Our world holds such dark mysteries that many of us can’t help but uncover. There are so many scary facts, statistics, and random truths that can leave you utterly bewildered and questioning the fabric of your own reality. Okay, so maybe you’re not going to have an existential crisis from reading this list of chilling random facts but we guarantee that many of them will shock and surprise you.
Scary facts are fun to break out at parties to get all of your guests’ blood pumping and to spark conversation. If you’re a touch offbeat, these facts can also make great icebreakers. You’ll be surprised by the reactions you get when telling a stranger that there are over 2,000 active serial killers at large right now! Perhaps that’s not so wise, but for whatever reason, you’re here for the creep factor and we plan on delivering to you. Let’s get weird and discover the dark truths lurking below!
You’ll Never Forget These Scary Facts!
Maternity, Aneurisms, & More Scary Facts
- Postpartum psychosis can manifest overnight meaning a new mother can become violent the morning after giving birth. The psychosis only occurs in around 0.1% to 0.2% of deliveries but it’s still a horrifying proposition!
- Maternal healthcare has come a long way (but there’s still so much more work to do). The chainsaw was originally intended for use during childbirth. Yes, a chainsaw was meant to be used for caesareans.
- Today, 1 in 50 people in the United States has an unruptured brain aneurysm. A ruptured brain aneurysm is 50% fatal. Not great odds!
- The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility was a novella published 14 years before the Titanic tragically sank in 1912. The story all but predicts the sinking of the ship, in that, the ship in it is called Titan, there is also a shortage of lifeboats on board the fictional vessel, the ship hits an iceberg, and it was also considered “unsinkable.”
- When you die, the last sense to go is hearing.
Medicinal Cannibalism, Mass Extinctions, & Even Other Scary Facts
- Brain trauma can cause prosopagnosia or “face blindness.” People with prosopagnosia can’t recognize the faces of even family members and loved ones and may not be able to recognize their own reflection. Keep that brain safe!
- Until about 200 years ago, humans ingested human remains for medicinal purposes. People believed that taking dried and ground-up organs, bones, and more could be beneficial to their health. Gross!
- After decapitation, a human head does not lose life right away. Consciousness remains in a severed head for about 20 seconds.
- The dinosaurs were not the only great species to go extinct. There have been five mass extinction events in Earth’s history (or at least the last 500 million years of it). According to National Geographic, 99 percent of all life forms that ever existed on our planet are now extinct.
- Pigs can devour pretty much anything including their human owners.
Decay, Monstrous Tumors, & Other Scary Facts
- Teratoma, also known as “monstrous tumors,” are tumors found with teeth or hair or bone that are believed to come from an undeveloped twin that latches onto a baby in the womb.
- Rats have incredibly strong teeth that allow them to gnaw through such hard substances as cinder blocks and lead sheeting.
- Corpses removed from water decay faster after they’ve been recovered than bodies not found in water. A corps that is left in water will decay slower as water temperature and other factors slow decomposition.
- Homicidal somnambulism is a term for a condition in which a person commits murder while they sleepwalk. Jules Lowe was acquitted of murder in 2005 after killing his own father while sleepwalking.
- After being dead for three days, the enzymes inside your body’s digestive system start breaking your body down.
Murder Hornets, Waterloo Teeth, & Other Scary Facts
- Dentures used to be made from the teeth of dead people. Dentists used real teeth as fake teeth had not been invented yet. They were referred to as “Waterloo teeth” as teeth were collected from dead soldiers on battlefields.
- A Japanese hornet is the largest and most venomous hornet in the world. A sting from one of these bugs can cause kidney failure.
- Trees can grow inside your lungs. A Russian man was opened up for surgery to remove what was believed to have been a tumor in the lung, instead, doctors found a fir branch growing inside. They believe the man had breathed it inside.
- When the trailer for The Exorcist was first released in theaters, people became so terrified that they left the theater altogether. After complaints, theaters stopped showing the trailer and it was banned.
- A headless chicken lived for 18 months after decapitation. A farmer named Lloyd Olsen missed a chicken’s jugular when he chopped off its head and the chicken lived. He named it Mike the Headless Chicken and took it on tour.
Fatal Insomnia, Ladybugs Lunch on Larvae, & Other Scary Facts
- A pseudocoma is a condition that is often referred to as “locked-in syndrome,” because a person is fully conscious but can’t move or speak. When in this state, a person can usually hear and see but is effectively in a coma from their eyes down.
