Science is fascinating and fun. Too many of us discover that fact too late. We all need to pay attention in school far sooner. The universe and all of its secrets are a treasure trove of amazing, we need only look to understand. And finding the understanding is all the fun. Nature, chemicals, life, death, humans, inventions, the cosmos... it's all connected. Get a pencil... I'll explain.
Redditor u/jdgiabajwbdidb wanted to discuss the awe inspiring moments science has to offer by asking.... What is a science fact that not many people know that will change the way they look at life?
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Elephants are known to bury their dead under foliage and remain with the bodies for some time afterwards, exhibiting behavior not dissimilar to human mourning. Indeed, it is the association of apparent grief or mourning that is considered to indicate a 'burial', as opposed to simply covering up or disposing of a body.
I also read somewhere that they have buried humans.
Most people know that the mosquito is the deadliest animal when it comes to total human deaths ever. Next to humans of course. And this is due to the malaria parasite spread by mosquitoes. It is estimated that four to five per cent of all humans that have ever lived died from malaria (rather than half as some sources state).
The treatment for malaria is quinine, which was known since the 1700's. This is often contained in tonic water, which is bitter and not that palatable. The anecdotal story is that during the days of British colonization of India, the British East India Company had of course problems with malaria.
Drinking tonic water was not popular with the British, so what'd they do? add booze, i.e. gin. And this is where you get gin and tonic.
Of course modern research has shown that the amounts of tonic water you'd need is quite large (~1 liter for a minimal effect) to make that story apocryphal at best (although I know some people who probably managed to meet the necessary quota to ward of malaria). But it is interesting to think that we managed to make the treatment for one of the worst disease humanity has known into a cocktail.
What is real though is that malaria can be used to treat syphilis. Malaria causes a high fever which kills the syphilis bacteria. In fact, Dr Julius Wagner-Jauregg received the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1927 for this discovery (but he later became a hardcore Nazi and eugenisist. Of course we no longer use this because the mortality rate was 15%, but this was much lower than the death rate for syphilis.
Unfortunately, many parts of the world still suffer from malaria, where it is still a major killer.
Not a single Tarantula species is able to kill you with venom, so if you see a big hairy boy just know, it can't kill you, not yet, also link to a picture of my escaped...
There are more ways to shuffle a deck of cards than there are atoms making up the entire earth (or atoms in the universe if you use 2 decks), thats because the potential options are 52 factorial or 52×51×50×49... etc. chances are if you've shuffled a deck of cards then you've likely made history as that sequence has statistically NEVER happened before. Even if you had a trillion planets with a trillion people all shuffling a deck if cards every second since the moment of the big bang wed only just now be repeating sequences.
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Water does not innately conduct electricity, it is all the dissolved stuff that allow electricity to pass through it.
Water is fascinating stuff.
The Amazon Rainforest isn't actually the lungs of Earth. Almost all the Oxygen generated by the Amazon is used by the life found in the Amazon. 40% of Earth's oxygen is actually produced by tiny Organisms called Diatoms.
These organisms can replicate at an incredible rate and trillions of them spread throughout the Oceans and create Oxygen through photosynthesis. When the Diotoms die they transform into underwater snowflakes that remain on the sea floor. When these seas dry up, the dead Diatoms create a salt desert, like the one in Northern Africa.
Huge sandstorms pick the Diotoms up and carry them across the Oceans and drop them down on the Amazon and are used as a fertilizer for the rainforest.
Where are Diatoms born? The rainforest, they spread to the sea, create Oxygen through photosynthesis, die, create salt deserts, get taken back to the rain forest and help create the rainforest that creates them.
That's the circle of life right there.
In the Cosmos
On average, Mercury is the nearest planet to every planet in our solar system.
fit all of the planets in the solar system between the Earth and the Moon
Had to look that up. It's true.
Part of what threw me are all the crazy and awkward analogies you hear whenever you watch a space documentary that are meant to impress upon the viewer the immensity of the universe... like, "You can fit 80 gagillion Rose Bowls inside Jupiter's giant red spot and still have room for 7000 Eiffel Towers laid end-to-end."
The Family Tree
Everyone on earth is at least 50th cousin with everyone else on Earth.
And if you are currently dating or married to somebody who is from your own country and is of your own ethnicity, there's a one in five chance that the two of you share a common family member fewer than 10 generations ago.
From BelowShake Shaking GIF by Southern California Earthquake Center Giphy
Earthquakes can happen literally everywhere on Earth, however humans rarely feel anything below a 2.5 in magnitude.
