Best Facts of the Week - Page 6

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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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.

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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.

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Some awesome lists!

Bees vs Hornets! It may sound like two hockey teams going head to head but this is actually an incredible battle served up by Mother Nature.


Beekeepers in Japan prefer to keep European honey bees over Japanese honey bees, as they are more productive.

The only problem is that hornets often prey on these bees. A Japanese giant hornet can kill 40 European honey bees in one minute and a group of 30 hornets can destroy an entire hive of 30,000 bees in just over three hours.

It’s not all doom and gloom for the honey bees, however, as they have a defensive tactic that is nothing short of incredible.

When a hornet locates a hive and is wanting to mark that area, the bees will retreat into the hive leaving a small opening for the hornet to enter.

The bees will then surprise the hornet with a group 500 strong. They surround the hornet in a ball and vibrate their wings, causing the interior temperature of the ball to rise beyond what the hornet can survive.

Temperatures inside this ball created by the bees can reach up to 47°C. It has been discovered that the hornets can actually survive at this temperature, however, the carbon dioxide concentrations inside the ball along with the increased temperature is what causes the hornet to die. This display is Mother Nature at her most brutal and it goes to show, gang mentality is definitely not unique to humans.

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When his daughter was young, Hugh Hefner would 'clean up' the Playboy mansion during her visits!


Hugh Hefner, founder and owner of Playboy Enterprises, has always been known for his sexually adventurous lifestyle.

After all, when you create the most popular adult magazine in history, how can you not be?

However, it seems he toned things down a bit for a certain special lady in his life.

When his daughter, Christie, was young, Hugh did everything he could to keep the family business a secret.

During her visits to the mansion, Gunn’s father did what he could to ‘clean up’ the area. This included putting away any sex toys and taking out the house’s Parcheesi board.

Though he couldn’t tone down everything, Hugh’s efforts seemed to work, as Christie’s mansion memories revolve mostly around its pinball machines.

Ironically, Christie eventually became the president of Playboy, serving as the company’s head from 1982 to 2009.

Currently, Christie is the Executive Chairman of Canyon Ranch Enterprises. In addition, she is heavily focused on political work, specifically concerning the advancing of women and progressive candidates, HIV/AIDS treatment, and First Amendment issues.

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