People are shouting and waving their hands in the auction room. The presenter can’t calm everyone down because the lot on the table is the most expensive dirt in the world. Its price is about $9 billion. But it’s really hard to imagine its real value. Because it’s dirt from Mars. It’s so expensive because it’s going to take one decade, billions of dollars, and three space missions to deliver the dirt here, to Earth. And we’ve already started the first mission. On July 30, 2020, a single-use Atlas V rocket was launched from Earth’s surface toward Mars. The cost of launching such a rocket is about $109 million. The rocket carried the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity drone. The flight took about seven months. On February 18, 2021, the rocket finally reached its destination. The landing module carrying the rover and drone was launched into the atmosphere of Mars. The robotic heroes traveled inside a capsule faster than the speed of sound. Underneath, the capsule was protected by a heat shield to keep its valuable cargo from burning due to high temperatures.
Meganeuropsis was a giant dragonfly that lived on our planet almost 300 million years ago. It was about the size of a modern-day falcon, with a wingspan as long as your leg. It had long and sharp claws that it used to catch food and for protection. They could even grab small animals and carry them through the air. Their speed and maneuverability made them formidable hunters. Meganeuropsis is the most giant insect ever found on Earth. Scientists believe it might have reached this colossal size because there used to be more oxygen in the air.
April 14, 1912. The Titanic crashed into a huge iceberg and sank. Yep we’ve covered that. But what if this time we use the ice to bring the ship to the surface? This requires several thousand feet of wire mesh and a lot of liquid nitrogen. Our goal is to put the Titanic in a huge block of ice that will raise the ship to the surface.To do this, you need to wrap the wreck in the wire mesh and cover it with liquid nitrogen. The first problem you face is the inability to wrap the ship completely. You need to somehow lift the ship a little to put the mesh under it. Let’s say that by some miracle you manage to do so. Next, you need to transport hundreds of large tanks of liquid nitrogen. You’re underwater, opening the tanks and... it’s so cold that the icy water of the Atlantic Ocean looks like it’s boiling. The nitrogen just sizzles, dissipates, and certainly doesn’t create a block of ice around the mesh.
Great birthday party! Bunch of kids running around, the same 5 songs on repeat. You stroll off on your own, check out the gifts table and stuff some of those chocolate cookies into your pocket for later.You stumble on some nice balloons floating around. And because you have no self-control, you grab one and start inhaling that Helium. Everyone else is outside playing games, pinning the tail on the donkey.And...it’s awesome! The first thing you notice is your voice changing. We’ve all done it at least once in our lifetime. Your voice gets super high-pitched and squeaky for a couple of seconds, you gotta keep inhaling through the balloon though, it doesn’t last very long.
Oceans cover over 70% of the Earth’s surface, so it comes as no surprise that about 50% of the U.S. territory is underwater. We’ve explored only 5% of oceans. 12 people walked on the Moon, but there were only four manned descents to the Mariana Trench, the deepest location on Earth. Pressure is the crucial challenge of going deep into the ocean. At bigger depths, temperatures are extremely low, visibility is zero, and the pressure is so intense it’s harder to send people to the bottom of the ocean than to send them into space.You can’t see it, but the pressure of the air pushing down on your body in deeper parts is so big it feels like more than one hundred adult elephants or 50 jumbo jets are standing on your head. The pressure is 1,000 times bigger than on the land. Meanwhile, in space, when we pass through the Earth’s atmosphere, the pressure drops to zero. We’re mapping the planets, but it turns out to be easier than mapping the ocean floor. NASA uses radio waves when exploring space, but this method can’t be used for the ocean, since the trillions and trillions of gallons of water get in the way.
Okay, yes — it’s possible to rotate your eyes, but you can’t do it without some practice! Our eyes have 4 major muscles that allow them to move up and down and side to side. There’re actually 2 more muscles that we use without knowing, as well. These muscles help you roll or rotate your eyes!We can focus on something rotating, and our eyes will start rotating with it! This helps us have a stable image and keep a clear vision, like an autofocus on a camera. When you move your head side to side and up and down, your eyes will move in the opposite direction!
