Optimistic Facts That Show the World Isn’t Such a Dark Place

By Jake Schroeder
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Photo Courtesy: Martin St-Amant/Wikimedia Commons

If you regularly keep up with the news, you know that the world can look like a pretty awful place sometimes. It seems like the worst of what's happening around the globe is what makes the headlines, and there’s little out there to help us feel better if we aren't looking for it.

On the bright side, there are some facts out there that’ll go a long way in restoring your faith in humans and animals and help you foster a positive outlook about the planet we call home. Here are some facts that will make the world seem a little less depressing.

Crime Rates Are Always Going Down

Despite what you might think if you watch any major news outlet daily, crime around the world has been dropping. Between 1993 and 2017, crime rates fell 74% — a pretty big drop! This means that crime rates in the United States are back to around the same level they were in 1967.

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Photo Courtesy: niu niu/Unsplash

Sure, the news likes to highlight all the crime still happening because it gets our attention. But it does make us feel better to know that, despite all the wrongs in the world, crime rates have been dropping. That's always a great thing!

Bats Sing Love Songs

Humans aren't the only beings who express their love in the form of songs. Scientists have discovered that many animals actually do this, too. Specifically, a type of bat in Brazil uses distinguishable phrases and syllables to attract mates.

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Photo Courtesy: Matti Mero/Wikimedia Commons

Brazilian free-tailed bats use special sounds arranged in a pattern to form love songs. The males create these "songs" to attract nearby females. Males also sing screechier songs to other males to mark their territory. This is similar to behavior of birds, but the songs and types of vocalizations the bats make are much more complex.

Window Washing Heroes Show Up at Hospitals

There’s an organization of window washers nationwide who do something amazing for children who are hospitalized: They dress up as superheroes! Think of how amazing it would be to have the wonderment of a child, look out the window and see none other than Green Lantern or Batman hanging outside of your window.

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Photo Courtesy: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images

It’s an incredibly thoughtful gesture that has likely brightened the rough days of thousands of children. Some of the window washers even make sure they knock on the windows so the kids see. These people really may be heroes to the little ones whose attention they capture.


Some Dogs Can Skateboard

There are few things more adorable than seeing a dog confidently riding a skateboard. And something that’s even more impressive? Many dogs around the world have learned how to do this. All you have to do is run a quick YouTube search, and you'll likely come up with tons of videos of this adorable phenomenon.

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Photo Courtesy: Bambooskates/Wikimedia Commons

And the talent doesn’t stop on land; some dogs even know how to surf (or at least balance on their humans’ surfboards). We don't know about anybody else, but watching man's best friend take to the waves is sure to bring a smile to even the saddest face.

Dark Chocolate Has Health Benefits

If you’re ever worried about having that last piece of dark chocolate, don't feel guilty for snatching it up. It turns out that dark chocolate has some pretty great health benefits — when eaten in moderation, of course. Eating dark chocolate helps boost circulation and can help your skin retain moisture, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

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Photo Courtesy: StockSnap/Pixabay

In addition to that, dark chocolate is also an anti-inflammatory superfood for both the body and the brain. Eating dark chocolate can help your cardiovascular system and keep your mood calm and happy. This is pretty good news for chocolate lovers.

Penguins Mate for Life

This fact might just make countless people smile. Penguins mate for life and never separate — how’s that for true love? What’s perhaps even more adorable is that penguins who are in search of mates spend a lot of time finding perfect, round pebbles to present to their prospective mates.

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Photo Courtesy: Liam Quinn/Wikimedia Commons

We would like to think that is where the idea for engagement rings came from, but sadly, that isn't the case. Either way, knowing that penguins are out there — together for life, after presenting their mates with enticing rocks — is certainly a reason to feel happier.


Smiling Is Natural to Humans

It may bring a smile to your face knowing that, as humans, our ability and impulse to smile is an innate action. Humans don’t have to be taught to smile; we simply do it involuntarily as a reaction. So, expressing happiness is totally natural to us.

