Saturday, February 05, 2011

50 Interesting Science Facts

1 – The speed of light is generally rounded down to 186,000 miles per second. In exact terms it is 299,792,458 m/s (equal to 186,287.49 miles per second).

2 – It takes 8 minutes 17 seconds for light to travel from the Sun’s surface to the Earth.

3 – 10 percent of all human beings ever born are alive at this very moment.

4 – The Earth spins at 1,000 mph but it travels through space at an incredible 67,000 mph.

5 – Every year, over one million earthquakes shake the Earth.

6 – When Krakatoa erupted in 1883, its force was so great it could be heard 4,800 kilometers away in Australia.

7 – Every second around 100 lightning bolts strike the Earth.

8 – Every year lightning kills 1000 people.

9 – In October 1999 an Iceberg the size of London broke free from the Antarctic ice shelf .

10 – If you could drive your car straight up you would arrive in space in just over an hour.

11 – Human tapeworms can grow up to 22.9m.

12 – The Earth is 4.56 billion years old…the same age as the Moon and the Sun.

13 – The dinosaurs became extinct before the Rockies or the Alps were formed.

14 – Female black widow spiders eat their males after mating.

15 – When a flea jumps, the rate of acceleration is 20 times that of the space shuttle during launch.

16 – If our Sun were just inch in diameter, the nearest star would be 445 miles away.

17 – Astronauts cannot belch – there is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in their stomachs.

18 – The air at the summit of Mount Everest, 29,029 feet is only a third as thick as the air at sea level.

19 – One million, million, million, million, millionth of a second after the Big Bang the Universe was the size of a …pea.

20 – DNA was first discovered in 1869 by Swiss Friedrich Mieschler.

21 – The molecular structure of DNA was first determined by Watson and Crick in 1953.

22 – The first synthetic human chromosome was constructed by US scientists in 1997.

23 – The thermometer was invented in 1607 by Galileo.

24 – Alfred Nobel invented dynamite in 1866.

25 – Wilhelm Rontgen won the first Nobel Prize for physics for discovering X-rays in 1895.

26 – The tallest tree ever was an Australian eucalyptus – In 1872 it was measured at 435 feet tall.

27 – Christian Barnard performed the first heart transplant in 1967 – the patient lived for 18 days.

28 – An electric eel can produce a shock of up to 650 volts.

29 – ‘Wireless’ communications took a giant leap forward in 1962 with the launch of Telstar, the first satellite capable of relaying telephone and satellite TV signals.

30 – The Ebola virus kills 4 out of every 5 humans it infects.

31 – In 5 billion years the Sun will run out of fuel and turn into a Red Giant.

32 – Giraffes often sleep for only 20 minutes in any 24 hours. They may sleep up to 2 hours (in spurts – not all at once), but this is rare. They never lie down.

33 – There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body.

34 – An individual blood cell takes about 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.

35 – On the day that Alexander Graham Bell was buried the entire US telephone system was shut down for 1 minute in tribute.

36 – The low frequency call of the humpback whale is the loudest noise made by a living creature.

37 – A quarter of the world’s plants are threatened with extinction by the year 2010.

38 – Each person sheds 40lbs of skin in his or her lifetime.

39 – At 15 inches the eyes of giant squids are the largest on the planet.

40 – The Universe contains over 100 billion galaxies.

41 – Wounds infested with maggots heal quickly and without spread of gangrene or other infection.

42 – More germs are transferred shaking hands than kissing.

43 – The fastest speed a falling raindrop can hit you is 18mph.

44 – It would take over an hour for a heavy object to sink 6.7 miles down to the deepest part of the ocean.

45 – Around a million, billion neutrinos from the Sun will pass through your body while you read this sentence.

46 – The deepest part of any ocean in the world is the Mariana trench in the Pacific with a depth of 35,797 feet.

47 – Every hour the Universe expands by a billion miles in all directions.

48 – Somewhere in the flicker of a badly tuned TV set is the background radiation from the Big Bang.

