Feb 11 at 10:10pm by Aileen
Part 1: Items 1 – 10
In my surfing journeys through the internet’s reefs and shoals, I’ve encountered some really strange stuff. Factoids hardly anybody knows, about pretty much anything that might turn up as subject matter in a rousing championship match of Trivial Pursuit down at the pub on Thursday night. Some of these are real crowd-pleasers sure to draw spontaneous applause, stunned gasps, and plenty of free beers from admirers.
While there will be ten fun, honest-to-scientific facts or odd theories in each of the five posts on this subject this week, they’re not listed in any particular order on my weird-o-meter. If you have favorites among them, please log your votes in the comments. Eventually we should have a Top Ten!
1. Octopus Beats Grinch, Heart for Heart
The Grinch (that green fuzzy guy who stole Christmas) became an official good-guy when his heart grew three sizes one day. The octopus does even better – he has three hearts!
[Further facts: The blue-ringed octopus pictured here is the most poisonous octopus, with venom that can kill an adult human in minutes. There is no known antidote.].
2. A Naked Tiger Still Has Stripes
If a tiger loses all his hair, he’ll still be striped. Tiger stripes are like fingerprints, each individual cat’s markings are unique. And they’re not just hair, the stripes are in their skin. Seems to be a thing with cats, since your house cat’s fur markings are also skin deep!
3. Most Of Your Body’s Cells Aren’t Yours
Strange but true. There are more microbial cells in your body than cells that have your own DNA. As NPR’s Robert Krulwich reported in 2006, the human body has 20 times more microbes than cells! I guess that pretty well justifies the “Imperial We.”
4. Insects Outnumber Us
Perhaps that’s not so surprising since our own body’s microbes outnumber us too, but the scale is pretty humbling. There are more insects in just one square mile of fertile soil than there are human beings on the entire planet! Quite the delicacy in Asia…
5. And We’re All Eating Them…
The average person manages to consume about 430 insects every year of their lives, whether they intended to or not! And no, not all “average” people ride motorcycles.
6. Alligators Never Need Dentures
While both humans and alligators depend on their teeth in order to chew food, humans only get two sets of natural teeth to last them a lifetime. Alligators get from 2,000 to 3,000 teeth during the course of their lifetime! Which is no doubt why we never hear about grumpy ‘gators gumming anybody to death.
7. “Salt of the Earth” Is More Than A Title
There is enough salt in the world’s oceans to cover all the land on all the continents to a depth of nearly 500 feet! I’m cutting down on salt anyway, hope you are too.
8. When It Rains, It Croaks
Despite the common weather report that “it’s raining cats and dogs out there,” frogs and fish are the most likely animals to fall from the sky in rain. The most recent rain of frogs occurred in 2005 in Serbia, and it rained frogs in London in 1998. In 2006 it rained fish in India, while Wales got the fish-drop in 2004.
9. Space Resources We Could Put To Good Use
The interstellar gas cloud that comprises Sagittarius B contains a billion billion billion (yes, that’s three orders of billion) liters of alcohol. This factoid is bound to be a big hit at the pub!
10. Odd Theory Out, But Great Animation!
[Disclaimer] Several people have written to us complaining about our inclusion of a discredited theory in this list. We strongly believe that we’ve met our editorial duties by clearly pointing out 1) that this is an “odd” theory and 2) that most scientists discount it. But our operating principle here at Science News Review is that science should be fun, and that part of the fun of science is knowing about (while not agreeing with) odd theories. The great thing about science is that it does not have to be dogmatic, values experimentation and wonder, yet still manages as a community to filter the most accurate theories towards consensus. We don’t believe that this process requires dogmatism and think that a fun article about “oddities” can introduce people to the fun of odd theories, without giving editorial assent to their validity.
Though discounted by most scientists, comic book artist Neal Adams has popularized an Expanding Earth Theory that challenges standard plate tectonics. In this controversial theory our planet was once just about half as big as it is now – which purports to explain why dinosaurs got so big (less gravity) and other anomalies. Check Adams’ video, it’s very cool!
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