Not a day goes by without watching the news replete with negativity. The press informs us about everything that is happening in the world including disasters and tragedies. Fortunately, there are many things around us that give us reason to believe the world is a lot better than we may think it is.

Bright Side wants to share only kind and positive things with all of you. We have gathered a bunch of happy facts and great news to prove all is not lost.

1. Snow leopards are no longer endangered.

In September 2017, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources excluded snow leopards, also called ounce, from the list of endangered species. An animal is considered endangered if its number is less than 2,500 species. Today, there are more than 7,500 snow leopards that inhabit Russia, Central, and South Asia.

2. Liechtenstein sent off 80 soldiers to war, and 81 returned.

In 1886, Liechtenstein sent off 80 soldiers to the last war the country participated in. They all returned home safely and brought back one soldier with them. In fact, they picked up an Italian soldier that many of them became friends with.

3. A squirrel uses its tail as an umbrella.

Many squirrels use their tails to cover themselves in case of bad weather. For example, they turn their bushy tail into an umbrella when it’s snowing.

4. A blood donation center sends kind messages to its donors.

Blood donation centers in different countries like Russia and Switzerland notify their blood donors when their blood was used or if it saved someone’s life by sending them messages.

5. There is a penguin in the Norwegian army holding the rank of Colonel-in-Chief.

Sir Nils Olav is a king penguin. He lives in Edinburgh Zoo and serves as a mascot and Brigadier of the Norwegian King’s Guard. He also holds the rank of Colonel-in-Chief, and in 2008 he was given knighthood. What have you done with your life?

6. Bhutan’s well-being is determined by the index of gross national happiness.

While other countries stress about their gross domestic product — a monetary measure of well-being — people in Bhutan value spiritual indicators. This is the state philosophy: “People’s happiness is more important than the index of the gross domestic product,” said the former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

7. Sea otters hold hands in the water.

Sea otters hold hands while they sleep to keep from floating away from each other. Sea otters have a special pouch where they store their food. They can also put their favorite shell in it.

8. In Germany, it’s forbidden to put pets to sleep without a good reason.

In German shelters, pets aren’t put to sleep only because the owners returned them. Cats, dogs, and even exotic animals live in good conditions, enjoying the care of the staff and volunteers. They wait for their new owners to take them home. Almost 90% of the shelter animals get adopted.

9. Japanese macaques have snowball fights for fun.

Not only have they adapted to snow, but they’ve also they learned to enjoy winter time. Macaques are very perky and agile and they love having snow fights with each other.

10. Musician Billy Joel gives away front row tickets for free.

Billy Joel doesn’t sell the front row tickets to his concerts for sky-high prices. The musician confesses that he doesn’t like seeing rich people in front of him who may not even know his music. Most of them seem to have an “entertain me, piano man” kind of attitude. He prefers to give away the tickets to his true fans instead who sincerely love him, but can’t afford to buy an expensive ticket.

11. A Japanese diver has a 25-year-long friendship with a fish.

25 years ago, Diver Hiroyuki Arakawa saved a fish from death during one of his dives. He named the fish Yoriko. Almost 30 years later, Yoriko seems to remember its savior, and when the man dives into the sea the fish approaches him for a friendly kiss.

12. Italian teenagers receive money from the government for culturally enriching pursuits.

Since 2016, every 18-year-old teenager in Italy can use a €500 “culture bonus”. The money should be spent on a cultural education: attending theatres, concerts, museums, buying books, etc. They can have access to the money after they download an app on their phone or PC.

13. Dolphins know each other’s names.

Dolphins are able to call each other by name. Of course, they sound nothing like our names, but rather like different whistling sounds. Every species can recognize its own unique sound.

14. The Beatles used the word “love” 613 times in their songs.

15. Buy a mattress and receive a mini-mattress for your dog for free.

A Mexican mattress store gives you a tiny dog-sized mattress when you buy a regular one.

16. A Japanese man single-handedly feeds forbidden Fukushima animals.

Naoto Matsumura lives in the town, Tomioka. Before the Fukushima nuclear disaster, almost 16,000 people used to live here, but now he’s all alone. His house doesn’t have electricity or a water supply, but he refuses to leave. Naoto takes care of dozens of forbidden dogs, cats, and horses. He is their only hope for survival.

Bonus: If you still have doubts about how good our world is, here’s our final argument:

What story cheered you up the most? Share your stories and opinions in the comments.

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