Science is a fascinating subject, it’s something that no one gets bored of (at least geeks like us). We use science to complete different tasks in our day-to-day life. Knowledge of science is basically the reason why we are the most advanced species on the Earth and possibly out there in the universe.
Don’t you want to know more about science. Here we have compiled 23 interesting science facts from different branches of the subject that you might not know.
23. Water Can Exist In Three Different States At Once
A phenomena called Triple point is a stage at which water can exist in all three forms (gas, liquid and solid) at once. It can only be possible under specific temperature and pressure conditions.
22. Leonardo’s Robot
Model of Leonardo’s robot on display in Berlin
Today, we are making a tremendous amount of progress in the field of robotics and making complex machines, but do you know the earliest known mechanical robot was designed by Leonardo Da Vinci back in 1495. It wasn’t discovered until 1950s.
21. Two Times Nobel Prize Winners
The Nobel Prize is the ultimate honor that scientists can get in their lifetime. In the entire history of this prestigious award, only four scientists received it twice: Frederick Sanger, John Bardeen, Marie Curie and Linus Pauling.
20. Mercury Is Not The Hottest Planet
If you think that Mercury is the hottest planet in our solar system then you are wrong. In actuality, Venus, the second planet after Mercury, is the hottest planet of the solar system. What’s the reason behind this, you ask? Well, it’s because of the presence of an atmosphere.
The thick atmosphere around Venus traps enormous amount of solar heat from the Sun, way more than Mercury, which leads the maximum surface temperature of the planet to reach up to 470° Celsius compared to just 56° Celsius here on Earth.
19. Bananas Are Radioactive
Do you know bananas contain radioactive elements? Yes, that’s right. Banana are slightly radioactive since they carry radioactive isotopes of potassium, mostly potassium-40k. However, no one develops radiation sickness, even with above normal amount of banana consumption.
18. Some Other Foods Are Also Radioactive
Like bananas, other foods that contain a high amount of potassium 40k are potatoes, sunflower seeds and ground nuts. Some foods like Brazil nuts and table salt contain traces of radium. Moreover, frequent tobacco users inject themselves with small amounts of polonium, uranium and thorium each time they smoke.
17. Live African Frogs Were Used As Pregnancy Test Kit
Until the 1960s, to determine whether a woman is pregnant or not, doctors used to test her urine sample on female African clawed frog. If the frog had ovulated the next day, it meant the women who provided the urine sample is pregnant. Before frogs, these tests were performed on rabbits and mice.
16. Hot Water Can Freeze Faster Than Cold Water
Is it really possible? Well, apparently it is. While it is poorly defined, this occurs due to a phenomena known as Mpemba effect. Researchers believe that this phenomena can only occur under specific temperature conditions, where water particle gain specific character which allows them to freeze relatively more rapidly.
15. Diamond Rain On Other Planets
Multiple studies have concluded that planets such as Neptune and Uranus may experience regular diamond rains. This is most probably due to the existence of a large quantity of methane in the atmosphere of two ice giants. Researchers were able to simulate similar conditions in high pressure chambers.
14. Most Strongest Organism
With enough strength to pull a weight 100,000 times greater than their own body weight, the sexually transmitted bug gonorrhea bacterium is the strongest organism on Earth.
13. Farthest Man-Made Object In Space
Positions of the Voyagers Image Courtesy: NASA
Today, astronomy is far more advanced than it was a century ago. We know more about Sun, planets and galaxies than ever and we continue to explore the great depths of the space. At the moment, the farthest man-made object in space is NASA’s Voyager 1 probe.
The Voyager 1 was launched on September 5, 1977 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. At the current velocity of 38,026 mph, the probe would make a close approach to star Gliese 445 in 40,000 years from now.
12. More Than Half Of The Human Body Is Made Up Of Bacteria
It is a pretty basic knowledge in the realm of biology that bacteria outnumbers the human cells in our body by a ratio of 10:1, though this figure is not proven. But this understanding was challenged recently by a team of international researchers.
Their study concluded that the ratio between human cells and microbes could be 1:1.3, much less than earlier estimates. Keep in mind that this is still an estimation.