- Medical errors account for approximately 250,000 deaths in the US each year. These cases are considered preventable which makes this one of the saddest scary facts on this list.
- If a dead body is left unattended, the body will swell up like a balloon due to all of the trapped gases inside.
- Fatal Familial Insomnia or FFI is a rare genetic disorder that causes people to have insomnia that’s so severe that they can’t sleep for months on end. This results in dangerous blood pressure, weight loss, and exhaustion so severe that it can cause death.
- Ladybugs eat their own larvae to ensure the survival of stronger candidates.
Skull Bowls, Vampire Moths, & Other Scary Facts
- A golden poison dart frog (Phyllobates terribilis) is no bigger than a paperclip but it contains enough venom to kill 10 to 15 people. Yes, with just a touch this frog can leave you dead.
- Some domesticated cats and dogs will eat your dead body. There have been many cases of pets nipping and licking their owners for comfort after being distressed that their human is unconscious. Instinct can take over and feeding begins.
- In what’s now modern-day England, people once drank and ate from human skulls before the invention of proper cups and bowls. Yum!
- Mosquitos aren’t the only flying thing that will suck your blood. Vampire Moths will suck the blood of vertebrates, including humans.
- Poveglia, also known as “plague island,” was a fortified island built by the Venetians and equipped with pits for people suffering from the plague. Some 160,000 individuals died in the pits through the years. So many people died on the small island that human remains are found in 50 percent of the soil.
Blood-Squirting Lizards, Eyelash Mites, & Other Scary Facts
- Horned lizards can shoot blood from their eyes as a defense mechanism. The stream of blood can squirt several feet from the eye socket.
- The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland used real skeletons in the 1960s. Eventually, they were replaced with fake ones and given a proper burial.
- Naegleria fowleri or brain-eating amoeba lives in the warm waters of lakes, ponds, and untreated swimming pools. These amoebae enter the body through the nose and travel to the brain to feast on tissue. Over 90% of cases are fatal.
- Eyelash mites are a thing. Microscopic mites live on your eyelids and eyelashes and feed on dead skin.
- The Pacu fish was discovered in South America and has teeth that look curiously like human teeth.
Crows Can Recognize You & Other Scary Facts
- The ocean covers 70% of the Earth’s surface yet scientists claim they have only discovered 10% of the things living in it. That’s a lot of creepy things we simply don’t know about.
- The Catacombs beneath Paris contain the remains of some six million individuals.
- UVB-76 broadcasts white static noise but no one knows where the source is. Occasionally, Russian transmissions are broadcast on it which many think points to Russia as the broadcaster. It’s still a mystery and has been since 1984.
- Crows, despite our disregard for them, can recognize and remember a human face.
- More than 150 corpses litter Mount Everest. Yes, the world’s tallest mountain is the forever home to many a perished hiker.
Baby Body Hair, Excerebration, & Other Scary Facts
- Rats and mice can transmit over 35 diseases to humans. Yikes!
- When preparing a mummy, the Ancient Egyptians practiced excerebration, a process of removing the brain through one of the nostrils. A hot poker was shoved up there and then extracted with the brain.
- 27,000 trees are harvested each day to make toilet paper.
- King Charles II watched his nephew, William of Orange, consummate his marriage. The marriage was to the King’s niece.
- Babies in the womb grow Lanugo, a type of body hair that covers the body and helps the baby regulate temperature. The hair is shed before birth.
Your Dead Skin, Bacteria Kisses, & Other Scary Facts
- Each time you kiss someone, you exchange 80 million bacteria.
- If you’re murdered in the United States, there’s a 1 in 3 chance your murder will go unsolved. One of the most chilling scary facts on this list, no doubt!
- In the 18th century, bloodletting was a common medicinal practice that found people cutting into their veins to release what they considered excess blood in the body.
- An Irish study found that over 20% of children reported hearing voices. So, ghosts are real or our children really are as strange as they seem.
- In your lifetime, your skin will shed half your body weight. On average, a human will shed 40 pounds of dead skin in a lifetime.