49 – Even traveling at the speed of light it would take 2 million years to reach the nearest large galaxy, Andromeda.

50 – A thimbleful of a neutron star would weigh over 100 million tons.

82 comments:

covareo said...

47 – Every hour the Universe expands by a billion miles in all directions.

so the universe is expanding faster than the speed of light? ~ 670 million miles an hour? In my dimensional analysis correct?

TooTall2 said...

...that means that each surface is traveling at one half billion MPH.

Michael Jordan said...

"49 – Even traveling at the speed of light it would take 2 million years to reach the nearest large galaxy, Andromeda."

Luckily, due to special relativity, if you WERE traveling the speed of light, you wouldn't experience time at all.

KickMe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
KickMe said...

Nice article, but could you give the conversion to the (international) metric system ?

Oh, and by the way you are making a big hit on digg : http://digg.com/general_sciences/50_Interesting_Science_Facts_2 :)

nightfox said...

"30 – The Ebola virus kills 4 out of every 5 humans it infects."

Scary..

Dan Klimke said...

If the universe is constantly expanding then isn't the galaxy count also constantly expanding?

Corvidae said...

Assuming the universe is limited to expanding at the speed of light, then it would still be able to expand at twice that speed total. (Expansion from all points at the speed of light puts the nearest 2 edges seperating at 2x the speed of light)

James said...

The universe can expand faster than the speed of light... Realitiviy says that objects can't move faster than light relative to space, but space can expand faster than light.

For a better explaination, read Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos

James said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James said...

The universe can expand faster than the speed of light... Realitiviy says that objects can't move faster than light relative to space, but space itself can be moving faster than light (oddly enough).

For a better explaination, read Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos

VBDon said...

"The universe can expand faster than the speed of light... Realitiviy says that objects can't move faster than light relative to space, but space itself can be moving faster than light (oddly enough)."

If space is expanding at twice the speed of light, what is it expanding into? What exactly is outside of space? If stars emit light in all directions, does space consist of only galaxies or the light that has been sent outward?

VBDon said...

"The universe can expand faster than the speed of light... Realitiviy says that objects can't move faster than light relative to space, but space itself can be moving faster than light (oddly enough)."

If space is expanding at twice the speed of light, what is it expanding into? What exactly is outside of space? If stars emit light in all directions, does space consist of only galaxies or the light that has been sent outward?

Wirenut said...

49 – Even traveling at the speed of light it would take 2 million years to reach the nearest large galaxy, Andromeda.


Even travelling at the speed of light SQUARED, it would take over 1,000 years to cross our own galaxy.

Phalligator said...

do you have to burp an astronaut like a baby then? Or does that not even work? talk about feeling bloated. sheesh!

CrankyNugget said...

Wow.

So a 'copy&paste' job on a no-name blog makes a big digg hit.

Pathetic.

BarryR. said...

Wilhelm Roentgen is the proper spelling of his name.

Clint said...

crankynugget said ...

>> Wow. So a 'copy&paste' job on a
>> no-name blog makes a big digg hit. >> Pathetic.

Even at the speed of light CUBED you are a party-pooper.

El Guapo "The Handsome One" said...

Don't mean to be a part pooper, but not all of these are science "facts." Some are best guesses or even wishful thinking.

Such as:
"12 – The Earth is 4.56 billion years old…the same age as the Moon and the Sun."

This number changes daily. Science will NEVER know the true age of the Earth, Moon and Sun, it's impossible. Anybody's guess is valid.

"13 – The dinosaurs became extinct before the Rockies or the Alps were formed."

How about "Scientists BELIEVE the dinosaurs..." we'll never know this one either.

Don't even get me started on number 19.

Stephen S. said...

Okay, El Feo,
When did YOU become the science expert?

All of these facts CAN be taken as nearly 100% accurate.

Just because we weren't THERE to SEE it, doesn't mean we can't use the wonderful world of MATH and SCIENCE to figure out a VERY CLOSE representative of that FACT!

