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Cool & Crazy Science Facts

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posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 07:07 PM
reply to post by greenfruit

Good stuff!

Here's a little more from the book:

“Depending on its state, it can scald you or freeze you. In the presence of certain organic molecules it can form carbonic acids so nasty that they can strip the leaves from trees and eat the faces off statuary. In bulk, when agitated, it can strike with a fury that no human edifice can withstand. Even for those who have learned to live with it, it is an often murderous substance. We call it water.”

“Of the 3 percent of Earth's water that is fresh, most exists as ice sheets. Only the tiniest amount – 0.036 percent – is found in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, and an even smaller part – just 0.001 percent – exists in clouds or as vapor.”

“Sea level, incidentally, is an almost entirely notional concept. Seas are not level at all. Tides, winds, the Coriolis force, and other effects alter water levels considerably from one ocean to another and within oceans as well. The Pacific is about a foot and a half higher along its western edge – a consequence of the centrifugal force created by earth's spin.”

posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 08:20 PM
No science junkies out there?

Well here are a few more, let me know what you think, post some cool science facts of your own.

“According to one estimate there could be as many as thirty million species of animals living in the sea, most still undiscovered.”

“Large areas of the North Sea floor are dragged clean by beam trawlers as many as seven times a year, a degree of disturbance that no ecosystem can withstand. At least 2/3rds of the species in the North Sea, by many estimates, are being overfished.”

“No one really knows, but there may be as many as a million types of protein in the human body...By the laws of probability proteins shouldn't exist...To make collagen (a type of protein) you need to arrange 1,055 amino acids in precisely the right sequence. The chances of a 1,055 – sequence molecule like collagen spontaneously self-assembling are, frankly, nil. It just isn't going to happen. To grasp what a long shot its existence is, visualize a standard Las Vegas slot machine but broadened greatly – to about ninety feet, to be precise – to accommodate 1,055 spinning wheels instead of the usual three or four, and with twenty symbols on each wheel (one for each common amino acid). How long would you have to pull the handle before all 1,055 symbols came up in the right order? Effectively forever.”

“If you are in good health and averagely diligent about hygiene, you will have a herd of about one trillion bacteria grazing on your fleshy plains – about a hundred thousand of them on every square centimeter of skin.”

“Bacteria, never forget, got along for billions of years without us. We couldn't survive a day without them. They process our wastes and make them usable again; without their diligent munching nothing would rot. They purify our water and keep our soils productive.”

“Perhaps the most extraordinary survival yet found (of bacteria) was that of Streptococcus bacterium that was recovered from the sealed lens of a camera that had stood on the Moon for two years. In short, there are few environments in which bacteria aren't prepared to live.”

“Viruses prosper by hijacking the genetic material of a living cell and using it to produce more virus...They also have an unnerving capacity to burst upon the world in some new and startling form and then vanish again as quickly as they came.”

posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 08:49 PM
reply to post by Ace High

Wow, the protein numbers are staggering (1055^1055) ~= 3.39 E3189

even "pulling the handle" every second for a 4 billion years is only 1.26 E 17! But then the math is not a true impression of how things came about... if you start small and build, protein evolution makes more sense.

Here's another interesting science tidbit... Every living cell (insomuch as I know, at least) contains an organelle called a mitochondria. These tiny organelles are *nearly* functionally complete bacteria. They have all of the machinery needed to sustain life on their own. Their DNA is circular like modern bacteria and tRNA structure also mimics modern bacteria. The idea of a symbiotic organism living within a single celled organism is not unheard of:

Some species of present day protists contain living organisms within their cytoplasm. For example, Paramecium bursaria are hosts for zoochlorellae, photosynthetic protists, that reside within the cytoplasm. The relationship appears to be symbiotic. The endosymbiont gains protection and possibly some essential nutrients from the host cytoplasm. The host has a readily available food source when its usual food source is depleted. If you have the opportunity to observe P. bursaria, note that the endosymbionts are not incorporated into food vacuoles. They are residents within the cytoplasm itself, and either are descended from organisms that survived endocytosis or have some mechanism for escaping food vacuoles once they are ingested.

