25 Science Facts You Never Learned in School
These strange but true facts prove the world really is a marvelous and mysterious place.
The human stomach can dissolve razor blades
On the rare occasion that you swallow a razor blade, don’t fret. The human body is more capable than you think. Acids are ranked on a scale from 0 to 14—the lower the pH level, the stronger the acid. Human stomach acid is typically 1.0 to 2.0, meaning that it has an impeccably strong pH. In a study, scientists found that the “thickened back of a single-edged blade” dissolved after two hours of immersion in stomach acid.
A laser can get trapped in water
Yes, really. A cool thing called total internal reflection is applied when pointing a laser beam through a container of water. When light travels through water, it’s slowed by the heavier particles in water, as described here. Thus, the laser beam effectively gets “trapped” in the water.
Earth’s oxygen is produced by the ocean
Ever stopped to think where oxygen comes from? Your first thought may be a rainforest, but marine organisms take the bait. Plankton, seaweed and other photosynthesizers produce over half of the world’s oxygen. We know the answer to this and other fun science facts, but here are other ocean mysteries that scientists can’t explain.
Animals use Earth’s magnetic field for orientation
Lost land animals may not be able to find their way home, but sea animals might. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), “there is evidence that some animals, like sea turtles and salmon, have the ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic field and to use this sense for navigation.”
A cloud can weigh over a million pounds
Your childhood dreams of floating on a weightless cloud may get rained on with this fact: the average cumulus cloud can weigh up to a million pounds. A million pounds! That’s about as heavy as the world’s largest passenger jet. Before you hop on a plane it’s important to check the weather—here’s how to predict the weather by these types of clouds.
Soil is alive and well
In just one teaspoon of soil, there are more microorganisms than people on the planet, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Millions of species and billions of organisms—bacteria, algae, microscopic insects, earthworms, beetles, ants, mites, fungi and more—represent the greatest concentration of biomass anywhere on the planet.”
Rats laugh when being tickled
These creatures are more dynamic then we think. Rats have the ability to “laugh” when tickled. A National Geographic video demonstrated that rats respond positively to tickling. And they even chase after the researcher’s hand in a playful manner.
There are more trees on Earth than stars in our galaxy
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NASA experts believe there could be anywhere from 100 billion to 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, Snopes reports. However, a 2015 paper published in the journal Nature estimated that the number of trees around the world is much higher: 3.04 trillion.
Oxygen has a color
As a gas, oxygen is odorless and colorless. In its liquid and solid forms, however, it looks pale blue. Some science facts are just plain weird. In addition to these fun science facts, learn fascinating facts about America and its history that you never learned in school.
Only one letter doesn’t appear in the periodic table
It’s the letter J. Go ahead and double check. We’ll wait. Don’t miss these science “facts” that aren’t actually true, either.