Rain is a gift from the heavens to recycle water. Why does rain fall in drops rather than in a continuous stream?
Aren’t there “negatively charged protons” or “positively charged electrons”? Physicists believe that after the Big Bang, along with matter, “anti-matter” were also created! In anti-matter, the anti-electrons(positrons) are electrons with a positive charge. Anti-protons are protons with a negative charge. Scientists have been able to generate antimatter as well! If antimatter and matter meet, they annihilate each other and produce energy. Scientists hope to create anti-matter powered space crafts in the future.
Alaska enjoys up to 19 hours of sunshine each day, during the peak of summer. So, Alaska’s gardeners grow some of the largest vegetables in the world. The extra hours of sunlight make the plants photosynthesize for a long time. This makes the Alaskan vegetables gigantic as the massive amount of sugars produced are converted into starch and stored.
How does the moon sometimes appear as the same size of the mighty sun? The sun’s diameter is about 400 times greater than the moon– but the sun is also about 400 times farther away. So, moon gets a chance to look like an equal of the sun. As the moon orbits, it sometimes gets closer to the Earth. This makes the moon appear even larger than the sun.
Paper is mostly made from cellulose fibres. Cellulose has intermolecular hydrogen bonds and intra molecular hydrogen bonds. These bonds hold the fibres together and make the individual fibres stiff. Water breaks these cellulose-cellulose hydrogen bonds to make water-cellulose hydrogen bonds. Therefore, the paper becomes floppy and gets damaged easily.
A rainy day without an umbrella is trouble! Once our books get wet, just turning a page without tearing it apart, becomes a challenge. Why do wet pages tear easily than dry ones?
The world’s largest air purifier has been invented now to save air while turning pollutant particles into jewels! It sends positive ions into the air to hunt dust particles. The positive ions attach themselves to even very fine pollutants. A negatively charged surface of the purifier will then draw the positive ions in, together with the dust particles. Then the particles (including carbon) are condensed to create tiny “gem stones” that can be embedded in jewellery pieces like rings and cufflinks.
Do you know that spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, garlic, cardamom which give a sensational aroma to food have hidden benefits too? They can kill cancer cells by identifying them, can reduce cholesterol, stress,diabetes,hypertension and asthma too. Also the smell of spices trigger our brain cells and enhance memory. To get maximum benefits of them, spices should not be added to foods with high temperature as volatile compounds get vanished.
Hair passes three stages in their life. They are the “anagen”, “catagen” and “telogen” phases. During anagen, hair grows actively. In catagen, the growth winds down. Telogen is the resting phase. After that the hair falls. The anagen phase of head hair lasts for about 2 to 7 years but that phase of eyelashes and eyebrows lasts only for about 1 month. So, eyelashes and eyebrows don’t get sufficient time to grow as long as head hair.
If we forget to visit the barber our hair might end up touching the ground! But we can bet on our lives that our eyelashes and eyebrows will never grow that long. Why?
What happens in the brain when we learn something new? It activates new neuronal connections which form new circuits in specific brain regions. These newly formed circuits actually house the “electrical fingerprint” of an experience. When we recall a memory we re-engage these same circuits to replay that experience.
Have you heard of a wasp who performs “brain surgery” on cockroaches? The jewel wasp injects mind-controlling venom precisely to the correct brain part of the cockroach. Its flexible venom injector has special sensors which can tell when it has reached the relevant part of the brain! A relative species of this wasp (wood-boring wasp) who also specialise in injecting venom has inspired a new brain surgery needle based on the flexibility of the wasp’s injector.
Can we control dengue without killing mosquitoes? Here is a solution. When Wolbachia bacteria (which stops the replication of dengue virus in mosquitoes) are infected to dengue transmitting mosquitoes, they put a stop to dengue transmission. When these mosquitoes are introduced to the environment, their future generations would also inherit the bacteria as a gift from their ancestors.
The ocean is blue because water absorbs red, orange colours of the light spectrum and let go of blue light. However, as the tiny water droplets in the wave crest do not have much volume, the absorption decreases. Moreover, when visible light passes through water droplets, it scatters because of its different wave lengths. As a lot of scattering happens in a small area, it mixes together all the different colours of visible light, blending them into white light.
With the help of the wind, the ocean makes majestic blue waves rise to the sky. But when gravity pulls them back to the ocean they break and appear white. Why do these breaking waves look white?
A concrete, with a touch of “tiny” life, has the ability to self-heal its cracks! The “healing” is done by adding limestone-producing bacteria and its food source into the concrete mixture. They act lifeless until a crack appears. When it cracks, water enters the site and awakens the bacteria. With water and food, the bacteria makes CaCO3 and fills the cracks.
Bees lead a very tasty life surrounded by honey. The honey storing “palace” known as the honeycomb has caught the attention of scientists due to its hexagonal shaped rooms. As the hexagonal shape has free space, it becomes light and the geometry makes the honeycomb stronger. Because of these qualities, materials for some spacecraft parts are made mimicking the hexagonal structure of the honeycomb.
Fossils are formed in a number of different ways, but most are formed when a plant or animal dies in a watery environment and is buried in mud and silt. Soft tissues decompose leaving the bones or shells behind. Over time sediment builds over the carcass and hardens into rock due to high pressure. Minerals dissolved in the water seep into the spaces within the carcass and crystallises, forming a hardened model of the organism inside the sedimentary rock.
Fossils let us “travel back in time”, telling us untold stories about animals and plants that no longer exist on Earth. How did these “souvenirs-from-Mother-Nature” form?