These cool science facts are without a doubt the most fascinating things you’ll read today!
The wacky, the wild, and the strange in science.
Even if you didn’t enjoy science class in school, it’s difficult not to be amazed by scientific facts as an adult. Seriously, take a moment to consider what the natural world and technology are capable of. It’s truly impressive, and chances are you only know a small portion of the fascinating and bizarre facts discovered by scientists thus far.
After all, scientists are constantly learning new things. Something we don’t know today might be discovered tomorrow, so we should always broaden our horizons—and our stock of random trivia to impress our friends. Be wary of science “facts” that are actually false, as opposed to the 25 on this list. Remember that a sense of humor is just as important as knowledge, which is why you should also check out these hilarious science jokes, chemistry jokes, and biology jokes that are so funny, they cell themselves. (We couldn’t stop ourselves.)
Razor blades can be dissolved in the human stomach.
Don’t freak out if you swallow a razor blade. The human body is far more capable than you may believe. Acids are graded on a scale of 0 to 14; the lower the pH, the stronger the acid. Human stomach acid has a pH of 1.0 to 2.0, indicating that it is extremely acidic. Scientists discovered that the “thickened back of a single-edged blade” dissolved after two hours of immersion in stomach acid in a study published in the journal Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. That’s just one of many fascinating facts about the human body that you probably didn’t learn in school.
A laser can become entangled in water.
When you point a laser beam at a jet of flowing water, a cool phenomenon known as “total internal reflection” occurs. PBS Learning Media produced a video in which a laser is positioned on one side of a clear tank of water to demonstrate this phenomenon. The heavier particles in the water slow the light as it travels through the water, effectively “trapping” the laser beam in the water. Even as the water flow is gradually reduced, the laser beam remains contained within the jet, eventually disappearing when the water is completely turned off. Speaking of lasers, did you know that a laser pointer can be used to hack your iPhone? You have now!
The oceans produce the majority of the oxygen on Earth.
Have you ever considered where oxygen comes from? Your first thought might be a rainforest, but here’s a fun science fact: According to the National Oceanic Service, we can thank plant-based marine organisms for all that fresh air. More than half of the world’s oxygen is produced by plankton, seaweed, and other photosynthesizers. While we may know the answer to this question, scientists are still baffled by the following ocean mysteries.
Animals orient themselves using the Earth’s magnetic field.
Lost land animals may not be able to return home, but lost sea animals may. “There is evidence that some animals, such as sea turtles and salmon, have the ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic field and can use this sense for navigation,” according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Though it may sound like science fiction, it is science fact—unlike these animal “facts” that are false.
A cloud can weigh millions of pounds.
Your childhood fantasies of floating on a weightless cloud may be dashed by this scientific fact: According to the USGS, the average cumulus cloud can weigh up to a million pounds. That’s roughly the weight of the world’s largest jet when fully loaded with cargo and passengers. Learn more about clouds and why they are so heavy by becoming acquainted with these rain facts.
The soil is alive with life.
There are more microorganisms in one teaspoon of soil than there are people on the planet. According to the US Department of Agriculture, “millions of species and billions of organisms—bacteria, algae, microscopic insects, earthworms, beetles, ants, mites, fungi, and more—represent the greatest concentration of biomass anywhere on the planet.” Here’s how to make compost at home to improve the soil in your own backyard.
When tickled, rats laugh.
These creatures are more alive than we realize. When tickled, rats have the ability to “laugh.” A National Geographic video shows rats responding positively to tickling and even chasing after the researcher’s hand in a playful manner. We’re curious what would happen if they saw these amusing animal memes.
Bananas contain radioactive elements.
Here’s some trivia about one of your favorite foods: Bananas contain potassium, and because potassium decays, the yellow fruit becomes slightly radioactive. But don’t worry, according to Joe Schwarcz, PhD, of McGill University, you’d have to eat ten million bananas in one sitting to die from banana-induced radiation poisoning.
Hot water freezes more quickly than cold water.
This may appear to be counterintuitive, but it is known as the Mpemba effect. Scientists now believe this is due to the fact that the velocities of water particles have a specific disposition while hot, allowing them to freeze more easily. According to research from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, if proven correct, this discovery could be applied to everyday things like cooling down electronic devices.
Our planet has more trees than stars in our galaxy.
We bet you didn’t know this cool space (and Earth) fact: According to NASA experts, the Milky Way could contain anywhere from 100 billion to 400 billion stars. However, according to a 2015 paper published in the journal Nature, the total number of trees on the planet is much higher: 3.04 trillion.
Humans have inherited genes from other species.
We like to think of ourselves as superior to other living things, but according to a study published in the journal Genome Biology, our genome contains as many as 145 genes that have jumped from bacteria, fungi, other single-celled organisms, and viruses.
But don’t worry, humans have a large amount of DNA.
