We could all use some good news right about now, and Reddit came to the rescue in a recent discussion that asked people to share their favorite "VERY comforting facts" with the community. From adorable animal news to some out-of-this-world information about the planets, here are the best, most uplifting facts and tidbits you'll read all week. Get ready to smile, because you won’t be able to stop yourself.
They Knight Penguins In Norway
This is adorable, Redditor sassy-cheese-cube! Meet Brigadier Sir Nils Olav III of Edinburgh, Scotland. He's a knight of Norwegian King's Guard. He is also a king penguin, the third in a line of knighted birds that were given military rank in 1972!
The original Olav was a popular attraction at the Edinburgh Zoo and got the attention of a visiting lieutenant in the Norwegian King's Guard. Olav was made a lance corporal and has had a very successful military career since then, eventually attaining knighthood in 2008.
We Are Kicking Butt With Aluminum Recycling
It is estimated that 105,784 aluminum cans are recycled every minute in the United States. This means that about 50% of all cans are recycled, and about 70% of those cans are made of recycled aluminum. There is always room for improvement, but compared to a couple of decades ago, we have collectively made a pretty huge leap forward.
As Redditor Koolco quipped, "It's just aluminum but it shows that we CAN as a society recycle over half of the stuff we use and we can start keeping the world clean."
Cheetahs Can Benefit From Therapy Dogs
You might imagine that a fierce hunter like the cheetah would totally own its habitat at the zoo, but they are very sensitive animals. In captivity, some become so shy that they have difficulty breeding. In an effort to get these beautiful cats out of their shells, some zookeepers have introduced emotional support dogs to the mix.
The naturally confident canines give the timid cats social cues that "everything's cool," something we could all stand to hear every now and then. Redditor pxxrthshetty shared this cute fact.
Ravens And Crows Love To Play Games In The Snow
Contrary to their ominous portrayals in film and literature (we're looking at you, Edgar Allan Poe), ravens and their smaller crow cousins can be mischievous goofballs. There are plenty of videos online showing the playful birds barrel-rolling down snowy hills or snowboarding down a rooftop.
Seriously, a crow slides down the roof on a disc then picks it up and goes back to the top for another ride, look it up! This fun fact is courtesy of Redditor Shadowkiller215.
A Cure For Some Forms Of Blindness Could Be On The Way
Yeetoveeto shared this uplifting one. "Scientists, earlier this year, made a massive breakthrough in curing blindness, like verging a cure." There are promising results in clinical trials of a form of genetic blindness that affects approximately 80,000 people in the United States.
Patients generally experience a slow degradation of their vision that results in blindness by their early twenties. Within a month of treatment, a significant percentage of test subjects reported major improvements to their field of vision.
A Swiss Law Makes It Illegal To Own Just One Guinea Pig
Passed in 2008, the Animal Protection Ordinance covers a wide range of considerations for our animal friends, but makes what might seem like an initially strange provision for guinea pigs.
Since they are known to be such highly social and affectionate creatures, the act deems that owning only one of the loveable furballs would be detrimental to their health and therefore an act of cruelty. This distinction also applies to parrots!
The Actors Behind Mickey And Minnie Mouse Were Secretly Married
Many actors have provided the vocals for the most iconic mouse in the world and his leading lady, with the most famous being Walt Disney himself. But as Redditor sassy-cheese-cube shared, Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor -– the voices of Mickey and Minnie -– actually tied the knot.
At first, they tried to keep it a secret, scared that their real-life romance might start to define their animated alter-egos' hazy relationship. As Allwine explained, "we wanted to keep it about us and not about the characters."
Cows Have BFFs
Studies have shown that cows have friends and thrive when they get to be together, shared hikari_95. A researcher named Krista McLennan discovered that cortisol levels (a hormone produced when animals experience stress) were much higher in cows that were separated from their herd.
The cows were also paired with random other cows as well as a "preferred partner." The measured stress levels were all greatly reduced when paired with their best cow buds!
Most Of The Cardigans Worn By Mister Rogers Were Made By His Mother
Everyone's favorite neighbor famously changed shoes and zipped up a colorful sweater during the intro to his show. But you might not know that all of the sweaters up until the 1990s were knit by Nancy McFeely Rogers, his mom!
From the show’s debut in 1968 until her death in 1981, Mrs. Rogers would present her son with a brand new sweater every Christmas. Originally, the sweaters had buttons, but it was often a challenge for Mister Rogers to sing and button at the same time, so the zipper was introduced.
Some Fish Like To Be Petted!
You might think that because we live in different worlds, fish would shy away from human touch, but it appears to be truly enjoyable and can even reduce stress -- something Thatrustgamer826 pointed out. Studies have shown that fish can recognize their owners and may respond well to gentle touching (no grabbing!).
