Science is undeniably one of the most interesting subjects. Unraveling the mysteries of the unknown, the results from such scientific research isn’t always believable. Maybe that’s the reason as to why it is not taught in schools. Anyways, if your science tutor skipped some portions of amazing, yet unbelievable science, then you are in for a treat! These are the 10 mind-blowing science facts that would definitely enlighten you.
1. You can’t burp in Space
If you don’t know, gravity plays an important role in burping. Although it sounds funny, it is a universal truth. In fact, this is scientifically “proven”. We all know that air is lighter than solids and liquids. Hence the air rises up while you are burping. However, things are different in space. Due to the lack of gravity, air doesn’t get separated from ingested food. Hence, if an astronaut is to burp, they would eventually throw up. NASA Engineer, Robert Frost says “It’s kind of like acid reflux”.
2. Polar bears can’t be detected by infrared cameras
Stealth of Polar bears is a topic of discussion among scientists. Despite the -40 °C temperature during the arctic winters, Polar bears keep their body temperature at a steady 37 °C. This is possible because of its fur. In fact, it is this fur that makes them undetectable in infrared cameras. Generally, the bear’s fur coat consists of two layers. One of them being a short and dense underfur next to skin, the second one consists of longer and coarser guard hairs. Turns out, the guard hairs absorb their body heat without emitting them back to the atmosphere. Hence, they appear to be invisible in infrared as the temperature of its fur coat would match the temperature of the surrounding.
3. Hot water freezes faster than cold water
Believe it or not, hot water freezes faster than cold water. This was first noticed by Aristotle. Since then, it remained under the shadows of bigger science problems such as Black holes. However, in the 1960s a student noticed this effect during his cookery class. That popularised this paradox and it is now called the Mpemba effect(named after the student). One of the many explanations for this paradox is based on the endothermic process. That is, warm water evaporates faster, hence it cools water quickly and thereby freezing it. However, the actual and accepted explanation is still up for grabs!
4. Our body has enough DNA to stretch from Sun to Pluto and back, 17 times
DNA or Deoxyribonucleic Acid is the hereditary material of all cells. Decoding the chemical structure of DNA helped us to understand more about genetic processes. As far its physical makeup is concerned, a stretched DNA of one cell is around 2 metres in length. Roughly, a human body has around 37.6 trillion cells. Furthermore, each of these cells has two copies of the human genome. You do the math! If the number of zeroes haunts you, here’s a simple analogy. In total, there are 3 billion base pairs of DNA for the human genome. Once stretched, the DNA would go from Pluto to Sun, a whopping 17 times. In other words, all the DNA in all of your cells put together would be twice the diameter of our solar system. Just so you know, the diameter of our solar system is 287.46 billion km.
5. There are 15 states of matter
Chances are your tutor would’ve only taught you three states of matter viz, Solids, Liquids and Gases. Maybe, during your graduate studies, you might’ve heard of 5 states(plasma and Bose-Einstein condensate). But the actual number is not 5, it is 15. Although many of these are still being studied, scientists believe that there would be more in future. Excitonium, Degenerate Matter, Photonic Matter, Quantum, Fermionic condensate, Superconductors, Superfluids, Supersolids, Quark-gluon plasma and Time crystals are the rest of the 10 states.
6. The Sun makes “slow light”
Speed of Light is roughly 299792458 metres per second. Despite its blazing speed, it takes light around 8 minutes and 20 seconds to reach Earth. Furthermore, it was found that light takes as much as 100,000 years to emerge from the core and reach the surface of the Sun. In other words, the speed of light isn’t quick enough! Is there anything that can travel at a speed greater than that of light? Well, that’s for another day. Anyways, to put it in simple words, scientists believe neutrons can travel faster than light, but the theory supporting a statement of such significance is still at its infancy.
7. Lungs produce blood cells
Mammals rely on their bone marrow for the production of blood cells. However, it turns out, we were wrong. In a recent study, scientists concluded that Lungs, the vital part responsible for respiration, produces a fair share of blood. Megakaryocytes, the platelet-forming cells functioning from within the lung tissue account for the majority of the body’s platelets. 10 million platelets per hour, to be specific. The study was conducted in the lungs of mice and it is believed to be applicable for all mammals, including us!
8. We may have accidentally created a protective cocoon around our Earth
Although mankind has wreaked chaos in the natural habitat of our planet, we also have done our fair share protecting it. Recently, NASA confirmed the presence of an artificial bubble around our planet that protects us from harmful solar flares. This bubble was formed as a result of very-low-frequency(VLF) waves, often used for communicating with the submarines near the surface of the ocean. This VLF upon interacting with the radiative particles present in our atmosphere would create a barrier
9. Bees are good at math
It would astonish anyone if they are being told that an invertebrate, having a brain 20,000 times smaller than us, is capable of carrying out complex arithmetic problems. Bees are surprisingly very good at math. In fact, they understand the concept of Zero, which many of us still don’t. If you could recall, we always start counting from 1. We are pretty ignorant of zero. On the other hand, bees understand 0 as a number. This is surprising, considering the fact that we are separated by more than 400 million years of evolution from bees.
10. Helium can climb walls
Helium is recognised as a superfluid. That is a fluid that flows without friction. For scientists, it is a big thing. If that’s not all, Helium is one among the very few elements that remain liquid down to absolute zero. Theoretically, all other elements would cease its motion at this temperature. This ability to remain at a lower temperature allows Helium to transform. This transformation is called Bose-Einstein condensation, wherein individual particles overlap until they behave like one big particle. Its dual nature helps in climbing walls. I don’t know about you, but science is indeed interesting!