WTF Fun Fact 13409 – 3 Athletes vs. 100 Kids

Picture this – 3 athletes vs. 100 kids on the soccer pitch. The athletes, clad in soccer gear, their eyes on the field, facing a tidal wave of 100 energetic kids buzzing with anticipation. This isn’t the plot of a surreal animated show; it’s an actual TV program in Japan that offers one of the most exhilarating and entertaining spins on soccer we’ve seen.

Kicking Off the Soccer Spectacle

The Japanese TV show, an unexpected blend of sports, reality TV, and pure chaos, centers on a straightforward premise. The challenge? Three pro soccer players step onto the field to battle against a horde of 100 kids. The resulting spectacle, as enthralling as it is chaotic, turns traditional soccer on its head.

As the whistle blows, a sea of children engulfs the soccer field, their cheers and shouts echoing. The pros, dwarfed by the sheer number of their pint-sized opponents, exhibit a mix of bemusement and determination. Here, strategy takes on a whole new meaning.

3 Pros vs 100 Kids

In the face of such overwhelming numbers, the three pros rely on their skills, experience, and tactical maneuvering. The precision of their passes, their agile footwork, their calculated shots at the goal – everything is crucial. Each of them must negotiate a swarm of enthusiastic kids, a torrent of tiny football boots and darting bodies, all vying to intercept the ball.

On the other side, the 100 kids deploy their strategy – strength in numbers. They swarm the ball like bees to a hive, using their collective force to create an impenetrable fortress. It’s a hilarious yet heartwarming sight, watching the young players’ fierce determination to outplay their experienced opponents.

The Thrills and Spills of the Game

Amid the sheer chaos, the show brings unexpected moments of humor and excitement. Pro players find themselves hilariously outnumbered at every turn, blocked by a wall of young defenders. The kids, in contrast, often break into spontaneous celebration upon gaining possession of the ball, regardless of whether they score or not.

Watching the pros weave through the crowd, attempting to score against the enthusiastic horde, is a spectacle unlike any other. Equally thrilling is the sight of a kid making a daring attempt to break away with the ball, only to be immediately swarmed by a legion of teammates.

Beyond the Field: What This Show Signifies

On the surface, this might just seem like a wacky TV gimmick. However, the show resonates on a deeper level, reflecting a broader narrative about sports, camaraderie, and ambition.

It encapsulates the awe and aspiration of every child who has watched their sports heroes and dreamed of playing against them. It reminds us of the joy, the innocence, and the boundless energy that makes children’s sports so wonderfully watchable.

Conversely, for the pro players, it’s a chance to relive their early days, to remember why they fell in love with the sport. The lighthearted challenge brings out their fun side, reminding viewers that underneath the rigorous training and competitive pressure, soccer is, after all, a game meant to be enjoyed.

The Lasting Appeal of 3 athletes vs. 100 kids

This Japanese TV show, with its unique spin on soccer, offers an exhilarating ride packed with fun, laughter, and some truly memorable soccer. It captures the spirit of the sport in a way that’s fresh, vibrant, and decidedly out of the ordinary.

100 kids versus 3 pros may sound like an outrageous mismatch, but it’s a testament to the universal appeal of soccer. A reminder that whether you’re a seasoned pro, an aspiring young player, or a viewer at home, the beautiful game has the power to captivate us all.

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Source: “Here’s What Happens When Three Professional Soccer Players Go Against 100 Kids” — GQ

WTF Fun Fact 13406 – New Yorkers Bite More Than Sharks

Wait, New Yorkers bite more than sharks? Maybe the ocean isn’t so dangerous after all.

Sure, New York City is a place like no other. It’s a melting pot of cultures and a bustling metropolis teeming with humanity. Yet, lurking in this concrete jungle is an astonishing statistic that puts even the mighty ocean’s apex predator, the shark, to shame. New Yorkers bite people more frequently than sharks do.

The statistics on New Yorkers biting more than sharks

According to the Cleveland Clinic, about 250,000 human bites are reported nationwide each year, nearly 3,500 times more than shark bites. The stat about New Yorkers specifically comes from a 1979 study that found 892 human bites reported in New York City in 1977 – 63 times more than worldwide shark bites that same year. And experts confirm that the stat still stands.

