Home Education Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Education By Joe Burgett -

Sometimes, things just do not sound right. Like, if we told you that 2 + 2 = 4, you’d buy it. But if we told you that Koala and human fingerprints are so similar not even microscopes can tell the difference, you’d think that was crazy. Yet in spite of that, this is 100% true, as odd as it sounds. We get it though, some stuff just seems too crazy to be true. However, there are a lot of scientific facts that come off like this.

In fact, some of the most amazing scientific facts tend to sound fake just due to the wild nature behind them. Such as the fact that if sound existed in space, the Sun would be so loud that Mercury’s entire planetary surface would be reshaped. But this too is true. We felt it would be good to discuss more crazy scientific facts just like the ones we just mentioned, and bring context to them too. That said, let’s get started!

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Brilliant cut diamond held by tweezers. Photo Credit: Bjoern Wylezich/Shutterstock

Diamonds Are A Universe’s Best Friend

While some believe diamonds are rare, they’re really not. In fact, the reason diamond jewelry costs so much to buy is due to one company owning most of the diamond mines on Earth. Thus, they set the price extremely high. Yet their monopoly won’t last once Earthlings are able to go into space mining. Some asteroids contain them, yet on some planets, it literally rains diamonds quite often.

In fact, this happens on Saturn and Jupiter all the time. Even Uranus and Neptune see large pockets of methane that produce diamonds frequently. There are even some planets out there that are almost completely diamond. One of the most famous for this is 55 Cancri e, which astronomers discovered in 2004. Some scientists are even under the impression that diamonds became the first mineral formed in space. It’s probably time NASA invests in space diamond mining already.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Bengal tiger on the hunt. Photo Credit: Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock

There Are More Tigers In Captivity Within The U.S. Than In The Wild

Tigers are beautiful animals, and people love to see them. Therefore, a lot of zoos around the world will have one or even a few for people to see. The problem is that tigers are not like lions, in that they do not travel around in packs of their kind. They are usually pretty solitary. Only mothers tend to roam around with other tigers and those others are usually her young. This means that they do not often mate enough, which has caused populations of various tiger species to decrease heavily.

Zoos have tried to help limit this problem by having tigers in their zoos to make sure mating takes place. Currently, the World Wildlife Fund reports there are just under 4,000 tigers in the wild today that we know of. Yet there were 5,000 to 10,000 tigers privately owned in the United States alone in the last decade. Of course, pet tigers are now illegal and that caused many zoos to take on tigers. Of course, some were shipped to other zoos or wildlife sanctuaries outside the country too.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Violet Jessop in Voluntary Aid Detachment Uniform. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Woman Who Survived The Sinking Of Two Iconic Luxury Oceanliners

Violet Jessop was both a stewardess and nurse and originally began traveling on ocean liners in 1908 as a stewardess. Her mother previously worked as a stewardess too, but Jessop wanted to travel. In 1908, at just 21 years old, she began working for the Royal Mail Line on their Orinoco ship. She eventually became a nurse and that allowed her to get on with White Star Line, one of the most notable ship makers in the world, in 1911.

This began with The Olympic ocean liner, which collided with the HMS Hawke, a British warship. White Star Line continued to employ Jessop, allowing her to be on board the RMS Titanic as a nurse and stewardess in 1912. Of course, we all know this ship sank but Violet survived this. She then went on to work on the third White Star Line vessel known as the HMHS Britannic as a member of the British Red Cross during World War I. This ship also sank, which Jessop also survived!

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Feathered T-Rex Dinosaur. Photo Credit: Dinosaur Wiki [CC-BY-SA]

More Time Separates The T-Rex From The Stegosaurus Than T-Rexes From Today’s Humans

People tend to always misunderstand the term “dinosaur.” On top of this, we often see people looping time periods together and somehow pretend that certain creatures live alongside the other. This is not shocking to see, only because movies and television tend to shape our thoughts. Yet they get their facts wrong a lot, so we end up believing something that is not true. In an example of this, there is a large separation in time between the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Stegosaurus.