It is theorized that mitochondria are the results of an ancient symbiotic relationship with anaerobic (non oxygen breathing) bacteria. This relationship would have enabled early cells to survive in a hostile oxygen deficient atmosphere, eventually mutating through many trillions of divisions of their host cells into a self-regulating chemical power plant that provides most of the energy needed to operate a cell.

Also of interest is that Chloroplasts (the organelle in plant cells that converts sunlight into chemical energy) also seem to be the result of a symbiotic pairing with early cyanobateria.

posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 09:12 PM
reply to post by rogerstigers

It really is amazing!

Life always seems to find a way, even in the worst conditions, even as a single cell organism.

posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 09:25 PM
Here are some facts from "The Little Giant Book of Science Trivia" book by Glen Vecchione: (astronomy facts that is)

---A comet's tail can reach 93 million miles in length, but the total amount of vapor and dust it emits can fit into the trunk of a car.

---February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

---If the sun were the size of the period at the end of this sentence, then the nearest star--Proxima Centauri--would be another period 10 miles away.

---Some astronomers believe that the earth's oceans were formed by water vapor from the tails of passing comets.

posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 09:53 PM

Originally posted by Monsterenergy791
---A comet's tail can reach 93 million miles in length, but the total amount of vapor and dust it emits can fit into the trunk of a car.

One could say the same thing about substance in a politician's speeches. *smirk*

Ok, here's one for ya, since I seem to be stuck on biology bits tonight... Dolphins and whales, recognized by many for having very complex and human like social and family structures, are much older than humans in the overall scheme of things. In fact, they used to be land dwellers, looking a lot like a horse to some extent.

Another interesting bit.. although it is more trivia than fact. Scientists have used the Taxomony tree (Zoological nomenclature) (kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species, subspecies) for a while. This was originally used to classify animals by traits such as hair, egg laying, etc. With the advent of the genome projects, however, scientists are quickly reinterpreting this system and reorganizing things according to their genetic heritage, although this is not an easy task when so many things have official names that can't be changed easily.

posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 11:39 PM
Some more info from the book -

“In 1916...people in Europe and America began to come down with a strange sleeping sickness...Victims would go to sleep and not wake up. They could be take food or go to the lavatory...however, the moment they were permitted to rest, they would sink at once into deepest slumber and remain in that state for as long as they were left. Some went on for months in this manner before dying...In ten years the disease killed some five million people and then quickly went away.”

“World War I killed twenty-one million people in four years; swine flu did the same in its first four months. Almost 80% of American casualties in the First World War came not from enemy fire, but from flu...Swine flu arose as a normal, nonlethal flu in the spring of 1918, but somehow over the following months – no one knows how or where – it mutated into something more severe. A fifth of the victims only suffered mild symptoms, but the rest became gravely ill and often died...Between the autumn of 1918 and spring the following year, 548,452 people died of the flu in America. The toll in Britain was 220,000 with similar numbers dead in France and Germany.”

posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 11:57 PM
reply to post by Ace High

Does that really say Swine Flu? Wow. I actually predicted something like this to my family and friends about a week after swine flu hit the headlines. I still expect a lethal mutation later this summer. *shudder*

posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 12:01 AM
reply to post by rogerstigers

Yup! I am worried we are ready for a repeat of 1918.

I sure hope not, but we will see this fall.

posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 08:26 AM
I just wanted to say something more about the first part of the original post rather than a cool science fact. I've never read Bryson's book although I've read some of his travel books.

One thing I'd like to see more of on ATS is member book reviews. There are a lot of books out there on alternative subjects, some are brilliant, some are absolute bilge.

