You Won't Believe These 36 Wild Facts That Sound Made Up But Are Actually True

Recently Reddit user Mmemyo asked, "What's a stupid fact that you know that is actually correct?" while user Own_Championship7862 asked, "What’s an unusual fact that most people don’t know?" and y'all, each and every one of these blew my mind.

man miming his mind being blown
NBC / Peacock

Here are the wildest facts shared that I can't believe are actually true.

1.Corn flakes were invented to prevent masturbation. John Harvey Kellogg, who invented corn flakes and started the Kellogg brand, believed that a plain diet (including his cereals) would make people masturbate and have sex less. He was also a strong proponent of celibacy, circumcision, and even the removal of the clitoris in cases where people could not kick masturbation.

bowl of corn flakes

2.When you get a kidney transplant, the surgeon will usually not remove the old kidneys because too many things can go wrong. They usually just cram another kidney in there — this also happens with subsequent kidney transplants, if required. People can just be walking around with, like, four kidneys.

x ray of kidneys

3."A species of frog, the African clawed frog, was the most reliable pregnancy test for a few decades before at-home tests were widely affordable and accessible."

doctor putting a syringe in a frog

4.Pirates are at least partly to blame for why the US doesn't use the metric system. In 1793, Joseph Dombey set out across the Atlantic Ocean to meet with Thomas Jefferson and give him a rod that represented the length of a meter and a copper cylinder that weighed exactly one kilogram. Jefferson was meant to convince the US to adopt this system, which he supported. However, his ship was raided by pirates, who auctioned off the items. By the time new ones were sent, Jefferson was no longer Secretary of State.

jack sparrow on a ship

5.Another fun pirate tidbit — pirates would often essentially marry each other, entering into economic agreements called a matelotage that stated that if one were to die, the other would get their riches. It's generally believed that many of these relationships were sexual or romantic in nature, despite the illegality and stigmatization of same-sex relationships at the time, meaning pirates were a lot more progressive in some ways than the general population.

pirates kissing

6.The state of New Mexico was named long before Mexico was called Mexico — it was called New Spain at the time. Also, Mexico City was around while it was still called New Spain — Mexico was actually named after it.

pin on a new mexico map

7.Relatedly, oranges (the fruit) got their name way before the color did — the color was named after the fruit.

orange trees

8.A little bit of weird Civil War trivia for you: "A man named Wilmer McLean owned a farm in Manassas, Virginia, USA where the very first battle of the US Civil War was fought. After the battle, he's like, 'I'm outta here,' and bought a farm way out in the country at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia...where Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses Grant in McLean's living room four years later."

drawing of the soldiers in a parlor room

9."When basketball was first invented, at every game, they would have a man who would go up a ladder to retrieve the ball after every basket. It took them around 20 years to figure out maybe it would be a good idea to cut the bottom of the basket out to make retrieving the ball a lot easier. 20 years!!!"

man in a suit carrying a basket and a ball

10."McDonald's engineered bubblegum flavored broccoli in an attempt to get kids to eat more vegetables. They still didn't want to eat it."

—u/cmad182

11."The Korean people have an enzyme that makes us have dry ear wax and a propensity to lack body odor. For the first 20 years of my life, I had no idea why my earwax was flaky when everyone else's was more like a jam or paste and why I didn't have to wear deodorant. I'm not saying that Koreans are immune from body odor, but it is much less prevalent and requires much more disregard for hygiene."

crowded street in korea

12.Redheads require more anesthesia than non-redheads.

redhead at the dentist

13."A bone 'break' is the same as a 'fracture.' Fracture is just the medical term. It does not have any correlation with the severity."

