random facts, viral reddit
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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 gifnews Giphy

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 absurdnoise Giphy

“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 Commons commons.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 sahlooter Giphy

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 GIF Giphy

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 surface Photo 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 Babies Giphy

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 numbers Photo 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 GIF Giphy

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!

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.

Family

Two sisters ask their stepmom to adopt them with sweet memory book

"We were already calling her mom because it felt so natural."

Gabriella Ruvolo/TikTok

Gabriella and Julianna Ruvolo asked their stepmom to adopt them in a touching video.

Sisters Gabriella and Julianna Ruvolo know that they're extremely lucky. Their stepmom Becky Ruvolo has been there for them for most of their lives and it's clear that they're grateful to her for it. On May 9, Gabriella posted a video to TikTok to share the very special way the young women honored their stepmom for Mother's Day.

In the short clip, you can see Becky flanked by the two girls, flipping through a book. On the video are the words "After 12 years… we finally asked our step-mom to adopt us." As Becky goes through the pages, you can see her becoming increasingly more emotional before she gets to the last page. By then, all three of the women are crying.

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