Nine strange, obscure or otherwise interesting scientific facts to keep you thinking
We live in a pretty strange world; that’s no secret. But there are some things hide themselves away from the collective common knowledge. Useful things. Useless things. Things that are weird, and things that are expectable. Buckle up and brace your brain, because we’re going to be looking at some stuff that not a whole lot of people know about.
1. College students are going crazy
And not in the fun, “let’s party” kind of way. Studies and surveys show that, today, teenage students in college have insane levels of anxiety and depression: about the same levels that fully developed adults were treated for in psychiatric asylums of the 1950s. What’s more is that the forecast for anxiety and depression isn’t shaping up to be a good one, either.
But how did it get this way? There are several theories, from a gradual increase in social disconnectedness to unrealistic expectations for themselves, both from themselves and others.
2. We like bad news
Why did you just read the paragraphs above? They certainly weren’t pleasant. In fact, they bring forth a slew of negative emotions; pessimism, cynicism, you name it. So, why did you read them? Same as why the top viewed stories of any journalistic organization are almost always reports on tragedies: bad news grabs our attention easier.
This effect is known as the “negativity bias.” Essentially, we are almost always going to recognize bad things before good things. My glass is half empty. You missed a spot. The reason for this is that since our caveman days, it’s always been baked into our brains to be on the lookout for bad things (namely, predators). It’s how we survived, and we’re still experiencing its residual form.
3. You can see ultraviolet light; your body just won’t let you
We’ve learned in all our science textbooks that there are certain spectrums of light incomprehensible to the human eyes. While that still holds true, we’ve actually found that some are able to see a previously inaccessible light form, albeit, with the help of surgery.
Normally, the lens in your eye filters out the entire UV spectrum, ensuring that damage from high levels of ultraviolet radiation isn’t possible. But, the truth is that with this lens removed, we can see ultraviolet light just fine. Of course, describing what UV looks like is impossible (since we only know visible light), but hey: by cutting out a piece of your eye, you can see extra colors.
4. You can pay to be cryogenically frozen
Some people have the desire to be cremated after death, but there is a growing minority that wants to do the exact opposite: freeze themselves in temperatures comparable to liquid nitrogen. For the low, low price of $200,000, you too can be preserved in an artificial ice age.
Of course, the idea isn’t to freeze yourself for no reason other than cold mummification. Rather, people opt into this life-after-death plan for the possibility that one day, the technology will exist to unfreeze them. So far, though, that hasn’t come around. Don’t worry; if you’re feeling a little cautious with your money, you can just freeze your head for $80,000.
5. Cherries are good for the soul…and cancer prevention
Most people are agreeable that cherries are pretty awesome. However, what many people don’t realize is that these fantastic fruits are currently at the front of researching the cure for cancer. Besides tasting good, these things are loaded with antioxidants, which are widely believed to decrease your risk for cancer.
What sets cherries apart, however, are the compounds known as “anthocyanins” found within them. Research shows that anthocyanins inhibit the growth of cancer cells, as well as contribute towards their self-destruction, all without harming normal cells.
6. High selfie counts are correlated with narcissism
If you consider yourself someone who takes gratuitous amounts of selfies and posts them, it’s possible that you could be a narcissist. Keyword being, possible. It hasn’t entirely been proven yet, but many studies have shown that excessive admiration of that beautiful face of yours with tons of selfies is correlated with narcissism.
Originally, this correlation was only made with men, but the researchers have looked further and discovered that this applies to women as well. There is much research still to be done, however.
7. Falling in love may mean losing friends
Falling in love with somebody is a wonderful feeling; there’s no denying that. However, it’s also something that demands balance. And although we’d really like to think otherwise, it turns out we just suck at balancing it.
Oxford University conducted a study attempting to actually quantify the loss that results from imbalance, and they discovered something shocking: on average, engaging in a romantic relationship means losing two close friends.
8. Avocados are the single most good-for-everything fruit on the planet
Guacamole. Avocado toast. Plain avocado. There are many ways to consume this fruit, as there should be. But what most people don’t realize is that avocados are the most versatile, nutrient-dense fruit you can eat.
These things are chock full of fiber, healthy fats and a whole bunch of vitamins and minerals. Maybe there should be a reconsideration of the daily apple’s position of the number one, patient-verified method of warding off the doctors.
9. Daily showers can damage your skin
Yeah. I know. Showering daily is something I’ll always do too, regardless of how much damage it does. But it is true: showering every day is actually pretty terrible for your skin. So why do we all do it? Most dermatologists believe it’s simply just the societal norms.
Showering everyday, especially in water hot enough to practically baste your face as it cooks, washes away the good bacteria in your skin as well as dries it to the point of cracking. Lovely! Still, though, I’m still going to shower every day. It just doesn’t feel right otherwise.