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BY Naomi Lewis

I am a collector of fun facts. Perhaps it is because there is so much to know that it is overwhelming. Learning fun facts is a way to gain some understanding and connection. The more I learn about it, the more I can connect with the universe. Furthermore, my research and collection of fun facts is a little bit selfish; the more I learn about the universe, the more I learn about myself.

I yearn to be amazed. I seek information that will transform me.
When you learn about the world, those facts become an inside joke between you and the universe. If you learn what dolphins mean when they make noise, every time you see or hear about dolphins in media or conversation, it’s like a secret between the two of you for you to share and celebrate. You become connected, even attached to your environment and all the beings that exist in it with you.

The world is an amazing place, even with its dark times and pain. This is to say that you are amazing as well, even with your dark times. We know that the light we see from stars takes years to reach us, so we know that the reason for bad times in our life may take years for us to see, but eventually, we do.

Science and understanding can be keys to not only appreciating the world around us, but what lives inside of each of us. Here are 11 facts about the world and the people in it for when you need a reminder that there are incredible things to still experience and appreciate in day-to-day existence.

1. If you hold up a grain of sand, the patch of sky it covers contains about 10,000 galaxies.
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2. Hugs increase oxytocin levels (the “feel good” hormone) and decrease cortisol levels (the stress hormone).


3. The known universe in 1922 was 100,000 light years. The known universe in 2012 was 93 billion light years. According to current estimates, there are about 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe.


4. Almost everything you are made of, along with the sun, planets, etc., came from the remnants of dying stars. The elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen – all crucial to life – are found in roughly the same proportions in comets and human beings.


5. During the “Friends” episode where Susan (Ross’ ex-wife) and Carol got married, NBC expected thousands of phone calls and hate mail. They only received four.


6. It rains diamonds on Neptune.


7. If you have 30 or more people in the same room, statistically, at least two of them will share a birthday.


8. The location of the world’s tallest tree, Hyperion, is kept secret from all but a few select scientists.


9. An average four-year old child asks 437 questions a day.

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10. A full moon always rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. A new moon always rises at sunrise and sets at sunset.

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