interesting science facts

Let me introduce you to three of my friends: hallucigenia, opabinia, and wiwaxia. They’re all from the Cambrian explosion, the period of time around 500 million years ago when life was just starting and was still trying to figure out questions like “how should a mouth work?” and “legs?”

Hallucigenia was about an inch long (most life back then was tiny, they were only a few eras removed from being single celled after all) and it had sixteen clawed legs, hard spines coming out of its back, and a wicked tentacle neckbeard. 

Opabinia was between two to three inches long and it had thirty fins along the side of its body, along with five mushroom shaped eyes on top of its head. By far though, its most interesting feature was its strange proboscis. Like a Dr. Moreau style mashup of an elephant and a lobster, the long nose terminated in a large claw that it used to grab prey and bring it to its backward facing mouth.

Finally, this is wiwaxia. This danger-artichoke was a two inch long armored slug-like creature with no head. In fact, its actual body was largely just its one massive foot. 

I find these animals interesting for three main reasons. First, it’s incredibly fascinating to see all of the potential paths that life on earth could have taken. Imagine an ocean filled with elephant lobsters! Second, whenever I feel like my life is going nowhere and all my choices are the wrong ones, I like to think that I’m in in my phase where I’m still developing hallucigenias and wiwaxias, and not yet making awesome things like butterflies or velociraptors. Finally - it serves as a stark reminder that if we ever find alien life, there is a fantastic chance it will look like nothing we’ve ever seen before - it might look more like one of these creatures than a human being. 

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According to the laws of physics, a planet in the shape of a doughnut (toroid) could exist Physicists say that such a planet would have very short nights and days, and arid outer equator, twilight polar regions, moons in strange orbits and regions with different gravity and seasons.

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Life from the perspective of colour blind people 

Deuteranomalia: This is caused by reduced sensitivity to green light. Deutan color vision deficiencies are by far the most common forms of color blindness. This subtype of red-green color blindness is found in about 6% of the male population, mostly in its mild form deuteranomaly.

Protanopia: Caused by a reduced sensitivity to red light due to either defective or a lack of long -wavelength cones (red cones). Some scientists estimate that being a protan is associated with a risk of a road accident equivalent to having a blood alcohol level of between 0.05 and 0.08 per cent.

Tritanopia:  People affected by tritan color blindness confuse blue with green and yellow with violet.  This is due to a defective short-wavelength cone (blue cone). Whilst  Protanopia and Deuteranomalia are significantly more common in men, tritanopia affects both sexes in equal amounts.

Monochromacy: Only around 0.00003% of the world’s population suffers from total color blindness, where everything is seen in black and white. 

Almost all pufferfish contain a deadly substance called tetrodotoxin, which is lethal to humans and up to 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide. There is enough poison in one fish to to kill 30 adult humans, and there is no known antidote. However, in small amounts, tetrodotoxin can be used as a narcotic. Dolphins have been observed catching Pufferfish and consuming their toxins to experience a long-lasting high. 

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On November 11 2007, a strange, alien-like sea creature was captured on camera near Perdido, a drilling site owned by Shell oil company. It was discovered deep in the ocean near the drilling site and was later identified as a bigfin squid - this mysterious species of squid is very rarely seen due to the fact it only lives in depths of 6,000 feet or more.