Saturday, December 20, 2008

jaw dropping facts

  • if you could spread out your lungs on the ground, unravelling all the the tiny little pockets, they would cover a tennis court

  • the longest tape worm ever found in a human was 33 metres (around 108ft long)

  • an amoeba common in water can travel up your nose while you are swimming and live in your brain, where it multiplies rapidly and kills you in three to seven days

  • when you die, the bacteria in your gut start to eat away at you from the inside

  • Rhinotillexomania is the scientific word for picking your nose

  • Hookworms can infest people who walk barefoot. they bore through the skin of the feet and travel in the blood to the lungs, where they come out and crawl up to the throat, to be swallowed and start a new life in the gut

  • Horses killed in the first world war were recycled as explosives. their fat was removed and boiled down to be used in making TNT

  • In Texas, there is an annual rattle snake round-up. what to do with all the rattle snakes? skin them, gut them, cut them into chunks, cover in batter and deep fry. another way of cooking snakes in Texas- cut the head off, skin and gut it, poke a stick into the neck, wrap the snake loosely around the stick and roast over a campfire

  • the worst flu epidemic ever came in 1918 at the end of World War I. it killed 21million people- twice as many as died in the war

  • all the bacteria living inside your body would fill 6 teaspoons

  • urine doesn't contain bacteria. becalmed or shipwrecked sailors used to drink it with no ill-effects

  • a very fat person who flushes an aeroplane toilet while still sitting on it can have their rectum sucked out by the pull of the toilet's flush

  • Theban king Mithradites (132-63 BCE) took small doses of poison regularly to develop immunity and protect himself from poisoners. when he later wanted to kill himself, the poison he took did not kill him

  • when ancient Egyptians mummified someone, they used a special long-handled spoon to scoop the brains out through the dead person's nose. they often fed the brain to animals

  • most people have mites- very tiny creatures related to spiders, living in their eyelashes, eyebrows, ears and noses

  • pilgrims to the Tirupati temple in India give some of their hair as a sacrifice. the temple employs 600 barbers who work day and night to shave pilgrims, taking 6.5 million gifts of hair a year. the hair is sold to wig-makers and for use as fertilizer

  • Bedouin wedding feasts sometimes include a roast camel, stuffed with a sheep, stuffed with chickens. stuffed with fish and stuffed with eggs

  • flavours of ice cream available in Japan include octopus, ox tongue, cactus, chicken wing and crab

  • the Mongolian ruler Ghengis Khan imposed the death penalty for urinating in water because water was so precious in the Mongolian desert

  • in Anglo-Saxon England, people who died in a famine were eaten by their neighbours!

*these facts are taken from the book Horrible Facts

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