Time again for another week’s roundup of Twitter #weirdscifacts! This week we reached the dubious milestone of fact #666! To celebrate, we provide a bonus fact, and two of the facts this week are my own posts on WEIIIIIIRD OPTIIIIIIICS!!!
662. Jan 04: Jeanne Baret, an 18th century lady botanist who disguised herself as a man to travel! (h/t @jenlucpiquant)
663. Jan 05: A camera fast enough to watch light move? The link leads to my own post on the “picosecond camera”, which can record images — with some caveats — as such a rate as to track the motion of a pulse of light!
664. Jan 06: What happens when your brain is split in two — and you survive? With the connection between the left/right halves severed, many bizarre “split personality” behaviors have been observed. (h/t @jenlucpiquant)
665. Jan 07: So, what is a “temporal cloak“, anyway? Another of my posts, on the recent announcement of a cloak that can hide an event in time! Again, not quite as shocking as it initially sounds, but quite remarkable research.
666. Jan 08: Sharks contain urea (normally a component of urine) in their body tissue. Many species of fish are constantly losing water to the salt-rich seawater surrounding them, and much replenish it. Sharks, however, use urea to help keep the ion balance in their body comparable to that of the sea. (h/t @whysharksmatter)
667. Jan 09: The pearl fish makes its home in the anus of sea cucumbers. (h/t @edyong209)
667a. Bonus fact! On December 6th, 1916, a German military vessel sunk a set of dinosaurs. (h/t @Laelaps)
668. Jan 10: The scientific lecture that included full-frontal male nudity! Even worse, the lecturer waggled his exposed erect penis as he waded into the audience… for science! (h/t @miriamgoldste)
I hate to be a spoilsport, but what happened on Bougainville’s voyage has been well known for a long time, and the others on the trip attributed Baret’s presence to Commerson’s ideas about traveling in comfort rather than anything else!