“What is a true fact that seems false?” (77 answers)

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In this modern world, where the amount of fake news, alternative facts, scams, and quasi-claims is off the charts, it’s easy to doubt things. But despite our skepticism, many of us still enjoy a good story and find “truth is stranger than fiction”. Because life is strange. Science is crazy. Evolution is wild. And there are many surprising or downright surreal things happening right under our noses that we don’t even notice.

Chances are you’ve come across at least one piece of trivia that’s so weird, it seems completely made up. And you are definitely not alone. There’s a whole thread on ‘Ask Reddit’ where this topic takes center stage. “What is a true fact that seems false?” asked the user TheMemeing and encouraged hundreds of members to share their interesting information instantly.


From snails with 14,000 teeth to light-emitting mantis shrimp, just because something looks a little fake doesn’t mean it’s not real. We’ve collected some of the most enlightening responses from the thread, so keep scrolling! Remember though that a little healthy skepticism goes a long way, so put on your thinking caps and take everything you read online with a pinch of salt. Then upvote the facts that surprised you the most, and be sure to share your nuggets of knowledge with us in the comments.

Psst! When you’re done with this list, take a look at our previous post full of fake-sounding facts here.


Greenland sharks live between 250-500 years. That means there could be a Greenland shark swimming nearby, which swam the oceans when the Spanish conquistadors went to search for gold in Mexico, which was then inhabited by the Aztecs.

Eremitic23 , Wikipedia Reports


Hot water freezes faster than cold water. The M. Pemba effect. The man who discovered it (in modern times, since Aristotle wrote about it) was ridiculed by everyone, including his own teacher, but 6 years later the results were published and accepted as fact.

BowDownToThor Reports

"What is a true fact that seems false?" (77 answers) Australia has the largest number of wild camels in the world.


There are more domesticated tigers in Texas than wild animals on the planet.

black sun , Frans van Heerden Reports

Johnny Cash was the first Westerner to learn of Joseph Stalin’s d*ath in 1953. He was a Morse code operator at the time.


gavh428 Reports

Nestlé deliberately created famine in African countries by giving away free formula and ran a campaign that claimed it was healthier than breast milk. Then when most of the population had changed and the number of mothers able to breastfeed decreased, they started charging much higher prices for formula. Thousands of children starved to d*ath because of this and they survived.

CxT_The_Plague Reports

The oldest hotel in the world is Nishiyama Onsen Kyonkan in Japan and has been in business since 705AD. The crazy thing is, it’s still a family business. For 52 generations

novaworld Reports

"What is a true fact that seems false?" (77 answers) The chain was invented to aid childbirth. It was used and invented in the 1700s to cut a woman’s pelvic bone before C-sections became a common method of delivering babies.

YourMomSmokesMeth , Karolina Grabowska Reports

A type of mold that can move around on its own, learn, recognize colors, and solve mazes as a single-celled organism. There are many types of slime mold that can come in all colors such as banana yellow, straitjacket orange and appropriately, slime green.

Western Application 76 Reports

"What is a true fact that seems false?" (77 answers) The day Michael Jackson’s hair caught fire while filming a Pepsi commercial was right in the middle of his life.

Born: 29 August 1958

(9,281 days)

The Pepsi Incident: January 27, 1984

(9,281 days)

Died: 25 June 2009

divshappyhour Reports

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden were turned away from a German restaurant in 2011 because there were no free tables and they did not have reservations.

ronin668 Reports

Dinosaurs have been around for so long that dinosaur fossils have been around for as long as they were alive.

Basically, like T-Rex jumping on Triceratop steaks, Stegosaurus was already dead and underground for millions of years by then.

mjohnsimon , Narciso Arellano Reports

"What is a true fact that seems false?" (77 answers) From 1912 to 1948, the Olympics awarded official medals for athletic competitions as well as painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, and music.

Lone_Wolf_888 , Dave Kim Reports

If they are swimming close together, the alligators will give way to the manatees.

Duncan 970 Reports

"What is a true fact that seems false?" (77 answers) Humans can smell 5 parts per trillion of geosmin (a chemical released when it rains or snows). This means that humans are 200,000 times more sensitive to the smell of geosamine than sharks are to the smell of blood.

spookykelley , Andrejko Podlenk Reports

The universe’s resources are finite and eventually the process of creating new stars will not continue. The universe will become a dark void that will periodically be filled with interstellar bodies.

We live in a wonderful time where we can see beautiful pictures of the stars and enjoy them from our backyard. Consider yourself lucky.

That_Phony_King Reports

A spider called a banana spider can bite you and cause a painful er*ction that lasts for hours.

Silent_Ad5364 Reports

The creation of sticky notes was the result of glue that was not sticky and was considered a failure (3M).

The formula was recorded as a failure and later a scientist found it useful to stick notes on his workbench.

Then we got sticky notes

SnooRadishes3472 Reports

We are closer to the last dinosaur than the last dinosaur was to the first dinosaur.

drax3012 Reports

The last official ex*cution by guillotine took place on September 10, 1977, at Beaumets Prison in Marseille, France.

Pestering Soars Reports

Pineapple actually tries to eat you when you eat it.

Bromelain extract is a mixture of protein-digesting (proteolytic) enzymes and small amounts of several other substances.

The burning sensation you feel while eating pineapple is its fluids trying to digest you. This is also the reason why it is felt for a long time after eating.

Internal device 8081 Reports

Salvador Dali was alive when the first Prefador movie came out, so he must have seen it in the cinema

Teach the birds Reports

President Jimmy Carter is a scoundrel who once dove into an active nuclear reactor to avoid a meltdown.

Sleep deprived Reports

Abraham Lincoln died before the samurai was abolished as a caste.

42 mepey Reports

Both Stalin and Hitler were briefly in the same city (Vienna) before they met (or at least knew of each other).

askXmeXaboutX2006-7 Reports

I once read that if you put a goldfish in a dark room, it will eventually turn white.

Ok_Storage525 Reports

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Both of his last words were along the lines of “My friend Adams/Jefferson still lives.” They almost shared the same last words but one of them was already dead.

Beagle Steamer Reports

Insurance companies pay out more dollars in claims and loss expenses than they collect in premium dollars most years. They earn all their money by investing premium dollars before they have to pay.

Edit: I am talking about car and home insurance. Health insurance works differently and I’ve never worked in that field so I don’t know.

scumbagstaceysEx Reports

Most common houseplants thrive on neglect.

Most people kill their houseplants by giving them too much attention, over-watering or over-fertilizing them.

Deacons 2021 Reports

Killer whales love the liver of great white sharks. They are able to extract it with surgical precision, leaving the great white to bleed out and die.

itsyobbiwonuseek Reports

Shaving your cat in the heat of summer is bad and can actually cause overheating.

Ouchyhurthurt Reports

Can you believe that a person who can see completely is blind for about 40 minutes to an hour a day? This phenomenon is called saccadic masking and is also called (visual) saccadic suppression. This is a visual illusion where the brain selectively inhibits visual processing during our eye movements.

A saccade is a rapid, simultaneous movement of both eyes between two or more steps of fixation points in the same direction. Humans are effectively blind during a saccade.

FarFromFaith33 Reports

The role of John McClane in Die Hard was originally offered to Frank Sinatra.

vandyne Reports

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