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People share useless facts that simply won't leave their heads

random facts, viral reddit
Photo by Sean Benesh on Unsplash

Some facts are only useful for trivia contests.

Ah, useless facts. Random knowledge that serves no purpose other than to take up space in our brains, and maybe, just maybe, win a trivia game (yeah right) or kill time at a party (I’ve forgotten, what’s a party?).

Leave it to Ask Reddit to resurface all things odd and amusing, though. People shared their own useless facts that live rent free in their heads. And though they might be pointless, they are certainly entertaining.

Without further do:


  Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.

Yep, this useless fact has stayed with us since elementary school On the bright side, it’s been the source of many a fun meme.

Vending machines are more deadly than sharks.

animation domination lol GIF by gifnewsGiphy

Think about this next time you go to retrieve a Snickers bar: Between 2002 and 2015, the National Electronic Surveillance System reported that vending machines caused four deaths per year in the U.S. Mostly due to people tipping the machines onto themselves.

Compare that to the shark-related deaths averaging out to just 0.6 deaths per year. Not sure how only about half of a person is considered dead, but math was never my strength.

This statistic might need to be taken with a grain of sea salt however, given that those in landlocked states have next-to-zero chances of experiencing a shark attack. But there you have it, a useless fact to use when you’re at the beach.

Snails have teeth.

horror finger GIF by absurdnoiseGiphy

“They’re not big enough teeth to hurt humans. That’s what makes it a useless fact to know. & it won’t leave my head because it’s juuuuuust disturbing enough to make me rethink my entire opinion on snails.” – ghosts-go-boo

But cows do not.

At least, no upper front teeth. Makes chewing—and dentist visits—easier I suppose.

The Sun is about 400 times bigger than the Moon but also about 400 times farther away from Earth. So they look to be about the same size.

File:Solar eclipse 1999 4.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org

This explains how the sun can be completely blocked in an eclipse.

Pigeons and doves are in the same bird family.

Happy Animation GIF by sahlooterGiphy

Columbidae is a subspecies of birds that are stout bodied, with short necks, and primarily feed on seeds, fruits and plants. Though one lives on as a symbol of peace and love, and the other is often considered a flying rat, the names are practically interchangeable.

However, thinking about Stevie Nicks singing, “just like a white-winged pigeon” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

The length of a jiffy…

back to the future great scott GIFGiphy

According to ScienceFocus.com, physicists use a “jiffy” to define how long light takes to travel one femtometer (which is a tiny fraction of a millimeter). In layman’s terms, one jiffy equals one-fiftieth of a second.

So next time you say, “be back in a jiffy,” know that you better return really, really, really fast.

Most corn is inedible for humans.

corn on teal surfacePhoto by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

1% of the corn grown in the USA is sweet corn (the corn you eat as corn). The other 99% is field corn (or dent corn), which is fairly inedible raw and needs to be processed before human consumption. This field corn is also what they use for non-edible corn products, like ethanol, paint, cosmetics, etc. Yes, most corn goes to livestock feed. Ethanol and High Fructose Corn Syrup are up there as well. Yes, if you're driving on a highway and are passing fields of corn, you very likely cannot eat it.” – Kat_lbltko1pl

Infants have flexible bones.

stretching GIF by AFV BabiesGiphy

Ever wonder why toddlers seem so much more flexible? This is because a baby’s skeleton if very different from an adult's. Babies are born with about 300 bones (94 more than adults) that are joined together with pliable cartilage to make that whole birth thing possible. As they get older, the bones will fuse together. And suddenly that toe touch is nothing but a distant dream of the past.

Numbers from 1-999 don't have the letter "a" in word form.

white printing paper with numbersPhoto by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Some vowels just don’t get the respect they deserve.

John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald are both known by three names. And each full name is composed of 15 letters.

surprised season 4 GIFGiphy

Actually, this is not entirely correct. Oswald’s full name was not used until after Kennedy’s assassination, due to his habit of adopting false names.

Cockroaches molt.

Unlike a reptile shedding it’s skin, cockroaches molt out of their entire exoskeleton. Out crawls a soft, fleshy, ghostly-white creature that will turn brown over a few hours. You’re welcome for the nightmare fuel.

There you have it. Gems of wisdom no one asked for. They say knowledge is power. But in this case, I’d say knowledge is unnecessary. But still fun!

How often should you wash your jeans?

Social media has become a fertile breeding ground for conversations about hygiene. Whether it’s celebrities bragging about how little their family bathes or battles over how often people should wash their sheets or bras.

One of the debates that gets the most diverse responses is how often people wash their denim jeans.

