Science Facts to Blow Your Mind
The world we live in has become an incredibly hectic place to be a part of. A busy lifestyle combined with an overabundance of information provided by the media and the Internet has caused the average person to become so engrossed in their day-to-day routine that it’s all too easy for any one of us to lose track of just how amazing of a planet we have the privilege of inhabiting. And it even goes far beyond the scope of just one planet – merely thinking about all the wonders and endless possibilities that lie in outer space and realizing how minuscule Earth is in the grand scheme of things is enough to provide some serious food for thought.
Because we’ve all become so bogged down in the minutiae of our everyday surroundings, it might do us some good to learn (or remind ourselves of) a couple of truly amazing scientific facts concerning the human race, our planet, and the universe surrounding us. If you read on, you will find a list containing just that, and it might help you put things into perspective and gain a measure of newfound appreciation for the ins and outs of our world. And even if you don’t derive any profound insights from these facts, they should at least prove to be an interesting read and a couple might truly blow your mind after you’ve given them some thought.
- There Are a Lot of Stars out There
Due to reasons which are so self-evident that we won’t waste a single second of your time explaining, the Sun has occupied a central role in our existence since the literal dawn of mankind. Because of its immense importance to all aspects of life on Earth, it’s easy to assume that the Sun also holds an equally important place in the universe at large and that it is somehow one of a kind. Well, scientists claim (1) that there are at least 100 billion other stars in the Milky Way alone, as well as that the observable universe contains at least 100 billion galaxies (each of them, naturally, jam-packed with stars).
In order to help you better understand the magnitude of these figures, we could say that if you were to take every grain of sand from every beach on Earth and put them all together, that number would still be smaller than the number of stars in the universe. Merely trying to fathom such vast expanses and realms of possibility can make one feel awfully small in comparison.
- You Can Look in the Past Whenever You Want
Because the speed at which light travels is finite (in vacuum, it is 299,792,458 meters per second), when we look at celestial objects, the light we are seeing now is actually the light which was emitted a certain period of time ago (2). The more distant the object, the greater the delay, and it is possible to be looking at something which no longer exists. This holds true even when you look up at the Sun, but because it is pretty close to the Earth (speaking in galactic terms), you are seeing it as it was just 8 minutes ago.
However, things can get a lot more astonishing when you gaze into the night sky. Let’s assume you are using the naked eye, without any telescopic devices – the furthest object readily visible under these conditions is the Andromeda Galaxy, which is 2.5 million light years away (3). What this means is that you, a human being with an average life span of 80 years (give or take), are looking at a galaxy as it was 2.5 million years ago. It’s mind-boggling to think about everything that could have happened in the interim.
- You’re Not Alone in Your Body
The first two facts on our list were related to space, but you do not need to look so far away in order to find mind-blowing facts and tidbits. For example, scientists have found (4) that the number of bacteria in the body of an average person is roughly equivalent to the number of human cells (which is estimated to be in the region of 37.2 trillion (5)). What’s worse, this is a conservative estimate, as it was previously believed that this ratio was 10:1 in favor of the bacteria.
However you slice it, there is no doubt we all have trillions of “guests” piggybacking our bodies, but that is actually not a bad thing as many bacteria play a pivotal role in our survival. It just goes to show how complex we are as beings and how many elements need to work in harmony in order for us to be able to go about our daily lives.
- Our Blood Vessels Are Really Long
If you were to take all the blood vessels (arteries, veins, and capillaries) of an adult person and lay them out end to end, they would stretch for 100,000 miles (6). That would be long enough to circle the Earth 4 times over, and all of that is packed into every single adult human being.
- The Number of Bones in Our Bodies Isn’t Constant
A fully formed adult has 206 bones in their body, however this number is significantly higher immediately after birth (7). A newborn baby has around 300 bones, but many will fuse over time until the final number of 206 is reached.
- There Is a Living Structure Visible from Space
The Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the natural world, stretches over 1200 miles and is the only living thing on Earth that can be seen from space (8).
This list could go on for pages upon pages, as there is almost no end to the wonders that surround us, both on our planet and in the vastness of space. Whenever you feel like you cannot cope with all the hustle and bustle of modern life, examining facts such as these could be just the ticket to rediscovering your focus and helping you view things from a different angle, and that is something we could all use from time to time.