The words you use when questioning witnesses greatly affects their answer. They showed study participants video of a car crash and asked them to estimate the speed. Their estimates got progressively larger when using the verbs contacted, hit, bumped, collided, smashed in the question. simplypsychology.org/loft…
Today I learned of Gan Ying, a Chinese envoy who in 97 AD was sent on a diplomatic mission to Rome. He would turn around in Mesopotamia, discouraged by sailors who gave him a lengthy estimate on a sea voyage. Unknown to him Parthia shared a land border with Rome, which was only a months travel away from him. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gan…
Today I learned about "Mitochondrial Eve", the most recent woman from whom all living humans descend in an unbroken line through their mothers. Estimates for her age are highly uncertain, with a range of times from 180,000 to 580,000 years ago. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mit…
Jupiter's moon Europa is covered by a thick layer of ice, with a huge subsurface ocean of liquid water underneath it. Estimates give the ocean an average depth of 100km, and a radius of 877km. This equates to 3 times the combined volume of water of Earth's oceans. apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap1205…
The claim that the amazon produces 20% of the world's oxygen and is false because of lack of Co2 in the air for photosynthesis. The actual estimate is close to zero due to other factors such as cellular respiration in trees and oxygen consumed by microbes for decomposition. nationalgeographic.com/en…
During the potato famine (1845-1849), Ireland was a net exporter of foodstuffs. Estimates of 1 million starved due to economic policiesβ€”The "Protestant Ascendancy" created an environment where food was simply unaffordable to the Catholic majority population. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gre…
Today I learned of the Fermi paradox, the contradiction between the lack of evidence for extraterrestrial civilizations and various high estimates for their probability. It's named after physicist Enrico Fermi, who was discussing the topic of UFOs with colleagues when he suddenly asked:"But where is everybody?" waterstechnology.com/data…
There is a measurement known as a "micromort". Although this is often a rough estimate, a micromort is the number of chances in one million that something will kill you. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mic…
In the aftermath of WWII from 1944 to 1950, over 12 million ethnic Germans emigrated or were forcibly removed from Eastern and Central Europe. Some were recent migrants; others' ancestors had lived there for centuries. Death toll estimates of the migration range from 500,000 to 2.5 million. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fli…
There is there is an equation for how quickly a real conspiracy theory would reveal itself. The more people involved the quicker the truth comes out. Estimates if the Moon landing was really faked, it would have been revealed in under 4 years. phys.org/news/2016-01-equ…
India is the world's second-largest English-speaking country. The most reliable estimate is around 10% of its population or 125 million people, second only to the US and expected to quadruple in the next decade. bbc.com/news/magazine-205…
Today I learned of a 3800 year old estimate of the Square Root of 2, from Babylon. It is accurate to 6 decimals or 1/2,000,000, the greatest in the ancient world. This indicates that it was computed iteratively, instead of being a mere estimate. Numerically it's: 1 + 24/60 + 51/60^2 + 10/60^3. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YBC…
There's no accurate death estimates for The Crusades. Historians believe the number is somewhere between 1 million and 9 million. apholt.com/2019/01/30/dea…
Today I learned about the sport of Gurning, a traditional rural sport in some English towns that consists of pulling a snarling or otherwise ugly face through a horse collar. Annual contests have existed for over 800 years by estimate. news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/15…
Although Kanye West repeatedly refers to himself as a "billionaire", professional estimates can't find anything more than $240 million. businessinsider.com/kanye…
Scientists estimate that 50-80% of the oxygen production on Earth comes from the ocean. The majority of this production is from oceanic plankton β€” drifting plants, algae, and some bacteria. oceanservice.noaa.gov/fac…
Due to Galileo's training in Renaissance art and an understanding of chiaroscuro (a technique for shading light and dark) he quickly understood that the moon shadows he was seeing were actually mountains and craters. From his sketches, he made estimates of their heights and depths loc.gov/collections/findi…
NASA managers claimed that there was a 1 in 100,000 chance of a catastrophic failure aboard Space Shuttle Challenger, but Feynman discovered that NASA's own engineers estimated the chance of a catastrophe at closer to 1 in 200. NASA had used the unrealistic estimate to recruit Christa McAuliffe en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ric…
On average more than 18,000 new species are identified every year. In fact, most estimates of Earth’s species richness suggest that the number of species not yet discovered far exceeds the number we have catalogued. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glo…
The observable universe has a diameter of ~93 billion light years (28 billion parsecs). The whole universe - if the universe is finite - is estimated to be at least 250 times larger, with one estimate reaching as high as 10^10^10^10^122 megaparsecs en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uni…
People have a cognitive bias where they over-estimate how noticeable their embarrassing behaviour is to others. effectiviology.com/spotli…
The National Federation of the Blind estimates that today only one in 10 blind people can read Braille. That's down dramatically from the 1900s. npr.org/sections/alltechc…
Andre the Giant's alcohol tolerance was used as a guideline instead of standard methods, according to urban legend, to estimate a dosage by the anesthesiologist because of his size. nypost.com/2013/10/27/tru…
The Ukrainian famineβ€”known as the Holodomor, a combination of the Ukrainian words for β€œstarvation” and β€œto inflict death”—by one estimate claimed the lives of 3.9 million people, about 13 percent of the population history.com/news/ukrainia…