11. The Estimated Age Of The Universe
Based on the big-bang theory and other data, such as the ages of the oldest stars, researchers have been able to estimate the age of the universe which is around 13.8 billion years. On the other hand, the age of our solar system is 4.57 billion years, way more younger compared to the universe.
10. Oxygen Has A Color
We cannot smell or see oxygen in its gaseous state because it is odorless and colorless however, in its liquid and solid state it appears pale blue.
9. The Monster Study
In a famous physiological experiment, researcher Wendell Johnson demonstrated the effects of speech therapy in 1939. To perform the study, he selected 20 children and divided them into two groups. The first group had children suffering from stutters and the second group had normal ones. The study showed both good and horrible long-term psychological effects on subjects.
8. Facts About The Periodic Table
- The only alphabet that doesn’t appear in the periodic table is ‘J’.
- The radioactive element astatine is the rarest naturally occurring element on the Earth.
- The existence of element helium was initially discovered in 1868 by astronomer Pierre Janssen, while observing the Sun. About 14 years later in 1818, physicist Luigi Palmieri detected helium on Earth for the first time.
7. The Rate of Expansion Of The Universe
The fact that the universe is expanding was first discovered in 1920s by physicists and astronomers, Alexander Friedmann, Georges Lemaître and Edwin Hubble. It was Edwin Hubble who popularized the term, Hubble constant, which is now a unit of measurement to describe the expansion of the universe.
According to the adjusted Hubble constant, the universe is expanding at a rate of 72 km/s/Mpc (megaparsec). However, the first Hubble constant measured in 1929 by Edwin Hubble was valued at 500 km/s/Mpc.
6. Lasers Can Get Trapped In A Waterfall
Total internal reflection of a laser in acrylic glass
This happens due to a phenomena called total internal reflection that occurs when electromagnetic wave or lasers travels through a dense medium and hits a boundary of relatively less dense material, in this case water to air. When a laser is aimed at a particular angle, rather than passing straight through it reflects.
This happens over and over each time the light hits the boundary, so the laser remains trapped inside the waterfall. The same principle is applied on fiber optic cables.
4. We Owe Our Existence To Exploding Stars
According to astronomer Carl Sagan, humans are made from “starstuff”. From calcium found in our teeth and bones to the nitrogen in our DNA, all originate from the interiors of collapsing stars.
Moreover, scientists now believe that precious metals like gold and platinum found on Earth have come from exploding stars. The discovery was made right after the astronomers detected collision of two neutron stars hundreds of light years away.
3. We Have Performed Gene Editing
While the idea of genetic engineering is not new and has been conceptualized since 1970s, it was only recently that researchers were able to perform gene-editing on human. In 2017, using the gene-editing tool Crispr/Cas9, researchers manipulated DNA to deactivate a particular gene.
Recently, a new gene editing tool known as zinc finger nucleases was used to try to cure an incurable genetic disease on a living human body.
2. Our Solar System Revolves Around the Galaxy
Courtesy: ESO, European Southern Observatory
We all know that the moon revolves around the Earth just like the Earth revolves around the Sun, but are you aware of the fact that the Sun along with the entire solar system revolve too? Yes, that’s right, our entire solar system and everything in it revolves around the galactic core.
It takes our solar system about 250 million years to complete one revolution of the galactic core also know as the galactic year, at an average speed of 830,000 km/h.
1. A Totally New Human Organ?
The human body is a very complex system, so much so that we are still unable to crack various mysteries associated with it. Every now and then we hear scientific teams making groundbreaking discoveries about genetics or some medicines, but what the heck is new organ?
Back in 2016, a surgeon from the University of Limerick discovered an entire new organ called mesentery. It is a layer of tissues that connects intestines to the abdominal wall in our stomach. While its official status is still disputed, the discovery of such substance opened a new area of medical science.
A similar type of discovery was done in March 2018, when researchers identified a continuous network of tissues spread all across the human body, from lungs and digestive system to every vein and artery. They have named it ‘Interstitium’.