According to a Nature article, scientists believe that human genes contain more than three billion base pairs of DNA and that the human genome contains more than 25,000 genes. Each of the human body’s 30 to 40 trillion cells contains an exact copy of that genome. It’s a good thing human DNA has so many base pairs because DNA testing has helped to solve a number of medical mysteries.
Diamonds can fall from the sky on other planets.
According to American Scientist, the atmospheres of Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn have such extreme pressure that they can crystallize carbon atoms and turn them into diamonds. How did we come to know this scientific fact? Researchers were able to create the necessary conditions in a laboratory to demonstrate that this occurs on Neptune and Uranus. Other researchers speculate that it could rain up to 2.2 million pounds of diamonds on Saturn every year.
There were approximately 2.5 billion T. rexes on Earth at one time, but not all at the same time.
Humans have been fascinated by the size of T. rexes since the first full skeleton was assembled. Scientists now have a better idea of how many of them once called Earth their (temporary) home, thanks to research published in April 2021. According to the researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, approximately 2.5 billion of these dinosaurs lived over 127,000 generations. They arrived at this figure by factoring in the dinosaur’s body size, sexual maturity, and energy requirements. T. rexes, by the way, actually sounded like this. (Spoiler alert: it’s not as it appears in the movies!)
Water can exist in three states at the same time.
This is known as the triple boil—or triple point—and it is a specific temperature and pressure at which materials exist simultaneously as a gas, a liquid, and a solid. According to the University of California, Santa Cruz, the triple point, which is also the only situation in which all three states of matter can coexist, is different for each material. Water reaches its triple point at a pressure of 0.006 atm and a temperature of just above freezing (0.1 degree Celsius).
Helium has the ability to work against gravity.
When helium is cooled to extreme temperatures, just a few degrees above absolute zero (-460 degrees Fahrenheit or -273 degrees Celsius), it becomes a superfluid, which means it can flow without friction, according to Scientific American. It can scale the sides of a glass and leak through molecule-thin cracks in a container. Another interesting fact about this element is: While helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, it may be harmful to the human body—one of the many unspoken problems with birthday balloons.
Solar flares have enormous power.
According to NASA, the energy released by solar flares is equivalent to millions of 100-megaton atomic bombs exploding at the same time. It’s fortunate that the Earth’s atmosphere shields us from their radiation.
In space, it is impossible to burp.
When you burp on Earth, gravity keeps the solids and liquids from your recent meal at bay, allowing only the gas to escape from your mouth. Because gas cannot separate from liquids and solids in the absence of gravity, burping essentially becomes puking.
Plastic has the potential to become vanilla flavoring.
According to a 2021 study published in the journal Green Chemistry, researchers have discovered how to transform plastic bottles into vanilla flavoring using genetically engineered bacteria. The study’s authors explain that demand for vanillin is “growing rapidly,” owing to its presence in a wide range of food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, cleaning, and herbicide products. But don’t expect to be eating ice cream flavored with plastic bottles anytime soon: this study only demonstrated that the conversion is possible, not whether it is safe for human consumption.
Bacteria make up roughly half of your body.
According to experts, the human body is made up of 39 trillion bacteria and 30 trillion human cells—a roughly 1:1.3 ratio. Previously, researchers believed that we were 10 times more bacteria than humans.
Men are more likely than women to be colorblind.
According to the National Eye Institute, the genes responsible for the most common type of colorblindness are found on the X chromosome. Even if women have the genes on one of their two X chromosomes, a properly functioning gene on the other compensates. Men who inherit the gene on their lone X chromosome will be colorblind.
We have no idea what the vast majority of the universe looks like.
According to Space.com, dark matter and dark energy make up approximately 96 percent of the universe and are undetectable to humans. Scientists believe this is due to the fact that the particles that comprise these substances do not interact with ordinary matter or light.
Most viruses do not make bats sick.
Yes, coronaviruses are included. Bats can, of course, contract and spread viruses, but according to European Commission-funded research, they also have a plethora of genes responsible for anti-viral activity, keeping them safe. One exception is rabies, but according to Thomas Kepler, PhD, a professor of microbiology at Boston University, while rabies can make bats sick, it rarely kills them.
Beer has twice the fizz of champagne.
According to a 2021 study published in the journal ACS Omega, while one flute of champagne produces approximately one million bubbles, a half-pint of beer produces approximately two million bubbles. So, why is this important? More bubbles equals a stronger flavor. Of course, this is not to say that beer and champagne taste the same; they were simply the beverages chosen by the researchers to provide context for their findings.
Humans have the ability to produce venom.
Although humans do not currently produce venom, we theoretically could. According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, all reptiles and mammals have this ability. Essentially, we have all of the necessary tools, and it is up to evolution to get us there. We told you—these science facts are incredible! Check out some more “did you know” facts that are almost unbelievable.
Claire Nowak contributed reporting.