Have you ever looked at magicians and thought excitedly, “How is it even possible?” But what if I told you that you could do no worse? All incredible magic tricks have explanations, and some of them are so simple that you can easily repeat them at home to baffle your friends and family members!
We’ve heard stories about people surviving in the desert, Amazon forest, and uninhabited islands for weeks. Such stories show how tough and resilient people can be. But among these many cases, there is one that can really amaze you. It’s the story about a guy who spent three days inside a sunken ship at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. He didn’t have oxygen tanks, electricity, communications, or food, but he survived. So, it all happened in 2013 on a tugboat that was moving through the Atlantic waters along the coast of Nigeria. That day, early in the morning, there was a small storm. The tug was pulling a vessel with oil tanks. Then, all of a sudden, a huge wave formed. It crashed into the ship and broke the cable. At 4:30 a.m., the tugboat turned upside down. Its entire deck was underwater, and the ship’s hull stuck out from the surface. The boat began to sink slowly. The crew of 12 people were trapped as they all were in their locked rooms.
Imagine a world where instead of water, the oceans are made of methane. Yes, that’s right — instead of swimming in H2O, you’d be paddling around in CH4. It’s like Mother Nature’s version of a fizzy drink! Such oceans actually exist on one of Saturn’s moons, called Titan. In fact, the methane and ethane on Titan play a similar role to the water on Earth: they cycle through the atmosphere and form clouds that eventually rain down onto the surface. They were discovered by the Cassini-Huygens space probe. And apparently, our entire planet’s oil reserves could fit in one of Titan’s puddles! Even the desert sand dunes on Titan have more organics than all of Earth’s coal reserves. Who knew that Titan was the place to go if you’re ever in need of fuel for your car? Now, obviously, there are some things that distinguish methane lakes from our water ones.
Imagine stepping out of your spacecraft and setting foot on the surface of the Moon. Under your feet, the ground is covered with a fine material that looks like powder. That’s lunar dust. You look around and take a lungful of fresh air. It smells very different from the air on Earth but still nice... Unfortunately, this is a highly unlikely scenario. And one of the reasons is that the Moon has almost no atmosphere. Earth’s natural satellite is too small — less than 2% of our planet’s mass. That’s why it doesn’t have a magnetic field strong enough to keep an atmosphere. But even if the Moon had it, solar winds would immediately pull it away.
It’s hard not to wonder if there’s another form of life out there in the Universe when you look at the night sky. There’s this thing called Fermi Paradox. It basically says this: if civilizations that might live somewhere out there in the Universe are so common, why haven’t we found any signs of them? We’ve looked really hard, but we haven’t stumbled over any proof there are other forms of life somewhere in space. And we suspect there could be many civilizations because scientists have calculated there are possibly billions of habitable planets in our galaxy alone. So it would seem reasonable to assume that some of these planets could have developed intelligent life, possibly even civilizations that are more advanced than ours. So, Fermi Paradox basically asks, “Where’s the party? How come we weren’t invited?” And one of the potential answers to why we haven’t found any other form of life in the Universe is something called the Great Filter theory.
It’s a clear night, and you are outside looking at the stars. The Milky Way alone seems overwhelmingly huge. You check on your phone and discover that the galaxy you’re in at this exact moment is 100,000 light-years wide. For scale, 1 light-year is already a very long distance. For example, it takes 4.2 light-years to go from Earth to Proxima Centauri, which is the closest star to our planet other than the Sun. So 100 thousand light-years is way more than we normal humans can fathom. And that’s just one galaxy. There’s a whole lot more out there. Now, looking at this data it seems pretty unlikely that we’re the only life form out there, doesn’t it? But how come we’ve never found anything else so far?
Yep, I think it’s safe to say that falling from any height can be really dangerous, but especially when you’ve tumbled out of a plane! And worse, without a parachute. Now, the trick here is to create drag to slow your descent, use your shirt, pants, or do an air snow angel. Anything to slow you down a little bit! But hey, you’ve always wanted to make an impact, right.
