Friday, 13 April 2012

10 Things you didn't know 5 minutes ago! (Part 6)

10. The human body produces 10,000 gallons, or 43500 litres of saliva in a lifetime

That's about the volume of a fuel tanker truck.

Saliva is used for different purposes in different animals, in humans it's used digestion, and contains the enzyme amylase.

Some birds use it as glue to build nests, snakes use toxic saliva to kill prey, and some arthropods (spiders and caterpillars) use it to create thread.

9. When bounced on a hard surface, a steel ball will bounce higher than a rubber ball

This is because when gravitational potential energy converts to kinetic, the rubber ball loses energy when it's deformed as it hits the floor.

The steel one doesn't however and bounces right back up again.

8. You can fossilize lightning

It's called Fulgurite.

It happens when the temperature of lightning is so hot (1800 celsius) it melts the silica in sand and fuses all the grains together.

Fulgarite are natural occuring glass hollow tubes.

okay maybe they are a bit off in
colour.. and size...
7. If you put Saturn on water, it would float

The density of Saturn is 0.687gcm^3 whereas water is 0.998 gcm^3.

However seeing as Saturn has a cross sectional area of (1.14x10^16)m^2, you would need a very large basin of water to experiment this on..

6. Light is 30,000 years old

I know what you're thinking 'hey, it takes 8 minutes for light to reach us!'

Well it does, but it takes an additional 30,000 years for it to pass through the dense atoms from the core.
All the energy produced by fusion must travel through the many layers of the sun to reach us.

5. Plastic bags are better for the enviroment than paper bags

The process to recycle and manufacture paper bags costs more in energy consumption than plastic bags. So essentially you are burning more fossil fuels.

Also they both end up in landfill, under the pressure and airtightness of the landfill, they usually degrade at the same rate anyway.

4. Using a shell to hear the sea

I hope you don't believe this works, but the sound you hear is actually the blood in your veins, you can do this with any cup shaped object.

The reason you don't hear the characteristic pulse sound is because blood flows at a constant low pressure in your veins.

3. Gorillas sleep in nests

Male gorillas tend to sleep on the ground, whereas female gorillas sleep in nests.

They make these out of foliage and branches collected from nearby trees.
I'm hungry already..

It's a miracle they can fit on them really..

2. There is no blood in your steak

All the blood in steaks in removed in the manufacturing process.

That red colour is actually myoglobin, a protein similar to haemoglobin.

Myoglobin is only released during muscle injury. (when the cow is being chopped up)

1. cold welding

If two metals in space touch, they will be stuck together in the vacuum of space. However this doesn't happen as the tools come from earth and have an oxidised layer protecting it.

The only actual cases of this being proved is experiments designed to show it happens.

Did you learn something? Add your comments below!


  1. I only knew 5 of these, so yes, I did learn something; 5 things in fact. Best was cold welding. Thanks for the tips.

  2. 10,000 gallons doesn't equal 2,200 litres. 10,000 litres equals 2,200 gallons (imperial)

  3. Ah, thanks for correcting me :)