Top 10 weird and wonderful travel facts

extracted from Charles Saatchi’s We are Bananas

Turritopsis dohrnii aka the immortal jellyfish credit: Charles Saatchi

1) Meet the one creature on Earth that is immortal

Turritopsis dohrnii, better known as the immortal jellyfish, cheats death by reversing the ageing process. If it is injured, sick or getting too old, it returns to its polyp stage over a three-day period, transferring cells into a youthful state that will eventually grow into adulthood again.

  • Highland cow credit: mdurinik

  • The red planet credit: RichVintage

2) British cows moo in regional accents

The regional variations were first noticed by members of the West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers group, looking to produce a variety of regional cheddars. As they visted herds across the country, they reported the fluctuations in their notably different moos.

3) We know more about Mars than our own ocean floors

Mankind has created more accurate maps of the surface of Mars than of our own ocean floors. About three-quarters of the Earth is covered in water, but we have only managed to explore five per cent of what lies beneath the waves. Much of the sea is so deep, if Everest was placed at the bottom, it wouldn’t reach the surface.

  • The baobab tree credit: Chanoded

  • Kids and guns don't mix credit: DIGIcal

4) The largest living thing on earth is invisible

This Baobab tree in Guyana is a contender for the world’s largest living entity. However, beneath the city of Oregon, USA you would find a mushroom that is three and a half miles in diameter. What started as a simple spore, too insignificant to be seen without a microscope, has been weaving its filaments through a forest, killing trees at their roots as it goes.

5) In America children under 3 shoot 1 person a week

In 2015, more than fifty-two people were shot by a toddler under three – more shooting deaths than caused by terrorists. In the US there are approximately three hundred million guns, averaging about one gun per member of the population.

  • Nice hair credit: maiteali

  • Coming soon to a dramatic landscape near you...credit: Aunt_Spray

6) In Tokyo they sell toupees for dogs

Its official – our world has evolved to the stage where you can now buy a wig for your dog. As with many unusual trends, this one started in Japan, a country where green tea Kit-Kats and toothpaste are the norm. Capsule vending machines in Ginza dispense canine wigs, in case you suddenly get the urge to change your dog’s look.

7) The Mammoth is making a comeback in South Korea

Bewilderingly, the world’s most advanced biotechnology laboratory is in South Korea, and they have already cloned six hundred dogs for customers around the world. Each customer paid $100 000 to be ‘reunited’ with their beloved pet. They are also aiming to repopulate endangered canines like Ethopian and American red wolves. Their progress is being followed closely in Russia, because it gave researchers hope that the Woolly Mammoth, last seen roaming Siberia three thousand six hundred years ago, might have a chance at reappearing.

  • Vatican City credit: Nikada

  • Don't look down credit: Alija

8) Vatican City has the highest crime rate in the world

Vatican City, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is the world’s smallest state. It rests across only one hundred and ten acres. Because it has so few citizens and so many visitors, the Vatican has one hundred and thirty crimes per person per year. It is mostly petty theft, thanks to the proliferation of pickpockets targeting the vast number of tourists.

9) The cure for fear of heights is to go higher

Experts will tell you that the key to overcoming a fear is to confront it, and unless you do so, it will just worsen as time goes on. Aversion therapy forces you to face your phobia for increasing amounts of time, until it eventually dissipates.

Name

Pockets of light credit: Pr3t3nd3r

10) Most of the world lives in perpetual darkness

As about seventy per cent of our planet is covered in water, it may not be surprising that ninety-five per cent of all life on Earth can be found beneath the seas. Light can only penetrate to around 350 feet below the ocean surface, and with an average depth of over 12 400 feet, most of it remains in a permanent state of darkness.


Charles Saatchi’s new book, We are Bananas

is out now by Palazzo publishing