7 Head-Scratching Facts That Everyone Can Appreciate

RealClear Staff


Redditors turn up very interesting things that show the universe to be a pretty crazy place. Here are some of the most surprising facts from a recent discussion:

There are more possible iterations of chess games than there are atoms in the observable universe.

This value, known as the Shannon Number, represents all of the possible move variations in the game of chess. It is estimated to be between 10^111 and 10^123. By comparison, there are 10^81 atoms that make up the known universe.

Photo Credit: flickr.com

Woolly Mammoths and the Egyptian pyramids existed at the same time.

The earliest Egyptian pyramids began being constructed in 2,700 BCE. Woolly Mammoths only went extinct around 4,000 years ago

Photo Credit: flickr.com

Bananas emit antimatter every 75 seconds.

The gradual decay of isotope potassium-40, which potassium-dense foods such as bananas contain trace amounts of, causes a single antielectron to escape from the fruit every minute or so. 

Photo Credit: flickr.com

The consumption of polar bear liver is lethal to humans.

The amount of vitamin A found in polar bear liver is enough to kill someone.

Photo Credit: flickr.com

A NASA spacecraft has found evidence that water exists on Mercury.

The craft, named MESSENGER, detected an excess amount of hydrogen on Mercury's poles, which are cool enough to sustain both liquid water and ice. The hydrogen levels observed are consistent with that of H20.

Photo Credit: nasa.gov | Via: imgur.com

Scientists still don't really understand how bicycles work.

Have you even seen someone fall off of their bike, only for it to self-stabilize and continue on without them? If not, it's hilarious - watch the video below. Scientists have no idea what makes this phenomenon possible.

If you erased the space that separates every atom on (and in) the Earth, they would collectively fit in an apple.

Atoms are 99.9999% empty space. We perceive things to be solid because of the way in which protons and electrons repel each other. If we eliminated this force, and thus the empy space, the protons/electrons/neutrons would only be the size of an apple.

Photo Credit: flickr.com



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