There's nothing quite like the curiosity of the average five-year-old.
Five-year-old me was convinced the Bermuda Triangle was one of the world's most serious problems and could not understand why we hadn't done something to take care of all those disappearing ships I kept hearing about. (Just in case you were wondering what kind of kid I was.)
After Redditor BigNibbaDicc asked the online community, "What are some cool facts to tell a five-year-old?" people gave it their best shot.
"There are numbers..."
There are numbers below zero.
"Then you get..."
You can't lick your elbow.
Then you get a good 5min watching them try.
"There are more stars..."
There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth.
Astronomer here! Clap your hands once, and then clap them again a second later. The two claps were actually done about 30,000 miles apart thanks to the Earth's motion in space!
I did the calculation once and interestingly most of the stuff you think of, like the rotating Earth or out orbit around the sun, is a negligible part of it. The real contributions are from our star orbiting the galaxy, and the galaxy's motion itself in space.
"A group of zebras..."
A group of zebras is called a dazzle and a group of giraffes is called a journey.
"We will never..."
We will never experience tomorrow as by the time it's "tomorrow", it will be today.
"Birds like chickens..."
Birds like chickens descended from dinosaurs. Watch them look at their chicken nuggets in absolute awe.
"It takes 8 minutes..."
It takes 8 minutes for light from the sun to reach the earth. So when we look at the sun, we're actually seeing how it was 8 minutes ago.
"By the standards..."
By the standards of the universe,you are both stronger and weaker than millions of things.
"When you look up at the night sky..."
When you look up at the night sky and see a star, it's because a little particle of light called a photon shot out of the star and traveled across the vast distance of space and time to land safely in your eye. You're catching a little bit of ancient star whenever you see one.
Otters sometimes hold hands to sleep when in the water, so that they don't drift apart when floating in the sea.
Pluto hasn't completed a lap around the sun since it was discovered.
"There's a disease..."
There's a disease know as Münchmeyer's disease, wherein the afflicted's damaged muscle tissue is 'healed' with skeleton tissue, eventually culminating in the afflicted's muscle system being converted into a secondary skeletal system, hence it's common name, second skeleton disease. It's completely incurable and largely untreatable. & since it symptoms usually don't appear until the age of 10, you could have it & we wouldn't know for another 5 years.
Thanks to a couple of quantum mechanical things that most adults would have problems comprehending, let alone a 5-year-old, it's entirely possible for what's know as a 'hard vacuum' (a place where no matter can exist) to spontaneously form anywhere in the universe. Once formed, it would propagate at lightspeed until it destroyed all matter in the universe.
Sharks don't actually like eating people (we apparently taste bad to them), that's why most shark bites stop there. Most sharks bite people out of curiosity or because the person unwittingly provoked the shark.
Most freshwater fish will die if placed in saltwater, & most saltwater fish will die in saltwater. Similarly, most deep-sea creatures cannot survive near the surface, & most surface-dwellers cannot survive the deepest depths.
"There are butterflies..."
There are butterflies which mimic the pattern of Monarch butterflies to avoid being eaten by predators, because Monarch butterflies are poisonous and predators avoid eating them. In nature, this is called mimicry.
"When they die..."
When they die, ants release pheromones attracting other ants to come and carry their dead bodies away to their graveyards.
"Animals and people with white fur and red eyes..."
Animals and people with white fur and red eyes are called albinos. Albinism is a condition caused by lack of pigmentation, resulting in extremely pale skin, white hair, and red/purple eyes. Red/purple eyes are themselves the result of seeing blood vessels in the back of the eye.
The oxygen that we breathe..."
The oxygen that we breathe is the same oxygen that has been around since ancient times. In other words, the air you breathe may very well be the same air breathed by a dinosaur.
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