People Explain Which Scientific Facts Never Fail To Blow Them Away
Science is fun!
You might have had a bad time in your early schooling days, learning how the mitochondria was the powerhouse of the cell. While that's certainly important for certain biologists to know, we want the spicy stuff. The facts and info that makes our hair stand on end and our brain cells ignite with the possibilities of the universe.
Stuff like this.
"What is a scientific fact that absolutely blows your mind?"
Let's start with some crazy numbers! Everyone likes numbers, especially when those numbers are all about making us lack any real understanding of probability and the passing of time.
Time Is Longer Than We Think
"The time period in which dinosaurs lived is so vast, there were dinosaur fossils when dinosaurs were still alive."
"Yes, Tyrannosaurus Rex is closer to the iPad in timeline than it is to the Stegosaurus, by tens of millions of years."
"We are so used to seeing dinosaurs portrayed in a single timeline (children’s books, museums) that we don’t understand the vastness of time they were around."
Beetles, Beetles, Everywhere
"If you put 1 of every animal in a bag and then pick one out you have a 1/5 chance in picking a beetle"
"And 1/2 chance of picking an insect of any kind."
"To put it another way: half of all animal species are insects, and 40% of those are beetles."
“If one could conclude as to the nature of the Creator from a study of creation it would appear that God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles.”
– evolutionary biologist J.B.S. Haldane
It's A Lot Of Zeroes. Trust Us.
"You are made of 7 Octillion atoms (7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000)"
"There are 8 times as many atoms in a teaspoonful of water as there are teaspoonfuls of water in the Atlantic ocean"
"It's the same with sand!"
"There are more atoms in 1 grain of sand than there are sand grains on earth."
Try To Picture It
"If the nucleus in any atom from your body was size of a tennis ball. The electrons would be found orbiting it 2 miles away. You are mostly empty space."
It's The Greatest Game Of All Time
"There are this many atoms in the universe: There are between 10^78 to 10^82atoms"
"there are even more possible variations of chess games than there are atoms in the observable universe. This is the Shannon Number and represents all of the possible move variations in the game of chess. It is estimated there are between 10111 and 10123 positions. This includes illegal positions. The number not including illegal positions would still be stupid huge as only moves that put your king in check are illegal"
The brain is the most fascinating thing, and we're all just walking around with one inside of our heads. Ever wondered what it was capable of doing?
Even Your Dreams Need To Be Spiced Up
"When you dream, one portion of your brain creates the story, while another part witnesses the events and is really shocked by the plot twists."
"It gets even weirder. There's 2 kinds of dreaming, the watching kind (non-REM) and the doing kind (REM). Each night, you go through 3-4 of these non-REM and REM sleep cycles. The non-REM sleep is the deeper sleep and the REM is the lighter sleep."
"So in the watching kind, it's like you're watching a movie, you're passively observing a character your subconscious created going through a situation, for example, you watch a character you created subconsciously go through their first day of high school. After observing it and drawing some conclusions, or gaining some insight, you then go into REM sleep and now you're the one going through their first day at high school. You make the decisions, you feel the emotional responses to what's going on, and your body will have physical reactions like sweating from fear, increase heart rate from excitement, dopamine release from something good happening, etc. So it's like watching a training movie and then getting a chance to do it in a practice dream scenario."
Ever Feel Like You're Talking To Yourself?
"I recently read about the Split-Brain experiments. There is a procedure for severe epilepsy that involves cutting the connecting nerves of the two brain hemispheres, resulting in the two hemispheres being unable to communicate with each other. The experiment shows that both halves can answer questions independently of each other, have seperate opinions/preferences, form memories independantly. Basically suggesting that there are two minds in the brain. That just blows my mind(s)."
People Afraid Of Spiders Need Not Try
"There are actually blood vessels obstructing light from reaching certain areas in your eye, effectively creating a shadow. Your brain filters this out and essentially fills in the gaps so you don’t actually see this spiderweb-like network of black lines. However, you can visualise them by shining a light at a diagonal into your eye (not directly!) and gently wiggling it about. This means your brain doesn’t have enough time to filter it out and you see this spiderweb like network of blood vessels!"
