Page 6 - Science Facts

A one-year-old boy in India has broken a world record after being born with 34 fingers and toes!

Akshat Saxena had seven fingers on each hand and ten toes on each foot, according to a spokesman for Guinness World Records. This beats the previous record of a Chinese boy born with 31 fingers and toes.

The condition is known as polydactyly and is a rare genetic condition that makes unborn babies grow extra fingers and toes, usually on the little finger side of the hand. The parents were shocked, but did not know that their baby was so unusual. A family friend finally convinced them to go on the internet and enter the data. That's when they found that their kid had broken the world record.

The boy went into surgery and after 16 hours, he now only has 10 fingers and 10 toes.


The point where the Sun and Jupiter orbit each other lies 15,114.85 miles outside the Sun and is called the barycentre

The barycenter is the point between to objects where they balance each other.

In astronomy, it's actually the center of mass where two or more celestial bodies (planets or stars etc.) orbit one another.

In most cases the celestial bodies are not exactly the same size and therefore the barycenter is not always exactly in the center of the largest of those bodies.

A very good example of this is Jupiter and the Sun. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system.

It's also known as the gas giant. It's heavier than all the planets combined. But even with its great mass, it still only weighs one one-thousandth as much as the Sun!

This means the Sun is the major mass in the orbit between the Sun and Jupiter. The barycenter between the sun and Jupiter is located outside the sun. The distance it is located at outside of the sun is 7% of the radius of the sun.

This may not seem like a lot, but you can easily fit the Earth and two of Earth’s moons into that distance and still have a bit of space left. Compared to the size of the Sun and Jupiter however, that 7% is actually not a lot at all – it's only 15,114.85 miles.


Nerve damage stops fingers from wrinkling under water!

It’s no secret that human fingers (and toes) wrinkle under water.

It’s kind of hard to miss, considering it happens to us all. Well, not all of us. Those with nerve damage actually don’t prune!

This was discovered after a man fell through a glass door and cutting his wrist pretty badly.

After a few weeks he noticed that only some of his fingers were becoming wrinkled under water. He brought this up to doctor and they found that they were the same fingers that had sensory defects.

This isn’t just something that’s interesting to know and that’s it. It can be helpful in the real world. It can be used to test whether further, surgical exploration into a wound is needed without having to actually slice into the patient. It can be used as a quick assessment for doctors.

This discovery is further evidence to the recently proposed reason for skin wrinkles. For a long time it was thought that our skin swells when in water for a sustained period, but that seems to be wrong.

Instead, it’s an evolutionary trait that allows us to grip better in wet environments. The fact that nerve damage affects the wrinkles definitely helps this case.


Some awesome lists!

A neutron star is so dense that if an object was dropped from one meter above the star's surface, it would hit the surface at a speed of 7.2 million km per hour

Neutron stars are small but extremely dense stars that form when a star goes supernova, but doesn’t have enough mass to become a black hole.

Besides black holes, these are the densest things in the universe. They can have diameters anywhere from 6-20 miles and have masses comparable to the size of the sun and often many times more.

The density of a neutron star is 1 quadrillion the times that of water.

A neutron star is so dense that one teaspoon of its material would have a mass over about 900 times the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Since gravity is related to mass, this means the gravity is extremely powerful. If an object were to fall from a height of one meter, it would only take one microsecond to hit the surface of the neutron star, and would do so at around 2000 kilometers per second, or 7.2 million kilometers per hour.

The temperature inside a newly formed neutron star is from around 1011 to 1012 kelvin, but that falls fast as the massive amounts of neutrinos emitted bring a lot of that energy with them. Within a few years it’s a mere 10^6 kelvin. For reference, that’s around the temperature of the sun.


Cockroaches make group decisions. When 50 cockroaches are presented with 3 shelters that can only house 40, they'll split up "perfectly"

Humans aren’t the only organisms that communicate to each other. In fact, a lot of them do.

One of these organisms is the cockroach who use chemical and tactile communication to organize themselves.

"[Cockroaches] can also use vision [to communicate]," says Dr José Halloy, a scientist in the Department of Social Ecology at the Free University of Brussels in Belgium. "When they encounter each other they recognize if they belong to the same colony thanks to their antennae that are 'nooses', that is, sophisticated olfactory organs that are very sensitive," he says.

This communication is fairly intelligent as well. When testing how they communicate, it was found that cockroaches will divide themselves up perfectly after much “consultation”.

For example, if 50 insects were placed in a dish with three shelters, each with a capacity for 40 bugs, 25 roaches huddled together in the first shelter, 25 gathered in the second shelter, and the third was left vacant.When the researchers altered this set-up so that it had three shelters with a capacity for more than 50 insects, all the cockroaches moved into the first "house".



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