17 Science Facts That Will Leave You Questioning Everything
|You won't believe some of the truly strange spectacles Mother Natures is capable of cooking up. These 17 little-known facts are shocking, spooky, and super surprising.|
If you break out some of these amazing facts, you'll most definitely become the life of the party!
There was an asteroid that destroyed a forest in Serbia without ever hitting the ground.
The event is known as the 'Tunguska Impact' and occurred in 1908. The asteroid was travelling around 33,500 miles per hour as it entered the Earth's atmosphere and exploded at the height of roughly 28,000 feet. It resulted in a fireball with about 185 Hiroshima bombs worth of energy and destroyed around 800 square miles of Serbian forest. While it never actually touched the ground, it is still classified as an impact.
A million years ago, Earth's days were shorter than they are now.
Because of a process called 'tidal acceleration', the Earth's rotation is gradually slowing down. Yes, the name is confusing. Basically, the moon is getting closer to the Earth, causing it to slow. This means that the days are getting longer. For example, 350 million years ago, there were around 385 days in a year, meaning that each day was less than 23 hours long. Geologists have even been able to confirm this in the geologic record!
The Mediterranean Ocean almost completely disappeared.
This event happened around 5.5 million years ago. Geologists think that it was caused by tectonic shifts that managed to close off the sea's connection to the Atlantic Ocean. Then, over hundreds of thousands of years, the sea dried up due to evaporation. Later, the Straight of Gibraltar re-opened and led to the Mediterranean rapidly refilling; It was epically named the Zanclean Flood.
The atmosphere around the sun is much hotter than the sun itself.
The sun's atmosphere, called the 'corona', is actually over 600 times hotter than the surface of the sun itself. Science still doesn't have much of an answer for this one.
It has rained fish before in a small town in the Australian outback.
That's not even the half of it! There have been reports of spiders, frogs and other animals 'raining' from the sky too. Scientists believe the most reasonable explanation for these events is that the animals get sucked up and transported by waterspouts or other tornadic winds.
The Earth shares its orbit with its own asteroid buddy.
That's right, there is a 1000 foot wide asteroid that shares the Earth's orbit and its name is '2010 TK7?. Catchy, right? It's not technically a moon, but Earth actually follows the asteroid on its path around the sun. Objects that hang around in the orbits of bigger objects are known as 'trojans'. As far as we know, 2010 TK7 is the only Earth trojan as of yet.
There is a 'Lightning Lake' in Venezuela.
The 'Lightning Lake' got its name because the lake almost constantly experiences lightning. This weird yet amazing lake resides at the mouth of the Catatumbo River where is empties into Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. The Lightning Lake actually has the most lightning in the world. While its origins remain a mystery, scientists think that it most likely has to do with the local topology and wind patterns of the region.
There are planets that float around space without a sun or solar system to call home.
There are most likely a whole load of planets like this that are just roaming through interstellar space. Scientists believe that this is because they were likely ejected from the solar systems they were originally in during the early stages of forming planets. Now they look very sad and we should all feel sorry for them.
Lots of oranges need to be 'degreened' in order to get their distinct orange colour.
Despite them already being perfectly ripe and fine to eat, many oranges that are grown in equatorial regions stay green even after they are picked. In most cases, however, when the oranges are purchased by people in non-equatorial regions, they are only interested in orange oranges. In order to ensure the oranges are able to turn orange, the oranges are exposed to ethylene gas to remove the green from the skin by breaking down its chlorophyll.
There is a dwarf planet in our solar system that spins so fast that it has become distorted.
The dwarf planet, 'Haumea', that orbits between 3.2 and 4.7 billion miles away from the sun, is one of the fastest rotating objects in our solar system. While it's roughly the same size as Pluto, it completes full rotation every 4 hours. Because the rotation of this icy world is so fast, the dwarf planet has been distorted into an oblong shape.
Male koalas have two penises and female koalas have three vaginas.
The males of most koala species have two penises. The scientific term for this occurrence is called 'bifurcated penis'. The female koala also has two 'lateral vaginas' which transport semen. The third is called the 'medial vagina' and it is where their young travel during birth.
Russia is bigger than Pluto.
While Pluto's surface area is 6.4 million square miles, Russia manages to take up a whopping 6.6 million square miles. Yes, when it comes to surface area, Russia is bigger than Pluto!
Firenados exist and they are very scary.
What do you get when you put together a fire and a tornado? A firenado. They are tornadoes that are filled with raging hot flames and occur during wildfires. Because of the rising hot air, they create their own massive winds that can pull more oxygen into the fire, making them stronger as they pull the flames high into the sky.
The tallest known cliff is on Uranus' moon.
Uranus' tiny moon, 'Miranda', has a cliff named 'Verona Rupes' that is estimated to be up to 10 times the depth of the Grand Canyon. because of Miranda's low gravity, and the height of the cliff itself, it would take approximately 12 minutes to jump from it and reach the bottom. Scientists are still uncertain as to why such a small moon would have such an uneven surface.
Some dragonflies used to be the size of seagulls
These scarily large dragonflies were called 'Meganeura' and were closely related to the dragonflies that live today. They were alive around 300 million years ago and preyed on smaller insects. Luckily, evolution eventually made sure they became a lot smaller, so there's no need to be worried about one flying through your window.
Theoretically, all of the planets in our solar system could fit in the space between Earth and the Moon.
The distance between our Earth and the moon is averagely 239,200 miles. The total distance covered by the diameter of all the planets stacked next to each other is only 233,865 miles. So, there is plenty of room to spare!
There was an entirely new system discovered in the human body thanks to marijuana.
Its scientific name is the 'endocannabinoid system' and it is found in the human brain. It just so conveniently happens that the chemicals found in weed is able to exclusively target the system. In fact, it was down to our understanding of the chemicals found in weed that scientists were able to discover the system back in the mid 1990s. The system plays a part in learning, appetite, pain and a whole lot of other things, too.