"Technical instructions to clarify the actions involved. I find it easier to see this effect in a dark environment, so the contrast of the black shadow against the light is higher. You want to be staring straight ahead and shining the light into your pupil at a 45 degree angle from the side directed at your nose at about 10-20 cm away from them. Phone light will do great and have it on the dimmest setting if possible. Then wiggle the light in gentle 1 cm movements side to side. Keep this up for about a second at least and you should see them. Hope this clears it up a bit!"
"Hey, We Should Be Keeping All This Blood In Our Body, Right?" - Your Body
"Blood is able to turn from liquid to a gel in order to stop bleeding. Basically, when God created us humans, he made our cells (and our bodies themselves) smarter than us. Now obviously it sounds like basic knowledge for blood to clot and stop bleeding. It may sound simple and basic for tissue to do such a thing, but even the most basic things our bodies do can impress us."
Space. The final frontier.
And one we'll never fully comprehend, at least not in our lifetime.
We're Never Going To Get To Trek The Stars, Are We?
"Voyager 1 has been traveling >30,000 mph for 43 years and it's only 20 light hours away."
"And the closest star is about 4.3 light year away, so it would only take 80,000 years"
"light-years alone are difficult for me to wrap my head around. This is the first I'm hearing of light hours and my brain just imploded."
Being The Right Distance Away Helps A Lot
"To me... The amount of energy that is produced in the sun, and only an infinitesimal fraction is all we need to survive."
Squeeze It On In
"You can fit all the planets (Pluto included) between the Earth & Moon"
"For reference, the moon is about 30 Earth's away"
Breathe Past The Existential Dread
"Approximately 99.85% of all the mass in the solar system is concentrated in The Sun."
"The mass in our solar system is contained within the sun, Jupiter, and a rounding error."
"Very true, but even jupiter could be a rounding error lol. It's only 0.095330% of the solar system's mass."
Yeesh, We Know Nothing
"In normal space-time we can freely move about in space, but not time. You are free to travel to the north pole if you so wished, but you can't not go to tomorrow."
"However once you cross the event horizon of a black hole this gets inverted. You can freely move about in time but not space. All possible trajectories will lead you towards the centre of the black hole."
The Doctor And His T.A.R.D.I.S. Would Like A Word
"Dinosaurs lived on the other side of the galaxy from where we are now"
"This is what I think about with time travel, if it's not relatively bound to the Earth, you'd travel back in time and 99.999% end up in the vacuum of space"
Take a deep breath. Your space in this universe is important, but always remember how amazing the universe you're a part of actually is.
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"Reddit user AlaskaStiletto asked: 'Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?'"
Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.
Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?
But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.
It would be so great to be sure there is something else.
But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.
Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:
"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"
SensationsHappy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy
"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."
"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."
"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."
"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."
Take Me Back
"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."
"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."
FreeThe Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy
"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."
This is why I hate surgery.
You just never know.
"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."
"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."
"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”
"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"
"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"
"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."
"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."
Through the Walls
"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."
"She's quite alive and well today."
Well let's all be happy to be alive.
It seems to be all we have.
We all have our favorite foods, food preferences, and even foods that we don't like.
But there are some popular foods out there that just don't make sense. Nonetheless, we keep seeing them advertised, included in movies and TV shows, and of course, our loved ones ordering them while we look on in confusion.
Curious about others' food preferences, Redditor YarnSpectre asked:
"What's one food everyone seems to go crazy for, but you just don't understand the hype?"
So Much Sugar
"Nutella. It’s just okay."
"Way too sweet for me, I’d probably love it with one-fifth of the sugar."
"Unfortunately that's true of a lot of desserts, though. Most would benefit from a cut of at least 25 percent of the sugar."
"Red velvet cake. I've had ones that were supposed to be excellent but it's just red cake."
"Most red velvet cakes are just s**tty vanilla cake with red food coloring. Get one (or make one) the correct way with non-Dutch-processed cocoa powder, buttermilk, and vinegar. It's an incredibly smooth, very different type of chocolate cake."
Mastery Makes a Difference
"Those multicolored cookie things that everyone was making into cakes or something for a while? Macaroons? Macarons? I don't think I've ever had one that tasted good. They're pretty, but that's it."
"Macarons. I never cared for them either."
"I had one yesterday at a potluck, homemade ones. They were seriously something else, with some sort of butter cream and jelly inside. Never had anything quite like it. Now I wish I had grabbed a few to take home."