When we say ‘extinction’ — say it with me: “extinction” — we usually think of dinosaurs that went for lunch with a humongous asteroid and wiped out from the face of Earth. We don’t think of ourselves possibly going away in the near future. But what we forget is that there have been five mass extinctions that our planet witnessed in the last half a billion years, not just one. And we can be nearing the sixth one, where one of the species to possibly disappear are humans. The first great mass extinction came about 440 million years ago, in the — Period. Back then, life was mostly thriving in the oceans and along the coastlines. Biodiversity was great at the time: there were thousands of different species. Trilobites, sea scorpions, and all kinds of weird-looking mollusks and even fish — you name it, Ordovician had it.
How many people do we need to create a new civilization? And not on Earth — but ON MARS... and in limited conditions. And if we create this colony and send them off, what problems will they face? How can they survive that far away from home without any support? A recent scientific study sheds light on these questions. So let’s take a look at it.
We’re so used to the things our body does to keep us alive each day that we barely ever think about the mechanisms of sleeping, talking, breathing, or even blinking. But what would happen to your body if you stopped doing each of these things all of a sudden? How long would it be before it became a problem? Not that I’ve ever considered taking some sort of vow of silence, but I do sometimes wonder what would happen if I just stopped talking altogether. Would I lose my voice forever at one point?
It’s staring at you, and you’re staring at it. A giant eye that seems to be pulling you into an abyss. You’re hovering over it in your space copter. But however scared you might be, you still need to do your job. So, you send your copter down to the surface of the Red Planet. Right, that’s where you are — on Mars. But first things first: you take a moment to remember everything you know about the fourth planet from the Sun. It’s the last of the inner planets — those are the planets that lie within the asteroid belt. They’re also called terrestrial since they’re made up of rocks and metals. The atmosphere of Mars is much thinner than Earth’s. It contains 95% carbon dioxide and a mere 1% of oxygen. In other words, don’t even think about pulling off your helmet!
I have a collection of questions you’ve always wanted to know the answers to; let’s go! First, an observation — cookies and baguettes are basically kinds of bread. So, my question is — why, when left outside for the night, a cookie gets soft, and a baguette becomes hard? It doesn’t make any sense.
The search for ET is on! It’s most definitely on. With the successful launch of the James Webb Telescope, the search for Earth-like planets has become a riveting topic of worldwide attention. Apart from the James Webb Telescope, other tools are being used to find good “Earth-like” candidates. The TESS satellite and the Kepler telescope are at the forefront of searching for other Earths. After we first clear the air of a few pesky philosophical questions, we will take a close look at these two searches — and what the James Webb Telescope hopes to find. So, why are we searching for Earth-like planets? Because we can!
It has been several decades since gas masks have become a part of the face of each person on Earth. From birth to their last day, every inhabitant of our planet is forced to wear a gas mask. No one knows precisely what happened, but one day all the oxygen on the planet became toxic to the lungs.Somehow, the poisoned oxygen gets into the body through the eyes and ears, too, so you can’t wear a mask covering only your nose and mouth. A gas mask with full head protection is required. In the beginning, people couldn’t get used to gas masks. Your skin is very irritated, itchy, you want to breathe deeply. And this is only after the first few hours of wearing a mask.
So you’re standing in a room full of explosive gas. One spark can cause an explosion so powerful that all the windows and doors would be just blown out with a huge column of fire. And you’re holding a match. You need a bigger target than this room. How about the largest room of explosive gas in our entire solar system? Meet Jupiter. It’s the fifth planet from the Sun, and the largest one in our system. It’s 11 times the width of the Earth, and almost 2.5 times heavier than all the other planets in our solar system combined. If we put Jupiter on the scales, we would need about 317 Earths to balance it.
Those stringy bits on banana peel are the ones that make bananas smell and taste special! They’re called phloem bundles, and they transport all the nutritive elements from the leaves to all the other parts of the plants. They’re also edible!
