Best Facts of the Week - Page 4

Nuclear submarine microphones are so advanced they can hear shrimp chewing food 100 meters away!

Technology does not stand still.

With new breakthroughs happening every day, the many inventions that permeate our lives are improving at an exponential rate. In fact, people can now predict when discoveries and breakthroughs will happen.

But even still, it’s always incredible to see how far technology can be pushed.

The first submarine, invented in 1620, was nothing like the underwater vessels we know today. In fact, early submarines didn’t even have mechanical power. Instead, they had to be rowed using oars.

Similarly, early microphones share many differences from their modern counterparts, using metallic strips and liquid transmitters to record grainy, hardly decipherable sounds.

These two technologies have come so far that a nuclear submarine’s microphone can hear the ticking of a watch from a meter away, a shrimp chewing its food from 100 meters away, and even a human talking from 20 miles away.

The animal with the strongest level of hearing is the wax moth, which can hear sounds up to 300kHz. For comparison, humans can only hear up to 20, and a nuclear submarine’s microphone can hear up to 320.


When Dave Grohl left his first band, the group broke up because they'd never find as good a drummer!

If you listen to music, you probably know Dave Grohl. Even if his name isn’t familiar, you’ve certainly heard his work as the drummer for Nirvana and frontman for the Foo Fighters.

Since his career took off in the 1990s, Grohl has been respected as one of the music industry’s most valuable talents. However, it seems he was a legend even when he was young.

Before joining Nirvana, Grohl worked in a number of small bands. One of these groups, known as Dain Bramage, was formed in 1985 by Grohl and friends David Smith and Reuben Radding.

Over three years, Dain Bramage released two demos and one album, the ‘I Scream Not Coming Down LP’.

The band ended when, without warning, Grohl quit and joined Scream, a hardcore punk group. Though Smith and Radding tried to form another band, they eventually gave up. Radding later stated that, “After you've spent a couple years with Dave Grohl as your drummer it's easy to feel like no other drummer exists.”

In addition to his own projects, Grohl has provided session work for such artists as Nine Inch Nails, Slash, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Stevie Nicks.


People often wonder why celebrities don't just go out and fix the world. Well, sometimes, they try to do just that.

George Clooney is a household name in the world of acting. He has starred in some of the biggest movies and TV series on the globe.

But it is his involvement with a humanitarian organization that could prove to be the most defining role of his life.

In December of 2010, Clooney helped launch the Satellite Sentinel Project. This project is aimed at bringing to light the human atrocities in Africa, namely Sudan.

DigitalGlobe satellites capture footage of possible threats to civilians, pending violence and detect razed villages in Sudan and South Sudan. These images are then made public to major press and activists via all the media platforms available today.

The Satellite Sentinel Project is the first sustained public effort to make threats to human life known, in real-time.

Clooney is no stranger to being spied on and talked about in public forums. From his viewpoint, he argues, why can’t he be the one with a 400-mile lens, taking pictures of wrongdoings and sticking them on the net? The man has a point and a very good one at that.

One can only applaud Clooney’s efforts in attempting to not only raise awareness about the issues in Sudan, but actively doing something that has never been done before. We congratulate you, Mr Clooney.


Some awesome lists!

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.


This place in Russia is so cold that trees explode, mercury freezes, and your breath turns to ice!

On the positive side, you’ll never have to worry about your ice cream melting.

Siberia isn’t a place many people want to live. Most humans simply aren’t built to withstand its freezing cold, incredibly unpleasant weather, and even those who are often don’t consider themselves fans.

In fact, Siberia is so disliked that, during his reign, Joseph Stalin would banish many of his enemies to the region, seeing it as one of the worst possible punishments he could hand down to them

But that doesn’t mean cool things can’t happen there.

In Yakutia, located within the Siberian far east, temperatures rest at around minus 35 degrees Celsius. At such a low temperature, things don’t always act as you’d expect.

When you breathe in Yakutia, instead of the water vapors evaporating, they condense and turn into small ice crystals. Instead of staying stiff and strong, fallen trees explode and emit blue sparks. Even mercury freezes in such cold weather.

The lowest temperature ever recorded on the Earth’s surface was minus 93.2 degrees celsius in Antarctica. Minus 273.15 degrees celsius, or Absolute Zero, is theoretically the lowest temperature that can be achieved.



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