"I still won't eat store-bought ones, though."
The Wrong Kind of Spice
"Hot Cheetos or Takis. Anything with the artificially colored spicy powder."
"Takis texture is my issue. They’re like semi-stale rolled-up Doritos."
The Sugar Cookies of the Midwest
"Those dry-a** Walmart sugar cookies."
"They taste like play-dough cookies came to life."
"I mean, people go crazy in both directions, but cilantro. There’s the whole 'does it taste like soap or not' thing, but it’s usually presented as 'people either think it tastes like soap or they find it amazing.'"
"I am neither. It doesn’t taste like soap to me, but I also don’t love it. Meh."
"I don't think it tastes like soap, but I do think it tastes weirdly metallic. I don't go out of my way to avoid it in pre-prepared food, but I usually leave it out of things I'm preparing myself."
Fancy Decor Only
"People like how fondant LOOKS. I refuse to believe a single soul wants to EAT it."
"It's like eating a candied raincoat."
Back for a Limited Time
"Every time it comes back, I’m SUPER excited for the McRib at McDonald's. I bite into one and then… the spongey texture hits me and makes me remember why I don’t need to buy it ever again."
"Then, somehow, McRib season rolls around again two years later, and there I am in line…"
"I'm convinced this is why they only bring it out every once in a while. Nobody actually likes it, but they wait just long enough for you to forget that it's no good and then hit you with a combo of nostalgia and 'limited time only' FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)."
A Seasonal Tradition
"Pumpkin spice. It’s fine, but absolutely not anything to make a fuss about."
"There is a car parts place in a small town I drive through to visit family, and last year on their reader board, they had: 'THEYRE BACK! PUMPKIN SPICE BRAKE PADS.'"
"And now I can never see anything pumpkin spice and not think about it, might have been my favorite reader board sign ever."
Pure Caffeine Addiction
"Energy drinks like Red Bull or Monster."
"I'm an avid Monster drinker, but I totally get it. I'm always trying new and interesting energy drinks I see, but so much of it is just garbage."
"The white Monster tastes like 90s Fresca to me and is the only energy drink I love."
"Can it be a beverage? Because I kind of hate IPAs but everyone else seems to love them. And I like beer, just not IPAs."
"I have nothing against people who want complex beers. It's just not for me. I want an easy as f**k to drink fizzy yellow beer for when it's hot out. And a nice smooth stout for all other times. When I want more complex flavors, I'll go for wine or scotch."
Just Too Expensive
"What about lobster? I can dig it with drawn butter and I ain’t mad at it. But f**k me if I’m gonna pay $29.99 for a lobster. I’d rather eat shrimp."
"Truffles. I paid $60 this weekend at an Italian restaurant for eight slivers on my pasta shaved in front of me. I barely tasted anything. I don't get the hype."
Improved Gut Health?
"Ah, yes, dirty pond water."
"Everyone goes crazy for caviar? Most people seem to dislike it."
"Though admittedly, people who do like it tend to like it a lot."
"That all being said, I really don't like it, either."
When it comes to food, to each their own, but it was interesting to see some undeniable fan favorites like pumpkin spice hit this list.
It just serves as a great reminder for a larger picture idea: Don't be unkind about the things that might bring someone else joy.
Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.
The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.
Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.
Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:
"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"
Redditors didn't see these coming.
Shiver Me Timbers
"I’m always cold now!"
"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."
"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."
"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."
"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"
"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."
"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”
"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."
Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight
"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."
"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."
"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."
These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.
"I can buy clothes in any store I want."
"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."
No More Symptoms
"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."
"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."
People Change Their Tune
"How much nicer people are to you."
"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"
"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"
"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"
It's gonna take some getting used to.
"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."
"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."
"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."
"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."
"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."
"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."
People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.
But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.
That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.
In 2017, I returned to my office after my lunch break to hear my supervisors discussing Tom Petty. This seemed like a random topic to me until one of my supervisors told me Tom Petty had passed away. He was a huge fan of Petty and spent the next hour or so combing through the internet to get more information.
He came back into the room my other supervisor and I were working in and announced that Tom Petty wasn't dead after all. News outlets had jumped the gun to announce his death, but he was actually still alive.
