Today I found out the color orange was named after the fruit, not the other way around. Before then, the English speaking world referred to the orange color as geoluhread, which literally translates to “yellow-red”.
The word orange itself was introduced to English through the Spanish word “naranja”, which came from the Sanskrit word nāraṅga, which literally means “orange tree”. The English dropped the leading “n” and eventually we got the word “orange”.
In the early 16th century, the word orange gradually started being used to not only refer to the fruit, but also what we now know of as the color orange.
- There is an orange tree in Europe called “Constable” that is estimated to be almost 500 years old.
- Lightning kills more orange trees annually than any disease.
- Temple Oranges and Murcott Honey Oranges are actually hybrid oranges, being crossed with tangerines.
- Over 25 billion oranges are grown in the United States every year. That’s enough oranges for every American to eat about 83 oranges a year.
- Christopher Columbus brought the first orange seeds to the New World on his second voyage in 1493. On this same voyage, he also brought seeds for lemons and citrons.
- Navel oranges are named for their belly-button-like formations on the opposite side from the stem. As a general rule, the bigger the navel in the orange, the sweeter it will be.
- There is no single English word that rhymes with orange. There are however half rhymes such as “hing”, “syringe”, “sporange”, etc. There are also proper nouns that come very close to being a perfect rhyme with it, such as “Blorenge”, which is a mountain in Wales, and “Gorringe”, which is the last name of the US Naval Commander who discovered and named Gorringe Ridge in 1875.
Today I found out that dolphins don’t breathe automatically, rather it is always consciously done.
An interesting consequence of the fact that they need to be conscious to control their breathing is that they can never be truly unconscious; so when they sleep, they must still have some level of consciousness. However, being mammals, their brains do need to enter a type of unconscious state every now and again in order to continue to function properly.
How dolphins handle this is to put one half of their brain to sleep, while the other half is still conscious and functioning. They then alternate which side is sleeping periodically. They stay in this state approximately eight hours a day. This way they are still conscious to control their breathing and periodically swim to the surface and get air, while still giving their brain the rest it needs.
Today I found out that a tiny shrimp known as the Snapping Shrimp or Pistol Shrimp, is on one of the loudest creatures in the World.
This tiny shrimp species (Alpheus heterochaelis) belonging to the Alpheidae family grows to only 1-2 inches (3-5 cms) long, but don’t let its size fool you. The tiny finger sized critter is capable of producing a sound louder than a jet engine!
These crustaceans are often a dirty-green color. They prowl the shallow waters of tropical seas like the Mediterranean. They can be easily identified as it sports one normal claw and one noticeably larger snapper claw. Its disproportionately large claw can be up to half its body size which makes it look like it’s wearing an overgrown boxing glove.
Today I found out what a.m. and p.m. stand for. And no, it’s not, as my first grade teacher told me, “After Midnight” and “Past Midday”. LIES!!! Though, funny enough, not really that far off the translated versions of the Latin words for which a.m. and p.m. actually do stand for.
It turns out, a.m. stands for “ante meridiem”, which is Latin for “Before Midday”; p.m. stands for “Post Meridiem”, which is Latin for “After Midday”.
Interestingly, this finally clears up for me one of the interesting quirks of the 12 hour clock system where time counts from 12 a.m. to 1 a.m. and likewise goes from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., which always seemed odd, but now makes perfect sense given what a.m. and p.m. stand for.