Feb 12 at 7:07pm by Aileen
Part 2: Items 11 – 20
In this second installment of weird science facts, I’ll repeat that none of the items in this series are in a particular order of weirdness. Readers are encouraged to offer their favorites in the comments, so that in the end some sort of weird-o-meter ranking applies!
Now let’s get on with the show…
11. If Only We Could Plug Into It!
A cloud to ground bolt of lightning carries between 100 million and 1 billion volts. It can reach 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit – 3-4 times hotter than the surface of the sun!
12. Patching That Ever-Growing Hole
There are lightning strikes somewhere on earth 100 times a second. And every time lightning strikes, it generates Ozone gas. This strengthens the Ozone Layer in the upper atmosphere – you know, the one with the big hole that heightens our need for sunscreen.
13. If It Floats, It Must Be a Witch
The density of the planet Saturn is lower than water, so if you could put it in the ocean it would float!
14. Yet Despite All That Water…
Our own planet Earth is the densest in our entire solar system. It would definitely sink.
15. How Not to Build a Wooden Ship
The Black Ironwood tree (Olea laurifolia) has wood so dense that it can’t float on water.
16. How to Build a Ship of Rock
So, instead of black ironwood, how about volcanic pumice? It’s less dense than water, so it can float.
17. That’s Heavy, Man!
If a piece of a neutron star the size of a dime landed on earth, it would weigh about 100 million tons.
18. Bad Choice for Campfire Wood
The bark of the giant redwood tree is fireproof. In fact, redwoods depend on fire to clear room for their growth, and to enrich the forest soil for seeds to sprout.
19. How to Reach Escape Velocity Without Explosives
The acceleration rate of a flea jumping off a dog is 20 times the acceleration of the space shuttle during launch! Can JPL reverse engineer that?
20. What Did He Say?
Radio waves travel so much faster than sound waves that a person listening to a campaign speech by radio broadcast can hear the words 18,000 kilometers away before a person sitting at the back of the convention hall where the politician is speaking!
Stay tuned for part 3 (units 21-30), and don’t forget to vote for your faves!
The Entire Series:
1-10 of 50 Weird Science Tidbits & Oddities
11-20 of 50 Weird Science Tidbits & Oddities
21-30 of 50 Weird Science Tidbits & Oddities
31-40 of 50 Weird Science Tidbits & Oddities
41-50 of 50 Weird Science Tidbits & Oddities