I love these facts, I'm going to print this up and share with everyone I know!

blundstone said...

el guapo's a creationist.

freakface said...

El Feo,
I am a science expert, as I expect El Feo is as well. Do you seriously think you can, with any degree of certainty, establish how old the sun is, for example? We have no idea how old the earth is, either. We are merely guessing, based on assumptions which may or may not be accurate, and probably are not, given the range that has been discussed over time. The vast majority of the earth is out of our reach and cannot be explored at this time, so we are simply guessing.

#19 is stated as fact, when there is absolutely no evidence to support it. "Inflation", which is a conjecture that is assumed in order to make other parts of the Big Bang model work (along with most of the other assumptions that have to be made in order to make the Big Bang model work) is simply that - an assumed conjecture that was invented in order to fix an enormous alpha error in the Big Bang model...as are Dark Matter and Dark Energy, neither of which have ever been detected (yet, are assumed to be about 92% of the total mass-energy in the observable universe).

So tell me, if you went to someone and told them you could predict with certainty how the World Series was going to turn out, based on a model you developed that includes 92% alpha error, would they take YOU seriously? Of course not.

freakface said...

Whoops. Previous comment should have been addressed to Stephen S., not El Feo.

Derek said...

Freakface, you are absolutely NOT a science expert. If you think science is about guessing then you haven't the faintest clue about how science works. The numbers have changed over time because we are constantly learning about the universe. However, the age of the earth as an example can be determined using many methods and they all agree to a very high degree.

I suggest you spend some more time learning about how science actually works before calling yourself an expert.

Bond said...

I love the way people call themselves a 'science expert'. Having studied and worked directly in physics and physics related fields for a significant number of years I am shocked this is the first time I have heard this claim.

These facts are based on complex mathematical models and are likely to be beyond the grasp of a rather generic sounding 'science expert'. Yes, assumptions are used in the process but the assumptions are in themselves arrived at through a high degree of experimentation. observation, analysis and are backed by proven scientific theories.

If you have an alternative answer or solution, backed by a similar level of mathematically rigorous evidence - which disproves the facts you are idly disregarding - I would be very interested to see you published paper.

beso_de_la_muerte said...

first of all i agree with bond... lol they call themselves science experts? um ok .... and how can u actually say that #19 is a true fact ??? the big bang is merely a theory which can be proven wrong in many ways ... for example, the big baang was supposedly and explosion of chemicals and such, resulting in our universe. so where did these chemicals come from. it is impossible for anyone but God to make something out of nothing.

Anonymous said...

First off, creationist crap like the last 4 posts should be ignored defacto. Seriously. Ignored. If some people want to believe the earth is flat, let them. Seriously, why bother? It's the height of intellectual hubris to think that you can reason a human into believing you. You can't. The fact that they're typing on a computer that uses 4 billion times a second many properties derived by quantum mechanics should be proof enough that we have proper science to know within reasonable doubt the age of the earth. But let them be internally inconsistent and stop clogging the real debates...
</rant>


As for the expanding universe "dilemnas" that are always asked... especially the "What is the universe expanding into" question.

Imagine this: an ant on a balloon. The ant walks in a 2D space (the surface of the balloon). As you inflate the balloon, the ant's *space* will 'expand' and distances he has to travel will get progressively bigger and bigger. The balloon surface however has not expanded into anything. It's in fact the same surface.

The problem with many of these big bang statements is that even for scientists (who do not specialize in cosmology), the idea of an expanding and exploding universe is not fully clear. Understanding the concept that 3D space can be bent and stretched is something that's extremely difficult if not outright impossible for human intuition.

All in all, those questions about the laws of relativity being broken are simply wrong or at the best irrelevant.

The equations have all been worked out over and over many times, and they make sense. If you still doubt them, learn about special relativity and you will understand too. But vague assertions on a blog saying one is going in one direction and the other in the other direction will get you nowhere in proving/disproving anything. People have dedicated their lives to this. Not just people, people like Einstein!

