1) After oil, coffee is the world’s second most valuable commodity exported by developing countries. The global coffee industry earns an estimated $60 billion annually. Oh, and despite what you may believe, dark-roast coffee has less caffeine than coffee that’s been lightly roasted.
2) Polar bears are not actually white. They appear white because their fur is made up of hollow, transparent, pigment-free hairs, which scatter and reflect visible light, much the way snow crystals do. Underneath the fur, a polar bear’s skin is black, which is how the animal appears if photographed with film that’s sensitive to ultraviolet light. 3) Worldwide, the ocean’s coral reefs harbor about 1,500 species of fish, including some with adaptable sexual identities. Seriously! Wrasses, parrotfish, and other reef fish start out female and eventually become male. However, other types of reef fish change sex according to the needs of the group. If there aren’t enough males or females, the problem is easily taken care of.
4) The city of Middlesboro, Kentucky is built entirely within a meteor crater.
5) The phrase “tying the knot” came from the Swiss, who incorporate a “lucky” pretzel in wedding ceremonies. Newlyweds traditionally make a wish and break a pretzel, in the same way people in other cultures break a wishbone or a glass.
6) Charlie Chaplin once entered a Charlie Chapin look-a-like contest and didn’t win. He didn’t even make the finals!
7) The sleepiest mammals are armadillos, sloths and opossums. They spend 80% of their lives sleeping or dozing! SEEPY!
8) Bull sharks, one of the most dangerous, aggressive shark species, have the highest testosterone levels of any animal in the world! They are also the only species of shark that can survive in both saltwater and freshwater.
9) Aragawa is the most expensive restaurant in the world. Getting a reservation at this tiny steak house in Tokyo is difficult. The succulent, locally raised Kobe beef is presented simply (with pepper and mustard only) at the price of nearly $400 per person!
10) The most expensive vodka in the world is Diaka, which comes in a crystal bottle that also contains crystals. It is filtered through 100 diamonds up to a carat in size.
[Courtesy of Armchair Digest and Publications International]