Stegasaurus began roaming the Earth roughly 150 million years ago. This happened during the Jurassic period of our Mesozoic Era. Yet major archeological evidence has found that this species was extinct for 80 million years when Cretaceous dinosaurs came to be. Since the T-Rex was part of that era, it did not appear until 67 million years ago. Therefore, they are separated by 80 million years. Of course, only 67 million years separates today’s humans from the T-Rex. Which is crazy!

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Woman holding a big clock and thinking. Photo Credit: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock

Why Time Seems To Pass Slow When We Pay Attention To It

A lot of people have heard the phrase “a watched pot never boils.” This is relating to an issue people had where they’d literally sit or stand and watch a pot of water, waiting for it to boil. Yet it seemed to take forever to do so. Meanwhile, if you did not watch it, the boiling happened sooner. This same issue relates to when you watch a clock. The second hand seems to move incredibly slow compared to what we assume a second should truly be.

That second hand will, seemingly, just hang around. In theory, we might assume our clock is running slow, yet it’s truly running perfectly fine. The reason it is “running slow” is only due to us watching it. When we watch something like a clock, our brain’s anticipation of what we will see moves faster in our minds than when we will actually see it. It’s a scientific fact that the objects are not slow. Our brain was simply wanting to see something faster and we naturally assumed the other was slower.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Portland Head Light at Portland, Maine, USA. Photo Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

The Closest U.S. State To Africa Is Maine

We know, this seems impossible. How could Maine, nearly the United States’ furthermost state, somehow be closer to the continent of Africa than any other state? One would assume Florida or even one of the Carolinas could be closer. Yet Maine is officially the closest. Basically, the easternmost point within the mainland United States is actually a peninsula known as West Quoddy Head.

That happens to be located in Lubec, Maine. This peninsula is roughly 3,154 miles from El Beddouza, Morocco. Of course, as most know, Morocco is part of the continent of Africa. Therefore, Maine is the closest U.S. state to the continent of Africa. It’s weird to think about scientific facts like this. Geography is a tricky thing and our perception of it is more often than not skewed by our location or assumptions based on maps. Many world maps get things wrong, just ask New Zealand.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Dolphins jumping over breaking waves. Photo Credit: Willyam Bradberry/Shutterstock

Worldwide Many Militaries Have Trained Dolphins For Combat and Other Dangerous Tasks

Dolphins are mammals just like we are. They are incredibly smart creatures and are known for helping human beings quite often in the ocean. There are stories of dolphins helping humans fish and even stories of dolphins saving human lives. Of course, due to their smarts, you’d assume they’d know it’s smart to stay out of combat. However, our aquatic mammalian counterparts are actually heavily involved in military affairs today.

The Russian Navy, for example, has used trained dolphins to attack warships and even enemy combat divers. Dolphins are no joke. They move far better than us in the water and they are also incredibly strong. Dolphins are capable of drowning humans easily. In fact, for over 50 years now, the United States Navy had used trained dolphins and sea lions for missions. The military called this the “Marine Mammal Program.” They are now preparing to replace it completely with robotics.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
China’s Great Hall Of The People. Photo Credit: Ivan Marc/Shutterstock

China Used More Cement In Three Years Than The U.S. Did In The Entire 20th Century

We should make sure to state when the 20th Century took place to avoid confusion, as it was not from 2000 to today. This era took place from January 1901 to December 31, 2000. This was a major time in American history, as several businesses and homes popped up across the United States during this time. Even major cities began to pop up during this time when the West was won through the invention of computers and DVDs.

