The stormy weather these days brings with it lightning, nature’s fireworks in the sky. Although it is dangerous its branched zigzag pattern makes it a thing of beauty. The flow of electricity during lightning, chooses the path of least resistance (which is rarely a straight line) through the air. Sometimes it branches, trying to find this path, resulting in the branched pattern. Isn’t it amazing how nature always finds the easiest way around things at a blink of our eyes!
Whiskers of cats and dogs serve a much important purpose rather than just being a fashion statement. Ever wondered why they are experts in navigating in the dark? It is all thanks to their whiskers. They give the animal a sense of its surroundings, including the size, shape and movement of objects by picking up subtle vibrations in the air. Whiskers are a third eye for animals, aiding them in hunting,helping to determine whether they can fit into tight spaces and alerting them of prey and predators.
Wolverine from the movie ‘X-Men’ has always caught our eyes because to his amazing ability to rapidly heal himself enabling him to even survive a bullet to the head. Sounds too far-fetched to be reality but it might be soon! Scientists have invented an implant that releases growth factors to speed up the natural healing process of bones and skin,reducing the recovery period for patients.By the looks of it, we will gain this real-life superpower in the near future.
The AC draws in warm air and the heat in it is transferred onto a liquid within the AC known as a refrigerant. The cooling of the air causes water vapor to condense. This reduces the water content of the air (humidity). The cooled air is sent out through the vents into the room contributing to the cooling effect. Less humid air allows sweat on our bodies to evaporate rapidly. This process requires heat and it is drawn from our body which in turn reduces our body temperature.
The thought of an air conditioner(AC) comes to mind when you are feeling the heat on a hot and sunny day. Briefly explain how an AC makes us feel cool.
Octopuses are bad news for its prey. Why? Octopuses can lie in plain sight, invisible to the prey’s eyes, by camouflaging itself into corals, rocks or seaweed.Changing colour does help but the octopus’s secret weapon is its ability to change its skin’s texture. Octopuses can inflate its skin, making bumps and pits, making the camouflage more realistic. This has inspired the invention of an artificial flat skin that can inflate and transform into a 3d surface.By the looks of it, it won’t be long before ‘shapeshifters’ walk among us!
Feuds among siblings can sometimes lead to a nasty end. The sand tiger shark knows all about it. The first shark pup to be born from eggs, within its mother’s womb will make its undeveloped siblings into its meal! Even the unfertilized eggs are not spared. This is how nature has made sure that only the fittest survives and develops into an adult. If these sharks treat their own kin in this manner, what would it do to another animal?
We all hate the sight and smell of vomit. Even the thought of it makes our stomachs churn. But if you ask a penguin, it would say no! For penguins, it is a way of showing parental love. Newborn penguins cannot hunt and are unable digest large lumps of food. So, adult penguins have do it for their young. Adult penguins hunt and swallow food only to return and cough up the partially digested food, pouring it into the newborn’s beak.
According to the law of conservation of angular momentum, the body of the helicopter should spin in the opposite direction when the rotors spin. The torque/force generated by the tail rotor spin stops the body from turning around. Changing tail rotor’s angle with the vertical axis would allow the body to steer while hovering in the same place.
Helicopters use large spinning rotor blades to lift itself from the ground. But have you noticed a tail rotor at the back that spins on a vertical plane?Explain the purpose it serves.
Ever turned away from a swim because of icy cold water? That is a thing of the past, thanks to mother nature. Scientists have mimicked the air trapping quality of the fur of sea otters and beavers and have come up with a wetsuit that keeps you warm and dry during a swim. The trapped layer of air insulates the body and reduces heat loss from your body giving you a warm feeling. No matter how advanced we call ourselves, we still turn to mother nature to solve our problems.
The electric organ is a one man orchestra which can replicate the sound of any instrument. But how does it trick our ears into believing so? A note is made up of a collection of different vibrations at different frequencies. The pitch and loudness of those vibrations, for a certain note, are unique to the instrument. This gives the sound of an instrument its uniqueness. The organ mimics these vibration patterns, making us believe that it is the real deal. Isn’t it amazing what we can achieve when we mimic how things naturally work?
Have you ever seen worm-like specks moving across your eyes on bright days, or when you stare at a white background? These are actually the shadows of opaque or translucent objects suspended within our eyes. Not all of us have them and rarely obstructs the vision of the ones who have them. They increase in number as we grow older. Although, they are mostly normal, a large amount of them, could be an early sign of a condition that can lead to permanent blindness, if left untreated.
Atmospheric pressure decreases as you climb up a mountain. This causes a pressure difference between middle and outer ear (on either side of the tympanic membrane). This makes the tympanic membrane(ear drum) to bulge outwards. Hence, we get the feeling of blocked ears.
You must have noticed that your ears get clogged/ feel full when you ascend a hill. Explain why?
Sometimes, the decisions we take force us to overwork ourselves. So, sufficient rest is a must if we are to work efficiently. So how do we find time to rest? The answer may lie in the way our heart works. Although constantly beating throughout our life it has found time to rest, between two beats of the heart, for just 0.4 seconds. The heart actually rests the same amount of time it works enabling it to work efficiently throughout the span of our life. If your heart can find time to rest, while keeping you alive, why can’t you?
One would wonder, Mercury being the closest planet to the sun, would have to be the hottest planet in the solar system. But you would be wrong. Venus, the second planet from sun is the hottest planet. It is the result of global warming due to the greenhouse effect on a massive scale, which occurred on Venus. Venus retains much of the heat it gets from the sun due to its thick atmosphere. Venus serves as a reminder to humans, of the devastating effects of global warming and earth’s fate, if global warming is not controlled.
Did you know that we keep our eyes closed for 10% of the time that we are awake due to blinking? This suggests that blinking holds something important in our eyes’ function. Although it lasts only for a small time, blinking gives enough time for the eyelids to close and reopen, causing tears , lubricants and other secretions to be spread over our eyes. This moisturizes and lubricates the eye preventing dryness. This also contributes in removing any dust or other irritants from the eyes.
Racing cars use more energy than conventional cars. Did you know that racers use ‘Nitrous’ to give their vehicles that extra boost? Nitrous is a gas called Nitrous Oxide, commonly known as laughing gas. Once injected into an engine, it decomposes producing oxygen. More oxygen within the engine, enables to combust more fuel, producing more energy than an engine on a conventional car.
Ever wondered why your dog turns in circles before having a nap? Surprisingly, this was a habit that was handed down by their ancestors who lived in the wild. This was a way of creating a perfect sleep area for them. Circling around would flatten tall grass to the ground and drive away any creepy-crawlies nearby, contributing to their safety. This habit has endured for nearly 30000 years,
even after dogs were domesticated up to this very day!
The giraffe is the animal with the longest neck in the world, nearly 2 meters in length. But did you know that humans and giraffes share the same number of neck vertebrae, which is 7. Although a giraffe’s vertebrae are much larger in size.