Mysteries of our planet

Mysteries of our planet

Every day, our planet throws us lots of puzzles. Finding out some of them can save lives, and besides, we are just interested in finding out the answers.

How crocodiles and alligators can move silently in the water

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It does not matter whether the alligator dives, swims or goes out onto dry land, it moves gracefully through the water, creating only barely noticeable ripples. These descendants of dinosaurs have neither fins nor flippers like fish or aquatic mammals, so how do they manage to move so perfectly?

As pilots of an airplane, they use "manipulators" to regulate their position. Although, in the alligator, they are special muscles that change the position of the lungs in the body. Gases in the lungs of the alligator act as an internal flotation device. By straining the muscles, the reptile can move the lungs in the direction of the tail to dive, or in the direction of the head to float to the surface, and also left or right to roll in the water.

According to researcher TJ Urion, "Perhaps these muscles initially served to move in water, and only then adapted for breathing."

Why natural arches do not obey the laws of gravity

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Although natural formations such as sand arches or niches seem to ignore gravity, in fact, it is because of gravity that they exist. When the wind and the water destroy the rock, the grains of sand in its lower part become stronger due to the fact that more weight presses on them. In essence, grains of sand are protected from gravitational stress.

Although some types of sandstone contain cementing minerals, Czech researchers have found out that these minerals are not needed to bind sandstone particles. In fact, cementing minerals are also destroyed by water and wind. Regardless of the type of erosion and the presence of a cementing substance, vertical stress is the most important factor in the appearance of picturesque natural arches.

To illustrate the theory, scientists used a brick wall as an example. Pulling a brick from the top of the wall is easy, but from the bottom is very difficult, because he is under pressure. As a sculptor, nature uses wind and water as tools to remove excess stone and form such a stone.

How do plants protect themselves from sunlight?

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Although sunlight is vital for plants for photosynthesis, ultraviolet radiation can damage their DNA and slow growth. Therefore, sunburns are also dangerous for plants, as well as for people. But plants cannot smear themselves with a protective cream like us, instead they produce special molecules called “sinapate esters”, which are in the leaves, and do not allow solar radiation to burn the plant.

One type of sinapate ester, sinapoyl malate, absorbs the entire spectrum of ultraviolet radiation of type B, protecting DNA. Although these are waves with the same length that can harm a person, the researchers are in no hurry to add miracle molecules to sunscreens, they are sure that the cinnamates that we use now are effective enough. But scientists believe that we can use these molecules, for example, to create plants that can withstand the high levels of radiation that will accompany global warming.

Led-negative molecule

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Most of us know only four blood groups, each of which is determined by a positive or negative antigen. But in reality, there are millions of types of blood.If during the transfusion you are given blood with an antigen that is not contained in your body, this can lead to a dangerous, possibly even lethal, reaction of the immune system to the blood administered.

In the early 1950s, doctors discovered a rare type of blood, Vel-negative, which causes the most terrible rejection of transfused blood. In Europe and North America about 2.5 thousand people with this type of blood. But in order to detect the SMIM1 protein molecule itself and create tests for its detection in the blood, it took scientists as much as 60 years. Now it only takes an hour to detect the protein.

How to cook the best popcorn

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With the help of a high-speed camera and thermodynamic analysis, the scientists decided to find out how popcorn jumps, where the sound comes from, and what temperature the bouncy maize is. They found that temperature is everything. When the core is heated, the liquid inside turns into steam and expands, turning it into white flakes.

According to their research, 180 degrees Celsius is an excellent temperature for most cores. If you lower the temperature - a smaller number of nucleoli will explode, raise - the middle one jumps out of the nucleus and it starts spinning wildly.

Although the formation of steam does not make the core bounce, it creates the very “pop” effect that we hear. The researchers found out that the sound is not created by vslapping the nucleus and not by falling, the core just becomes an acoustic resonator, when pressure drops, it looks like the sound of a champagne bottle when the cork is opened.

Why do gorillas eat rotting wood

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Scientists have often noticed how gorillas chew decaying wood until their gums start to bleed. In addition, they can lick stumps or tree trunks out. At first, the intrigued scientists believed that in this way animals get rid of parasites in the stomach, but the real reason for this behavior was much more interesting.

