Take a trip down your memory lane and try to recall a rainy day you spent in a camping tent. Tent remains rainproof by preventing the entry of rain drops. But if we touch the tent material with our finger, rain droplets can drip through. Explain why?
Can you believe that carrot used to be purple before the 17th century? In early days pretty much all carrots were purple with mutated versions occasionally popping up including yellow and white carrots. Modern day orange carrot was developed by crossing the mutated yellow and white rooted carrots as well as certain varieties of wild carrots!
Humans only invented agriculture some 10 000 years ago, but did you know that ants have been doing it for millions of years. The difference is that ants are farming fungus. They propagate the fungus, providing it with nutrients and protection from other animals that might consume it more recklessly. In return they get to eat the fungal growth. Millennia passed, and these ants and fungi have evolved to become completely co-dependent.
We have plenty of seawater, but not enough fresh clean water in the right places for everybody to drink. As a solution for this a device that sucks water out of thin air even in the desert has been created! This pulls water vapour from air, condenses it as liquid and drips into a collector to provide drinking water. All it needs as energy is widely available sunlight.
Did you ever wonder why only female mosquitoes don’t get satisfied by feeding on plant saps just like males? Why do they come to drink our blood? Female mosquitoes require large amounts of protein in the diet. They use the protein and iron found in blood to make their eggs. In nutshell, our blood is fuelling the next generation of mosquitoes!
What first comes to our mind when thinking of mosquitoes is, “they are blood suckers”. You may be surprised to learn that what you thought were blood-thirsty mosquitoes aren’t always thirsty for blood. Actually they need sugar more than blood to survive! In fact only female mosquitoes suck blood and males subsist entirely on sugars from flowers and other plants.
Have you heard of Kehipitthan leaves? Even though not familiar with the name, probably you must have seen this clinging herbal plant commonly found in our country. But did you know that these leaves can help you to get rid of gastritis? Not only just as a medicine but this also can be used prepare a mouthwatering jelly-like dessert, by crushing kehipitthan leaves with water and letting its sap to set. Isn’t it amazing to know that we can use a homemade healthy dessert to cure gastritis!
Did you know that frog’s tongue is one of the softest bio tissues known? It’s nearly 10 times softer than the human tongue! So when catching insects their tongues merely act like the shock absorbers we find in a car, hitting the prey with just the right amount of force.
Atmospheric gases on Earth act as coolants during the hours of sunlight and slow the rate of cooling in absence of sunlight. And also water vapour contributes in moderating temperature. But moon has no atmosphere and no surface water. That is, there is no atmospheric transport of heat from day to night side, and no oceans to store heat.
The earth and the moon are at the same average distance from the sun. Yet why is the moon warmer than earth in the day time and colder than earth at night?
Woodpeckers are well known for hammering on trees. Also they are well adopted for vertical climbing. But have you noticed that their stiff rigid tail feathers keep in contact with the tree almost all the time? Woodpeckers place most of their body weight on the tail and press it against tree’s bark. This is how they balance their body when hammering and climbing!
Oysters are famous for their ability to produce pearls. As magical as pearls another amazing thing about oysters is they can change their gender depending on which is best for mating. They are born male, but may change into a female after one or two years. Even after releasing eggs, female oyster may turn male again!
Have you too noticed that on colder days your pet cat looks a bit larger than its normal size? Ever wondered why? What really happens is similar to our goose bumps! When it’s cold, erector pili muscles that make cat’s fur stand up and trap air in the spaces between individual hairs acting as an insulator to prevent heat loss from body. These puffy furs make them look bigger!
The rubber ball is rich with elastic properties whereas elasticity of iron is very poor. As such when the rubber ball hits the wall, its shape changes and majority of ball’s kinetic energy is converted to elastic potential energy. When the ball returns to the original shape, this stored energy is released making the ball to bounce. But since iron is not much elastic, almost all of its kinetic energy is transferred to the wall leaving the ball with no energy to bounce back.
Suppose there are two balls of same mass, one of rubber and the other made of iron. If they are thrown on a wall with the same velocity, why does the rubber ball bounce back while the iron ball doesn’t?
Nowadays removal of industrial dye wastes and heavy metals from water ways has become a dire dilemma. Isn’t it amazing that nature has found an easy way out for this man made crisis? While all plants absorb nutrients and minerals, plants like Salvinia can absorb dangerous metals and dyes at a greater quantity than others. If this ability is properly utilized, polluted water can be purified easily and cost effectively!
Have you noticed in most of the fishes, upper side of the body is dark and the underside is light colored? Did you know that this is a form of camouflage useful in getting protected from predators? Dark back of the fish when viewed from above by a predator, will blend in with the darkness of the ocean bottom. Meanwhile when looking up from below, white ventral surface of the prey will blend in with sunlight making it harder for the predators to detect them.
Banana peel contains phenolic compounds. In cold temperatures cells in the outer layer of the peel break down, causing leakage of polyphenol oxidase enzyme which oxidize the phenolic compounds. Polyphenols produced by the above process turn the banana peel into dark brown.
Many fruits are refrigerated in order to retard the ripening process. Yet when bananas are put in the refrigerator their peel will turn dark brown, making it appear bad. Why is that?
Wi-Fi can pass through walls. That’s why we can surf the web using a wireless router located in another room. Isn’t it bizarre to hear that German scientists have found a way to exploit this property to photograph people through walls using Wi-Fi? With this new technology, holograms of objects inside of a room can be taken from outside of the room!