Being a scientist is fun, conducting new experiments every day, some of them totally crazy — like counting all the ants on Earth, asking a dolphin to speak on the phone, or watching butterflies in an earthquake.
We know that such experiments can prove incredible facts, so we chose those we considered the best to share with you.
The gesture originally came from Japan. When making a promise, children link their little fingers and say a certain vow, different in every culture.
But in fact, during the Edo period (1603–1868), bandit clans had a ritual of cutting off their right little fingers to prove their loyalty. It was only much later that kids turned this tradition into a game.
The flamingo is a rare bird, but it’s so beautiful that many people would like to see it in their backyard. That’s why there are several times more artificial flamingos worldwide than there are live ones: the latter are counted at 2-3 million, while the number of their plastic counterparts reaches almost 1 billion.
Myrmecologists worldwide made an estimate that there are 1-10 quadrillion ants living on Earth now. That means there are more than 1 million of these insects for each human, and their total mass is about the same as that of mankind.
As a matter of fact, the “berry” of the strawberry isn’t at all its fruit. It’s just an overgrown receptacle that carries the true fruit on it — that’s right, the green and white seeds. You’ll probably need some time to get used to this.
The world has done a barrel roll now. The banana plant is, in fact, giant grass, and bananas are its berries. According to the definition, a berry is a “soft and juicy fruit containing several seeds.” Well, bananas are just that.
This creature is called a sea unicorn. They’re so rare that they’ve only been seen a few times. A pyrosome looks like a giant transparent and hollow worm, but it actually consists of thousands of organisms that glow in the dark and replicate themselves. They are believed to be able to grow to the size of a blue whale.
Mithridates VI of Pontus had been taking small doses of various poisons since childhood to work up an immunity to them. During the riot, the Romans wanted to take him hostage, and Mithridates tried to poison himself but couldn’t because of his training. Oh, the irony!
How many hours would a day last for a person who can’t tell the time of day by external signs?
French speleologist Michel Siffre carried out several experiments on the matter, including one from 1964 to 1972. He placed himself in a specially equipped bunker with no light, constant temperature and humidity, and absolute silence. He spent several months like this.
The results showed that his inner clock altered: he needed 36 hours awake and 12 hours of sleep. Later, he conducted similar experiments with other volunteers in a cave — with the same result.
You’ve just checked it all, haven’t you? These are standard and appropriate proportions of a human body, used by artists to paint people. They were identified by Leonardo da Vinci in his famous Vitruvian Man.
Few know that the space suit of the first man on the Moon was made at a factory which produced bras and lingerie in Dover, DE. We just hope Neil felt comfortable in it.
Three atomic bombs were made as part of the Manhattan Project in 1943: the plutonium-based Gadget (exploded during the first nuclear test), the uranium-based Little Boy (dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945), and the plutonium-based Fat Man (dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945).
American Ann Elizabeth Hodges was the first ever woman on Earth to survive an impact of an extraterrestrial object (November 30, 1954, near Sylacauga, AL). A grapefruit-sized meteorite fragment crashed through the roof of her house, ricocheted off a radio, and hit her while she was sleeping on a couch. Soon, Ann became quite a celebrity.
Professor Maciej Henneberg from Adelaide University proved there are no differences between the fingerprints of koalas and humans. Even a microscope scanner can’t find them. So it turns out koalas are the only animal, apart from humans, that have unique fingerprint patterns.
These two gas giants have real skies of diamonds. Scientists say the pressure inside the giant planets can easily turn carbon into diamonds.
First, lightning transforms methane into carbon, which hardens as it falls down, turning into chunks of graphite after 1,600 km and then into diamonds after an additional 6,000 km.
The first students came to Oxford in 1096, while the Aztec city-state of Tenochtitlan was founded in 1325. That means the university is 200 years older.
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