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What makes you weird?

A weekly show where knowledge junkies get their fix of trivia-tastic information. This week, John shares some things you do that hardly anyone else does . . . AKA, what makes you weird!

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Hi. I'm John Green. Welcome to my salon. This is mental_floss video and did you know that 10% of people love public speaking? That's right: about 1 in 10 people have no anxiety about speaking in front of a big group of people, so, if that's you, you're odd, or put another way, weird. Anyway, that's the first of many rare things people do that I'm going to share with you in this video today. And you've got to keep in mind that obviously these numbers are from various polls and surveys and they're subject to change but basically we're going to find out today if you're weird. Well, more likely, we're going to find out how you're weird. 


About 9% of pet owners throw birthday parties for their pets.  

Also, if you practice meditation, you're in the minority.  Only around 8% of Americans do.  

But that actually means there are fewer practicing Jewish-Americans than Americans who meditate, because only at 2.2% of US citizens practice Judaism.

The financial news website The Street recently took a poll of Americans about smartphone use and they found that 9% of people think it's acceptable to use your phone during a movie at the theater.  I just wanna state for the record that if you're in that significant and yet not significant enough minority, WRONG.  WRONG!  You cannot use your phone at the theater!

Of the people who have drank to the point of intoxication in their lives, 25% don't get hangovers.  Alright, so far, I'm not weird at all.

If you're a television-owning male who doesn't watch sports, you are in a small club.  Only 8% of guys who own TVs watch no sports at all according to Nielsen data, and actually, it's virtually the same for women, 7%, with younger women more likely to watch sports than younger men.

According to The Mayo Clinic, just 30% of Americans take zero prescription drugs, so if you have no prescriptions at the moment, you're in the minority of Americans.  I still am not weird yet.  Getting concerned that I might not be weird.

Let's talk bathroom habits.  You're weird if you don't use your phone in the bathroom.  Only 25% of Americans haven't, and believe it or not, according to a study conducted by Michigan State University, only 5% of people wash their hands properly after using a public restroom.  I'm finally weird and I'm very proud of it!

Speaking of hygiene, 3% of people change their sheets every day.  

And although Tinder is a frequent topic of conversation these days, only about 10% of Americans between the ages of 18-24 use online dating.

But maybe you don't online date because you met your significant other at a bar.  Turns out that makes you rare.  Just 2% of men and 9% of women met their significant other at either or a bar or club.  Of course the best place to meet your significant other is at the office, unless you work at this office in which case that is absolutely banned.

Only 1-2% of the world's population has red hair and I know that because I've tried to sign almost all the world's gingers to my FIFA team, the AFC Wimbledon Wimbley-Wombleys.

Your fears also might make you uncommon.  The dark, for instance, is an uncommon phobia, afflicting only 2% of men and 8% of women, and 100% of 5-year olds.  Dogs are a slightly more common phobia, but just 7% of men and 14% of women are afraid of dogs.

Believe it or not, if you wear sunscreen, you are in the minority.  According to a 2013 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14.3% of men and 29.9% of women use sunscreen regularly on both their face and bodies.  I just don't go outside, which works as well.  It's the abstinence approach to sun protection.

Also, 4% of Americans report having visited a tan salon after their vacations, which is odd.

If anyone has ever told you that your armpits don't smell, first of all, they're unusual, but you might be weird, too.  One study found that 2% of people with European ancestry have non-smelly armpits thanks to a variant of the ABCC11 gene.  If your ancestry is East-Asian, then you're in the minority if you do have smell armpits, but 95% of all these super-humans still wear deodorant.

Only 1 in 10 people are true early birds and just 2 in 10 prefer to stay up late, and if you find that you need much less sleep than most people, you might be in the 1-3% of people who only need between five and six hours of sleep per night.

And that's about the same percentage of people that can actually multitask.  Researchers at the University of Utah found that only 2% of people can truly multitask.  They tested this by having people do different chores at the same time, like driving and math.  The rest of just pretend to multitask while actually just running around like chickens with our heads cut off.

In the early 2000s, estimates found that only 10% of people in the United States never litter, so basically, all you need to do to be special is not be terrible.

In 2014, researchers at Middlesex University surveyed about 2000 people in the United Kingdom and they found that 11% of people want a robot baby.  At first, I thought, you know, that's fairly reasonable, who wouldn't want a tiny Roomba, but no, they meant a robot baby.  Like, a robot baby.  So if you're excited about the prospect of parenting an android, you can consider yourself special, but I'm just gonna throw this out there, you could also just not litter and feel equally special.

According to a survey of 3000 adults, around 6% have their childhood dream job.  I'm guessing it's all the ballet dancers, firefighters, and then Barack Obama.  I'm sure when the survey people call up the President's cell phone, he always is like, yeah, no, I've got time.

By the way, if you're certain the world is going to end in your lifetime, people just like you make up 15% of the population.

And in 2012, 10% of us experienced anxiety about the world ending that year.  I say us because I saw the movie 2012 starring John Cusack and it seemed very real. 

If you've ever achieved a New Year's Resolution that you set, you're pretty unique.  Only about 8% of people have managed to do that.  

Do you have Instagram or Twitter or Snapchat but not Facebook?  That's weird.  Only 8% of social media users don't use Facebook.

In 2009, the Pugh Research Center surveyed Americans about the supernatural and it turns out that 18% of people believe they've seen a ghost or encountered one.  An even smaller percentage of people are Ghostbusters.

In 2014, researchers at the University of Hong Kong surveyed people from 31 different countries about internet usage and they determined that 6% of people in the world suffer from internet addiction, but what is addiction, really?  Like, if you do something all the time and you can't live without that something, is that addiction?  I don't think so.  Is it?

At the University of Barcelona, psychologists conducted a study to examine music's effect on our emotions and they actually found that 5% of people don't consider music important or emotional at all.

Let's talk knowledge of American history for a second.  According to one survey, 90% of Americans can't name all four Presidents on Mt. Rushmore, so if you just remember these four names: Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, you're in the 10%.

Similarly, only about 20% of Americans know that there are 100 US Senators.

And a few people still struggle with tech terms as well.  Like, as of 2014, 11% of Americans thought HTML was an STD.  HTML actually stands for hypertext markup language and it's basically the language that your browser reads to display web pages on your computer, like the page that you're looking at right now.  

Also 12% of Americans reported thinking that you USB was a country in Europe, making questions like "Does your computer have a USB port?" fascinating and hilarious.  I'm not sure, I assume there's a port there, there aren't a lot of landlocked European nations.  You know, but then again, to be fair, there are a bunch of countries in the former Yugoslavia.  Who knows for sure if USB is one of them?

Maybe riding a bike never came naturally to you.  Well, you're not alone, just almost alone.  As of 2013, about 6% of Americans claim they didn't know how to ride a bike.

And finally, I return to my salon to tell you that if you back into parking spaces, you're in the minority in the United States.  Only about 6% of people do that here, but in China, you're not so special.  About 88% of people there back in.

Thanks for watching mental_floss video, which is made with the help of all of these lovely people.  Let me know how you're weird in comments and as we say in my hometown, don't forget to be awesome.