It’s a Fact!

Here are some facts. This is the internet, so you may want to forward ones you like to various cyber friends. All facts herein are true. I know this because I read them in books. Books are things that we keep around for the time when the internet finally crashes & all electronically stored human data is lost.

So here we go….

Fact #1: Ants have a larger brain to body ratio than humans. About 2% of our body weight is brain. About 6% of an ant’s body weight is brain.

Humans are always looking for ways to separate and place themselves above other animals. As  we learn more about animals, this becomes increasingly tricky. We used to hear that humans were the only creatures with language. That was obviously not true, since many creatures communicate with language, not the least of which is the honey bee. Then they told us that we were the only creatures that could remember the past and act on it. But my dog remembers where I threw a piece of bread to the birds from 3 days ago. They said only humans have emotions. We now know that emotions are a very basic attribute of animals. Several creatures are known to change color with emotion. We were told that only humans made tools until we noticed chimpanzees making tools to catch termites. They thought humans had the biggest brains. However, a human brain is only about 17% of the size of a sperm whale brain. Perhaps human brains are better in some other way – more complex? I heard a human-centric commentator on National Public radio assert that the human brain was the most complicated thing ever to have evolved in the universe. Outside of the absurdity of claiming something that enormous with practically no information to back it up, it ignores the fact that the sperm whale brain is known to be much more complex than the human brain. So, then they decided that what mattered was the brain to body size ratio. In this way, dinosaurs can be thought of as very dumb. Well, ants easily beat us in that department.

Fact #2: In the last 10 years in the United States, you were more likely to be struck by lightening than killed by a terrorist.

And yet we fret about terrorism constantly, while spending practically no money on constructing lightening rods.

Fact #3: You are more likely to be killed by an asteroid than by lightening.

Asteroids over 1 km large hit the Earth about twice every million years, yet we are in an unusually long stretch without such an impact. An asteroid nearly 2 km large could kill about 2 billion people, giving you a 1 in 3 chance of being obliterated in such an event. Even with this knowledge, the United States has spent trillions of dollars fighting terrorism while allocating no money to NASA in its government-mandated mission to identify dangerous asteroids.

Fact #4: You contain more bacteria than human cells.

There are thousands of species of bacteria that live in us, and there are at least 10 times more bacteria in our body than human cells.

Fact #5: You might be controlled by parasites.

It’s not that unusual in nature for parasites to control their hosts. Here are some examples: If a hairworm infects a grasshopper, it can release chemicals that cause the grasshopper to jump into water where it drowns, allowing the hairworm to swim away to reproduce in the water. Cordyceps is a type of fungus that infects ants. It makes its way to the ant’s brain and causes the ant to climb to the top of  a plant and attach its mandibles firmly to the plant where it stays until the fungus is finished eating the ant’s brain. Toxoplasma gondii live and reproduce inside cat guts. If they are pooped out, they have a remarkable way of getting back into a cat: When a rat eats the cat feces, the parasite makes its way to the parts of the rat’s brain that deal with danger and attraction. The toxoplamsa causes the rat to be attracted to the smell of cat urine. The rat will approach a cat, which eats it, allowing the parasite to reestablish itself in the cat’s gut. Toxoplasma is also associated with schizophrenia in humans and there is evidence of a correlation between toxoplasma infections and dangerous driving that leads to fatal accidents. About one third of the population of humans carries the toxoplasma parasite.


It could be that parasites are causing us to fight each other instead of the impending doom of an asteroid.

Mysteries of Insects Revealed!

13 Responses to It’s a Fact!

  1. Divya says:

    Insightfully humourous!

  2. Jeffersonic. (DSK) says:

    Geez, what’s the antidote if you feel you are being controlled by parasites?

    Could it involve drinking a bottle of Jameson, followed by a rough bike ride, follwed by a massage, followed by a hot tea purgative?

  3. Jeffersonic. (DSK) says:

    I read something in the NYT a couple of years ago, how certain sciencey types were tracing the origins of humanity through the study of human parasites transfered from mother to child.

  4. Kiki says:

    Wow, how do people even try to examine an ant’s brain? It’s so small. Mentally, I think my brain is a microscopic dot compared to my body…but physically it’s HUUUGE! I got a big head. Probably got it from my father.

  5. Sam says:

    Or your Mother’s drug habits.

  6. [...] Fact #1: Ants have a larger brain to body ratio than humans. READ  FULL POST [...]

  7. Thanks for these, too! Your facts are generally on the more serious side, when mine are a bit more on the humorous – at least my comments (hopefully) are. I love reliable info of all kinds, and like to store it away in my trivia bank to use in those awkward lulls in conversations. Usually they cause an even bigger lull. . . :lol:

    Be sure to drop by my blog at least every Friday, because my meme for that day is “Friday’s Fabulous Facts.” I have fun and hope my readers will too.

    As to relying on the internet as a reliable source for info, I am becoming more and more disenchanted – and I wasn’t that enchanted to begin with. The problem with the internet is that there are no “truth filters.” There are no fact checkers and “vetters” who keep certain stuff out of general circulation because it is false. i do not like censorship, but I wish that the people who read such often virulent and fraudulent crap would check it before sending it on. It is passed on when it confirms what someone believes, and there becomes no end to its being passed around, ad infinitum, and brought up even years later when someone wants to use it, all regardless of the truth!

    I also read – a lot – but it is almost exclusively on my Kindle Fire. I even read BOOKS there! :lol: However, I will admit to most of it being fiction (but at least the author says it is at the outset!); with a few histories and biographies thrown in for good measure.

    It has been great “meeting” you. I will see you around the blogosphere.

    • EricIndiana says:

      One problem is that people repost things that catch their attention and they become established through the internet as “facts”. Whenever I see something a little fishy, I go to sites like snopes.com to see if it’s been debunked.

  8. [...] About 2% of our body weight is brain. About 6% of an ant’s body weight is brain. (From the website Daisybrain – Curious Thoughts & Obsessions). We used to hear that humans were the only creatures [...]

  9. Nic says:

    Pleasantly surprised!

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