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Photo Courtesy: Victoria_Borodinova/Pixabay

Even people with blindness who have never seen another person grin will smile when they’re feeling happy. It's nice to know that our expression of happiness comes from deep inside us. Why not try to make a few people smile today?

We All Come From Stars

It may surprise you to know that elements in our DNA are the same elements that make up the stars in the night sky. The nitrogen in our DNA is the same nitrogen that’s in stars. Also, the calcium in our teeth and the iron in our blood are elements found out there in the universe.

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Photo Courtesy: ESA/Hubble via Wikimedia Commons

Don’t think of this as a reason to have an existential crisis; it's actually pretty cool to know that we’re all cosmically connected — to each other and to the place where we live — in this way. We’re made of stardust. Kind of makes you feel a little magical, doesn’t it?

Dolphins Give Each Other Names

As if dolphins (the puppies of the sea) weren't adorable and amazing enough, researchers discovered that dolphins actually give names to each other. They use certain sounds to represent other, individual dolphins. They call out to each other using unique whistling sounds for each name, and often can be seen playing together.

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Photo Courtesy: Philippe Bourjon/Wikimedia Commons

When dolphin friends go a long time without seeing each other, they can also recognize their old friends by the different sounds they make. Dolphins do so many neat things that it's hard to keep track of how intelligent and impressive they are.


Rubber Duckies Take Over the Sea

Here's a really cool fact that many people aren't aware of. During the 1990s, about 30,000 rubber ducks ended up lost at sea due to a cargo ship container packed with the toys falling into the ocean. Some people are still finding them today. Even if the world seems dark, just imagine that out there, somewhere in the vast and roiling oceans, are thousands of cute yellow duckies floating around.

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Photo Courtesy: Eva Rinaldi/Wikimedia Commons

If you're lucky, you may stumble on one of them someday. Maybe it's like finding a four-leaf clover. While it’s not the most wonderful thing to think of from an environmental standpoint, these ducks did manage to teach scientists a lot about ocean currents.

Cows Have Best Friends

Most of us humans have a best friend. Some of us have more than one. And we’re not the only ones who cultivate these special, deep and often-lifelong friendships. It's a nice fact to know that cows also have a similar bond with each other. Cows actually have best friends that they prefer to spend time with.

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Photo Courtesy: Pixel-Sepp/Pixabay

Additionally, there are videos on the internet of cows behaving much like dogs. You can see them snuggling humans, snuggling each other and even playing fetch. Sadly, they’re probably too big to sleep in our beds or take on hikes, but it’s nice to know they have enduring relationships.

Puppies Exist

Puppies in and of themselves are something to smile about, but there’s a little-known fact that’s sure to bring a smile to your face. Male puppies, while playing with female puppies, will intentionally let the female pups win.

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Photo Courtesy: Chiemsee2016/Pixabay

That's pretty adorable, isn’t it? Did you also know that just being around puppies can lower your blood pressure and make you feel happier? If you're ever having an awful day, cuddle up with a puppy if possible. It'll help boost your mood and make you forget your troubles, if only for just a little while.


Some Jellyfish Might Be Immortal

Turritopsis dohrnii is a unique type of jellyfish. They live forever if they aren't eaten or don't go through the process of transdifferentiation that occurs when they reach maturity. If they can avoid this, their bodies begin continually regenerating.

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Photo Courtesy: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

They’re tiny jellyfish — only about an inch long — and do sting, but they aren’t venomous like the box jellyfish. The process they go through on a cellular level is unmatched by any other creature in the animal kingdom. There could be some pretty ancient jellyfish out there. Do they hold the secret to immortality for us, too?

Cuddling and Hugging Have Health Benefits

Ever had one of those days where you just really, really need a hug? Well, it turns out that hugging and cuddling have multiple health benefits — and you do need that hug. Cuddling and hugging release oxytocin, also known as the "happy hormone." This hormone improves your mood and makes you feel happy.

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Photo Courtesy: Free-Photos/Pixabay

Because hugging and cuddling release oxytocin, engaging in either act can help speed up healing and even help people recover from physical wounds. That's pretty amazing. Feeling down? Give somebody a hug or cuddle up with your significant other; it'll make you feel better.

