Science & Math Trivia & Useless Facts

When a coffee seed is planted, it takes five years to yield consumable fruit.

Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

The white part of your fingernail is called the lunula.

A two-bit moon is in the first quarter.

Oak trees do not have acorns until they are fifty years old or older.

October 10 is National Metric Day.

The permanent teeth that erupt to replace their primary predecessors (baby teeth) are called succedaneous teeth.

Assuming Rudolph was in front, there are 40320 ways to arrange the other eight reindeer.

If you can see a rainbow you must have your back to the sun. If you don’t, you can’t see it.

Drinking water after eating reduces the acid in your mouth by 61 percent. Source: Denianne Bland

The two most common surgeries are biopsies and cesarean sections.

National Pi Day is March 14, at 1:59. (3/14 1:59)

The 772-778 digits of pi are 9999998, the greatest sum of 7 consequtive digits in the first 1,000,000 or so digits.

If you need to remember pi, just count the letters in each word in the sentence: “May I have a large container of coffee?” If you get the coffee and are polite and say “Thank you,” you get two more decimal places. [3.141592653…]

Plaster of Paris is naturally fire retardant. At about 600 degrees Farenheit the chemical water that is stored in it is released. This is also why walls are often “sweaty” after a fire.

Most of the Vitamin C in fruits is in the pith (skin).

Eggplant is a member of the thistle family.

Pecans are the only food that astranauts do not have to treat and dehydrate when flying in space.

There are 2,598,960 five-card hands possible in a 52-card deck of cards.

The largest prime number is 13,395 digits long; more than the number of atoms in the universe.

The name of the asteroid that was believed to have killed the dinosaurs was named Chixalub. (Pronounced Sheesh-uh-loob)

The record for most snowfall in a day, 78 inches, was made on February 7, 1916 in Alaska. Source: Bat Garg

2 and 5 are the only primes that end in 2 or 5.

1 and 2 are the only numbers where they are the values of the numbers of factors they have.

The lifespan of a tastebud is ten days. Source: Andre Boutin- Maloney

Jupiter’s core is in fact made of a non-metal, but due to the immense pressure inside Jupiter the core has become a metal. This metal is hydrogen. Source: Christopher David Martin

Olympus Mons on Mars is the largest volcano in our solar system. All the moons of the Solar System are named after Greek and Roman mythology, except the moons of Uranus, which are named after Shakesperean charcters. Source: Pits

142857 is a cyclic number, the numbers of which always appear in the same order but rotated around when multipled by any number from 1 to 6. 142857 * 2 = 285714 142857 * 3 = 428571 142857 * 4 = 571428 142857 * 5 = 714285 142857 * 6 = 857142 Source: Dave Pigott

A shank is the part of the sole between the heel and the ball of the foot. Also, a shank refers to a steel, plastic or wood piece inserted in the arch of a shoe.

The talus is the second largest bone in the foot.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men. Source: David Howard

The billionth digit of pi is 9. Source: Ben Peoples

If you go blind in one eye, you’ll only lose about one-fifth of your vision (but all your depth perception). Source: “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader”

Life on Earth probably developed in an oxygen-free atmosphere. Even today, there are microorganisms that can live only in the absence of oxygen. Source: “Isaac Asimov’s Book of Facts”

Scientists define deserts as areas which have less than 250mm (10in) of rain a year. They include not only the hot deserts, but also cold deserts such a Greenland, Antarctica and northern Russia. A third type, known as edaphic desert, is one where, despite an adequate rainfall, the soil is too poor to support plants. Edaphic deserts occur on some volcanic islands, in parts of Iceland and on the Colorado plateau in the USA. Cold deserts cover 16% of the world’s surface. Hot and edaphic deserts account for a further 18%; a total of 34%, or just over a third of the world’s land. Source: “Reader’s Digest Book of Facts”

The driest places on Earth are a series of valleys near Ross Island in Antarctica where, for the past 2 million years at least, no rain has ever fallen. Source: “Reader’s Digest Book of Facts”

In 1942, at the height of her Hollywood career, Hedy Lamarr patented a frequency-switching system for torpedo guidance that was two decades ahead of its time. It never made her any money. But the concept was taken up by engineers in 1957 and became the basic tool for secure military communications. It was installed on the ships sent to blockage Cuba in 1962, about three years after the patent expired. Source: “Invention & Technology” magazine

You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching TV. Source: “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader”

Salt is the only rock humans can eat. Source: “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader”

Attempts to establish forestry plantations in tropical rain forests have often failed disastrously as pests and disease of epidemic proportion have swept through the plants. Other plantations have been wiped out by insects.
In the wild, most rain forest trees grow anything up to 400m (440yds) apart from others of their own kind, so that although any given area may be crowded with hundreds of different species, it usually has only a handful of specimens of any one type. The trees are kept apart, scientists believe, by the very pests that prey on them. Detailed analysis of tree distribution have shown that most specimens are just far enough away from neighbors of their own kind to be beyond the flying range of the pests or disease-carriers which attack them. Source: “Reader’s Digest Book of Facts”

