Rumor Flies

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Rumor Flies comically addresses the origins, evolution, and veracity of your favorite rumors, myths, and misconceptions. Tune in for more research, stories, and unsolicited commentary! Participation encouraged.

Filtering by Tag: Snapple

Snap Judgment #16: The Black Note

#931: The nothingness of a black hole generates a sound in the key of B flat.

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Verdict: False (sort of)

Black holes are crazy. For those who aren't quite sure what they are, here's a little primer for you. There are many variations and sizes and origins for black holes but the incredibly untechnical tl;dr version is this: It's a point in space that is so dense and compressed (TONS of mass squeezed into a very tiny space) with an absurd amount of gravity that even light can't escape. You literally can't look at one, you can only see what it's doing to the objects around it, as well as its effects on space and time. They are often the result of massive, dying stars, though again there are variations and this is an over-simplification. 

So now for the "False (sort of)" rating. It's actually pretty simple: There is a blackhole that "emits" a tone of B-flat, but not all blackholes do this and NASA even has examples of other notes. The black hole Snapple is probably referring to is a Super Massive Black Hole" in the Perseus Cluster. This note is also 57 octaves lower than middle-C, making it, "the deepest note ever detected from an object in the Universe" (as of 2003). It is literally over a "million billion" times lower than what the human ear can hear. Perhaps South Park was on to something...

So let's hit another aspect of black holes since that was all pretty simple and since black holes are so totally crazy awesome while simultaneously operating as a potential source of literal and existential dread that you can't control!

If you observe an object entering a black hole, it will first seem to "slow down" then appear to freeze in motion and time because the light can't escape, meaning it'll take an infinite time to reach you. You are quite literally stuck with the "last image" of the object before it crosses what is called "The Event Horizon," the point of "no return" for objects near a black hole. The closer you get to this point, the more time seems to "slow down." If you saw the movie Interstellar you saw this effect at work on the water planet. The planet was pretty close to a black hole, meaning it felt some of the effects (while remaining outside the event horizon). The longer they spent on that planet, the more time passed outside of the area due to the relative effects of time. A few hours on the planet equaled dozens of years in "normal" space. 

So yeah, don't get too close to your local black hole, everyone. 

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Snap Judgment #10: Mango Burns

#1416: “Mangoes can get sunburned.”

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Verdict: Probably

So Snapple is on a winning streak right now going into Snap Judgment #10! The score is currently 7-3, so Snapple is batting a .700. Not bad, but we are sure we'll find some more mistakes down the line. So I decided to give them a "yes" on the scoreboard here, despite the "probably." I had trouble pinning down mangoes getting sunburned, but it is well documented that fruit trees can receive sun damage, so they get this one for now. This one I decided to stick out if for no other reason than I found some other crazy info down the rabbit hole. Snapple also did a commercial for this topic

So get this: the enzymes in mangoes can actually cause a severe skin reaction when combined with sun exposure. Don't worry, this does not happen to everyone just because a little fruit juice may spill on you. It is the result of "phytophotodermatitis," which the article describes as "a skin condition that happens as a result of sensitivity to chemicals in certain plants and fruits." This condition, coupled with sun exposure/juice on the skin, leads to a chemical burn. 

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This also occurs with several other fruits and vegetables. According to this CBS article, a bartender (Justin Fehntrich) working on the beach received what's called "the margarita burn." This burn was also the result of "phytophotodermatitis" combined with lime juice and extended exposure to the sun. The juice from the limes Fehntrich was squeezing made his skin hyper-sensitive to UV-rays, thus resulting in 2nd degree burns. Don't worry though - as long as you wipe the juice off within a reasonable amount of time (it needs 10-30 min to absorb) you'll be fine. 




Snap Judgment #9: Penguin Knights

#1011: “Norway once knighted a penguin.”

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Verdict: True

Nils Olav is one famous penguin. Excuse us, Brig Sir Nils Olav is one noble and decorate penguin of the highest caliber. According to NBC, Nils Olav received medals for good conduct and long service, made honorary colonel-in-chief of the elite Norwegian King's Guard in 2005, and was promptly knighted in 2008. He is the 3rd of his noble lineage to be granted this honor. In 2016, he ascended to the rank of Brigadier in the King's Guard - you can even see the event here. During the video he is seen regally waddling along the path inspecting the troops. Truly he is a stickler for polish and discipline, but it seems the troops made it through with no reprimands...this time. 

One thing I found interesting is how the above video occurred in Scotland. I did a little more reading and found this article by The GuardianWhile all this may very well be an expensive piece of entertainment utilizing an old monarchical structure, it's also used a way to foster cooperation between nations. As Barbara Smith of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland puts it: “We are honoured to host his majesty the king of Norway’s guard as they bestow a prestigious new title upon our king penguin, Sir Nils Olav. It is a very proud moment and represents the close collaboration between our two countries.” What I had missed in my first readings was that Sir Olav does not actually reside in Norway. He is a resident King Penguin at the Edinburgh Zoo, so this is a fun spectacle that is also meant to bring the two countries together. 


This realization then led me down the google rabbit hole once again as I looked for other examples of "Knighted" or well-decorated animals. I then came across this Mental Floss piece. A few of them were pretty silly historical examples that honestly just didn't catch my interest, but then I discovered Taffy IV. Taffy IV is arguably one of the most decorated goats in history. He saw active duty in WWI and received he received the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his valor in several battles during the war. Apparently, since the US Revolutionary War, Britain has regularly deployed goats on the battlefield. How much they do that today...well, perhaps that'll be a fun new piece.