Page 10 - Science Facts

There's a Lightning storm in Venezuela that's been going on since at least the 16th century!

Relámpago del Catatumbo (Catatumbo Lightning) is an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs where the Catatumbo River meets the Lake Maracaibo, in Venezuela.

How do they happen? The winds blowing accross the Maracaibo lake and other swampy plains around the area meet with the Andes mountain ridges. These winds carry a lot of heat and moisture, which are perfect for creating electric charges. The result? Lightning for 280 times an hour, 10 hours a day for 160 nights a year!

It is believed that the phenomenon has been going around since at least the 16th century (and most likely, even more than that). The first time this storm was reported in writing was an epic poem called "la Dragontea," by Lope de Vega in 1597, which told of the defeat of Sir Francis Drake at this site. Drake tried to attack the city of Maracaibo, but the lightning gave away his position and the city was able to respond in time.

All the electric activity makes the Catatumbo Lightning the largest single generator of Ozone in the planet. The lightning is visible up to 400 km away! Because of this, it's also called as the Maracaibo Beacon.


Dogs will follow your gaze if you address them first!

When a murderer is on the loose in your home and you're trying to communicate with someone else without talking, you can easily direct their attention anywhere by intently looking at them and then looking somewhere else—their gaze will soon follow. Turns out a dog will understand the exact same thing.

A study was done with infants' gazes and how they react and look at things depending on the adult's expression. They used a similar tactic with dogs, who watched video presentations of a human looking at one of two objects. The dogs' eyes and head were tracked with a tracker, and it turns out they have a much higher tendency to look at the same object a human did.

This is significant in the study of studying dogs' social skills and the study of inter-species communication.


The world’s most expensive coffee is made from feces!

It’s called Kopi Luwak, or civet coffee, and it is the world’s most expensive coffee at close to $160 a pound! Why is this coffee so expensive? Made in Indonesia, civet coffee comes from coffee berries that have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet.

Once the beans are partially digested and passed through the digestive tract, they are harvested and roasted. Civet coffee may sound gross, but it is supposed to be the most aromatic and least bitter coffee there is!


Some awesome lists!

Shared psychosis is a syndrome where two or more people share in the same delusion!

Folie à deux may seem familiar due to the Fall Out Boy album by that name, but in reality it is a real psychological phenomenon!

The phrase is French for “madness shared by two,” and is when two people share the same delusion, often transmitted from one to the other.

The same syndrome shared by more than two people may be called folie à trois, folie à quatre, folie en famille or even folie à plusieurs ("madness of many").

They all classify under the official names ‘shared psychotic disorder’ and ‘induced delusional disorder’. It’s largely still referred to by its original name in research literature.

There are two types of presentation this syndrome can take on.

The first is where a dominant person imposes their delusion on someone who otherwise wouldn’t have seen one.

The other is when all parties are previously disposed to have delusions. The syndrome is most commonly diagnosed when the two or more individuals concerned live in proximity and may be socially or physically isolated and have little interaction with other people.


The fruit was called orange before the color!

It's sort of a chicken-and-egg question. What came first? the fruit or the color orange? Well all evidence points to the fruit. The word orange appears in the English language as early as the 13th century, but refering to the fruit. The earliest reference to orange as a color is found in the 16th century.

The color orange was previously called geoluhread, which just meant yellow-red. Geoluhread comes from Old English or Middle English. Orange is said to have no true rhyme, and many funny poems have been inspired and written about it. The word, however, does have half-rhymes or near rhymes and some proper nouns that rhyme with it.



users online