However, China used more cement just from 2011 to 2013 than Americans used in the entire 20th Century. This seems incredible how they could use more in just three years than America used in one hundred years! The U.S. Geological Survey confirms this, however. They claim the U.S. used 4.5 gigatons of cement from 1901 to 2000. Meanwhile, China used 6.6 gigatons from 2011 to 2013. Scientific facts like this need context though. China began to open more factories and businesses in this time of change within the nation. As a result, cement was used a lot for this nation of over a billion people.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Cheetah on the lookout. Photo Credit: Kristof Kovacs/Shutterstock

Cheetahs Cannot Roar But They Can Purr and Meow

Cheetahs are known to be the fastest land animal on the planet. They are capable of reaching around seventy miles per hour for a limited timeframe. The species does not often hit its top speed, especially for long. Thus, they average between forty to fifty miles per hour when hunting. While they are sprinters, cheetahs are still pretty large predatory cats. They are part of the big cat population that includes lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, and panthers. All belonging to the Panthera genus.

All of those big cats are capable of roaring. This is due to a ligament within their voice box that has been stretched to create a large, sound-producing passage. That allows a wide range of pitch, thus allowing all of them to roar. Yet cheetahs do not have this stretched voice box, meaning they are unable to roar. For your average house cat, they have a fixed structure in their voice box that limits their sound range, allowing purring or meowing. Cheetahs have this fixed structure, just like your house cat.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
3D render of nerve cells. Photo Credit: Ralwell/Shutterstock

There Are More Synapses In Your Brain Than Stars In The Milky Way Galaxy

While new stars seem to be discovered continuously in our Milky Way Galaxy, thus far the number is at roughly Two hundred billion known stars. Naturally, this is a lot of stars and it’s only our galaxy. Imagine the billions of other stars within other galaxies, especially those larger than ours. Two hundred billion stars is a huge number, but somehow we humans are able to top this number with our brain.

In just one human brain, there are more synapses or nerve connections, than stars in the Milky Way. Currently, neuroscientists are able to track these nerve connections pretty well. In a study on a three-year-old, neuroscientist researchers found nearly one quadrillion of these synapses. This is important because we actually have far more as a child than we do as adults. By the time you become an adult, you’ll have around five hundred trillion synapses. Which is still more than the stars in our galaxy.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Magenta lines feather texture pattern. Photo Credit: Nadtytok/Shutterstock

Our Brains Do Not Recognize The Color Of Magenta

Magenta is an odd color. It seems our brain either does not like it or does not know how to recognize it. Seriously, this is one of the scientific facts that can keep you up at night. You might see magenta and claim you can see it just fine. Yet no one knows how to actually pin down what it truly looks like. You’ll see people claim it is purplish-red or reddish-purple a lot, while some claim it is purplish-pink. It is true that magenta sits between the red and blue color pallet.

Yet there is a reason you cannot pin down what it looks like. Magenta does not have a specific wavelength of light truly associated with it. This means it is usually defined as the opposite of green. Our brains literally look at this color and say, well…it’s not green. We know it’s not that, so we immediately begin to then assume it’s associated with anything we know lacks any source of green. Removing this, our brain now puts it within the red-to-blue color pallet system.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Nuclear bomb impact creates a nuke mushroom. Photo Credit: Bucyfon/Shutterstock

A Lost Nuclear Bomb Is Somewhere Off The Coast Of The State Of Georgia

Nuclear weapons are known for being extremely powerful. Dropping one has only happened a handful of times in world history, but one was dropped in the state of Georgia that never went off. This happened in February 1958 as an Air Force jet crashed into a B-47 bomber that happened to be carrying a 7,000-pound nuclear bomb. The pilot was worried the bomb might break loose from the damaged plane, so they dropped it into the water right outside Savannah, Georgia near Wassaw Sound.

Obviously, this was an important bomb so the Navy began immediately searching for it. They did this for several months but never recovered it. Both the pilot and the Air Force claim the bomb did not have any plutonium, but this was hard to believe from the start. In fact, the assistant to the Secretary of Defense said in Congressional testimony in 1966 that this was a “complete weapon.” He claimed it had a nuclear capsule that contained both plutonium and uranium. The Air Force claims today that heavy metal spreading is likely very low and the bomb should pose no hazard to Georgia residents.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Banana tree with a bunch of growing ripe yellow bananas. Photo Credit: pp1/Shutterstock

Humans Share 50% Of Our DNA With Bananas

We know this particular fact is one of the scientific facts that is much harder to believe than most of the others we’ve gone over. Yet it is completely true that humans share around 50% of our DNA with the common banana. This breaks down to things that a lot of people do not think about. This involves things like how we share the same type of genes that code different stuff in our DNA, such as cell growth for example.