Just make sure your hands are clean as they can irritate your friend's scales. Go slow and if the fish becomes aggressive or freaked out, it is a sign to stop.
The Mandarin Word For "Penguin" Is “Business Goose”
Okay, well, maybe. There is much debate on Reddit about the truth to this, but we like "business goose" better than the alternate translation, “standing goose.” As Redditor MAD_M3N points out, “but goose is already standing.”
As we've already seen, penguins can become knights, so why wouldn’t they be good at business? They are certainly dressed for it. It does beg the question, what does a penguin wear on casual Friday?
Don't Be Embarrassed, Nobody Cares What You Did!
Redditor Jackalodeath wrote, "All those embarrassing/cringy memories that come flooding into your mind when you least expect it? Nobody else remembers them." Or at the very least, you’re the only one losing sleep over it at four in the morning.
Rejoice in the fact that most people are so self-centered that they are too busy worrying about themselves to care what you did. Plus, later in life they become treasured hilarious war stories to share with friends!
The Planet Jupiter Is So Large That It Protects Earth From Dangerous Comets
Because of Jupiter's immense size (1,300 times larger than Earth) and gravitational influence, scientists believe that it creates a slingshot effect that stops many large comets from getting too close to our solar system.
There's evidence that Jupiter has "taken one for the team" a couple of times in recent years, absorbing some huge comets that even left dark scars on the “surface” of the gas giant. Thanks, buddy! And thanks for sharing, Redditor tehngand.
Stan Lee Didn't Create His Most Successful Comic Book Characters Until He Was In His 40s
Marvel Comics founder Stan Lee had been in the comics biz all his adult life, but it wasn't until he was around 40 years old that he and Jack Kirby created their first blockbuster team of heroes, The Fantastic Four. Marvel then took off with an amazing roster of tights-clad personalities, including Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man, and the X-Men.
"Even if you think that you can't get anything out of life, you still can push yourself creatively and leave a lasting impact on the world at an older age," said Redditor Take My Energy.
Pillow Fighting Has Become A Professional Sport
The Pillow Fight League began in 2004 in Toronto, Canada, as a series of events where women "competed" in one-on-one pillow bouts while a live band played. Initially played for comedy, the league soon developed into an official sport (with real injuries) that eventually ceased operating in 2011.
Now, in Japan, a different form of pillow fighting is becoming very popular. In this version, teams use pillows in a similar game to dodgeball, using blankets to block the soft projectiles.
Your Pets Dream About You
Researchers have seen the same traits in sleeping animals as in humans' dream states. They have even shown that rats that solve the same maze on a regular basis will operate muscles during sleep that indicate they are solving the maze in their dreams. So it's not a far stretch to conclude that dogs and cats also dream about their everyday routines, including interactions with their favorite people.
The next time you see those paws twitching in their sleep, say their name and see if their ears perk up. You might have just appeared in a dream! Redditor silva_wings pointed this sweet fact out.
Nervous About Flying? It's The Safest Way To Travel
If you get nervous about flying in airplanes, Redditor Aninio says to remember that if you survived the car ride to the airport, the most dangerous part of your trip is already over.
Despite the long lines getting through security, the guy sitting next to you devouring a smelly meatball sub, or the toddler kicking the back of your seat, air travel is statistically far more safe than getting on the highway. Now enjoy the taxi ride to your hotel!
Rats "Jump For Joy" When They Are Having Fun
Researchers at Humboldt University of Berlin decided to teach a group of lab rats to play hide and seek. They were taught to play the game with one of the researchers acting as either the "hider" or the “seeker,” and rewarded when they successfully played the game.
As the rodents became comfortable with the rules of the game, researchers observed them performing “joy jumps,” a common reaction seen in many animals when they are having fun. Also, rats laugh when they are tickled! Thanks for the fact, jigokume22.
Visually Impaired People Know How To Smile Despite Not Knowing What It Looks Like
Seeing someone smile is a pleasurable visual experience, especially if they are smiling at you, but it is not a learned behavior. Smiles happen naturally and just like all facial expressions of emotion, they are hard-wired into our genetics.
A study by psychology professor David Matsumoto compared the expressions of sighted and unsighted athletes and observed that their various emotional displays were indistinguishable. And one only has to watch a performance by Stevie Wonder to see the joy that he feels when playing music.
The Liechtenstein Army Once Returned Home With More Men Than Were Deployed
During the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, the small nation of Liechtenstein sent an army of 80 men to defend their border with Austria. Meanwhile, the heavy fighting was taking place in another area, so the soldiers were left to fill their time with some drinks and some smokes and a beautiful mountain vista.
When they were called back home, 81 men returned. As OmegaRaptor_CH said, "They literally made a friend on the way." He must have enjoyed bthe Liechtensteiner military experience!