Strange Surprising Science
Facts you never knew you wanted to know and a few that you can test yourself.
Science is a field of constant discovery and thanks to those who study it we are continuously gaining a better understanding of the world around us. Some of it seems unbelievable and that is part of what makes it so interesting. My mind is always being blown by science driven facts, but if you don’t believe me, some of these you can try for yourself.
You can only fold a piece of paper in half up to eight times.
This is true no matter how big the paper is. A folded piece of paper doubles its thickness. And because the average piece of paper is about .0039 inches thick the more you fold it the larger it gets. Folding it ten times makes it close to the thickness of your hand. This grows at such a fast rate that if you could fold it 51 times it would reach the sun.
Hurricanes can’t cross the equator.
A hurricane cannot cross the equator due to a property of physics known as the Coriolis effect. The Coriolis effect states that low pressures rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, pulling storms away from the equator. But in the southern hemisphere low-pressure rotates clockwise. This means that a hurricane could never cross the equator. It would simply lose its rotation.
You have enough DNA in your body to stretch from the sun to Pluto and back, 17 times.
Random info that is simply crazy. And as an added bonus, we each share 99% of our DNA with every other human. This shows that we’re far more alike than different.
Hawaii moves 7.5cm closer to Alaska every year.
The tectonic plates are in constant motion. This is slowly shifting Hawaii north because it sits in the middle of the Pacific Plate, which is slowly drifting north-west in the direction of Alaska. Strangely enough, the plates move at the same speed as the growth of our fingernails.
Boiling water freezes faster.
This is called the Mpemba effect, and it seems counterintuitive. Scientists believe that this is due to the velocities of water particles while they’re hot that allows them to freeze more readily. Unsurprisingly the opposite is true as well. Ice also boils faster than warm water.
Video games are good for you.
According to brain pattern studies, playing a moderate amount of video games is actually good for you. It can boost your memory and multitasking skills. It has also been shown to help those with dyslexia and even reduces stress. Just don’t tell the kids.
The smell of cut grass is its way of screaming in pain.
That smell we love of fresh cut grass is actually a distress signal. It is the only way it can communicate. Sorry if this one ruined your day.
On Uranus, summer lasts 42 years.
Our planet’s tilt gives us our seasons. When the northern hemisphere tilts towards the Sun, that’s summer. And when it tilts away from the Sun, that’s winter. But Uranus lays sideways compared to the Earth, meaning that one hemisphere is pointed towards the Sun, and the other is pointed away. The poles slowly reverse until, half a “Uranian year” later, it’s on the opposite side. And thanks to its distance from the sun summer lasts 42 years, followed by 42 years of winter.
Clouds are really heavy.
The weight of the average fluffy, cumulus cloud is a little over a million pounds. Clouds are made up of tiny drops of water dispersed over a massive area and water is very heavy when you gather it up. But don’t worry it won’t fall on you… at least not more than usual.
Hot and cold water sound different when being poured.
Pay attention and you will notice it. Water changes its thickness depending on temperature. So the colder the water equals the higher the pitch. Where hotter water gives off a lower pitch. No wonder I feel comforted by the sound of my hot coffee pouring in the morning.
Sometimes science seems to make no sense. It doesn't follow my expectations and I love that. For everything we know we still live in a mysterious place. Scientific discovery will never end as long as we search for answers. As long as we are searching we will always be mesmerized by our strange and surprising world.