General facts of science

1/ The speed of light is generally rounded down to 186,000 miles per second. In exact terms, it is 299,792,458 m/s (metres per second – that is equal to 186,287.49 miles per second).
2/ It takes 8 minutes 17 seconds for the light to travel from the Sun’s surface to the Earth.

3/ October 12th, 1999 was declared “The Day of Six Billion” based on United Nations projections.

4/ 10 percent of all human beings ever born are alive at this very moment.

5/ The Earth spins at 1,000 mph but it travels through space at an incredible 67,000 mph.

6/ Every year over one million earthquakes shake the Earth.

7/ When Krakatoa erupted in 1883, its force was so great it could be heard 4,800 kilometres away in Australia.

8/ The largest ever hailstone weighed over 1kg and fell in Bangladesh in 1986.

9/ Every second around 100 lightning bolts strike the Earth.

10/ Every year lightning kills 1000 people.

11/ In October 1999 an Iceberg the size of London broke free from the Antarctic ice shelf .

12/ If you could drive your car straight up you would arrive in space in just over an hour.

13/ Human tapeworms can grow up to 22.9m.

14/ The Earth is 4.56 billion years old…the same age as the Moon and the Sun.

15/ The dinosaurs became extinct before the Rockies or the Alps were formed.

16/ Female black widow spiders eat their males after mating.

17/ When a flea jumps, the rate of acceleration is 20 times that of the space shuttle during launch.

18/ If our Sun were the just inch in diameter, the nearest star would be 445 miles away.

19/ The Australian billygoat plum contains 100 times more vitamin C than an orange.

20/ Astronauts cannot belch – there is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in their stomachs.

22/ The air at the summit of Mount Everest, 29,029 feet is only a third as thick as the air at sea level.

23/ One million, million, million, million, the millionth of a second after the Big Bang the Universe was the size of a …pea.

24/ DNA was first discovered in 1869 by Swiss Friedrich Mieschler.

25/ The molecular structure of DNA was first determined by Watson and Crick in 1953.

26/ The first synthetic human chromosome was constructed by US scientists in 1997.

27/ The thermometer was invented in 1607 by Galileo.

28/ Englishman Roger Bacon invented the magnifying glass in 1250.

29/ Alfred Nobel invented dynamite in 1866.

30/ Wilhelm Rontgen won the first Nobel Prize in physics for discovering X-rays in 1895.

31/ The tallest tree ever was an Australian eucalyptus – In 1872 it was, measured at 435 feet tall.

32/ Christian Barnard performed the first heart transplant in 1967 – the patient lived for 18 days.

33/ The wingspan of a Boeing 747 is longer than the Wright brother’s first flight.

34/ An electric eel can produce a shock of up to 650 volts.

35/ ‘Wireless’ communications took a giant leap forward in 1962 with the launch of Telstar, the first satellite capable of relaying telephone and satellite TV signals.

36/ The earliest winemakers lived in Egypt around 2300 BC.

37/ The Ebola virus kills 4 out of every 5 humans it infects.

38/ In 5 billion years the Sun will run out of fuel and turn into a Red Giant.

39/ Giraffes often sleep for only 20 minutes in any 24 hours. They may sleep up to 2 hours (in spurts – not all at once), but this is rare. They never lie down.

40/ A pig’s orgasm lasts for 30 minutes.

41/ Without its lining of mucus, your stomach would digest itself.

42/ Humans have 46 chromosomes, peas have 14 and crayfish have 200.

43/ There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body.

44/ An individual blood cell takes about 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.

45/ Utopia is a large, smooth lying area of Mars.

46/On the day that Alexander Graham Bell was buried the entire US telephone system was shut down for 1 minute in tribute.

47/ The low-frequency call of the humpback whale is the loudest noise made by a living creature.

48/ The call of the humpback whale is louder than Concorde and can be heard from 500 miles away.

49/ A quarter of the world’s plants are threatened with extinction by the year 2010.

50/ Each person sheds 40lbs of skin in his or her lifetime.

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