Gunnar said...

actually - the correct (German) spelling of the name is Röntgen

Anonymous said...

i'm gonna get me some maggots for my first aid kit (=

Unknown said...

For the universe to expand we need motion for motion to occur we need force applied to the universe from within to push it outwards like a ballon . Which comes from the energy released by "the big bang" but we also need friction a force opposing the one pushing the universe outward. And since space time is the fabric of the universe it begs the question how can it expand if u don't know where its expanding into? And what is outside of it? Without these facts its irrelevant no matter what type of mathematical calculations and experiments to claim its expanding

Anonymous said...

The universe is infinite, as is thought. Thought is infinite. So is matter.

Anonymous said...

Ur all idiots! Theres NO BIG BANG!! My lord mafe the eart dipshi
t.

Anonymous said...

First off... I'm really sick of hearing ppl's comments... especially ignorant ones. I know ppl have a freedom if speech... but, that doesn't mean u should! Hearing crap like c"reationist crap like the last 4 posts should be ignored defacto. Seriously. Ignored. If some people want to believe the earth is flat, let them. Seriously, why bother?" makes it serm like ur,an asshole n babel. Shut up OR GET TO THE POINT... I dnt need 2 hear "It's the height of intellectual hubris to think that you can reason a human into believing you. You can't. The fact that they're typing on a computer that uses 4 billion times a second many properties derived by quantum mechanic" really?? Look, because you use the word quantum mechanics doesn't mean shit. The fact that you guys argue over something that you have no proof makes you all idiots! There was no big bang. You don't know the age of earth n etc.. ty.

Anonymous said...

Dude the couldn't possibly work out how big the universe was 1 million etc... Of a second after it was formed

Anonymous said...

42- More germs are transferred shaking hands
than kissing. Now on I stop shaking hands and start kissing

Anonymous said...

Yes. This is possible because it is the very fabric of space that is expanding, therefore not in violation of any einsteinian laws.

Anonymous said...

Yes. This is possible because it is the very fabric of space that is expanding, therefore not in violation of any einsteinian laws.

Anonymous said...

How is that measurable? How can we know it's going twice the speed of light? If light is the fastest thing...well apart from univers expansion then what do we use to find out how fast it is?

Anonymous said...

By working out the rate of which the universe is expanding (which we know it is die to blue and red shift of light due to the Doppler effect) we can work backwards to find when it had the volume of a pea. Moron

Daniel said...

Matter in a closed system like the universe is constant, moron

Dan said...

Dark matter and energy are perfectly explainable by observations. We observe galaxy clusters orbiting each other but when we determine the mass of each of their sun's (other masses like planets are negligible due to their insufficient massiveness) we notice that the gravity each of them produce isn't enough to keep them in orbit. So another force must be acting, we proposed dark matter. We can use gravitational lensing and cryogenic detectors in the LHC to give further proof of its existence. Dark energy is completely differs but perfectly plausible along side dark matter

Anonymous said...

I knew everything

Anonymous said...

Fuck

Anonymous said...

Scientists belive that space is expanding wilst contracting its quite wierd and I don't really understand it completely

Anonymous said...

Actually we do kno the age of the earth by studying how much stone deep underground has radioactively decayed

Anonymous said...

Research red shift

Anonymous said...

Maybe the theory of recurrence explains it all

Anonymous said...

right after the big bang, the universe is thought to had been expanding faster than light. so the whole doppler efect can't be used as a good way to calculate the exact time when the universe was big as a pea. the speed of it's expanding changed...

Viraj Patel said...

By moving faster than light we can travel back in time..cool

Viraj Patel said...

By moving faster than light we can travel back in time..cool

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Anonymous said...

Nothing can travel faster than light. As it just so happens, empty space is just that. Nothing.

Dustin Ward said...

The CAKE is a lie.

Dustin Ward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You might not physically experience time, but you would still mentally experience it.

Anonymous said...