The next day, I came in to find out that Tom Petty was dead; the news may have been premature, but true.
This is a classic example of the rumor being started on the internet. Sometimes, like with the news of Tom Petty's death, the rumor can run wild and appear everywhere. Other times, the rumor can be seen by just a few people and dismissed. However, a lot of times, these rumors turn out to be true.
Redditors know a lot of internet rumors that turned out to be true, and are eager to share.
It all started when Redditor strakerak asked:
"What started out as an internet rumor that ended up being infamously true?"
The King Of Pop
"Michael Jackson writing the music for Sonic 3."
"He actually did, but was never credited on the game because it would breach his contract with his record label."
"He did the same when he appeared on The Simpsons. He appeared under a pseudonym, and the Producers said it was an impersonator."
"Only years later they confirmed it really was Michael."
"His singing voice was actually done by an impersonator, though."
The Truth Comes Out
"In 1998, US Men’s National Team captain John Harkes was shockingly cut from the team right before the World Cup. The coach claimed it was because Harkes wouldn’t fit into his new preferred formation, but rumors flew on the early internet that it was actually because he had slept with his teammate Eric Wynalda’s wife. The rumor was so well-known in soccer circles that Harkes expressly denied it in his autobiography the next year."
"Fast forward 12 years to 2010 and Wynalda admits it’s true. The coach then came out and admitted it was why he dropped Harkes, but that he’d planned to keep the secret as long as Wynalda did."
"The Tim Burton Hansel and Gretel that aired once on halloween in the 80's."
"I heard for years that it was fake but I knew it was real because my dad recorded everything in the 80s and he recorded that. We let a good friend of ours borrow it and switch it over from VHS to DVD and soon after that it made its way on to the internet , and there it is now. I know it's our copy because the tracking in the beginning is screwed up. Still have the VHS."
"There was a similar story with a Nickelodeon movie called Cry Baby Lane. It was supposed to be so scary that Nickelodeon got complaints and denied its existence for years. Someone uploaded a taped copy to youtube about a decade ago."
The Movie Business
"That North Korea hacked Sony Pictures because of The Interview movie."
"I worked in the movie business at the time and the account managers at Sony all basically needed to get new identities as all of their personal information got leaked online."
"My partner worked on that movie and the production bought all the crew 1 year of an identity theft tracking service."
Keep Away From The Ears Of Kids
"Some banned episodes or scenes of cartoons."
"For example, I remember there was a Dexter’s Lab cartoon where he clones evil versions of DeDe and himself and they swear like every other word (censored of course), and people debated whether it even existed cause they only aired it like once. Now it’s pretty accessible online."
Yes, It's True
"Echelon, a massive electronic espionage system by the US and allies to intercept all electronic messages, especially emails."
"In the mid-nineties it was a topic on conspiracy BBS boards. A lot of people in my bubble at the time (mainly uni students in Europe) were including fake threats to the US in the their email signatures as a way to "protest" and "fill the system with false alarms" (obviously useless)."
"Then, in 1999-2000 came out to be true and a lot of security service agencies from UK and other US allies started to admit they were part of the espionage network."
How The Mighty Fell
"John Edward’s love child."
"A reminder that he was cheating on his wife while she was hospitalized for cancer treatment."
"Carrie Fisher's heart attack. Some a**hole who was on the same flight was livetweeting the whole medical emergency and justified it by insisting she was just making sure the family was informed."
It Actually Happened
"Every year around her birthday there was a rumor that Betty White died. When I heard she died, I scoffed, saying that dumb rumor is back.... then saw it on the news. I was in shock."
"The fact that Betty died literally right before she turned 100 is such a Betty White way to go out."
Big Actor, Small Roles
"I distinctly remember some rumors about the reason why Bruce Willis was taking so many roles in sh*tty movies before it was announced he has dementia."
"RedLetterMedia did a deep dive on his recent movie activity to try and work out why exactly he was taking part in basically scam-movies. They noticed he had an earpiece in one of the scenes and joked that the director was feeding him lines. I remember they even disclaimed over the rumours at the time, and possible made a follow-up vid when it was revealed to the public."
What To Do Next?
"That the writer of LOST were making it up as they went."
"Turned out to be absolutely true."
That last one was kind of obvious!
Do you have any to add? Let us know in the comment below.