Before the incredulity sets in, let’s chew on the numbers. Each year, according to city health data, New Yorkers register thousands of human bites. The reports aren’t from an emerging trend of cannibalistic tendencies. They spring from the hodgepodge of incidents that result from heated arguments, domestic disputes, barroom brawls, and even lovers’ quarrels.

Who’s afraid of a big, bad shark?

Many people see sharks as menacing dwellers of the deep. They appear in our cultural consciousness as being dangerous predators. Yet they bite fewer than 100 people per annum globally, according to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF). Shark attacks, though undeniably frightening, are statistically minuscule compared to the nipping tendencies of New Yorkers.

Now, this isn’t a crusade to vilify New Yorkers or elevate sharks to sainthood. But it’s a fascinating comparison, one that turns our preconceptions on their heads. It’s a sharp reminder of how our fears and perceptions often dance to the tunes of dramatic storytelling and Hollywood hype, rather than hard facts.

When was the last time you checked beneath your bed for lurking New Yorkers? Likely, never. But ponder the countless hours spent fearing sharks while frolicking at the beach or during a dive. The staggering disparity between the two should, at the very least, get you thinking.

What’s up with New Yorkers?

Stress, alcohol, or just plain old bad temper can lead to teeth being bared and bites being reported. A few bites might even be playful, but city data doesn’t discriminate. New Yorkers are biting at a rate far more ferocious than the most feared shark.

Meanwhile, our oceanic friends glide silently beneath the waves, their reputation tarnished by our overactive imaginations and a few gnashing teeth. We gloss over the fact that sharks play a crucial role in maintaining the health of our oceans, focusing instead on their rather infrequent interactions with humans.

So, let’s flip the script and bite into this juicy factoid. The average New Yorker is more likely to bite someone than to be bitten by a shark. It’s a savory morsel that’s both ludicrous and enlightening, serving as a reminder to keep our fears in perspective and our judgments in check. Sharks might not be the cuddliest creatures in the ocean, but neither are New Yorkers in their concrete jungle.

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Source: “Scared of a shark attack? Here’s what experts want you to know.” — CBS News

WTF Fun Fact 13367 – Shortest Commerical Flight

When we think of air travel, we tend to think of long-haul flights and transcontinental journeys. But there are also short flights. In fact, the world’s shortest commercial flight lasts a mere 57 seconds (sometimes 90).

Where does the shortest commercial flight go?

This unique route connects the Scottish islands of Westray and Papa Westray in the Orkney archipelago.

These two charming islands steeped in history and natural beauty. Situated close to each other, separated only by a narrow stretch of water, these islands provide the backdrop for the world’s shortest airline flight.

Spanning a distance of approximately 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers), the Westray to Papa Westray flight route has gained worldwide fame for its timing. Operated by Loganair, Scotland’s national airline, this short hop is an essential lifeline for the local community, connecting residents, and providing essential transportation between the two islands.

What it’s like on a 57-second airplane journey

The aircraft employed for this short flight is typically the Britten-Norman Islander, a versatile twin-engine light aircraft. Designed for short-haul regional flights, the Islander offers excellent maneuverability.

Some flights between the islands can last 90 seconds. Regardless of the flight length, passengers experience a thrillingly rapid ascent and descent. However, the brevity of the flight often means that the passengers barely have time to buckle their seatbelts before reaching their destination.

Passengers also get a unique opportunity to take in the breathtaking beauty of the Orkney Islands from an aerial perspective. While the duration of this flight may be short, its significance to the local community cannot be overstated. For the residents of Westray and Papa Westray, this regular air service provides is essential. It’s used for commuting, transporting goods, accessing medical services, and maintaining social connections.

The Westray to Papa Westray flight operates according to a tightly coordinated schedule. Flights typically depart from Westray Airport and arrive at Papa Westray Airport multiple times a day. This ensures that the community has reliable access to this vital transportation link.

To celebrate this extraordinary flight, passengers are presented with a certificate upon completion of the journey. The certificate serves as a unique memento, reminding travelers of their participation in this exceptional aviation experience.

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Source: “What it’s like to fly on the shortest commercial flight in the world, which lasts just 57 seconds” — Business Insider

WTF Fun Fact 13355 – Importance of Your Stomach Lining

The mucus in your stomach lining is the unsung hero of your digestive system.