Denim atelier Benjamin Talley Smith tells Today that jeans should be washed "as little as possible, if at all.” Laundry expert Patric Richardson adds they should be cleaned “after nine or 10 wearings, like to me, that is the ideal." At that point, they probably have stains and are "a little sweaty by that point, so you need to wash 'em," Richardson says.

Still, some people wash and dry them after every wear while others will hand wash and never hang dry. With all these significant differences of opinion, there must be a correct answer somewhere, right?

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Internet

Woman's rare antique turned away from 'Antique Roadshow' for beautiful heart-wrenching reason

"I just love you for bringing it in and thank you so much for making me so sad."

Photos by Murat Rahim Caglak and Antoni Shkraba via Canva

Woman's antique turned away from 'Antique Roadshow'

People come by things in all sorts of ways. Sometimes you find something while at a garage sale and sometimes it's because a family member passed away and it was left to them. After coming into possession of the item, the owner may be tempted to see how much it's worth so it can be documented for insurance purposes or sold.

On a recent episode of BBC One's Antique Roadshow, a woman brought an ivory bracelet to be appraised. Interestingly enough, the expert didn't meet this rare find with excitement, but appeared somber. The antique expert, Ronnie Archer-Morgan carefully explains the purpose of the bracelet in what appears to be a tense emotional exchange.

There would be no appraisal of this antique ivory bracelet adorned with beautiful script around the circumference. Archer-Morgan gives a brief disclaimer that he and the Antique Roadshow disapprove of the trade of ivory, though that was not his reason for refusing the ivory bangle.

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Kayleigh Donahue explains the differences between the U.S. and Europe.

American-born TikTok user Kayleigh Donahue is going viral on the platform because of her unflinching take on why it was a mistake for her to move back to the U.S. after spending 4 years in Ireland.

She now lives in the Boston area.

Kayleigh moved back to the U.S. from Ireland to make more money, but that didn’t go as planned. Even though she got paid more, the cost of living was so much higher that she saved less money than she did in Ireland. She also missed the generous number of vacation days she got in Europe as compared to America.

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Education

The amount of money Americans budgeted for food 100 years ago is mind-boggling

If we think our grocery bills are high now, it's nothing compared to what families spent in the early 1900s.

Even if we shop at the most expensive stores, we still don't spend as much of our income on food as they did in 1901.

As inflation following the COVID-19 pandemic peaked in the summer of 2022, Americans keenly felt it at the grocery check-out. It seemed as if prices had gone up on everything, and our food budgets took a hit. Even though inflation has eased since then, many of us are still lamenting the amount we're spending on groceries and dining out every month.

A New York Post headline ominously pronounced in February 2024 that "Americans have not spent this much of their incomes on food since the Gulf War," citing a federal statistic that U.S.consumers spent 11.3% of their disposable income on food—a higher percentage than we've seen in the past 30 years.

But as they say, it's all relative. While we balk at spending 11% of our income on food, families in the early 1900s would have been thrilled at spending that little on food.

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Pop Culture

Matt Damon shared the wildest story about his rescued 'jungle cat' from Costa Rica

"At no point in this story did I have any idea what would happen next," one viewer wrote.

@colbertlateshow/TikTok, Canva

The cat distribution system reaches even the depth of the jungle.

The cat distribution system always works. Even for celebrities. Just ask Matt Damon.

While appearing on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” the “Jason Bourne” actor shared the wildest story about a stray cat he had adopted 10 years ago during a month-long stay at an Airbnb in Costa Rica.

After hearing him describe this next level kitty, you’ll understand why he describes him as “the coolest cat you’ve ever seen.”

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Family

‘Against their beliefs’: Parents won't let daughter go to boy’s Taylor Swift birthday party

“Like what religion is out here saying, ‘Thou shalt not listen to Taylor Swift?’”

via Jolene Dolo (used with permission)

Popular TikTokker Jolene Dolo.

A TikTok video by the mother of a gender non-conforming son is a masterclass in refusing to be baited into a confrontation, no matter how tempting it may be. It all started when TikTokker Jolene Dolo’s 8-year-old son, Sam, sent out invitations to his Taylor Swift-themed birthday party.

Jolene told Upworthy that Sam doesn’t have a favorite Swift song, but his favorite album is “Lovers.”

“My 8-year-old Sam is having a Taylor Swift birthday party, and yesterday I received a text message from a parent of a child who was invited letting us know that their child will not be attending because it is against their beliefs,” Jolene began.

“I'm not exactly sure what belief system you have, like what religion is out here saying, ‘Thou shalt not listen to Taylor Swift?’” she continued.

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