—u/Horror-Impression411

14."Lobsters don't display senescence, which is the deterioration of the body as it ages. Their bodies are continuously growing and their exoskeletons get heavier and heavier, hence when they molt into a new exoskeleton it takes more and more energy to take off the old one. Eventually, they die because one day they just go, 'Yeeeeeaaaah sooo like this exoskeleton is too heavy so imma just go meet Lobster God and head out from the mortal world.' Now a thought...if a group of people helped a lobster shed it's exo-skeleton...and if said lobster kept growing...technically, a giant lobster could be brought into existence should the lobster not die from old age."

man holding a very large lobster

15.A butt-load is an actual unit of measurement — it equals 126 gallons of wine.

person laughing

16."Wearing white wedding dresses only came into fashion after Queen Victoria started the trend. White isn’t meant to have any other meaning or represent purity as many people think. Before this trend, most brides just wore their best dress of any color as it was expensive to buy a dress just for the occasion." White's original meaning was mostly just that the person was wealthy — it was expensive to keep white clothing clean and unblemished."

drawing of queen victoria in her wedding dress

17.An experiment found that male rhesus macaques will essentially "pay" to see pictures of female monkey butts — basically, they'll give up extra juice if it means they can look at butts.

monkey

18.Another fun animal fact: in order to decide whether or not to attempt mating, male giraffes will lightly headbutt the female giraffe on the behind to get them to pee, then taste the pee to detect hormones that will let them know if the other giraffe is ovulating.

giraffe smelling another's butt

19."Bald eagles are not actually bald. Balde is old English for white."

eagle on a tree branch

20."The raw image we see with our eyes is actually upside down. Our brains subconsciously flip it back to the correct way."

person flipping a paper over

21.And you're technically always seeing your nose — your brain has learned to ignore it.

closeup of a guy looking down at his nose

22.Here's a sad one: there are more tigers kept as pets in the US than there are in the wild around the world.

man in a cage with a tiger

23.It’s possible to lactate without having a child — even if you're a man.

person saying, i'm leaking milk

24."There are 43 quintillion atoms in a grain of sand, and there are more ways to shuffle a deck of cards than there are atoms in the Milky Way galaxy."

person shuffling cards

25.And "there are more possible chess positions than atoms in the universe."

hand moving a chess piece

26."A day on Venus (one complete rotation around its axis) is longer than a year (a complete revolution around the sun) on Venus."

venus

27."Playing Tetris up to six hours after a trauma can help against PTSD."

tetris game

28."For every single human being on Earth, there are 2.5 MILLION ants. Yes, this means that there are about 20 QUADRILLION ants on this planet. If the ants decide to take over, are you strong enough to handle the 2.5 million that you'll be responsible for killing? If you've got kids, you might have to kill more because a two-year-old isn't going to accomplish a goddamn thing if millions of ants are marching towards them."

hand covered in ants

29.Bluetooth got its name from the Danish King Harald Bluetooth, who ruled in the tenth century. He was in turn nicknamed for his dead tooth, which appeared blue, and he became famous for uniting Denmark and Norway. When Intel, Ericsson, and Nokia met in 1996 to create Bluetooth, they borrowed the king's name in order to represent their plans to "unite the PC and cellular industries with a short-range wireless link.” It was meant to be a temporary name, but caught on and we still use it today.

painting of the king

30."If you get a bone marrow transplant from someone with a different blood type than you, your blood type will eventually change to the donor's blood type."

doctor giving blood to a patient

31.The Eiffel Tower literally grows during the summer and also leans away from the sun.

view from the ground of the tower

32.Here are a few rapid-fire facts for you that will change your perception of time: "The Atari 2600's release date and the last execution by guillotine happened less than 24 hours apart."

game controls

33.Also: sharks are older than both trees and the rings of Saturn.

shark in the water

34."Cleopatra [lived] closer to the invention of the iPhone than the building of the Giza pyramids."

—u/feedg

35.And the T-Rex lived closer in time to us than it did to the Stegosaurus.

rendering of a stegosaurus

36.Finally, I need to end on one fact that absolutely blew my mind when I first heard it, it's that strange: the Paris Hilton sex tape starts with a memorial screen to those who died in 9/11.

"In memory of 9/11/01... We will never forget."

What's the weirdest fact you know? Let us know in the comments below!

Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.