Have you ever wondered why the stomach can digest the things you consume but stops short of digesting itself?

The role of your stomach lining

Mucus may not be something you think about often, but it plays a vital role in our digestive system. And it’s particularly important in the stomach. The mucus lining in our stomach is essential for protecting its delicate tissues from the harsh acidic environment needed to digest food.

Obviously, our stomachs are responsible for breaking down the food we eat. This process involves hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes, which work together to break down proteins and other food components.

These acids and enzymes are necessary for digestion, but they can also pose a risk to the stomach’s tissues.

And that’s where the stomach lining comes in. If it weren’t for that protective mucus layer, the stomach’s corrosive contents could cause real damage.

The Role of Mucus in Protecting the Stomach

The mucus lining in the stomach acts as a barrier, separating the stomach’s tissues from its acidic environment. It’s made up of water, electrolytes, and glycoproteins, which together form a thick, slippery substance. This mucus coating allows the stomach to carry out its digestive functions without harming its own tissues.

In addition to serving as a physical barrier, the mucus lining also contains substances called bicarbonates, which help neutralize the stomach’s acids. This neutralizing effect further protects the stomach lining from potential damage.

Maintaining a healthy mucus lining

A well-functioning mucus lining is essential for maintaining a healthy stomach. Several factors can contribute to a weakened or damaged mucus lining. These include stress, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and certain medications – even common ones like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

A healthy mucus lining requires a balanced diet and habits that promote overall digestive health. Eating foods rich in fiber, staying well-hydrated, and managing stress can all contribute to a healthy digestive system.

This allows your stomach mucus to create a barrier between the stomach lining and the acidic environment, preventing the stomach from “digesting itself.”

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Source: “Watch: Episode 3: Why doesn’t your stomach digest itself?” — STAT News

WTF Fun Fact 13354 – The Longest Breath Hold

Aleix Segura Vendrell set a record for the breath hold in 2016. To be precise, it was the longest static apnea breath-hold with pure oxygen pre-breathing. This means that Vendrell breathed pure oxygen before holding his breath, which allowed him to extend the duration. This category is separate from the “no oxygen assistance” static apnea records, in which the individual does not use any external oxygen source before holding their breath. As a result, he held his breath for an astounding 24 minutes and 3.45 seconds.

The world record for longest breath hold

Vendrell’s record was set in the static apnea category with pure oxygen pre-breathing, which means he inhaled pure oxygen before holding his breath. This technique saturates the blood and tissues with oxygen, allowing for a longer hold compared to normal air intake. Pre-breathing pure oxygen is not allowed in the “no oxygen assistance” static apnea category. In that category, athletes rely solely on their natural ability to hold their breath.

Freedivers like Vendrell undergo physiological adaptations that enable them to hold their breath for extended periods. One such adaptation is the mammalian dive reflex, a set of responses triggered by immersion in water. This reflex causes the heart rate to slow down (bradycardia), blood vessels in the extremities to constrict (peripheral vasoconstriction), and the spleen to release more oxygen-rich red blood cells into the bloodstream. These adaptations help conserve oxygen and prioritize its delivery to vital organs, such as the brain and heart.

Training for greatness

Another crucial adaptation is the ability to tolerate high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the body. As CO2 levels rise during a breath hold, the urge to breathe becomes more intense. Freedivers train to withstand this urge, allowing them to maintain their breath-hold for longer durations.

Holding one’s breath for an extended period is not without risks. Hypoxia, a state of oxygen deprivation, can lead to loss of consciousness, brain damage, or even death. Therefore, it is essential that freedivers and those attempting long breath-holds take necessary precautions and undergo proper training to minimize these risks.

Safety personnel and medical staff supervise freediving competitions and record attempts to ensure that athletes receive immediate assistance if any complications arise. Additionally, freedivers often follow specific training regimens, gradually increasing their breath-hold durations and practicing techniques to manage the physical and mental challenges associated with this feat.

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Source: “What It Takes to Hold Your Breath for 24 Minutes (Yeah, It’s a Thing)” — Wired

WTF Fun Fact 13298 – A Rollercoaster Cure for Kidney Stones

Roller coasters are known for their stomach-churning twists, turns, and drops. But did you know that these thrilling rides may have a surprising health benefit? How about a roller coaster cure for kidney stones?