Death by Mosquito, Your Dirty Cellphone, & Other Scary Facts
- If you’ve ever said “mosquitos” are eating me alive, think again. In Ancient Persia, a practice called Scaphism or “the boats,” was employed as a method of torture. A person would be stripped naked and covered with honey (and milk in some cases) and then, be tied to a hollowed tree or stretched between two boats to be fed on until death.
- If you ever see “dust” floating in the air of your home, that’s likely dead skin cells.
- Your cellphone is absolutely disgusting. More germs and bacteria are found on your phone than on surfaces in a public restroom! In fact, cellphones were 10 times dirtier than toilet seats, according to a study conducted by the University of Arizona.
- People were buried alive so often in the 17th century that “safety coffins” were invented. If a person awoke to find themselves trapped they could ring a bell that was on the surface to signal that they needed to be exhumed.
- Another weird fact from the 17th century comes from alchemists like John French who would mix various concoctions containing brain matter together, store them in horse manure for months, and then drink them. He was looking for the elixir of life but that sounds like death to us.
How Much You Sweat, the Plague, & Other Scary Facts
- In Ancient Rome, after gladiators fell at the Colosseum, spectators would hurry to the field of battle to lick the blood off of the fallen warriors. They believed by drinking the blood, they would absorb the fighter’s strength.
- The average person sweats an entire cup a day. Additionally, your bed absorbs about 26 gallons of your sweat every year. Yuck!
- Another disgusting fact about your bed is it’s home to over 10 million dust mites.
- In Ancient Egypt, it was common for servants to be sacrificed and buried with their masters.
- The Bubonic Plague made its way to Europe’s shore in Messina, Sicily in the 14th century. Over the next five years, it would kill 20 million people or one-third of Europe’s population.
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Vampire Panic, Shipwrecks, & Other Scary Facts
- It’s estimated that over 3 million shipwrecks have happened worldwide.
- In New England in the 19th century, people were contracting Tuberculosis at an alarming rate. People began to believe that it was being passed along by vampires. The panic grew so intense that coffins were dug up and dead bodies were staked through the heart.
- Not even light can escape from black holes. If you fell into a black hole, you’d get stretched out in a process Stephen Hawking calls “spaghettification.”
- Genghis Khan built the largest empire in history his conquests and subsequent aftermath killed between 20 and 40 million people. That’s about 5 to 10 percent of the Earth’s population.
- Forensic scientists can determine a time of death by looking at different bugs that are on and in a corpse.
Killer Dogs, Mucus, & Other Scary Facts
- When the sun explodes, it will take a full 8 minutes for you to know about it. You would die shortly after that occurs.
- On Earth, there are 40 supervolcanoes that are 20,000+ years overdue for an explosion. The volcanoes are capable of taking the lives of up to a billion people.
- People can die suddenly, even if they are seemingly healthy, due to unknown causes. It’s called sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS).
- You might know this, but dogs enjoy squeaky toys because the sounds they make are like the dying screams of their prey.
- Each year, you swallow 22 gallons of mucus.
The Dead, Nuclear Bombs, & Other Scary Facts
- The dead outnumber the living by 15 to 1.
- Walking corpse syndrome or Cotard’s syndrome is a condition in which a person believes they are dead and denies the existence of their own mortality.
- Through the years, the US has lost a total of six nuclear bombs and they have yet to be found. These are called “Broken Arrows.” This is one of the scary facts that really makes you wonder how we’ve made it this far.
- According to FBI data, if you’re murdered there’s a 40% chance your murder will go unsolved and/or your murderer will get away with it.
- Parents of newborn babies will lose 6 months’ worth of sleep in the first 2 years of their baby’s life.
On Bathing, Laughing, & Other Scary Facts
- You’re more likely to die while taking a bath than you are to win the lottery.
- People who watch more than 2 hours of TV a day shave, on average, 1.4 years off of their lives. Here’s one of the scary facts you can make actionable and change! Let’s get off the couch.
- In Lake Nyos, Cameroon, a limnic eruption causes the deaths of over 1,700 people. The eruption releases the colorless, odorless, carbon monoxide gas which floated across the ground. When people went to bed, they died in their sleep from the poisoning.
- When whales mature to the point of death, they are unable to swim to the surface for air and slowly suffocate to death. Their bodies sink to the ocean floor where they become thriving ecosystems for other sea life.
- The majority of sitcom laugh tracks were recorded in the early 1950s which means that many of the people you hear laughing on TV today are now dead.