I'm currently reading The Secret History of the World by Jonathan Black and the jury is still very much out. Sorry for the slight off topic!

posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 10:59 AM
Cool thread! Here's some more cool factoids!

''The temperature in fahrenheit can be determined by counting the number of cricket chirps in 14 seconds and adding 40.

Hawaii is moving toward Japan 10 centimetres (4 inches) every year.

A pig's orgasm lasts for 30 minutes. (I bet you wish you where a pig right about now.)

At the ocean's deepest point, due to immense pressure, an iron ball would take more than an hour to sink to the ocean floor.

The lightning bolt is 3 times hotter than the sun.

The first ten feet of the ocean hold as much heat as the Earth's entire atmosphere.

Saturn's moon Titan has hundreds of times more oil and natural gas than all the known reserves on Earth. (Too bad fossil fuels suck!)

If a pinhead-size piece of the Sun were placed on Earth, one would have to stand as far as 145 kilometers (90 miles) away to be safe. (Makes me wonder about that star we are about to create on earth...)

Jupiter is so big that twice the mass of the rest of our Solar System's planets combined would still not be enough to equal its mass.

A dwarf star is so dense that it would take 8 men to lift a teaspoon full of its matter.

if a pulsar's (small star made up of densely packed neutrons) piece the size of a small coin landed on Earth, it would weigh approximately 100 million tons.

Olympus Mons on Mars is the largest volcano in our solar system, almost three times taller than Mount Everest on Earth.

A rubber tire is actually one single giant molecule.

Gallium is a metal which melts on palm of the hand, due to its low melting point (29.76 °C).

The lighter was invented before the match (in 1816 by J.W. Dobereiner).

Each time lightning strikes, some Ozone gas is produced, thus strengthening the Ozone Layer in the Earth's atmosphere. (Great News, More thunderstorms plz)

There's enough gold in the Earth's crust to cover the entire land surface knee-deep. (Yippie!)

Mosquitoes like the scent of estrogen, hence, women get bitten by mosquitoes more often than men do. (Sweet Justice)

If you slowly pour a handful of salt into a totally full glass of water it will not overflow. In fact, the water level will go down. (Someone needs to test this one)

The only letter not appearing on the Periodic Table is the letter J.

When the queen of a clownfish school dies, a male clownfish changes its gender to become female and takes her place.

The Horseshoe crab has blue blood.

A worm is both male and female at the same time (a hermaphrodite.)

The world's smallest rodent is Pygmy Jerboa - measuring only a couple of inches in length - and can run as fast as a horse.

Armadillos spend about 80% of their lives asleep.

The human heart has enough pressure to squirt blood up to 30 feet away. (Good to know)

The tongue of a blue whale is bigger than a taxi cab, and can weigh as much as an elephant.

A goldfish (like most marine fish) can survive in a tank full of human blood. (yay Armageddon won't kill the fish lol.)

An iguana always lands on its feet. (Hmm another way to make anti gravity with toast?)

The human brain is 75% water.

The world's termites outweigh the world's humans 10 to 1. (We have some work to do...)

You can figure out which way is south if you are near a tree stump. The growth rings are wider on the south side. (This one is useful...)

Your blood vessels, if laid end to end, would encircle the globe twice over.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over 1 million descendents. (Scary thought)

Fish are the only vertebrates that outnumber birds.

The heart of giraffe is two feet long, and can weigh as much as twenty four pounds. (Never call a giraffe heartless)

Everyone's tongue print is different.

Only humans sleep on their backs. (I've met a few dogs that do)

Hummingbirds are the only animals able to fly backwards.

The human body has less muscles in it than a caterpillar.

The housefly hums in the middle octave, key of F

Source for some of this

[edit on 15-6-2009 by DaMod]

[edit on 15-6-2009 by DaMod]

posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:28 AM

Originally posted by Nova

I just wanted to say something more about the first part of the original post rather than a cool science fact. I've never read Bryson's book although I've read some of his travel books.