While that growth might now work the same as it does in our DNA, the fact that it occurs at all is important as it’s similar to humans. Basically, bananas have exact counterparts to things we see in our DNA in many areas. These counterparts are where we share DNA. Therefore, this fact should be written out as “bananas and humans share 50% of the same DNA makeup.” As this would come off easier. Though that is not as simplistic for people to grasp as the headline grabber above.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Great White Shark Jumping Out Of Water. Photo Credit: Sergey Uryadnikov/Shutterstock

Sharks Predate Trees On Earth

You can check many of the habitable worlds NASA and other astronomers have found and you’ll likely see plant life upon them in some form. This does not mean other life types are present but we all assume any habitable world will have plants. This is because, on Earth, we’ve seen proof of them pretty much throughout all known life. There are even plant fossils that have been uncovered. Trees have been around, it seems, forever.

However, that is not the case at all. In fact, on Earth, we know most life began in the world’s oceans. Though microbial, life eventually began to come about. This led to the first tree eventually appearing on land 350 million years ago. Yet sharks are older than this by 50 million years. The first sharks showed up as far back as 400 million years ago. Being older than trees is an accomplishment very few creatures can claim. We have no idea why this was not discussed during “Shark Week.”

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Coffee beans and a cup of coffee on a wooden bar. Photo Credit: Carol La Rosa/Shutterstock

Scientists Who Work With Cockroaches Often Become Allergic To Preground Coffee

You’ve likely heard the concept that bugs are in a lot of what you eat without you knowing. While bugs and insects do this a lot with things like chocolate, they also infest other things too. Coffee beans get more cockroaches than anything else we know of today. Douglas Emlen, a notable entomologist, noted that cockroaches actually infest large piles of coffee beans on the regular. But here’s the weird part, those cockroaches are often just ground up in the coffee and never removed.

Scientific facts like that would be enough to freak out over, but it’s not over yet. It is too hard to eliminate the roaches completely, which is why the United States FDA allows a certain percentage of insect filth to be included in coffee, among other foods. Some scientific researchers who work with cockroaches go on to develop acute allergies to them. Due to this, they also become allergic to preground coffee among other things cockroaches are known to infest.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Printed Diagnosis mix therapy drugs doctor flu antibiotic pharmacy medicine. Photo Credit: One Photo/Shutterstock

Antibiotics Do Not Get Rid Of Infections

We know what you’re thinking right now. These scientific facts have gone off the rails, it’s clear that antibiotics are given to help you get rid of an infection. Actually, no, they are not. While infections can be difficult to deal with, our body’s immune system can fight them off. However, what often kills people is the symptoms of an infection or even our own immune system. In fact, a fever is good to have up to a point because that means your body is fighting an infection or virus off.

Yet a fever can easily go over 100 degrees as your body fights something, which can then cause horrific problems in the body and especially the brain. Due to this, antibiotics come into play to help fight the symptoms. Our immune system now does not have to do this alone and can focus more on killing the infection. This is why doctors tell you to finish your antibiotics, because the more they are present, the more help they offer your immune system to kill an infection entirely.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Giant Super Mario statue and Nintendo logo. Photo Credit: Barone Firenze/Shutterstock

Nintendo Was Founded In 1889

We all know about Nintendo these days, right? If you’re old enough to remember the Super Nintendo or Nintendo 64, your childhood was likely awesome. The company gave us the likes of Donkey Kong, Kirby, The Legend of Zelda, and obviously the infamous Mario. While they are now one of the biggest video game companies in the world, they did not randomly show up during the 1970s and start building video game systems. Nintendo was actually founded back in 1889.

