Over 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci made an interesting observation about trees. He concluded that the total thickness of a tree’s branches is equal to the total thickness of the tree trunk. Trees across many species obey this rule. Explanations involve hydrological and structural theories.
Scientists estimate that if spider silk could be faithfully reproduced with the thickness of a pencil, it would be strong enough to stop a large jet plane in flight.
The reason Popeye eats spinach is because of an error in the calculation of its iron content by chemist Erich von Wolf in 1870. He misplaced a decimal point, recording iron as having 35mg of iron per 100g, instead of its true value of 3.5mg/100g. The former is equal to eating part of a paperclip.
Scientists successfully connected a paralyzed patient’s brain to a tablet who was able to type and surf the Internet.
David Barrett, an aeronautics engineer, resigned abruptly after seeing a vision of Jesus, spent 40 years single-handedly compiling the first and only complete list of Earth’s 10,000 existing religions and 33,830 denominations of Christianity. This led him to all 238 countries on Earth.
In 1887, a mathematician received a prize for his work on the stability of the solar system. A year later, after finding an error in his own work, he published a paper contradicting it, which led to the development of chaos theory.
In 1924, when Standard Oil was researching tetraethyl lead as a gasoline additive, 32 of 49 workers had to be hospitalized due to lead poisoning, and 5 of them died. A federal panel made entirely of industry scientists later concluded that there “no danger” from tetraethyl lead.
Humans can hear the difference between hot and cold water being poured. This is because the viscosity of water will go down as temperature increases. As you heat water, it will have more energy and its molecules will be less likely to stick together. Less sticking together results in smaller particles and less force per impact applied to the surface being poured onto.
The Higgs boson, commonly referred to as the “God Particle”, was originally intended to be named the “goddamn particle”, but Leon Lederman’s publisher asked that it be changed. Higgs, an atheist, was unhappy with the nickname because he thought the term “might offend people who are religious”