Scientists from Cornell University conducted a study by observing 15 gorillas in a national park in Uganda and collecting samples of wood that were chewed by gorillas, as well as those that the animals did not touch. After analyzing the collected material, scientists found that rotting wood was a source of 95% sodium in the diet of the gorilla.

It has been observed that some species of monkeys, chimpanzees and lemurs also consume wood.It would seem that animals instinctively seek a source of sodium needed by the body. But Eliss Pall from Cornell University said that "this does not mean that the gorillas know that wood is a source of sodium, but they can determine where it is contained." The animals may have figured this out by trial and error.

From where in Iceland troll posts

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One of the local legends says that the stone pillars in the valley of Scalinger in Iceland came from the fact that evil trolls threw them at each other. Each of the forty such “tools” reaches a length of slightly less than 2.4 m and 1.5 m in width.

Although this is a rather interesting explanation, volcanologists from the University of Buffalo found out that most likely these formations were the result of the interaction of lava and water. According to their theory, the lava, formed as a result of the eruption of the Laki volcano in 1783, could not pass through the gorge of the Skaft River and covered the valley of Scalinger. The soil heated up, and the water vapor began to rise through the lava. Then, when the next layers of lava fell on these steam pillars, they froze, taking their shape. The whole process supposedly lasted for several days.

Volcanologist Tracy Gregg says: “When water comes in contact with red-hot lava, a geyser can form, and you can see it right here.”

How did the seamounts of Christmas Island

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More than 50 huge seamounts spread over an area of ​​over a million square kilometers in the northeastern Indian Ocean. Scientists were greatly puzzled by the question of the origin of these mountains, some of which reach 4.5 km in height. They did not form in the hot spots of the mantle or in the crustal faults, as in other similar cases. On the contrary, they look like mountains in northwestern Australia.

Using this information and simulating the position of tectonic plates, geochemists from the University of Kiel discovered that this massif appeared during the break of the Gondwana supercontinent when the Pacific Ocean formed 150 million years ago. The lower part of the bark of Gondwana exfoliated, heated and began to mix with the mantle, and then rose to the surface.

The Indian Ocean, in the end, again swallowed this piece of the continent and because there was more volatile matter (water and carbon dioxide) in these fragments; they produced more molten material than the normal mantle and formed seamounts instead of the usual shelf.

How we are duped twins

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The movie doubles make us believe that we really see our favorite movie stars, because special brain mechanisms stabilize our perception. Sometimes it helps us to survive, the brain binds our perception to a picture (face) that we have seen for the last 10 seconds, otherwise people will look completely different for us if they just turn their faces to the side a little or change the lighting. This would make us “blind” even in relation to relatives or close friends, as a result would be complete chaos.

However, the same perception trick known as the “continuing field” works in the opposite direction, forcing us to perceive completely different forms or faces as the same. This field makes our brain think that the picture has hardly changed. Scientists conducted an experiment in which they showed the participants the main picture, then a series of other pictures, among which was identical to the first one. When participants in the experiment were asked to find a duplicate, most could not do this, choosing the picture that was a cross between the two shown at the end.This proves that our brain does not strive for the accuracy of perception of visual information, but to keep track of previous images, finding them in new frames.

This phenomenon is crucial to stabilize our vision. If there was no such stabilization, everyone constantly doubted, and imagine how difficult it would be to live.

Why are Guinness beer bubbles drowning

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This is not always the case, but if it does happen, it is a real sensation at any party: sometimes the bubbles in Guinness beer sink to the bottom, although they usually float. Chemists from Stanford University and Edinburgh decided to find out why. It turns out that the bubbles rise only in the middle of the glass, and when the liquid circulates and moves to the edges, the bubbles drop.

The answer is very simple and is based on the following idea: what has risen, it must fall. In this case, the bubbles easily float in the center of the glass, and then descend because of its walls. When the bubbles float upward, the beer rises too and can spill, often it happens. It flows along the walls of the glass, dragging bubbles along. After a while, everything stops.

Carbon dioxide in other beers is most often dissolved in the liquid. That is why many people, including scientists, think that the reason for the lowering of the bubbles is the shape of the glass or the nitrogen in the beer. But Stanford scientists have proven that this can happen with any beer and in any glass.

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  • Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet

    Mysteries of our planet