Well, according to recent research, riding a roller coaster really can help people pass the stones.

Kidney stones are a real pain

Kidney stones are hard, mineral deposits that form inside the kidneys. They can be incredibly painful and cause symptoms like back or abdominal pain, nausea, and difficulty urinating.

In some cases, surgery or other medical interventions may be necessary to remove them. But for smaller stones, riding a roller coaster may be a more fun and natural solution.

The idea that roller coasters could help pass kidney stones came from a patient who reported passing a stone after riding the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster at Disney World. Intrigued by this anecdote, urologist David Wartinger from Michigan State University set out to investigate further.

To test the theory, Wartinger and his team created a 3D-printed model of a human kidney with three small stones inside. Then they took it on several roller coaster rides. They found that the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at Disneyland in Orlando, FL really was highly effective at dislodging the stones from the kidney.

After the ride, the stones were able to pass through the urinary tract more easily, reducing the need for medical intervention.

How do roller coasters help “cure” kidney stones?

Why do roller coasters have an effect on passing kidney stones? It has to do with the forces generated by the ride. During a roller coaster ride, the body experiences a range of movements, including sudden drops, sharp turns, and rapid accelerations. These movements create a force called acceleration. This acceleration can jostle kidney stones and potentially dislodge them from the kidney.

Of course, riding a roller coaster isn’t a guaranteed cure for kidney stones, so don’t buy that ticket to Disney just yet. The size, location, and type of stones can all affect whether or not a ride will be effective. Additionally, riding a roller coaster may not be practical or advisable for everyone, especially those with other health conditions or mobility issues.

We need more research to understand the effects of roller coaster rides on kidney stones completely. But for now, this serves as an interesting example of how unexpected solutions can sometimes be found in unlikely places.

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Source: “How a Roller Coaster Can Help You Pass a Kidney Stone” — Gizmodo

WTF Fun Fact 13297 – Medieval Germany’s Marital Duels

Imagine fighting a duel with your spouse to “work things out.” Claims about what happened in the medieval period should be taken with a grain of salt when they come from non-scholars. Usually, someone cherry-picks a passage already translated (sometimes incorrectly) into English and runs with it. But the claim that marital duels existed in medieval Germany may be true – if embellished a bit.

The truth about medieval German marital duels

In 1985, religious studies scholar Allison Coudert published a paper about the duels that may have taken place between husbands and wives. The paper explores depictions that were found of marital duels between husbands and wives in the fifteenth- and sixteenth centuries. These pictures show combats where couples use sticks, stones, swords, and other weapons.

Coudert argues that, despite the illustrations, there is no record of such duels taking place after 1200. (Which presumably means that before 1200, you could challenge your spouse to a duel.) It is suggested that the images were copied from earlier manuscripts and included in treatises to provide a comprehensive historical overview of dueling practices.

Of course, the idea of medieval couples hurling stones at each other and hitting each other with sticks is the kind of thing that makes headlines on viral news sites. But it wasn’t so straightforward (and you need to know medieval German – as Coudert apparently does) to get to the bottom of things.

Justifying violence

The paper goes on to explain that, by the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, societal, religious, and legal norms were against wives engaging in physical confrontations with their husbands. The duels were over – but wife-beating was apparently still ok.

Customary laws made it a crime for husbands to allow themselves to be beaten by their wives. In contrast, wife-beating was legal, and in some cases, encouraged. This brutal treatment was justified based on both scripture and law. Catholic and Protestant theologians agreed on the subordination of women. This belief even influenced opinions about sexual positions, with intercourse with the man on top and the woman below considered “natural.”

Changes in women’s status and position during the 12th century could explain the absence of marital duels after 1200. Before this time, women may have battled their husbands. The importance of their economic and administrative roles in the household was understood and defended.

However, by the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the law, religion, and custom made such duels unthinkable. The depiction of these duels in illustrations may be a reflection of an earlier time.

So while it appears the duels are not a myth, most people are basing their stories on the wrong evidence.

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Source: “Judicial Duels Between Husbands and Wives” — Notes in the History of Art via JSTOR