Friday, May 8, 2015

So Cute...So Thirsty....

K. So  we can go like 3-5 days on average without water before we croak. And we all know that camels are sooooo superior to us and can go like two weeks without water using their humps, their humps, their lovely camel humps.

The Kangaroo Rat says big effing deal to the camel.  They have developed a way to produce a metabolic water within their own body and have specialized kidneys. This gives them the ability to last their entire lives (roughly 5 years) without a single drop of water.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Fun Fact Friday the 13th.... The Face Behind The Mask (part 2)

So it's another creepy Fun Fact Friday the 13th.  The last one I did was about Michael Myers his mask, and today it is all about Jason Voorhees. 

Originally Jason back in 1980 in the first movie you just saw him for a split second and could barely make out his disfigured face.  In the second movie he had a sack with eye holes over his head. 

Any time he was to be seen without the sack it would take hours upon hours to get him into make up to make him look disfigured so by the 3rd movie someone suggested that he pick up a hockey mask to cover up that one of his victims was wearing.... and the rest is history.

Sometimes it pays to be lazy. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Marge Simpson... the "woman" behind the tall hair.

So we all know who Marge Simpson is from The Simpsons. And if you don't your life has kind of lacked meaning.

I recently found out a few months ago that the reason she has that tall hair was because Matt Groening (the creator of the show) had a long time running prank he was going to play on all of us and reveal on the last show that she was in fact a rabbit from another show of his Life Is Hell.  So behind all that hair is a set of tall bunny ears.

He later ended up giving up on that idea because the show will never clearly end.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Spider Web... You Are The Weakest Link....

So the Golden Orb spider doesn't produce the worlds strongest biological material anymore. Sorry spider fans.

Scientists have recently discovered an even stronger material. The tiny teeth of the Patella Vulgata Limpet in Southampton U.K. The teeth are on something resembling a tongue which the gastropod uses to scrap the rocks for algae.

The tensile strength needed to break these teeth is 3-6.5 gigapascals (GPA). If you're having a hard time relating that to the everyday (as I did), it is in the order of a strand of spaghetti holding up 3,000 pounds.

The teeth get their strength from being made by a mineral called goethite which contains iron in a fiborous structure and are encased in a protein.

Image via University of Portsmouth

Friday, October 3, 2014

Earth Is Getting Fatter Every Day....

So the earth is constantly being bombarded by space dust and meteors every single day. How much might you ask (or maybe you didn't ask ever or don't care, but I'm gonna tell you anyways).

The earth gets hit by three metric tons every day. So 300,000 kgs or 660,000 lbs. That is an insane amount of weight every single day. Well to you and me it is anyways. But lets consider that the earth weighs roughly 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kgs or 13,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 lbs. Now 660,000 lbs is basically nothing compared to that.

Of course if we keep adding that up that's 110,000,000 kgs a year or 250,000,000 lbs. Which still doesn't even come close. It's about a 1/6 zillionth of its total weight. Still not that much. But lets keep going. If we say the earth is 4.5 billion years old then that really starts to add up. Close 495,000,000,000,000,000kgs or 1,125,000,000,000,000,000lbs. Now that is some substantial weight that can't be overlooked anymore.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Coolest Creature On Earth...

Last time I talked about the Wood Frog which could be frozen alive and reanimated when temperatures warmed up. Today I am going to talk about a critter that is cooler than that. By far the coolest creature on earth.

The tardigrade is like no other creature on earth.

First of all, it's so small that it's very difficult to see without a microscope. It's only half of a millimeter in length when fully grown. And for those of you who are not smart enough to know how small half of a millimeter is, it's about 1/50th of an inch.

Secondly, they look like nothing you've seen. They have 8 legs, some have eyes, and some don't and just have a mouth at the front of their head.

Thirdly, they can survive just about anything you throw at them.  They can survive being boiled alive for several minutes at temperatures of 150 celsius/300 fahrenheit, and they can be cooled down to below -458 degrees fahrenheit / -272 celsius. That's a single degree above ABSOLUTE ZERO. If you're not familiar with "absolute zero" that is the temperature where every single molecule stops vibrating and absolutely no thermodynamic energy exists anymore.

Fourthly, they can survive the empty vacuum of space and have been known to exist a 10 day trip to outer space on the shell of the space shuttle. They can also survive the pressure of 6,000 atmospheres. Even if you took them to the deepest trench in the ocean they could still go 6 times deeper.

Fifthly, they can dehydrate themselves into tardigrade jerky to the point of having only 3% water left in its body (beef jerky on average has 15% moisture level). Then after a decade or so of hibernation they can just rehydrate themselves and go back to business as usual. There has even been samples taken from Egyptian mummy samples that have been rehydrated after 1000 years.

Sixthly, they can survive 1000 times the radiation of other animals on earth. So don't count on them being in any up coming mutant comic book characters. They can survive levels of 5,000 Gy levels of Gamma Rays.  A human would kick the bucket with just 5-10 Gy levels.

And Lastlyyyy.... They have survived all 5 of the major extinctions of species on earth.

And THAT is why they are the coolest creatures on earth.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Frozen Alive

There are a couple creatures that can survive being frozen alive. One of them, the tardigrades, I will discuss next time.  But another one is the North American Wood Frog.

These little buggers are fascinating. When they feel a deep freeze approaching their body kicks into preservation mode by producing cryoprotectants.  It replaces all its glycogen with glucose and pumps urea through its body.  This limits the amount of water in its body that can actually freeze and form crystals which is what causes damage in cells.

The frog can be frozen to a solid state with no heartbeat, no breathing, and no brain activity. It can be left out to thaw, and then the heart will kick in on its own and start pumping again. 

Watch It Thaw