American socialite and fashion designer, Lilian Pulitzer, once said: “Being happy never goes out of style”. Following her wise words, we have decided to aid you in being happy. So, be prepared to upgrade your smile because we have brought some awesome facts that will instantly uplift your mood. Here are ten happy facts to make you smile throughout the day.
1. Marram grass cells, when viewed under a microscope, look like a collection of smiley faces.
The photograph shown above is the cross section of a leaf of marram grass. This grass is found abundantly around the coast. It is primarily responsible for trapping wind-blown sand and building the dune systems around the coast. The cross-section in the image is that of a partially rolled leaf. It has been stained with fluorescent dyes to light up different cell types within the leaf. The most distinctive features are the scattered structures that look like ‘smiley faces’ with a pair of large ‘eyes’ with a blue open ‘mouth’. These are the leaf veins that conduct water and sugars along the leaf and acts as the plant’s internal plumbing system.
2. Puffins usually have only one partner for life. After mating, they make little homes to have their young ones in and make a side room for a toilet inside their home.
Puffins are mostly monogamous as they rarely change mates. The couples usually go back to the same place to nest year after year.Before nesting, they perform a mating ceremony by rubbing their beaks together. They make incredibly cozy homes for their newborn chicks. Puffins dig three-foot-long burrows with a curved passageway and lay an egg at the very end of the tunnel. They create a specific bathroom area at the first bend in the tunnel. This allows the baby chick to learn how to relieve itself while keeping itself and its space clean.
3. Cuddling releases oxytocin which shortens the healing time of physical wounds.
Cuddling is one of the most basic forms of showing love and affection. It prompts the the body to produce the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone which is naturally released in response to physical touch, and that’s why it is also called the “cuddle hormone”. The hormone oxytocin is essential for healthy muscle maintenance and repair. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have found that oxytocin helps people to recover from muscle injuries faster. It also slows muscle wasting, boosts bone health, and even combats obesity. With all these benefits, what are you waiting for? Go hug someone today!
4. Once, a Liechtenstein military campaign left with eighty men and came back with eighty-one by including a new Italian “friend”.
War and combat are usually associated with bloodshed and death. But there is an instance in history where instead of bloodshed, the war prompted a new friendship. This incident occurred during Liechtenstein’s last military engagement in 1886. A troop of eighty soldiers were sent out to combat. But instead of bloodshed, they succeeded in making a new “friend”. None of the eighty soldiers was injured and they returned back with the Italian friend. The army was disbanded soon afterwards. Liechtenstein now follows a policy of neutrality and is one of the few countries in the world that maintain no military.
5. For the last twenty years, a cat has been the mayor of a town in Alaska.
Stubbs the cat was born on April 12, 1997. When he was just three months old, he was elected the mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska. For the last twenty, ears he has been the honorary mayor of the 900-person town, and the residents are perfectly happy with their choice. The feline is a major tourist attraction drawing thirty to forty tourists every day.
Every afternoon, Stubbs goes to a nearby restaurant and drinks water out of a wineglass laden with catnip. He was attacked by a dog in 2013, but the mayor survived the trauma after a stay in the veterinary hospital for nine days. He is now prevented from roaming in so far as is practical. But recently he hitched a ride to the outskirts of Talkeetna on a garbage truck.
6. Babies do not smile because they are happy; they smile because they want to see their mother smile.
Image Source: leukosight.com
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have found out that babies who are smiling are attempting to make whomever they’re interacting with smile back. The study explains: “By the time infants reach four months of age, both mothers and infants time their smiles in a purposeful, goal-oriented manner. In our study, mothers consistently attempted to maximize the time spent in mutual smiling, while infants tried to maximize mother-only smile time.” The study suggests that babies use sophisticated, timed smiles in order to make their mother, or the person interacting with them, smile.
7. The writer of Peter Pan donated all his copyright royalties to a children’s hospital to fund healthcare and research for sick children.
Born on 9 May 1860 in Scotland, James Matthew Barrie was the ninth of ten children of a hand-loom weaver. He loved children, but he and his wife were childless. His love for children inspired him to create Peter Pan. Barrie gave all the rights to Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Hospital in 1929. This was later confirmed when he died in 1937. Since then, the hospital has received royalties every time a production of the play is put on, as well as from the sale of Peter Pan books and other products. Barrie requested that the amount raised from Peter Pan should never be revealed. That’s why no one knows the exact amount except for the hospital authorities.
8. Falkland Island is an island covered in land mines and is used as a penguin wildlife preserve because the birds are too small to set off the mines. The presence of the mines also has provided a 100% success rate in keeping poachers out.
Human ingenuity knows no bounds. We created landmines to destroy others but currently, the landmines of Falkland islands are acting as life-saver for penguins. For several hundred years, human activity on the Falkland Islands threatened its penguins’ survival. But in 1982, Argentina and Britain began fighting for the control of Falklands, planting some landmines in this struggle. The landmines haven’t killed anyone, but this area is now a well-marked and fenced-off explosive zone. That’s why no human dares to venture there, and penguins have the minefield all to themselves.
9. Blind people smile when they are happy, even though they’ve never been able to witness it themselves.
Research suggests that common facial expressions — expressing things like happiness, sadness, disappointment, and achievement — may be innate, not learned. When researchers studied blind and sighted athletes, they found that both displayed similar facial expressions when they lost or won a competition. Winners sported the grin of a happy person, while losers looked sad or disgusted.
The study showed that it doesn’t matter if someone had been born blind or not. Everyone makes similar faces while smiling. Because of those similarities, the researchers concluded that the universal emotional expressions that they saw may trace back through evolution: “and that all humans, regardless of gender or culture, are born with this ability.”
Award-winning film director, Lucy Walker, who had worked with a blind cast for film once said about blind people: “Even if they can’t see a face, blind people are very aware of the ‘feeling’ that smiling gives them, and they are often able to pick up when someone is smiling by listening to the quality of their voice.”
10. Every morning seahorse mating pairs dance together with tails entwined, sometimes changing color as they dance.
According to Amanda Vincent, a marine biologist at the University of British Columbia and founder of the conservation group Project Seahorse: “The male and female seahorse come together repeatedly every morning to dance together…” to reinforce their pair bond. They move with their tails entwined along with changing color as they move. The dance also helps the pair assess each other’s reproductive status.