Yisrael Kristal, Once The World's Oldest Man, Had His Bar Mitzvah At Age 113

1 of 31

Yisrael Kristal, Once The World's Oldest Man, Had His Bar Mitzvah At Age 113

In March 2016, a Polish-born Israeli man named Yisrael Kristal was declared by Guinness World Records as the oldest living man on Earth. Later that same year, Kristal finally got around to something that was put off for a whole century: his bar mitzvah. In November 2016, the 113-year-old man celebrated the Jewish coming-of-age ritual exactly 100 years late. Better (very, very) late than never, huh?

People With Early Birthdays Have More Success According To The Relative Age Effect

2 of 31

People With Early Birthdays Have More Success According To The Relative Age Effect

Age differences might not matter that much to adults, but among kids, they're significant—even when it comes to the difference between being born in January and December of the same year. For team sports such as hockey and soccer, the age cutoff for a kids' team is often the calendar year. This means that children born in January will be on the same team as children born in December, giving them an age difference of nearly a year. That year can be a huge leg up when it comes to both physical and mental development, especially at a young age, and studies find that this advantage follows children throughout their athletic careers. A 2013 study in the journal PLOS ONE cited the fact that in the National Hockey League (NHL), 40% of professional players are born in the first quarter of the year. This climbs to 50% on elite youth soccer teams, according to Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt of Freakonomics. The effect even holds up in the classroom, where children born in summer months—right before the fall birthday cutoff—are generally seen as academic underachievers.

03:46

Key Facts to Know

  • 1

    If you were born in the summer, research suggests you're more likely to be a smoker or shortsighted. 0:34

  • 2

    Increased exposure to sunlight in women who get pregnant in the summer may raise the likelihood of left-handedness and schizophrenia in their children. 1:22

  • 3

    The seasonal birth effect is only visible when looking at large populations, and no causal links between birth dates and characteristics have yet been found. 2:43

The Argentinian Woman Who Gave Birth On Antarctica's Esperanza Base

3 of 31

The Argentinian Woman Who Gave Birth On Antarctica's Esperanza Base

In 1977, the country of Argentina must have been desperate to stake claim to new territory. The nation's officials airlifted a woman to Antarctica in order to do just that. Silvia Morello de Palma was seven months pregnant woman when she was taken to Esperanza Base in order to give birth on the frigid continent. According to the logic of Argentine officials, this birth would give the country of Argentina territorial claims to Antarctica. On January 7, 1978, the newborn Emilio Palma became the first recorded person to be born on the continent. The birth proved just how serious Chilean President Augusto Pinochet was about taking Argentina to new places around the globe. Argentina claims that Malvinas, the South Atlantic Islands, and a certain section of Antarctica are all theirs. Argentina, as well as Chile, the UK, France, and New Zealand, has designed a special flag for its Antarctic territories. Learn more about Antarctica in the videos below.

03:04

Key Facts to Know

  • 1

    Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, driest and most uninhabited region on the planet. 0:00

  • 2

    There is no permanent human population on Antarctica. 0:49

  • 3

    Twelve countries signed the Antarctica Treaty in 1959. 1:34

La Tomatina In Spain Is The World's Largest Tomato Fight

4 of 31

La Tomatina In Spain Is The World's Largest Tomato Fight

Most people have been in pillow fights or water balloons fights with a small group of friends, but what about a tomato fight with roughly 30,000 other people? La Tomatina is exactly that. Every year, on the last Wednesday in August, the world's largest tomato fight takes place in the town of Buñol, Spain. On the morning of the fight, dump trucks filled with tomatoes unload them onto the street for people to grab and throw. The fight begins at 11 a.m., after a cannon sounds, and the throwdown lasts for approximately one hour. The now-iconic event has taken place in this small Spanish town since it began in 1944.

The Unexpected History of Birthstones

5 of 31

The Unexpected History of Birthstones

You probably know your birthstone, but do you know how that particular gem came to be associated with your birthday? It's a long story, one that dates all the way back to the book of Exodus. The prophet Moses had a brother Aaron, who in his capacities as the first high priest of the Israelites wore a ceremonial breastplate adorned with four rows of three precious stones to represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Interestingly, due to translating challenges, the exact stones that were included are somewhat of a mystery.It wasn't until the first century A.D. that the Romano-Jewish scholar Titus Flavius Josephus connected the 12 stones to the 12 signs of the Zodiac. With that connection to the month of a person's birth, the jump from Zodiac stone to birth stone was a simple one. In 15th-century Poland, wealthy people would collect a full set of birthstones and wear each on its particular month in order to reap its mystical powers. In 1870, Tiffany & Co. published a pamphlet that included a poem that laid out the birthstone for each month, and finally in 1912 the National Association of Jewelers officially adopted a birthstone list. That list has been periodically updated with stone additions and changes ever since.