Christmas Carp, Deadly Selfies, & Other Scary Facts
- Your tonsils will grow back if there was tissue left behind by your surgeon.
- Fungus is more closely genetically related to animals than it is to plants. Learning that fungi are more like humans than plants might be one of the scariest facts on this list! How?
- Today, selfies cause more deaths than shark attacks.
- In Slovakia, they have Christmas Carp that live in the family bathtub for a few days before they are consumed.
- Edward Paisnel would break into homes wearing a rubber mask and nail-studded cuffs. He would rape and terrorize women and children wearing the garments. He also played Santa Clause for children at the local community center. He is known as the Beast of Jersey.
Adipocere, Fused Murder Victims, & Other Scary Facts
- If you were skinned, the skin from your body would weigh about eight pounds in total.
- Corpses buried beneath John Wayne Gacy‘s house were stuffed together so tightly that the bones actually fused and it took over two years to separate all of the skeletons.
- Do hair and nails grow after death? No, that’s a myth. What actually happens is that the body dries out, so the nail beds and skin on the head retract, making nails, stubble, and hair appear longer.
- The BTK (bind, torture, kill) serial killer installed alarms at several people’s homes who were getting alarm systems out of fear of the BTK killer. That’s one of the most ironic scary facts on this list!
- Bodies are sometimes covered in what looks like candle wax after death. Technically known as adipocere, the waxy substance (also called grave wax) is a product of decomposition caused by fat breaking down and a lack of oxygen.
The Dangers of Dancing, Drinking Blood, & Other Scary Facts
- Folks used to think that the blood of the freshly executed was a cure-all, and would pay executioners to drink it warm from the gallows. That’s one of the vilest scary facts on this list!
- After cremation, the weight of your remains is between 3 and 9 pounds.
- Ted Bundy once worked at a suicide prevention hotline center.
- You are actually more likely to be killed at a dance party than while skydiving.
- Why are graves dug to be six feet deep? In 1665, London’s mayor was trying to stop the spread of disease and mandated that all bodies be buried at the depth.
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Refrigerator Doors, Spiders Everywhere, & Other Scary Facts
- A spider can be found in 3 out of every 4 bedrooms in your home.
- In the Victorian Era, it was customary for a widow to stay in mourning for over two years!
- Snakes don’t have external ears. Instead, they have internal ears that pick up sound waves through skin, muscles, and bones. Eeeek!
- The word bonfire comes from an ancient Druid practice, on what we now call Halloween, in which priests would toss cattle bones onto large fires. Yes, it was a “bone fire.”
- The reason refrigerator doors are magnetic today is due to the death of children. Before, doors only opened from the outside. Children would hide in them and find themselves trapped inside. That’s one very sad game of hide and seek.
Woo! Those scary facts might make you lose some sleep! While there is no shortage of scary facts out there, we hope these delightfully creepy ones stood out from the ones you might already be familiar with. Our world is a scary place and you should feel free to drop these facts at the next social gathering to truly scare your friends and make them question everything!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 You’ll Never Forget These Scary Facts!
- 1.1 Maternity, Aneurisms, & More Scary Facts
- 1.2 Medicinal Cannibalism, Mass Extinctions, & Even Other Scary Facts
- 1.3 Decay, Monstrous Tumors, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.4 Murder Hornets, Waterloo Teeth, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.5 Fatal Insomnia, Ladybugs Lunch on Larvae, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.6 Skull Bowls, Vampire Moths, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.7 Blood-Squirting Lizards, Eyelash Mites, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.8 Crows Can Recognize You & Other Scary Facts
- 1.9 Baby Body Hair, Excerebration, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.10 Your Dead Skin, Bacteria Kisses, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.11 Death by Mosquito, Your Dirty Cellphone, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.12 How Much You Sweat, the Plague, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.13 Vampire Panic, Shipwrecks, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.14 Killer Dogs, Mucus, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.15 The Dead, Nuclear Bombs, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.16 On Bathing, Laughing, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.17 Christmas Carp, Deadly Selfies, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.18 Adipocere, Fused Murder Victims, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.19 The Dangers of Dancing, Drinking Blood, & Other Scary Facts
- 1.20 Refrigerator Doors, Spiders Everywhere, & Other Scary Facts
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