This might surprise some of you lovely peeps, but I don’t actually find ‘fascinating facts’ all that fascinating. Or in fact, very fascinating at all. Usually.
But recently I’ve been reading, well, listening to (I love audiobooks), a book which has finally managed to fascinate me. Twice. The whole thing was fascinating actually, but two facts stuck with me, and probably will for all time. The book is called Gut, by a German doctor called Giulia Enders, and it’s all about the digestive system, and what goes on in there (yes, even the you-know-what bit, in fact especially the you-know-what bit) and how it works and why it’s smooth functioning is so utterly vital to our health.
I found out lots of incredible things from the book, but these are the two that left me completely in gobsmackification:
1. There is a sea creature called a sea squirt which moves around until it finds a really nice place where it wants to settle down, and then it does the settling down, and then what does it do? Go to Ikea and stock up on colanders, cushions and 1000 tea lights? No. It eats its own brain. Seriously. Apparently, the whole reason for a brain is to enable movement, and as it’s not moving around anymore, it would rather enjoy it as a delicious snack (ketchup?!) and use the empty space as more surface area to filter food from the water instead. I’m sorry, but that is just absolutely gross. And yet soooo fascinating. Here’s one of the little blighters – to be fair to it, I have to say I don’t know if this one is the brain-munching kind or not.
2. We’re only actually 10% human. ‘What?!’ I hear you shriek. ‘Last time I looked I was at least, say, 95%. 96% on a good hair day!’ So what’s happened? Did we all get turned into cyborgs in the night and had our brains reset so we wouldn’t notice?! No, don’t worry, it’s WAY more amazing/disturbing than that. When I say 10% human I mean that only 10% of our cells are human. The rest of us, the 90%, is made up of, well, bacteria mainly, and a few viruses, moulds (yup, you read that right) and other bits and pieces. The reason we don’t blob around like a great pile of seething sludge is that our human cells are far bigger. Most of this other 90% is contained neatly in our gut. Erm, well that’s lucky then…
So there you go. Go forth and fascinate your mates today with my vile factlets. And don’t forget to share any astonishing info of your own!