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MORE disconcerting facts: if the truth scares you, then look away now!

4 years ago
We all like to think we "know" certain "facts of life" which are reliable and, simply unalterable common sense.

But, occasionally, you learn something that makes you do a double-take: in such moments you undergo a "WTF" experience. Try these on for size.

(Not for the squeamish or the timid or the superstitious! If you're very, very scared of facts and truth and reality and honesty, just look away NOW!)

  • More Americans believe angels exist (74%) than believe that climate change is caused by human activity (40%).
  • The UN thinks it's ok for humans to dump a further 24 million tonnes of plastic into the world's oceans. (The UN aims to "eliminate" single-use plastic by 2022 - between now and 2022, an additional 24 million tonnes of plastic will be dumped into oceans).
  • Saudi Arabia ($748bn) has a GDP comparable to Switzerland's ($742bn), but whereas Switzerland spends only 0.7% of its GDP on military/"defence", Saudi Arabia's military spending is 700% huger. (2018 figures)
  • An increasing number of high-profile medical doctors are becoming convinced that the first human to live to be 500 years old is currently living among us right now, today. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SENS_Research_Foundation)
  • Humans have 5 million odour receptors … impressed? You shouldn't be. Dogs have 300 million. A dog can tell, just by sniffing you, whether or not you are suffering from cancer or Parkinson's disease.
  • Planet Earth is not orbited by only one moon, but by about 18,000 moons (of which "The Moon" is the only one that is large enough to be visible from Earth).
  • Queen Elizabeth II ("Queen Elizabeth the Second") is the first-ever queen of the United Kingdom to be named Elizabeth.
  • Great Britain is not a country. It’s the name of an island in the British Isles (which is also not a country: it's a group of islands).
  • Athletes born in Northern Ireland compete in the "GB" team in the Olympic Games, even though Northern Ireland (which is an integral park of the UK) is not a part of Great Britain.
  • Prince Charles, the "Prince of Wales", has exactly the same amount of authority over, and responsibility for, Wales as he has for Scotland, Northern Ireland and England: NONE. (Similarly, his sons, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, have the same power, influence, rights, privileges and obligations in Cambridge and Sussex as they have in Birmingham or Cornwall or Auchtermuchty or anywhere else).
  • Wikipedia is, by a massively wide margin, the largest, most accurate, most truthful, most up-to-date encyclopedia that has ever existed in human history. (Its nearest "rival", the Encyclopedia Brittanica, is relatively tiny and a great many of its articles are woefully out of date, and, well, just plain inaccurate).
  • In the 1480s, Leonardo da Vinci (according to his notes, which are not widely refuted) built small, flying models based on his "aerial screw" design for helicopters.
  • Dwayne Johnson ("The Rock") and Arnold Schwarzenegger ("The Terminator") are both obese. Current WBA/IBF/WBO World Heavyweight, Anthony Joshua, meanwhile, (with a BMI of 29.3) is in the upper end of the "overweight" range; if Joshua were to gain only a tiny bit more muscle, then he, too, would become obese. ("Obese" does NOT mean "very fat"; it means that you have a BMI in excess of 30).
  • Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, is widely believed to be the richest person who ever will live. His fortune increased from $72.8bn (2017) to $112bn (2018); in only one year, he's now leapt $22bn ahead of his nearest rival and his personal net worth is likely to grow by an even huger margin next year, as Amazon keeps on growing exponentially.
  • Anybody who ever tells you Karl Marx was a "proponent of violent social revolution" has never read Das Kapital nor The Communist Manifesto. Marx firmly believed (rightly or wrongly; time will tell) that capitalism would generate such vast wealth that divisions between rich and poor would become self-evidently meaningless; socialism and communism would, Marx believed, naturally ensue, as both rich and poor unite peacefully to create a new society based on sharing capitalism's fruits based on serving each individual's needs.
  • On March 29th, 2019 at 11pm, the EU loses a member that is the size of its 16 smallest members. Don't be tricked by anybody who tells you the simplistic (albeit superficially factual) statistic that the EU is transitioning from "a club of 28 to a club of 27", because the word "decimated" is closer to what is truly happening to the EU next year.
  • Canada's "Law C-16" (2016) makes it illegal to use the words he/him/his/himself or she/her/hers/herself if a person has asked you instead to use "gender neutral" words (such as ze/sie/mer/zes/zers/zemself). University of Toronto Professor Jordan Peterson's reaction was: “If they fine me, I won’t pay it. If they put me in jail, I’ll go on a hunger strike. I’m not doing this. And that’s that. I’m not using the words that other people require me to use. Especially if they’re made up by radical left-wing ideologues.”
  • Although Adolf Hitler declared himself publicly to be a Christian, and although he exploited Christianity for propaganda purposes, such as when he described Jesus as an "Aryan fighter" who struggled against "the power and pretensions of the corrupt Pharisees"; (he also ordered that Nazi tanks and planes be decorated with a cross on their side, in honour of his supposed Christian beliefs), he is widely believed to have been an atheist. (Ernst Hanfstaengel, a friend from his early days in politics, said Hitler "was to all intents and purposes an atheist by the time I got to know him").
  • The Holy Bible, The Holy Piby, Tao Te Ching, Wiccan Rede, Arda Viraf Namak, Rasa'il al-hikmah, Derveni papyrus, the Vedas, Shiva Sutras of Vasugupta, The Book of Mormon, Purva Mimamsa Sutras, Jain Agamas, the Torah, The Rikkokushi, The Message Given To Me By Extraterrestrials, The Popol Vuh, Mundhum, القرآن. , the Nasadiya Sukta, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, and the Upanishads (Just like Harry Potter and The Philisopher's Stone, The Da Vinci Code, Aesop's Fables and A Brief History of Time) were not written by any gods: their authors are all just ordinary humans, like you and me. So, if you want to devote your life to praying faithfully to Harry Potter, or to Jesus or to Parameshwara or to Stephen Hawking, then, well, that's your prerogative, but just remember that none of those folks is, in fact, an actual god.
  • The biggest investor in Google Home, and in Amazon Echo, is a secretive, mysterious venture capitalist who funds those projects from his account at Rossiya Bank (Акционерный коммерческий банк Россия, АКБ Россия) in St Petersburg, and is widely suspected to be one Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.
(Ok, ok! I made that last one up, just for fun - but, hey, it could be true, right?! ...And it very well might be true! My challenge to you, fellow Verblingers: do a bit of research to confirm or disprove my hypothesis, then come back and let us know your results! ...Just for fun!)

Do YOU know any more "disconcerting truths" which might surprise or shock us? Please share them here!
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