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25 Amazing Science Facts That Are Weird, Wild, and True

These cool science facts are definitely the most interesting things you’ll read today!

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Top view of beakers on the blue backgroundYulia Reznikov/Getty Images

Science facts: The wacky, the wild, and the weird

Even if you weren’t someone who got excited about science class in school, now—as an adult—it’s hard not to be amazed by science facts. Seriously, just stop for a minute and think about what both the natural world and technology are capable of. It’s truly impressive, and chances are you only know a small fraction of the interesting facts and completely weird facts that scientists have uncovered so far.

After all, scientists are learning new things all the time. Something we don’t know today could be discovered tomorrow, so we can always expand our knowledge—and our reserve of random trivia to impress our friends. Just beware of the science “facts” that are actually false, unlike the 25 on this list. And remember, a little humor is just as important as a little knowledge, which is why you’ll also want to check out these hilarious science jokeschemistry jokes, and biology jokes that are so funny, they cell themselves. (Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves.)

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razor blade on black backgroundZenShui/Getty Images

The human stomach can dissolve razor blades

If you ever swallow a razor blade, don’t panic. 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 incredibly strong pH. In a study published in the journal Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, scientists found that the “thickened back of a single-edged blade” dissolved after two hours of immersion in stomach acid. That’s just one of many fun facts about the human body you never learned in school.

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Red laser beams on black backgroundFlavio Coelho/Getty Images

A laser can get trapped in water

A cool thing called “total internal reflection” happens when you point a laser beam at a jet of flowing water. To demonstrate this phenomenon, PBS Learning Media released a video in which a laser is positioned on one side of a clear tank of water. When the light travels through the water, it is slowed by the heavier particles in the water, effectively “trapping” the laser beam in the water. Even as the water flow is gradually decreased, the laser beam remains contained inside the jet, until it eventually disappears when the water is turned off completely. Speaking of lasers, did you know that your iPhone can be hacked with a laser pointer? You do now!

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Blue Sky over the Blue OceanYuga Kurita/Getty Images

Earth’s oxygen is produced by the ocean

Have you ever stopped to think where oxygen comes from? Your first thought may be a rainforest, but here’s a cool science fact for you: We can thank plant-based marine organisms for all that fresh air, according to the National Oceanic Service. Plankton, seaweed, and other photosynthesizers produce more than half of the world’s oxygen. While we may know the answer to this question, scientists still can’t explain these other ocean mysteries.

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sea turtle swimming in the oceanM Swiet Productions/Getty Images

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 can use this sense for navigation.” Though that may sound like science fiction, it’s actually science fact—unlike these animal “facts” that are actually false.

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Clouds in the skyChris Rogers/Getty Images

A cloud can weigh around a million pounds

Your childhood dreams of floating on a weightless cloud may not withstand this science fact: The average cumulus cloud can weigh up to a million pounds, according to the USGS. That’s about as heavy as the world’s largest jet when it’s completely full of cargo and passengers. Learn more about clouds and why they’re so heavy by familiarizing yourself with these facts about rain.

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full frame soil textureChet_W/Getty Images

Soil is full of life

In just one teaspoon of soil, there are more microorganisms than people on the planet. “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,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To enrich the soil even more in your own backyard, here’s how to make compost at home.

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Rat in the house on the floorkozorog/Getty Images

Rats laugh when they’re tickled

These creatures are more dynamic than we think. Rats have the ability to “laugh” when tickled. A video from National Geographic demonstrates that rats respond positively to tickling, and they even chase after the researcher’s hand in a playful manner. We wonder what would happen if they saw these funny animal memes.

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bunches of bananas full frametravenian/Getty Images

Bananas are radioactive

Here’s a random fact about one of your favorite foods: Bananas contain potassium, and since potassium decays, that makes the yellow fruit slightly radioactive. But don’t worry—you’d need to eat ten million bananas in one sitting to die of banana-induced radiation poisoning, according to Joe Schwarcz, PhD, of McGill University.

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Close-up of ice cubelingqi xie/Getty Images

Hot water freezes faster than cold water

This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s called the Mpemba effect. Scientists now believe this is because the velocities of water particles have a specific disposition while they’re hot that allows them to freeze more readily. If proven correct, this finding could also be applied to everyday things, like cooling down electronic devices, according to research out of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

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Low Angle View of trees in the Beech forest in springMensent Photography/Getty Images

There are more trees on Earth than stars in our galaxy

Here’s a cool space fact (and an Earth fact) we bet you didn’t know: NASA experts believe there could be anywhere from 100 billion to 400 billion stars in the Milky Way. However, a 2015 paper published in the journal Nature estimated that the number of trees around the world is much higher: 3.04 trillion.

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dna strand science illustrationcosmin4000/Getty Images

Humans have genes from other species

We like to think of humans as being superior to other living creatures, but the reality is, our genome consists of as many as 145 genes that have jumped from bacteria, fungi, other single-celled organisms, and viruses, according to a study published in the journal Genome Biology.

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two babies sitting close up of their feetJGI/Getty Images

But don’t worry—humans have a lot of DNA

Scientists believe that there are more than three billion base pairs of DNA in human genes and more than 25,000 genes in the human genome, according to an article in Nature. An entire copy of that genome exists in each of the 30 to 40 trillion cells in the human body. It’s a good thing there are so many base pairs of human DNA, since a number of medical mysteries have been solved by DNA testing.

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diamonds fallingMina De La O/Getty Images

It can rain diamonds on other planets

The atmospheres in Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn have such extreme pressure that they can crystallize carbon atoms and turn them into diamonds, American Scientist reports. How do we know this science fact? Researchers were able to create the correct conditions in a lab to prove this occurs on Neptune and Uranus. Separately, other researchers speculate that it may rain as much as 2.2 million pounds of diamonds on parts of Saturn every year.

