On the rare occasion that you swallow a razor blade, don’t fret. The human body is more capable than you think. Acids are ranked on a scale from 0 to 14 – the lower the pH level, the stronger the acid. Human stomach acid is typically 1.0 to 2.0, meaning that it has an impeccably strong pH. In a study, scientists found that the “thickened back of a single-edged blade” dissolved after two hours of immersion in stomach acid.
Yes, really. A cool thing called total internal reflection is applied when pointing a laser beam through a container of water. When light travels through water, it’s slowed by the heavier particles in water, as described here. Thus, the laser beam effectively gets “trapped” in the water.
Ever stopped to think where oxygen comes from? Your first thought may be a rainforest, but marine organisms take the bait. Plankton, seaweed and other photosynthesisers produce over half of the world’s oxygen.
Lost land animals may not be able to find their way home, but sea animals might. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), “there is evidence that some animals, like sea turtles and salmon, have the ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic field and to use this sense for navigation.”
Your childhood dreams of floating on a weightless cloud may get rained on with this fact: the average cumulus cloud can weigh up to a million pounds. A million pounds! That’s about as heavy as the world’s largest passenger jet.
Before you hop on a plane it’s important to check the weather – here’s what really happens when lightning strikes.
In just one teaspoon of soil, there are more microorganisms than people on the planet, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Millions of species and billions of organisms – bacteria, algae, microscopic insects, earthworms, beetles, ants, mites, fungi and more – represent the greatest concentration of biomass anywhere on the planet.”
These creatures are more dynamic then we think. Rats have the ability to “laugh” when tickled. A National Geographic video demonstrated that rats respond positively to tickling. And they even chase after the researcher’s hand in a playful manner.
NASA experts believe there could be anywhere from 100 billion to 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, Snopes reports. However, a 2015 paper published in the journal Nature estimated that the number of trees around the world is much higher: 3.04 trillion.
As a gas, oxygen is odourless and colourless. In its liquid and solid forms, however, it looks pale blue. Some science facts are just plain weird.
It’s the letter J. Go ahead and double check. We’ll wait.
For one of our strangest science facts, bananas contain potassium, and since potassium decays, that makes them slightly radioactive. But this is one of those fun science facts you don’t need to worry about. You’d need to eat 10,000,000 bananas at once to die of radiation poisoning, Forbes reports.
The researchers who investigated the cause of the Mpemba effect made this discovery as well. They unsurprisingly named the phenomenon the inverse Mpemba effect.
A 2015 study from the University of Cambridge suggests that mankind may have evolved with genes that came from plants. Because of those findings, researchers accept that about 1 per cent of the human genome could have been acquired from plants, the Telegraph reports. So all those times your corny uncle called himself a “fungi”? He was actually sort of right.
Scientists predict that there are over 3 billion base pairs of DNA in human genes and over 25,000 genes in the human genome. An entire copy of that genome exists in each of the 10 trillion cells in the human body. If all of that DNA were lined up, it would cover the distance between Earth and the sun 100 times.
Once you master these fun science facts, don’t miss these facts about animals you have all wrong.
Diamonds are definitely the Milky Way galaxy’s best friends. Studies have examined the potential that Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn have to produce diamonds. The atmospheres in all four planets have such extreme pressure that they can crystalise carbon atoms and turn them into diamonds. Scientists were able to create the correct conditions in a lab to prove this occurs on Neptune and Uranus. Separately, a different group of researchers speculates that it may rain as much as 2.2 million pounds of diamonds on parts of Saturn every year – this is definitely the richest of our science facts!
If you spin a ball when you drop it, it will fly through the air as it falls. This is called the Magnus effect, and it makes playing tennis and soccer a whole lot easier.
This is called the Triple Boil, and at that temperature, water exists as a gas, a liquid, and a solid simultaneously. It requires very specific conditions to achieve, so don’t even think about trying it at home.
Haven’t gotten your fill of fun science facts? Check out these other “facts” you’ve always believed that are actually false.
Those mammals would be bats. While flying squirrels can jump from trees and glide, they can’t truly fly like bats can.
When helium is cooled to extreme temperatures, just a few degrees away from absolute zero (-460˚F or -273˚C), it turns into a superfluid, meaning it can flow without friction. It can climb up and over the sides of a glass. It can leak through molecule-think cracks in a container. If it starts flowing like a fountain, it will never stop.
The energy they release is the equivalent of 100-megaton atomic bombs exploding at once. It’s a good thing the Earth’s atmosphere protects us from their radiation.
When you burp on Earth, gravity keeps down the solids and liquid from the food you just ate, so only the gas escapes from your mouth. In the absence of gravity, the gas cannot separate from the liquids and solids, so burping essentially turns into puking.
That’s right. A 2014 study estimates that the human body consists of 39 trillion bacteria and 30 trillion human cells. In the past, researchers thought we were more bacteria than human with a ratio of 10:1. While this new calculation is probably closer to the true numbers, it’s not a hard fact.
The genes responsible for the most common type of colour blindness are found on the X chromosome, the National Eye Institute explains. Even if women have the genes on one of their two X chromosomes, a properly functioning gene on the other one makes up for that loss. If men inherit the gene on their only X chromosome, they’ll become colour blind.
About 96 per cent of the universe is made up of dark matter and dark energy, which are undetectable to humans. Scientists believe this is because the particles that make up these substances don’t interact with regular matter or light. Even though scientific discoveries are constantly being made about the stars, planets, and other galaxies we can see, it’s impossible to make conclusions about things that are invisible to our eyes.
Now that you know all about these fun science facts, brush up on these 50 interesting facts about basically everything.
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