Guess what? Scientists have come up with a cool idea about some cosmic creatures saying “hello” to us from the center of the Milky Way! Astronomers are all excited about finding extraterrestrial life, so they’re focusing their search right at the heart of our galaxy.Imagine stars in outer space like super cool DJs spinning their own unique beats. But instead of music, they send out these special signals called “radio pulses.” It’s their way of saying “What’s up, universe?” These radio pulses are basically little bursts of energy that travel through space. They’re not just random noise, though. They have a specific pattern that makes them stand out from all the other sounds out there. It’s like a secret code or a special rhythm that only these stars know how to create.
The Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean is the deepest place on our planet. If you throw a rock into the water, it’ll travel 36,000 feet [(11,000 M)] before touching the bottom. But unlike your body, the rock won’t experience any unpleasant consequences.After all, it doesn’t get affected by all that immense pressure that builds up the deeper you go! But then, what would happen to your body at the very bottom of the Mariana Trench? Put on your flippers, it’s time to dive. Hold your breath!
Food items like chips come with about 43% nitrogen inside their package. It might seem they sell you half a bag of air, but it’s exactly the opposite: oxygen, the gas we breathe, would react with the chips inside the bag and make them go rancid quickly. It’s called ‘oxidizing’ for a reason.
Animals are often born in zoos, and sometimes it can help save an entire species, as was the case with Diego, the tortoise. He reproduced so much in captivity that he was credited with saving the giant tortoises on the Galapagos Islands. Other times, these animal births bring together the whole world over how extremely precious they are. And this time, it was a chimpanzee’s turn, Mahale, to stun us all with her birth story.
Life is full of surprises, and some of them can be quite jaw-dropping. For example, when the things you’ve been doing daily for years turn out to, slowly but surely, take away your health points. Who’d have ever thought those seemingly harmless things could put you at risk. Well, better to find out late than never.
Sweating helps balance your body’s temperature and is defined as “the release of a salt-based fluid from your sweat glands.” It can be caused by your emotional state, a serious medical condition, or even menopause and pregnancy (due to hormonal changes). The apocrine glands constantly release sweat, and when reaching the stage of puberty, there is an increase in hormones that make sweat glands more dynamic. Sweating through the apocrine glands usually starts right around puberty, and it doesn’t really end, so if you find yourself not sweating at all while hiking, this could be a sign of a health condition.
Most people notice that their mood improves when they’re surrounded by plants. And this is no surprise — it’s human nature. We have an innate connection with our surroundings (a term known as biophilia), which is why it’s so important to have green pets that we call houseplants, around you.
When we are young, it makes us proud to see that the spaces between the marks that our parents put on the door frame to measure our height are getting higher and higher. However, there comes a time when the last mark stays in the same place and there are no more because we stop growing. But that doesn’t happen with every part of our body. In fact, our ears and nose, for some strange reason, continue getting bigger and bigger. And we can’t help but wonder if they will ever stop growing. Well... you should know: they will never stop increasing in size.
The neck is the first thing to give away a woman’s age because the skin in this area loses its firmness and elasticity faster than other body parts. Despite the fact that modern cosmetic technology offers a lot of options for skin lifting, thread lifting, and injections, most women prefer beauty fixes that don’t require surgery. Certain exercises promote the flow of oxygen and blood to the skin, increase collagen production, relieve muscle tension, sharpen the face, and lengthen the neck.
It’s time for your face to face the facts — this is not a good time for your skin. Air pollution is increasing in many countries, smog penetrates the skin, you need sunscreen to protect it from UV rays, and processed foods don’t nurture it much at all. This is why it’s more important than ever to take care of your face and one method that works is steaming it. This can clean, soothe, and reverse damage on the skin. Did we mention that it’s free too?
A former Navy SEAL shared his most important advice if you ever find yourself trapped in a car: “if you panic, you will lose your oxygen,” he says. Staying calm is one of the basic guidelines to survive a disaster in your car. But there are a few other things to know that will provide you with the chance to survive the worst.
Weight loss doesn’t always require eating tasteless salads and regular visits to a gym. Your desired body shape can be achieved way easier — through simple deep breathing. Combined with simple physical exercises, deep breathing can help remove excess fat and make the results last. While doing them, our body is filled with a bigger amount of oxygen, which helps us absorb nutrients and accelerates our metabolism.