The world is full of naked truths and filthy lies. Filthy lies, more often than not, garner more attention and interest. The lies come with a great deal of zeal. If delivered duly, an audacious lie has the capacity to flip any script and change people’s perceptions.
Then there’s the naked truth – mostly sad and lonely. It has no spice, no tanginess. Truth is the truth, plain and simple.
But, every once in a while; accidents, coincidences, and chances lead to a series of events that seems highly unlikely, even impossible. The world runs on probabilities. And as odd as it may sound, sometimes the truth is stranger than fictions.
In a few cases, the truth is unbelievable. Here are 5 such facts (in no particular order):
1. The youngest mother to give birth became pregnant at 4 years old
Lina Medina, from Peru, was 4 years old when she became pregnant in 1938. A year later, she gave birth to a baby boy, who lived with the family as her brother.
Her menstruation cycle began from the age of 8 months, which is rather unfortunate and “extremely early,” according to a later study published by the University of Illinois.
Medina’s father was never confirmed, though suspicion fell on male family members. She is believed to be still alive, living in Lima, Peru.
2. The color orange is named after the fruit
Yet another chicken and egg question. But, for this one, there is a definite answer.
If you ever wondered what came (or, named) first: Orange, the color or the fruit? Then, here’s the answer. It’s indeed the fruit.
Before, the color orange was simply called red. Or, in many cases, yellow-red.
As per scientific research, the human eye does not separate colors until it gets drawn to it. Meaning, the human brain needs to be told a particular thing has a different shade of color than the other, otherwise, it won’t notice small differences.
English speakers first started using the word “orange” for the color in the early 1500s. The fruit “orange” was widely used in Old French, adapted from the Persian and Sanskrit words loosely spelled out “Naranga.”
3. A 500-lb. cigarette-smoking, the beer-drinking brown bear was enlisted and served in the Polish army during WWII
Born in Iran in 1942, Wojtek the Soldier Bear’s mother was shot by hunters. The Polish army found Wojtek at a train station and decided to bring it with them.
Wojtek ate and slept with his fellow soldiers. The soldiers would wrestle with Wojtek and be also taught to salute his superiors. He traveled to Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt as his unit fought many battles.
He also taught himself to drink beer and smoke, mimicking the soldiers. Serving in the artillery unit, Wojtek learned to lift and carry crates, full of ammunition and weapons. He did such a fine job that he earned a promotion to the rank of corporal.
Wojtek left the army when the war ended in 1945. He was transported to Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland where he sent the rest of his life.
4. The fastest recorded temperature change is 27°C change in two minutes
It was an extremely cold morning in the small city of Spearfish, South Dakota on January 22, 1943. At 7:30 a.m., the temperature in Spearfish was -20°C (-4°F).
A fast-moving, warmer wind rapidly hit the nearby mountains and swept the region. Within two minutes, at 7:32 a.m., the temperature rose to +7°C (45°F). The 27°C (81°F) rise in two minutes set a world record that still holds.
The sudden change in temperature alarmed the people of the city. Building windows cracked and the ice on car windshields instant frosted over.
By 9 a.m., the temperature had risen to 12°C (54°F). The wind died down, though. The temperature normalized back to -4°C. The 32.2°C drop back took 27 minutes, which is incredible on its own, but not world record worthy.
5. The largest single living organism in the world is actually a fungus
The largest known living organism is not a blue whale, the African bush elephant or even the pre-historic dinosaurs. It does not live underwater, neither is it a predominant land species.
The Humongous Fungus, which lives underground in a national forest in Oregon, covers about 2,385 acres. And estimates suggest, it could weigh up to 35,000 tons.
The fungus, a wide network of underground fibers, was first discovered in the late 90s. Although the fungus seems like a large colony of a different organism, it constitutes the same genetically identical cells that can communicate and coordinate throughout the different parts of its body, making it a single organism.
On particular times of the year, the fungus flowers out mushrooms above ground.