Some days, it feels like all you hear about is the planet getting worse, prices getting higher, and the country becoming more divided. And on those days, a little bit of good news can go a long way. Have you heard about Quokkas, the adorable animals that always look like they’re smiling? Or did you know that the voice actors behind Minnie and Mickey Mouse were married in real life?
1. Bobbing For Apples Started As A British Courting Ritual
Today, bobbing for apples is a popular party game. But it turns out, the quirky activity started as an 18th-century British courting ritual, according to the History Channel. In one set of rules, each apple was assigned to a potential suitor. The ‘bobber’ would attempt to bite into the apple associated with her preferred beau. If she bit it on the first try, they would be destined for love. If it took her two tries, their love would sizzle and then fade. If it took her three, their relationship would be doomed.
2. Smiles Are Innate, Not Learned
It’s heartening to know that your most joyful reaction is something you’re simply born wanting to do. “Individuals blind from birth could not have learned to control their emotions in this way through visual learning, so there must be another mechanism,” San Francisco State University psychologist David Matsumoto told Live Science. “It could be that our emotions, and the systems to regulate them, are vestiges of our evolutionary ancestry.”
3. Quokkas Are Adorable Animals That Always Look Like They’re Smiling
Look at that face for as long as you’d like. While there are plenty of cute animals out there, there might not be one that’s as perennially chipper as the Quokka. Found on the small islands off the coast of Western Australia, these marsupials have a charming bone structure that makes them look like they’re grinning from ear to ear. Some people have even dubbed them the “happiest animal in the world,” according to National Geographic.
4. A Village In India Plants Trees Every Time A Baby Girl Is Born.
When the leader of Piplantri, a small village in Rajasthan, India, lost his 16-year-old daughter in 2006, he decided to turn his grief into something beautiful. In order to ensure that the village treasured each baby girl (since daughters were not traditionally valued as much as sons), he set up an initiative that sees trees planted every time a girl is born in the village, according to The Guardian. The new baby’s parents also sign a legal affidavit confirming their daughter will receive an education and will not be married before she is of legal age.
5. Earth’s Ozone Layer Is Healing.
Due to pollution, the Earth’s ozone layer has seriously suffered. And of course, that’s no good for anybody, since the fragile gas layer protects our planet and shields us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. That’s why it’s such a relief that climate change experts believe that the ozone layer will fully heal within 50 years, according to a 2018 report from the United Nations. The recovery is thanks in large part to the Montreal Protocol of 1987, which put a global ban on the use of one of the main culprits for the damage: chlorofluorocarbons (CFOs).
6. The Voice Actors For Mickey And Minnie Mouse Were Married In Real Life
Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse have had one of the most enduring romances in Hollywood history. But behind the scenes, their story is even sweeter: Wayne Allwine, the man who played the voice of Mickey, fell in love with and married Russi Taylor, the woman who played the voice of Minnie. “We just started hanging out as pals, and the next thing you know, we were an item,” Taylor recalled to Variety of her late husband.
7. More Millennials Give To Charity Than Any Other Generation
Turns out, more millennials donate to charity than any other generation, according to 2018 research by fundraising firm Blackbaud. The researchers found that while 84 percent of millennials donate to charitable organizations, just 72 percent of baby boomers and 59 percent of Generation X do the same. It just goes to show that we’re moving toward a kinder, more charitable world.
8. People Who Volunteer Live Longer
Volunteering your time or money won’t only help others, it could also help you. One 2011 study from the University of Michigan found that people who volunteer for selfless reasons live longer than those who don’t volunteer at all. Those who volunteer for more self-centered reasons, such as looking good in their community, don’t experience the same benefits.
9. Welsh Legend Says That Corgis Were Gifted To Humans By Fairies
According to Welsh folklore, fairies once rode corgis the way that cowboys ride horses. The sprites apparently liked to use the tiny canines to pull their carts and carriages around and would sometimes ride the dogs into battle. Most versions of the legend typically include the fact that the fairies gifted the corgis to human children, which is how the dogs made their way into the mortal realm.
10. The World’s Smallest Surviving Baby Weighed The Same As An Apple
Newborn baby Saybie of San Diego, California, was born at just 23 weeks in December 2018. Because of that, the little one weighed 8.6 ounces, which is about the same weight as an apple. This made Saybie the world’s smallest surviving baby, according to the Tiniest Babies Registry. At that size, there were worries about her chances of survival. Fortunately, in May 2019, Saybie left the hospital and went home weighing a healthy 5.6 pounds.