No matter where you go, it’s comforting to know you can always enjoy Coca-Cola. Well, almost anywhere. While this fizzy drink is sold practically everywhere, it still hasn’t (officially) made its way to North Korea or Cuba, according to the BBC. That’s because these countries are under long-term U.S. trade embargoes.
The world’s total population is more than 7.5 billion. And obviously, that number sounds huge. However, it might feel a little more manageable once you learn that if every single one of those people stood shoulder-to-shoulder, they could all fit within the 500 square miles of Los Angeles, according to National Geographic.
You might think twins are a rarity, but they’re actually becoming more common than ever. “From about 1915, when the statistical record begins, until 1980, about one in every 50 babies born was a twin, a rate of 2 percent,” writes Alexis C. Madrigal of The Atlantic. “Then, the rate began to increase: by 1995, it was 2.5 percent. The rate surpassed 3 percent in 2001 and hit 3.3 percent in 2010. [That means] one out of every 30 babies born is a twin.”
Scientists believe this trend is due to the fact that older women tend to have more twins, and women are choosing to start families later. Fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization likely also play a role.
The “weapons-grade” Dragon’s Breath chili pepper is so hot it’s downright deadly. If you ate one, it could potentially cause a type of anaphylactic shock, burning the airways and closing them up.
“I’ve tried it on the tip of my tongue and it just burned and burned,” said Mike Smith, the hobby grower who invented the Dragon’s Breath along with scientists from Nottingham University. So why make such an impractical pepper? As it turns out, the chili was initially developed to be used in medical treatment as an anesthetic that can numb the skin.
Silence is golden, as they say. And while it may not be worth quite as much like jewels and gold to most people, it certainly was the primary goal for those who built the quietest room in the world. Located at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, the lab room measures a background noise of -20.35 dBA, which is 20 decibels below the threshold of human hearing and breaks previous records for spaces that were deemed the planet’s quietest places, according to CNN.
“As soon as one enters the room, one immediately feels a strange and unique sensation which is hard to describe,” Hundraj Gopal, a speech and hearing scientist and principal designer of the anechoic chamber at Microsoft, told CNN. “Most people find the absence of sound deafening, feel a sense of fullness in the ears, or some ringing. Very faint sounds become clearly audible because the ambient noise is exceptionally low. When you turn your head, you can hear that motion. You can hear yourself breathing and it sounds somewhat loud.”
Every second, we welcome four new babies into our overall population. Do a little math and you’ll find out that means there are approximately 250 births each minute, 15,000 each hour, and 360,000 each day. In a full year, there are around 131.4 million babies born on Earth, according to the Ecology Global Network.
You might think you’re accustomed to frigid air and blustery winds, but the average winter day has nothing on the coldest day ever recorded, which was -144 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature was recorded in Antarctica during a span of research between 2004 and 2016. Just a few breaths of air at that temperature would induce hemorrhaging in your lungs and kill you.
Because of pollution, the Earth’s ozone layer has suffered a lot. That’s bad news for everyone since the fragile gas layer protects our planet and shields us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Fortunately, climate change experts believe that the ozone layer will fully heal within 50 years, according to a 2018 report from the United Nations.
The recovery is thanks in large part to the Montreal Protocol of 1987, which put a global ban on the use of one of the main culprits for the damage: chlorofluorocarbons (CFOs). Previously, CFOs had been common in refrigerators, aerosol cans, and dry-cleaning chemicals.
Here’s another world fact to keep in the back of your mind: According to the Population Reference Bureau, since the time Homo sapiens first hit the scene 50,000 years ago, more than 108 billion members of our species have been born. And a large chunk of that number is alive right now. According to the bureau, the number of people alive today represents a whopping seven percent of the total number of humans who have ever lived.
Hair is the second-fastest-growing tissue in the body after bone marrow.
Some countries are hundreds of years old, while others can trace their nation’s history back for thousands of years. But South Sudan in North Africa just gained its independence from Sudan in 2011, which currently makes it the youngest country in the world.
During his lifetime between 1162 and 1227, Genghis Khan fathered countless children. And while we may never know exactly how many offspring the leader of the Mongol Empire had, scientists now believe that around 1 in every 200 men—AKA 16 million people—are a direct descendant of his, according to a 2003 historical genetics paper.
There are estimated to be 72 million deaf people around the world. There are also about 300 different sign languages—including American Sign Language and International Sign Language—as well as 41 countries that recognize them as an official language.
The total population of people who are alive on Earth hasn’t even hit 8 billion. At the same time, there are 10 quadrillions (10,000,000,000,000,000) of individual ants crawling around at any given time. According to wildlife presenter Chris Packham, who appeared on the BBC, when combined, all of those ants would weigh about the same as all of us humans.
However, Francis Ratnieks, professor of apiculture at the University of Sussex, disagrees. He says that while this fact may have been true in the past, these days “we must also remember that humans are getting fatter all the time. We’re not just increasing in population, we’re increasing in fatness, so I think we’ve left the ants behind.”
While four babies are born on Earth every second, it’s estimated that around two people pass away at the same time. That means that 105 people die each minute, 6,316 people die each hour, 151,600 people die each day, and 55.3 million people die each year. Sorry, folks—not all interesting facts are fun!