When it comes to facts about the natural world, there seem to be no shortage that really freak people out. The animal kingdom, plants, the universe…it turns out there are just so many ways to make human beings uncomfortable.
These 17 scientific facts definitely fit the bill, so fair warning before you scroll through this list – some things you can just never un-know.
17. Brains are amazing and weird.
The brain can play tricks on you:
When you look at a clock and the second hand seems to freeze for a moment, your brain is actually generating a false memory – and your perception of time stretches slightly backward.
This effect is called chronostasis.
16. Mother Nature is a twisted B.
Honestly nothing is more creepy than how deep sea anglerfish mate.
The deep sea is dark, and the anglerfish are spread very thinly. Therefore, when an anglerfish meets another anglerfish, it’s incredibly important they get the chance to mate over and over again.
The evolutionary strategy that deep sea anglerfish devised is extra creepy. The male latches onto the female, biting her and never letting go. That way he can inseminate the eggs she drops. Not that bad so far right? But wait, how does he eat if he’s latched on his mate?
Well, the circulatory systems fuse and the female provides nutrients for the male through this fused circulatory system. The true horror starts here. The organs of male start to wither and atrophy, being absorbed into the female. Eventually, the male is reduced to a lump of testicles the females use to fertilize their eggs. Females are often covered in bumps of several males that have melted into the female, becoming a literal body horror lump of meat on the female.
15. Your brain knows best.
When you move your eyes rapidly, you don’t see the things in front of you streaking across your field of view. What happens is that your brain just deletes that part. To fill in this gap in your perception, you would think the brain would stretch out that last image you saw before you moved your eyes (like a stuck video), but instead your brain takes the first thing you see after your eyes move, and does a copy and paste back over the blank couple of tenths of a second while your eye was moving. This fools your brain into thinking it sees the new view even before your eyes moved to where you could see it.
Why would your brain do this? Imagine you see a small, quick animal out of the corner of your eyes. As you snap your eyes over to look at it, the animal jumps out of sight in like a twentieth of a second, too fast to be perceived, normally. However, as far as your fooled brain is concerned, it looks like the animal froze in place for a few tenths of a second, which gives the mind part of your brain a better chance to register and understand that fleeting image.
14. Those poor babies.
In some species of animals, multiple offspring are born but only one is actually raised by the mother. The others are born only as backup in case the first-born doesn’t survive. When the first-born is fine, which is the typical case, it kills the others.
13. We can do whatever we put our minds to.
If you believe strongly enough that you have been cursed, your brain can shut itself off entirely in severe cases. The psychological term for it is “Voodoo Death Syndrome.” It’s just the fact you can literally think yourself to death that unsettles me so.
12. As you do, I suppose.
I remember witnessing a mantis egg case hatching in my high school science class. I asked the teacher: “What could possibly be small enough for them to eat?” and he was just casually like: “They’ll eat each other.”
11. I mean it might not be a bad way to go.
A gamma ray burst could wipe out all life on earth instantly with no warning.
An ultra powerful supernova that sends incredibly powerful blasts of Gamma rays across the galaxy at light speed.
If one hits earth everything is erased instantly. There is virtually no way to ever see one coming.
So we would never even know it happened before we were all killed 🙂
10. It’s technically good, but…
A fever is your body way of saying:
“We don’t negotiate with terrorists! We either destroy the enemy or we die with them!”
9. Too bad they’re so hard to get to.
When the titanic sank non of the shoes decomposed so there’s tone of shoes at the bottom of the ocean.
8. That cannot be comfortable.
Caterpillars turn completely into goo in their cocoon, and then become a butterfly.
Even then the synapses can survive for the most part with neurons sort of free floating.
Reminds me of the stories about those people with uncaught hydrocephalus who lead perfectly normal lives despite their brains basically getting squashed into about 10% of the normal volume
7. Who would have thought?
Just how big of a number a mole actually is.
I can still remember the mole song our chemistry teacher played for us.
The song is from when the world population was 5 billion.
6. It all happens so fast.
Your brain is making decisions before you are even aware of the decisions it has made.
It also makes decisions based off of learned behavior and you just go along with it.
5. The luck of the draw.
Some mutations of just one letter in the DNA code can kill the fetus almost instantly, but some people live and have a seemingly healthy life while missing a whole chromosome.
If you understand anything about biology, that’s completely wild.
4. Honestly that makes sense.
Because of some pesticides used, roaches won’t go anywhere near a meth lab.
Meth labs have been known to produce toxic gas, like Phosphine, which a common insecticide.
Phosphine is often used in silos to deal with vermins.
3. The “call of the void.”
The sudden urge to jump off of a very high height.
You can be physically and mentally stable to the greatest degree and still have this feeling when at such a high height.
2. Not such a rosy prospect.
That as the permafrost melts, a lot of locked up methane will be released, and microorganisms there will “wake up” and do their jobs, breaking down organic matter, and release more methane and greenhouse gases.
1. Just don’t think about it.
Thinking about how breathing and lungs work freaks me out.
Once I start thinking about it all I can think about is my breathing and then I have to force myself to stop thinking about it.
Sometimes I’m sorry I compile these lists, y’all, because that means I have to read them!
What’s a scientific fact that makes you feel like you’ve got bugs crawling over your skin? Share it with us in the comments!