"Happy Birthday To You" was created by a kindergarten teacher Patty Hill and her sister Mildred in 1912. It is the most recognized song in the English language. By one estimate, the song is the highest-earning single song in history. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hap…
Germany has the only tree in the world with its own mailing address. It's known as the Bridegroom Oak, and it receives about 1000 letters per year from singles looking for love. Anyone can take letters from the tree and respond. They estimate that it's responsible for over 100 marriages. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bri…
In the song (Don't Fear) The Reaper, which in its lyrics claim 40,000 men and women die every day, is a very low estimate - in 1976 when the song was released, it was over 100,000 more than that daily. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/(Do…
The date clothing originated isn't known. Estimates range from 40,000 years ago to 540,000 years ago. A study of human body lice suggests clothing originated at least 170,000 years ago as the lice couldn't have survived on humans without clothing. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clo…
More US soldiers died in the US Civil War than all other US wars combined, based on recent estimates bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-1…
Psychologists estimate that 90% of college students procrastinate, and more than a quarter are chronic procrastinators. en.wikipedia.org/w/index.…
Many archaeologists claim water erosion, head recarving and older megalithic sites prove that the Great Sphinx is thousands of years older than current estimates. When confronted with evidence and asked to respond, the minister of Egyptology refuted the claims, saying "I don't believe in radar". youtu.be/q4NnCAZcxHg
While in heat a lioness can mate for three days straight, sometimes with multiple males, about once every 20-30 minutes (a rough estimate of 50+ times a day). britannica.com/animal/lio…
How much money do you need to build a Formula One car? According to some estimates, at least $12.2 million is required to build an F1 car. The FIA has made a number of changes concerning car designs in every season. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For…
That the movie β€œThe Hills have eyes”, is loosely based on the exploits of The Bean clan of 16th century Scotland, whom murdered and cannibalised over 1000 people, with estimates of up to over 5000 in just a 25 year period. historic-uk.com/HistoryUK…
According to the most recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average age of first marriage for women in 2017 was 27.4 years and for men it was 29.5 years. In 1990, the average age of marriage for women was 24; in 1980 it was 22; and back in the 1950s, it was only 20. womenshealthmag.com/relat…
The Mongol conquests are thought to be responsible for the deadliest acts in human history, with estimates of up to 5% of the world's population wiped out. Despite this, many of the Mongol victories were achieved without fighting, but instead through instilling terror in their victims. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Des…
Today I learned about the Fermi Paradox, a concept from the 1950s named after Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi, that highlights the apparent disparity between estimates of intelligent life on other planets and a conspicuous lack of such evidence thus far in our exploration. britannica.com/story/the-…
The architects of the 2005 de Young museum in San Francisco hoped the building’s copper facade would have turned green by now, like the Statue of Liberty, but new estimates give it 50 years. sf.curbed.com/2017/5/31/1…
In 1975, the FDA banned the sale of turtles with a shell less than four inches long. The CDC estimates that the ban averts 100,000 cases of Salmonella infectionsβ€”salmonellosisβ€”each year in US children. arstechnica.com/science/2…
Ilha da Queimada Grande aka Snake Island located off the coast of the state of SΓ£o Paulo, Brazil is one of the most dangerous places on Earth. By some estimates you can find one venomous snake on every square meter. The island is deemed dangerous to public and open only to research teams. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilh…
The old estimates of manpower required to build the great pyramid were off by two orders of magnitude. According to a new "back-of-the-envelope calculation, based on simple physics", it only took 900 men 20 years to complete it, compared to the old records of Herodotus at 100,000. spectrum.ieee.org/tech-hi…
Hundreds of women disguised themselves as men in order to fight in the American Civil War. They were first discovered in 1863, when a Union burial detail found that the corpse of a woman wearing the uniform of a Confederate private. Estimates put the number of female soldiers at 400-750. battlefields.org/learn/ar…
Population Reference Bureau estimates that by 2050 about 113 billion people will have ever lived on Earth. Those of us currently alive represent about 7% of the total number of humans who have ever lived. prb.org/howmanypeoplehave…
Punxsutawney Phil's accuracy at picking an early spring is lower than random chance. The National Centers for Environmental Information estimate his accuracy at 40%. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gro…
Opossums are great at reducing the tick population in a given area. Scientists estimate that a single opossum can kill about 5,000 ticks in a single season. snopes.com/fact-check/opo…
There's an idyllic island uninhabited by humans off the coast of Brazil that's crawling with venomous golden lancehead pit vipers. According to estimates, there's one snake per square meter on the island, making it illegal to step foot there. adventure.howstuffworks.c…
Cartier sunglasses (which can go for $2650 and up) are a status symbol in Detroit. Detroit Police estimate 9 murders, 17 non fatal shootings, and 2158 robberies related to the glasses between '12 and '16. metrotimes.com/detroit/ho…
In 2017 America overtakes Mexico again as the most obese nation in the world with estimates that 50% of the nation will be obese by 2030 marketwatch.com/story/the…
There are more captive tigers in the US than wild ones in the rest of the world. There are as many as 7,000 tigers living in the US either in zoos or privately owned, according to some estimates. That's nearly double the estimated 3,890 tigers still prowling in the wild around the world. bbc.com/news/world-us-can…
The movie "Deep Throat" was made for $47,500, but made at least $30 million, and according to some estimates, it might have brought in as much as $600 million of earnings. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dee…

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