Henry's 9 favourite facts so far!

From wide-awake whales to pangolin tongues, here are some of the most interesting things AimHi lessons have taught Co-Founder Henry

Bring out the party poppers! AimHi has just celebrated its' first birthday. Since our first live stream, we've reached more than 450,000 people in over 150 countries. That's around 250 live lessons, all jam-packed with information and inspiration. And I, Henry, delivered one of them. Reflecting on our lessons brings me great joy, and so many astonishing facts and inspiring moments come to mind. There were some comic moments, too, including Dr Jane Goodall getting Matthew to make the face of an angry chimp.


Since we just blew out our birthday candles, now feels like a great time to revisit some facts. And why not start with the ones from my solitary lesson, 'Why do NASA need sperm whales?'.

Sperm whale coming out of the ocean

1. Sperm whales have teeth that can grow to be almost 1kg in weight and 20cm long. This makes the sperm whale the largest toothed predator (with teeth only marginally shorter than a T Rex). We'll stick to not being a squid, then.

2. Of all mammals, Giraffes sleep for the second shortest length of time per day (8%). BUT the king of the mammals, when it comes to living without sleep, is the sperm whale. On average, sperm whales sleep for approximately 7% of the day, so naturally, we're surprised they aren't grumpier.

3. Throughout history, sailors poured oil onto rough seas to calm the waves. Although this does technically work, we recommend against doing it.

4. Not being able to bend your pinky finger (little finger) is a common symptom of syphilis. Since syphilis was so rife in French aristocracy, it is widely believed that this is the origin of raising your little finger when drinking being considered "posh".

5. If you are inside the Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building), you can experience sunset twice a day. Just watch the sunset once from the bottom of the building and then zoom up the super-fast lift to the top. Is anyone else having deja vu...

The Burj Khalifa viewed from the ground
The Burj Khalifa

6. The "Spanish Flu" almost certainly didn't come from Spain. Due to censorship of the press during WW1, many countries were prevented from reporting on their outbreaks. The Spanish press was comparatively free and reported on it, making it seem like they were the first to be impacted.

7. The Saharan silver ant can move at over 100 body lengths per second. In human terms, that would be equivalent to us running around 200 meters in a second. What's more, scientists believe that since the ants move so fast, they effectively blind themselves while doing it and have to stop to see clearly again.

8. Any object can make any noise if you vibrate it in the right way.

9. The tongue of a Pangolin can be longer than it's torso. Measuring up to 40cm, the pangolin tongue is so long that it can't fit inside its mouth and so is stored in its chest cavity. They're also the world's fastest ice cream eaters. Well, we reckon so, anyway.

For more tasty morsels of knowledge, check out our past lessons here. And here's to another year of fun and facts! To stay up-to-date with AimHi lessons and discover what's on next, head to the AimHi calendar.

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