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t-rex Fossil Found by ArchaeologistsDivaneth-Dias/Getty Images

There were roughly 2.5 billion T. rexes on Earth, but not all at the same time

Humans have been marveling at the size of T. rexes ever since first putting a full skeleton together. Now, thanks to research published in April 2021, scientists have a better idea of exactly how many of them once called Earth their (temporary) home. According to the team at the University of California, Berkeley, approximately 2.5 billion of these dinosaurs existed across more than 127,000 generations. They reached this estimate by taking into account the dinosaur’s body size, sexual maturity, and energy needs. By the way, this is what T. rexes actually sounded like. (Spoiler alert: It’s not like in the movies!)

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Glass Of Water On Table Against WallAnass Bachar/Getty Images

Water can exist in three states at once

This is called the triple boil—or triple point—and it is a specific temperature and pressure where materials exist as a gas, a liquid, and a solid simultaneously. The triple point, which is also the only situation where all three states of matter can coexist, is different for every material, according to the University of California, Santa Cruz. Water reaches its triple point at just above freezing (0.1 degree Celsius) and at a pressure of 0.006 atm.

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colorful helium balloons against blue skyJennifer A Smith/Getty Images

Helium can work against gravity

When helium is cooled to extreme temperatures, just a few degrees away from absolute zero (-460 degrees Fahrenheit or -273 degrees Celsius), it turns into a superfluid, meaning it can flow without friction, Scientific American reports. It can climb up and over the sides of a glass, and it can leak through molecule-thin cracks in a container. And here’s another interesting fact about this element: While helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, it may actually be harmful to the human body—one of the many problems with birthday balloons no one talks about.

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Solar flare hitting Earth science illustrationVICTOR HABBICK VISIONS/Getty Images

Solar flares are incredibly powerful

The energy solar flares release is equivalent to millions of 100-megaton atomic bombs exploding at once, according to NASA. It’s a good thing the Earth’s atmosphere protects us from their radiation.

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earth in spaceThamrongpat Theerathammakorn/Getty Images

It’s impossible to burp in space

When you burp on Earth, gravity keeps down the solids and liquids from the food you just ate, so only the gas escapes from your mouth. In the absence of gravity, the gas cannot separate from the liquids and solids, so burping essentially turns into puking.

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full frame of plastic water bottlesPeter Dazeley/Getty Images

Plastic can end up as vanilla flavoring

Researchers have figured out how to transform plastic bottles into vanilla flavoring with genetically engineered bacteria, according to a 2021 study published in the journal Green Chemistry. The authors of the study explain that the demand for vanillin is “growing rapidly,” given that it’s found in a wide variety of food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, cleaning, and herbicide products. But don’t expect to be eating plastic-bottle-flavored ice cream anytime soon: This research only demonstrated that this conversion is possible—not whether it is safe for human consumption.

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Close-up of 3d rendering microscopic blue bacteria.Cavan Images/Getty Images

About half of your body is bacteria

Experts estimate that the human body consists of 39 trillion bacteria and 30 trillion human cells—a roughly 1:1.3 ratio. In the past, researchers thought we were much more bacteria than human, with a ratio of 10:1.

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close up of person's brown colored eyeRoland Maria Reininger/Getty Images

Men are more likely to be colorblind than women

The genes responsible for the most common type of colorblindness are found on the X chromosome, the National Eye Institute explains. Even if women have the genes on one of their two X chromosomes, a properly functioning gene on the other one makes up for that loss. If men inherit the gene on their only X chromosome, they’ll become colorblind.

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galaxy universe in spaceArctic-Images/Getty Images

We have no idea what most of the universe looks like

About 96 percent of the universe is made up of dark matter and dark energy, which are undetectable to humans, Space.com reports. Scientists believe this is because the particles that make up these substances don’t interact with regular matter or light.

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Bats hanging from tree branchJobet Palmaira/Getty Images

Bats don’t get sick from most viruses

And yup, that includes coronaviruses. Bats can, of course, contract and spread viruses, but according to research funded by the European Commission, they also have plenty of genes responsible for anti-viral activity, keeping them out of harm’s way. One exception to this is rabies, although according to Thomas Kepler, PhD, a professor of microbiology at Boston University, while bats occasionally get sick from rabies, it rarely kills them.

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close up of bubbly beer and fizzJonathan Knowles/Getty Images

Beer is twice as fizzy as champagne

While one flute of champagne produces about one million bubbles, a half-pint of beer creates around two million bubbles, according to a 2021 study published in the journal ACS Omega. So why does this matter? More bubbles result in a more intense flavor. Of course, that’s not to say that beer and champagne are in any way comparable to each other in taste—they just happened to be the beverages the researchers selected to compare to their results for context.

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Bush Viper fangs aggressionMark Kostich/Getty Images

Humans are capable of producing venom

Believe it or not, while humans do not currently produce venom, technically, we could. In fact, all reptiles and mammals have that capability, according to an article published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Basically, we have all the tools we need, and it’s up to evolution to get us there. We told you—these science facts are pretty amazing! Next, check out more “did you know” facts that are almost hard to believe.

Additional reporting by Claire Nowak.

Elizabeth Yuko
Elizabeth is a bioethicist and journalist covering politics, public health, pop culture, travel, and the lesser-known histories of holidays and traditions for RD.com. She's always mentally planning her next trip, which she'll base around visits to medical museums or former hospitals, flea markets, local cuisine, and stays in unusual Airbnbs or historic hotels.