Before 1941 fingerprints were not accepted as evidence in court. Up to that time it was not an established fact that no two fingerprints are alike. Today, the only time in which fingerprints will not be allowed as evidence is if the defense can prove that there are in fact two identical sets of fingerprints. Source: “2201 Fascinating Facts”

The Pacific Ocean fills nearly a complete hemisphere of the Earth’s surface. Source: “Isaac Asimov’s Book of Facts”

The world’s largest waterfall has been drowned by a dam. The lake created by the dam is so big and so deep that the site of the falls — 190 km (118 miles) upstream from the dam — is now just an underwater cliff. The drowned waterfall is the Guaira Falls, on the Parana River between Paraguay and Brazil. The falls had a maximum height of 114m (347 ft), far less than several other waterfalls. But the amount of water flowing over them was more than double the flow of Niagara Falls and 12 times the flow over Victoria Falls. Source: “Reader’s Digest Book of Facts”

The bark of the redwood tree is fireproof. Fires in redwood forests take place inside the trees. Source: “2201 Fascinating Facts”

Cow dung can be used to produce a substitute for fuel oil. One experimental plant, near Munich in Germany, has shown it is possible to turn the dung from 1000 cows into the equivalent (in methane gas) of 2000 liters (440 gallons) of fuel oil every day. The dung is sealed in giant fermenters which collect the methane as it decomposes and the residue makes a rich and odor-free fertilizer. The system could make large farms self-sufficient in energy, but the high cost of the fermenters has discouraged most farmers from using them. Source: “Reader’s Digest Book of Facts”

If it were possible to drive through space at 75mph (120 km/h), you could reach the sun in a little over 142 years. But at that same speed it would take more than 38 million years to reach the stars of the Alpha Centauri system, the closest to ours. Source: “Reader’s Digest Book of Facts”

In some volcanic areas such as Iceland, the temperature rises beneath the surface of the earth as high as 680 degrees F (360 degrees C) that engineers can tap the geothermal energy by piping hot water from underground to warm nearby homes, offices and factories. An outdoor swimming pool in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik is heated so effectively by this method that it remains open and in use all year round. Source: “Reader’s Digest Book of Facts”

A device invented as a primitive steam engine by the Greek engineer Hero, about the time of the birth of Christ, is used today as a rotating lawn sprinkler. Source: “Isaac Asimov’s Book of Facts”

The right lung takes in more air than the left. Source: “Isaac 2201 Fascinating Facts”

Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing. Source: “Random Trivia” fact contributed by Jim Cobb

Small flat icebergs have been fitted with sails and piloted more than 2,400 miles from the Antartic to Valparaiso, Chile, and to Cakkaiub, Peru. Source: “Isaac Asimov’s Book of Facts”

According to National Geographic, scientists have settled the old dispute over which came first — the chicken or the egg. They say that reptiles were laying eggs thousands of years before chickens appeared, and the first chicken came from an egg laid by a bird that was not quite a chicken. That seems to answer the question. The egg came first. Source: “Knowledge in a Nutshell”

The strawberry is technically not a fruit at all. In botanical terms, fruits are seed-bearing structures which grow from a flower’s ovaries, and a strawberry is merely the swollen base of the strawberry flower. The plant’s true fruits are the small, hard, nut-like pips embedded on the outside of the flesh. The seeds are contained in the pips. Although there is some evidence that wild strawberries were eaten in prehistoric times, it was not until the 19th century that the popular fruit became widely available. Source: “Reader’s Digest Book of Facts”

The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.

A ‘jiffy’ is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

If you add up the numbers1-100 consecutively (1+2+3+4+5 etc) the total is 5050

If your eyes are six feet above the surface of the ocean, the horizon wil be about three statute miles away.

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

The only “real” food that U.S. Astronauts are allowed to take into space is pecan nuts.

The first prime number after 1,000,000 is 1,000,003.

You would have to count to one thousand to use the letter “A” in the English language to spell a whole number.

Rene Descartes came up with the theory of coordinate geometry by looking at a fly walk across a tiled ceiling.

Moon was Buzz Aldrin’s mother’s maiden name. (Buzz Aldrin was the second man on the moon in1969.)

A full moon always rises at sunset.

The Sun travels at a speed of 155 miles per second, but it still takes 230 million years for it to complete a single revolution of the galaxy.

Each day some forty-five thousand thunderstorms occur worldwide, resulting in as many as one hundred lightning strikes every second.

Lightning strikes the earth somewhere more than seventeen million times every day, or about two hundred times every second.

A bolt of lightning travels at speeds of up to one hundred million feet per second, or seventy-two million miles per hour.

A lightning bolt generates temperatures five times hotter than those found at the sun’s surface.