Something I read earlier: Babies have around 100 more bones than adults Babies have about 300 bones at birth, with cartilage between many of them. This extra flexibility helps them pass through the birth canal and also allows for rapid growth. With age, many of the bones fuse, leaving 206 bones that make up an average adult skeleton.
Flesh Diethalloween flesh GIF by Sebaldo Giphy
That the human skin Is quite heavy Its around 16% of your body weight.
The human body may be responsible for providing us with animated life and the unique wonders of human consciousness, but that doesn't mean we know what the heck is going on in there.
In fact, so many of the human body's inner workings are unknown to us who own and use that complicated apparatus every moment of every day.
We have, of course, made some real strides in understanding those inner workings over the last couple thousand years. We may have plenty more to learn, but at least we have a general lay of the land.
Curious to learn about the lesser known-processes of our complex physical selves, Redditor Zenssei asked:
"What is a fact about the human body that not many people know about?"
For complexity, look no further than the human brain. Redditors had no shortage of facts and tidbits about that one-of-a-kind organ.
"Most reflexes never make it to your brain. The sensory aspect travels to the spinal cord and the spinal cord itself sends the muscle movement signals to your limbs."
Keep On Kicking
"Your brain continues to try to revive the body long after the heart has stopped. In some cases 30 hours later there has been found brain activity trying to make repairs to bring the body back."
"This is used to indicate time of death in murder victims."
Filling In the Gaps
"Your brain likes stimulation, if it doesn't get any it will make some up, some people are more susceptible to it then others, the colors you see before you fall asleep are a common mild occurrence..."
"...there are several classes of these hallucinations, closed-eye visuals, which are caused by leaving your eyes closed for a long time, hypnagogia, which is caused by the onset of sleep, prisoners cinema, which is caused by looking into a dark place for a long time, ganzfeld effect, which is caused by blocking out all external stimuli, and Charles bonnet syndrome, caused by sight loss."
"Most are these are simple phosphenes but some can be whole imagined scenes, or more abstract fractal-like imagery"
Others reminded us that not all bodies are the same. They pointed out the anomalies that some people experience, but on average do not describe the typical human body.
"Apparently about 20% of people have a bony ridge on the roof of their mouth. Most people's pallettes are smooth with a very slight ridge."
"The 20% like me have an exaggerated and more pronounced ridge. Apparently it's most common in women and Asian folk, and I'm neither so that's neat. I always thought it was totally normal."
A Reason Not to Move
"People who live in 'extreme' conditions for generations adapt in extreme ways. For example people that live in high elevations often have larger lungs and different blood makeup."
"Or my favorite is the Bajau people that live on the water and spend a lot of their time diving, their spleens have become 50% larger in order to store more blood."
"I drunkenly tripped off the curb and into the road after a Halloween party in college. Turns out I broke off a piece of my elbow that night."
"It ended up getting encased in what ever the human body used to trap floating bone chunks in. Now I've got a chunk of bone gift wrapped by my own body's wrapping paper floating around, right against where it broke off from." -- Tur8z
And others felt the thread was a good place to share the truly bizarre, random facts they knew about the body. Read a few of these and you'll realize just what a mystery it all is.
Shake It In to Place
"When doing surgery were the doctors have to take out some organs, when placing them back, they dont have to be put back In the exact position there meant to be, your body kind of just, moves the organs into the correct position after the surgery"
"There are tiny cilia that spin in a certain direction. If they spin in the opposite direction while you're developing in the womb early on, that is how you get organs transposed onto the opposite side of your body."
"Your stomach is surrounded by more brain cells (half a billion neurons) than the brain of a cat contains in total."
"It's your enteric nervous system. It controls digestion, operates autonomously, has its own memory, can handle its own reflexes, it has its own senses even."
"It's thought to have come about because of the blood-brain barrier and the main brain being locked away in the skull, a spinal column and nerves away from the critical action of nutrition."
"Your eyes have a separate immune system from the rest of your body and in a lot of occasions if your body's immune system finds your eyes, they will assume they are a foreign body and blind you."
So next time you think you have a good idea of all that's going on under the hood, just remember that whole layer of microscopic processes that seem to be playing by their own rules entirely.
Priceless, collectible objects fall into the hands of people in a variety of ways.
Some are serious, hard-working hobbyists. They search online forums, peruse antique sales, and budget a good amount of cash toward collecting one-of-a-kind items.
But others come into possession of truly rare objects almost by accident. They might not have known what they were buying, they could have received the item as an heirloom.
Either way, having just one rarity can be an exciting conversation piece.
Apparently eager to know what's out there, encased in glass somewhere, Redditor Sheeppower4 asked:
"What is the rarest thing you own?"
