Science has a vital role in our lives today. With several valuable innovations like computers, satellites, X-rays, plastic surgery, electricity, the internet, photography, mobile phones, etc, it not only simplified and improved the quality of life that we live today but also enabled us to cope better with illness in the modern era.
Here are a few interesting science facts that you probably didn’t notice till today
- The Majority of Earth’s Oxygen Is Produced by Oceans
Most of us believe that we get oxygen from trees but you might not know that more than half of the earth’s oxygen that we breathe comes from oceans. Various scientists estimate that 50%-80% of the earth’s oxygen is produced by the oceans. The majority of this production is from plant-based marine organisms. Oceanic plankton, algae, seaweed, and some bacteria can photosynthesize & produce more than half of the world’s oxygen.
- The Human Stomach Can Dissolve Razor Blades
It may sound horrible, but it is another one of the most amazing facts in science that a human stomach is more capable of dissolving razor blades. Acids are classified on a scale from 0 to 14. Remember, the lower the ph level, the stronger the acid is. And the pH level in the stomach ranges from 1-3 which is so strong that it can dissolve a single-edge blade in a few hours of immersion in the stomach acid, as found in a study.
- Bananas are Radioactive
They contain high levels of potassium, wherein a small amount is radioactive. But it doesn’t require you to quit your yummy banana smoothie as the content of radiation is extremely small.
- Animals Use Earth’s Magnetic Field to Know Their Location
Sea animals have the ability to sense the magnetic fields of the earth for their orientation. According to the U.S. Geological Study, “There are pieces of evidence showing that some animals, like sea turtles and salmon, can sense the earth’s magnetic fields and use it for navigation.” The earth is composed of layers having different chemical compositions and physical properties. The crust of the earth has some magnetization while its core generates its own magnetic field.
- Helium Works Against Gravity
If you cool helium just a few degrees lower than its boiling point ie. 452 degrees Fahrenheit (–269 degrees Celsius), it becomes superfluid, which means it can move without friction. It can rise up and over the sides of a glass. Not only this, but it can also drain through molecule-thin cracks in a container. Among other amazing scientific facts, helium is the second-most abundant element in the universe.
- Humans May Harbour Genes from Other Species
From now on, we can say that we aren’t completely human, at least when it comes to the genetic composition inside our cells. Our genome may harbour as many as 145 genes that we inherit from bacteria, other single-celled organisms, and viruses, as per the studies published in the journal Genome Biology.
- There is No Flavour in Food Without Saliva
We need saliva to taste our food. In order for food to taste, the chemicals from the food must dissolve in saliva. Once the chemicals in the food are dissolved, they can be detected by receptors in our taste buds.
- There are more trees on the planet than stars in the solar system
According to experts from NASA, there are up to 400 billion stars in the milky way galaxy – but the number of trees on Earth is estimated to be more than 3 trillion.
- One letter doesn’t exist in the periodic table
If you have studied science in KS3 it is highly likely you will have come across the periodic table. It contains a large number of letters (or multiple letters) associated with elements, but one letter in the alphabet doesn’t feature: the letter ‘J’.
- Water can boil and freeze at the same time
What is known as the ‘triple point‘ exists in science. It occurs when temperature and pressure are just right for a substance’s three phases (gas, liquid and solid) to coexist in thermodynamic equilibrium.
- Spacecraft are hurtling toward the edge of our solar system
The New Horizons place probe (which already flew past Pluto) is travelling at speeds of 36,000 mph. The SR-71 Blackbird (the fastest aircraft on earth) travels at speeds of 2,700 mph.
- If you spin a ball as you drop it, it will fly
The Magnus effect occurs as the air on the front side of the spinning object is going in the same direction as the spin. This means the ball is dragged outwards as well as downwards.
- Babies have more bones than adults
Babies have around 300 bones at birth. This extra flexibility means they pass through the birth canal and enable rapid growth. With age, many of the bones fuse. Most adults have 206 bones in their skeleton.
- The Eiffel Tower grows in summer
As substances are heated up, particles move more and take up a larger volume. This effect is most dramatic in gases but it also affects liquids and solids too. It is the reason to see bridges built with expansion points.
- Some chemicals cannot live with oxygen
Potassium, sodium and lithium are so reactive that they oxidise when they come into contact with the air. This is because they are built with an outer electron shell, and alkali metals contain only one electron in this shell which they would pass on to another element at the first opportunity via elemental bonding.
- Hawaii moves closer to Alaska every year
The Earth’s crust is split into segments known as tectonic plates. The hot, less-dense rock rises before cooling and sinking. The consequence of this is a minute shifting of where rock (and the land above it) is placed. The Pacific Plate is drifting slowly north towards the North American Plate. Meaning it is around 7.5cm closer every year.
- Life cannot exist on Earth in 2.3 billion years due to temperature
The Earth’s temperature is rising every year, as discussed in our recent climate change blog post. In this time period, temperatures will be high enough to evaporate the oceans, and Earth will become a vast desert, similar to Mars today.
- It takes eight minutes for light to travel from the Sun to Earth
Light travels 300,000km per second. There are around 150 million kilometres between us and the Sun, so this equals around 8 minutes, and 19 seconds.
- Infrared cameras don’t really work on polar bears
Polar bears are experts at conserving heat. They have multiple levels to keep them cosy on the most chill on arctic days.
- The Earth is a magnet
The inner core of Earth is a sphere of solid iron. Variation in temperature and density currents this iron, and produces an electrical current. Alongside the Earth’s spin, this creates a magnetic field which is used by compass needles worldwide.