The Most Fun and Interesting Facts I Learned in 2021

With links for more reading

J.J. Pryor
15 min readJan 3, 2022


People spelling out 2021 with fireworks
Photo by Tarryn Myburgh on Unsplash

This is a collection of some of the coolest, most interesting, and weirdest concepts I discovered in 2021. I spent a long time curating and crafting this, I hope you enjoy it.

*Note: Almost all of the headlines are clickable links.

Be Happy, You’re Smiling

According to a study published in Experimental Psychology, researchers found the act of smiling — even a fake smile — can have a positive impact on mood. Essentially, triggering certain facial muscles by smiling might “trick” your brain into thinking you’re happy.

“When your muscles say you’re happy, you’re more likely to see the world around you in a positive way” — Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos, study author


Magic Mushroom Evolution

The Stoned Ape hypothesis “suggests we owe the emergence of language and self-reflection to ancient, sustained consumption of psilocybin mushrooms.” The idea would solve a big gap in our history — the giant evolutionary step to self-consciousness. The scientists stress the theory is almost certainly impossible to prove or disprove, however. But it sure is interesting.

The Dense-ist House in



J.J. Pryor

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