One thing I'd like to see more of on ATS is member book reviews. There are a lot of books out there on alternative subjects, some are brilliant, some are absolute bilge.

I'm currently reading The Secret History of the World by Jonathan Black and the jury is still very much out. Sorry for the slight off topic!

That is what I try to do. I always enjoy discussing what I have read with others and sharing some of the info. that I have learned. In the thread below I discuss another book that I just finished, very interesting read, check it out:

posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:33 AM
reply to post by DaMod

Thanks for the additional facts, really cool stuff....

With regard to the Blue Whale, it mentioned in the book that it has blood veins large enough for a human to swim through!!

posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 11:42 AM

Originally posted by Ace High
reply to post by DaMod

Thanks for the additional facts, really cool stuff....

With regard to the Blue Whale, it mentioned in the book that it has blood veins large enough for a human to swim through!!

That is pretty insane.

Massive creatures they are, kinda makes me wonder about the presence of a bigger yet undiscovered animal in the oceans.

posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 12:17 PM

Originally posted by Ace High
Here are a couple more I thought were cool:

Without assistance, the deepest (in the ocean) anyone has gone and lived to talk about it afterward was an Italian named Umberto Pelizzari, who in 1992 dove to a depth of 236 feet, lingered for a nanosecond, and then shot back to the surface. In terrestrial terms, 236 feet is just slightly over the length of one New York City block. So even in our most exuberant stunts we can hardly claim to be masters of the abyss.

edit on Sun Jun 14 2009 by Jbird]

It was true in 1992, however, M. Pelizzari has since lost his record. The absolute record for "No-limit" apnea his 214 meters (about 700 feets). It has been done by Herbert Nitsch of Austria in 2007. No-limit apnea has the diver descend by using weight witch are ditched at the bottom and the ascension is made with the help of a balloon. On average, the records are beaten every year or two.

Constant weight apnea is the same, but without the help of balloons or weights. The record for that is 122 m (400 ft) by Martin Štěpánek.

The most impresive record in apnea is static apnea ... standing still in a pool without breathing ... the record is held by Stéphane Mifsud from France with 11 min. 35 sec. They breathe pure oxygen to saturate their body before ... but 11 minutes ... it's incredible ... with a lot of training, my personnal record is just under 4 minutes.

Some cool facts about apnea and the various records :

From wiki
From AIDA, the international federation of apnea

Very interesting science tidbits, continue the good work

[edit on 15-6-2009 by grandnic]

posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 05:24 AM
reply to post by grandnic

11 minutes, that is ridiculous!

Thanks for the update on the depth as well.

posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 08:20 AM
Super intresting tell me more.

posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 08:20 AM
Super intresting tell me more.

posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 09:37 AM
A couple more tidbits from the book -

"Your skin cells are all dead. It's a somewhat galling notion to reflect that every inch of your surface is deceased. If you are an average sized adult you are lugging around about 5 lbs. of dead skin, of which several billion tiny fragments are sloughed off each day. Run a finger along a dusty shelf and you are drawing a pattern very largely in old skin."

"There...are many surface features that tectonics can't explain. Take Denver. It is as everyone knows, a mile high, but that rise is comparatively recent. When dinosaurs roamed the Earth, Denver was part of an ocean bottom, many thousands of feet lower. Yet the rocks on which Denver sits are not fractured or deformed on the way they would be if Denver had been pushed up by colliding plates, and anyway Denver was too far from the plates edges to be susceptible to their actions...Mysteriously and over millions of years, it appears that Denver has been rising, like baking bread...Australia, meanwhile, has been tilting and sinking. Over the past 100 million years as it has drifted north toward Asia, its leading edge has sunk by some 600 feet. It appears that Indonesia is very slowly drowning, and dragging Australia down with it. Nothing in the theories of tectonics can explain any of this."

posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 09:14 AM
Anyone else with some interesting facts???

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