How high does the high tide go? In the Bay of Fundy, Canada, the difference between high and low tides is more than 16 metres. But at several points in the world’s oceans, called the tidal nodes, the sea level doesn’t change at all.
The parasitic bacterium Wolbachia is common in insects around the world, which makes it perhaps the most common reproductive parasite on Earth. And it doesn’t like males.
Polyglot programmes run in more than one programming language at the same time. One example runs in C, PHP, and Bash; another one runs in a ridiculous 282 different languages.
In nuclear physics terminology, first you need to hit the barn, and next you need to wait for 50 to 100 shakes. And then the bomb blows up.
Since 2000, millions of hours of computer time have been donated by people around the world to determine how proteins fold in the human body. This may help to understand and treat Alzheimer’s, cancer, HIV, flu, and the coronavirus.
Old people smell different – and a few studies have posited a chemical basis for that difference.
What do you do when a plane cannot land because of heavy fog? In WWII Britain, you set the runway on fire.
There’s an extinct species of gibbon, Junzi imperialis, we only know about because a Chinese noblewoman kept it as a pet more than two millennia ago.
Worshippers of many different religious use beads on a string to count prayers: Catholic Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, and Baháʼís.
Many of the world’s opals come from a town where the houses are underground and the umbrellas are upside down.
Mantis shrimp have the best eyes of the animal kingdom: they can see a wider range of colours than any other creature, from ultraviolet nearly all the way through to infra-red.
Dr. Oguntola Sapara suspected skulduggery from the influential priests of Sopona, the Yoruba god of smallpox. He was right.
How do you build a highway flyover without closing the road directly below it? In Indonesia, you build the pylons sideways and then rotate them into position.
The inventor of the pie chart and the bar chart was also a secret agent who helped collapse the French revolutionary government’s economy through an elaborate counterfeiting operation.
The silicon chip pictured here is the central processor from a 1991 Hewlett-Packard 9000 700-series workstation. It contains 577,000 transistors… and a horse?