It’s not unusual for a person to look back at their life and imagine how things could have been different. If only you’d done this instead of that. But, of course, that’s always just a thought exercise. We can never go back again. Some things just never happened and we have to be okay with that. But you may be surprised to learn that, outside of your own personal choices, the world is rife with events that sound like they must have happened; they had to have happened at least once, and yet they never did. Here are 10 things you may be surprised to learn just haven’t occurred. At least, not yet…
10. Nobody Knows How Wild Eels Reproduce
There are about 800 species of eel in the world, though most of us can probably only name a few off the top of our heads. They’re not as popular a seafood item as they once were, but you can still enjoy unagi at a Japanese restaurant and even a lamprey pie if you search hard enough. There are plenty of eels to go around. But where do they come from?
Obviously eels are fish, obviously they mate and breed and have baby eels and the world keeps spinning. Obviously. But have you ever seen eels breeding in a river or out at sea? You have not, and you’re not alone. No one has seen that. We haven’t even found an egg before.
We know eels don’t engage in weird, sci-fi mating habits because they can be bred in captivity, although it’s not the easiest thing to do. But in their natural environment scientists have never observed it. The fact their life seems to start somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle adds to the mystery, of course.
Eels have been tracked swimming hundreds and hundreds of miles from freshwater to the open sea. But they’re final destination and their true spawning grounds remain elusive.
9. Nobody Has Ever Been Arrested for a Crime on Tristan da Cunha Island
Tristan da Cunha is an island that most of us have probably never heard of and will never visit. It is the most remote inhabited island in the world. Supply boats come a couple of times a year and the population is around 250 people. It’s also pretty much entirely crime free. In 22 years, police inspector Conrad Glass had never actually placed anyone under arrest as of 2010.
There are only six surnames on the whole island, so everyone is either related to someone or at least knows their family. And while the island was looking for new police in 2019, they said crime “was low.” Glass admitted that there were issues, but they were between people who knew each other and his job was mostly to get people to calm down.
For the 2019 job posting,the island seemed to want an officer in a community support capacity as opposed to someone to crack down on crime which, again, doesn’t seem to exist in any meaningful way there.
According to Glass, the last time the prison cell was used was in the 1970s before he was an officer. There had been a knife fight on a fishing boat which means that the crime, some 30 or 40 years earlier, still didn’t actually happen on the island.
8. No one Has Ever Finished McKamey Manor Haunted House
When Halloween season rolls around, haunted houses begin to spring up again to keep people in the spirit of the season. And while you can still find some very tame haunted houses, the extreme horror fans out there always want bigger and better and that has led to some incredibly over the top horror experiences. None are as infamous as the McKamey Manor haunted house. Over the years 40,000 eager horror fans flocked to the house. Not a single person ever finished their experience despite an offer of $20,000 for anyone who can.
To cut to the heart of why the McKamey Manor was so impossible to beat, you could look at some of the YouTube videos about it. Basically, it was voluntary torture. People would spend eight hours on site, locked in cages, waterboarded, assaulted, terrorized and more. Nothing they didn’t technically agree to, of course. (Still, some participants claim they did not agree to everything that happened and accused McKamey of assault and more.) Russ McKamey himself claims that he doesn’t torture anyone and things like waterboarding don’t happen.
Participants needed to sign massive waivers and pass drug tests. Still, no one ever finished.
7. No One Has Ever Climbed Gangkhar Puensum
Around 4,000 people have climbed Mt. Everest. Under 400 have made it to the top of K2. Thousands of other climbers have scaled hundreds of other peaks. Some even get free-climbed by the truly adventurous daredevils out there. Despite that, there are actually hundreds of mountains in the world that no one has ever climbed. The tallest of them all is Gangkhar Puensum. It is Bhutan’s highest mountain at a height of 7,570 meters, or 24,836 feet. That makes it about 1,000 meters shorter than K2. So why has no one climbed it? They can’t.
Bhutan does not allow mountain climbing. You are allowed to scale shorter peaks in the country but anything about 6,000 meters is off limits. The mountain had been attempted in the past but no one successfully made it to the peak. With the law in place since 1994, the government of Bhutan will need to have a change of heart if anyone is going to have a chance to scale the mountain in the future.
6. No One Has Ever Bowled a Perfect Game of Candlepin Bowling
If you’re not a big bowling fan, you may not know about candlepin bowling. It’s very similar to standard 10 pin bowling but the pins are the major difference. In candlepin they are long, thin pins, kind of like a candle. The ball being used is also smaller and pins don’t get cleared when they are knocked down. This presents a greater challenge to bowlers. So great, in fact, that no one has ever bowled a perfect game. This despite the game having been invented in the 1880s.
