One Human Year Is Not Equal To Seven Dog Years, Cue Existential Crisis

This is ruff.

There are things you live your whole life knowing: little nuggets of knowledge that change how you see the world. 

Things like: you can edit a Wikipedia page, dogs can’t eat chocolate, Oreos are vegan friendly, and that green, yellow, and red capsicums are the same fruit just at different stages of ripeness. 

You don’t know when, where or how you learnt these random facts but they’ve helped you through countless awkward conversations and life moments where you needed something semi-intelligent to say. 

One of the most widely acknowledged facts of life is that one human year = seven dog years. 

Very useful when you want to work out how old your grumpy chihuahua actually is. 

Except that it’s a damned lie. A LIE I TELL YOU. Because one dog year DOES NOT equal seven human years. 

Cue my existential crisis: if this isn’t true, what else isn’t true? Am I even alive right now? Is this a dream? Are dogs even real? What does this mean?????

LIES. Source: Giphy

The one = seven rule doesn’t hold up for a couple of reasons. First of all, it doesn’t account for differences in a dog’s size, breed and lifestyle. 

Also, a dog matures a lot within the first year of its life: they literally develop from a puppy into a fully grown adult. Lifehacker’s Hayley Williams notes, “Dogs reach sexual maturity at around one year old, so already the 7 year equivalence doesn’t make sense…”

So…what does make sense? What is the truth? 

True, I probably can’t. Source: Giphy

This graph via Business Insider is the closest thing we have to the truth. And by truth I mean statistics which show the relationship between the size of a dog and its age. 

Source: Business Insider

As you can see, the graph is not linear. Dogs age around 15 years in their first year of life which is pretty crazy. There is no blanket one human year = seven dog years rule as dogs age more some years than others years. 

There’s also a huge age disparity depending on the size of the dog: while a small dog is 56 after 10 human years, a giant dog is 78. 

There is literally no pattern here. 

My brain trying to process statistics. Source: Giphy

There are a lot of factors the above graph doesn’t take into consideration, like specific dog breeds, but its probably the simplest framework to use when comparing dog years and human years. Although, it will make our conversations a lot more difficult. 

“How old is your dog in dog years, you ask? Hold on, let me just pull out my trusty statistics table.”

Yeah, doesn’t have the same ring to it. 

Turns Out Popeye Was Right All Along 'Cause Spinach Has A Steroid In It 

*Suddenly craves spinach*

I’m one of those weird adults that eats vegetables not because my mum tells me they’re good for me but because I genuinely enjoy them. Give me some carrot sticks, stir-fried broccoli and tomato paste on pizza (that’s healthy, yeah?) any day and I’ll happily chomp down. 

I also love me some spinach. Gone are the days where I had to pinch my nose and force forkfuls into my mouth. I do admit though, there’s a part of my brain that still only eats it because I’m convinced it will “make me strong like Popeye.” 

Yes, that’s another excuse my mum would use to get little 5-year-me to eat my greens. 

How does he make it look so cool? Source: Giphy

I’m old enough now to know that Popeye is just a cartoon and that eating canfulls of spinach to build instant muscle mass is both impossible and straight up gross. 

At least, that’s what I thought up until this morning. I’m still pretty sure canned spinach would be gross, but I’m less sure about the spinach not making you strong angle. New research from Freie Universität Berlin has found there’s a naturally occurring chemical in spinach which acts like a steroid. 

The chemical, ecdysterone, can increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance when taken in large doses. So…Popeye was right after all. 

All hail spinach. Source: Giphy

During the experiment, some of the participants were given placebos, others were given ecdysterone capsules containing the equivalent of up to 4 kilograms of raw spinach a day. 

The participants taking the supplement saw their physical strength increase three times as much as their placebo-taking counterparts.

“Even more relevant with respect to sports performance, significantly more pronounced increases in one-repetition bench press performance were observed,” the study’s abstract states. 

In English that means that people who took ecdysterone could progressively lift heavier weights. For this reason, the researches recommended to the World Anti-Doping Authority’s (WADA) that the chemical be added to their list of banned substances. 

That technically means that it would be illegal for athletes to eat spinach. 

Where was this excuse when I was a kid?  

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