During menstruation, the sensitivity of a woman’s middle finger is reduced. Source: “2201 Fascinating Facts”

Almost half the bones in your body are in your hands and feet.

If you are locked in a completely sealed room, you will die of carbon dioxide poisoning first before you will die of oxygen deprivation.

An inch of snow falling evenly on one acre of ground is equivalent to about 2,715 gallons of water.

The chemical formula for Rubidium Bromide is RbBr. It is the only chemical formula known to be a palindrome!

What five digit number, when multiplied by the number 4, is the same number with the digits in reverse order? 21978; 21978 x 4 = 87912.

If each count were one second long, it would take about twelve days to count to a million and thirty-two years to count to a billion.

The arteries and veins surrounding the brain stem called the “circle of Willis” looks like a stick person with a large head.

Each square inch of human skin consists of twenty feet of blood vessels.

Nerve impulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 170 miles per hour.

Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks otherwise it will digest itself.

Your left lung is smaller than your right lung to make room for your heart.

A manned rocket reaches the moon in less time than it took a stagecoach to travel the length of England.

When Voyager 2 visited Neptune it saw a small irregular white cloud that zips around Neptune every sixteen hours or so now known as “The Scooter”.

Geller and Huchra have made three-dimensional maps of the distrubution of galaxies. In each layer of the map some galaxies are grouped together in such a way that they resemble a human being.

The two lines that connect your top lip to the bottom of your nose are known as the philtrum.

According to Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, it is possible to go slower than light and faster than light, but it is impossible to go at the speed of light. Also, there is a particle called a tackyon which is supposed to go faster than light. This means if you fire a tackyon beam, it travels before you fire it!

Each unit on the Richter Scale is equivalent to a power factor of about 32. So a 6 is 32 times more powerful than a 5! Though it goes to 10, 9 is estimated to be the pointof total tetonic destruction. 2 is the smallest that can be felt unaided.

The Earth-Moon size ratio is the largest in our solar system, excepting Pluto-Charon.

The night sky appears full of stars, but actually only about 3,000 stars are visible to the naked eye.

Planning a trip to Pluto soon? A round trip will be 7,000,000,000 miles.

There are ten human body parts that are only three letters long: Eye, Ear, Leg, Arm, Jaw, Gum, Toe, Lip, Hip and Rib.

After human death, post-mortem rigidity starts in the head and travels to the feet, and leaves the same way it came — head to toe.

A Laforte fracture is a fracture of all facial bones. It would allow one to pull on another face and remove it like a mask if not held on by skin.

The one-hundred eleventh element is known as “unnilenilenium”

The red giant star Betelgeuse has a diameter larger than that of the Earth’s orbit around the sun.

Hydrogen gas is the least dense substance in the world, at 0.08988 g/cc

Hydrogen solid is the most dense substance in the world, at 70.6 g/cc

The only planet without a ring is earth.

We will have four consecutive full moons making two blue moons in 1999 (January 2 and 31, March 2 and 31.) The only other time it happened this century was in 1915 (January 1 and 31, March 1 and 31.)

The Saturn V moon rocket consumed 15 tons of fuel per second.

The volume of the Earth’s moon is the same as the volume of the Pacific Ocean

Astronauts in the Space Shuttle are weightless not because there is no gravity in space, but because they are in free fall around the Earth.

The largest volcano known is on Mars: Olympus Mons, 370 miles wide and 79,000 feet high, is almost three times higher than Mount Everest.

A normal rain drop falls at about 7 miles per hour.

Human hair is estimated to grow at 0.00000001 miles per hour.

An enneahedron is solid with nine faces.

The oldest exposed surface on earth is New Zealand’s south island.

Mustard gas was invented in the McKinley Building on the American University campus. Additionally, preliminary work on the Manhattan Project was done in that building. The government used the McKinley Building because of its unusual archticture. If there would be any type of large explosion inside the building, the building would implode onto itself, containing any lethal gas or nuclear material. The building now houses the Physics Department.

Sunbeams that shine down through the clouds are called crespucular rays.

Very small clouds that look like they have been broken off of bigger clouds are called scuds.

On a dewy morning, if you look at your shadow in the grass, the dew drops shine light back to your eye creating a halo called a heilgenschein (German for halo.)

During conscription for WW II, there were nine documented cases of men with three testicles.

The hyoid bone, in your throat, is the only bone in the body not attached to another bone.

February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

When ocean tides are at their highest, they are called “spring tides.” When they are at their lowest, they are call “neep tides.”

The little lump of flesh just forward of your ear canal, right next to your temple, is called a tragus.

Hurricanes have torn loose vegetation, including tree branches, from Cuba, swirled them high over the Gulf Stream, and deposited them battered but alive randomly over the southeastern United States. West Indian mahogany, gumbo limbo, poisenwood and cocoplum, all native to the tropics, are now found growing on the U.S. mainland. Source: “Isaac Asimov’s Book of Facts”


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