Reality is often stranger than fiction. Every once in a while we get a glimpse of just how chilling our world can be…and that blood-curdling truth hits harder than almost anything.
Here are 25 scary facts guaranteed to inspire your next nightmare.
01. When penguins can’t find love, they waddle off to the middle of the icy desert, far away from the nourishing water and their feeding and breeding grounds, where they could only meet their doom.
On the other hand, penguins have been observed to engage in necrophilia, as young males often cannot tell the difference between compliant and dead females. This was first observed in 1912 but was deemed too shocking, so the scientist who discovered it tried to obscure his findings. – Source
02. If someone who is HIV positive has unprotected sex with someone else who is also HIV positive, but with a different strain of HIV, they are at high risk of getting something called “superinfection.”
This happens when the original strain of HIV meets a different strain of HIV to form a super strain of HIV. This (new) strain is sometimes resistant to HIV medications. So yeah SUPER AIDS is a real thing. – Source
03. The only evidence of the deaths of most of the Titanic’s passengers comes from the shoes laying on the ocean floor. The reason for this is that once the ship hit the bottom of the ocean, corpses rained down around the wreckage.
Fishes ate the bodies but no fish at that depth in that area could eat the leather that most shoes of the time were made of. – Source
04. For months after the 2004 tsunami hit the east coast of India, people along the coast refused to eat fish for fear of eating an animal that might have eaten human remains. India confirmed more than 10,000 fatalities in the December 26, 2004 disaster, with a few thousand others still listed as missing. – Source
05. Aneurysms can have no symptoms, and can erupt at any time. This is why they are known as silent killers. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 50 Americans have an unruptured brain aneurysm. Also, women are more likely than men to have a brain aneurysm. – Source
06. Anesthesia awareness is condition in which a patient under anesthesia is completely conscious yet unable to physically move their body. Patients are fully aware for the entirety of their operation and are able to feel pain without the ability to alert the doctors to stop the procedure.
In 2007, a 73-year-old man underwent surgery and suffered anesthesia awareness. The man’s resulting PTSD led him to suicide, prompting a lawsuit against the anesthesiologists. – Source
07. As recently as 1986 infants as old as 15 months were receiving no anesthesia during surgery at most American hospitals. This included no pain relief or analgesia for severe burns, cancer, and arterial catheterization.
This was because doctors did not think babies could feel pain. Even open-heart surgeries were performed on infants without anesthesia. – Source
08. Timur, a warrior and devastating general of the 14th century, died at the age of 68. Inscribed on his tomb were the words “When I rise from the dead, The world shall tremble” and “Whoever disturbs my tomb will unleash an Invader more terrible than I.” Joseph Stalin ordered the tomb to be opened on June 20th, 1941 and exactly two days later, on June 22nd, 1941, Adolf Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, the largest military invasion of all time and began his invasion of Soviet Union.
Timur was re-buried with full Islamic ritual in November 1942, just before the Soviet victory at the Battle of Stalingrad. – Source
09. An ancient Persian method of execution was called Scaphism. The word comes from Greek, meaning “anything scooped (or hollowed) out”. The intended victim was stripped naked and then firmly fastened within the interior space of two narrow rowing boats (or hollowed-out tree trunks) joined together one on top of the other with the head, hands and feet protruding. The condemned was forced to ingest milk and honey, and more honey would be poured on him to attract insects, with special attention devoted to the eyes, ears, mouth, face, genitals, and anus.
In some cases, the executioner would mix milk and honey and pour that mixture all over the victim. He would then be left to float on a stagnant pond or be exposed to the sun. The defenseless individual’s feces accumulated within the container, attracting more insects which would eat and breed within the victim’s exposed flesh, which—pursuant to interruption of the blood supply by burrowing insects—became increasingly gangrenous. The individual would lie naked, covered from head to toe in milk, honey, and his own feces.
The feeding would be repeated each day in some cases to prolong the torture, so that fatal dehydration or starvation did not occur. Death, when it eventually occurred, was probably due to a combination of dehydration, starvation, and septic shock. Delirium would typically set in after a few days. – Source
10. Iran has a disproportionately high rate of penile fractures due to a local practice of taghaandan which entails “clicking or snapping when forcibly pushing the erect penis down” to get rid of an unwelcome erection.
So yes penile fractures are a reality. Even though the penis is not a bone, it can still be fractured. A fracture can occur when the erect penis endures blunt trauma during sexual intercourse or other physical activity. A cracking sound can be heard, followed by pain and swelling that causes the shape of the penis to become distorted. – Source
11. Supernovas sometimes release massive amounts of energy in the form of gamma-ray bursts without any warning. If one were to hit Earth from somewhere in the milkyway, it would destroy our atmosphere and wipe out all life on earth. Scientists speculate they were possibly the cause behind the Ordovician–Silurian extinction event, an event that left all life on Earth restricted to the oceans.
Gamma ray bursts release more energy in the first couple of seconds than our Sun will ever release in its 10 billion year lifetime. In 2008 there was a gamma ray burst observed on earth from 7.5 billion light-years away, which is halfway across the visible universe. It was observable with the naked eye from the surface of the Earth. Anyone who saw it was looking billions of years into the past with their eyes. – Source
12. There are more slaves right now than there ever were in the US. Worldwide, there are 25+ million slaves. To put this in perspective, the world population is now ~7.5 billion and slave population is ~30 million. The slave population in 1850 in the US alone was ~.3% of the world population, while the total slave population today is around .4% of the population.