Many people's rare objects were historical in nature. They were old, they illustrated a moment of history, and they derived their value from remaining intact so many years later.
"16 century English Knight armour. It's a family heirloom." -- VinnyColdheart
"I imagine seeing that thing on Pawn Stars. 'Well, It's not exactly Century XVI; It's from 1601, and It has a scratch here and there, like if someone had hit it with a sharp object, I don't know. Anyway, all I can do is 50 bucks. And I'm risking here' " -- V02D
An Artifact of a Dark Time
"I don't really own this, but I am caretaker of a ring. During WW2 my Grandfather owned a tailors shop in Holland. A Jewish neighbor found out he was about to be taken, came into the shop, and gave him a few things, asking him to look after them, saying he would return after the war."
"He never came. I have his mourning ring, which has a lock of hair and a pearl, surrounded by diamonds. I did take it to a jeweler once, to see if the lock of hair could have some DNA, but he said it was too delicate to tamper with."
"My brother was a teacher, and now my daughter is. They have both used the ring to teach of the Holocaust. I think the ring has made it real for many children."
Wrong Coffin to Open
"I have an odd old handle from a coffin which dates back to a satanist from around 1800." -- BeyondContextual
"Imagine being the guy that was holding one of the handles and that sh** just snaps off, body falls out" -- AydenH5
"You fool! They don't die if there's no handle! Now there's a fekin Satanist roaming around somewhere looking for sacrifices!" -- Super_monkey_box
Other people were all about the autographs.
Whether it was them or a loved one, some hard work and good timing allowed them to take home a very valuable proof that they rubbed shoulders with some seriously influential figures.
Concert of a Lifetime
"My dad is retired from the NYPD. He was one of a bunch of officers escorting the Beatles to the stage when they played Shea Stadium. He got all their signatures in his ticket book. Ringo signed his name by drawing a star only."
"The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame offered him $500k for it and he refused."
"When my dad died a few years ago, it was passed on to me."
"I will never sell it."
"A baseball with both Babe Ruth & Joe DiMagio signatures." -- Dendad1218
"Passed down to you?" -- Cubsfan630
"Yes, actually it is a family thing. Joe was family. It is very sun damaged." -- Dendad1218
"A Thor print signed by Stan Lee, to me."
"My wife got it for me at one of his final appearances. He wasn't doing personalizations, but she talked him into it."
The Cast that Made It
"I've got a Star Wars poster with Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew, and Carrie Fisher's autograph on it, along with a handful of other original Star Wars trilogy characters"
And others shared the rarities that showed a little bit more of their own personality. Some were seeked out, some were only saved thanks to a little shameless fanhood.
"A custom go board that is truly unique. The lines are made of darker wood inlaid to the lighter wood, not ink. This board will never warp. The whole thing is super high quality. It was a commissioned work, and the guy said he would never make another one (yes he was well paid)."
"It's something a go player immediately appreciates. As far as I am concerned, I own the best table board on the planet."
Well Cared For
"A official 1962 amazing fantasy no 15 (the first appearance from spider man) it was given to me by my late grandpa I have it in a air sealed package in a small safe being a painting in my room it is my most prized possession"
Rare and Phallic
"A Little Mermaid VHS cover with a penis tower" -- Tylorexy
"That's not rare, though, is it? I had the same thing as a kid."
"I remember trying to find the penis tower as a 10yo girl who didn't really know what a penis looked like. I found it because it was suspiciously not tower-like, but without first hand knowledge I couldn't be sure that was the one." -- Okoreala
"It is and it isn't."
"Plenty of copies with that case were made, but IIRC they redid the vhs cover at some point, so there were two variants floating around. On top of that, vhs not really being a thing anymore makes it difficult to find a copy with the di*k tower on it." -- brycejm1991
Unfortunately, we can't all be so lucky to have such cool and interesting prized possessions.
My rarest possession, for example, is that dorky U.S. map quarter collection.
Why are humans so stupid? Why weren't we created with automatic genius? Or at the very least, our own how-to manual.
Can you imagine? A how-to use manual for each individual. Lord, the amount of wasted time saved.
I can openly admit I should come with a manual. And I am also someone who often doesn't understand manuals, so I thank designers for fool proofing some necessities for me. Though I'm not as bad as some.
Redditor u/SugarCookieBear wanted to know what things we use that were designed to bypass our basic abilities to be... idiots, by asking:
Engineers of Reddit, what's the most ridiculous idiot-proofing you've had to add in your never-ending quest to combat stupid people?