In traditional bowling a perfect game is a score of 300, and this is true of candlepin as well. But in candlepin the current record stands at 245 points. Chris Sargeant had been a pro candlepin bowler for 20 years when he got that score. Prior, his average had been around 125 a game. His achievement actually tied him with the previous record holder and, over a decade later, that score still seems to be standing as the best in the world.
5. No One Has Claimed Ownership of Marie Byrd Land
Land is one of those commodities you can’t just find lying around somewhere. There’s not much space that isn’t claimed by anyone and even land no one has been to before is technically still owned by the government of whatever country it’s located in. Except for one place in the world where no one laid claim to any of it. That’s Marie Byrd Land, and you can find it in the Antarctic.
Antarctica is regulated by an international treaty in which many countries agreed to lay claim to portions of the land for scientific research. No military exists there and it’s basically a cooperative. But Marie Byrd Land remains unclaimed. It had been set aside for the United States; it was an American who first discovered it and they once had a research base there. But the base was abandoned due to the inhospitable climate, and any claims were never ratified by the Antarctic Treaty, meaning no one owns it.
4. We’ve Never Learned Why Cats Purr
A defining feature of cats is their ability to purr. Even some big cats make purr-like sounds, which makes something like a lion a little more relatable. And for years science was unable to determine how cats even made the sound though we’ve now determined it involves the dilation and constriction of muscles near the cat’s larynx that allow the noise to happen as it breathes. And while it’s great to know how a cat purrs what we still don’t know is why.
The urge to say cats purr to express contentment is pretty obvious. When you pet your cat, it probably purrs, so that seems logical. But research has shown there has to be something more complicated going on.
Kittens purr early on in life and this could be interpreted as a sign to the mother cat that the baby is doing well. As mentioned, a happy cat purrs when you pet it. But a cat may also purr when it is injured and experiencing pain. Cats have been observed purring as they die.
Research has shown that, when alone and observed discreetly on camera, cats will also purr by themselves. Fear and stress also seem to be triggers for purring, so the purpose behind the action is clearly not as simple as we thought.
3. Wild Naked Mole Rats Don’t Get Cancer
Naked mole rats are weird, a fact given away just by their name. Though they have a truly odd appearance, one of the most remarkable things about them is that, in the wild, naked mole rats do not get cancer.
In fact, the only time a naked mole rat has ever been observed with cancer was in lab conditions when it was raised in an atypical environment with higher than normal oxygen levels. It has been speculated this led to the cancer.
2. A Cell Phone Has Never Caused a Gas Station Fire
If you’ve ever stopped to get gas in the last 20 years you’ve probably noticed the same warning stickers at every single gas station. Some use a stickman on a phone, some just show the phone itself and some spell out specifically to not use your cell phone while pumping gas because your phone could cause an explosion.
Those with more in-depth warnings will let you know that sparks in the vicinity of a refueling pump could cause fumes to ignite. And, fair enough, sparks really can ignite gasoline fumes. But since when does your cell phone shoot sparks?
The National Fire Protection Association requires those stickers because there’s a chance your cell phone could spark a fire. Remember those stories of people’s phones spontaneously igniting? There’s a chance, still, that this could happen. And because there’s a chance, you’re not supposed to use your phone.
In reality, that chance is the only reason for the ban. No fire has ever been started at a gas station because of someone’s phone. In more recent years, other safety agencies have reassessed the risk and determined there’s really no reason to keep your phone hidden because the risk is negligible.
1. No One Has Ever Scored a One-Point Safety in NFL History
If you have any general knowledge of how American football works, you’re probably aware of the point structure. A touchdown is worth six points with an extra point kick for seven or a potential two-point conversion to make it 8. You can also kick a field goal for three points. Far less well known is the one-point safety.
The concept of a safety is not all that rare. If a player gets tackled in their own end zone, that’s called a safety and it’s worth two points. They happen now and then. But that’s a two-point safety. A one-point safety is so rare it has never happened in NFL history.
For a one-point safety to occur, a lot has to go very wrong. A team has to be making their extra point attempt after a touchdown. This is usually kicked for one point or run-in for a two-point conversion. In order for the one-point safety, the team trying to get that extra point would somehow have to end up in their own end zone, nearly 100 yards back down the field and then get tackled by the other team while they’re there. There’s really no logical reason for it to happen, which probably explains why it hasn’t.