Right now, there are slaves in the US and Canada. There are sex slaves working in Vancouver, today. There are child slaves overseas harvesting shrimp, pineapple, tea, coffee, and chocolate. Odds are very high that you have used something made by a child slave today. – Source
13. The venom of the Brazilian wandering spider can cause priapism, which is an erection in the absence of stimulation that lasts for more than 4 hours. Erections resulting from the bite are uncomfortable, can last for many hours and can lead to impotence. Basically, if the blood in the penis stays in there too long and can’t get out, it becomes ischemic and starts to clot.
Priapism is generally treated by jabbing a large needle in the penis and draining the blood. The procedure is repeated multiple times to drain it all out of blood. In case, the blood is too thick for the needle to drain, or if the issue continues, the procedure then is to then take a scalpel, shove it into the head of the penis, ream it 90° and let the blood rush out. – Source
14. There are an estimated 1,832 victims that die due to serial killers each year in the U.S. USA has had the most number of serial killers of any country in the world, 20 times that of England, the second place contender. According to John Douglas, the former chief of the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, there are between 35 and 50 active serial killers operating in the US at any given time. – Source
15. Rwandan genocide lasted nearly 4 months in 1994. Using the Rwandan government’s estimates of 1,070,014 people dead in 100 days, that’s 10,700 people killed per day. 446 people per hour. 7.4 people killed per minute. In an area that’s 394 square miles larger than Maryland, 4 people in every 28 were murdered between April and July. That’s about 72.6% of the Tutsi population.
Most died from being hacked to death by machetes. For comparison, the Battle of Stalingrad is a prime contender to be the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. It lasted 141 days and had 630,000 direct fatalities/MIA (1,758,000 total casualties). That’s less than half as fatal as the Rwandan genocide in terms of deaths/day. – Source
16. An attempt to spread a pseudo-Christian kingdom in China in the 19th century led to more deaths than WW1. The Taiping Rebellion in China between 1850 to 1864 was led by a Chinese peasant who believed himself to be the younger brother of Jesus Christ. It was the largest conflict of the 19th century and one of the bloodiest wars in human history in which 20 to 70 million people were killed. – Source
17. The Native American boarding school movement, popularized by the slogan “Kill the Indian, Save the Man”, meant that thousands of Native children were rounded up, taken to boarding schools, had their hair and clothes changed, and were forced to speak only in English.
Many people didn’t know that these kidnappings continued through the 1940s and in Canada even into the 1960s. Children were picked up when they were playing outside and their parents wouldn’t know for weeks what happened to them or where they had gone. They were taken to boarding schools and when they were caught speaking their native language they were locked in dark basements. – Source
18. You may never know if you’ve gone insane. When someone is developing a serious mental illness with psychosis, such as schizophrenia, they usually don’t know it. Part of ‘crazy’ is getting away from reality. People in these cases will not be aware of the difference between a feeling and a fact. – Source
19. For the role of Dorothy, Wizard of Oz actress Judy Garland was forced to live on a diet consisting of soup, coffee, and 80 cigarettes per day. Whilst Filming she was shunned by the actors who played Scarecrow, Tinman and Cowardly Lion due to jealousy. Her only friend on the set was Margaret Hamilton who played the Wicked Witch of the West.
The actors who played Munchkins would routinely grope and molest Judy Garland during filming, according to her former husband, Sid Luft. She was also once slapped by director Victor Fleming, just because she laughed during a scene with the cowardly lion. She became reliant on amphetamines in her late teens. At 19, when she collapsed at the studios, instead of being told to rest, her doctors prescribed her more amphetamines. – Source
20. Thinking things like “I could drive straight into oncoming traffic and kill us all” or “If I drop this baby she would certainly die” out of the blue is actually quite normal. It’s called ‘Intrusive Thoughts.’ So yeah many strangers may have fantasized about killing you, and you’ll never know about it. – Source
21. According to current cosmological models, the universe is 72% dark energy, 23% dark mater, and just 5% baryonic matter, the stuff that you and I and the stars and other things we think we know about are made of. We really have no idea what dark matter and dark energy even are. So we’re more or less an impurity in a something we barely even comprehend. – Source
22. In 1933, a doctor named Carl Tanzler raided the tomb of a female patient with whom he’d become obsessed and stole her body. He lived with the corpse for seven years. As the body fell apart, he attached the corpse’s bones together with wire and coat hangers, and fitted the face with glass eyes. He was only caught when someone saw him dancing with the corpse in front of an open window. – Source
23. If you are white, the most likely person to murder you is a white person known to you. If you are black, the most likely person to murder you is a black person known to you. If you are Hispanic, the most likely person to murder you is a Hispanic person known to you.
In 2013, there were about 16,000 murders in the U.S. which sounds like a large number, and it is, but in that same year there were about 41,000 suicides. So you should stop worrying about what “those people” are doing or scheming to do to you and worry about yourself, your own friends and family. – Source
24. The United States of America imprisons a larger percentage of its population than any other other country (except Seychelles), then profits from their incarceration. To put this into perspective, China has a population 4 times larger than the USA, but USA has prison incarceration rates 4 times that of China’s. – Source
25. Majority of dental related deaths are from overdosing a very cooperative child on local anesthetic. What normally happens is that dentist selects a few teeth to work on for that appointment. Kid does great during the procedure and decides to work on another set of teeth and injects more local anesthetic.
With children being so low in weight, the local anesthetic has a lower maximum dose allowed. Children that are uncooperative will rarely reach the max dose because the dentist would treat only the set of teeth for that appointment. – Source
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