I'm intrigued to discover how and when designers and engineers realize that what they are crafting needs to come with extra detail, for the lame crowd. And by the crowd, I mean society as a whole. Let's face it, we need help.
No Eat!GIF by VH1Giphy
"A paragraph in an owners' manual on not eating the broken glass from binoculars."
Don't Drink Up
"Wife is a civil engineer. The one that came to mind for her was that she had to add to the specification of a construction contract that stated that workers would not drink the water that accumulated at the bottom of an excavation."
"We had a pedestrian bridge next to a bridge for vehicles, separated by about a 3ft gap. The bridges were about 20ft high over the water. So many drunk pedestrians climbed over the rails and tried to jump between bridges and didn't make it that I was directed to design a safety net to hang between the two bridges."
"I work in facilities maintenance. Someone put in a ticket for a malfunctioned computer on wheels and I found the power cord was frayed. Not my gear so all I can really do is set it aside and have the biomed techs fix it."
"I put a zip-tie through the holes in the prongs of the plug, put 2 nitrile glove on the plug, zip tied the gloves in place, and wrapped up the gloves with duct tape. I got a sheet of printer paper and wrote "inoperative. do not use. do not plug in" and taped it to the monitor."
"Couple hours later I get a ticket for another COW with frayed power cord sparking. It turned out to be the same cart and one of the nurses cut the end of the gloves off, cut the zip tie in the end of the plug, and plugged it in and it arced and tripped a breaker because of the frayed power cord."
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"I was asked to make a hydraulic oil pump nozzle 'drink proof'."
"That's a fools errand, the best you can hope for is "drink resistant".
Ok. Some of those items make me concerned for surviving life. Who eats glass? I've seen some things in the world, but that would definitely be a first and hopefully last. I shudder to continue.
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"Civil engineer here. While laying asphalt usually we close the road and cover using barricade tapes. But no matter his hard we try people always find ways to go through and ruin the whole process. Ultimately we had to use security to block the roads."
Don't go THERE!!!
"Chemical engineer. Please do not poop in the test room. I wish I was joking, but it happened!"
"My cousin is a chemical engineer. For weeks they had contaminants in their product. I forget exactly what fixes they tried, but they eventually found out via security cams that one of the night shift maintenance workers was peeing into one of the chemical vats."
"I work on cars, so almost everything is designed around protecting people. My favorite is that we have to make the Hvac system louder and engine noise insulation worse because people will complain if they can't hear the systems running. We could make almost silent air ducts, but our warranty spend would go up."
Not a Hammer
"I'm a mech E intern, I walked in on my manager discussing a design with another engineer, all I heard was "so the guys will probably use that as a hammer so I made it out of this stronger material" "when they're working they will probably be throwing this small door open so I used stronger hinges and added a stop"
"It's things like this that I really appreciate about my internship, I likely wouldn't have thought about that myself."
On the 5th...Big Boi Smh GIF by OutkastGiphy
"Application Engineer here: When handling a 3D Laserscanner, it has to be placed and fixed on a stable tripod."
"A flat rail of a balcony is not a suitable substitute for it. And no, the insurance has not covered the total loss of the device after it felt from the 5th floor to the concrete pavement."
Y'all, does common sense no longer exist. Thankfully these people have the forethought to plan ahead. They are saving us, one idea at a time.
People hard up for cash will do anything. But what about the other way around?
There are a ton of jobs or favors that don't require much skill, experience, or labor, and people who are fortunate enough to get hired walk away with a king's ransom.
Looking for those kinds of "jobs," however, is like finding a teardrop in the ocean.
"What's the dumbest thing you were paid to do and how much were you paid?"
Good luck finding these well-paying tasks.
"Had a WFH gig working sort of as a personal assistant for a rich guy on the opposite coast from me. I did all kinds of wacky sh*t for him. For example, one time I had to break up with my boss's girlfriend because he was too wimpy to do it himself. That was literally my job."
"One day, I bought him a new pickup truck. Meaning, I negotiated the deal and paid for the truck with his credit card. All in all, I'd say the process probably took about two weeks, for which I was paid my usual wage at six hours per day. No big deal."
"Somehow, his dad found out about the new truck and he decided he wanted a new pickup truck too. He called me about a week after I bought the truck for my boss and said he'd pay me $2,000 to buy a truck for him. I called the same dealership back, spoke to the same salesman, told him what was up and basically said give me another truck, same price as before. The salesman was only too happy to comply."
"It took ten minutes to make the phone call and then a day or two to get the title and other paperwork sorted out. So, depending on how you look at it, I made $2,000 for just ten minutes worth of 'work.'"