Before they became the infamous video game giant they are today, this Japanese company sold card games. It was founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi in Kyoto, and they began manufacturing “Hanafuda” or flower cards immediately upon opening their doors for business. They’d go on to make western-style playing cards, such as what you’d see used for poker. In 1974, Nintendo developed an image-projection system, then employed 16mm film projectors in arcades. By 1975, they worked alongside Mitsubishi Electric to develop their first video game system.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Cumulus clouds over the sea. Photo Credit: Vera NewSib/Shutterstock

Cumulus Clouds Weight 1.1 Million Pounds

Now we get to the scientific facts that might amaze you. Peggy LeMone is a Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. When discussing the average cumulus cloud with Mental Floss in 2013, she claimed each of those nice fluffy things has a water density of half a gram per cubic meter. On top of that, these clouds also have a volume of one billion cubic meters. Clearly, this is a lot to calculate.

To properly calculate it, you will need to remember that the density and volume total will give us the weight. As you calculate the total water content, you’ll end up with 500,000,00 grams of water. That is based on the billion cubic meter volume and half a gram per cubic meter. Now, you will need to convert your total grams into pounds. This gives us a total of 1.1 million pounds for the average cumulus cloud. Of course, this is just an average and could be more or less depending on the size of the cloud.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
3D Illustration of a Cleopatra Egyptian Queen. Photo Credit: Denis—S/Shutterstock

Cleopatra Lived Closer To The Invention Of The iPhone Than The Pyramid Of Giza’s Formation

If there is anything people know about Egypt, it’s their infamous pyramids. While there are three major pyramids, it’s the Great Pyramid of Giza that stands out among them. It is the only member of the Ancient Great Wonders to still survive. This pyramid was built between 2550 B.C. to 2490 B.C. Which is quite a long time ago, nearly 5,000 years from this time in fact. The Egyptian monarchy shifted a bit over these centuries, but no one ever wanted to remove these pyramids.

The Ptolemy dynasty came to be in the late B.C. period after Alexander the Great died. Ptolemy the I was a major part of the Macedonian Armed Forces, so once Alex died he went on to conquer Egypt. That led all the way to Cleopatra, the last in this line and officially the last Pharoh of Egypt. She died around 30 B.C. while Apple released the first iPhone in 2007. This means she died 2037 years before the iPhone was released while she was not born until 2421 years after Giza was finished.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Heroin bottles by Karen Neoh. Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

Heroin Was Given To Kids To Help Relieve Coughs

Ah yes, the Bayer Pharmaceutical Company. You might know them best today as the company that brought us Aspirin. Yet this was by no means their first major drug used to relieve pain and help a lot of other conditions. In fact, they are the people who invented and commercialized heroin. This occurred mostly during the 1890s and early 1900s. Bayer claimed it was useful for cough, cold, and pain problems. In fact, they specifically marketed heroin for children this entire time.

They did this all the way up to 1912! This was well after evidence proved heroin was a dangerous drug. Various reports of scientific studies found this problem, so Bayer knew better. By 1914, heroin became prescription-only within the United States but the FDA eventually banned it altogether by 1924. This is one of the scientific facts that really amaze us because Bayer clearly put its profits over people.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Purple Earth. Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

The Early Earth Was Purple, Not Blue

Living beings who live in galaxies lightyears away from us might very well be seeing an Earth very different from what we are seeing today. If you look at Earth from space, you’ll see a very blue planet. That is due to all the water you can see from our many oceans. However, early lifeforms on Earth generated metabolic energy from the sun using purple-pigmented molecules called retinal. It is assumed that this predates chlorophyll and photosynthesis. This would have given the Earth a distinctly purple color, rather than blue from space. Scientific facts like this always freak us out.

