by extramarks - Academics - July 11, 2019 10 Awesome Science Facts You Didn’t Know The world is full of enigmas which look complex and incredible, but can be decoded when you look at them with the lens of science. You can point your finger at any object or question any phenomenon, and there will be a scientific explanation for it. There is a logic to the number of days in a year or why the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. You’ll even get an answer as to why you resemble your dad more than your mother. All you have to do is to feed your curiosity with a daily dose of science. Here are 10 such random yet absolutely amazing scientific facts that will take you by surprise. Fact #1: An electric eel can produce over 650 volts of electricity. Explanation: With enough power to knock-down a horse that is 20-feet away, an electric eel, can produce up to 650 volts of electricity. It generates large electric currents with the help of a highly specialised nervous system. Its electric organs consist of 5,000 to 6,000 specialised cells called electrolytes or electro plaques. They are arranged in a series, just like a battery, and emit current whenever they receive a signal from the brain. Fact #2: Octopuses have 3 hearts and 9 brains. Explanation: Unlike humans, octopuses have three hearts and nine brains. The two hearts pump blood to the gills, while the third heart circulates it to the rest of the body. And as far as the nine brains go, an octopus’s nervous system includes a central brain and eight other smaller brains. These are present in each of its arms, allowing them to work independently. Fact #3: Cats always land on their feet. Explanation: When a cat falls or jumps from a height, the body of the cat determines which side should be up. Cats use two halves of their bodies separately to ensure rapid rotation. It starts by rotating its head (directed by its eyes and ears) until it’s facing the right way. It then uses the second half of the body by turning its spine and arching its back. Lastly, it places the hind legs under it with its front paws positioned close to the face to avoid any impact. P.S. Don’t try this with your cat at home. Fact #4: Bumblebees can fly higher than Mount Everest. Explanation: Surprising, right? But, how can such tiny bees fly to such great heights? Here’s how. Bumblebees do not flap their wings repeatedly on reaching higher altitudes. They beat their wings through a wider arc. They widen their wings’ range of motion to move them further back and forward, compensating for the lack of air pressure at such altitudes. Interestingly enough, researchers feel that aerodynamic engineers can benefit from this discovery by using it to design aircrafts that can fly at such high altitudes. Fact #5: Bananas grow upside down (against gravity). Explanation: When bananas start growing they hang downwards like any other fruit. But, as they grow, ey absorb more sunlight that spurs their growth hormone. This triggers a phenomenon called negative geotropism and they start to grow towards the sunlight (i.e. upwards). This is what gives bananas its unique shape. Fact #6: The average weight of a cloud is equal to that of 100 elephants. Explanation: The volume of a cloud is higher than its weight. So, how does a hundred-ton cloud stay afloat? The total weight is distributed among the countless tiny water droplets present in the cloud. These droplets are so small that we would need a million of them to make one raindrop, eliminating gravity’s pull on them. Fact #7: Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system. It’s surface temperature is over 450°C! Explanation: We can hardly bear 45° C in India, imagine how hot 450°C would be. Venus has a very thick layer of the atmosphere composed of carbon dioxide. This thick layer absorbs the sunlight that doesn’t let the light travel back into space, making the surface of Venus very hot. Fact #8: Stomach acid is strong enough to dissolve stainless steel. Explanation: Stomach acid, sometimes called gastric acid, consists of potassium chloride, sodium chloride, and hydrochloric acid. This acid is highly corrosive with a pH of 2 to 3, strong enough to dissolve stainless steel. We, however, do not recommend that you gobble down your cutlery with your food to test this fact! Fact #9: Plastic takes more than 450 years to decompose and glass takes over 5,000 years! Explanation: The organisms that decompose organic matter have evolved over billions of years to attack certain types of bonds that are common in nature. But they are not used to breaking down carbon-made products, thus, taking hundreds and thousands of years to decompose. So, the next time you plan to use or dispose off plastic or glass, think wisely. Fact #10: Golf balls have dimples in them. Explanation: A golf ball with dimples can travel almost twice as far as a smooth golf ball. The dimples help lift the ball by forcing the airflow downward, which in turn pushes the ball upwards. This principle of aerodynamics is also used in airplanes. So make sure that you use a dimpled golf ball to score more! Science is a very intriguing subject with a solid logic behind each theory. It improves the quality of our lives in ways unimaginable to man. So make sure that you keep feeding your curiosity with such cool science facts and their theories. Happy fun learning to you!