The other day, my son had to come up with some questions about space for a science class assignment. His favourite, and rightfully so, was: Why does the sun look yellow, but stars that are farther away look white? One of the best things about being a parent is seeing the world in a fresh way through our kids’ eyes, as they process and ponder things we adults don’t even notice anymore.
Kids are curious creatures who delight in asking oddball questions and learning funny, weird, or gross facts about the world around them. And for that reason, it’s always good to arm yourself with a few lesser-known bizarro science facts to keep on hand for the next time you’re on a video chat with your nephew or your best friend’s daughter and need something to spice up the conversation.
So I found 25 of them for you. Granted, I’m not scientist, but I did my best to verify that these are all true.
This week, I found myself going down a very specific rabbit hole — one in which I watched video after video of people doing the Elephant Toothpaste science experiment. If you’re not familiar, the experiment features the creation of a large, foamy volcano made from water, dish soap, yeast and...Read more
1. A sneeze can travel up to 160 km/h.
2. Scientists believe it rains diamonds on Saturn and Jupiter.
3. A polar bear’s skin is black (and its fur is hollow and transparent).
4. A cloud can weigh over a million pounds.
5. If you tickle a rat, it will let out tiny giggles (although they’re too high-pitched for humans to hear). They also jump for joy, which is cute, for a rat.
6. Snails have, like, thousands of teeth.
7. Three per cent of the ice in Antarctica is made of penguin pee.
8. Cats can’t taste anything sweet.
9. Hibernating turtles breathe through their butts.
10. The sun is more than 100 times wider than the Earth.
11. A shrimp’s heart is in its head.
12. Human teeth aren’t as sharp as shark teeth, but they are as strong.
13. Humans don’t just have unique fingerprints; we each have a unique tongue print, too.
14. Wombats produce cube-shaped droppings that resemble a freshly baked loaf of bread.
15. Octopuses have blue blood.
16. There is no wind on the moon.
17. An African elephant can produce enough poop in seven hours to outweigh a full-grown human.
18. Speaking of which, “elephant dung coffee” is not only a thing, it’s reportedly the world’s most expensive brew. Coffee beans are fed to elephants, who then digest them and poop them back out. The beans are plucked from the dung, washed (phew!), roasted, and the resulting taste is described as “chocolate malt cherry and a little bit of grass” — without the usual bitter aftertaste coffee is known for.
19. Anatidaephobia is “the fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you.” (Maybe more of a “fauxbia” than a phobia, but interesting to ponder, nonetheless.)
20. A bolt of lightening can be five times hotter than the surface of the sun.
21.The average moderately active person will take enough steps in their lifetime to walk around the entire Earth five times.
22. There are more than one million ants for every human on Earth…and I’m sure it’s fine.
23. Fish can cough (but not sneeze or cry).
24. You can’t burp in space. Because there’s no gravity to separate the liquids and solids from the gases in our digestive system, if you burp in space, you just throw up in your mouth.
25. Unless you’re a frog, I guess, because frogs can’t vomit. It may, instead, throw up its entire stomach.
Go forth and share this knowledge with a favourite child in your life — or your mum, partner, or a friend. (Really, we’re all better off knowing about diamond rain and the loaf-of-bread poops.)