Page 2 - Science Facts

Imagine skiing on the snow-capped mountains of Venus! The only problem? The snow is made of metal...

Venus is a very interesting planet in our solar system.

It is surrounded in thick layers of cloud, 50km thick. Over 96% of the atmosphere of Venus is carbon dioxide, which causes massive pressure on the surface and has quite a strange effect on the planet’s gas.

On the lower surfaces of Venus, temperatures reach up to 480°C, causing the minerals on the surface to vaporize, entering the atmosphere as a kind of metallic mist.

At the higher altitudes, this mist condenses and forms a type of metallic frost which settles on the mountain tops. It is unknown whether snow actually falls on Venus, but acid rains have been observed – rain that evaporates before it hits the ground.

This “snow” that we see on Venus can be observed anywhere over the altitude of about 2.6km. Below that altitude, the atmosphere is no longer a gas. Nearer the surface, the high pressure and temperatures cause the carbon dioxide to become a supercritical fluid, which is between a liquid and a gas.

As expected, the surface of Venus is extremely toxic and while the snow-like metal we have observed on the mountain tops provides a stunning sight. Perhaps only in your wildest sci-fi dream could you hope to carve up these mountains on your snowboard.


Pandas are considered one of the most alluring animals on the planet, but they have got a very strange twist in their evolution.

Pandas are incredibly peculiar creatures. Studied by scientists for decades, there are still many questions surrounding the Panda family.

A study in 1985 did confirm them as members of the bear family, although, they show very different characteristics to common bears.

Pandas are not hunters and they also don’t hibernate like other bears. They also don’t roar like bears, they bleat like sheep. Pandas also don’t seem to like each other’s company as female pandas as they display only a brief coupling for 1 to 3 days a year, which results in a hormonal which occurs whether the panda is pregnant or not.

The strangest anomaly about pandas though, is their choice of diet: bamboo. The ancestors of Pandas were carnivorous. Their digestive tracts are designed for meat and they actually don’t digest bamboo very well.

Studies have shown that during their evolution they lost the taste for high-protein foods. They formed an appetite for leafy greens and luckily their surroundings were bamboo forests, even though an adult has to eat bamboo constantly to maintain its body weight.

So while pandas may look just like bears, they actually behave and live completely differently. With bodies designed to eat meat, they choose to rather crunch on masses of bamboo every day. Somehow, this adds to the mystery that pandas already pose.


Scientific evidence confirms Australian Aboriginals' oral history myths from nearly 10,000 years ago!

With modern technology, we don't put a lot of stock in ancient myths or the musings of aboriginals. However, in the case of certain Australian Aboriginals, their myths turned out to be surprisingly accurate.

Australian linguist R. M. W. Dixon was recording aboriginal myths in their native language when he started noticing something. There were similarities between the landscape details in the myths and scientific discoveries being made about the landscape today.

For example, the myths tell of the formation of three lakes in the area. Research dated the formation of these lakes to 10,000 years ago.

Dixon went on to record many other instances of aboriginal myths accurately describing ancient landscapes that date back to the Pleistocene era.


Some awesome lists!

35% of the population is born without wisdom teeth.

If you're like this writer, your mouth may have never gotten the memo that it was supposed to grow wisdom teeth.

On the other hand, you might be one of the many people subjected to having them removed. Well for those who fear becoming the latter of the two, it looks like evolution is running in your favor- we're gradually losing our wisdom teeth.

Scientists are a bit puzzled over the disappearance of wisdom teeth because they are the only ones to develop entirely after birth, and thus it is harder for nature to select against them.

The way these teeth grow is by the tooth building tissue slowly moving to the back of the jaw to start the process. When this doesn't happen, wisdom teeth don't grow.

Some scientists are aiming to outright get rid of these teeth permanently. Because wisdom teeth don't start to appear for a dozen or so years, they think it's possible to use a laser or chemical to prevent the teeth from growing.

It's been estimated that two thirds of wisdom teeth removal surgeries aren't necessary, and given the great deal of pain that comes with removing them, many believe preventing their growth altogether is a good idea.


Bill Nye, the science guy invented an improved version of ballet shoes!

Children of the 1990's know Bill Nye. They know him better as "Bill Nye the Science Guy." Wonderful were the days when a substitute wheeled a portable television in the classroom and put on an episode of "Bill Nye" for your entertainment. He was cooky and his experiments were fun. You know he wears bow-ties and a white lab coat and loves science but bet you didn't know that he has a patent pending for an updated ballet shoe.

Apparently, Bill was doing a program on muscles and tendons for his show and as part of that, visited a ballet. While there, he noticed that all the ballerina's pointy shoes were bloody. This is part of the struggle of dancing on pointe, yes, but Bill decided that ballet shoes needed an update badly. Since ballet shoes really haven't been updated in tens, maybe hundreds of year, Nye decided to create a new one. He likes his update to Nike's athletic shoes compared to the original Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers. Who knew Bill was so in to ballet?



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