Looking at Cute Animal Pictures Has Health Benefits

Most people love looking at pictures of cute animals, but did you know there are actually benefits to doing this? A study published in 2012 found that people who spent time looking at photographs of cute animals were able to focus better.

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Photo Courtesy: ilyessuti/Pixabay

The study had participants view cute animal photos and then perform tasks that required their focused attention. The group who saw the pictures focused a lot better than those who didn't. So, if you can't concentrate and find that you're not productive, check out some pictures of cute animal babies.


Otters Hold Hands

Facts about the animal kingdom never fail to make the world look a little less grim, so let’s turn our attention to otters for a minute. These unique and exciting animals are a little bit like us — they hold hands (or paws)!

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Photo Courtesy: Joe Robertson/Wikimedia Commons

Sea otters always like to stick together. While they sleep, they hold hands with each other so they don't lose their friends while floating in the water. Sometimes, they can look like an entire raft of otters just floating along. Seems pretty cute and cozy, doesn’t it?

Dogs Have Nursed Abandoned Kittens

The ability to nurture others can transcend species. There have been multiple dogs who have found abandoned kittens and adopted them as their own, nursing them as they would do with their own pups. Cats have been known to do this also.

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Photo Courtesy: utahhumane/YouTube

In particular, this often happens at animal shelters when a litter of abandoned pups or kittens comes in. One of the more maternal dogs or cats takes it upon herself to keep the babies alive and nurse them. How sweet is that?

There Are Superman References in Many Seinfeld Episodes

If you’ve ever watched any episodes of the hit sitcom Seinfeld, you may have noticed something interesting in a lot of the episodes. There’s often a Superman featured at some point somewhere on the set or mentioned in conversation.

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Photo Courtesy: IMDb

The show itself is good for a laugh — it’s one of the most popular sitcoms of all time — but it’s fun knowing that when you’re watching the episodes, if you look hard enough you can find none other than one of the world's most favorite superheroes right there. He often appears on Jerry's fridge. We're thinking somebody on the show must have been a fan!


Every Face You See In Your Dreams Is One You've Really Seen

Although scientists don’t know this for sure because it’s very difficult to test, it’s thought that humans’ brains don’t have the ability to create other human faces from scratch. You know those dreams you have where there are people you don't recognize? Well, you’ve most likely actually seen them before in your life.

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Photo Courtesy: Free-Photos/Pixabay

It's pretty interesting to think that every face we see in our dreams is one we’ve already encountered in real life, even if we don't remember it. They could be somebody we passed on the street or a person waiting in line behind us at the grocery store. Some researchers also think our brains may be able to combine features from people we’ve seen to create "new" people.

Humpback Whales Protect Seals From Orca Whales

Humpback whales are some of the most beautiful creatures found in the sea, so it's nice to know that they're also somewhat compassionate. Not only do they defend their own babies and relatives, but they’ve also been seen preventing orca whales from attacking other species.

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Photo Courtesy: NOAA/Wikimedia Commons

There are many videos that show humpback whales protecting seals from attacks. When killer whales attack seals and there’s a humpback whale around, the humpback will usually intervene. It’s pretty sweet that animals look out for each other this way.

Pink Dolphins Exist

If you like the color pink — and you love dolphins — it may put a smile on your face to know that somewhere out there in the waters of the world, pink dolphins really do exist. They live in the Amazon River and are also named after it.

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Photo Courtesy: Michelle Bender/Wikimedia Commons

These magical creatures are commonly seen alone or in pairs. They are shyer than other dolphins and don’t make themselves visible to humans often. One interesting fact about them? Like some other animals, the males have been seen carrying brush or sticks in their mouths, and it's assumed they use these items in the courting process.


Honey Never Goes Bad

If you like honey, it’ll make you happy to know that this sweet treat never goes bad. Unlike most other foods, honey has no expiration date. When stored properly, it can last forever. Archaeologists have even discovered jars of perfectly preserved honey in ancient Egyptians’ tombs.

