that 7% of American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

Military deaths in World War II.