"Somehow, my boss's rich friend found out about all this. He decided he wanted a new SUV. 'OhYeahThrowItAway, you have to buy it for me!' I told him the last time I bought someone a vehicle, I got paid $2,000. The friend was basically like F'k it, I'll pay you $3,000, just get it for me' and then he emailed me his wish list."
"That deal took a little longer, maybe two weeks."
"I made $5k extra in just two months buying vehicles for lazy (or dumb) rich people."
Staying Out Of The Picture
"I was paid $300 to move my car for a movie that was filming by my apartment."
Pack It Up
"Got paid 10k to leave an apartment because it was sold and new owner wanted to move in. I was tenant (renter) under previous owner. I had 4 months left in my rental contract. This was in Spain (Barcelona)."
"I was flown to Paris to do a compliance audit, the systems weren't set up for the audit, couldn't get access so spent the week being taken to restaurants and shopping. On 1 of the days and at the last minute the company decided to send me to London for a meeting, literally just to meet people. I missed the Eurostar because I forgot my passport (totally blanked that I was entering another country), they had to rebook the Eurostar. Nothing was achieved out of this trip. No audit was completed. Nothing came of the meeting. The cost to the company 25k+ for me to do nothing for a week. Corporate money is ridiculous money."
Not much labor was required for these so-called "jobs."
Ten-Minutes Of "Work"
"I used to work for a PR agency. Every month one of our clients wanted a handful of photos re-sized for their website; nothing fancy, just setting the width to 500px in Windows Photo Manager."
"It was maybe ten minutes of work every month, but the contract said the minimum amount of time we would charge them for was one day - and this was for the full team too, not just me. It must have cost them several hundred pounds every month."
"I showed the client how to do it several times, and explained that they could save a lot of money doing it themselves. They didn't seem to mind."
"In the end I made sure I got it in writing that I'd informed them of their options and let them get on with it."
Thank You, Goodbye
"$175 to do some kind of user study at Netflix, I show up in the lobby and then they go, 'actually we got the data we needed from the studies earlier today, you're free to go!'. Still got paid!"
"I did an event for a national association for deaf people at which they did every presentation in ASL. I am an audio engineer, who specializes in live sound and concerts. I did nothing for 5 days of show, $450 a day."
Paid To Play
"I got asked to do 2 hours of barrier watch (Guarding a barrier ribbon while a crew did x rays inside a power plant). This was asked last minute after a 12 hour shift so the bonuses of staying happening to be a Sunday, etc I was being paid $110 to stand and play on my phone and make sure sure nobody tried to pass all the DO NOT ENTER DANGER DANGER signs during a time of day with minimal personnel."
"I rented my chicken to a photographer for fifty bucks."
Gotta Have Wendy's
"I was driving for uber. Picked up a bunch of drunks at like 2 AM. They were like 'Yo we gotta grab some Wendy' I go 'I'm sorry this is my busy period' they go 'Can we bribe you?' I go 'Absolutely you can bribe me.'"
"One the guys said I'll give you $100...I was shocked it was that high, another guy said '$150' and finally his wife said 'F'k it I want Wendy $200 and we buy you Wendy too.'"
"I finally said yes, FYI I hadn't said yes yet because the reality is $20-$40 would have gotten me to stop at Wendy."
"So there I sat at Wendy as those 3 drunks bought me wendy and paid me $200."
"One time I was at this super fancy dinner party. I'm talking servers and everything, I was in a freaking tux! It was outside and catered by a professional bbq company. I mean these guys had won international competitions. Well get this, they were double booked and didn't show. The other servers didn't know how to grill, and this totally smokin server in her 30s is just staring at the grill like a deer in the headlights. Well I don't want to be a hero but I ask if I can help. The entire staff spend the rest of the night bringing me drinks as I make this bbq and NOBODY realizes the award winning chefs didn't show up!"
Where Do We Apply?
"Ok this wasn't a job or anything.... But I got 10$ to eat half a watermelon."
Some opportunities present themselves.
When I was a kid, I hung out at a Japanese summer festival booth where you roll a bowling ball on a track that had two hills. The objective was to push the ball hard enough to get it over the first hill but not too hard to get it over the second hill.
I was fascinated with the challenge and stayed there for a long time as my parents were over by the food booths with their friends.
It was a slow day, and the dude working the booth wanted to peace out for a bit, so he offered to pay me $50 to "hang out" in his stead.
Of course, I said "sure."
No one ever came, and I earned fifty bucks rolling bowling balls for an hour. Was it the dumbest thing I ever did for money? Maybe, but I laughed all the way to the piggy bank that day.
That guy really must have despised his post enough to give a twelve-year-old kid $50.