A list of curious facts
One: No one loves their mangoes quite like Indians. But how many of us are willing to pay Rs 19,000 for just one? Hiroyuki Nakagawa’s mangoes are extra-special because he grows them in a greenhouse—located in the freezing cold temperatures of Hokkaido. Here’s how he does it:
He stores snow from the winter months and uses it in the summer to cool his greenhouses, tricking the fruits into delaying blooming. Then in the winter he uses natural hot springs to warm the greenhouse and harvest roughly 5,000 mangoes out of season. The process allows the mangoes to ripen during the cooler months when few insects are around, which means no use of pesticides.
Nakagawa claims his mangoes are much sweeter—with a buttery smooth texture devoid of stringiness. Sounds lovely, but we’ll stick with our made-in-India Alfonso, thanks. You can see the love and care afforded to each of the 5,000 fruits in his annual harvest above—and below is how it’s sold in the supermarket. (Bloomberg News via NDTV)
Two: Surely you know that India is the death-by-selfie capital of the world. As in, we have the highest number of people who die while doing stupid ass things just to take a photograph. But this suicidal stupidity isn’t a product of the smartphone era—or even unique to Indians. There are a number of examples of such death-defying photos taken back in the nineteenth century—by tourists to the Yosemite National Park in California. Like these two ladies doing a little jig below. California Sun has more insane pics.
Three: A UCLA study has discovered that 65 animal species have their own form of “laughter”—every creature from rats to mongoose, cows and, of course, primates. What’s astonishing is that many of these species are separated from us by tens of millions of years. It has scientists wondering about the evolutionary purpose of this “vocal play signal.” Of course, not all laughs sound like human laughter. In the case of mice—who giggle when tickled—it sounds more like a high-pitched squeak that humans can’t hear (watch it here). LiveScience has an entertaining 3-minute explainer of the study. (Bioacoustics)