Weird science facts: July — August 2012

Though I stopped doing a Twitter weird science fact (#weirdscifacts) a day early this year, I’m still occasionally posting facts as I come across them.  Here’s a collection of a few tidbits I came across over the past couple of months!

753. July 6: 1 shaft, 4 heads: The echidna’s penis.  This post is NSFW if you happen to work with a bunch of echidnas.  (post by @PygmyLoris, with a  h/t to @scicurious: who else?)

754. July 7: Behold the Boötes void, the spookiest place in the cosmos!  Space is really, really empty, but there are regions of space that are even emptier than that!

755. July 27: Clever ants have hooks on their babies to hang them from the walls.  (post by @myrmecos, h/t @bug_girl)

756. July 30: In 1968, there was an experiment to see if an astronaut can imitate falling movements of a cat.  This may sound weird, but it was a great way to study how astronauts can move in space wearing bulky suits. (h/t @astVintageSpace)

757. August 13: Sand on the beaches of Normandy is up to 4% shrapnel.  This WWII “war sand” is a haunting reminder of the deadly carnage that occurred there.

758. August 17: The primary sensory neuron in the giraffe can be up to 15 feet long! We tend to think of neurons as microscopic things, but the giraffe has a truly gigantic one. (via @GainesOnBrains)

758a. August 17: Rock formation bigger than Connecticut found floating in Pacific.  This is a remarkable testament to the power of volcanic activity.  (h/t @leafwarbler)

758b. August 17: There is a remarkable almost forgotten history of “atmospheric railways” powered by air pressure. (h/t @seelix & @mcshanahan)

759. August 20: Excuse me but this butterfly can see with its butt.  I think that last sentence speaks for itself.  (post by @j_zimms)

760. Aug 31: Project Orion: the 1950s-era idea to power a spaceship with nuclear bombs.  In that era, people had all sorts of ideas for nuclear bombs that didn’t involve nuking Russia.  See, for instance, my previous #weirdscifacts on Edward Teller’s “Operation Chariot“. (h/t @encephalartos)

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4 Responses to Weird science facts: July — August 2012

  1. Kristin Daly says:

    These are AWESOME. You should keep tweeting, there aren’t enough smart people on twitter these days! P.S. looking forward to finally meeting you at harnessing light next week! We are helping Battley get prepped for it!

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