Yes dark matter and energy is explainable by observation. So is God. I don't believe that either dark energy or dark matter exist - they were contrived to explain why it seemed as though the speed at which the Universe is expanding is increasing. A much more plausible and probable theory (withoutmaking up some substance that like God can not be proven by definition) is that time is actually slowing down.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the univers is expanding into.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what we believe, whether its that the earth is flat or that god created everything.. or you are a scientist trying to figure out the questions that man has asked since we first looked up at the stars. the fact of it is.. we are a just trying to figure out why we are here. what we believe is irrelevant. if it is god.. then we are living in a world made by an all powerful being.. if we are just a spec of self aware dust travelling the cosmos... well ill just say this. it doesn't matter what the final outcome is.. I think what we are learning is pretty amazing and I eagerly look forward at what's to come. I do lean towards a scientific outlook though.. but it does mean I discard the beliefs of others. both sides have some incredible things. I hope to see more ideas like these in the future :)

Anonymous said...

it "doesn't" mean I discard the beliefs of others lol :P

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Not Nessesarily the space between all the bodies in space will expand. Matter is hard to produce because anti matter is produced along with it

Carl Madison said...

Im a creationist but I love these facts

Carl Madison said...

Im a creationist but I love these facts

Anonymous said...

some facts were scientist's imagination..fake..

Chris SurferCrab said...

At that speed space and time are moving not you

Jonathan T. Boughman said...

Only if you legitimately survive the pressure that is caused by traveling at that speed with the absence of gravitational pull.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Dan said...

The light can still reach us because although the universe is expanding, the light still travels relative to space.

Ever heard of the Doppler effect? Sound waves sound high pitched when emitted from a source traveling towards us and low pitched when traveling away because their wavelengths are either stretched out or squished together decreasing or increasing accordingly, altering the actual sound. Well the exact same thing happens to light, distant galaxies that are moving away from us quickly, emit light that has its wavelengths stretched out as it moves away, lowering the frequency of the light so when it arrives on earth it is more "red" than it should be i.e. it's frequency means it's been "red shifted" towards the red end of the electromagnetic spectrum. It's appropriately named red shift, how much red shift there is from a certain galaxy shows how much it's light has been 'stretched' and therefore how fast it's moving

Dan said...

It appears the universe is infinite and so therefore it doesn't need to expand into anything, it can just expand into itself.

Anonymous said...

Not completely true, it expanding in some areas while retracting in others.

Anonymous said...

Calm down bro

Anonymous said...

Can we rule out that the universe is in freefall?

Anonymous said...

is there anything which can travel faster than the speed of light....if no than why the universe is expanding billion. times faster but speed of light is only some millions timea

Kelton Garcia said...

If you could travel the speed of light. You would not feel the pressure because you would be traveling faster than pressuer could effect you.

Anonymous said...

Giraffes do lie down on occasion.

Unknown said...

If it would take millions of year to reach andromeda , so how scientists calculate distance btw earth nd largest galaxy ?

Anonymous said...

You would always experience time as normal. 1 second is always 1 second. But who's counting? ie to an observer you have stopped to you he's aging real fast. To yourselves 1 second is 1 second. But that's personal time. Absolute time doesn't exist (yet it does to light apparently, although everything is happening at vastly different rates to our theoretical pair they would both still clock the same light at the exact same speed hence c in e=mc2 the c is for constant). Faster than light travel is very possible but accelerating an object of mass that is travelling slower than light to a speed greater than light is not. So anything can go faster than light. So long as its always gone faster than light never slower. The universe began its expansion faster than light. What caused that? God would be a valid answer imho. God I define as willful being of unlimited capacity. With unlimited capacity no boundaries for closed can ever defined (system entropy). So my believe in God does not violate any law of science. I am open minded to other theories and philosophical reasonings. But not trolls.
My 2cents

Anonymous said...

Size vs distance. If the size of a galaxy is x (gathered by the apperent size of it's bodies and it's gravitational influence of nearing bodies as well as the red shift of it's light as it reaches us) and the apparent size is y. Then xy/rs or a combo therof gives a very good approximation to it's distance. This holds true of any oject of any size at any distance.

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