1. A chicken named Mike lived for 18 months with its head cut off
After a farmer from the City of Fruita in western Mesa County, Colorado, United States failed to properly behead a chicken, the tough bird went on to live for 18 months. Christened Mike the Headless Chicken, it survived on a mixture of milk and water, fed into his exposed esophagus via an eyedropper.
The farmer turned Mike into a sideshow attraction, charging 25 cents admission. For a while, Mike earned USD4,500 per month, or USD47,500 today.
2. An orangutan named Pony was used as a prostitute in Borneo
This fact is whatever the polar opposite of funny is. The female orangutan was held captive at a brothel in Borneo. She was chained to a wall and shaved every other day, so her skin was generally covered in pimples and mosquito bites. Men could pay a certain amount of money to the house owner to have sex with her.
It took authorities over a year to rescue Pony because every time they went in with forest police and local officers they would be overpowered by the villagers, who would not give her up. To the house owner, Pony was a cash machine and a source of luck.
3. Antarctica, NOT Sahara, is the world's largest desert
You might be surprised to know that the largest desert on Earth is the Antarctic Desert, with a total size of 13.8 million square kilometers. Sahara, the more familiar one, is the 3rd largest desert in the world with a total size of 9.1 million square km.
Antartica is what is known as a cold desert. In a cold desert, by contrast, there is little evaporation, so low precipitation alone determines its status as a desert.
4. It rains diamonds on Saturn and Jupiter
According to the BBC, diamond "hailstones" form on Saturn and Jupiter when "lightning storms turn methane into soot (carbon) which as it falls hardens into chunks of graphite and then diamond."
The biggest diamonds there would likely be about a centimetre in diameter. In one theory laid out in a book called Alien Seas, by robotic "mining ships", humans might be able to mine diamonds from Jupiter and Saturn.
5. It snows metal on Venus
If you're bothered by slight rain on Earth, be thankful you don't live on Venus.
According to Smithsonian Magazine, at the very top of Venus's mountains is a layer of snow. But since it's so hot on Venus, snow as we know it can't exist. Instead, the snow capped mountains are capped with two types of metal: galena and bismuthinite.
6. A wombat's poop looks like cube-shaped bricks
7. Sloths leave their homes once a week to poop
Three-toed sloths, who live high in the tree canopy and feed exclusively on the foliage there, hanging around most of the time and moving slowly when they move at all, descend from their leafy canopies anywhere from once a week to once every three weeks, cross the street, dig a hole, poop in it, cover it with leaves and return home.
Part of the reason for the limited time in the loo is that dumping could actually be deadly for these animals. Two-toed sloths, however, tend to poop at home.
8. Russia is bigger than Pluto
While Pluto is not exactly a planet, Russia, the largest country by land mass on Earth (17,098,322 square kilometers) is bigger than Pluto.
You see, Pluto's surface area is about 16.7×106 km squared while the surface area of Russia is 17.1×106 km squared. Pluto's diameter is 2,390 km across. Just for comparison, that's about 70% the diameter of the Moon, and it's a fraction of the size of the Earth.
9. Humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas
10. A Swedish guy named PewDiePie who screams at video games is the most popular YouTuber in the world
His channel has reached over 40 million subscribers, as of November 2015. According to Wikipedia, on 19 July 2014, the channel surpassed RihannaVEVO to become the most viewed channel of all time, and as of November 2015, the channel has received over 10 billion video views.
In fact, he has more Subscribers than there are people in his home country.
11. There are more possible ways to arrange a deck of cards than there are atoms on earth
Any time you pick up a well shuffled deck, you are almost certainly holding an arrangement of cards that has never before existed and might not exist again. This TED video explains how factorials allow us to pinpoint the exact (very large) number of permutations in a standard deck of cards.
12. Tardigrades (water bears) can survive 10 years without food or water. They can also survive in space.
The water bear is neither a bear nor does it belong to any species resembling a bear. It is actually a microorganism. It is less than a millimeter in size, and at most times, not visible to the human eye. It looks like a caterpillar with 8 legs, but it is 1000 times stronger than that.
Moreover, scientists say that the amazing surviving power of the water bear might make it the oldest living creature on earth. It has survived 5 mass extinctions, including the one that killed the dinosaurs.