Weird science facts, March 16 — March 22

I’m still going!  Here are the Twitter #weirdscifacts for March 16th to March 22nd.

368. Mar 16:  Elephants — coordinating their efforts and cheating at it, too! (Story by @rkrulwich at @npr)

369. Mar 17: Early treatment of Syphilis: cut a live frog in half and apply it to the infected penis. For ladies, they could put chicken on the area or breathe in Mercury vapor (the main and most effective cure until 1800s). (h/t @seelix, and: eeew!)

370. Mar 18: The later life of Marie Curie — scandals, slander, and even a duel on her behalf.

371. Mar 19: Giant bladder kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) can grow up to *2 ft* per day.  (1 inch/hour!!!)

372. Mar 20: Thiomargarita namibensis — a bacterium so large (0.1mm -0.3mm) it can be seen w/ naked eye.

373. Mar 21:  In 1778 Paris, fashionable ladies never went out in bad weather without their lightning hats. As I’ve noted in an earlier post, the lightning rod was introduced by Benjamin Franklin in the 1750s.  Apparently by 1778, people were so convinced of their effectiveness that they incorporated them into their fashion!  It was, obviously, a passing fad.

374. Mar 22: The Tardigrade, or water bear: a microscopic organism that can survive at temps close to absolute zero or high as 304F. (Water bears can also survive for almost a decade without water, and shrug off radiation that would kill just about any other living thing.  And they’re so cute!)

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