On other planets, the retinal could create a biosignature that absorbs green light just like the way vegetation on Earth absorbs red and blue light. Earth is known for its oxygen, but we did not always have a great amount of it. For the first few billion years, we had rich carbon dioxide and methane. Yet 2.4 million years ago, that changed as an abundance of free oxygen in our atmosphere rose massively. This is assumed to be caused by cyanobacteria, able to form photosynthesis, transformed by sunlight and carbon dioxide. That forms into metabolic energy that produces sugars to give fuel life as they knew it.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Harvard University advertisement billboard. Photo Credit: Monticello/Shutterstock

Harvard University Was Founded Before Calculus Was Invented

Harvard University is the oldest higher education center in the United States. Yet people do not really know how old this university really is. American colonization began very early on and by the 1600s, we were already seeing cities rising in the eastern United States. Harvard was established in 1636, yet calculus was not discovered or formed until 50 years after this. It seems crazy to think that a major mathematical breakthrough did not occur until after Harvard came to be.

This was formed by Gottfried Leibniz in 1684 via his “Nova Methodus” as well as Isaac Newton’s brilliant 1687 work called Principia. If that does not freak you out, the infamous European physicist, astronomer, and mathematician Galileo Galilei did not pass until 1642. Meaning Harvard was formed while he was still alive. Overall, to think that a higher education institution is older than a lot of the things it eventually taught is one of those scientific facts that absolutely amaze us.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
A trio of woolly mammoths. Photo Credit: Daniel Eskridge/Shutterstock

The Wooly Mammoth Died 1,000 Years After The Pyramid Of Giza Was Completely Built

It was widely assumed that the Wooly Mammoths died out during the late Pleistocene to early Holocene periods. They would have existed alongside the sabertooth tiger among others. In fact, we know that humans came across both over 10,000 years ago due to cave drawings uncovered in multiple sectors. The assumption was that either human beings hunted the Mammoths to extinction or they died out after a little ice age. Of course, that ice age would not have been as impactful as the previous.

In any case, these assumptions were wrong. Mammoths ended up surviving on a small area called Wrangel Island. This is now part of Russia. We also found that they survived on islands around Alaska and other Russian territories. The coolest part is that they ended up surviving until around 1650 B.C. That puts them surviving over 1,000 years after the Pyramid of Giza was completely built. Scientific facts like this one can be mind-blowing. Mammoths living well into human history? That’s amazing!

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
Toasts with peanut butter, blueberry, strawberry and banana. Photo Credit: Edalin Photography/Shutterstock

Bananas Are Berries But Strawberries Are Not

You might be wondering about this one heavily. Perhaps, you’re even assuming the “scientific facts” here are completely faked for amusement. Yet this article is about things that sound untrue but are actually a reality. In this case, we now know that bananas are technically berries but strawberries are not. Why is this, you might wonder? Botanists are to blame, but technically these two fruits are also not innocent in this ordeal either.

In botany, we know true berries are simple fruits with a stem from one single flower with one single ovary. They also tend to have several seeds. That means things like kiwis, eggplants, and bananas all count as “true berries.” However, strawberries come from the stem of a single flower…but they have more than one ovary. This makes them technically aggregate fruits along with their cousins, raspberries and blackberries. This is all weird, but completely true.

Scientific Facts That Sound Fake But Are 100% True
DNA strands molecular structure illustration. Photo Credit: Billion Photos/Shutterstock

You Are Literally A New Person Every Seven Years

Whenever you hear that basic chick say “new year, new me” on her social media, she’s usually lying. We know she is not going to change her ways. Do you hear…or see this, Rachel? We have scientific facts to support this! However, she is not too far off honestly. You may already know that most dust you see in an average home is made up of our dead skin cells. We do not shed all of our cells like a snake sheds its outer skin, but we do something similar to this.

Our body sheds cells throughout the body all the time. While dust might be what you see when our skin cells fall off in favor of new ones, our inner cells are shed through things like the blood and exit our bodies when we use the bathroom and sometimes when we bleed. Every seven years, our body has shed every single cell it has from the start of that seven-year mark. Thus, every seven years, you are literally a new person. Biologically speaking at least. But this is not anything to freak out over.