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Photo Courtesy: fancycrave1/Pixabay

There have been generations of people who have owned the same jar of honey, too. Unlike other foods, it simply doesn't break down. Very few microorganisms can survive in honey due to its chemical structure — particularly if it’s in a sealed jar.

Giant Pandas Are No Longer Endangered

For quite a long time, giant pandas were an endangered species. As adorable as they are, it would be hard to imagine a world without them in it. Luckily, with the help of some good people, the giant panda is no longer endangered.

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Photo Courtesy: Cimberley/Pixabay

Thanks to the efforts of conservationists and zoos across the world, giant pandas have been able to build their populations back up. China also created dozens of special nature reserves for the pandas, which has allowed the bears to thrive.

Love Is All You Need

Love is one of the things that certainly makes the world seem less like a dumpster fire. It’s almost everywhere in movies, TV and music — but there’s so much to love about love.

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Photo Courtesy: CBS Television/Wikimedia Commons

Love is good for your heart, literally; people who are married and in love are less likely than single and divorced people to develop vascular disease. When you gaze into the eyes of someone you love, your heartbeats synchronize. Being in love can even help ease chronic pain. How’s that for warm and fuzzy?


Social Media Isn't So Bad

There are a lot of studies out there that show that looking at social media too often can contribute to feelings of depression. It can be a bit overwhelming if you’re only focused on the negative. However, other studies have demonstrated that social media, as a whole, shares more good news than bad news.

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Photo Courtesy: LoboStudioHamburg/Pixabay

If you find that you see a lot of negative information on social media, it might be time to change up the profiles that you follow. And always be sure to pass on the good news that you see — happiness is contagious!

Wine Has Health Benefits

If you like to indulge in some wine every now and then, worry not. It turns out that wine has a lot of health benefits. Resveratrol is a compound in most wines, and it has been shown to improve heart health. In addition to boosting heart health, wine can also improve your blood pressure.

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Photo Courtesy: Pexels/Pixabay

It can also possibly prevent certain forms of cancer and even help people’s bodies naturally raise levels of omega-3 fatty acids. So, go ahead and have that glass of wine. Just remember to drink in moderation and discuss this decision with your doctor first.

Wine Isn’t the Only Drink That Makes the World Go ‘Round

The Queen of England, Elizabeth II, has a glass of champagne nearly every night before she goes to bed. Talk about living like royalty! We aren't sure which type of champagne she indulges in, but either way, it seems like a fun way to live life.

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Photo Courtesy: Unknown/Wikimedia Commons

At the age of 93, the Queen doesn't seem to be slowing down like most others her age. You could assume that's because she lives, well, like a queen. Or maybe having that glass of champagne before bed can really do something to keep one youthful.


Maybe “Hello” Isn’t the Best Greeting

Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, but that isn't the fact that’ll remind you how great the world really is. When he started developing the first practical telephone, he didn't want users to answer it by saying "hello." His idea was a lot more fun than that.

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Photo Courtesy: Moffett Studio/Wikimedia Commons

He thought it would be a good idea for people to answer the telephone by saying "ahoy!" That might set a better tone for most phone calls these days. Why not try it? You might find that it brightens your day to make people chuckle.

Tulips Make Great Gifts

Sometimes, people remember the good things others do for them. The Netherlands, as a whole, is an example we should appreciate. Every single year, the Netherlands sends 20,000 tulip bulbs to Canada. Why? Well, it’s to thank the Canadians for their aid in World War II.

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Photo Courtesy: Andrew Scheer/Wikimedia Commons

That happened three-quarters of a century ago, but the Netherlands doesn't let that stop them from continually showing gratitude. Plus, the fields of tulips are beautiful and really something to see — definitely a fitting display for thanking a country.

People Dreamed of Our Time

Think of all the future technology we read about and see on television and in movies. For many, the sci-fi devices of generations past have already come to pass. We are, right this very moment, living in the future that others have dreamed of.

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Photo Courtesy: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

We have fast cars, hoverboards, jetpacks that allow us to hover over the water and much more. The smartphones that we all carry on a daily basis are things that people of the past could only dream of. Be thankful — we’re living in somebody's idea of a great period of time.