Scientific Facts
Scientific Facts

46 Surprising Scientific Facts

Madeline Thatcher
By Madeline Thatcher, Associate Writer
Published September 29, 2019
  • Earth is 18 galactic years old. One galactic year is the amount of time it takes for the Milky Way to rotate around the black hole at its center—which is equivalent to about 230 earth-years.[1]
  • Space is only about 62 miles away from the surface of the earth; if you drove the average freeway speed straight up, you would arrive in less than an hour.[1]
  • Neptune is the only planet that can't be seen by the naked eye.[1]
  • The Milky Way galaxy is 621 quadrillion miles wide.[1]
  • The distance between the moon and Earth is always growing; the moon moves about 3.8 centimeters further away every year.[1]
  • In 1969, astronauts measured the changing distance from the moon to the sun by attaching mirrors to the moon's surface.[1]
  • Black holes are invisible since their gravity is strong enough to prevent light from escaping.[1]
  • The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.

    - Albert Einstein

  • The solar system is orbiting around the Milky Way, just as the earth rotates around the sun, and the moon rotates around the earth.[1]
  • The volume of the sun is so vast that a million earth-sized spheres could fit inside it.[1]
  • There are 321 million cubic miles of water in all the combined oceans in the world.[7]
  • Ocean water is about 3.5 percent salt.[7]
  • Phytoplankton, which live in the ocean, use photosynthesis to produce half of the earth's oxygen.[7]
  • Less than 20% of the ocean has been well researched, mapped, or explored.[7]
  • Ocean Facts Science
    We know more about the moon than we do about most of the ocean!

  • Light can travel no deeper than 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) in the ocean, which led scientists to believe that no life existed past this point.[7]
  • Creatures that live in light-devoid spaces in the ocean rely on chemosynthesis to survive; they use chemicals spewed by thermal jets as energy rather than sunlight.[7]
  • Jellyfish have existed on earth for over half a billion years.[7]
  • In 2018, the world's oceans reached their hottest temperatures ever.[7]
  • Human embryos actually develop tails in the womb, but the tails are eventually destroyed by white blood cells before birth.[3]
  • Some scientists believe that the appendix might not actually be completely useless; instead, it could be responsible for storing healthy bacteria in the human intestinal tract.[3]
  • Baby Embryo Scientific Facts
    Sex characteristics don't start to develop until several weeks into a pregnancy.
  • All human embryos develop as female until the ninth week of a pregnancy, when testes start forming and testosterone is released. That's why everybody has nipples, although only those on females can supply milk.[3]
  • Hiccups may have derived from our water-born ancestors, who, like modern-day amphibians, would have used air to push water through their gills.[3]
  • The instinct babies have to hold on tightly to an adult's finger is called the "Palmar grasp reflex," and it is left over from when ancestral young primates had to hold on while their parents swung from tree to tree.[3]
  • Early human ancestors used to have three eyelids, one of which eventually became the small fold in the corner of human eyes today.[3]
  • Humans still have traces of whisker muscles in our upper lips, which would have helped early humans find food and navigate their environments.[3]
  • Before the agricultural revolution, adult humans could not drink milk since grown bodies did not produce the enzymes necessary to digest it.[3]
  • Blue Eyes Scientific Fact
    They may be a genetic mutation, but we still think blue eyes are gorgeous.
  • Blue, green, and hazel eyes all exist thanks to a genetic mutation; brown was the only eye color present in humans until about 6,000 years ago.[3]
  • Human brains have been getting smaller for over 20,000 years.[3]
  • There are different neural connections present in the brains of smartphone users than in those who do not engage with that kind of technology.[3]
  • Penicillin was discovered by accident.[4]
  • In 1796, smallpox was prevented by injecting a strain of cowpox into humans, leading to the invention of the modern vaccine.[4]
  • Upgraded sanitation systems invented in the 1800s helped extend the human lifespan by more than 40 years.[4]
  • Genetic theory was first developed using pea plants.[4]
  • The wheelbarrow was first invented in China, and was almost 1,000 years before it made its way to Europe.[4]
  • Eyeglasses Invention Scientific Facts
    Eyeglasses helped improve literacy and promote general learning after they were invented.
  • Eyeglasses were invented in the 13th century and were responsible for increasing humanity's combined IQ.[4]
  • Numbers are an invention; there is no innate ability within humans to identify a quantity.[2]
  • Once ancient cultures discovered the number five, trade and agriculture blossomed.[2]
  • Cultures that invented written versions of their languages often began with symbols for numbers.[2]
  • The Helios 2 solar-mission satellite is the fastest-moving object in the universe; it was able to move at 68.75 kilometers per second (about 42.7 miles per second).[6]
  • Time passes slower at higher elevations; however, this is only truly notable in space.[6]
  • The human body is comprised of the same quantity of energy as 30 hydrogen bombs.[6]
  • The dark spots on the surface of the moon are called maria.[5]
  • The atoms that make up iron have a mass 56 times greater than those that make up hydrogen.[5]
  • Jupiter and Saturn both rotate so quickly in their orbits that they are noticeably flatter when compared to other planets.[5]
  • About 85 percent of all the stars in the Milky Way galaxy are red dwarfs.[5]
  • Human beings, like all carbon-based life forms, are made from the dust of dying stars.[5]
  • An MRI scan is a process of magnetic resolution imaging, where radio waves help map water-containing tissues in the body.[5]

Suggested for you


Trending Now

Load More